Five Star Kids - - EDUCATION -

is the head’s vision for the school? Many heads will ex­toll their grandiose plans for the new gym or science lab. What you should be look­ing for is their views on the cur­ricu­lum, styles of teach­ing and how to achieve aca­demic suc­cess.

you are sym­pa­thetic with the vision of the head – there is an­other im­por­tant ques­tion – how long are they stay­ing? “I chose my daugh­ters school on the ba­sis of the head's rep­u­ta­tion, only to find she left two years later”, says one frus­trated fa­ther. “Af­ter that the whole at­mos­phere of the school was dif­fer­ent”.

does the school foster val­ues be­yond the aca­demic? Your child is more than just a ma­chine who takes ex­ams. You want them to grow into a fully rounded adult. Per­sonal, so­cial, health and good cit­i­zen­ship ed­u­ca­tion should also be con­sid­ered. Good schools will have a well thought out in­te­grated pro­gramme.

I sit in on a les­son and talk to the cur­rent pupils? Not all schools will let you sit in on a les­son but see­ing a les­son plan can also be help­ful. Talk­ing to cur­rent pupils will give you an­other per­spec­tive. It is also worth talk­ing to par­ents of cur­rent pupils, too, if you know any. If not, ask the school to put you in touch, VOL­UME 8 2017 bear­ing in mind school rec­om­men­da­tions are likely to be more bi­ased.

con­sid­er­ing board­ing should ask what they do on week­ends. Good schools should have a pro­gramme of ac­tiv­i­ties and op­tions. When you tour the school see if you can meet the co­or­di­na­tors in charge of the board­ing house. Are they ef­fi­cient? More im­por­tantly, do they deal with their charges sen­si­tively and sym­pa­thet­i­cally?

Armed with these key ques­tions you should be ready to tackle the school sys­tem and win. Don't let the league ta­bles overly in­flu­ence you and re­mem­ber to look be­yond the words of elo­quent heads and do your own re­search.

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