Amity International School Amsterdam’s Admissions Officer Elspeth French understands that choosing the right school for your child is one of the most important decisions you will make. She shares five tips on how to prepare for your school visit.
1) Research the school
It really helps to prepare yourself for the visit so you have the background information to help build up your knowledge of the school and thus help you make an informed choice. Answers to questions such as ‘does the school provide after school activities’ or ‘what is the teacher-student ratio’ mostly can be found on the school’s website. You can then focus on asking questions during your visit that will help you to really understand the school and find out if this school will make your child a happy learner.
2) Look at the different spaces
When visiting the school, look at the spaces both inside and outside to see how they are laid out. Are they colourful and inviting? Is it spacious and allow your child to move around freely? Will the spaces support your child’s learning? Make sure you feel secure that this is a place you could send your child to.
Elspeth French emphasises this: “The feel of a school is a quality that varies tremendously between schools. If possible, bring your child with you when visiting and discuss how it made them feel, this will give you a great insight into how your child will feel attending the school.”
3) Consider your child’s educational needs
Each school has its unique approach to learning. The children who do not have special educational needs may still have other unique needs. By providing a range of additional learning support which is tailored to meet the individual needs of students for example in reading, writing, maths, social-emotional development and functional skills, a school can help your child reach its full potential.
4) Learn more about the school’s mission and curriculum
Make sure you inquire about the curriculum or philosophy that sets the school apart. What is the teaching philosophy? How does the school approach homework? Amity International School Amsterdam is an International Baccalaureate (IB) PYP and MYP Candidate School* that offers a globally recognised curriculum that challenges students to take responsibility for their own learning. Children benefit from an inquiry-based curriculum which enables them to become inquisitive learners.
5) Reflect on your visit
Once you have completed all your school tours, then it's important to reflect and compare. Which school tour really took you by surprise? Where will your child be most happy? Make sure you look at all the pros and cons and choose the school that will best meet your child's needs.
* Only schools authorised by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme (DP), or the Career-related Programme (CP). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorisation will be granted.
For further information about the IB and its programmes visit www.ibo.org