School Guide

Key Questions To Ask When Looking For The Best-Fit School

Published by SchoolAdvisor on Nov 20, 2019, 01:54 AM

How do you choose the right school for your child? Is there a definitive answer one way or the other? One size fits all?

So much depends on a school’s pedagogical philosophy, teachers, peers, curriculum and, last but not least, school fees. Making a decision about something that can have such a profound impact on a child’s future can be rather daunting. Is it really possible to find the ‘best fit’?

According to Julia Love, Director of Admissions at The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL), it is possible to find the right fit for children, provided parents know how to navigate the process.

Ms Love emphasises the importance of researching the intangible aspects of a school as well as the fundamentals:

“All parents will consider the fees, location, academic results, curriculum, extra-curricular activities, and facilities offered at the school. I would suggest that parents also research the culture of the school and the teaching methodology followed by the school to find out if it fits their values, expectations and needs.”

Ms Love stresses the need to learn about the type of support offered, both inside and outside the classroom. There are important questions to ask and things to look for in a school and she believes the following questions are helpful in determining which school will best meet the needs of their children:

  • Inquire about the demographics of the student body, such as the nationalities of the students, how the school balances the intake of students from various nationalities and consider if what you learn fits with your expectations.
  • Consider the location of the school and find out about the school transportation system for students. Are there buses be available for students who pursue after-school activities? Does the bus service cater to your neighbourhood?
  • Ask about the academic results of students throughout all the grades and not just their final graduating score to get an understanding of how each grade is performing within the school.
  • Talk about the grading system and how you will be informed about the progress and growth of your children. Consider whether the grading system fits with your value system and if you want your children to be a part of this process.
  • Ask about the teachers; their qualifications, nationalities and the hiring procedure followed by the school. Do not hesitate to ask straightforward questions about teacher turnover, tenure of the head of school and whether the school is considering any major changes in the near future.
  • Size of the school is another important consideration. A child might feel lost if a school is too big whereas too small a school might not offer as many activities. Finding a school with a balance is essential but it is also necessary to understand what is important to you and your children.
  • Finally, do not forget to ask about how much you will be allowed or encouraged to be involved in the education of your children. Does the school hold regular parent-teacher meetings? Are parents expected to be very involved with the school or more hands-off? Decide if this is important to you - some parents might prefer schools taking all the responsibility while others might want to be more involved with the processes.

“This list is not exhaustive, solely because there are so many things to consider when choosing the right-fit school for children. I would advise parents to use this list as a guideline and take time to research; talk to as many parents, students, and teachers as possible and ask questions - lots and lots of them. Any school with a good admissions team will be more than happy to help parents connect with the right people within the school community who can answer their questions,” Ms Love shares.  

The admissions team at ISKL is ever ready to assist parents in understanding about the school and to answer any questions. Contact them here.

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