10 Tips for Choosing a Good School for Your Child
Schooling is the most important phase of a person’s life. Everything they are as adults has its roots in their schools. Finding the right school for your child that matches with their intelligence, creativity and temperament can make all the difference to their academics and the overall success in life. Continue reading to get a good idea of how and which school to choose for your child.
1. Do Your Research
Before filtering out the schools you may be interested, have a precise idea of what works best for your family and your child. What kind of an environment does your child enjoy working in- a structured or an unstructured one? Does your child need extra attention? Armed with precise answers to questions like these, you can make a list of schools that meet your needs. School websites and prospectus will give you plenty of info to help add the schools to your list. Also, talk to like-minded parents and ask them for suggestions.
It goes without saying that great schools come at a higher price. Therefore are you able to afford the fees without overly stretching your budget and straining your family? You may even want to look around for schools that have a reasonable fee structure and offer good academic training even if they are low on sports and extracurricular activities. The latter can be supplemented at home or coaching outside of school.
3. Core Values of The School
Try and figure out what their philosophy towards education is. Have a talk with the founders of the school principal to get to know what their approach toward schooling is. Do they believe only in academic excellence or educate children by giving them ample opportunities in other areas such as arts and sports?
4. Does it Meet Your Child’s Needs?
Take into consideration the school’s particular approach to teaching and learning. Your child may be a slow learner in certain subjects, does the school offer enough support for such students? It’s also possible that your child may be a bit of a prodigy, can the school offer challenging programs or creative outlets in such instances to help them reach their full potential? Keep your evaluation for the long haul and not just the current year and shortlist schools that would match with your child’s personalityt.
5. The Infrastructure
Do they have adequate sized playgrounds that cater to games and sports events? Are the classrooms inspiring, tidy and well maintained and display any work done by the students? Is the over-all school premises maintained well and do they have clean bathrooms? These are some of the questions you need to examine regarding the infrastructure.
6. School Curriculum
There are curriculums from boards such as CBSE, ICSE, IGCSE,IB, state board etc. which one does the school teach? Of importance are subject combinations and electives offered in higher classes such as 11 and 12th. Does the school board differ from primary to high school and does the school offer more than one curriculum? Also till what grade is the school? If the school has only the primary grades, you may have to change in the future.
7. Academic Performance
Although extracurricular activities and divergent learning are much needed for the child’s growth, their academic performance is just as important. Compare the school’s average exam scores in the district and state level. Look into how many ranks they have secured and their trend; have the ranks raised or fallen and what may be the reason for that. A good record of ranks is an indicator of the quality of coaching in the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) area subjects. Also, ask the school about how their best students have fared in their higher education.
8. Pay a Visit to The Schools
The websites and brochures give you a good understanding of how the school is, but nothing beats the actual visit to see for yourself. Make an appointment for a visit during the regular school hours. If you can, visit a few classes, the library and the playground to get a sense of how the schools run. If they allow it, attend a parent-teacher meeting, an open house or a school function which can provide you with valuable information about the attitudes of the parents, staff and students.
9. Teachers and The Staff
On your visit, probe into the quality of the teachers in the school and ask about their qualification, experience, teacher training and teacher turn over. Look into whether the schools have a full-time specialized staff such as a psychologist or a speech therapist. Pay close attention to what the teachers and other staff say about the school. Since they are the closest adults to the children, it’d be helpful to know their attitude and dedication toward teaching and their work. Make it a point to look into the background of the principal; a great principal can make all the difference to the school.
10. Talk to The Parents and Students
Is there an opportunity to speak to a few of the students on the Open Day. Many schools will use students as school guides so talk to them about their experience. Students tend to be honest – occasionally brutally so. If the school doesn’t let you near its students, that’s not a good sign!