Studying abroad is becoming more and more popular every year, and where to go to get the skills of mastering real English, if not in the British capital? Despite the fact that there is enough information on the issues of competent admission and it is publicly available, many parents make several mistakes that prevent them and their children from achieving their cherished goal.
What subtleties should be considered when applying to London schools in order to surely get a place?
Benefits of Secondary Education in London
British schools are distinguished by high-quality classical education, so schoolchildren from around the world strive to get here. Russian students who received a certificate at a London school will also receive certain advantages of such education:
- British secondary education diploma recognized in most countries of the world
- Learning English in a Natural Environment
- Communication skill in an international setting
- Experience of living in another country
- Developing a sense of independence and responsibility
- Learning from qualified teachers in a modern infrastructure
- New acquaintances with people from different parts of the planet.
Students who have received education experience in British schools will confirm each of these points and even name their own.
Studying abroad, including in England, differs from the usual for Russia in one more point - students who have not reached the age of majority and are in a country without parents must have a guardian. This is a particularly important point for Britain. In fact, the guardian plays the role of the child's legal representative in a foreign country for him, so his presence will greatly reassure the parents. The guardian will perform in London schools:
- Interaction with the educational institution - attending parent meetings, monitoring the child's progress, notifying parents if problems arise, etc.
- Help in organizational matters. This can be a meeting (or seeing off) at the airport, purchasing office supplies, extending a visa, assistance in adapting to life in the country.
- The right to make decisions on behalf of the child in critical situations for him - the need for treatment, operations, etc.
The role of guardian can be played by a relative or family friend, or by a representative of a special agency. In the second case, it is, of course, a paid service. However, it is worth it, because the parents will be sure that the child will not be left alone with problems in a foreign country.
5 most common mistakes when choosing a school in London
So, as practice shows, when looking for a school abroad - and the UK is no exception - parents over and over again make several common mistakes that prevent their children from choosing a suitable educational institution and enrolling there.
There is no suitable school search strategy
Before you start looking at school descriptions and tuition fees, we recommend that parents decide on two points:
- What does your child really need?
- What prospects do you expect from studying in a particular institution?
The answers to these two questions will greatly facilitate your choice. Both points are important for different reasons: the first will help in the development of a harmonious child's personality, and the second will show what opportunities a quality education provides. When choosing a school, it is important to form an individual approach.
Consider only the level of prestige of the school
The opinion that a school's rating is a reliable indicator of its steepness has long been disproved. In fact, the place in the ranking is formed on the basis of academic indicators (GCSE and A-Levels test results), excluding other indicators. In the era of the popularity of tutors, it is also difficult to find out: is the high rating the result of the work of school teachers or the individual work of children with tutors?
In pursuit of high grades, do not forget that a comfortable emotional background for a child is more useful than strict teachers and high academic standards.
Unstructured exam preparation and interview preparation
All entrance examinations most often have a logic of answers to specific questions, therefore, in order to successfully pass, it is better to be puzzled by finding an answer to these questions. Try to make the child's response style close to that of the receiving teacher.
Another nuance is the neglect of the importance of a personal interview. Do not forget that in the course of a personal conversation, not only school employees make a decision on the admission of a candidate, but your child also makes an opinion about the future educational institution. Preparing for an interview is an important step, so it is worth demonstrating interest in the institution and awareness of the opportunities available here.
In this case, the answers should be natural and sincere, reflecting the true opinion of the child. Then communication with the selection committee will be pleasant and will lead to the result that the parents expect.
Do not take into account force majeure
This mistake too often interferes with parents and children on their way to entering British schools, so we will pay special attention to it. Parents of students from Russia are often inclined to focus on the deadlines for submitting our schools, which can be very different from the British ones - there applications to some schools are accepted years in advance. And entrance examinations are held not before the start of the academic year, as it would be in Russia, but many months before it. With these factors in mind, set aside enough time for preparation and visa procedures so that you have every chance of making it (and succeeding).
Limit search terms by location or other criteria
When it comes to British schools, it is believed that the most prestigious and best of them are located exclusively in London, Cambridge or Oxford. However, this is not always the case. For example, in Wales there are schools that are in no way inferior to the capital in terms of quality. If we consider specifically London, then the location of the school in the center does not mean that it is really objectively better than an educational institution on the outskirts of the city. But the cost can differ favorably in the direction of savings. So we advise parents to take a closer look at these options.
Compliance with all these points will lead your child to study at a London school much faster, and then the time spent on preparation will not be wasted.