Admissions Experts - top schools hong kong
Page content transcription
If your browser does not render page correctly, please read the page content below
22A Crawford Tower 99 Jervois Street Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Looking for a school in Hong Kong? T: 3565 5867 E: email@example.com www.topschools.com.hk www.facebook.com/ www.facebook.com/ www.facebook/ groups/hkschools groups/hkschools2 topschoolshk WE CAN HELP! @topschoolshk #topschoolshk
2 3 The Top Schools’ Difference m h e r d evoted tea and ll We have a 100% success rate. a n ’t t h a nk Ruth a n d w orking fu “We c fH K n’t ! B e in g outside o -saver! We could Our team of independent education experts collectively boasts 70 years’ of enoug h s a li fe S c hools wa u!” uu Hong Kong-specific education experience. time , To p w it h o u t yo - Anita L e it Our services are entirely personalised and we adopt a strategic, realistic and have don flexible approach to accommodate each client’s unique requirements. We have verifiable, in-depth knowledge of the Hong Kong education system (local and international); we make recommendations based on fact, not hearsay or personal opinion! We maintain good relationships with schools, parents and other stakeholders and are regarded as influencers in the industry. As seen on/in: Our consultants speak English, Cantonese and Putonghua.
4 5 WHO ARE WE? Ruth Benny, Head Girl Sarah Bowler, Consultant The founder of Top Schools, Ruth has over 20 years’ experience Sarah has held positions as Head of Admissions and Admissions / Business in the education system in Hong Kong. She has the advantage Development Director at schools in Singapore. of many years in different areas of education - as a teacher, a The mother of one child in an ESF school, having previously attended a local teacher-trainer, a parent and now advisor for both the local and school in Singapore, she understands both systems well. international sectors. Sarah holds a Montessori Teaching Diploma and has worked in the education Ruth writes and speaks about private and international schools field for more than 9 years. She has particular expertise in advising on special for parents, corporations and other groups. She is a frequent needs support and therapies. contributor to local media including the SCMP, Playtimes and Sassy Mama and generally regarded as the go-to expert on this Sophia Liang, Consultant topic. Originally from the UK, Ruth has been in Hong Kong for over 22 Born and brought up in Hong Kong, Sophia attended various schools with years and is the mother of two children. Mandarin, Cantonese and English as the medium of instruction. She has a degree from Hong Kong and an MBA from Warwick Business School in the UK. Jacqueline Yung, Consultant Before taking a few years break from her career, Sophia worked in a bank for many years, lastly as a Relationship Manager providing consultancy services to Jacqui was born, and spent her primary and lower secondary senior colleagues. education in HK. She experienced upper secondary school Sophia is mother of one daughter attending international primary school in and University in the UK. A keen musician, Jacqui speaks fluent Hong Kong. Cantonese, English and Putonghua, as well as conversational She speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and English at native levels and is keen on Korean. Jacqui has been at Top Schools for four years and works building trusted relationship with families to help their children get into the best primarily with Chinese speaking families. fit schools. Jessica Yuen, Consultant Colinna Ip, Consultant Jessica was born and raised in Hong Kong. She attended firstly Colinna is a Hong Konger with a strong marketing background in the an ESF primary school and, later, Australian International School hospitality industry. She studied in Hong Kong and Switzerland. She is well before leaving to continue her education in Australia. versed in the challenges of selecting the right school for a child and has She obtained a Bachelor of Education (Honours) and went on been heavily involved with her children’s school - in class and extracurricular to study for two further degrees in Education in Hong Kong and activities - as an active PTA member. Her two children attend a private Australia. independent school and are both trilingual. Jessica has worked for the English Schools Foundation (ESF) as an Colinna speaks Cantonese, Putonghua, English and Indonesian Bahasa. administrator and as an educator. She speaks English, Cantonese and Mandarin. Chelly Tsang, Consultant Chelly was born in Hong Kong and was educated in Hong Kong and the UK. Nicola Lewis, Consultant After graduation, she worked in Corporate Banking and Private Banking as With a legal background, Nicola has more recently been working a Relationship Manager where she worked closely with and high net-worth for a multinational company specializing in school placements clients as well as several international school clients in Hong Kong. She across Asia. She has an excellent understanding of different speaks English, Cantonese & Mandarin. Chelly works primarily with Chinese curricula and the challenges of moving families across continents. speaking families. Nicola has spent nearly two decades in Hong Kong and with three children she fully understands the need for proper planning to meet the individual requirements of families. She has personal experience of navigating both the local and international schools in Hong Kong and transitioning between these systems.
