Top tips for helping expat children get settled in their international school
July 4, 2016
Relocating abroad with children can be always stressful due to the lots of changes taking place at once. They will be in contact with a new culture, meet new friends and they will also need to adapt to a new school.
For that important decision of choosing a new school it's key that you visit a number of schools and make comparisons to establish which one is the best fit for your children.
Here are some important questions parents should ask when looking for an international school:
Do you have any special program to help children settle in?
Most international schools have a “mentor” system . the school should have a policy to share with parents explaining how they ensure children settle in. In an international school all students at some point have gone through the adjustment period and the teachers usually have lots of experience of supporting them.
What curriculum does the school follow?
It varies depending on the school but in a lot of cases the curriculum studied in the home country can be picked up in the new school, so it’s worth checking this in advance when you are comparing your options.
What is the background of your teaching staff?
Always ask about the background of the school teachers. They should have significant experience in teaching the curriculum and be competent and well trained. Don’t forget to ask about it when arranging school visits.
What’s the teacher/pupil ratio at your school?
Ratios are very important, due to pupils should have as much individual attention as they need. Many schools have a maximum of 24 in the senior school and primary school classes tend to be bigger with 32 as a maximum. Check also the number of teaching assistants to pupils, that can make a big difference.
How have your students accomplished in public exams in the past years?
It’s important to know the school’s past achievements. Where your kid goes in the future depends on official examinations and you need to know about the result rates. If you are looking at secondary schools then ask where pupils have gone to university.
Do you have extra-curricular activities at the school?
Activities such as sports, drama or debating are essential for a child to develop new skills and make new friend, especially at the beginning so always get a full list of what activities are available.