If you are one of the many expat families that has forged a career abroad, finding the right school for your children is always a challenge. Often, with government or multi-national posts, people are on a 2 or 3 year rotation, which means a few school changes at some point. When looking for a suitable school for your kids, there are some things you can do to help with the selection process, and here are just a few tips to help you get the best education for your child.
Do your Research
Whether you are looking for a school in Dubai or Melbourne, there are schools that cater for expatriate students, namely International Schools, and they would typically follow either a British or US curriculum, which is interchangeable with schools worldwide. An online search would direct you to the website of any potential learning institution in the vicinity, and once you have landed there, take a look at the school’s vision and mission statement, as this will give you a clear picture of what drives the school and what they regard as important with education. Ideally, the school would have a range of nationalities studying, and this will give your child valuable exposure to people from different cultures, not only that, the school would also be experienced in delivering the curriculum to different nationalities.
While secondary education is important, the primary levels are all about building the right foundation for further learning, and with moral and social lessons a vital part of early learning, the right school is crucial for a well-balanced education. Most major expat destinations, such as Dubai or Singapore, have top notch International Schools that offer the very best of academic instruction, along with sound moral values and a sense of being an active member of the community.
Pay the School a Visit
Once you have narrowed down your list, visit any promising schools and be observant as you tour the grounds. There should be many examples of children’s work, and their projects should focus on the environment and community development. The school grounds should be well-kept, and this is a sure sign of how the school is managed on a day to day basis. Are the staff helpful and friendly? Make sure you manage to talk to a few students and teachers, and ask about their opinions regarding the school.
In the competitive world we live in, academic excellence is something to strive for, so look for a school with a good academic achievement ratio, as this is a sign of a well delivered curriculum. The teachers are the heart of any school, and while you do need vital amenities, the real work is done in the classroom. Moral and social aspects must also be considered, and this should be evident when browsing the website, and it is something to ask the school Principal when you eventually meet.
Finding the right school for your child is hard enough, but when you are in a foreign country, it makes for a challenging experience. The Internet is a wonderful tool and it can help you to source the right primary school for your growing child.