By: Natasha Archary
One of the most challenging decisions you’ll make as a parent, comes when the little one has to start school. Sometimes the only option you have is a school that is close to home. But is this school a good fit for your child and will it work for your whole family?
Consider your child’s strengths
Every parent of a creative will understand how a rigid and inflexible system can restrict their expressive child. There are some children who thrive in a structured, purely academic setting. Others may prefer the inclusion of sport or musical lessons. Let’s not forget the kids who have an innate passion for technology. Drama and the arts. Linguistics.
With each child being so different and possessing strengths that are unique, parents should use these key character traits to decide on a school. It will help guide you in choosing a school that will hone, shape and nurture your child to grow.
It’s a frustrating process trying to secure your child a seat in a classroom these days. Piles of paperwork. Exorbitant non-refundable fees while they have you on a waiting list.
The admissions process for private schools begins long before your child reaches school age. With some private schools, the application process begins even before the child is born.
While that may sound a bit extreme, if you leave your child’s application too late you may end up left out in the cold. All schools have open days throughout the year and as a parent you should take advantage of the opportunity to view the campus and learn more about the school.
Late applications for 2021 for Grade 1 and Grade 8 are opened from 22 December 2020 to 22 January 2021. This applies to parents who have not applied. Parents who prefer to hand deliver their documents, may do so from the 25 – 29 January 2021.
High pressure schools receive a high number of applications, which may mean that you would need to apply at a number of schools and your child’s space is not guaranteed either.
Many schools are in demand and preference might be given to learners with special needs or learners who reside closer to the school.
Here’s what you should consider
- Does the school have safety measures in place for pick-ups and drop-offs?
- Is it a secure location?
- Are there web cameras in the event there’s an incident?
- Are the teachers vetted?
- What is the teacher to child ratio?
- Is it a holistic approach that the school adopts? Or are they purely academic and theory based in structure?
- Is the examination for matric a National Senior Certificate or an IEB?
- Look for a school that both you and your child can grow with. One that is progressive, that offers an integrated dual-medium structure.
- Private schools do offer more options with dedicated sport and music curriculums.
- Does the school offer an aftercare facility?
- How is the school set up to accommodate different grades?
- What is the school’s discipline structure?
- Does the school’s religious ethos fit in line with your family’s?
- What are the channels of communication between parent and school?
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