The Pre-school structure in HK goes like this :
Pre-nursery 2 - 3 yrs old (offered only in some kindergarten)
Nursery (K1) 3 - 4 yrs old
Kindergarten (K2) 4 - 5 yrs old
Kindergarten (K3) 5 - 6 yrs old
After weeks of research, phone calls, chatting with friends and colleagues, we finally shortlisted the few nurseries that we would like to attempt to enrol. The application for admission in Sep '09 (school year in HK starts in Sep) starts in Sep / Oct / Nov '08 for the schools of our choice.
During our research we found out that 1 of the school offered a Pre-Nursery class and T is of age to start in Oct '08. We were too late to join the AM session as they have no more vacancy and the wait list was long, so we opted for the PM session instead.
Initially, we didn't have the intention of starting T on Pre-Nursery and wanted her to start only in 09/10 when she was 3. But all the research made me rather nervous about how competitive HK is on the good schools and how T might not be able to handle the admission interviews. So we figured that the admission criteriors for Pre-Nursery should be much simpler since the child is really less than 2 yrs. If paying an extra year of school fees buys her a guaranteed entry to the kindergarten and primary school, it sounds like a good buy.
So we submitted our application and followed up closely with the school for the interview as we are considered 'late' applicants. Finally the interview was scheduled for Thursday 31/Jul. During the week, I did more detailed research on this particular school. The more I found out, the more I liked the school and really wanted T to be able to study there. I really didn't expect myself be so excited and nervous about it. It was almost like I am taking the exam myself. The scheduled time was just during T usual nap time. So I had to plan a day ahead to alter T's routine in order for her to be alert during the interview. The nite before, I had to do my 'homework' and look up more about the school in case we were asked questions about it. I was so nervous I had trouble sleeping that nite and woke up really early the next morning.
We went to playschool as usual in the morning and I tried to tired T out so she would take her nap earlier. We made her favourite lunch so she would eat faster. We bathe her and washed her hair so she would smell nice. Overall, she was kept very happy the whole morning and she was singing in the taxi on the way to school.
During the interview the teacher tried to get T to play with her. T being her usually shy self needed some warm up time and turned away to hide behind me. Luckily, T responded well to me and I was able to make her follow the teacher's instructions. To my surprise, the teacher did try to test if T recognised the colours, which she didn't respond to. (I was afraid that we might fail due to this)
Sensing that T was still shy, teacher offered to show us around the school facility. Wow... I was positively impressed by how big their place is. It housed a kindergarten, primary and secondary school and with a school hall and chapel in the middle of the blocks. There were music room, library, playroom, gymroom just for the kindergarten sections. There was also a outdoor play area with a jungle gym and tricyles to ride on. I loved this place by now and so did T. As we were shown around the facilities, T started to explore around too. She played on the slides, fingered the books, tapped on the piano, etc... Teacher saw for herself that T was not shy of environment, only of stranger. T was also physically independant, able to walk, climb steadily. She also takes instructions well and will stop and leave the room upon our order and will not whine to stay and play. She did not need us to pull her hand and will just follow us wherever we went.
When we returned to the administration office, teacher told us there's no problem with T starting school with them. Yippee.... T continued to play with the toys in the room while I finished up the paperwork.
T will start school in Oct'08 (she is still under 2 yrs on 1st Sep). She will have to put on a set of school uniform and ride on a school bus. She will start to spend 4 hrs a day without any family beside her. I am sure I will miss her dearly. I already feel a whinch of sadness when I think about it. Only 22 months ago I was everything she had in the world. She was a tiny little baby lying in my bosom. And soon she will be happy to wave bye bye to mummy and run off to join her friends from school. Now I start to understand why do mothers always cry at weddings.
Sorry for the lengthy boring post. Just needed to get all these off my chest for a closure on the sweet yet sour school search event which has been bothering me the past month.
Here's the website of Rosaryhill Kindergarten where T will start school in October
3 weeks ago