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How to choose a UK primary or secondary school for your child?


Mixed school? Boys' school? A girls' school? In the UK, it's fair to say that parents start thinking about the school from the moment their child is born, just as they do in China. Parents will refer to numerous ranking lists, school inspection reports, school guides, and other parent recommendations... but this information is not necessarily It is the most accurate and useful.
Often parents already have their choice in mind, but they are not sure if the schools are the right ones for them. We have seen many school principals repeatedly emphasize to parents during the school interview process: you should ask the school, how my child can be educated for intellectual and emotional well-being by coming to your school? Choosing a school is about choosing a place where your child's full potential can be explored and realized.

Siblings: Next of kin priority in UK schools
Every child is unique and there are some key principles that can help parents narrow down their school choices. If you want to keep things simple, check the school's next-of-kin priority policy. Primary and secondary schools in the UK have a tradition of Siblings, which means that if a family has a child already attending the school, the Siblings are given priority in school.
If you have more than one child, the Siblings policy allows you to send all of your children to the school of your choice. School, which saves you the hassle of school tests, systems, teachers, parents, and so on. Of course, there are also parents who "tailor" their children's education by sending their musically gifted children to schools known for their sports facilities and competitions, etc.

Walk-in, flexible boarding, or full boarding?
Location and family circumstances can narrow parents' choices of schools, and religious factors can also come into play. For families living in the suburbs or in the countryside, one of the first important questions is whether or not to send their children to boarding schools. There is never much controversy about this topic. If you choose not to board your child, consider the amount of time it will take to get your child to and from school each day.
Many parents may consider flexible boarding as it allows white-collar parents to "steal" a few days off from their children, and also allows them to nurture their children the ability to be independent over time. Even if you choose weekly boarding (not including weekends) or full boarding (including weekends), you will still have to pick up and drop off your child on weekends or holidays. Be prepared to take time out on Wednesdays and Saturdays to attend sporting events, performances, parent-teacher conferences, etc. at your child's school.
Don't think that just because you've chosen boarding doesn't mean you can let it go - parents or guardians will still need to be fully involved in their child's school life!

Feeder schools
In the UK, feeder schools are preparatory primary schools that have a direct relationship with a reputable public school and where the majority of graduates are able to attend prestigious secondary schools, so a huge number of parents are desperate to send their children to direct preparatory primary schools. Families with family links to well-known public schools such as Eton, Winchester, Harrow, and Radley are often more likely to send their children to direct preparatory primary schools such as Papplewick, Lambrook Haileybury, Cothill, Dragon, Westbourne House and many more.
Alternatively, you can register your child at an early age with an affiliated primary school, such as St Martin抯, affiliated primary school of Ampleforth College. As parents in the UK say: If the goal is to send your son to a reputable public school, then be sure to choose a direct preparatory primary school, as these schools have been in existence since day one to nurture students.

Individual school differences
Even schools like Eton, Harrow, Winchester Public School, etc. will admit that style varies greatly from school to school and is not for every student. Eton Public School, for example, requires independent accommodation from the first day of school, which may not be suitable for students who are not mature enough or emotionally sensitive boys.
And the current headmaster of Winchester Public Schools says that boys who think outside the box are a great fit for Winchester Public Schools. He doesn't hesitate to use the word "intellectual" to describe the students who are able to attend Winchester Public Schools. However, Winchester is a full boarding school, and not all students wish to be fully boarded.

School Registration
Usually, parents register their children for school from the moment they are born. However, this is not always the case. But it's always a good idea for parents to plan ahead. After all, it's hard to know which school a child will like and fit into if he hasn't visited the school himself.
It is also useful to find out about the special programs that the school can offer and whether there is an additional fee for these special programs.
Most schools admit students through entrance tests and interviews. Here are some school selection questions for parents, once you have answered these questions, then you will be able to do what you want and can just contact the school.

Annie's professional advice
Finally, to send you two very important pieces of advice that you should definitely take to heart.
The kids are young enough to bring simplicity back to the issue of school choice.
It's your child going to school, not you, so ask your child's opinion on whether it's the school your child wants.
Pre-school choice parent self-assessment questions:

  • Does your family situation determine whether your child needs to choose a full boarding or weekly boarding school?
  • What is the longest distance you can accept to transport your child to and from school?
  • Is there a strong family connection to a reputable public school? If yes, choose a direct preparatory primary school.
  • Have you considered the advantages and disadvantages of mixed and single-sex schools?
  • Is it desirable to send all children to the same school?
  • Do religious factors influence your child's choice of school?
  • Does your child need special instructional support?

Parents doing their homework should include school facilities, curriculum options, extracurricular activities, graduate orientation, as well as how school plays, sports, and music and art courses are developed. You can visit school websites and agencies for information, chat with parents, or attend school open days.


This article is contributed by Juwai Columnist Annie.

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