10 things to consider on how to choose the Best School for your kid
- 4 March 2022
What according to you, is the best school? Is it getting good scores? Is it about having a healthy and peaceful environment? Is it getting good facilities or active participation in extra-curricular activities? Is it about opportunities to develop leadership qualities? Or is it having supportive and productive teachers?
Well, the list is endless. But every child has different abilities and interests. Understanding your child and their potential is as important as choosing the best school for them. Have you shortlisted what you want for your child or what your child should have in his/her school to become future-ready?
In today’s time, children becoming future-ready is predominant. Be it students like Greta Thunberg, a climate activist, or Oakridger Rishi Verma, who decided to empower rural women to be breadwinners or students from Oakridge Vizag who make waves in the coastal clean-up. They are the inspiration and a true testament to the ‘future-ready kids’, and it starts with getting the right foundation from a very early age.
1. Where learning is put to meaningful action: So, the first thing that you would want to look at when choosing the best school for your kid, is stories of students, who are leading by example. How is the school helping in creating future-ready kids? Are there children who are going beyond education and helping the society, be it an innovation or an action?
2. Holistic Development: You would want your child to be curious learners and develop better communication as well as social skills. Isn’t it? A holistic approach helps develop skills like intellectual, mental, physical, emotional, and social to meet daily life’s challenges. It encourages kids to use their creative skills in making connections to a subject. Being one of the best international schools in India, we at Oakridge International Schools believe that holistic development is the backbone of kids’ learning.
3. Success is more than test scores and it’s true: Today, even the top universities of the world look for an all-around student for admissions. It’s not just about getting good grades. Undoubtedly, academic excellence is a major criterion for choosing the best school. However, the best schools are not just the ones with the highest academic performers but that yield better than anticipated results. The best school regardless of the background of the students brings the best out of every child. So, be mindful of how the school helps in the value addition of a child and succeeds in enhancing student outcomes.
4. Opportunities to become future-ready: In line with the above statement, the overall development of a child is an essential part to stand out in the crowd. That’s possible when your child gets various opportunities to explore and involve in activities and events as part of their education. For example, students at Oakridge International Schools, as a part of Nord Anglia Family, the world’s leading premium schools organization get the opportunity to participate in Global Campus. Global Campus is an online platform that connects students with other students from 79 schools, across 5 continents, 31 countries to collaborate, discuss and learn together every day. From Global Goals and social impact activities to STEAM with MIT in Collaboration with NAE, performing arts with Julliard, and many other activities that these students have the advantage of to learn and act. This apart, MUNs (Model United Nations), TED Talks, TOKs (Theory of Knowledge), extra-curricular activities, etc., are a must to have in the curriculum.
5. Professional Development for the educators: School teachers play a vital role in your child’s education, as they are the ones influencing their personality and shaping their future. If you think, looking at the education background or communication style of the teacher is enough to know, when choosing the best school, then you must rethink. There is a lot more to this. An effective teacher is one, who engages the classroom presence, value real-world learning, and possess skills like listening, collaboration, adaptability, empathy, and patience besides communication. This is possible when the teachers are involved in the continuous process of professional development like teachers at Oakridge International School, one of the best international schools in India have the privilege of pedagogical development through Nord Anglia University. After all, learning is a continuous process.
6. Helps students learn how to learn: Teaching a subject and teaching how to learn a subject are completely two different things. The former helps learn about a subject through textbooks, classroom transactions, etc., but the latter is more effective as it teaches how to learn that subject like this the most valuable skill for a student. Today, reading books, doing assignments, and doing objective assessments have become kind of monotonous. These days, students learn better when they are exposed to the real-life scenarios. Thus creating an opportunity to evaluate, assess, and create, makes learning fun and helps instill lifelong learning in children.
7. The readiness for every situation: We have been witnessing rapid transitions that took place in the last two years. And now we also understand that missing a year of a child’s education is missing a year of a child’s development. For the future, we need to be prepared to face any situation so that we do not compromise over child’s education. So, it is important to know how the school prevents or tackles problems while ensuring safety in all measures. What does the school do to ensure that parents and all school administrators know the emergency plan? Be it the pandemic, drugs, any form of abusive behaviour, or any unexpected situation, how does the school deal with such challenges and what are their policies.
8. Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion policy: EDI or Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion is a policy that offers fair treatment and opportunity for all. One of the best schools will have EDI, which stands against inequality and discrimination. Does the school ensure to educate the students in a way that reflects the world in which they live and instills the importance of equality? How do the educators learn and take action to ensure the zero-tolerance approach to discrimination? All these matters!
9. Individual attention to the child: As we said, every child is different and has different abilities. Some are excellent in one skill and less competent in another. When the school provides individual attention to your child and helps them develop knowledge and skills, it makes them better in every sphere.
10. Being compassionate to others: To be able to understand someone else’s situation and feel empathy enables us to connect with people. It is important to learn because, apart from promoting meaningful connections, it also facilitates problem-solving, and improves health and well-being. If a child is compassionate, he/she will always think of solving bigger issues and helping people and society. Thus, school teaching compassion is a must in today’s world.
Being one of the best IB schools in India, Oakridge International School ensures that we provide parents, a one-stop education hub for their children. If you have anything in your mind, that you think the best school must have, let us know.
Expert analysis from Preeti Sahu – Shaping Brands and Inspiring Connections