Families often move to new locations around the globe on orders by their employer, to be closer to family, and change their lives for the better. For many parents, the primary concern when relocating their family to a new location is their children’s education. Finding a new school can be daunting, especially in a different country.
Starting school for the first time, or changing schools is a big deal for both parents and children. They are faced with a new environment, new classrooms, new classmates, new teachers, different responsibilities and new challenges. Dr Vanessa Von Auer, Principal at Integrated International School, recommends this six-step approach to prepare yourself and your child.
Tips for making a smooth transition
- Most of us feel better about change and new experiences when we know what to expect. Before the first day, visit the school and go on a tour to familiarise your child and yourself with the place. If this isn’t possible, look at the school website. Read more about it here.
Dr Vanessa Von Auer share some tips to parents in hope of a smooth transition for families who are relocating elsewhere. Children need a stable learning environment, and a seamless transition between academic styles of teaching work best. Here are some questions to consider when selecting a school so your child can succeed:
How long will we be in Singapore?
The amount of time you plan to live in Singapore should be a significant factor in choosing the right school for your child’s future. If you are in Singapore for less than three years, consider enrolling your child in an international institution that teaches similarly to the education system in your home country. When your family moves again, your child will be more prepared to transition back into another school and be familiar with the curriculum and examinations. If you are looking for a suitable private school, one can consider GESS who provides an international teaching style that may be beneficial for families with children who relocated from other country.
Do you want your child to be immersed in a new culture?
New schools with different cultures can be challenging at first, but the experience can help develop your child into a well-rounded individual. Experiencing and learning about other cultures is an enriching experience for children, and will help them better adapt to change in their adult life. Singapore typically follows a bilingual school system, exposing students to multiple languages that can prove to be advantageous in a child’s future. However, the schools in Singapore have rigid academic requirements, regardless of language barriers, and offer a competitive learning atmosphere, often with little to no focus on humanities or the arts.
Besides academics, what else does the school offer?
International schools in Singapore offer outstanding facilities for students, but there are subtle differences that can affect your ultimate decision. Parents that are interested in their child’s abilities outside of core-curriculum should inquire about the school’s specific extracurricular activities. Students with a background in music, sports, dance, or the visual arts will not find options at every school. If you want to keep your child engaged in these other activities, you will need to add these criteria to your search for schools. The good news is there are lots of schools that cater to these types of programmes while also offering excellent academic courses.
The best way to determine if a school is right for your child is to visit the school and see for yourself. When considering private schools in Singapore, parents will often want to consider the length of time they plan to live in the country, the type of culture they want their child to experience, and what the schools on the list offer as far as academics and extracurricular activities.