Four considerations when selecting a school for your child

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A child’s educational experience, from the very beginning, forms the foundation of who they become as citizens in society years later. So, when it comes to choosing a proper school which will assist in raising well-rounded and productive adults with a positive future, parents need a school which offers more than just basic education. We’ve put together a helpful guide to assist you in making an informed decision about your child’s schooling career.

Affordability

Of course, the affordability of a school is one of the first things parents think about when it comes to making their selection. A common mistake, which many parents make, is associating expensive fees with quality return. For years Independent South African schools, like SPARK Schools, have focussed on affordable school fees in order to make quality education more accessible. Yet, despite the focus on remaining affordable, SPARK Schools still competes on an international level when it comes to their curriculum. They do this by going beyond the South African requirements and basing mathematics and literacy on global standards including those of countries like Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong and Britain.

Teaching Methods

Most parents these days grew up where their classes consisted of the traditional large group delivery of education. Since then, there has been a shift away from mass lecture-style teaching towards classroom teaching which includes methods like whole group instruction (which includes the whole class), small group instruction (maximum of 6 scholars in a group) and targeted interventions (one on one). This kind of instruction and intervention aims to guide, monitor and meet the needs of each individual child and is often also supported by online learning. In a technology-driven world with a digital future there needs to be a definite focus on technology training for our scholars, where they can work at their own pace and at their own level – assisting teachers to monitor their performance and special requirements.

Values and Vision

It is important to pay attention to a school driven by the values you wish to instil in your child (persistence, responsibility, kindness), as well as a vision which is bigger than the school itself. Education has become a business, a very profitable one, but a school passionate about their value system who cares about the impact their scholars will make on society one day have will definitely focus on valuable attributes in their teaching methods.

A Holistic Approach

Consider a school that realises the lasting impact that their teaching methods, curriculum and operations will have on the development of a child – in other words, what kind of people their scholars will become in society. SPARK’s Social and Emotional Development is a new layer of education that adds incredible personal and social value by creating interested minds who care about what is going on around them. These skills help to develop scholars’ social and emotional intelligence from a young age helping them to be more competitive in, for example, the job market.

In summary, with our evolving world which places extreme pressure on our children, we can no longer expect schools to simply provide basic education. But should rather expect, from the schools who engage with our children during the most important years of their lives, a unique and individualised learning experience for scholars to help achieve academic goals and develop social and emotional skills – which will result in a positive and stable society and country.

SPARK would love to hear from you! Please leave us a comment below and let us know what specific criteria you look at when selecting a school for your child.

If you have any questions about what we do at SPARK, please feel free to contact us.

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