5 Questions Parents Should Ask When Choosing The Right School

5 Questions Parents Should Ask When Choosing The Right School

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Choosing the right school for your child is one of the most difficult decisions a parent has to make! Beyond the colourful website, glossy brochure, smart uniform and impressive architecture, there are are some deeper things to really look for in a school…

 

Is there excellence and enjoyment?

Does the school place an emphasis on excellent outcomes and enjoyment in learning? The two should be intertwined! When a child truly enjoys coming to school, when they know they are going to be challenged, stimulated and excited through fun, highly engaging activities, that’s when true, memorable learning takes place! Look for a school that your child will want to go to, each and every day.

MBIS operates the learning objectives of the English National Curriculum through a bespoke ‘creative curriculum’, where child-friendly, high-interest, thematic topics provide a vehicle for both excellence and enjoyment. At MBIS, 98% of parents believe ‘The quality of education for my child is good’, whilst 97% of parents believe ‘My child enjoys learning at school’ and ‘The school has high expectations for my child’.

 

Are the teaching and learning styles modern?

Research shows that the traditional ‘teacher at the front, reading from a book’ approach is simply not effective for most children. Modern teaching styles engage all children through ‘guided discovery’. Teachers and classrooms should support enquiry, structured conversation, debate, partner-work, group-work, research, presentations, ‘hands-on’ exploration and experimentation;  etc – supported by good resources and the latest technology wherever appropriate. Instead of a single focus on what to learn, modern schools also focus on how to learn – developing key skills for lifelong learning. Look for a school that will fully equip your child with essential knowledge, skills and understanding: the building blocks for their future.

The school motto ‘Learning for Life’ is at the very heart of MBIS, with highly successful, child-friendly, learning-focused methodologies all delivered by a British team of teachers. At MBIS, 98% of parents believe that their child ‘…is making good progress’

 

Does the school actively involve parents in their child’s learning?

Education is a partnership between home and school: clear, productive lines of communication are essential. The school should operate a genuine ‘open-door policy’ for day-to-day matters; keep parents informed on what is being learned; provide regular personal progress updates and written reports; offer information sessions on how to help at home; and actively encourage parents to take part in learning experiences both in and out of school. Look for a school where you can join your child on their learning journey. 

At MBIS, 96% of parents ‘…feel welcome in school as a parent’, whilst 97% of parents ‘…feel comfortable in approaching the school with any questions.’

 

Is behaviour good?

Excellent relationships are the glue that binds a great school together. Children will behave if they are given clear guidance, if they know what is expected of them and a culture of positivity and respect prevails. Good behaviour enables all children to learn well and enjoy a happy, relaxed school time. Look for a ‘values-driven’ school; a school that will value your child.

 

MBIS is characterised by a close, whole-school family atmosphere – guided by 5 Personal Learning Goals (Respect, Relationships, Resourcefulness, Resilience and Reflectiveness) – 5 key attitudes and abilities that positively shape thought and action. 96% of MBIS parents believe ‘The behaviour in school is good’.

 

Does the school offer a genuine international experience?

Does the school offer your child the opportunity to immerse themselves in an international community – where understanding, respect and tolerance are tangible? Experts agree that developing an ‘international mindset’ is an essential key to success and happiness for young people growing up in our increasingly global society. Look for a truly unique 21stcentury learning experience for your child.

MBIS is home to 52 different nationalities – a global community of students, all happily working and playing together as one family.

 

And finally, when you visit a school…

…look for lots of happy, smiling faces – both children and adults!

…look for teachers actively engaging with children – talking with them, not at them!

…look for children’s work being celebrated in high quality books and displays – it shows that children are at the centre of school purpose

…look for a real ‘learning buzz’ in the classrooms and corridors – a sign of excellence and enjoyment!

 

As a parent, be ready to trust your instincts – does this school feel right for your child?

 

Good luck in your quest!

Richard is Head Teacher at Maadi British International School. MBIS promotes a child-centred, learning-focused approach through a dynamic creative curriculum