Admissions FAQ

The first step in finding out more about St. Nicholas’ and whether it’s a good fit for your educational goals is to submit your email and receive Admission’s newsletter, to get a feel for student life and community goings-on. Once you’ve submitted the inquiry form, we can offer you many opportunities to visit us throughout the school year.

We seek children who together represent a broad range of experiences and backgrounds and who, with the support of their family, demonstrate the motivation to get involved in school life at St. Nicholas’ and beyond. In general, successful applicants show strengths in three different developmental areas:

ACADEMIC

Your child is not expected to know everything. While we require a solid foundation in English literacy and numeracy, we also look for potential and a willingness to listen, learn and embrace challenges.

CO-CURRICULAR

Your child has a spark. We look for a cross-section of talent – in arts, athletics and other co-curricular activities – and children with potential to contribute to school life beyond the classroom.

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL

Your child is an individual and part of a larger group. We look at social skills and overall self-regulation – inside and outside the classroom. Above all, we consider the whole child.

Unfortunately, we do not offer any Pre-Nursery classes. The youngest child we can admit is 2 years and 8 months when they enter St. Nicholas’ for Nursery 1 (N1), which is equivalent to Kindergarten 1 (K1). However, we have very limited spaces in our one Playgroup class and the minimum age of admission is 2 years old. Please contact us at [email protected] for more details.

The class size depends on the size of each classroom, which ranges from 15 to 26 students. The average teacher to student ratio is from 1:5 to 1:8.

There are no whole-day classes at St. Nicholas’. Nevertheless, we offer a wide range of after-school programs for children.

Although we do not implement the full Montessori pedagogy at St. Nicholas’, we integrate all five areas of the Montessori curriculum into our N1 to U3 program, including Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language (English and Chinese) and Cosmic Education. All classrooms are equipped with the full range of standard Montessori teaching aids. Our faculty also attends training regularly to stay updated on the latest Montessori research and teaching methods.

St. Nicholas’ does not have mixed-age classes in our regular program, but rather offer three distinct levels: N1, L2 and U3, following Hong Kong’s preschool curriculum. Nevertheless, there are ample opportunities throughout the school year for the three age groups to mingle and learn from each other, such as musical performances, sports day, festival celebrations, arts and science projects, community service, after-school programs, outdoor and global education ventures.

Our children are exposed to both the English and Chinese languages, and all three dialects: English, Cantonese and Putonghua throughout the school day. Our Native English speaking and Native Putonghua speaking teachers collaborate together with our local teachers in both whole class and small group instruction.

The school day is 3 hours every day, either in the morning or in the afternoon. The day starts off with students taking their body temperature and disinfecting their hands at the school gate. They then choose various ways to greet their teachers and fellow classmates as they enter their classrooms. Learning begins with either an English or Chinese circle time with the whole class. Afterwards, the class breaks up into smaller groups, in which children can interact with the English or Chinese class teachers in a more intimate setting.

Our graduates are accepted to the most prestigious primary schools in Hong Kong and occasionally abroad. Most of them receive multiple offers from a number of private, Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) and international primary schools.

Students work with our executive team to learn about schools and programs that best fit their educational goals. We assist students to put together applications, prepare for entrance requirements and decide ultimately which school will be their ideal match.

Please visit our School Placement page to see which schools our graduates have been accepted to over the years.

We accept applications from children born between August 2018 and December 2018 for the 2021-2022 Nursery class. It is our usual practice to admit students based on year of birth. Exceptions may be made following a review of all admission requirements in cases where a student has been accelerated or kept back a year.

Applications are not considered on a first-come-first-served basis. We will arrange assessments after parents submit the online application for their children.

The typical application ratio for our entry years is 10:1, so for every ten applications we receive we only have room to admit one student.

St. Nicholas’ is committed to honouring relationships with legacy families and applicants with siblings attending the school. Children, grandchildren and cousins of alumni and siblings will be assessed but will go through the same process as all other applicants.

Late applications are accepted on an individual basis. Please contact us at [email protected] to inquire. This applies to both entry year and limited-entry year applications.

Mid-year applications are accepted on a case-by-case basis, which depends on whether we still have spaces available at the time of the year. Please contact us at [email protected] to inquire.

When space exists at a limited-entry level following re-enrollment of current students in April, we review all completed candidate files and select two or three children per available space for an assessment. We understand that many families, including some legacy and sibling families, may be disappointed not to hear from us. Our main goal is admitting the best students while managing the expectations of possible outcomes for all families.

Parents may modify any information on the submitted online application form in the online application system. Please enter the application reference number and registered e-mail address to retrieve your child’s application. Our system will be updated with any edited information.