6 7 How we Guide You Finding the Fit - How we do it “We are re a We focus on 6Ps: guidance a lly thankful and gra nd especia te to us.We lly the warm ful for your really app th extende kindness. re ci ate your h d onesty and We will alw 1 Priorities and Preferences a co-workers ys recommend you and anyon to our frie In completing a personalised and detailed questionnaire, e that ask nd s for advice s, .” followed by a series of discussions, we identify your priorities - Tonisha and preferences as parents and match these with the realistic and available school options for your family. If your child is older, their own priorities and preferences are also important. We guide you through these options, providing a lengthy, personalised school profile report. 2 Personality and Proficiency Through discussion, by reviewing school reports, specialist reports, talking to past and current teachers and scheduling pre- interview assessments (where applicable) we match you / your child’s personality and specific proficiencies to ‘best-fit’ schools. We then shortlist three schools to apply to. 3 Policies and Procedures We will guide you through each of your shortlisted school’s specific policies and procedures to optimise your application’s chance of generating an interview. We will advise on when and how to submit the strongest application possible. We will manage your relationship with the school, starting with a phone call or a visit, through to application and then assessment and offer. If multiple offers are received we assist in helping you choose the ‘best-fit.’ We provide school specific application policies and interview procedures in writing.
8 9 Useful Information Types Of Schools Grade Calendar Academic Year 2018/19 Type of Fee Range Child Curriculum Funding Admissions Policy Age Hong Kong Australia England USA/ Canada IB School (approx) Born In Government Hong Kong 100% Government $0 Primary One 2016 2 PN - - - - - Funding Admissions (POA): Kindergarten Aided Discretionary Places 2015 3 K1 Nursery - - Central Allocation Reception/ Foundation Door Knocking Transition Stage 2014 4 K2 Reception Pre-K Direct Hong Kong, with Partial $1,000 - Selective: Apply 2013 5 K3 Preparatory Year1 Kindergarten some flexibility Government 109,460 directly Key Stage Subsidy to offer alternate funding 1 Scheme 2012 6 P1 Year1 Year2 Grade1 IB PYP Elementary (DSS) curricula to a minority of students Primary 2011 7 P2 Year2 Year3 Grade2 ESF Schools Non - local: Partial government $89,200 - Non-Selective: Apply 2010 8 P3 Year3 Year4 Grade3 Primary International funding for 129,100 directly. Key Stage Baccalaureate, students joining 2 2009 9 P4 Year4 Year5 Grade4 IGCSEs, BTEC prior to 2016 and those joining 2008 10 P5 Year5 Year6 Grade5 in higher grades. Middle School Mostly funded by 2007 11 P6 Year6 Year7 Grade6 tuition fees Key Stage 2006 12 S1 Year7 Year8 Grade7 3 Secondary Private 2005 13 S2 Year8 Year9 Grade8 IB MYP Private Mostly Hong Kong; 100% funded 16,000 - Selective: Apply Secondary schools also non-local by tuition fees/ 331,000 directly curricula fundraising 2004 14 S3 Year9 Year10 Key Stage Grade9 4/GCSE/ High School International Non - local: $77,000 - Selective: Apply 2003 15 S4 Year10 Year11 IGCSE Grade10 Secondary (HKDSE) Schools International 218,200 directly. Newer Senior Baccalaureate, international schools 2002 16 S5 Year11 Year12 Grade11 A Level/ IB DP IGCSEs, A Levels, are required to BTEC International admit a minimum 2001 17 S6 Year12 Year13 Grade12 Primary Curriculum, number of students Montessori, holding foreign * This applies to schools accepting children born 1 Jan - 31 Dec into the year group, whereas not all schools do. Advanced passports. The Placement, Own, etc percentage varies from 50-80+ % Private Non - local: $69,300 - All PIS schools are Number of schools in HK:1,085 (As per EDB Figures) Independent International 211,590 required to admit Schools Baccalaureate, at least 70% of IGCSEs, Advanced local students ie All children aged 6 -15 are required to go to school. Placement, etc permanent residents All children legally resident in Hong Kong are entitled to free education. Call us today on 3565 5867 for an initial, no-obligation conversation or email firstname.lastname@example.org
10 11 Admissions Timeline No Debenture Needed Real Stories Our admissions timeline consists of key application, assessment and results dates which will differ from school to school. Missing a deadline could result in a placement lost. The P family came to us at the end of of a place becoming available by August. May 2016 having no Year 2 place for The family were not keen on any other K2: Semester 1: Sep 2017 their son, T. options. In July, T had still not been T had been attending a reputable offered an assessment and the parents Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec international pre-school since December were becoming increasingly anxious. 2013. The family had expected to They floated the idea of purchasing an Applications be relocated out of Hong Kong and individual debenture for HK$500,000 therefore had only applied to one but, given our knowledge of the international school offering a US composition of the waitlist as well as the Assessments curriculum and had been waitlisted. T length, matched with our understanding could not stay at the preschool beyond of T, and the strength of his application, Results June 2016. The family preferred T we were confident that purchasing to attend a school where he would a debenture was not necessary and 2018 K3/Y1: Semester 1 have friends already attending and a advised the parents against it. school offering a British curriculum In August, five days before the start of became their first choice. We applied school, T was invited for an interview. to this school and actively managed the He attended, he passed and he was application, making frequent contact offered a place on the spot. Classes Available with the school to assess the likelihood Hong Kong schools have various entry and exit points. Understanding which classes are available and the terminology of year groups is essential in knowing when to apply and “You sa ved us transition from one system or school to another. $480,0 00” PG - Family P PN K1 rent, you x ie ty as a pa best r s to od my a n ti n g to find the ed K2/Reception d e n w “You un ur desire of wa patient and sho o d o e r e e nt, understo our child, you w or th the investm fo r ly w K3/Year 1 school definite ind but, more y. It was ols will empath ving piece of m that Top Scho h a nc e P1/Year 2 not only y, the reassura hear t.” p o r ta ntl h il d ’s n eeds at - Mrs B im h a v e y our c always
