PICKING THE RIGHT SCHOOL MADE EASY
Many parents face the challenge of choosing a school that’s right for their child. With so many schools offering different environments, teaching styles and philosophies, making a choice can be overwhelming. Nitasha Chawla shares ways that can make this d
As your child approaches the age to begin his/her academic journey, many questions sprout in your mind. Which school offers the best environment for my child? What type of parent-teacher communication exists at the school? How financially stable is the school? Does the school have extracurricular activities that support what is taught? Are children with limited English language skills, learning disabilities, or other special needs learning and performing well on tests?
The list goes on...which makes it more and more difficult to choose from a number of schools you have on your list.
The first step in choosing the right school is to determine what type of student your child is and what environment he or she will most likely succeed in. If you don’t have an answer to this question, you can take your child to an educational consultant. This will make the task of understating your child’s needs, strengths and overall personality simpler.
Armed with a better understanding of your child, the next step is to prepare a list of schools and start touring. Most schools offer tours of some sort to help get families better acquainted with their programmes and environment. Let’s take a look at a list of things to keep in mind while evaluating a school during a tour.
INTERACT WITH THE TEACHERS
To begin with, interact with the head teacher and senior management team. Get a sense of how you experience them as role models and ethos setters. See how they interact with the staff and children. Do they know children as individuals and understand their backgrounds, and do they know children’s names? These are all l important things to look ok out for when you are visiting a prospective school, and can quicklykly give you a sense of how thehe school is run and the priorities in place.
GET A SENSE OF SCHOOL’S ATMOSPHERE
A school’s atmosphere plays an important role in building skills such as cooperation, communication and also confidence among the students. With this in mind, see how the children interact with peers and adults in the classroom. Think about what the atmosphere is like and if the children work in a purposeful way. Do they cooperate with each other? It’s also worth looking at classroom grouping practices and consider to what extent girls and boys are encouraged to work together or if activities are segregated by gender.
Merely observing the classroom atmosphere is not enough, it’s worth sticking around for break time too as this can give you a real sense of how children are able to interact on their own terms. Many researches have highlighted the importance of ‘place’ in shaping children’s experience of school. The emotional attachment and responses children form are build in key parts of the school – such as the playground. These places can play an important role in building a sense of belonging and learner identity.
IMPORTANCE OF FRIENDSHIP
As friendships and relationships can strongly influence a child’s sense of both inclusion and exclusion at school, give careful consideration to how a school provides for the emotional and social well-being of their pupils. See if you can get a sense of how the school deals with friendships and relationships and how teachers respond to children’s
IT IS IMPORTANT TO DETERMINE WHAT TYPE OF STUDENT YOUR CHILD IS AND THE ENVIRONMENT HE OR SHE WILL MOST LIKELY SUCCEED IN. IF YOU DON’T HAVE AN ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION, YOU CAN TAKE YOUR CHILD TO AN EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT.
friendship difficulties. Are children working together and playing together, taking turns and sharing? It is also worth asking about the school’s key mission statement and philosophy for learning, and what resources back these up.
BALANCE BETWEEN ACADEMICS AND ECA
A famous proverb aptly states, “Teach me and I will forget. Show me, and I might remember. Involve me, and I will never forget.” While the classroom is a place where the intellectual development of the personality is achieved, it’s the co-curricular activities that help in the aesthetic development (such as character building, spiritual and moral values, physical growth and creativity) of the students. Pick a school which offers a balance between the two. After all, it has been proven that students who participate in extracurricular activities show higher academic results, stronger relationships in school and are more likely to lead a healthy lifestyle.