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  • 1 Post By kristaje

Backup Primary 1 Options - Applied to ESF, CDNIS, SIS, CIS and JIS Already...

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    4

    Backup Primary 1 Options - Applied to ESF, CDNIS, SIS, CIS and JIS Already...

    We just arrived in Hong Kong from Japan in September and I'm scrambling to put together applications for Primary 1 for my five-year-old. He doesn't speak any Chinese, but is fluent in both English and Japanese. I've already applied to Japanese Int'l, Chinese Int'l, Singapore Int'l, Canadian Int'l and ESF. For ESF and JIS, he would be applying for P2 next year (very confusing to me..) ESF, JIS, SIS and CIS have all told me he went straight to wait list, and Canadian is the only one that offered us an interview. I'm really panicking as I know Canadian is very competitive also. I want to explore some backup schools (looking into Woodlands P2 in Harbourside, Harbour School) and was wondering if anybody have any other suggestions. I'm also open to local schools as long as they would take him! Thanks.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Mid Levels
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    9

    Sounds like you've already done quite a bit of research and applied to quite a few schools! All the schools you chose have solid reputations and are thus popular (with long waitlists in most cases).

    If you are interested in trying a less established school, there's a new international primary school called Island Christian Academy (operated by the same people that runs the very popular pre-school Small World) in Sheung Wan which seems to have very favourable comments and is fast gaining in popularity.

    I accompanied a friend on a school tour there and was very impressed. Small class sizes of 18-22, nice facilities, friendly teachers, and a diverse student body (good mix of western and Asian faces including, I'm told, quite a few Japanese and Korean students). I would suggest you give them a call for a school tour to see for yourself.

    Btw, they are opening up 3 P1 classes of 22 students each (so 66 total P1 intake) for next Sep and already they have over 200 applications including 90 from Small World kindie students - who are given priority. So while it should be easier than the more established IS, it's still not a shoo-in.

    Anyway, good luck! It must be really hard to just settle into a new city and then have to scramble around for school places before you've even found your feet!


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    432

    Would also add Korean International school to your list. Have been hearing good reviews too.

    Good luck! I know it's stressful, but you've applied early and fingers crossed you will receive an offer from at least 1 of the schools.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    20

    Hi bubybam,

    The school search can indeed be a bit daunting, especially for 5yo (PY/P1 - depending on the school) spot, but with a lot of persistence it'd work out alright. We were there last year, applied to 10 int'l schools, got interview in 4 of them, and got offers from 3 schools at the end.

    From your choices of schools, looks like you live somewhere in HK island. I'd second ESFMum suggestion for Korean Int'l School (talk to Jenny, she's very helpful and prompt with replies), and would also suggest you considering schools below, as they're bit easier to get into:
    - Harbour School in Kennedy Town
    - Delia School of Canada (many Japanese in this school)
    - PIPS Parkview
    - Lin Sing Tai Hang School - this is not an 'local' private school with English as medium of instruction. Had heard good thing about them: LI SING TAI HANG SCHOOL.

    Other IS in HK Island you could consider - but bit harder to secure spot on - are:
    - Int'l Montessori School - my son is studying in their ML campus now, wonderful school. They have 3 campuses for Casa (5yo), all in the island.
    - Kiangsu Chekiang Int'l School
    - French Int'l School

    Hope you secure a spot soon

    Last edited by kristaje; 04-12-2012 at 11:38 AM. Reason: additional info
    IBorNot2IB likes this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    4

    Hi everyone, thank you so much for all of your advice and encouragements -- it's good to know that I'm not alone! We actually live in Olympic on the Kowloon side, but most int'l schools (at least ones that don't require Chinese for admission, like Kingston & Yew Chung Int'l) seem to be on the HK island side. We're even prepared to move if necessary!

    I'm going to check out ICA, IMS, Korean Int'l and Li Sing Tai Hang. Do you know of any similar schools that accept non-Chinese speakers on the Kowloon side? My son is actually at PIPS Kowloon now but next year he would be too old to continue on (turning 6 in 2013).

    We may also add to our list HKIS and GSIS, though they are also exceptionally difficult to get in.

    It's all about timing when it comes to school application in HK! I just wish we had come a year or two earlier so we could get our foot in from Reception year, instead of competing for a handful of spots with hundreds of other children.

    This process is a lot more stressful and expensive than college application - crazy!


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Happy Valley
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    123

    You've got your bases covered in terms of International schools but you should also consider the large number of EMI schools in Hong Kong. They are not for everyone but these do offer a larger choice at much lower cost:
    EMI


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    37

    consider HK Academy as from next academic year they will be based in their new campus in Sai Kung.

    their application and interview process is not so stressful...


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by kristaje
    - Lin Sing Tai Hang School - this is not an 'local' private school with English as medium of instruction. Had heard good thing about them: LI SING TAI HANG SCHOOL.
    Sorry, I'm not sure how the 'not' getting up there on my prev post. Lin Sing Tai Hang School IS a 'local' private school with English medium. Another school in HK Island you may want to consider is Rosaryhill in Stubbs Rd (Rosaryhill School ). English is the delivery language but they also teach Putonghua and Spanish.

    I also noticed that you haven't mentioned ESF above. They're extremely oversubscribed in HK Island, but not sure if availability is better for the Kowloon side (as you could only join their school based on certain catchment area).

    For Kowloon side, you could consider:
    - CAIS
    - Anfield
    - Kingston
    - Australian Int'l School - chances is probably bit slim here though unless your son holds Oz/Kiwi passport. We're Oz's but my son had just been invited to interview after being in waiting list for 1y+ (though we won't be going as he's settled in IMS now).

    I also heard that from an HKIS parent that HKIS lower primary will be relocated to Kowloon Bay (if I remember correctly) sometimes next year, while they're renovating. It maybe worthwhile to try and see if some kids will drop off and creates opening. The mom I was talking to plan to move her kid to another school closer to their home when this happens.

    As your child is in PIPS now, it maybe worthwhile to put his name in PIPS Parkview as a backup. This way at least you have a spot for next year, in case nowhere else is available.

    All the best.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    HK Island
    Posts
    307

    HKIS Primary was considering moving to Kowloon for 3 years in order to renovate. Planning to current KJS location (as they are in temporary acommodation as well) but this plan is now off the table.

    If your child turns 6 he indeed needs to be in Y2 for ESF next year (my 2006-born children just turned 6 last month and they are currently in year 2 (the younger ones in their year). He should technically be in Y1 now.


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    4

    Thanks for the HKIS tip - I just called their admissions office and the lady said the move to Kowloon was canceled but she couldn't tell me if the renovation plans were postponed or scrapped altogether.

    I went to check out Kingston Primary today and liked the campus, but I was told there is already a waitlist for P1.

    I also wanted to check out Yew Chung as they are close by, but they didn't even let me in. Does anyone have any experience with this one? I hear this school occasionally come up in chat rooms. Seems to be academically more rigorous and requires more Chinese language background?

    I'm going to check out HK Academy (am on waitlist for school visit - crazy phenomenon), Korean Int'l and IMS later this month.

    Does anyone know much about Anfield? I also scheduled to view the campus this week there.

    Thanks again for your valuable advice!!