With the keen competition to enter top-tier primary schools in Hong Kong, trying to gain admission can be stressful and daunting for both parents and their children. Kerry Morris, Admission Manager of Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong, gave tips on school admission in her presentation, ‘Primary school admission should be stress-free for child and parents’.
“When I first moved to Hong Kong, I was genuinely surprised by how lengthy and difficult primary school admissions are out here. Multiple interviews, costly applications, substantial preparation and required documents are just a few obstacles parents face when applying for a primary school.
Luckily, our Headmaster, Mr. Howard Tuckett, designed an admissions process at WASHK that is comprehensive, while alleviating stress for children and parents.”
The preparation process is not as overwhelming as parents think it is. There is no need to rehearse rigorously for interviews; just having more day-to-day conversations with their kids is enough.
“It would be best for children to speak in a natural and organic way in interviews; so instead of making them memorize scripts, help them get used to talking about everyday things like their hobbies and interests,” Morris advised.
What should families look for in a ‘good’ admissions process?
I always tell parents to start with the school. It sounds obvious but making sure the school is a right fit for their child is vital in having a successful academic career.
There is nothing wrong with a lengthy and regimented admissions process, but it’s important to understand how your child learns best and then decide if it is the right environment for them.
What can students expect from an assessment at WASHK?
All our assessments are conducted in a friendly and welcoming environment. We do not believe in making this process a stressful or intimidating experience, as we don’t feel it is beneficial for the child, or for us as a school. We genuinely want to get to know the child, understand them as an individual and ensure that morally, it is right to offer the child a place at the school.
- Simple application and assessment process
- Play-visits for KS1
- Second interviews available
- Fast processing (answer within 7 working days)
- Minimal Preparation
- Facilitated by one person
What do you look for when assessing a child?
The key attribute we look for when conducting our assessments is, potential. There could be many reasons a child is not fulfilling their potential academically, socially or emotionally, and we want to see if, in the right environment, we can help them grow as an individual.
Do you help students navigate their post-primary school life?
We have a Boarding & Secondary School Guidance Programme, where we support students and their families with their applications to the best boarding schools in the UK, USA, and secondary schools around the world, including Hong Kong.
This year our students each received multiple offers from top schools in the UK, such as Wycombe Abbey School UK, Rugby, Cheltenham Ladies College, Roedean, Badminton, Benenden and Malvern St James, to name just a few.
We have an experienced team of experts who can help prepare a child academically for the entrance exams, as well as mentally for the change post-primary school. Our programme is tailored for each individual pupil and family.
“It is important for kids to be their most comfortable self, so that teachers can see what they are really like. To achieve that, parents should make sure the interview process is not scary for their kids, but rather a joyful and fun experience,” Morris continued. “Try having fun with your children in meeting new faces and exploring play areas on the interview day.”
“Preparation for school admission can be minimal; the schools should be able to get to know your children within the interview time,” concluded Morris.