Are you starting to think about enrolling your child in a new school? Are you wondering how best to choose a school that's right for your child?
Your children’s school should care for them, provide them with the right amount of challenge, have a balanced and well-researched curriculum, have experienced teaching staff, well-planned facilities, and should present them with opportunities, be that during school hours or with after school activities.
Whatever your child enjoys, they should be able to find like-minded individuals, be in a supportive environment, be on a campus that inspires them, and in a community that encourages them.
With that said, changing schools can be a difficult experience for your children, which is why it’s important to take all factors into consideration and conduct a thoughtful analysis.
Below, we explore 5 areas to look for in a new school and how seeking out a school that provides the following factors greatly benefits your children.
Are you interested in transferring your child to ISB and are looking for a place to start? Click here for our helpful guide to transferring schools for Japanese families.
And also if you want to ensure your child is able to adjust to their new school environment, discover 8 ways ISB supports students in their adjustment to their new school transfer here.
A curriculum should prepare students for the world, not as we know it today, but as it will be when our students graduate. It should support them with personal growth as well as academic growth and it should provide them with knowledge and skills that will help them thrive in all areas of life. It should teach them how to be adaptive, creative learners with critical thinking skills, so that no matter which school or life path they choose, they are able to continue to learn, improve and grow.
The curriculum, and the teaching practices, should be developed based on the latest research about what’s most effective and should draw on the information and best practices seen around the world. This is often why international schools have very strong teaching and learning in place and a well-balanced curriculum, because they draw from methodologies and standards around the world, the ones that serve students best and show the greatest results.
At ISB, we have a curriculum design lab in-house, and we are constantly reviewing and adapting. We incorporate standards from around the world and offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) on the Diploma level. We are also accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). It is important to verify the accreditation of any school you are considering.
2. Appropriate amount of challenge
A school should accurately assess student’s levels and provide an accurate amount of challenge to keep them engaged and improving on their learning.
The ISB Director of Curriculum and Professional Learning discusses ISB’s curriculum design process to ensure we are supporting students in their development through authentic, meaningful, and authentic learning experiences.
Seek out a school that provides the process necessary to keep your child engaged, enjoying their learning, and learning how to develop and apply their knowledge, skills, and attitudes in all areas of their lives.
At ISB, everything we do is to help your child achieve their goals, and for many families, this means helping them get into a Japanese university. For more information about what you should pay attention to when transferring schools, click here.
School facilities affect the overall health, behavior, engagement, learning, and growth in the achievement of a student.
Positive learning environments should be built in a way that buffers external noises to prevent distractions, have great indoor air quality, and use natural lighting wherever possible. School facilities should have classrooms and study areas with ample space - enough room for reconfiguration and collaborative learning as this leads to increased student engagement. These buildings should house 21st-century spaces intended to help students build the skill sets necessary to be successful in tomorrow’s world.
4. Teaching staff
Having experienced teachers, who continue to be professionally developed is essential.
Research shows that dedicated, caring teachers improve student growth.
Simply put, being taught by awesome, passionate teachers, has a significant impact on student development.
ISB is known throughout the international education community as a place where teachers of the highest quality come to teach and grow.
Our teachers are caring, passionate, are experts in their field, have years of experience teaching in diverse settings, and receive ongoing professional development each year.
5. School environment
Having an inclusive, supportive international school community creates a space where your child can feel they truly belong.
At ISB, we support each child as an individual, focus on their academic and personal growth and development, instill in them the values and attributes that they need to be successful in today’s world and for our High School students, we guide them carefully into the colleges and universities around the world.
We are equally concerned with helping students develop into well-rounded, emotionally well-adjusted beings leading healthy, active, and balanced lives.
Our whole child philosophy focuses on:
- Social and emotional learning
- Advisory program so your child feels cared for and develops the habit of caring for others
- Health and wellbeing education which makes a significant contribution to the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of your child
- Character development which is committed to helping young people become responsible, caring, and contributing citizens
Choosing a school can be a difficult choice. We want to help make is easier for our Japanese families considering a transfer to ISB. Click the link below to read our guide on how to transfer to an international school.