12 13 Bilingual or Bust English Immersion The parents of K, aged 4, contacted Top month or so later and, if successful, she was A came to us in July 2016 from a private school We continued to support the family to apply Schools in July 2016 to seek our assistance in required to come back a third time to attend in China looking for an immediate place in an to their first choice school for the following finding a place for K in Sept 2017. Relocating a final round of interviews with parents. We international school in Hong Kong. A is a native year - a top tier international school with an from the US, the Chinese-American parents were able to negotiate with the school such Mandarin speaker and his home language is American curriculum. were adamant that K should continue her that, once she had passed the first round, she Mandarin. We advised on essay questions in the education in Hong Kong in a bilingual English- would attend the second and third rounds We assessed A as being weak in English - application, accompanied the family to visit the Mandarin environment, similar to the school combined on her next trip. At the same fluency and literacy. We predicted that A school and advised A on what to expect in the she was attending in New York City. time, we connected K’s parents with parents would not pass the assessments for the schools assessment. who already had children in the school and K’s father’s company was willing to purchase A’s parents preferred; he wasn’t ready. We, understand more about the school’s culture. A was successful and moved to this school in a debenture, yet with sufficient time to apply therefore advised A’s parents to consider an Grade 2 in August 2017. according to the normal application schedule, We were also managing the second application interim international school with a Canadian we didn’t feel it would become necessary. since K was not guaranteed to get into their curriculum, where A would be learning in an first choice school. K’s father was intent on English immersion environment and receive We arranged for K’s father to visit several buying a debenture and so we prepared all the English as a second language support. A was schools on a trip to Hong Kong and he quickly paperwork ready to be submitted if necessary. only 6 at the time and he would pick up English eliminated a number of schools. Eventually, we quickly and easily. The parents agreed and A applied to two schools for K - an immersion We advised K’s parents on the assessments was enrolled. Chinese school and a bilingual IB school. and what was expected at each stage. K passed all the interviews and was offered a During this year, we advised A’s parents to The first school had a very strict schedule of place. give A further exposure to English by enrolling assessments which was fixed. K was required in extra curricular activities in English, which to attend an assessment in Hong Kong. If We did not pursue the application at the they did. We advised against additional English successful, she was required to come back a second school. tutoring. “Knowing has been you and having yo inv ur ser vice here in H aluable to our exp s ong Kong erience .” - Dian K, “It is ver y Hong kon g thing and stressful with this I am so g s lad we go chooling t you to h elp.” - Fiona L i
14 15 Articles Switching From Local to the entry requirements. Whilst it’s true that foreign nationals do receive priority at certain help the student understand the requirements of the entrance test, and be best prepared to International School schools, children with Hong Kong passports do well in it. should not be dissuaded from applying Children usually transition well into to international schools and they are not international schools. They find the style of discriminated against. One of the most common quandaries parents find themselves in is teaching more engaging, the homework load choosing between a local school and an international one. We often By far the most common challenge for local less and the culture more creative, relaxed and advise families to start in the local stream and apply to international school students applying to international fun. Of course, the ease of the transition very schools is that of meeting the required English- much depends on the timing of the switch and school later. But how does this work? What are the risks? And can language proficiency. Children who have been the student’s personality. Some older students they really make it into international school? used to lessons in Cantonese may struggle to suffer something akin to culture shock. express themselves in English. In writing, they Having spent many years in a local school, Common reasons for children – or application is submitted soon after are often great at grammar but less able to some may find it overwhelming being put in their parents – wanting to move to the child begins P5. Many parents get analyse and generate different genres of text. a situation where model answers don’t exist. international schools include: confused about when primary ends and They often find creative writing a challenge. They may feel less secure and find it hard secondary starts in both systems. They We’ve found this to be the case even amongst • Concerns about the standard of to adjust to the different learning methods, may prefer to finish primary in local native-English speaking children, since local English language teaching and learning especially when it requires a great deal of self- school, which isn’t a good idea since it schools generally teach English as a second initiative, abstract thinking and synthesising of • Struggles with the style of teaching, means they will usually miss the Year 7 language, with lots of grammar and prescribed information. homework and testing application. Many schools have a new tasks that don’t encourage creativity in using language. Maths is also tested, but rarely causes But children whose parents have examined • Getting ready for school or university intake in Year 7, making it a good entry any problems. the situation thoroughly, and ensure they have overseas point. taken all the right steps, should be able to More often than not, the children are After Year 7, Years 8 and 9 are also good In fact, the required level varies from school make a seamless transition to a new learning doing well academically and are happy at times to enter an international school. If to school. It’s important to assess the school’s environment, equipped with the necessary school. Only occasionally do we find an it’s a school that does the International requirements and realistically assess a child’s skills to succeed academically. unhappy child, or one who is “failing” – General Certificate of Secondary chances of gaining acceptance. Some schools, at least, according to their school. Education (IGCSE), entering in Year 9 is for example, will have support for children advisable, since the IGCSE course starts needing additional academic assistance, This article first appeared in the Education Post, So, when is the right time to apply to an while others won’t. In some cases, we do in Year 10. Students in Year 9 choose November 2015 international school? Years 1 and 7 are recommend a tutor or preparation centre to their subjects and will be able to use obvious entry points. For a child finishing the year to adjust before school gets K3 in a local kindergarten, it’s tough to more serious. Entering a school running find a spot in Year 2. In that scenario, it’s IGCSEs is usually not possible at Years common for a child to spend one or two 10 and 11. Likewise, entering a school years in a local primary school and apply running A-levels or the International to international school after P3 and hope Baccalaureate Diploma Programme to switch before the next Territory-wide (IBDP) is usually not possible at Years System Assessment (TSA). 12 and 13 since these are both two-year In local schools, the TSA is administered courses. In some schools, however, this in June at P3, P6 (on odd-numbered doesn’t apply. years i.e. 2015, 2017) and S3 in local Which international schools accept government subsidised schools and children from local schools or children is much dreaded for the additional with Hong Kong passports? The answer intensity it involves in preparing for it. is, they all do! International schools do Applying to Year 7 in an international not mind where children have been school is a good idea. This means the studying previously as long as they meet
16 17 Debentures 101 Refundable/Non-refundable/ Debentures 101 How much is a debenture? Depreciating A debenture is the traditional name given to The range is vast. Some are as low as $25,000 Some schools will refund the full amount of a loan agreement where the borrower is an a year. The maximum is around $25M (paid by the debenture, without interest and less any institutional borrower. i.e a school. For parents, companies). Some schools reduce the price for transfer fees/penalties, to the parents once the it means a large lump sum payable to the the second and third child entering the same child leaves the school. school on – or before – admission, regardless school. of what the school will do with our money. In some schools, the debentures depreciate You may also be able to buy a debenture on over a certain number of years; sometimes For Hong Kong schools, parents need to be the ‘second-hand market’. This means that to zero. In a few schools, the debenture aware of lump sums called the school has ‘sold out’ and existing holders depreciates to zero in just seven or eight years. can transfer them to others. The price of this • Capital Notes transfer may be set by market demands or the • Nomination Rights school may cap it. The school may also take a • Capital Contributions/Levies cut of the sale price. What if I can’t afford a debenture? …and other creative names. They all amount Some schools offer parents the option of to the same thing – a lump sum in addition to tuition fees. What kind of debenture do paying an annual levy instead of a debenture. I need? This is different from a debenture in that While not all schools have debentures, some it is paid yearly and is not refundable. It schools offer a variety of debentures. Common types include: may amount to the same or more than the • Individual/Corporate debenture over the course of the child’s schooling. • Refundable/non-refundable or depreciating How do schools use Not all schools require a debenture, so you Individual/Corporate debentures? can look for one that doesn’t. An individual debenture applies to one Most schools will state that the fees cover the child in a family and cannot normally be school’s running costs, but not its capital costs. transferred. A corporate debenture is held by So, debentures are how parents of students a corporation and can be used for a child of Brokerage Service contribute to the long-term funding of the an employee. The corporation may transfer We provide a brokerage service in the School. this debenture to another employee at any purchase and sales of debentures. While most schools (even some pre-schools!) time if the employee leaves their employ. in Hong Kong require that the parents of Some schools will allow flexibility in allowing Please enquire. new students pay a debenture on admission, the child to stay at the school and some parents can sometimes buy a debenture schools will insist that the child withdraws before beginning the admissions process and immediately s/he is no longer associated with earn some priority in the selection system. that corporate debenture. Children covered by a corporate debenture mostly receive priority at admissions. Corporate debentures are the most expensive type running into tens of millions.
