By: Amrita Kundu
7 points to consider when choosing an international school
Choosing a school for your child is a difficult task, yet a crucial one.
If you've just moved to a foreign country, then the difficulty of this task goes up manifold. Not only do you now face the challenge of adapting to a different lifestyle, but you also have to find the school that fits your child's aspirations.
Here are 7 points to consider:
1. Is the school accredited?
This simplifies your task significantly because an accreditation means the school lives up to a certain standard, both academically and otherwise. This will also ensure that the curriculum follows some specific standard and there is a positive learning experience in the school. The school will also adhere to certain safety standards.
An accreditation also permits credit transfers between schools. In that way, when you relocate to another country, your child will not face any issues or lose a schooling year.
2. Does the school emphasise character development?
The formative years are the most important years of life. And schools play the most important role. Hence, it is important to make sure that the school focuses on character development. Schools that imparts good moral and ethical values help shape young minds. Schools that engage students in projects which require determination and integrity in bodes well for a young child. They help students perform better in the workplace and be a good person in general.
3. Does the curriculum support individual learning?
Any school can teach, that is their job. But it is the method of teaching that matters. The method of teaching defines how much knowledge students grasp. If the pedagogy includes good books, encourages inquisitiveness and motivates students to learn, then learning becomes lifelong. They will also retain what they learn. Hence, it is very important for your child to go to a school that has a teaching philosophy that encourages children to learn in every which way.
4. Does the school value languages and culture?
Most international schools follow English as the primary language of instruction. However, most schools also teach a range of languages to students. It is very important to ensure that the school values other languages and motivates students to learn them. The same thing goes on for cultures. Unless the school respects different cultures, it cannot impart values and tolerance in students. You don't want to send your child to a place where they don't respect where he/she comes from.
5. What is the level of technical training?
The world has advanced technologically in the last few decades manifold. It would be right to assume that this advancement will continue in the future decades. Students who gain technological knowledge from an early age will shine in the long run. And the school plays an important role in this. As a parent, it will be advisable to check what kind of technical training or access the school gives to its students. Check if students use laptops or tablets in the classroom. Are there smartboards and coding classes? Technology training should not be restricted to the pages of a book or laboratory.
6. What are the co-curricular activities on tap?
The role of co-curricular activities on personality development is paramount. It is essential that the school has sporting facilities, clubs and societies. Check what kind of facilities does the school offer. Does the school have a playground? Is there a basketball court? Is there a gym? Does the school participate in inter-school sporting events? Is there a school team? Answers to these questions will be crucial more so if you child loves sports.
7. Is there a library manned by a librarian?
The presence of a library is very important. To begin with, it shows the focus of the school in imparting a reading habit in students. It is also important for the library to be handled by a qualified librarian. A librarian can make suggestions about books to students and guide them through the reading journey. A librarian curates information and resources. This can motivate students to inculcate a good habit and interest in books. And we all know what a boon books are.
Before taking the final decision, check out the reputation of the school. Thanks to the internet we no longer have to depend on word of mouth for understanding the reputation of a school. Read online blogs and forums and check out the reviews. They will be able to help you a lot.