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Island Christian Academy (ICA) Hong Kong Island

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    16

    Minkinski, just curious, has your child attended ICA for any period of time? You, of course are completely entitled to your opinion but as a 'non-religious' family who does attend ICA a number of your facts are incorrect. I am also saddened to hear your opinion of the top management of both small World and ICA. As a parent who has been closely involved with them for nearly 5 years now I have never had any dealings which haven't been characterised by any thing other than kindness and professionalism and for you to infer that hypocrisy and dishonesty are character traits which are displayed by them, well that is something I and many other people who have had our children attend either school have not in any way experienced.


  2. #12

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    7

    Ophelia, I have known the top management at Small World and ICA for about as long as you have. Your experience may have been different from mine, but I do know many other parents who share my view and whose experience with them was similar to mine. And it is a fact that many parents at Small World chose not to let their children continue their education at ICA.

    The OP seeks a "fair and balanced" view; hopefully we have done just that.


  3. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    16

    I am sure you are correct in that many Small World families chose not to carry on to ICA, but in the spirit of a 'balanced view' it is worth noting that for this coming academic year demand for places was so high they have added an additional Y1 class. There is also a not-insignificant waitlist. Clearly, ICA is not the perfect school for all but there are an increasingly large number of families for whom it is our school of choice.


  4. #14

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    7

    Waitlists are long everywhere this year, and many schools have added additional year one classes due to demand. This is a reflection of the current overall situation in Hong Kong--there is a serious shortage in spaces at international schools. It is not particular to one school.


  5. #15

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    8

    Thanks MinKinski for your feedback. I respect that.

    However I personally do not believe to the acting kind and Loving. SWCK has existed now for more than 25 years, ie enough time for any and every one to know their standard and character. It is definitely not possible to keep a mask of kindness or loving for such a long time. The fact that if you search for reviews about SWCK in any forum it is unanimously in favour of SWCK management. When I came to hk, I was recommended to SWCK by many parents who happen to be non Christians. You cannot have such a huge majority speaking good about a school if it is not good. The school cannot manipulate so many ex, current students or their parents.

    Regarding Religion, Each school has its own philosophy, and every school has it leanings. You have HKIS, ICS, ICA and so many other schools in Hk that are grounded in Christian faith. There are other schools which are leaning towards Jewish, Islam, Buddhist philosophies. There are other schools that claim they do not lean towards any religion or philosophies but the fact is they are all inclined..They are either left wing ideologies or Religious. There is nothing in the centre because every school is run by a board which is made up of humans who have some ideology. It is this ideology that allows them to come together and do some thing and be successful and I have nothing against it. I am sure that each school in their admission form or website makes it very clear about the ideologies they follow and the parents have to sign that they have no problem with it. Once they read and sign it then one cannot criticise the school.

    If I sent my child to Carmel (Jewish) or ICA (Christian) knowing their philosophy and then tell them that they cannot teach religion to them then I am wrong not them. The schools are very very clear about their faith, if some body does not like it then one should not apply. It is as simple as that. I would only worry if my children are taught not to love others, respect, give or are being radicalised to harm others for their belief.

    Regarding applying to ICA by SWCK students I am surprised that 80 children or half of the graduating class applied. I was really thinking that hardly 10 % would apply. For a one year old school to have 50% of its graduating class to apply is really good and not negative. One cannot compare a one year old school with some other school which has got 25 years to establish themselves.

    Regarding equipping children with academic skills, I agree with you that children go to school to learn these skills and if a schools that does not do justice to this is not a good school. I am sure any school that does not have good academic will fall by the side and any marketing done by the school on forums will not help. GSIS, HKIS ,CDNIS, CIS are good schools because they are academically good and parents have voted for it. If they had been bad the school could not have manipulated it. This is the same reason that I do not believe your comment about SWCK/ICA teachers acting kind and loving because you cannot lie all the time and fool every one all the time.

    Also just to add fees have nothing to do with quality of education. I was going through some educational consultants review about ICA and both have praised the school.

    Ophelia has given a good feedback about the school and you have given a negative feedback, and I thank both of you. I wish more parents come forward and give feedback will give us a sense of direction where the school is moving.


    Minkinski after reading your post one thing that comes out strongly was that you really had an issue with ICA teaching religion. But if you had sent your child to ICA it was very clear in their website and application form that the school is Christ centred. If you had a problem with that you should not have sent your kid there. I would blame you and not the school. I do not know what issue you had with ICA management but any issue that brings out such strong feelings against or for anyone is never good. Forgive and move ahead do not keep it in your heart. Sorry for preaching and once again thanks for the feedback.


  6. #16
    flo
    flo is offline

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    10

    I am also an ICA parent and am not the least bit religious. Just want to straighten out a few "facts."