18 19 Primary school entry The third important area to consider is admissions strategy. Many of the top primary and secondary schools have affiliated pre-schools. Getting into the school early earns the child priority in moving up. For many parents, this offers security. Even if the parents choose a pre-school not directly affiliated, primary schools do look at a child’s previous schooling. It is standard procedure to include two years’ reports in any primary school application. Types of schools A preschool is either non-profit or private. Some have “international” in their names, but this just An overview of early means that they teach either a partially or fully non-local curriculum. Most kindergartens, however, teach the local Hong Kong curriculum. years education in Those offering non-local curricula may offer Montessori, the Dalton Plan, Waldorf, Forest, Reggio Emilia, UK early years foundation stage (EYFS), IB Primary Years Programme (IBPYP), Hong Kong International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC) for ages 3 to 12, or any combination of these. Fees Non-profit-making While preschool education is not compulsory in Hong Kong, more and more parents have decided to enroll their children in kindergartens and nursery classes in recent Local non-profit kindergartens are provided with a basic subsidy for the provision of a three-year, years. So, what’s the hype about preschool, and what exactly can your children get half-day programme for all eligible children. out of it? Half-day programme fees will range from free to about HK$1,000 a month, while whole-day programmes will range from about HK$1,000 to HK$2,000 a month. Language exposure The general wisdom on introducing a second, or even third, language, is “the earlier, the better”. Private independent According to experts, a child should have 25 to 30 hours a week of exposure to a secondary Tuition fees range from about HK$5,000 to HK$14,000 a month. language. If the target language is not spoken in the home, this should be increased. So, for Children aged two may attend classes a year prior to K1, known as Pre-Nursery. However, not non-native English or Chinese-speaking families, parents may choose a preschool to ensure their all kindergartens offer programmes for two-year-olds. Those that do are licensed as Child Care toddler is exposed to another language early. This is necessary when parents wish for the child to Centres in addition to being licensed kindergartens. continue studying the language in primary and beyond. While school is not mandatory until the age of six, the majority of children in Hong Kong begin A second key area to ponder is the learning that goes beyond academic studies. From the age of their formal education at two, or three at the latest. one, children may start to learn common social conventions such as waiting in line, washing hands before eating, taking turns, and sharing. As they grow older, they come to appreciate that other people have rights and feelings just This article first appeared in the Education Post, May 2017 as they do. They learn to share, communicate, and negotiate with their peers, and begin to recognise the importance of friendship in their lives. These skills, important in themselves, are crucial in preparing a child for primary school.
20 21 If families cannot afford the hefty school fees, debentures and capital levies, alternatives include: • Opting for a less known, more affordable school; • Moving off Hong Kong Island out to Kowloon or the New Territories; • Keeping the little ones at home for another year; • Considering boarding school; • Choosing a local school. The kids learn Cantonese and you’ll save a bomb. The Rise and Rise of Elsewhere in the world, it is not the responsibility of the government to subsidise international school fees with taxpayer dollars. Hong Kong is already grossly unequal in terms of income disparity and living conditions. Education policy should strive to overcome economic disadvantage, School Fees not perpetuate the wealth divide by propping up attractive expat packages and providing concessions for schools who charge high fees to a long list of those willing to pay them. It’s true that rents are increasing, while salaries have largely stagnated across most sectors, but the Education Bureau (EDB) is not immune to this tricky economic climate. And their mandate is not If you want to raise the ire of Hong Kong parents, increase their children’s school fees. Here’s a to protect the interests of expatriate families and wealthy locals who seek an international school sample of the latest outrage on the popular Facebook group ‘Hong Kong Schools’: environment for their children. One of countless aggrieved parents (who also happens to be a teacher) took to social media “These fees for this age are ridiculous!” recently to bemoan her school’s 6% fee increase. “Many of us have gotten together and written to the school to express our disappointment. There needs to be regulation around this. After “In 2 years time it’ll be 200k just to attend their kindy.” “Speechless. There is no way a kindergarten or a parent can justify these