When a parent makes the choice to send their child to an international school, they usually end up worrying about a number of things. First, they wonder if their child will find a more supportive learning environment in an international school as opposed to a local school. Second, they might question whether the school’s curriculum, facilities, and opportunities merit its (sometimes steep) tuition fees. Third, a parent might want to know if the international school curriculum will grant their child a significant advantage when it comes to applying for university, an internship program, or even a work opportunity overseas. Given the investment that parents will make in order to secure an international school education for their child, it’s well within their rights to question whether it’s worth it.
If you’re in this position and you’re currently anxious about finding an excellent international school for your child in Singapore, this article is for you. Below are five green flags that indicate a school’s quality, flexibility, and faithfulness to a global standard when it comes to educating students. If you see several of these green flags in one of the international schools on your radar, you can spend less time second-guessing your choice and more time drumming up excitement for your child’s educational journey.
The School Is Forthright about Its Values, Its Curriculum, and Its Culture
The first good sign that you should look out for is a school’s pride in its international learning pedagogy. If a school manages to distinguish itself from others because of its educational philosophy, its values, its academic and extracurricular programs, and its school culture, take that as a good sign. It may mean that the school has a solid educational foundation behind it, and that educators will have a clear focus when instructing your child. Give plus points to schools whose staff will readily entertain your questions about what makes them different from others—and, most importantly, why they are a good fit for your child and children of other nationalities and cultures.
The School is Accredited by Prestigious International Organizations
Another way that a school can prove its mettle is through its accreditations. For example, an IB Programme Singapore school should be duly accredited by the International Baccalaureate organization itself in order to administer IB subjects. If the school has the stamp of approval from at least one established organization for international education, you can trust them to implement that standard faithfully in your child’s learning.
The School Has a Well-Connected Educational Network
Many parents enroll their kids in international schools in the hopes that their children’s education can be more holistic. In the best-case scenario, an international school student will be able to sign up for interesting extracurricular activities, opportunities to be mentored by leaders from top companies or civil society organizations, and even a chance to travel to other countries for educational purposes. This will only be possible if the school itself has access to a wide network of partner institutions, companies, and organizations. And if this is something that you see the school advertises—or better yet, if you can get testimonials from past or current students who’ve enjoyed these opportunities—then that’s definitely a good sign for the school.
The School Follows a Global Standard for Using Learning Technologies
Technology now plays a large role in primary and secondary school education. Knowing that your child will need both tech literacy and robust learning foundations for their academic subjects, you’ll want to enroll them in a school that upholds a global standard in their use of the latest learning technologies. You can, for example, look for a school that harnesses online learning methodologies to improve students’ foundational understanding of academic English. If an international school has programs like these, then their students will be better positioned to achieve 21st century learning competencies that will guide them in a modern and globalized world.
The School Has a Distinguished Alumni Community
Lastly, it is a green flag for the school if they have a happy and successful alumni community. Does the school actively cultivate relationships with its alumni and support graduates in their achievements? Do the alumni credit the school and its curriculum with opening doors for them in their university life or in their careers later in life? Are the alumni happy to entertain parents who want to know what their school life was like? If the answer to any or all of these questions is yes, then it may be a good decision to enroll your child in that school. The success of the alumni in their chosen walks of life and their willingness to speak highly of the school are solid proof of the school’s legacy.
Of course, these are not the only things that should determine your choice of international school. The ideal school may also depend on your budget, your location, and the school’s capacity to fulfill any other specific educational needs your child has. However, if you want to narrow down your list of schools, you can do so by looking for any of the signs mentioned above. Here is to hoping that you find the best fit for your child and that they excel in the unique environment offered by an international school!