Your child is growing up, and soon it will be time to choose their secondary school. It’s an exciting and scary time for you and your child, and it’s a choice they’ll need to make as they transition into young adulthood! The leap from primary to secondary education means they get to have some input into the subjects they want to choose and how they approach their learning, so it would be quite valuable to involve them in the process of selecting their school as well.
With that said, the wealth of schools available to choose from can make it difficult to work out which ones are right for your child and you as parents. You could spend weeks scrolling through reviews and rankings, and then it would be close to the new academic year by the time you’ve made a choice.
So how do you go about making this choice? Let’s go over some of the most important things to consider when choosing a senior school for your child.
1. ARE THE TEACHERS QUALIFIED?
As mums, we want to be sure that the people who are educating and supporting our children are up to the job. What are their qualifications and past experience? If they teach specific subject areas, what is their experience in that area?
And what if our children are gifted in education and we want them to succeed? Does the school support and nurture their talent through teachers and staff trained in inclusion?
These are all important questions that we have to ask before we entrust our children to the care of a school and its teachers.
And what does a good answer look like? One example is the Royal Grammar School Guildford in Dubai, where all teachers are subject specialists, so they have a distinct knowledge of certain areas. The school understands that every pupil is an individual and they all learn differently, so their teachers support with different learning styles and provide the best learning opportunities for every child to flourish.
2. WHAT CURRICULUM SHOULD YOU SELECT?
The curriculum that a school teaches is one of the most important factors in making the decision of which school to choose for your child.
Choosing a British Curriculum school can be an advantage as it is one of the most well-known curricula in the world of international education. For many parents however, who are trying to find the best school for their children, understanding the details of the British Curriculum and what sets it apart from the other excellent curricula can be a challenge. The British Curriculum is also known as the National Curriculum for England, it stresses creativity, critical thinking, and flexibility, maintaining a balance between ‘what’ is to be learnt and ‘how’ it is learnt. Simultaneously, the British Curriculum includes a series of measurable and achievable goals for all subjects in all key stages.
Pupils who study under the British Curriculum can quickly transfer to a new school and pick up almost right where they left off. In addition to this, the GCSE and A Level examinations are well regarded and accepted internationally. Such a curriculum also helps our children develop well-rounded individuals who are studying what they want to, and who will be prepared for theunknown and constantly evolving demands of the future workplace.
The Royal Grammar School Guildford in Dubai implements the English National curriculum so as to impart the academic rigour expected of a top-quality curriculum. The school alsoteaches soft skills such as problem-solving, creativity, and critical thinking. This ensures that pupils don’t just know how tomemorise academic information, but to process and synthesise it using their own mental faculties. RGSGD also runs a bespoke Riyada curriculum that focuses on encouraging pupils to ‘think big’ so they can start to grow as individuals.
3. WHAT IS THE SCHOOL ITSELF LIKE?
Your child’s future school grounds and culture are inseparable from the formalities of qualifications and curriculum. The actual practice of running the school will be the real test of whether it’s a right fit for your child. To understand this, you need to actually see things for yourself. Thankfully, many schools have open days or evenings or school tours that allow you to visit them during school days. Find out when these events are and take the time to go to them.Once you’re there, explore everything you can. Pass by the classrooms—are they clean and well-maintained or experiencing decay? You should also view the school’s facilities and amenities, ranging from the canteen and library to any science and IT labs. Remember, your child will be spending several hours of the most important developmental days of their lives at this school. Spare no expense in making it a great experience for them! And of course, observe teachers and pupils.
A CHOICE YOU DON’T NEED TO MAKE ALONE
If you’re still a little lost as to the decision, you don’t have to go in blind. You can look at online discussion forums and mumgroups to find out what other parents have had to say about each school in the region. And of course, you can also ask the school itself to help! Book a tour or a meeting with their counsellors and leadership so that you and your child can talk to them about your needs.
If you’re looking for an exceptional British curriculum school that fosters innovation and creativity, consider the Royal Grammar School Guildford in Dubai. The sister school of the RGS Guildford in the UK shares the ethos of the 500-year-old establishment. Register for a school tour and meet their qualified and inspiring teachers who are dedicated to ensuring that every child enjoys their learning, explores their strengths and weaknesses, and develops their own unique talents and abilities.
You can register here for a meeting with the School Leadership Team and a tour of the incredible new campus in Tilal Al Ghaf, Dubai.