Top Tips for Choosing an International School in Singapore
Choosing the right international school in Singapore for your child is an all-too-important decision, as many parents know. And while hearing the opinions of your friends and family can help, there’s nothing like having access to more resources that can help you make a sound decision. Given the wide array of international schools in the country, it’s not surprising how challenging the decision is. Here are top tips to help you winnow down your options that much faster.
Consider the Curriculum
Which one best suits your child’s educational needs? Consider your child’s skill sets. Where does she excel at? What are her skillsets? Does she like to write? Is he good in math or the sciences or the arts? What about technology? What is your child interested in? You’ll have to take all these in when you look for a school. That way, you’ll have an accurate idea of the kind of curriculum that you should be looking for your child.
Think About the Future
It’s also important to think about your family’s plans for the future, since you might need to move closer to the school to ensure that your child has no problem going to and from her classes. That’s going to affect your work options, too, so you’ll have to factor in both when you pick a school. This is also a good time to think about your career options. You’ll have to explore possibilities in case you might need to move.
Ask About the Class Size
What is the class-teacher ratio at the international school in Singapore you are considering? If there are too many students in a class, the teacher might not have enough time to devote careful attention to each one. That means your children could lose out on the assistance she needs. However, some schools employ teaching assistants which help deal with the problems posed by a big class group.
Check for a Secondary Language
Does the school provide training or second language education? While this isn’t exactly mandatory, so many kids are taking up a second language, which gives them an edge over the rest. If you want your child to have that competitive advantage, too, then pick a school that offers a secondary language.
Look for Parental Involvement
Does the school request the parents to be involved? That’s essential. Participating in school events helps you meet other parents, see how your child interacts with other students, and even gives you the opportunity to approach the teacher and ask for an update about your child. The extracurricular activities also help broaden your child’s educational experience while allowing you to be a part of her life at school.
How does the school get in touch with the parents? How often do you get a chance to talk to your child’s teacher and ask about your little one? How will you know what is she up to in class? In the future, you need open communication to know how your child is doing and get to know about issues your child is not sharing with you. An observant teacher, though, catches these things. You will want a teacher who will share the moments that make your child shine, what makes her struggle, and what you can do as her parent to help.
Make a List
Keep your search organized. Make up a list of all the schools that fit your requirements. Then go over that list and start crossing choices off, one by one. Leave at least three behind and there you have a shortlist that will make your life so much easier to decide. After all, the school you choose now will largely determine—to an extent—where you will find work as well. That or you’ll need to consider transportation options. Is the driving distance too far for you but quite close to your child’s school? You might need to strike a balance or compromise.
Don’t forget to go over feedback from other students or parents. Find out what kind of reputation the school has. Look at reviews or feedback. That should give you a solid gauge on whether the school is the right match for your kid.
Talk to Your Kid
When you do finally have a list of options, talk to your kid. Explain the pros and cons of each school then ask her for what she thinks. Discuss the options in greater detail. Argue certain points. Listen to what she thinks and factor that in when you finally pick a school for your child. Knowing that she was a part of the process also makes it more meaningful and memorable for your little girl. It’s something she’ll always remember, that you let her decide which school to go to, or at the very least, you’d discussed where.