What makes a great international school? What factors should you be looking for when choosing an international school for your child? In this blog post, we will explore all of the qualities that make up a quality international school and what to look out for when deciding on one.
Look at a school’s long-standing academic success, where students consistently score above global average in their results.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing an international school is academic success. What does this mean exactly? At its core, it means that students are achieving at high levels and leading their peers in university placements once they graduate.
More specifically, a good indicator for measuring the school’s academic achievement is by looking at test scores such as IDP IGCSE/IB Diploma results. These exams assess 15-year olds internationally across all subjects which provides us with valid comparative data on how well students are doing within different countries globally.
Parents should seek an international school with an internationally focused curriculum, which puts academic excellence at the heart of everything they do. For Primary, the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) offered to children aged 5-11 is one of the fastest-growing curriculum choices in the world today, consisting of exciting, engaging and globally relevant thematic units of work.
In Secondary, parents should look for a school that offers the iGCSE and IB Diploma programmes. These qualifications are recognised worldwide by top universities and prepare students for the future, with valuable 21st century skills. Look at a school’s long-standing academic success, where students consistently score above the UK and global average in their iGCSE and IBDP results.
Whether your child is 8 or 18, at least part of your decision-making will be influenced by the kind of future that a school will open up for your child. How will she perform under the pressure of examinations? Will she gain access to the right university or course of study? Or, in the end, will they go on to live a happy, successful, and ethical life? A good school will always bear the destination in mind. But a great school will go further and also reflect on the experience of being a student, balancing the destination with the journey. A great school will focus on more than academic achievement by itself, creating opportunities for exploration, growth and wellbeing.
Experienced and Dedicated Teachers
A great school will offer professional development opportunities and a global network for teachers to share best practice. In order to find a great school, look for one that is committed not only in recruiting the best teachers from around world but also retaining them. A good education facility will offer professional development opportunities and provide access at every level so students have more exposure with different teaching methods.
Choose a school that not only recruits the best teachers in the world but one that is eager to retain them as well. A great school will offer professional development opportunities and a global network for teachers to share best practice.
Global organisations like Nord Anglia Education have built their very own online platform, NAU, which offers a range of courses and endless opportunities for professional growth for more than 14,000 staff members in 76 premium schools.
The educational quality of an international school is also marked by a totally international teaching staff, which does not mean, exclusively foreigners, but rather, trained within this mentality that allows them to do the same with their students.
A good international school will provide a multilingual environment and offer many different languages students can learn on top of the 2 main languages used in classes and in the country of residence.
Great international schools make sure that the language teachers are a native of their respective languages and students enjoy small group environment.
In this sense, in Casvi, the educational quality is based on the teaching of three foreign languages as a compulsory subject: English from the first year of life, and German and Chinese from 5th grade Primary School. It is offered in small groups and with native and bilingual teachers.
Facilities to Support Interests
Age-appropriate facilities, like playgrounds designed with your little one’s needs in mind, are a must. Suitable space to play should be available for them which would keep their imagination running wild and help keep energy levels high! Be sure that there is enough excitement present so they don’t get bored easily or feel too safe at any given time.
In the case of older children, it is equally important that they have access to a safe space where their abilities can be explored. Be it playgrounds or sports halls there should always exist enough elements which give kids opportunities for self-discovery while also making them feel comfortable and secure.
Great initiatives coupled with the right facilities could make all the difference here! Being able to practice in the right-sized pools, refine the design in studios with top-notch facilities, play music like a professional in auditoriums with great acoustics or even perform theatre tricks in the right environment – all of that could be wonderful perks to children with specialized interests.
Never, ever miss a chance to drop by the libraries during a campus tour. The libraries speak volumes about how much a school encourages students to seek out knowledge for themselves outside of the classroom.
Learning Opportunities Beyond the Ordinary
Choose a school that provide opportunities for students outside of their curriculum.
Top international schools offer a more holistic education than traditional ones. In addition to academics, they provide opportunities for students outside of their curriculum such as collaborating with professional organizations and taking trips abroad.
Along with academic rigor it is also important for students to have a range of opportunities beyond traditional education.
Look for a school that offers collaborations with professional organisations, to transform learning and provide students with a sense of adventure and compassion to make the world a better place. Nord Anglia Education connects their schools with world-renowned organisations like MIT and Juilliard.
Great Feeedback from Alumnis
A great international school is one where former students had a perfect experience. Ask the admissions team what their former students look back and say about the school.
A great international school is one where former students had a perfect experience: personal, academic and professional. Did they go to the university of their choice? How did said school help them in all aspects of life as well post-graduation?
Some schools have interviews available from alumni who can share insight into what its like being a student and how what they had learned at school helped them after graduation.
Parents have asked me the same question: how do you really know whether a school is good or not? In the end, once you have considered the programmes, the resources, the quality of the teachers, and the feeling you get when you walk around campus, one idea is always to ask the admissions team what their former students look back and say about the school. Their answers will often reveal far more than what any website or brochure can reveal.
We hope that you have found in this list, listing all the qualities to look for in an international school, enough information to help you find the right school for your family.
If not then we encourage you to contact us so our team can provide expert advice specific to meeting your needs.