Connector August 2023

CONNECTOR.AE 26 CONNECTOR.AE 27 Kids And Education Kids And Education earlier to make it in time for the bus and will also reach home late. Shiny Davison of The Indian Academy School Dubai said, “Very essential to have distance looked upon so that your child spends a maximum of 45 minutes to 1 hour. Travelling for more than an hour is exhausting for the child and hard on the brain to focus during the day of learning.” Check The School’s Ratings: A key factor to also consider when deciding last minute is the ratings of the school. During each academic year, schools are rated by the KHDA, based on the overall experience offered at each school. Additionally, schools are also reviewed by other local and international organisations on the quality of education provided. This can help narrow down the search and make it easier to decide if the school is the right fit for the student. Kimberly Highland, Marketing Manager at The English College said, “Examining the school’s inspections and accreditations is valuable. For instance, The English College is recognised as an Outstanding school by British Schools Overseas and a Very Good School by Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau. However, it is worth noting that our school prides itself on exceptional pastoral care. In fact, we were recently shortlisted as one of the happiest schools in the UAE by the Top School Awards. Another thing to consider is that some schools might have already filled up for a specific age group and do not have spaces in the year group required. It is crucial to call the schools in advance while doing research to see whether the required class places are available, so the limited amount of time parents have to source a school, is only spent on schools with places. Visiting the school is a great way to make a quick decision, as while on a school tour, parents can talk to the teachers, see how to school functions and look at the facilities. However, during the summer holidays, and when there is a time crunch, visiting schools is not always a viable option. Some schools offer virtual tours where parents can view the school facilities online, and a lot of schools, though not operating, are still open for one on one tours, which can give insight and get an idea into school life. Kelvin Hornsby, of GEMS World Academy in Abu Dhabi added, “The first step is to research the best providers. GEMS Education has a long legacy of excellent provision in the UAE and is the largest provider. Ensure that you request a tour, which you can do virtually if you have not arrived in the country yet.” If there is the opportunity to visit a school while it is not operating, here are some tips to keep in mind and check while on the tour: Shiny Davison of The Indian Academy School Dubai said, “Affordability is a main factor as expatriates we all live on a budget and it is essential for parents to choose a school that will best suit the family’s budget. There are options in Dubai where schools also provide a wide range of extracurricular activities, within school hours.” Location of the school: Commute to school is an aspect that should definitely be looked into while choosing a school. Most students in the UAE take the school bus and based on the route, the trip can run longer, with students having to wait in the bus till they reach school and get dropped off. Checking the route beforehand makes it easier to decide if the commute is feasible for your child, for five days of the week. Additionally, schools that are within walking distance, can be reached on foot with friends or by cycling, making it easier for the child while having a fun time going to and from school. Amy Carroll of Ranches Primary School said, “When deciding on a school for your child, it is important to consider your location and commute. Ideally, the school should seamlessly integrate into your family’s daily life. Think about whether you want your child to have the opportunity to ride their bike or walk to school with their friends. Additionally, check if the school bus serves your community. To get a sense of what your daily trips will look like, I recommend doing a trial commute during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up.” If the journey to school takes over 45 minutes, it can make it a tiring trip for students. As schools start early in the morning, students will have to wake up The environment of the school: Schools that have a warm and comfortable environment will help students excel, as they will be able to truly hone in on their talents and work on building life skills for the future. If able to tour the school before the school year begins, it is important to consider that the facilities might cater to a student’s needs, however, parents will not be able to see the interactions between teachers and students, as schools are not in session. For last-minute decisions, visiting the school can be difficult and while communicating with the admission staff, ask for videos from the previous academic year or visit the school’s social media pages to get a glimpse into the school. Kimberly Highland of The English College said, “When conducting a tour of school facilities during the school holidays, it is important to consider that the experience may differ from the regular academic year. While the impressive facilities may capture your attention, focusing on the interaction between teachers and students is crucial. To better understand this dynamic, we recommend requesting videos from the school or exploring their social media platforms. Doing so lets you assess whether they showcase student achievements, values, and activities.”