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Island Christian Academy (ICA) Hong Kong Island

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2

    I did not think that talking about schools would generate this kind of passionate debate. My personal view is that aggressive comments are not better than promotional comments.

    When parents are consulting this website / blog it is to be able to share or read experiences of other parents, this is not about politics... The three pages of threads on ICA look more like transcripts of a political debate (not all of the threads though)...

    Of course I have no lessons to give... I simply would like to share my frustration as a parent who after all, feels that unlike other countries, Hong Kong is a place where education has become a very strange business made of rules set by the suppliers, not the customers... I am always surprised to see that we all subconsciously or consciously decided to play this game.

    I am not saying that I am more brave than others. I am not planning to initiate a parents movement or anything like this, but I was hoping that this kind of website could be a real place for sharing, collaboration and support.

    If anyone has a good school to recommend, one with the following criteria ticked:

    • a school where my kid will have a real positive experience for year 1;
    • a crucial year, decisive year (year 1) where she/he will make her/his mind and opinion on what school is, what is in it for her/him, and most probably decide to either love or hate learning - and hopefully decide that school is good!
    • a school where she/he will be and feel safe


    We may make the choice for ICA for next year and hope everything will go well. If any parents have real negative experiences or good tips to share to have a good start there... this would be very nice to read (in fact choice needs to be made today).

    My experience visiting the school was positive. good atmosphere, good size (not too big for our little ones), I loved to see the art work done by the pupils (writing stories, drawings, sculptures). Nice staff and teachers. Good diversity. Good location. Fair fees. Good communication with parents. Recommended by my kids kindergarden.

    Thanks a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by minkinski
    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.

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    16

    Bootoine, as you will have read from my previous posts I am a current ICA parent and my child has been at the school since its opening and my second will start in 2014. I can honestly say with my hand on my heart that I do not have anything negative to say about our experience there. The curriculum is solid, well thought out and engaging. The teachers and school management are kind, warm and caring while still able to instil a sense of purpose and respect in the children and first and foremost it is a happy, happy school. You only have to be there at dismissal time to see the number of kids who want to stay and play rather than get out of there as soon as they can, that, to me speaks volumes. Good luck with your choices!

    bootoine likes this.

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2

    Thanks Ophelia. This is helpful indeed. Choice made!


  4. #24

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Tung Chung, Lantau
    Posts
    83

    Coming from the left field, just wondering about the level of Mandarin taught in ICA?

    My boy is 3 years old and we are applying for through-train schools at the moment, including IMS, CDNIS & ICS (with ESF already as a backup). We like ICS for being a true Christian school, but is worried about the lack of a good chinese program and that being in Ma On Shan/Shek Mun. I think we will end up choosing a school on the Hong Kong Island (if we have that choice) and we've definitely missed looking into ICA. I have heard rave reviews about SWCK from close friends, and seem like ICA is a great extension of that. Again, the only thing i see missing (since i don't know the school that well) is the provision of a solid enough Chinese program, which is important to our family as we are ethnically Chinese but unable to teach it as my husband and i both grew up abroad. Any info in this area is much appreciated. Thank you, fellow parents!!


  5. #25

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    16

    Hi Jomama, at ICA mandarin is taught on a daily basis from years 1-6. There are 2 pathways, one for children who do not have any background in Mandarin (such as mine!) and the second for those children who require a higher level of difficulty. ICA is by no means a bilingual school rather Mandarin is taught as a second language, in line with many of the other international schools and with ESF. I am very happy with the level of Mandarin my child is learning but then each case will be different depending on your priorities as a family. The school is very approachable and welcomes enquiries such as this so you could always give then a call to get a more detailed answer. Hope that helps.


  6. #26

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Tung Chung, Lantau
    Posts
    83

    Thank you so much Ophelia! My son is only 3 at the moment so there is still time to look into ICA. He just got accepted into IMS (Int'l Montessori School) which also has a primary school, and they offer a bilingual program. However, IMS is not a Christian school, so i may still swap him over if i really like what i see. Thanks! I should go for a school tour when the right time comes.


  7. #27

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    1

    Thank you parents!

    Hi. I just like to say thank you to the replies and questions from parents. For what it's worth, I think it was helpful for me to read your posts. We are currently planning for our son's kindergarten for 2015 school year. We've been to Small World and we liked it a lot. Just was a bit concerned about the ICA. But after reading the posts, I think our target is pretty clear. Thanks again!


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