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Pre-Kindergarten for 4 year old - Entrance for January 2018

  1. #31

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    30
    Quote Originally Posted by Tapxeoeg
    Hi! I'm a local citizen. My son is 4 years old too and he studies at local kindergarten. If you want your child to learn Cantonese, why not enrol him into a local school as most, if not all, bilingual programme at international school are English+Mandarin/Putonghua. However, living in hk, it is still Cantonese dominate in most part of your daily life. There are non-Chinese students studying in my son's kindy and they enjoy a lot. As your husband can speak Cantonese, he can start teaching him bit by bit and tell him that 'we are going to live in HK, where you will meet a lot of new friends, some of them speak Cantonese and you can play with them if you can speak Cantonese well.'

    As you may know, Cantonese has more different tones(9 to be exact) over Mandarin. If your son learned Cantonese, it'd be a lot easier for him to pick up Mandarin at a later stage, but not the other way around.

    For kindergarten, I'm sure you will find a place for your son any time of the year. We're talking about shrinking population of pupils here. Not to mention many would change schools after studying a few months or a year. This musical chair game goes on every year.

    For primary schools, the application for 9/2018 intake has started and will last until around end of September. The minimum age of a primary 1 student is 5yrs 8 mths old. So if your son was born in 2012, he should apply this year. However, if his birthday is between September and December, he can opt to enter primary school the next year ( i.e. until he is biologically full 6 years old). Many local parents would have their children go on this path as that makes their children seemingly to have advantage in learning over others who were nominally a year younger. If your son was born in 2013, then he'll definitely go to primary in 2019. Either way makes your application period into 2018. Still plenty of time.
    @Tapxeoeg,
    thank you for this perspective. I thought local school required Cantonese. What is the website to view these local schools in the neighborhood, which I do not know yet, I want to enroll him in? What are the prerequisites? What is the typical tuition?

    His birthday is September 6, 2013. Does that mean he will be one year behind? In the US, the cutoff date is usually September 1 which means he will be one year behind and in first grade at the age of 7 instead of 6. Lots of parents like to put their kids in Kindergarten at 6 years old instead of 5 because they want their kids to be like leaders, it's called red shirting, even if their birthdays are not after September 1st. I'm not sure I want him to do that if it's more flexible in HK.

    I prefer him him to speak Cantonese eventually as both sets of grandparents speak it and are originally from HK.

    im not sure I understand what you mean by shrinking population of pupils. Why is it shrinking? Why leave after a few months or a year? Is this local kindergarten?

    thanks.

  2. #32

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    186

    See this link for details on the Primary allocation process: School Places Allocation Systems

    If you are considering Cantonese education, Cannan Nursery also has a school on Caine Road in midlevels. I recall quite cheap and the teachers seemed to be quite nice.

    https://www.cannan.edu.hk


  3. #33

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    1,283
    Quote Originally Posted by librarygirl2


    His birthday is September 6, 2013. Does that mean he will be one year behind? In the US, the cutoff date is usually September 1 which means he will be one year behind and in first grade at the age of 7 instead of 6. Lots of parents like to put their kids in Kindergarten at 6 years old instead of 5 because they want their kids to be like leaders, it's called red shirting, even if their birthdays are not after September 1st. I'm not sure I want him to do that if it's more flexible in HK.
    In the local school system, age groupings are calendar year Jan-Dec. So all kids born in 2013 are in the same school year.

    In most of the international schools esp. those based on US/Canadian/UK systems, they are grouped Sep-Aug.
    librarygirl2 likes this.

  4. #34

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by librarygirl2
    @Tapxeoeg,
    thank you for this perspective. I thought local school required Cantonese. What is the website to view these local schools in the neighborhood, which I do not know yet, I want to enroll him in? What are the prerequisites? What is the typical tuition?

    His birthday is September 6, 2013. Does that mean he will be one year behind? In the US, the cutoff date is usually September 1 which means he will be one year behind and in first grade at the age of 7 instead of 6. Lots of parents like to put their kids in Kindergarten at 6 years old instead of 5 because they want their kids to be like leaders, it's called red shirting, even if their birthdays are not after September 1st. I'm not sure I want him to do that if it's more flexible in HK.

    I prefer him him to speak Cantonese eventually as both sets of grandparents speak it and are originally from HK.

    im not sure I understand what you mean by shrinking population of pupils. Why is it shrinking? Why leave after a few months or a year? Is this local kindergarten?

    thanks.
    You can find the info of all registered schools here:
    Kinder: http://www.chsc.hk/kindergarten/index_en.html
    Primary: http://www.chsc.hk/psp2016/m/eng/index.php

    The 'cutoff' day for a student to decide which year of class he should go is the end of December. In your case, your son is 4 in September, he should enrol in K2 (min 2 yrs 8 months old, i.e. born in 2013) this year and Primary 1 in 2019. For int'l schools, he should enrol in Grade 1 (equals local K3) in 2018, though. But as I said, those who was born in the months of September to December, some parents would postpone their admission to the next year so that their children are more developed and can perform better (similar to the red shirting you mentioned). We call this children 'Big Kid' because they are 1 year elder then their classmates.

    If you managed to get to a local school, no or minimal school fee for KG and free for primary and secondary. But I'm not sure if a local birth cert or permanent residency is required. But that should not be a problem in private school. For private (which means not subsidized by gov), you'll have to pay school fee depends on the school's charging.

    I'm not sure about your kid's understanding in Cantonese. He might not want to speak but he probably can understand it. So you might consider to enrol him to K1 when you arrive at the end of year. Because K2 kids are more developed in many aspects and they've been with the same class/group of kids for a year. Your son may find it hard to fit into them. If he starts at K1, some kids are also first time schoolers so your son should easily get on with them (though they will still be a few months ahead of your son, but this is inevitable unless you can come in September). Many kids I heard of don't speak a word by the age of 4 or around. So your son should not feel weired as long as he can understand the teachers. When he has company at school, he'll pick up the language at ease. Now you should let grannies to talk to him as much as they want.

    By 'shrinking', I mean the number of pupils going to school will be decreasing, year on year, after it reaches the peak this year. The reasons of kids moving between schools in the mid-term or term-end are many. Some are going to private, some find the schools doesn't match parents expectations, some kids have problems learning or adapting to the school. Some have been waiting for another school from day one and the kid was in school A only because he hadn't secured a place in school B. And one day, out of the blue, they got a call from the school that has been waited for..... That's why I call it Musical Chair.

  5. #35

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    13

    One thing to remind, all application for school places usually go 1 year ahead. That means you apply for pre-nursey when you baby is learning to walk (around age 1), interview for K1 at around 2 years old, primary school application begins at K2/3.


  6. #36

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    30

    Thanks @answerer. I will look into this one as well.


  7. #37

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    30

    Thanks @Tapxeoeg!

    Lots of good information. Here, in the US, if you don't start speaking any words or sentences by age 2, your kid will be going to speech therapy assigned by the pediatrician. My son didn't really start speaking until 3 years 3 months and I was becoming very worried. As soon as he started preschool, his speaking exponentially increased week after week.

    I think it may be a good idea to put him in the K1 class where he can pick up cantonese easily without putting him under duress with the K2 kids.

    Now, I understand musical chairs. Thanks for the clarification.

    So many things to do especially you mention application for school places usually go 1 year ahead.

    Now I need to get all this information sinking in. Thanks!


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