Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Spoilt for choice

Definitely spoilt for choice for International schools.

Although I was insistent in enrolling the girls in SSIS (Singapore curriculum), I was curious with the other choices right infront of the computer screen. Took me some time to read a few websites, reading some reviews from parents (some may even date back to 7 years ago. *gasp*)
And I wasn't even looking at location. However it seems that expatriates are clustered at Minhang and Pudong, and there are alot of schools there. If staying in Minhang, it takes around 30 or more horrid minutes getting stuck in Shanghai traffic (if my memory didnt fail me) to reach the city centre. 

American curriculum, British, Canadian, Hong Kong, European concepts etc.... Argh! I narrowed down to my preference to keep things easier.

I thought SSIS, so be it. I can bring some of che-che's stuffs over. I can buy assessment books and lull it to Shanghai (kiasu!) 
But somehow hubby managed to spot & bookmarked this SUIS. The curriculum seems interesting. Using Chinese Math ( but does that mean teaching Math in Chinese? If it is, my kids will mati) and me being too boh-liao had to link up to PISA. Wait a minute! Shanghai is ranked #1 in Reading, Math and Science. Sunny Singapore is #2. I think the Sun has burnt my brain! Just what was I thinking? Parents hated the silly stressed system and leave Singapore , and here I am considering to put my kids in #1 ranked in the world curriculum. 
Something else is tempting is 'Other language program' - there's Japanese!! I have kept some of my Japanese language stuffs, so unwilling to part with them.. It might be useful afterall!
I'm so tempted to fly to Shanghai to recce the two schools to check it out for myself during PSLE Marking Days. Most importantly the girls must like the school. Need to settle fast coz' there's a waitlist.

Shanghai United International School (Hongqiao)

Shanghai United International School Hongqiao is an IB school located in Minhang District.  SUIS is certified as an IB World School  using the Primary Years Program (PYP). SUIS Hongqiao is part of the Xiehe Education of bilingual schools across Shanghai. For the 2014-2015 school year, primary education averages 100,000 and secondary averages 120,000.

Early Years / Pre-K (ages 1-3)
Kindergarten (ages 3-6)
Primary Years (ages 6-12)   ¥ 100,000 *
Secondary Years (ages 12-18)   ¥ 120,000 *
Curriculum TypeBritish, Chinese, International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), Primary Years Programme (PYP)
School TypeLocal School With International Division
Established Year2003
Main LanguageEnglish
Chinese/English Bi-lingual Programme
Other Language ProgrammeFrench, Japanese
Average Class Size24
School Lunch
School Bus
  • International Baccalaureate
Extracurricular ActivitiesArt, General Music, Golf, Dance
Competitive SportsAmerican Football
Financial Aid
University Guidance
Parent Association
* Price information on this website is for information ONLY, and not legally binding. Even though we try to keep our site updated, some schools might have changed their fees today.
- See more at: http://www.chalksmart.com/schools/Shanghai-United-International-School-Hongqiao.html#sthash.YcFDQBHv.dpuf

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Deed is Done

And so my girl went for her first DSA audition and interview.
Intimidating as it sounds, she was a little nervous. There were girls who came with their instruments, they are already in their primary school band. So that would put them in a better advantage than my girl who came with no instrument. Haha!  But the parents there, their kids from the same school, were really friendly.. Held decent conversations and I didn't felt any bitchiness. I'm not sure how it would be like if it's the elite of the elite schools. Maybe parents not talking to one another and giving the last words of advice. No pressure from me just told the girl to do her best.
I know she did. For that a pat on her back. WELL DONE, GIRL.

Friday, July 18, 2014

God Bless their souls and their families

Was at the computer when I read the news of MH17 crash. At first I thought it was some hoax news and looked at the webpage. "Yup! I'm on Yahoo news not Facebook." Reality sank in, gasped in horror. "Not again?" With MH370, there's that glimmer of hope that the passengers and crew are alive in some remote place. But wit MH17, it's confirmed.

Our lives are really in the hands of God. We can go any time; any where. So before we go, we must make sure that we show our love to our loved ones.

