Education: How to choose an international school for your child
Written by Niobe Shaw
Choosing the right learning environment for your child to make the best start in life, and in their host country, is a tough decision. With many good international schools in Hanoi, the choice can seem overwhelming. Here are some important factors to consider if you’re making this decision.
Does the school teach a globally-recognised curriculum?
One of the most important factors to consider is the curriculum, which impacts the subjects and methods in which students learn. Expat parents should look for schools teaching globally-recognised curricula. These allow children to transfer seamlessly between schools if you move elsewhere. For example, BIS Hanoi offers the English National Curriculum in the primary years, which is used by over 30,000 schools worldwide and is recognised for its broad and balanced curriculum and developing students’ analytic skills. Secondary students study for IGCSE and IB qualifications to fully prepare them for competitive universities around the world. Choose a school which allows your child to build academic and personal skills to grow and thrive in the 21st century.
Who are the teachers?
Teachers play a key role in a child’s love of learning. It’s important to find a school with passionate teachers who fully support your child’s academic and personal development. Look for schools with international staff who hold relevant qualifications and experience to bring out the best in your child. Ensure that they are fluent in the language you wish your child to learn in. BIS Hanoi benefits from the Nord Anglia pool of qualified teachers. Many have years of international teaching experience, so they are confident in helping your child achieve their potential in a new school and city.
What else does the school offer?
Wanting the best for your children isn’t just about academic progress. Nurturing a love of sport, music, art, reading, community service and other passions allows children to thrive outside of the classroom. Does the school have key facilities to enable your child to follow its passions such as theatre, swimming pool, music rooms or creative spaces? Another important factor to check during admissions is the quality of the extracurricular activities programme as participation in afterschool classes offers an additional range of benefits for students such as making new friends, improving wellbeing and exploring new hobbies and passions.
Will my child be safe and happy?
Your child’s safety and happiness at school is key, whatever their age. Consider the quality of pastoral care, too: are there school counsellors? How would your child be kept safe during the day? What is the location of the school, and are the grounds secure? What is behaviour like, and how is it managed? BIS Hanoi is a safe and nurturing setting in Vinhomes Riverside, a peaceful and secure area. The school employs a counsellor and a large pastoral team to ensure students are kept safe and happy.
Book a visit
Before opting for a school, arrange a visit so you can observe connections between teachers and students. This allows you to see facilities, meet teachers and students, and discuss any concerns. It is also advisable, where possible, to bring your child to visit the school before deciding as it is important that they too feel the school is a good fit.
If you are currently assessing international schools in Hanoi, BIS Hanoi would like to invite you and your family to visit its campus. During the visit you can observe classes in actions, meet the teachers and Heads of School and explore the facilities.
British International School Hanoi
Hoa Lan Road, Vinhomes Riverside
Long Bien District
+84 24 3946 0435 / 024 3946 0435