Kellett vs German Swiss vs French Schools

  1. #1

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    Sep 2013
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    Kellett vs German Swiss vs French Schools

    We are currently in London and are considering a move to HK in the near future. A big concern is schools, and the difference between them. We have 2 sons, currently in Year 4 and Year 8. The older son is fairly academic currently attending Latymer Upper. He is performing well and is in the top 30 out of 180 children. My concern is some of the schools in HK are not as academic and he will not be challenged. I have heard good things about Kellett, mainly that it is a nurturing environment. Whilst I find that aspect important, I am concerned that it may not be academic enough. I hear the German Swiss school is more academic and as a result more selective and difficult to get in. My husband recently toured the French School. He liked it but was taken aback by the dress of some of the students (mini skirts and shorts). We are used to uniforms with ties, jackets, dress trousers and black school shoes. I would be grateful if I could get opinions on these schools?


  2. #2

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    Sep 2002
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    Hi, German Swiss does have a reputation of being very academic. They follow the British Curriculum and do IGCSE in Year 11 and have just started doing IB in 12/13. I believe they don't have a uniform but a dress code.

    I goggled Latymer Upper and it looks very similar to Kellett. Kellett Senior School has just expanded and moved to a new campus in Kowloon Bay. It's too early to say how academic the school will but initial feedback has been positive.

    There is also Harrow, which has received mixed reviews and a new school called Nord Anglia opening in Sept 2014

    Nord Anglia Education

    Last edited by ESFMum; 25-09-2013 at 12:33 PM.

  3. #3

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    Thank you for the information you have given. I really appreciate it.


  4. #4

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    I think the reality will be a school choosing you, not you choosing a school. My advice would be to apply to all three, and maybe Harrow as well and then make a decision based on what is actually available. The crush for spaces in the international schools is heavily reported and some expats actually cancel reassignments to Hong Kong or split the families with the kids remaining in the home country until a school place is open.

    I've actually spoken to a few instructors at Harrow who seem very pleased with the school. A number of them were brought out from Harrow UK and feel the faculty here rivals or exceeds those at the original (*which I took with a grain of salt but still it was rather impressive to hear from someone who had taught at both).


  5. #5

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    Nov 2011
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    Agree with Penguinsix, you need to apply to at least 3-4 schools. We have just joined Kellett and LOVE it!


  6. #6

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    Sep 2014
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    Kellett probably has a good environment, but still no track record, no case of results or any form of reliable/objective benchmark.

    GSIS is far and away the most academic of the three chosen, and will get better results than almost all but perhaps 2 or 3 schools in the UK. Very small cohort sizes and this only applies to the international or english stream. They have just switched over to IB so it is a school to watch. Very good Oxbridge acceptance and good Ivy placement as well. It will be a breeze to get accepted to a good Canadian/Australian or other UK school.

    FIS is also good, but probably not as good as the Island schools or KGV, and some way behind Chinese International School in terms of academics.

    I very much doubt Harrow in Hong Kong is decent. It's a franchise school, totally not accustomed to the very different environment in Hong Kong as well as the fact that the teachers are simply not paid as well as CIS/ESF/GSIS peers. It is dubious frankly to accept that educational quality is comparable to its namesake, especially since the Harrow is such a unique school and environment that I very much doubt its success can be emulated in such a rudimentary fashion. Like other Harrow Internationals, they won't offer the same quality as other established schools in the territory. They are in Asia for purely financial reasoning.

    Nonetheless I would consider GSIS first (if the school has the right environment for your kid and if your children get in), and then really depending on where you live/what kind of environment your child in particular will thrive in, consider FIS/South Island/West Island/Island and of course CIS interchangeably. Kellett, along with Hong Kong Academy and other new international schools, I would look at with suspicion in all honesty.


  7. #7

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    Apr 2011
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    bshane - If you are considering GCSEs and A Levels as a benchmark, Harrow has had top notch and very enviable results. Would not put them out of the consideration, just because they're a franchise.

    Not sure about the teachers not being paid as well, but they did produce some good results this year.

    A-Level and IGCSE Results - Harrow International School Hong Kong

    We looked at FIS very briefly but were put off by the whole super liberal european attitude towards smoking - (just got to pass through the designated smoking area that they have for staff and kids).

    Kellett has a several good things going for it - superb staff, small class sizes, good mix of kids etc (we're ex-ESF and current Kellett parents). Again, same for Hong Kong Academy - have heard a lot of good things about it from ex-ESF parents who have moved to the senior school.

    ESF on the other hand continues to behoove me. They do not seem to have a consistent academic standard across all their schools (some kids in Y7 at KGV just told us - "no home work in term 1", parents at WIS have told us - "no benchmarking / exams in Y7", "no textbooks / fixed curriculum"). From our experience - the ESF has too much legacy that they carry around to be able to listen to parents, change and adapt. They're a good factory school.

    And also, if results are an issue - take away the Asian kids and see how well all the results stack up.

    Bottom line .. look at all the schools, find parents to talk to and make your decision.


  8. #8

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    Nov 2011
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    Here are the GCSE results from Kellett

    Congratulations to our I/GCSE Students for Achieving Outstanding Results! | KELLETT School

    Thought they were pretty good, but an Island School mum told me they're about the same as ESF. The school has already predicted the grades for this year's cohort based on the students midyis (Secondary - CEM) results and its more or less in line with Harrow's results. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

    As an ESF alumni, we have been pretty impressed with Kellett. Reminds me of what ESF used to be. We like that the kids have textbooks and workbooks. Workbooks come home and we can see our daughter's progress.

    Hope that helps.


  9. #9

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    Dec 2014
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    As for as kids smoking outside of FIS you should also be concerned about drugs problems that occurred at GSIS or HKIS. It;s not because you cannot see it that it is not happening elsewhere too ! I'm afraid such addictions is not the problem of only one school. I am European and my Kids attend the Gernan section at GSIS so I'm not shocked with the dress code. I'm more worried how the school cares for my children and deal with issues like bullying. A new Head for the International Stream started last September at FIS ( comes from ESF) and some parents have told me he is putting lots of energy into the school and the Secondary section in particular.

    Last edited by olympe; 26-12-2014 at 08:08 PM. Reason: grammar mistake