amounts.” “I can’t even look! It hurts my eyes! The school fees here are ridiculously astronomical. A snapshot of tuition fee increases (%) for 2018/19 * It’s just not fair.” “The education system here is broken.” DBIS 3 “This is depressing. I wonder how far and up it can all go.” ESF 6.5 “Day. Light. Robbery.” HKA 11 Despite near-free access to a solid government education system, most expatriate parents, HKIS 3.9 and a rapidly growing number of local families, continue to opt for the prestige and pedagogy of international schools. Elongated waiting lists at trilingual play-based kindergartens, and the Kellett 4.5 well-publicised construction of shiny new primary and secondary campuses, are testament to an unbridled social swing towards ‘do-what-it- takes’ education planning. The reality is that private PLKCKY 9 schools in Hong Kong will continue to increase fees by the current estimate of 6–10% each year as long as the appetite remains for high-end schooling. Hong Kong is a city run on big finance, served THS 6.6 by domestic help and low tax rates. The market will always feel the need to keep up. VSA 3.9 *indicative figures according to EDB fee increase applictaions as of July 2017
22 23 all, there are regulations in other industries; Hong Kong schools shouldn’t be excluded, especially since they hold our deposits and debentures. They seem to have their own banking system. There isn’t a ceiling. That’s the most concerning thing.” Some parents are more fatalistic about the city they live in. “It’s Hong Kong,” says a parent who wishes to remain anonymous. “Wages have stagnated for 20 years in nominal and real terms, yet property and services have quadrupled or quintupled. But people are still moving to HK in droves, from China and overseas. So obviously the extravagant cost isn’t high enough a deterrent against whatever benefits people have from living here. This city is pure capitalism at work; the results are not always very pretty.” Some parents wonder why the government does not simply mandate that only foreign passport holders can attend international schools, such as in Singapore, which has some success with the policy – at least in terms of bolstering support for the local system. Hong Kong’s international schools welcome both local and foreign children, and some schools are made up of predominantly local children holding an additional foreign passport. Baby blues: is it fair to Top Schools consultant Nicola Lewis says, “Perhaps the EDB should note the increase in demand take school enrolment applications from birth? for international school places is not from expats – the number of which is pretty stable – but from parents disgruntled by local school offerings. If the local system was overhauled, there would be less demand for international schools and this may influence their prices.” Another interesting idea being floated in parent circles is that debentures and capital levies be stripped back to ease the burden of the increased fees. It’s a valid point, and one that could Getting into the ‘best’ school in Hong Kong is an inexact science. Sometimes it feels address the angry public sentiment at a time when wages have essentially flatlined and, for many like the only way through the hallowed gates is via a family connection, a near-perfect families, the outgoings have started to exceed the incomings. test score, or forking out millions for debentures. Whichever way, it’s almost always a case of parent pays. “Our family hit that wall last year,” says former Hong Kong-based parent Caryn. “We are back in the States now.” Unfortunately, simply having the means to afford the fees is not usually enough to guarantee entry into the city’s top private schools, and families have gotten used to the idea of having to compete This article first appeared in Playtimes, May 2017 for a finite number of places. However, the tide has started to turn, and hopefully the command that admissions offices hold will wane as new schools open and parents gain more power. Until recently, the market demand has enabled many schools to accept applications from birth. But most parents agree that this practice achieves little other than taking advantage of parents’ our “Without Top Schools’ help, often exaggerated concerns. bee n bas ed on decisions would have Raising this issue on various forums such as the “Hong Kong Schools” Facebook page elicited gs and pa inful guesswork, expat blo dozens of heartfelt responses within minutes. Every parent agreed that the outdated practice only ool s’ we bsi tes. With trawling through sch serves to fuel their anxieties rather than ease them. tim e, eff ort and their advice, we saved Winney, a first time mother from Hong Kong, learned that she should apply to one of her e tha t we ended up money, and we believ shortlisted schools – Kiangsu Chekiang International Section– from birth on the same Facebook for our dau ghter.” with the best school group. “As a first time mum, I felt under such pressure to read up on application procedures. I applied when my child was 18 months old and was told I might not make the cut for the interview - Richard invitation,” she said.
