Choosing the Right School for Your Child
written by Mr Paul Halford
How do I choose the right school?
Choosing the right school for your child is often a challenging and daunting task.
As someone who has been a principal of seven international schools in four countries including Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia, friends often ask me for my advice regarding enrolling their child in what they would like to regard as the best school for their child.
After 40 years in education, I have concluded that facilities and resources are important but not the number one indicator of a quality school. A school might have a swimming pool, football fields, high speed wifi but these do not guarantee a good school.
Quality of teachers
My first advice to anyone deciding on a school for their child would be to find out about the teacher quality in the school. Teachers are the number one resource in any school. I advise that all parents should inquire about the following:
Are the teachers qualified?
What percentage of the teachers have higher degrees – eg: Masters
What professional development programs have the school provided?
What recent training in First Aid, Duty of Care, Occupational Health and Safety has been provided?
Does the school use external educational consultants to enhance its teacher training?
School's Performance Management
I would also advise parents to inquire into the school’s Performance Management programs. Teachers need to be constantly striving to improve their performance. However, this needs to be through a thorough and accountable process. Too many schools leave teachers’ development to chance or “experience”.
Then I would suggest that parents inquire about the programs of study organised by the school:
Are there Yearly plans? Unit plans? Lesson Plans?
How are these programs of study evaluated and improved?
How are assessments organised?
How are assessments and examinations moderated?
Pastoral Care & Values Program
Next, parent should also be inquiring about the pastoral care and value programs that the school is providing:
Is there a clear and consistent program to develop students’ character and values?
Are there avenues for students beyond the classroom?
Does the school put importance in the development of leadership skills, through a rich array of CCA & ECA activities?
Does the school seek to develop mindful citizens who are engaged with the community at large?
Health & Safety Standards
I would also advise parents to look into the school’s health and safety standards.
Does the school place priority on the safety and care of your child?
Are teachers and school staff attentive to the health and medical conditions of your child?
Does the school work to develop healthy eating through its catering plans?
Are there protective measures in place to handle cases of emergencies?
Relationship between students & teachers
Finally, I would advised parents to visit the school to see first-hand the relationships between the students and the teachers.
Are they positive, affirming and nurturing relationships?
Does the school feel welcoming?
Are there well-developed channels of communication between home and school?
Visit Us Today!
Choosing a school for your child is a very important decision, and one, which also requires your financial investment into your child’s life at a young age. As a grandfather and experienced educator, I understand just how important that decision making process will be for your family.
I am pleased to invite you to Destiny to answer these questions for yourself. We can arrange a personal tour of our premises. This will allow you to see our teachers at work, our learner’s involvement, our classrooms, facilities and any other aspect you would like to know more about.
We are very proud of Destiny and are very happy to provide this opportunity for you to Visit Us, as you determine the best school for your child.