Differing theories, conspiracies etc etc.... Yah everyone can say what they want, suddenly everyone became a forensic expert, CIA etc.. What matters here is, the poor innocent lives lost. And what's left behind are anguish for the families. Time can never heal the pain of losing someone close to you.

SQ also took the same route. It could have been us, moreover SQ was 25km away.  
I'm certain crew who arrived back SIN on that CPH flight would be shaken after hearing the news. 

I remember when SQ met with that crash in Taipei, I was packing my cargo bag for a long haul flight the next day. Should I tell my mom I love her?
At Control Centre, the mood was sombre, alot of whisperings amongst crew. Even if we bumped into someone familiar, there's no laughing or loud exchange. We were asked if we were alright, if not we could step down from the flight. Whatever was the agenda in the station we were going, we still had to fly. Who's gonna get the work done? We step down from the flight and get on another flight, does that matters? But I'm sure the mood in MH is far worst.....

God Bless their souls. And pray for strength for their families

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

DSA Audition & Interview

Received a phone call this late morning for an audition & interview in one of the two schools we applied for DSA this Saturday. Wow! So rushing.

Good luck my baby #1. Show them what you've got!!



为什么我们有这么多东西? It's never-ending, I seem to have so many things to junk, give away. I am so numb now that I junk without batting an eyelid. It has been an on-going process decluttering, sometimes taking a break in between.

It's amazing that such a small house can contain so many things. We can't buy anymore things. Really! I've been telling family members and friends not to gift us anymore things but ..... And we can't use so quickly.
Bags - we have far too many. My girls do take care of their bags so they don't need to change their bags that frequently.
Too many stationeries, I've given away and it seems to keep coming in. From where? I dunno...if only money can come in as quickly as these things.
Shoes - need a day to check with che-che what she can fit into. Wash and give them away.
Clothes - I think I did that months ago and it seems like she has more clothes she can't fit. Did she have a growth spurt? Eh...I'm talking about the older one, the young one never seem to grow. *sob sob*

Studyroom - can't wait for PSLE to be over!! Time to throw some stuffs and keep the rests. For what? I don't even know if mei-Mei has use for it. Sigh.....
Scan in some stuffs for mei-mei  which was an on-going process as I was  going paper-less. All saved into hard-disk. ( Ahh.... That one another thing to do next time -HOUSEKEEPING the hard disk. )

I really need an extra pair of hands now. I can only do these when the girls are in school. However I'm also laden with housework, updating their educational blogs, mei-mei's birthday preparation. Am I a superwoman or what?! When they're back, I'm stuck with them in the studyroom. I'm so tired!! Can anyone help me??

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Skip PSLE?

This morning, che-che told me that a girl will not be taking her PSLE. Her dad is going to work in USA for 3 years so she's going before her Prelims. "She's so lucky......I wish I can......." I know what she's going to say. I wish she can skip too but we can't just skip PSLE for a few reasons.
1) No confirmed place in school over there yet
2) Are we just going to dump everything all of a sudden and move over when house is in a mess, everything is unplanned. And school starts in Sep. So what? Is she going to repeat Primary 6 in Sep there or jump into Secondary 1? Impossible also right?
3) It took a year for her friend to move to MEL so by correct process time, we should also need a year to settle everything. Correct? We got the news in June 2014, so by June 2015 we'll move over. Hey! I'm dealing with two school going kids leh! Not nursery or kindy kids where I can just grab and go. I prefer to finish writing the last chapter of a storybook before closing it, not leave the chapter haphazardly written.
4) The girl's dad knows how long he'll be there. We have no idea how long we'll be there. Whatever it is, she needs to sit for the exams here first.

Friday, July 11, 2014


An ex-collegue has been checking with me if I've heard from the two schools. He's more nervous than me. Frankly speaking, I've been having that bo-chap attitude. I haven't made that call to the schools to check with them. They will call if they think my girl qualifies. Fighting for that few places in the school, will she qualify?

