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More Kinder questions

  1. #1
    giantsean is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Hong Kong

    More Kinder questions

    Hi All... we are still debating whether to enroll our two year old (just turned) in an international or local kindergarten, and trying to decide when is the best time. We have missed the cutoff for his "correct" year in many of the schools (like ESF Kindergarten for example) but others say it is better to start him a bit later. I did have a few more questions based on our findings

    1) I have heard that sending your non-cantonese speaking child to a local K will decrease the priority should we want to apply him for ESF. Then again I have heard it makes no difference as long as canto is not the native home language. Any idea?

    2) We have checked out Sunshine House and they acknowledge that it might be better for him to start K1 in early 2009 (once he's three) but they strongly recommend sending him to their nursery school first. Is this just a hard sell or will it help get him a spot in the K1?

    3) Back to ESF, if he is in K3 one year "later" will ESF primary allow him to start P1 in his "wrong" year?

    Thanks again!

  2. #2
    bbc mom is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    New Territories

    We also considered sending our son to a local kindergarten to pick up some canto but also felt it could affect future placement at ESF/Int’l school. In the end, we finally settled on an international kindergarten but our decision then became based on not being able to accept the local teaching style and getting homework every day.

    In response to your first question (not sure about the other 2 questions yet).

    1) ESF admissions criteria as stated on their website

    * Places will be offered to successful applicants subject to availability.
    * Only one application may be submitted per student.
    * Students can only apply to the school in their zone (except Year One and Seven students applying during central applications).
    * Students must be able to cope with an English-medium curriculum. Please see language requirements
    * We prioritise applications by category (see below) and by date of application.
    * Applicants in category one will be invited for interview before those in category two, regardless of the date of application.

    Category One
    Children who speak English as a first or alternative language but do not speak Cantonese and/or read and write Chinese characters.

    Category Two
    Children who can access the local system but who also meet ESF's entrance requirements.
    Within each category priority will be given to students who:
    1. are siblings of children already attending an ESF school;
    2. are attending an ESF Educational Services Ltd Kindergarten (for Year One only);
    3. are former students returning from a period overseas;
    4. have a parent who is a full-time employee of ESF;
    5. are the children of former ESF students.

    Consider my friend whose daughter has been at a local kindy for a year now and has become very ‘local’. In fact her Canto is so good now that she prefers to speak it at home rather than english. She’s only 3yr now so think how advanced her Canto will be at 5yrs. In my view I would think she would no longer be a category one priority under ESF as she speaks fluent canto and could easily access/integrate into the local system. This was also confirmed in an earlier thread I read - but fortunately the parents were able to explain to the principal and get a place.
    That thread was back in 2003 I think, but competition for places these days is even greater. My friend's 'mixed' brit/chinese son was not accepted into ESF even though he had very limited canto, whilst my local friend's daughter got in simply because the parents only spoke to her in english even though she understood canto perfectly, so who knows!

    We didn't want to take the risk of not getting a place in ESF so we have chosen an int'l school that also provides primary education so we at least have a place elsewhere.

    Also consider that even if you place your child in a local kindy and then switch to ESF, your child might forget all the canto they have learnt unless you can reinforce it at home or get a private tutor. So you need to ask yourself the reasons why you would want your child to go to local kindy in the first place.

    Hope this helps your decision making.

  3. #3
    bbc mom is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    New Territories

    Another point to note is that under the local system there are 3 years of kindergarten K1-K3, but most international schools will only have 2 years and they therefore start primary school a year earlier.

    I think most schools here operate on a birth year policy, and that any deferred schooling would mean starting at K2 level and missing K1 entirely. Having said this, the school I'm considering may make allowances for those children born close to the cut off dates Dec/beg Jan. But ESF are probably less flexible.

    Even if I were to return to the UK, school placement is on a Sept-Aug birth year basis, and therefore an Aug child will be the youngest in the year, and those born Sept onwards would have to wait another year before starting school anyway. Does this means if I had a Sept child, he would have to repeat a year should we return to the UK? So confusing!

    Last edited by bbc mom; 12-04-2007 at 02:20 PM.

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