If your goal is to get into ESF Primary, I suggest you to apply to ESF Kindergarten. ESF Kindergarten students have priority over those coming from a different kindergarten for ESF Primary interviews. I know many many people who have attended good kindergartens elsewhere but just didn't have a chance without the priority status. So again, if that's your goal, go the complete ESF route. Many people I know are very happy with ESF Kindergarten (I only know Hillside). ESF does not do a lot of academics in kindergarten and there is no need to be able to read and write as they will start that in P1 (although some children do, and some have a basic understanding, it's not a must). My oldest attended Sunshine House which was a very solid preparation for ESF (fairly traditional and good preparation in terms of academics). In terms of Woodlands being better than ESF I think it all depends on the school, the child and many other factors. I know friends who've taken their children out of Woodlands (Tai Tam and Repulse Bay) and moved them because they weren't happy (also I heard of very few children admitted to ESF Primaries from Woodland, at least in RP, a major complain!). Every preschool has a slightly different angle, method and way of doing things, and it mostly depends on your child. ESF Kindies are candidate schools for the IB/PYP curriculum, which is a very different way of learning (compared how many of us parents were educated), but I am really happy with it (CDNIS, HKA, CIS and some others follow the same curriculum). Again, if you want your child to go to ESF Primary, priority is a must these days and I expect that not to change much over the next few years, I'd highly recommend going the ESF route. I am sure it has it shortcomings, but I think no school is perfect, and neither are our children!