The school entry system is tough, and it’s getting tougher. Whether you’re attempting to get your child into a good state school, where the waiting lists can be long and defined by postcode lottery, or a good private school where the entrance process can be daunting, especially for young children, it’s a stressful process as much for parents as it is for children.
But; there is help out there. Whether its specialist blogs, schools guides or school open days, parents can find great advice. The annual Independent Schools Show is a great option for parents wanted to speak to education specialists and different school choices all under one roof.
We spoke to one of their partners and attending experts, Charles Bonas to get his tips on increasing your child’s chance of getting into their chosen school.
- Lay the groundwork by nurturing your child’s hunger for learning – Schools aren’t necessarily looking for the most academic students. Academia can be taught, but natural enjoyment and curiosity for learning is something that children develop through day to day interaction.
- Get informed – Don’t just speak to your friends at the school gates to find out where they are sending their children, make sure you tap into the web of information relating to school options that exists both online and in person. Visit school open days, read the education press and visit events such as the Independent Schools Show to get as informed as possible so you can choose a school that is best suited to your child’s needs.
- Register early – Entry deadlines can vary – Make sure you’re aware of when they are so your child doesn’t miss out
- Consider private tutoring – Despite some negative press that private tutoring has been receiving, the harsh reality is that the majority of students that gain entry to London Independent Schools have had some sort of private tutoring. Even if your child has strong numeracy and literacy skills, private tutoring can help increase their confidence and understand better what the assessors are looking for.
- Encourage extra-curricular activities that offer an outlet for creativity and a social outlook – Soft skills are weighted with increasing importance by independent schools, so its important your child has more to talk about than just his / her academic life.
The Independent Schools Show 2016 takes place on 12 & 13 November at Battersea Park. This year’s Show is free for those who register online for tickets in advance www.schoolsshow.co.uk.