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HK local schools and Aussie kids

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    9

    Question HK local schools and Aussie kids

    We are moving to HK for two years and have kids aged nine (primary in 2011) and eleven(secondary in 2011) We have been tossing up between ESF schools and International schools (expensive!!) Can someone fill us in on local govt. schools.

    Do any teach in English?
    Are they good quality?
    Do they have a racial mix or would our little "cauc kids" stand out?

    Also ESF schools seem to have entrance exams - are these the suicide inducing type tests that one reads about in pressure cooker education system such as Japan?

    Regards

    Tony


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Many local schools tend to be more traditional, lots of work, lots of repetition, not much problem solving or emphasis on communication. English is used for textbook but a lot of the communication is done in cantonese. Caucasian kids would stand out and they do even in many international schools which can be up to 90% asian.

    The entrance exam in most international schools is only to weed out the very weak and those who don't speak English well enough.

    Your kids would likely be happiest in the ESF system or you can try AISHK

    TonyDev likes this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Another factor which will affect your decision - most or atleast a large amount of the communication from the school will be in Chinese even though the school is an EMI (English Medium School). This will be one of the first cultural barriers you'll have to overcome.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    tung chung, hong kong
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    Hk and Aussie kids

    My children now go to the Australian International School (AISHK) but when we lived in Taipei they went to a local school. It was very hard and we spent a lot of time at home doing English and other Oz curriculum work.
    When we came to Hong Kong it was important for all of us to have an 'easier' school life.
    We are very happy with the school,, the kids achieve very well, they still have quite a lot of homework when compared to friends in Oz, but it is manageable.

    Another positive is that the school in HKG basically follows the NSW school calendar so if you are used to a break at Christmas time, you still get it. In fact, you have two periods of betweek 4-6 weeks holiday during the year(as well as term breaks). Holidays generally coincide with holidays in Oz so families and friends can still catch up when visiting.
    If you are only coming for a 2 yr contract, you really need to decide if it is worth putting the children into a different school system.

    Contact schools you are interested in and check if they have vacancies for when you require. You may end up not having a choice.

    Good luck.

    TonyDev likes this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    That is a good point about the school calendar. Most schools in HK run from August to July so you will need to adjust to that. The only exception I know is the Australian international school. My kids go their as well. But it is not cheap. For a 9 and 11 year old, you will probably need to spend HK$250,000 per year at Australian school. ESF will me more like $150,000.

    On top of the crazy prices, Australian school kids get 4 months a year holidays which is too much in my opinion.

    TonyDev likes this.

  6. #6

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    According to the U.S. Department of Education, American schools average 180 days of instruction per year. That figure includes public and private schools at both the elementary and secondary levels.

    Ontario in Canada will usually have 186 contact days, BC between 185-187

    AISHK has 178 contact days

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  7. #7

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    Feb 2009
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    Thanks Gilles. I guess AISHK is not much different from the others when you put it in that light. Still, AISHK gives one month off in middle of the year when most schools back home in Aus only get 2 weeks.

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  8. #8

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    That would put the schools around 188 contact days which is not unusual. 178 is definitely on the low end of things.

    It's also possible they have a slightly longer day to make up for the number of hours

    Last edited by gilleshk; 23-08-2010 at 10:59 AM.
    TonyDev likes this.