The Best Preschools & Kindergartens In Hong Kong

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May 18, 2018 | BY Hong Kong Tatler

After savouring the first few years of your (not so) little one, it's that time in their life where you have to send them to preschool or kindergarten. Every parent in Hong Kong wants the best education for their kid, so we've done all the research for you. Here's a list of our top preschools and kindergarten picks in Hong Kong:

Photo: Courtesy of Canadian International School
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Canadian International School

Ages: 2-5 years

Curriculum: The International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme. The Pre-Reception and Reception half-day programmes, along with the Preparatory curriculum, are designed to provide the younger student with an age-appropriate introduction to school life.

Language options: English is the primary medium of instruction. Pre-Reception and Reception students enjoy four Putonghua classes for 25 minutes each week; Preparatory students participate in 40-minute classes seven times per week.

When to apply: Pre-Reception to Preparatory: Early October

Campus and facilities: Spanning more than 450,000sqft across 14 levels, the Canadian International School (CDNIS) campus overlooks the Aberdeen Channel and is equipped with excellent state-of-the-art facilities. Younger students will bene t from a new Reggio Emilia-inspired Early Childhood Centre opening in August this year. This flexible classroom space is designed for three- and four- year-old students and will be located adjacent to a large outdoor playground which was developed as an environmentally friendly, dynamic and inviting play area for children to learn through interaction.

Competitive advantage: Recognised as an IB World School, CDNIS offers a through-train education for Pre-Reception all the way to Grade 12 graduation. CDNIS is one of only five schools in Hong Kong to offer three IB programmes.

Canadian International School, 36 Nam Long Shan Road, Aberdeen, cdnis.edu.hk

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The Best Preschools & Kindergartens In Hong Kong
Photo: Courtesy of Chinese International School
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Chinese International School

Ages: 4-5 years

Curriculum: Reception is Chinese International School’s entry year, half-day programme. Students normally move to Year 1 after finishing the programme.

Language options: Both English and Putonghua are used as the medium of instruction.

When to apply: Reception: From September 1, two academic years before entry, to October 15, the academic year before entry.

Campus and facilities: Chinese International School (CIS) is located on the top of Braemar Hill, a quiet residential area noted for its many schools. The school derives much of its sense of community from its single campus, focused around three central courtyards. A whole-school library will open before August 2018.

Competitive advantage: CIS seeks to admit a balanced cohort of students for a diverse student mix. A through-train school to primary and secondary levels, CIS educates children to be well-rounded, setting age-appropriate milestones cognitively, linguistically, physically, socially and emotionally, while teaching independence, initiative and the ability to concentrate in a formal setting.

Chinese International School, 1 Hau Yuen Path, Braemar Hill, cis.edu.hk

Photo: Courtesy of English Schools Foundation
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English Schools Foundation

Ages: 3-5 years

Curriculum: An International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme curriculum planned around units of inquiry and structured upon principles of good early years education. Early literacy and numeracy are integral to the programme. Putonghua is the specialist language and is integrated into the programme.

Language options: An English-language education for children, who are also introduced to the culture and language of China.

When to apply: From September 1-30, the year before entry; apply year round to be added to the wait list.

Campus and facilities: English Schools Foundation (ESF) operates five kindergartens: Abacus, Hillside, Tsing Yi, Wu Kai Sha and Tung Chung. All classrooms are well equipped with age-appropriate education and technology resources. The exciting indoor and outdoor play areas promote the development of children’s gross motor skills while challenging children to develop and stretch themselves.

Competitive advantage: ESF educates children from diverse backgrounds, making for truly international settings at its schools. The highly interactive learning environment and play-based curriculum encourages children to learn through hands-on experience and enquiry.

English Schools Foundation, Five locations around Hong Kong, esfkindergartens.org.hk

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The Best Preschools & Kindergartens In Hong Kong
Photo: Courtesy of Harrow International School
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Harrow International School

Ages: 3-5 years

Curriculum: Follows the UK’s Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum that builds strong foundations for independent learning skills in seven key areas: personal and social development, physical development, communication and language, literacy, mathematics, understanding the world, and expressive arts and design.

Language options: English

When to apply: Two years before entry. The best time to apply is towards the end of summer term (14 months before entry), when the student’s end of term/year report is ready.

Campus and facilities: On the 400,000sqft campus, the K1 and K2 classes are housed in spacious classrooms, which are situated in a modern, purpose-built Early Years Centre that’s specifically designed for younger children, with an outside terrace and an adventure playground. In addition, there’s a dedicated music room and a large multi-purpose area for activities such as productions, indoor sports and assemblies.

Competitive advantage: Harrow International School is committed to offering high levels of pastoral care for each child. Above all, a love of learning is promoted to ensure personal growth and development. Each class is led by a well-qualified teacher and supported by a teaching assistant. The excellent staff-to-pupil ratio (1:9) ensures that children receive a high level of individual attention.

38 Tsing Ying Road, Tuen Mun, harrowschool.hk


Photo: Courtesy of The International Montessori School of Hong Kong
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The International Montessori School of Hong Kong

Ages: 2-6 years

Curriculum: The year-long Foundation Programme at The International Montessori School of Hong Kong (IMS) is in preparation for the Casa dei Bambini classroom the following year.