24 25 Sammy, another mum, called the whole process “distressing.” While Lisa Browning said, “It creates a sense of superiority. I know some of the schools are good, but are they that good?!” Special Education Needs For many schools, accepting applications from birth is an opportunity to attract potential families early on, not to mention gain an important source of revenue. Yet many schools that accept (SEN) applications from birth, including Kellett School and Canadian International School, do not guarantee entry to those applying early, nor ensure priority access above those who apply later. It is becoming ever more apparent that not all While the cost associated with such support Fleur Murdoch, Marketing and Communications Assistant Manager at French International School, children can adapt to a mainstream approach services is generally high, the best therapies where enrolments are accepted from birth for HK$2,800, is an advocate for the administrative to learning and whilst the majority of schools in and specialist support will, in many cases, serve benefits of the system. “The International Stream at FIS accepts applications from birth and Hong Kong appreciate this and do offer some as a bridge to mainstream school. parents can submit an application specifying any year group or entry year in advance. This allows differentiation within the classroom, there For children requiring SEN (special education parents to plan ahead and have flexibility in their schooling options without worrying about is often a need for something more specific, needs) support Top Schools works closely with application deadlines.” targeted and individualised. each family - from reviewing past specialist and Without adequate resourcing of qualified school records to working closely with ‘on the Many parents believe that, if they are enrolling their student at birth, then the student will be staff and specialist transition programmes in ground’ therapists, psychologists and individual granted some kind of priority or placed higher up the waitlist. However, this is rarely the case. schools, the experience for many SEN students schools to find the ‘right fit’ environment for Waitlists have largely been replaced by wait pools nowadays, and so the system appears to only can be far from ideal. the social, emotional and academic needs of work in favour of the schools, which make final enrolment decisions based on family background, The supposed lack of provision in Hong Kong the child. interviews and discretion. for students requiring additional support We work with children requiring minimal At French International School, the from-birth sequence organises the admissions process and actually comes down to a lack of awareness of support to those requiring intensive therapies determines a candidate’s position on the waiting list. “However, it is not a factor for selecting the options. Whilst there is a definite need for and academic assistance. students or influencing admissions decisions,” said Fleur Murdoch. “All children are assessed prior more specialist schools and service providers, to entry, and candidates will be invited to attend an assessment in the order they are on the Please enquire. there are now many more options than just a waiting list. The candidate at the top of the list will be given an entrance assessment when a space few years ago - it is discovering these options becomes available.” which remains difficult for parents. The obvious question is why schools such as Canadian International School, Kellett School, German Swiss International School, French International School, and a few others, don’t just accept applications one or two years prior to entry and give up on the applications from birth altogether? The answer is simply that they do both. “We [FIS] accept applications throughout the year and operate a rolling admissions system,” said Fleur Murdoch. And this is true for most schools. “Sarah w the intern as an invaluable ati res The notion of accepting applications from birth for international schools is also inherently flawed par ticula onal school syste ource to help nav due to the fact that they are keen on attracting children who aren’t born in Hong Kong. And, on rly as we m in Hon igate for my d were loo g Kong aughter king for the flip side, children born in Hong Kong to transient expats have often moved on by the time who is on a p accompa nie the spec lacement their child is of age. was supp d me on almost trum. She or all the sc journey. I tive and positive ho Why make early parenthood more complicated than it already is? It’s time to stop this practice would ce througho ol visits and and ease the burden on families in the stressful (though blissful!) baby years. Let there be at least anyone lo r tainly rec u t the enti ok om re a couple of oblivious years before school application anxieties set in. options in ing to make sens mend Top Schoo Hong Ko e of the ls to ng.” myriad s chool This article first appeared in the Education Post, January 2017 - SF, Hon g Kong
