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Kiangsu Chekiang Kindergarten (KCS) Interview for K3

Submitted by on December 22, 2010 – 7:02 pm2 Comments | 5,514 views

In continuation of my daughter’s K1 interview at KCS – I’m now writing about Vanessa’s K3 interview.

Like the prior week with the K1 interview, you can go any time.  We ended up going at 10:30 AM while our original schedule was 12:30 PM.  The following Saturday was by far emptier than it’s predecessor.  I’m not sure how they determine who interviews on what day, but they were still interviewing for N1 and K1 as well.

Questions at the interview (all in Mandarin):

  • What is your name?
  • Do you like school?
  • What is your Chinese Teacher’s name?
  • Number recognition (21, 31, 29)
  • Letter recognition (A, a, R, T, S)
  • Chinese word recognition (cow’s milk, fruits, vegetables, meat)

That’s as far as we got because Vanessa actually can’t understand or speak Mandarin.  Of course, that was the curve ball in this activity and it was a genuine test of her ability to adapt into the school.  She is definitely strongest in English with Cantonese following a tight second and then Mandarin lags quite far behind.  She learns Mandarin an hour a day, but that goes to show it’s not nearly enough to be fluent and no one speaks to her at home in Mandarin.

Even then, I thought the number recognition was a bit tough and surprisingly enough, she was able to recognize 75% of the Chinese characters.  This is where Kornhill International will catch up in K3, is 2 hours of intensive Chinese writing and reading to prep the kids for entrance into the local HK stream (my hope).

The teacher comments were that all full day classes for K3 are full, so we have to pick either AM or PM.  She also feels that in order for Vanessa to adapt and pick up to speed, we’ll need to provide her with tutor lessons in Mandarin because the classes are driven completely in Mandarin.  Needless to say, I think both my husband and I felt that the adaptation would be too significant and stressful for Vanessa, so very likely we will not pursue this venture any further.  Plus, she’s happy at the current school, developing beautifully, has established a group of friends and familiar faces and is familiar with the environment.  Plus, it’s just one-year until entry into Primary school (my KEY MISSION for 2011!!!!!).

So while this review probably does not reflect the true full interview given to a K3 potential entry, I suppose it gives you a glimpse of what they are expecting.  If your family doesn’t speak Mandarin at home or you don’t apply your child before K1, I think it will be a challenge for both the parents and child (and maybe teachers).  Why push something that wasn’t meant to be?

I have now decided to pursue a private Mandarin tutor for my children.  She goes to the grandparents’ place after the girls get off school and spends about an hour chatting, playing, singing, reading – all in Mandarin.  I’m starting once a week, but feel that it might not be sufficient, so we’ll see how it goes.  One thing at a time right?  And now Vanessa wants to skate!  So I’ve registered her to start in Jan 2011 and see how she likes it.

Below is a picture of Vanessa’s latest art work.  Notice the words at the top “Vanessa Boss”.  Hmmm…. I wonder who taught her that?!

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  • Carol says:

    Completely agree not to push Vanessa. We weren’t raised like that and I don’t think its healthy for her to be so stressed out. :)

    Love the photo.. but “Vanessa Ng Boss..?” Totally like her! And the people are nice too! Good drawing!

  • Gabriel says:

    Hi Lisa, thank you for your posts. My son is now applying for KCS Primary 1 and other schools. Do you have any insight into KCS Primary interviews such as questions, etc?

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