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ESF vs Shrewsbury

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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by pin:
    when should one apply for these schools?

    anyone considered the local (i.e. free) system?
    Kellett apply now. They take applications from birth!
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  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by pin:
    when should one apply for these schools?

    anyone considered the local (i.e. free) system?
    @pin Kellett - as soon as the kids are born if you want to get them into reception. Local systems are ok too ... all depends on your priorities (you're saving 200-300K a year for 12-13 years..)
    Kowloon Goon likes this.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by pin:
    when should one apply for these schools?

    anyone considered the local (i.e. free) system?
    We considered local for the exposure to Mandarin and Cantonese. A few English-medium instruction schools out there with what seems to be a good approach to learning, including Catholic Mission School in Sai Ying Pun/Mid-levels. We opted for private, as the local system is done on a lottery system and most families don't find out until June.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by pin:
    when should one apply for these schools?

    anyone considered the local (i.e. free) system?
    There are plenty of good local school but competition for grades is probably more ferocious than in international school so you have to expect there will be some(lots?) of tutoring. The other challenge is with chinese, again lots of tutoring and some frustration if you can't support your child. Savings would likely be close to a couple of millions though...

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riceball:
    Yeah shrewsbury Bangkok seems to be reputable but I am not sure how relevant it will be for HK. Do you know their student mix? Are there a lot of locals? No offence to locals but I am
    trying to let my daughter enjoy more extra-curriculum in an English speaking environment.
    I'm out of the international schools loop these days, but when I was teaching one of the Big Things at all the ones I knew of was that the ONLY languages allowed for all school activities - including play/ lunch times and extra curricular classes - were English or the language used by the other stream in bilingual schools. Chinese was strictly forbidden/ interdit/ verboten, even for talking to school bus aunties or cleaners.

    Dunno if the lines are still drawn so strictly, but am sure current parents and teachers can let you know.

    edited to add: even 30 years ago, in the "Big 3" school I taught at, more than half of the students in the international stream were local kids who spoke Cantonese at home.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by chingleutsch:
    I'm out of the international schools loop these days, but when I was teaching one of the Big Things at all the ones I knew of was that the ONLY languages allowed for all school activities - including play/ lunch times and extra curricular classes - were English or the language used by the other stream in bilingual schools. Chinese was strictly forbidden/ interdit/ verboten, even for talking to school bus aunties or cleaners.

    Dunno if the lines are still drawn so strictly, but am sure current parents and teachers can let you know.

    edited to add: even 30 years ago, in the "Big 3" school I taught at, more than half of the students in the international stream were local kids who spoke Cantonese at home.
    Thanks. I heard very mixed reviews of IB and ESF. Anything you can shed lights on?

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riceball:
    Thanks. I heard very mixed reviews of IB and ESF. Anything you can shed lights on?
    The regular ESF school use PYP(primary) and DP(last two years of high school) but not MYP(Middle Years Programme). These three comprise the full IB programme. There's no prescribed curriculum with PYP and MYP, it's more of a philosophical approach. The DP on the other hand is pretty hardcore and the exam at the end of the two years is the same for everyone in the world and the results are compared worldwide. ESFs results in most of their high school are excellent and comparable to any of the top schools in HK. You can go IBDP school websites and find out how the students did in any school. That's the strength of IB, you can compare yourself to anyone in the world. If you want your child to have access to all the universities in the world, IB is excellent but it's quite challenging and you have to take a variety of courses, you can't load yourself with all sciences or all humanities which can create challenges for some. In ESF, kids that are not strong enough academically are steered towards BTEC programs.

    In the primary, it can get parents a little uncomfortable because the focus is on inquiry and interdisciplinary learning. It's a little bit less linear than what most are used to, it's supposed to make the learning more authentic and interesting and allow kids to explore areas of interests. It hasn't been running that long in ESF schools and teachers had to retrain and adapt(and so did parents) and as always when you try new things, there are failures and successes. I believe everyone is getting better at delivering these programs and there are sound ideas and principles behind it. Older folks sometimes feel that what they did was better and are resistant to change. That's life... In the end, I think some parents take primary education way too seriously as if the kids whole life depends on it. In my opinion, as long as there's a good balance between fun, discipline and academics, the kids will move on to the next step and adapt to the new demands of the next challenge.

