In today’s world, families have an abundance of options for good international schools that deliver a curriculum to support their children’s aspirations. At an international school like ISKL, we acknowledge the needs of all our students and have made many strides to deliver a balanced curriculum that offers learning pathway options to nurture every student’s abilities.
While the choice of curriculum is crucial, the learning principles responsible for delivering the curriculum will determine how students are nurtured in the classroom, the skills they will adopt concerning their academic and holistic development, and the kind of peers and environment they will be exposed to; this will ultimately influence the child’s values and social skills.
At ISKL, our education system utilizes a practical, social, and emotional skill mindset to encourage students to grow above and beyond academic success. To help parents make the right decision when choosing a curriculum for their child, we’ve outlined some tips that can support parents during this important decision.
You can learn more about the many benefits of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme here.
Talk with your child to help choose the right curriculum
Every child learns differently and has unique academic needs. The first step in choosing the right curriculum is talking to your child to learn more about their learning style. The intention here is for parents to gauge the kind of student their child is at school and the type of school environment they need to support and motivate their growth.
Do they require additional support from their teachers, or do their interests lie in extracurricular activities? Do they need a more flexible schedule, or are they looking to be more challenged academically? What subjects are they interested in learning, and how collaborative are they in class? Are they self-motivated, or do they benefit more from following a schedule?
Understanding your child’s personality traits, strengths, and any areas of potential weaknesses and challenges they could face in school can reveal how to support and overcome these factors.
The details of this conversation will support parents in choosing the right curriculum for their child. At ISKL, we maintain a passionate and supportive community of educators that use communication to equip each student with a better understanding of their unique role in an ever-evolving and complex environment.
Understand the “how” and “why” of the curriculum, not just the “what” to choose the right one
While it is essential to understand the curriculum, it is equally crucial to understand how the school delivers the curriculum. At ISKL, community members work together to cultivate an environment with a nurturing, diverse, and positive school culture focused on finding solutions and providing the right support for each child.
In this step, parents should spend time learning about the schools’ teaching and learning methodology, the inclusion of essential skills like critical thinking or problem-solving in their teaching principles, the grading system, accreditations, curriculum goals, and the degree of active participation or collaboration utilized in classrooms and more.
A school’s ranking may hold some value in your research. Still, rankings do not paint the complete picture of the kind of experience your child will have, the quality of the school’s environment, the nature of support available to students, or if the school is the best fit for a specific child.
You can get better acquainted with the school by attending school events such as Open Days, talking to teachers, connecting with parents whose children attend the school, taking virtual or in-person tours, and any similar opportunities to gain deeper insights into the school’s methodology. These options reveal the nuances of the school and can guide you in choosing the right curriculum for your child.
Discover the values of the school to choose the right curriculum
A majority of your child’s formative years will be spent learning at school. This puts schools in an invaluable position to impact their students’ social and emotional development.
While choosing a good school that delivers the curriculum of your choice, parents should spend time learning the values, goals, and guiding principles of said school to ensure that the school’s values align with their own values.
ISKL’s school-wide learning goals include the following guiding statements:
- Think Creatively
- Reason Critically
- Communicate Effectively
- Collaborate Constructively
- Learn Enthusiastically
- Live Ethically
A school’s values are integral because they will not only be reflected in how the school is run but will also greatly influence its students’ overall development and perception of the world.
Seek out an enhanced academic experience when choosing the right curriculum
Lastly, when choosing the best curriculum for their child, parents should aim for schools that actively seek to enhance their student’s academic experiences.
Some of the many ways that a school can enhance its academic experience include:
- Providing cultural and language learning opportunities
- Leadership and community service opportunities
- Peer interaction and collaborative opportunities
- Opportunities for active learning and learning in a social context
- Project-based learning
- Additional learning aid and support for students
- Alternative learning options
The information you retrieve from taking the steps mentioned above can not only help you choose the right curriculum and school for your child, but it can also help you understand your child and their academic needs much more effectively.
With this information, parents can support and plan the means to achieve their child’s future educational goals. At ISKL, we aim to promote pathways based on ability, interest, and aspiration that every student can access. Graduates from ISKL leave with a stronger sense of self and the world around them, allowing them to choose the best ways to contribute academically or innovatively to the global stage.
Learn more about what ISKL’s curriculum can help our students achieve with our interactive eBook “Unpacking ISKL’s Curriculum: Learning stories”.