After parents have submitted the application form online, an application reference number will be displayed on the confirmation page. Please print and save the confirmation page for your reference. Parents will also receive a confirmation letter in their registered e-mail.

Upon submission of the online application, parents will be led to the confirmation page with the application reference number. The system will also generate a confirmation letter that is immediately sent to the registered e-mail address provided by the parent in the online application form. Please print and save the confirmation e-mail for your record. Therefore, please make sure that the e-mail address entered in the online application form is correct.

I have successfully submitted the application form online, but I have not received the confirmation e-mail. What should I do?

There may be a few reasons why this has occurred:

  1. The confirmation e-mail may have been incorrectly labelled as spam. Solution: Please check your mailbox’s spam folder to see if the confirmation e-mail is in the folder. Please also add [email protected] and [email protected] to your safety email list to ensure that future e-mails from us will not be categorized as spam again.
  2. Parents may have mistakenly entered the wrong e-mail address in the online application form. Solution: Please e-mail [email protected] and state the applicant’s name, application reference number, birth certificate number, date of birth and correct e-mail address.
  3. Other technical issues. Please e-mail [email protected] and state the applicant’s name, application reference number, birth certificate number, date of birth and correct e-mail address.

Please e-mail [email protected] and state the applicant’s name, application reference number, birth certificate number and date of birth. We will resend application confirmation e-mail.

We understand that sometimes report cards don’t tell the whole story. Prior to the assessment, we will e-mail parents a questionnaire to fill out enabling us to better understand the child’s habits and characteristics, parents’ expectations of their child and the family’s background. Please bring along the completed questionnaire on the day of the assessment. Once you’ve submitted your application and the required documents, please contact the Admissions Office to discuss submitting any additional documents. In terms of co-curricular achievement, we gain a better understanding through the assessment. If you would like to bring additional documents as evidence of co-curricular achievement to your assessment, they will be added to your file at that time. However, we will not accept more than two documents or a total of 10 pages.

We highly recommend parents to attend the information session to learn more about our school’s philosophy and curriculum. Parents will also hear from our current students firsthand sharing about their experience studying at St. Nicholas’. Due to the large number of applicants we may receive every year, preference will be given to applicants with parents who have attended our admissions information session.

As mandated by the Education Bureau, we assess all applicants to Nursery 1 (equivalent to Kindergarten 1 – K1) who have submitted the online application form. For limited entry levels (i.e. Lower 2 – L2 and Upper 3 – U3), we base our decision to assess selected candidates on the information provided in the application form and the strength of their report cards. We look at all information provided to gain a basic understanding of the student’s abilities in academics, extra-curricular activities and behaviour. Selected candidates must demonstrate good work habits and proficiency in English, Chinese and mathematics.

There are two parts to the admissions assessment. The first part will be the child’s assessment individually and in a small group, which will last approximately 30 minutes. There will be 5 to 7 children per group. Each child can be accompanied by an adult, most preferably a parent or a guardian. Simple questions in a group include assessing the child’s cognitive, language, social, gross and fine motor skills. The child will also be asked to work individually with Montessori teaching aids.

The second part will be an individual meeting with one of the parents. Each meeting will be approximately 5 minutes, in which the parent will have the opportunity to present his or her educational philosophy, expectations of their child, what they hope their child to accomplish at St. Nicholas’ and briefly introduce the child’s background and personality.

We understand that children may have gotten ill unexpectedly prior to the scheduled assessment date or may fall sick suddenly upon arrival due to exposure to a new environment. Our school will definitely accommodate such extenuating circumstances and reschedule the assessment for the child upon receipt of a registered doctor’s medical certificate with the child’s name and date of the doctor’s visit. The admissions office will inform parents the new assessment date once it has been arranged.

Applicants to Nursery 1 (equivalent to Kindergarten 1 – K1) who are invited to the school for an assessment are provided information during the admissions information session in advance of their arrival, including evaluation criteria and some sample questions. Generally speaking, all assessment is age-appropriate. To help children become familiar with our school environment, we recommend parents to show some photos or videos of our campus and play our school song to your child, so that he or she can be more acquainted prior to the assessment. We also suggest parents to arrive 15 to 30 minutes earlier than the scheduled assessment time, which will allow some time for your child to have some fun in our playground before entering the classroom for the assessment. However, we strongly advise not to arrive more than 30 minutes before your scheduled time as your child may become too tired playing in the playground for too long. Lastly, we do not encourage children to take any interview preparation courses — it’s important for us to know what the child knows, and doesn’t know, in order to set him or her up for success.