Cathy Ben-David, Head of Admissions at YCIS Hong Kong shares her top tips to help parents navigate the kindergarten interview season.
It is kindergarten interview season in Hong Kong. During November many kindergartens across the region commence the process, this is in accordance with the Education Bureau guidelines.
Our Head of Admissions, Cathy Ben-David works closely with the Early Childhood section of the school at this time to coordinate the multiple family interviews. She shares advice and tips on the upcoming day with parents:
- Make sure you have confirmed your attendance with the Admissions Office, if you have received an invitation. This ensures your child’s file will be prepared.
- Carefully note the campus location, interview time and what you should bring with you. All details will be in the email.
- It sounds obvious, but it is worth allowing plenty of time for the journey. Our family interviews will run on Saturday, November 5 and Friday, November 25; we would expect other kindergartens to be running interviews too, so streets could be busy.
- Most importantly, try to relax and enjoy the interaction with the early childhood teaching staff. This could be your first face-to-face exchange with some of the people you will make a strong relationship with, as the home-school partnership begins.
- Allow for a well-earned good night’s sleep for all the family, the night before.
- Take the time to have a family breakfast or lunch to feel energised.
- You have attended the YCIS Information Session or private tour, so you should have a good understanding of the educational philosophy. During the family interview you are welcome to ask all about the philosophy as a part of school life, so that you can imagine your child benefiting.
- Remember that your child’s welfare and development are at the heart of all that we do at YCIS. So, please open up and share all that you can about your child. If you are anxious about any aspect of your child’s development please be sure to discuss this with the teaching staff at the interview. They are the experts to guide you.
- Avoid reading about interviews on social media platforms! Don’t worry about hyped up worries from other parents, concentrate on your experience and remember it is all about finding the right place for your child to flourish. The family interview should be enjoyed by all of you.
- “Interviews” for children are very much a product of the Hong Kong entry system. Before your interview day you may check with the Admissions Office about any expectation. Have a casual chat with your child a short while before and do all you can to stay relaxed and calm. If you show any signs of worry then your child will sense this and wonder why. Regardless of age, your ECE child may not comprehend the visit, so it is easy to call it a “play date”!
- Talk with the staff directly about the school’s key strengths – staff should be able to enlighten you deeply.
- Check what else you need to know - will there be a bus service to where you plan to live or can you make other arrangements.
- What’s the academic calendar? When is the first day of the new academic year and does your child need to be on campus for any reason before that date? When will you receive the next communication about starting school?
Good luck! If you would like more information on how to apply at YCIS, please visit the Application Process section of our website.