5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a New School for Your Children in Dubai
Regardless of the time of your move to Dubai, after settling in your new home, one of your main priorities should be looking for the ideal school for your children.
This can pose a challenge since there are plenty of educational institutions to choose from spread across the city. The fact that you have to choose among various programmes (including American, Australian, German, Swiss, and British curriculum schools in Dubai) can make narrowing down your list even harder.
Fortunately, there are several factors you can consider in the decision-making process that can help you create a list of the ideal schools for your children.
When you keep these factors in mind as you study your options, you can find the right school in Dubai where your little ones can thrive.
Things to Think About During the School Selection Process
Once you’re ready to start searching for the right school in Dubai for your children, think about these crucial factors so that you can make the right choice:
1. The school’s curriculum
If your children were already studying in the previous country you lived in, choosing an educational centre that offers the same curriculum they were enrolled in can help make their transition smoother.
For instance, if they were enrolled in a school with a British curriculum, you would do well to put reputable schools with this programme at the top of your list.
Since they are already familiar with the syllabus, they won’t need to put in a lot of time and effort learning about and adjusting to it. Additionally, the British curriculum is a structured and balanced educational system recognised worldwide. It also focuses on the well-rounded, holistic development of each student, helping them learn key study-life skills and ensuring their happiness and wellness inside and outside the classroom.
Your children can experience these benefits when they are enrolled in this programme. And whether you choose a school with a British curriculum or a different one, study the programme carefully. Ensure all aspects of the syllabus have a clear goal the students must achieve.
A good curriculum is also flexible and covers different learning styles. Additionally, it must provide students with different opportunities to cultivate their unique skills and interests and help them develop their personalities.
2. Global recognition and reputation
When your children complete their primary and secondary education, you want them to have internationally recognised qualifications. Because of this, you have to select a school with a curriculum recognised worldwide.
An internationally accepted qualification can open fantastic opportunities for your children. It can give them a great chance at admission to various universities across the world.
For instance, under the British curriculum, students must take the (I) GCSE exams when they finish key stage 4 and A Levels when they complete key stage 5.
These key stages are referred to as years 12 and 13 or the sixth form and are recognised worldwide. These qualifications open up various opportunities to students and are highly regarded by renowned educational institutions and companies in the United Kingdom and other countries. However, you also have to consider the reputation of the school. Check if they have an excellent track record since their establishment.
Take the time to read reviews from parents of past and previous students and articles about the school to check their reputation. If you come across published standardised test scores or ratings, read them as well to get an idea of the students’ academic performances.
3. School permits and accreditation
Aside from checking the school’s curriculum and reputation, you need to ensure your children will receive their education from an authorised, accredited institution.
When you visit your shortlisted schools, ask the staff to see their licences, permits, and accreditation reports so you can have a good idea of the legitimacy and quality of the school.
Legitimate schools in Dubai are accredited by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the local government branch that authorises and oversees private and public educational establishments in the city.
All schools in Dubai should have this accreditation, so make sure the ones on your list have this.
Also, check the rankings of the schools on the Dubai School Inspections Bureau (DSIB), an office under KHDA that provides a complete review of the performance of all the local educational institutions.
With these additional details, you can be sure your children are in the hands of capable, trusted educators.
4. Focus on the learners’ future careers
At some point, your children will start thinking about college and the career they want to pursue. You can give them a hand with this by choosing a school known for the support they provide to graduating students.
While shortlisting potential schools, look into the resources they have for secondary students. They should have a counselling centre, career advisors, and a team that provides university placement support.
This factor is also worth prioritising since schools that focus on educating learners about their potential future career choices can give them exposure to the working world, providing them with vital experience in different industries.
Additionally, ask about the school’s partnership with other local and international institutions so that you can already have an idea of where they might enrol and the course they can take when they complete their secondary education.
5. School location and facilities
Selecting a school near your home allows you and your children to experience such convenience that enrolling them in one can be a great idea. Living within a reasonable distance of the school means you won’t have to wake up extra early to get your children ready for their classes. You have the option to drive or walk them to and from their campus, which can be a huge advantage if traffic jams frequently occur in your area. Also, consider the campus and facilities in your decision. This means visiting the school with your children.
While on tour, make sure you and your children see their potential classrooms and the other areas they will frequently use, such as the canteen, gym, and hall.
During your visit, ask the staff guiding you if they offer the sports or extracurricular activities your children like. If they do, take your children to see each facility or venue and find out if it meets their expectations.
While on tour, ask your children if they feel comfortable and safe inside the campus and with the staff and if they think they can be happy studying here.
Once you have shortlisted the best options based on these factors, ask your children which school they prefer. You need to get their opinion before making your final decision since you want them to be happy and thrive as they continue their studies in Dubai.