We have a lot of experience in moving to Shanghai, starting school, choosing houses, making friends, getting around and many other aspects of international life. Whether you are new to living overseas, or whether you are an old hand, we encourage you to make use of us as you prepare for your move.
One of the most important tasks that parents must do is to choose the right school for their child. Working overseas adds to this challenge. Everyone is different and children all have different needs.
As parents, we need to decide what we are looking for in a school to meet the needs of our special child. Good schools can provide for children from a wide and diverse background and range of interests. However, not all schools provide the comprehensive education to balance academic attainment with social development. Some schools are selective in their intake whilst others are more open-minded.
This short list of questions is a starting point in making the right choice for your child. We hope that it is helpful in what must be one of the most important decisions affecting the future happiness and achievement of young people in their journey through the education system.
How will the children cope educationally when we return to our home country?
Parents should ask about the benefits of the school’s curriculum and how it transfers back to UK, US, Australia, Europe.
Does it feel right?
When you go house-hunting or looking for a new car, one of the most important factors influencing your choice is how it “feels” to you. You will walk into some houses that just don’t feel right, but then you walk into one and it feels just like home. Or, you sit in a car that just feels good. Ask yourself how you are reacting emotionally to the experience. It is not just about the academic results and the way the school's procedures work. It is about how secure you will feel that your children are attending a school that will look after all of their needs. Trust your instincts and choose a school that makes you feel comfortable.
How does the school communicate with parents to let them know how their children are doing?
Parents should find out how the school communicates with the home. How does the school celebrate success? If you have a question or problem, are the teachers and administrators easy to contact and do they have some set procedures for making sure that prompt responses are given? Does the school have an open-door policy? If so, how does it work? Does the school have a Virtual Learning Environment or Moodle system?
Is the school preparing students for the future by teaching towards a 21st Century Education?
Parents should find out if the school is preparing their child for the ever-changing 21st Century world and job market. The students of today are being prepared to work in jobs that do not yet exist. The most important skill that students can learn is learning how to learn. How does the school support the development of well-rounded students? We are all individuals and we are all different in the way that we learn new skills and new information. How does the school ensure that there is a broad curriculum catering for the needs of all abilities and all learning styles?
How does the school cater to my child’s individual needs?
Parents should find out about personalising learning, Special Needs and Learning Support, helping children whose first language is not English, the Extra Curricular Activities on offer, swimming lessons, music lessons, drama, the expressive arts, sports and any special interests that your children have already developed or wish to develop.
Good schools place the needs of the child at the centre of all that they do. Make sure that your choice of school is the right one for your child and one where they will thrive.
There are a number of things that normally happen as part of the application and decision making process. We'll help you with them, so you don't need to worry about individual steps in the process.
The main things we're likely to arrange with you are set out below. Individual circumstances may mean that not all of these steps are possible or appropriate for your situation, but we'll talk with you about how best to tailor our admissions programme to suit you and your family's needs. The best way is to book a visit and view the facilities and resources available.