26 27 Schools Strong In Chinese If you’d like your child to be bilingual (Chinese/English) AND biliterate, the obvious Kingston International School choice is a ‘local’ school. However, local schools use“Cantonese”. It’s used as the | P | Kowloon medium of instruction, as the playground language and forms the basis of the culture. Also, the Putonghua and English is often taught mainly by non-native speakers. Po Leung Kuk Choi Kai Yau Many parents are more keen on Putonghua (Mandarin). Perhaps they are not Chinese, | PS | Kowloon they are from the Mainland, or they feel that Cantonese is easy to pick up anyway. They also prefer a more international style of teaching, perhaps according to an international curriculum too. The bad news is that very few schools are offering this! Singapore International School | PS | Aberdeen Victoria Shanghai Academy We list here TWELVE of the most popular: | PS | Aberdeen P = Primary | PS = Primary and secondary Yew Chung International School | PS | Kowloon Tong Chinese Academy Primary School | P | Causeway Bay Chinese International School | PS | Braemar Hill Dalton School Hong Kong | P | Kowloon Han Academy | PS | Aberdeen Independent Schools Foundation Academy | PS | Cyberport International Montessori School | P | Stanley Kiangsu Chekiang Primary School | P | North Point
28 29 Placements ACADEMIC YEAR 2017-2018 Placements into the following primary/ secondary schools: STUDENTS American School Hong Kong 香港美國學校 164 Aoi Pui School 愛培學校 PLACED IN TOP Canadian International School 香港加拿大國際學校 SCHOOLS IN HK Chinese International School 漢基國際學校 Christian Alliance International School 宣道國際學校 Dalton School Hong Kong 香港道爾頓學校 Delia School of Canada 地利亞加拿大國際學校 BOYS GIRLS English Schools Foundation 英基 96 68 French International School 法國國際學校 German Swiss International School 德瑞國際學校 Han Academy 漢鼎書院 Harrow International School Hong Kong 哈羅香港國際學校 HKCA PLK School 保良局建造商會學校 Hong Kong International School 香港國際學校 231 Hong Kong Academy 香港學堂 International Montessori School 蒙特梭利國際學校 International College Hong Kong (Hong Lok Yuen) 沙頭角國際學校 Island Christian Academy MAX 3 弘立書院 OFFERS Independent Schools Foundation Academy APPLICATIONS Malvern College 香港墨爾文國際學校 Mount Kelly 香港凱莉山學校 Nord Anglia International School Kiangsu Chekiang International School 蘇浙學校國際部 Kiangsu Chekiang School 蘇浙學校 * As at 1 Sep 2017 Korean International School 韓國國際學校 Stamford American International School Shrewsbury International 思貝禮國際學校 The Harbour School 港灣學校 Victoria Shanghai Academy 滬江維多利亞學校 Yew Chung International School 耀中國際學校 …and more!
30 31 International Baccalaureate® NOTES (IB) Diploma Results 2017 # of Candidates Pass Rate % Avg Score CDNIS 香港加拿大國際學校 133 97% 36.5 CIS 漢基國際學校 96 98% 37.8 CSS* 啟思中學* - 100% 34.7 DBS 拔萃男書院 57 100% 41 Elsa 9 100% 34.5 ESF 英基 951 98% 35.8 FIS 法國國際學校 27 100% 37.5 GSIS 德瑞國際學校 51 100% 40.2 HKA 香港學堂 - - - ICHK 沙頭角國際學校 26 100% 35.1 ISF 弘立書院 19 100% 35.3 KCIS 蘇浙學校國際部 16 100% 35.1 Logos Academy* 香港華人基督教聯會真道書院* 56 100% 36.1 Li Po Chun 香港李寶椿聯合世界書院 128 - - PLK CKY 保良局蔡繼有學校 64 100% 36.86 PLK Ngan Po Ling College* 保良局顏寶鈴書院* 13 100% 35.23 SIS 新加坡國際學校 41 95% 37 St Paul’s Co-ed* 聖保羅男女中學* 59 100% 41.1 VSA 滬港維多利亞學校 79 100% 36.35 YCIS 耀中國際學校 81 93% 35 HK Total 2238 - 35.94 Global Total 159,400 - 29.95 * At these DSS schools, IBDP candidates are selected and a minority of the school’s total number of students sit the IBDP.
Book a Seminar Get answers at our regular seminars or by engaging our speakers for your company or school. School seminars we’ve run... City Kids, Eton House, ESF Learning Centre, Kids Gallery, Norwegian International School, PIPS, Safari Kid, Small World Christian Kindergarten, Southside Kindergarten, Woodlands ...among others Corporate seminars we’ve run... Asian Bankers Club, Barclays, Bloomberg, Davis Polk, Goldman Sachs, Herbert Smith, KPMG, Linklaters, Macquarie, Morgan Stanley, Simmons & Simmons, Sun Hung Kai Private, UBS ...among others “My wife reads all your publica social media an tions in various d it is she who for the event la registered me st night. She is I attended and very happy that was amazed at has influenced how the session me in the way from that she wante e information d!” “I got far mor an I di d - JY inutes th “It was them in 75 m line your se a pleasure a 22A Crawford Tower th s of research on m tt doing mon nts.” your kn inar. I was am ending 99 Jervois Street to other pare and speaking - JB breadt owledg e a zed at Sheung Wan, h - abo - depth and felt like ut scho Hong Kong th ols. like the e phrase ‘oh It almost back o I f my ha know this nd!’ ” T: 3565 5867 E: email@example.com - MR www.topschools.com.hk www.facebook.com/ www.facebook.com/ www.facebook.com/ groups/hkschools groups/hkschools2 topschoolshk @topschoolshk #topschoolshk
www.facebook.com/ groups/hkschools www.facebook.com/ groups/hkschools2 www.facebook.com/ topschoolshk topschoolshk @topschoolshk #topschoolshk 22A Crawford Tower 99 Jervois Street Sheung Wan, Hong Kong T: 3565 5867 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.topschools.com.hk
You can also read
NEXT SLIDES ... Cancel