    Schools like Shrewsbury and Kellett seem to be mainly targeting people that want to send their kids to UK unis as they don't offer IB, they do GCSEs and A levels and stick to the English National curriculum. If you are pretty certain, your kids will go back to the UK in High School or University then they may be better off in one of the two and it will be closer to what one is used to in the UK.
    Kowloon Goon, hullexile and HKSGHK like this.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Golem:
    The regular ESF school use PYP(primary) and DP(last two years of high school) but not MYP(Middle Years Programme). These three comprise the full IB programme. There's no prescribed curriculum with PYP and MYP, it's more of a philosophical approach. The DP on the other hand is pretty hardcore and the exam at the end of the two years is the same for everyone in the world and the results are compared worldwide. ESFs results in most of their high school are excellent and comparable to any of the top schools in HK. You can go IBDP school websites and find out how the students did in any school. That's the strength of IB, you can compare yourself to anyone in the world. If you want your child to have access to all the universities in the world, IB is excellent but it's quite challenging and you have to take a variety of courses, you can't load yourself with all sciences or all humanities which can create challenges for some. In ESF, kids that are not strong enough academically are steered towards BTEC programs.

    In the primary, it can get parents a little uncomfortable because the focus is on inquiry and interdisciplinary learning. It's a little bit less linear than what most are used to, it's supposed to make the learning more authentic and interesting and allow kids to explore areas of interests. It hasn't been running that long in ESF schools and teachers had to retrain and adapt(and so did parents) and as always when you try new things, there are failures and successes. I believe everyone is getting better at delivering these programs and there are sound ideas and principles behind it. Older folks sometimes feel that what they did was better and are resistant to change. That's life... In the end, I think some parents take primary education way too seriously as if the kids whole life depends on it. In my opinion, as long as there's a good balance between fun, discipline and academics, the kids will move on to the next step and adapt to the new demands of the next challenge.

    Schools like Shrewsbury and Kellett seem to be mainly targeting people that want to send their kids to UK unis as they don't offer IB, they do GCSEs and A levels and stick to the English National curriculum. If you are pretty certain, your kids will go back to the UK in High School or University then they may be better off in one of the two and it will be closer to what one is used to in the UK.
    Thank you so much! I did IB at high school myself and can really appreciate it. I was a bit confused why people are saying IB is not challenging, now it all makes sense. What’s your view on class size? Obviously ESF class size is more like the public school here in the UK. My daughter is currently in a selective private school here so wondering whether she will feel a total change in her learning.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Riceball:
    Thank you so much! I did IB at high school myself and can really appreciate it. I was a bit confused why people are saying IB is not challenging, now it all makes sense. What’s your view on class size? Obviously ESF class size is more like the public school here in the UK. My daughter is currently in a selective private school here so wondering whether she will feel a total change in her learning.
    Class size at ESF is 30. However, you need to ask the school what additional resources are being offered. For example, my boy's school has a teacher and a teaching assistant per class. On top of that there's a Learning Diversity team that assist teachers and student in driving each child's personal development. Thus curriculum and learning decisions are made in a team rather than by a single teacher. Hence the student to teacher ratio can't be considered 30 to 1.

  10. #30

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    At five years old... The system does not matter in my opinion. The management and the teachers matter more along with what is delivered to the students in terms of education.

    Ask the two schools what their curriculum is for the year your kid is entering and make up your mind on the quality of their responses.

    PYP (not IB) in my opinion gives too much leeway to the schools. Even with ESF the quality of the curriculum is vastly different for the same years. Things may have changed.. But I doubt it.

    Kowloon Goon likes this.

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