    1. School day is 6 1/2 hours, not 5.
    2. Small World already had a new principal for the 2012/13 academic year. ICA also had a new principal after spring break. The two schools have not shared a principal since the opening of ICA in August 2012.
    3. The school does not devote one hour each day to religious study. There is a morning assembly on Mondays and an afternoon assembly on Fridays. Certainly, religion will be brought up during the assemblies, but other themes will be introduced as well (reading during literature week, why smoking is bad for you, etc.) Prayers are said in the morning, before meals, and at the end of the day. Bible stories are read in class from time to time; Christian-themed artwork is done sometimes - but by no means are they part of the daily routine.

    We just had our parent/teacher conference last week, and the end-of-year reports issued. Seeing how my child grows in ICA is an amazement. She had some issues, but the teacher is on top of things and very helpful. It's very difficult for a teacher to act "kind" for one whole year and not be noticed by the parents and the children! and my child and all her classmates just love their teacher. I send and pick up my child twice a week, and I went to all the field trips. The overall atmosphere at ICA is supportive and caring. The parent community is warm and friendly.

    I like the fact that there isn't much homework, but the children are still learning. My child is an average student, but comparing to ESF's same year, her reading level is ahead by at least 6 months, math on par, and writing a bit below. However, as I mentioned before, she had some issues, so the fact that she could come this far during the last year is a miracle by itself.

    ICA is a great school if you are looking for smaller class size, caring teachers, and emphasis on moral values. I wouldn't say there aren't any drawbacks. As a new school, resources and hardware cannot compare with more established schools. What I am most impressed about the management is how they spend their money. I saw the way they set up the school, and unlike some schools, they really tried to do everything on a shoestring budget so the money could actually be spent on the children. There is no fancy office or recruiting a large office staff count.

    Hope this helps other parents when making a decision!

    Last edited by flo; 27-06-2013 at 12:01 PM.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    7

    Flo, I don't know if it's a problem with my writing or your comprehension, but please also allow me to clarify:

    1. I said "children are in class for about 5 hours a day", not school day is only 5 hours. I'm sure you recognize there's a difference between these two concepts. I don't know why you tried to present them as the same.

    2. I never said Small World and ICA "shared the same principal." Where exactly did you get that from? If you want to make up something, please do not attribute it to others.

    3. I never said the school "devote one hour each day to religious study". What I said was, and I quote: "if they spend one of those five hours on religion, that means they are not doing the other stuff they ought to be doing at this age." The school does not have a "religious study" course per se, but they do make religious references and have various prayers throughout the day, and together they occupy a sizeable chunk of the children's time.

    I respectfully ask you to please read carefully and make sure you have understood correctly what others wrote before you fire off a response.


  8. #18

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    7

    Dear HKSchool, what can I say, my friend. Once again, it appears that you are just here to promote ICA and not to actually seek feedback. You seem to have already made up your mind, only want to hear one kind of voice and have no interest whatsoever in any other voice. In that case, don't waste your time or others' time. Just send your child to ICA then, I'm sure he/she will blossom beautifully under the watch of ICA management.


  9. #19

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    8

    As I said if the school is good no body can stop parents from praising them and if the school is bad it cannot be hidden it will come out in the open.
    Thanks Flo for the detailed feedback and clarifying school timings and about religious component. Coming from a parent it means a lot and thanks for clearing doubts about academic standard of ICA. I will definitely apply for my kid in September this year.

    Minkinski each of us have different requirements for our children. You may not like ICA thats ok it is your personal choice. Thanks for your feedback. You can accuse me of being a part of ICA sometime next year if my child gets in. If my child does not get in it does not mean i will come and criticize about the school. I will move on.

    I am attaching other parents feedback in geoschools threads about ICA.


    Quote Originally Posted by Backtohongkong
    Hi mib7,
    Hope you have found a school for your kids. If not, maybe you could check out Island Christian Academy in Sheung Wan? Like you, we'll be relocating to HK in the summer. We started applying like crazy as soon as the decision is made and been to a few interviews. We've found ICA very impressive. The teachers are very caring and loving, curriculum seems solid and school appears well organized despite it's quite new. I think they do reserve space for expats coming to HK throughout the year. Good luck with your school search.


    [QUOTE=peainpod;18886]ICA is Island Christian Academy. I accompanied a friend there on a school tour and was quite impressed by their teachers as well as their student body. They were a mix of western and Asian faces, and all seemed very happy and engaged in learning. Their principal Ms Gail has 25 years experience teaching at Bradbury and from all reports, sounds very knowledgeable and approachable.



    [QUOTE=portia;]My child is also in the current Year 1 class and I also couldn't be happier with the school. It is a warm, caring and supportive environment. The children are happy, friendly and polite. The current Year 1 teacher is excellent and there is a lot of personal attention for each child. I have been really impressed with the amount that my child has learned in this first year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyinhk
    Hi Sophie, We have recently relocated with a six year old and were really impressed with
    Island Christian Academy. it's a fairly new school, has great facilities and teaching staff. They encourage the kids to follow Christian values (kindness, consideration etc) but do not teach religious studies. Class size is max 20. good luck with the move!

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    16

    Good Luck with your applications HKSchool, I hope it all goes to plan and you are happy wherever you end up. ICA is a really lovely school, we couldn't be happier with it!!!!


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