How to Evaluate and Choose the Right School in Dubai
Every summer thousands of families face major changes in their lives as they relocate to different countries. Some will have moved a number of times, touching many continents, but for most it will be the first time and with it will come many challenges. Relocation involves more than a new country… new jobs, new homes, new time-zones, new languages, new customs, new climates and new schools.
For children the move can be very exciting because they will come across new people, new foods, new activities and, in the case of Dubai, lots more sunshine! However, it can also be traumatic as they leave behind family members, close friends and the nurseries and schools which have given them an excellent start to their education.
Schools in Dubai are well placed to look after families ‘on the move’; with 93% of the population ex-pat, schools are well prepared to support the needs of new students, whatever their age or grade. The school leaders and teachers will also have relocated and faced similar choices. They will understand the pressures and be aware of the support needed by children and families. Here are a few tips to open the conversation with a new school and make the transition as seamless and simple as possible:
- Contact the school directly and ask to speak to the Principal.
- Visit the school and take a tour at its halls and facilities to get a good idea about their learning environment.
- Find out what type of school it is and what they believe in.
- Focus on the values that they promote and find out how they deliver them.
- No questions are 'off limits'.
- Ask the questions most important to your child (ask your children what they wish to know about the school).
- Find out about how the school balances learning, rest and play for the children.
- Ask how the individual needs of each child will be met.
- Share information about your child: strengths, areas for support, likes, dislikes etc.
- How will the school communicate with you, the parents?
- What, exactly, is included in the fees?
- Be honest and open with the school... and expect the same in return.
Most importantly, do not panic or rush into a decision; choosing the right school will have a huge influence on your children’s happiness and confidence. Dubai has recently witnessed an expansion in the number of schools and there are plenty of excellent schools with spaces available for the children of families new to the Emirate.
A school should be a safe and welcoming environment, which secures the happiness and healthy growth of children. It must challenge and support them intellectually, physically and socially. Do your 'homework' now and discover the right environment for your children so that you have less homework to do later.