Language options: Providing a high-quality, dual-language (English/Putonghua) programme is one of the core values at IMS. The classroom has two teachers: an English-language speaker and a Putonghua speaker.

When to apply: Anytime; assessments for the Foundation Programme (ages 2-3) are held in late spring.

Campus and facilities: Aldrich Bay is the newest campus; it hosts three Casa classrooms and a Foundation Group in Sai Wan Ho. The cosy Mid-Levels campus is where the youngest Foundation and Casa children enjoy their first years in the school. The South Horizons campus is surrounded by trees, an outdoor park and a promenade along the sea in Ap Lei Chau.

Competitive advantage: Three-year-olds typically attend the half-day programme, and four- to five-year-olds attend a special full-day programme designed for children who are discovering reading and writing as they prepare for the challenges of later years. The teacher presents carefully designed lessons and materials on a one-to-one basis to stimulate each child to fulfil his or her potential. Two teachers work alongside a maximum of 16 children in the Foundation environment. IMS was recognised with International Montessori Council accreditation in 2012.

Foundation Year schools in Mid-Levels, Sai Wan Ho and Ap Lei Chau, ims.edu.hk

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The Best Preschools & Kindergartens In Hong Kong
Photo: Courtesy of Parkview International School
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Parkview International Pre-School

Ages: 1-6 years

Curriculum: Enquiry-based International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme. In June 2016, Parkview International Pre-School (PIPS) became an authorised IB World School.

Language options: Classes are bilingual or in English. Working together in a co-teaching partnership, an English-language teacher and a Putonghua teacher lead the bilingual classes. The English classes are taught by two English teachers and supplemented by a Putonghua specialist.

When to apply: Anytime

Campus and facilities: In addition to their classrooms at PIPS, children enjoy a vast amount of space that is equipped with shared common areas. There are 10 classrooms and separate shared common areas that include an audio-visual area, a library, a pet corner, an art and drama area, a music room, a cookery room, an Exploratorium, a playground with a sand pit and a riding area, a garden, a covered play area and a physical education area. All of these have been structured to cater for children’s developmental needs, to facilitate their skill development, and to foster their sense of exploration across multiple disciplines.

Competitive advantage: Small class sizes and high teacher-to-student ratios, and lots of outdoor space with large play areas and a garden. PIPS has always been an international school with a diverse population of children and teachers from all over the world, and this diversity has further enhanced its programme.

Tower 18, Parkview, 88 Tai Tam Reservoir Road, Repulse Bay, pips.edu.hk

Photo: Courtesy of Victoria Educational Organisation
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Victoria Educational Organisation

Ages: 2-6 years

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme; Columbia University Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP).

Language options: Trilingual (English/Putonghua/Cantonese) or bilingual (English/Putonghua).

When to apply: Pre-nursery and K1: September to November. K2-K3: anytime.

Campus and facilities: Large classrooms, libraries, outdoor and indoor play areas, and a multi-purpose hall.

Competitive advantage: Victoria Educational Organisation (VEO) has been a leader in early childhood education in Hong Kong since its establishment in 1965. Through its effective one-teacher-one-language co-teaching approach, native speaking teachers work as a team to provide a total immersion language environment. VEO strives to keep its curriculum and teaching approach in line with educational research, as well as the changing needs of the community. It works with Columbia University in implementing the TCRWP, which places a focus on enhancing the skills and outcomes of students in early literacy. VEO is accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organisation. VEO students are given priority in admission to the affiliated Victoria Shanghai Academy.

Nine locations around Hong Kong, victoria.edu.hk

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The Best Preschools & Kindergartens In Hong Kong
Photo: Courtesy of Woodland Pre-schools
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Woodland Pre-Schools

Ages: 6 months-6 years

Curriculum: Seven of the group’s nine preschools use traditional teaching methods in line with the UK’s Early Years Foundation Stage, while the other two use Montessori teaching methods that are fully approved and accredited by the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board.

Language options: English, pure Putonghua and bilingual classes.

When to apply: Anytime

Campus and facilities: It varies per campus; there are nine campuses in eight convenient locations across Hong Kong.

Competitive advantage: Woodland has the only group of fully Montessori-accredited preschools in the Greater China region. With 39 years of constant improvement, it has a proven track record for primary school admission and hosts an international team of teachers who are all qualified Early Years educators.

Nine campuses around Hong Kong, woodlandschools.com

Photo: Courtesy of Yew Chung International School Early Childhood Education
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Yew Chung International School Early Childhood Education

Ages: 6 months-5 years

Curriculum: Each Yew Chung International School (YCIS) Early Childhood Education class has an experienced Early Years team comprising at least one English-language and one Chinese-language teacher, who support the child-led, play-based learning environment in a multicultural setting.

Language options: English and Chinese with a bilingual focus.

When to apply: Anytime

Campus and facilities: Features music rooms, libraries, an exercise room and outdoor playgrounds.

Competitive advantage: The YCIS kindergarten programme was established more than eight decades ago in Hong Kong. Through worldwide education research, the highly experienced teaching staff deliver programmes that are progressive, up-to-date and well-balanced for children seeking admission into top primary schools.

3 Somerset Road, Kowloon Tong, ycis-hk.com

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