Monday, March 24, 2014

Sri Kdu International School Entrance Interview Year 1

international schools in kl
Sri KDU International School facilities

Okay.. so we shortlisted our school to Sri Garden International and Sri KDU International, Sri Garden because of reasonable fees, great teachers (my friend whose daughter is studying there gave glowing report), fantastic library and near to Sentul (which is convenient for hubby as it is also a short drive to his workplace around the KLCC area) but the traffic to Sri Garden is horrendous and  facilities are a bit lacking if compared to Sri KDU plus I want him to socialize with other circles not just the expats circle and a handful of privileged locals. I am a muslim so I also have to take in other considerations like, will he feel uncomfortable if he is the only one going out for dzuhur prayers or will he find Muslim girls in short skirts a norm (I read somewhere that the girls are not allowed to don hijab in the secondary level but I didn't ask the admin there peronally). 

So,  I went to see Sri KDU International. Sri KDU International School (Primary Level) shares the same building as Sri KDU Smart School (Primary Level) but the Secondary level has different buildings for the private school and international school. I feel more comfortable that since both the private and international school share the same building at the primary level, my son will be more exposed to the mix of local students from different backgrounds. He will see children of different colors, having different mother tongues and most importantly female Muslim students wearing baju kurungs (and maybe some not) so he will see that even though the religion is clear, it is the human choice to practise it. And each and everyone of us practise a different level of submission to Allah. 

Other than that consideration, I also find the library cheerful and the facilities (soccer field, basketball court, swimming pool, music room, computer lab) very encouraging. I saw that the teachers that was in the Year 2-Year 6 classes were all native English speakers but when I was passing through, non of them were smiling and engaging the kids, that is a bit of a worry for me, but the students didn't look out of hand so maybe it was time for quiet work. The year 1 students -at that time- were being taught by a Chinese lady (I think maybe it was another lesson like mandarin cos the homeroom teacher assigned to each class is a native English speaker) and they seemed to be having loads of fun and the teacher looked like she was enjoying herself too so I hope all the year 1 teachers are like that just to ease my kid's first time exposure to the big school :) 

After the entrance interview at Sri KDU International School

The first week of March, we were called up to set an appointment for the entrance interview and I chose 12th of March as the interview date. I didn't really prepare my son much for the entrance interview since the admission officer said that it will just be a normal chit chat and maybe some drawing to see if he has any special learning needs. So, I practised with Mikail some general questions like "What is your name?" "How old are you?" Where do you go to school?" What's your mummy's name" etc etc.. making sure that he answers in sentences instead of "Mikail" "6" and "Montessori Ilham" etc etc I also practised some maths (Addition and subtraction just in case) and reading passages BUT I didn't practise drawing nor spelling :( 

sri kdu international school
My 4 year old son's copy of the Sri KDU Int Sch Year 1 entrance interview paper (cos he said "What about me? Where is my work?")

So, on that day.. Mikail was super excited with the big school and we came early just so he gets used to the surrounding. He likes the school very much and when the officer came to interview him and asked us to follow her to the office, he did a funny "slow" walk and pretended to look at things with his "binocular" hands.. I swear the officer looked at him twice just to check whether he has ADHD or something.. *sigh*

In the office the general questions began and Mikail answered well for the questions that we practised and then she asked "What's your favorite animal?" and he started answering that question and others that were unpractised, with just one word *sigh* My son doesn't talk much without prodding. It didn't help that I brought along his 4 year old little brother who is super talkative and kept asking "what about me? My favorite animal is the elephant!.. We went to the zoo and fed the elephants" you get the picture..

Then the officer asked Mikail to write his name and draw himself and he wrote his name and then said I can't draw myself cos I don't know.. so he was asked to draw a ball instead. 

Then he was asked to spell "Cat" and my son spelled it with a mirror image "c" , spell "dog" and I started praying hard that he didn't write "bog" instead cos he does mix up his "b" and "d" at times. and then "ball" was spelt as "bol". My heart sank a bit :(

Basically, it was a simple interview but I guess I should have prepared for the 3 & 4 letter words spelling and also remind him that he is not to interrupt when mummy is talking to someone else cos when the officer was asking me questions about Mikail he kept interrupting us! 

However, I am quite glad there is no Maths or reading exercise (though that would have given him a chance to show off a bit hehe).

The lady said that the school will get in touch with us after a week but since I didn't receive any news, I called them up today and was informed that he was accepted! Hurrah! I am so happy cos we don't have any back up plan except for Sri KDU International, if he didn't get accepted our move to Mutiara Damansara would have been a total waste.

UPDATE: I enrolled my no 2 in 2015 and the interview for 2015 was slightly different as it was conducted with the presence of the (then) Year 1 teacher Ms Barwick, there was a bit of chit chat, usual name, age, etc.. and then my kid was given a piece of paper with some pictures on it and was asked to write down the name of the object or animal that was in the picture, a few 3 letter words like cat or dog (I don't remember exactly yeah since its been 2 years) but I do remember there were also some 4 letters words that have blending sounds like Fi-SH and FR-og.. so that's another thing to look out for. He was also given some lego towers to count (total 20) and then take away a few to make say 17. Lastly, he was asked to write down any numbers that he knows from 1-20. That's it! A new teacher came in this year and their contract I heard is for 2 years, so I am assuming this year's interview will be prepared with some input from her?