Why did I bother to drive back to school thrice then. Once just to collect CCA testimonial and then the other two times to pass a form and collect it back from CCA teacher during the school holidays? Nope make that three times to pass a form and collect it back. (So in total I drove back to school four times) I don't know why.. I thought I printed out the correct extra form, I put it in an envelope and drove to school. I didn't check it but somehow something nudged me to open up that envelope to check. I was walking to the office when I gasp in horror. OMG! It's the wrong form!! I didn't bother to go into the Office and drove back home again to print the correct forms and then drove down again. When I was walking to the car upon realising my neligence, I wondered if that was a sign to me - that this DSA application is simply a waste of time. 

Even if she gets selected for interview, she already has that "I don't want to get into this school" persona. She might not want to open up her Made of Gold mouth. Ultimately, it's also time wasted. Plus I didn't make her memorize a 'trying to suck up to the school' script. She'll just appear in that school doe-eyed. 

Somehow, I begin to feel that this whole DSA thing has gone too war-ish and elite-ish. 

A friend related to me she overheard a Chinese mother berating her son after the GAT test. I began to think of the tense atmosphere in GAT test hall; in holding area for interviews & in interview room. Strangers will look at one another as enemy. Friends may suddenly look at each other as an opponent. People will be selfish and not share information. Parents will accompany their kids in support, just like a coach of a boxer - they tell them how to knock down opponent; give some water, rub the boxer's back, wipe the face. 
I was shock to learn that there's DSA Preparation class, DSA Interview class and what nots. Ehh......Is it a real prep class? Desperate parents might fall for the tricks just like this clever conman did. This is absolutely crazy! 

Two girls in the school I heard have applied for 7 and 6 schools repectively. Wow! I think that's overrated. One of them is a high scorer, always the Top 3 student in her class (Tier 1 class). And she's getting tensed up and I heard she even cried. Why? DSA is suppose to help a child get into a school , not to break him/her apart even before the interview. 
So, they have 7 and 6 schools all lining up for them. If they're not accepted into their dream school they're simply taking any school that accepts them? 
2 - 3 schools is sufficient. Interview time is conducted during July/August which is during the Prelims. So instead on concentrating on revising for Prelims, these kids go from schools to schools for their interviews. Sigh..... I dunno if their parents pushed them into it or they did it in their own accord. Whatever it is, I better keep my mouth shut incase I offend some people reading my blog. 

DSA is now also being used as a footstool for those high scorers so that they needn't feel so strung up during PSLE. So what has that "we're looking for talented students who can contribute to our school" fineline become of? 
Since the school has so many applicants, how are they going to select the students for interview? To narrow down, the logical thing would be by results. Then those deserving talented kids but poor in academic may be axed out.
Years down the road, I'm sure some parents will cry foul over the whole DSA process just like parents cry foul over the P1 registration every year. 

The disadvantage of being accepted into a school by DSA-CCA is that time will be spent on trainings. The poor child has to be very independent to study on her/his own. I've heard of incidents where some kids are asked to leave the school for poor results.  

I will not be angry if my daughter is not asked to go for an interview. I always believe things happen for a reason. If it's meant to be yours, it will be yours.       

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Avoid the 2 bullies

I switched to picking the girls at a different gate this week, it's more inconvenient coz' it's along Marine Parade Road.

Why the switch? Lil' one has been bullied by two of her classmates at the gate. The classmates always like to tell her they are not going to friend her anymore, they hate her etc.. I know this friend - don't friend - thing is rather common with girls but I feel these two girls have gone overboard. It has come to a point that sometimes lil' one gets so disappointed  and angry.

Am I making a big booha over this? Perhaps it's not bullying you will say. But how would you explain when the girls will do so when che-che is not around or when che-che's friend is not around? The moment they see them walking, they cowardly keep quiet. Useless! But bullies are cowards! I thought there's no way I can confront them coz' the next day lil' one still talks to them in school. I scold lil' one "No backbone!" 

Two of them, K and D. D has gotten into trouble in school, chided by VP before. Security guard also says she's too naughty at the gate. The other girl, K, always instigates others not to friend so and so. She's like the gang leader ordering people around. And someone she's the fiercer one amongst the two. Another incident was when I found out she was the one scribbling a sentence with a "hell" word in mei-mei's school journal. I dare not tell her mother it was her daughter who wrote that when she asked me once. Not good kids I'd say.

Oh well.......will avoid them. Anyway, we might only be there for another few more months so might as well avoid confronting their parents too.