SIMON CRANE, HEAD MASTER AT BRIGHTON COLLEGE DUBAI
01 Dec 2020
Changing your child’s school might seem like a daunting and disruptive task, but sometimes it is the best thing you can do for their future. It is important to continually question whether the school your child is enrolled at is the right school for them, and is offering them the support they need to develop and flourish both academically and personally.
With education an invaluable tool that will lay the foundation for your child’s future, it is important to make sure that your child’s school is delivering all of its promises. As the admissions manager at Brighton College Dubai, I speak to parents daily about what they should be looking for from their child’s education provider and about what we offer at the school to cater to their needs.
The school you choose for your child is a personal preference but we find a lot of parents come to us to ask the same questions which at the moment frequently include information about the KHDA COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions and how they apply to the school. Through further research we’ve found there’s an array of reasons that might suggest it is time to change your child’s school. Here we have listed the top five main signs.
It is important that your child is receiving the right level of academic support and being challenged accordingly. If your child is being set tasks that they’re completing too quickly or they are finding too easy, then they may be too advanced for the level of education they are receiving and the school should be open and forthcoming about providing more challenging tasks.
Brighton College Dubai monitors pupil’s progress and attainment closely for this reason. The school prides itself for its high-quality teaching staff that support the school’s gifted and talented pupils with additional and more challenging tasks and work, as well as leading value-added, co-curriculum activities and academic clinics.
If you are reaching out to your child’s school and your questions are not being acknowledged or answered, then it is time to look towards a school that has a strong parent-teacher communication policy in place.
Open and clear communications are very important between a teacher and a parent and, in this regard, we operate an open-door policy. Despite the restrictions for parents entering schools for face to face meetings, it should still be easy for a parent to contact a teacher at their child’s school, whether it’s through email, or setting up a video call. Parents should expect regular updates from the teachers about classroom and school activities, and also individual parent teacher video calls after the school reports have been released. We would suggest questioning each of your child’s teachers about how they view and monitor progress as well as attainment.
Homework is a tool that encourages independent learning and gives children the opportunity to have the confidence to solve problems on their own. If homework is not being consistently set by your child’s teacher or isn’t being marked then it is time to look in to this further with the school.
Prolonged unhappiness at school can cause serious damage to your child’s wellbeing. It can be normal for children to not have a good day at school or want to stay at home for the day, but if your child is feeling unhappy for an extended period of time then it is time to talk to a teacher about it.
Although this point may seem obvious, sometimes children don’t want to talk about unhappiness in school when they are at home. At Brighton College Dubai, children not only have their teachers to support them, but we also have a strong culture of kindness which is reinforced by our experienced senior leadership team. Parents should ask schools what their wellbeing policy is and how they look after their pupil’s mental health as this is becoming ever important in the world we live.
School standards and achievements are one of the most important aspects to look at and monitor at your child’s school. If standards are slipping then there is an issue within the school that needs addressed.
There are a variety of applications that schools use, where parents can see everything their child is working on and children can receive immediate feedback on their work, which is reassuring for parents and also helpful to monitor their child’s progress.
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