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Which preschool can prep my son to get into an ESF kindergarten/primary school?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    6

    Which preschool can prep my son to get into an ESF kindergarten/primary school?

    Hi, I am wondering which preschool should I send my son to which can prep him to get into an ESF kindergarten or primary school? We live in Bramer Hill in North Point. Does ESF kindergarten (Hillside) give priority to students who goes to certain Playgroup or Preschool? My son is 10 months old now. Thanks!


  2. #2

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    Sep 2002
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    Hong Kong
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    432

    We did a Montessori playgroup 2-3x week and some classes at the YWCA, like Socatots and Gym. As long as your child can speak English and follow simple instructions, he should be fine. I don't think they give priority to any preschools, but am not 100% sure.


  3. #3

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    Jan 2007
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    TKO
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    From personal experience, I would recommend one of the Woodland pre-schools (vs ESF). My daughter attended an ESF kindergarten (Abacus) and I was shocked at how little they taught her and/or prepared her for the interviews. It was all about PLAY. I now work as a school supervisor for Woodland, and the difference is like night and day. They have a much better balance of play and academics (AND preparing children for their interviews). And no, I'm not here "tooting" Woodland just for the sake of it.

    I'm just sharing my opinion as a parent and as an educator working in the field.


  4. #4

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    Feb 2008
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    HK Island
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    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!


  5. #5

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    Sep 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-copy-guy
    From personal experience, I would recommend one of the Woodland pre-schools (vs ESF). My daughter attended an ESF kindergarten (Abacus) and I was shocked at how little they taught her and/or prepared her for the interviews. It was all about PLAY. I now work as a school supervisor for Woodland, and the difference is like night and day. They have a much better balance of play and academics (AND preparing children for their interviews). And no, I'm not here "tooting" Woodland just for the sake of it.

    I'm just sharing my opinion as a parent and as an educator working in the field.
    I agree ESF Kindy kids just play and aren't prepared as Woodlands. However, with the current shortage of P1 places, I would follow MommyTo3's advice and go with ESF Kindy, as you're guaranteed a P1 interview. Many kids from other well-known Kindys didn't even get one this year, and are doing P1 at Woodlands or other kindergartens.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2011
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    10

    the majority of these children are three years old when they begin kindy!

    as a parent, i deliberately chose a school that didn't focus on academics and let the children "learn through play".


  7. #7

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    Sep 2002
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    DimSum - Towards the end of my son's last year at Kindy, I don't think they learnt anything through play. They were just playing A few mums and I both noticed it yet. They were going through leadership issues


  8. #8

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    May 2011
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    10

    yikes. that's NOT good.


  9. #9

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    Sep 2011
    Location
    Kowloon Tong
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    My girl is at ESF Wu Kai Sha K2. I am happy with her getting into the school since she has behavioral problem to being with. And the principal was very understanding. I worked with a lovely group of staff to insure that everything is smooth. And I love the idea of those communicating books.

    I think it is also depends on the child. I find my children they have to learn through play and everything has to be multi sensory based as oppose to rote memory and sitting down and have them copy letters. I have tried so many methods dealing with their sensory integration issues and speech issues. So it really does depends on how the child learn from the environment.


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    hk
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    6

    I disagree with the above quote by copy guy and wonder how long ago the above posters children attended ESF kindergarten? My son currently attends Abacus Kindergarten and I have been very impressed so far, whenever I have been in as a parent helper. The children do learn through play activities. But the 'play' is carefully structured so children are always learning something whether it is a counting activity or science activity or phonics work. I don't want my child to be force fed worksheets at his age and all the research I have done suggests that play is the most appropriate way for children to learn at this age. I did a lot of research when choosing a kindergarten !
    I also don't like the idea of children being trained like robots for interview ! My oldest child is already in an ESF School and the interview is very low key, just reading stories and playing from what the school and he told me. I believe a good kindergarten should naturally prepare their children for this, by providing lots of social and speaking activities and book sharing activities without having to train them in the weeks prior to the interview to pass! A friend of mine who is a teacher even told me they can tell the children who have been trained as they come into the interview and repeat parrot fashion what they have been told to say. Then when they try and chat about other things the 'trained children' look lost and don't know what to say because they haven't been 'trained' for that bit.
    I know Abacus Kindergarten are now also following the Primary Years Program which is the same curriculum followed in all the ESF schools. I am not sure if the other ESF kindergartens also use this but it seems to suggest a natural progression on to the ESF schools.
    The reason I asked about the timings is that I believe there is new management and several new teachers in the last couple of years so maybe that is why things have changed ?


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