Any experience with ISF

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My neighbour is thinking of applying to the ISF academy for her daughter.  http://www.isf.edu.hk/eng/about_iisfa.html

It looks like a really good option combining bilingual mandarin / english education.  

Does anyone have any experience at the school?  Are the children happy there? Are there many non-chinese students.  Is it a feasible school for parents where neither speak / read / write chinese to any level of proficiency...

Any / all comments welcome. 

I'm a new grade 8 student

I'm a new grade 8 student studying in ISFA during the 2007-2008. From my perspective, ISFA is a special school which is really different froim others. I used to study in St Paul's College a year ago. Changing to ISF Academy may be a good choice for your daughter. If you want your daughter to be an independent thinker, risk taker, and a language communicator which have fluent putonghua and english, apply for ISFA.

In this school, the language policy is that you can either speak in putonghua or english, but not in cantonese. This can really help your child to practice his/her putonghua as well as english. About 90% of the students in the school are chinese,which is because of the high level of putonghua speaking required.

The school is a special local school which runs the IB and MYP programme. Thre's not many homework in this school, but more projet instead. It can help your dauther to learn how to communicate and work with a group. And also, how to be a leader.

I am a happy ISF Academy

I am a happy ISF Academy parent (been around for 2 years). I would say that ISF is a very successful compromise - on one hand the school offers international schools' mode of teaching and brings happy school life to the students, it also offers something that international schools in Hong Kong are unable to provide, such as a truly billingual (English and Mandarin) environment and a more structed curriculum. I visited ISF's old campus in Wanchai in 2005 and was immediately convinced that ISF would be the last stop of my schools shopping. The kids spole excellent English and Putonghua and were all very cheerful and eager to tell the visitors how happy they were. I bumped into my old boss (a senior partner of one of the biggest American law firm) during the visit. She went straight into the admission office and got an admission form. "Look at the kids. The school must be doing something very right", she said. I did the same thing. I went to the office and filled in an admission form. Happy everafter.

ISF Academy

Thank you for the comments, I'm very relieved to hear it.  We've decided to take the place for our child, and itis true, every time we visited the campus the children were very happy and friendly.

we're just nervous about the work load and getting used to what will be quite a bit cultural adjustment for us, since neither of us have a chinese back ground and our mandarin is at the beginner stage!

It is also amazing how many people have told us that we're completely crazy doing this and that we're making a big mistake, so your posting is a great reassurance.

 

Student Accents

This may be slightly off topic, but I think I read on this site that students at the ESF schools now have "mid-Atlantic" accents as opposed to English in years past. What exactly does "mid-Atlantic" mean? Is it a cross between English and American?

Mid-atlantic

Yep, mid-atlantic is an accent somewhere between English and American.