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Good international or normal kindergarten in TKO?

  1. #1
    kathykathy87 is offline Registered User
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    Good international or normal kindergarten in TKO?

    Hi everyone,

    We are planning to move to TKO soon, although our baby is only 6+ months, we still would love to know more about the education quality in that area, and we would also love to meet up some parents and join playgroup as well, my husband is British and I am from Shenzhen and I do spk Cantonese and mandarin, I have quit my job since I was pregnant and now stay at home looking after my baby boy ^_^ hope will be able to find our more information here, cheers!

    Kathy

  2. #2
    emma_mama44 is offline Registered User
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    Dear Kathy,

    I am not living there but I have many friends who know the areas quite well.

    I think many kindgergarten in HK are Eng. speaking instead of international (international: only when the curriculum is an international one, instead of a local one). Of course, most Eng speaking kindgertens will offer Chinese (either in Cantonese and/or Mandarin).

    For truely international one, I can't think of any in TKO. Some more famous Eng speaking ones will be Greenvilles International, Boxer Hills.

    There are enoromous local kindergarten around.

    Some kindergartens offer Nursery class (starting from 2 years old). If you want to put your kids in a kindergarten in Sept. 2014, you should submit your application in Sept-Oct 2013. You have to check with each kindgarten for details.

    Hope this help :)

    Emma

  3. #3
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Hi, i've just gone through the admission process in a kindergarten for my son in Tseung Kwan O so I can share a bit about this.

    The first one you may want to consider is Abacus kindergarten in Clearwater Bay which is affiliated with ESF. The advantage of this kindergarten was that kids here got priority to the ESF school in Clearwater Bay. However, this arrangement will change after this year, my understanding is that there is still some sort of priority but not as high as before. It is a play-based approach and all the teachers have an education certificate and almost all are Caucasian.
    I ended up dropping this option when it became clear my child wouldn't get a morning slot. This kindy is also starting a bilingual class, which may interest you.

    Further along in Sai Kung, there's Woodlands, but it's actually quite a long ride from TKO. There's also Garden House in Clearwater Bay that follows the Waldorf method. I've heard good reports of this one.

    Newly opened in Yau Tong is Mills International. I went to their open day and they seem very "international" but they took care to stress that they understand its a competitive world and so they would ensure that students were learning and not just playing.

    Which did I pick for my son?
    I chose Deborah International in Tseung Kwan O because I'd heard decent reports from the mums in the playground who send their kids there. I'll admit that the Western teachers there don't seem as experienced as the ones in Abacus and Mills. However, I went by the word of mouth reports which were positive. It's one of the most reasonably priced schools and has been around in TKO for a long time. Plus, my son did extremely badly at the interview (he was just over 2 years old then) and they accepted him, which I took as a good sign that they actually understand kids a bit.

    I live in Tiu Keng Leng and there's a kindy called Box Hill there. I've been to a couple of their open days, the teachers seem okay, though I've heard some negative reports about staff changes. However, the kids in my estate that go there seem to be okay.

    Another one I applied to was Learning Habitat in Lohas Park. I was interested in their Canto-English programme. However, since my son got into Deborah first dropped it.

    There's also Greenfield and Greenville mentioned above that seem popular.

    So lots of options you can see. I don't have first-hand experience on their quality as my son will start kindergarten in August.

  4. #4
    Aquarian is offline Registered User
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    Mine's too little for kindy yet, but we've already been told by a few people to go to deborah - clearly it has a good reputation. I'll be interested to hear your views on it once your son had settled in

  5. #5
    kathykathy87 is offline Registered User
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    Dear all,

    Thanks for sharing the information and it does help a lot, my boy will not start the kindergarten until 2015, one more question is do you need to go to nursery before apply for K1? I heard that some kindergartens only accept kids who went to nursery first? But I don't think I wanna send my kid to school until 2.8 years old. Also are they any mum would love to meet up and hang out at some point when we move there? As I would love to take my son out and play with other babies who's similar age ^_^

    Please drop me msg if you are interested, cheers

  6. #6
    charade is offline Registered User
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    For the kindergartens I mentioned, they don't need to have gone anywhere else before starting. They start around 2.8-3 years. ESF I think goes by year of birth so could be a little younger or older.

    Unlike most Hong Kong mums, I hadn't even put my son in playgroup before we applied. However, around that time I noticed he was restless at home, and so he now goes to a playgroup accompanied by my helper at YWCA twice a week.

  7. #7
    kathykathy87 is offline Registered User
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    Thanks Charade, well I am actually thinking just hang around with my baby and others if anyone is interested, meet up with the mums and babies, just go out whenever we want, don't have to be fixed time, where is the playgroup your son goes to? Is it close? I am still thinking where to move in TKO, maybe ocean shore or park central etc. that kind of area. Are there many mums do meet up things with babies around?

  8. #8
    charade is offline Registered User
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    I think Aquarian who also replied above had a thread earlier on a TKO mummy meet-up and there was another one by another mum recently. I've been meaning to join but my kids are older (15 months and 2.5 years) and they keep bringing colds home and I keep falling sick. I work full-time so I can only do it on weekends and not sure my rambunctious two would fit in with the bubs in stroleys.

    I live in the estate next to Ocean Shores and the YWCA I mentioned is under Ocean Shores. I don't know if there are any active mummy groups in TKO, hence I think Aquarian was trying to start one, however there are young parents with little kids everywhere in TKO and I'm sure you'll meet plenty in your estate playground when you move. If you speak Cantonese/Mandarin it should be much easier for you, there are fewer expats but it seems like more are moving this side.

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