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5 factors for choosing the right-fit school for your child

Depositphotos 81621512 l 2015

We all know that a school represents more than a uniform, and with a school comes community, a sense of identity and values that will carry a child through other chapters of life. While your child’s interests and dreams change over years, it’s impossible to match a school to your child today, and nor should you. What you can consider is what factors represent a school’s values and will support your child in realising their greatest potential? When considering the characteristics of a school, whether it be primary or high school, we’ve provided 5 factors that can guide you as you consider the right-fit school for your child.

1. Traditions and celebrations

Consider the school’s events calendar on its website. Is there an annual food drive that reflects the community service focus of the school? Do students count down to the school fete that showcases all of their creativity with the raffling off of arts and crafts? Does the entire school get involved in a once-a-year soiree or concert, that sees students of all ages practising, mastering and performing for parents and the alumni community? Is there a nearby library that includes after-school story times, or a cafe where parents often gather while children read? By taking time to walk around the school’s main streets and nearby activity hubs before the morning bell and at after-school time, you will get a window into how the community spends its time, and the values associated with it.

2. Curriculum and subjects

The choice of curriculum and the subjects on offer can influence a student’s future pathways beyond school. In our ever-increasing globalised world, paying attention to whether the curriculum is national or international, such as the International Baccalaureate or International GCSE is a great start. For younger years, does the curriculum expose students to other languages - be it Mandarin, French, German, Italian? In addition to the study of a subject, are there projects or activities that complement the study of the subject, such as excursions or study trips that round out a student’s learning while providing them with priceless life skills?

3. Teaching calibre

Students’ performance can often reflect the mentoring and coaching from teachers on hand to guide them to achieve their best. Longevity of tenure does not always indicate expertise, nor does a younger team of teachers mean that innovation and tech is a guarantee. Consider how students are performing in specific subjects that matter most to you, such as English and Maths, and which teachers lead these disciplines. A school quickly builds a reputation of having top-scoring students and if this is across a particular area such as STEM, it often points back to a passionate, expert teacher who is dedicating plenty of care and resources to engaging students to apply themselves to achieve their best possible results.

4. Extracurricular activities

As parents are moving towards supporting their child to excel beyond the grades alone, and as universities such as the Australian National University follow the example of top US universities by considering a students’ extracurricular activities in their applications, now more than ever it is valuable to consider the extracurricular opportunities that are available across the school. Is there flexibility within the roster that allows students to take up extension classes or to pursue additional opportunities such as debating or to study economics? Have past students been awarded in spelling bees, through olympiads or Model UNs? In addition to the school, foundational skills that help students to shine in their extracurriculars can also be forged through tutoring programs that complement their school classes, such as the NumberWorks’nWords English and Maths programs.

5. Communication

Open and regular communication will provide your child with a steady path to success. By keeping up to date with the school community’s upcoming initiatives, student achievements and staff announcements, it provides you with opportunities to tap into a wealth of resources, and to also know what is possible for your child who may be interested in following a similar path.

Consider what avenues are available to keep in close communication with your school - this can include scanning over school newsletters (often online) and quarterly magazines, confirming the accessibility of teachers outside of set parent-teacher interviews and reports, and also access to alumni networks.

There is much to consider when enrolling a child in a new school. By thinking through these 5 factors, you will be in a good position to find the right fit for your child. No matter which school your child attends, NumberWorks’nWords can provide tailored tuition to support their learning. Our tutoring plans complement schoolwork and follow the school curriculum, to support students with their academic goals. To learn more about how NumberWorks’nWords tuition can help your child, get in touch with the team, or book a free assessment and introductory lesson to start their journey today.

 

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