With so many options, choosing a preschool can be tough! Melanie Eastwood tells us why Woodland Peak Pre-School was the right choice for her family.
Describe your family’s experience at Woodland
Both our girls went to Woodland Peak Pre-School, joining in April 2014. Evie (aged four at the time) joined the Starfish class, before leaving to join the ESF Peak School in August 2015. Amber started in the playgroup just before turning two. After three very happy years there, she will be leaving Polar Bears and joining Peak School in August 2017.
What were the most important factors in deciding to send your children to Woodland?
We were looking for a school that felt similar to the nursery environment the girls had experienced in London. First impressions are important when selecting the right school and, after visiting a number, we immediately felt at home at Woodland. The staff were friendly and attentive, and their interaction with the other children – and parents – provided us with confidence that this was the right environment. The children looked happy – they were engaged and having fun – and we liked the teaching methods. The small and intimate setting was also more appealing than in a number of the much bigger preschools (particularly those based in or alongside primary schools), which we felt to be overwhelming and intimidating for little ones. Importantly, we wanted a solution that provided an affordable full day (9am to 4pm), rather than many that only offered half days.
How did the school help with settling into Hong Kong?
The routine of being back in school allowed our eldest daughter to settle in straight away and she instantly made firm friends, many of whom were in a similar position having relocated recently. The sense of familiarity to their previous school also helped enormously. Talking about our daily experiences at home was another big thing, as was getting involved in various aspects of the school like school trips and social events – these helped not only the children to settle but also us, as new parents to Hong Kong.
What have the girls enjoyed most about this school?
They’ve both enjoyed all aspects of the school – being with their friends, joining in the extra-curriculum clubs, constant stimulation and learning something new (both were in the bilingual stream in the afternoon classes). When our younger daughter was finally able to stay for her lunch, she was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to get to school each day. They also really enjoyed going on the school bus, which became an extension of their school day as they asked their bus teacher to teach them Cantonese when they weren’t singing along to their favourite song of the moment! Most importantly, they both formed strong bonds with their teachers. We will be sad when Amber leaves the Pre-School to move onto the next stage of her education, but we are grateful to all at Woodland Peak for building on the strong foundations of both our girls’ love of learning and going to school.
Woodland Peak Pre-School
81 Peak Road, The Peak
This article first appeared in the August/September 2017 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.
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