These teachers will change your opinion about private school

PUBLISHED: 14:30 11 March 2016 | UPDATED: 15:43 18 March 2016

Life at Education | These teachers will change your opinion about private school

Life at Education | These teachers will change your opinion about private school

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British public schools reveal 6 things every parent should know before choosing an independent school for your child

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Private schools reveal what you should really know before choosing a school | Life at EducationPrivate schools reveal what you should really know before choosing a school | Life at Education

Is private school worth it? In the new issue of Life at Education, teachers and educational professionals consider the merits of public schooling and discuss the major reforms to GSCE, AS and A-levels.

1. Boarding can offer the best of both worlds for your child

Epsom College | Life at EducationEpsom College | Life at Education

As adults we often bemoan how much time we spend in the car commuting to and from work but rarely think of the school run as wasted time for our children. The hours spent commuting can be slashed with boarding options, precious time that children can use for sports, debating societies, drama groups, and the cadets, or simply learning how to make a show¬stopping soufflé. Find out more.

2. “Be prepared, but not over-prepared, for school interviews and entrance exams”

Life at Education | These teachers will change your opinion about private school | (Getty Images/iStockphoto)Life at Education | These teachers will change your opinion about private school | (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

It’s all about ensuring children are well rested and know what to expect. Private tutoring isn’t top of the list, but practising past papers and being able to contribute fully to a conversation is useful. Thinking about the questions they may be asked in an interview will help, but don’t go overboard and over-prepare, says James Quick, head of Gresham’s Prep at Holt. “Over-rehearsing interview answers is actually a disadvantage. Schools don’t want to hear what they’ve been told to say,” he explains. Find out more preparation tips here.

3. There’s a place for computer games in education

Life at Education | These teachers will change your opinion about private school | (Getty Images/iStockphoto)Life at Education | These teachers will change your opinion about private school | (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

“How do we get pupils to engage with and learn programming? I quickly discovered that the vast majority of the children I teach, both boys and girls, are avid gamers,” says Francis Roberts, ICT teacher at St Edward’s Preparatory School, Cheltenham. “The introduction of gaming in a classroom facilitated learning in ways that I was not expecting. Children developed teamwork: sharing ideas, collaborating and enjoying in others’ successes (and games). The jobs of the future will be increasingly reliant on computing and technology. The more that we can prepare our pupils to know and understand the digital world the better.” Find out how here.

4. “Sport should be the cornerstone of pupil’s personal and social development within school”

Tennis at Manchester Grammar | Life at Education | These teachers will change your opinion about private school (©Chris Bull )Tennis at Manchester Grammar | Life at Education | These teachers will change your opinion about private school (©Chris Bull )

“We play both competitive and non-competitive sport here, and see each one as important as the other,” says Mark Walmsley, Head of Sport at Manchester Grammar School. “I believe that sport should be the cornerstone for all pupils’ personal and social development within school,” says Mr Walmsley. “Team work, communication, resilience and determination are just a few aspects that sport can develop in a child’s personality. As a school we understand that all children are individual and as such are motivated in different ways. Our aim is to enthuse all our pupils and provide them with the motivation and tools to continue a physically active lifestyle post education, regardless of the type of physical activity they are taking part in.” Find out more.

5. Sixth Form isn’t just for A-levels – there’s also the IB Diploma

Life at Education | These teachers will change your opinion about private school | (Getty Images/iStockphoto)Life at Education | These teachers will change your opinion about private school | (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The IB Diploma offers depth as well as breadth. Students take six subjects, three at Higher Level and three at Standard Level, which must include a science, maths, a second language, a humanity and a literature course in their native language. Students also have to complete a 4,000¬word essay on a topic of their choice, a course of critical thinking called Theory of Knowledge, and a personal development programme entitled Community, Activity and Service. Find out more about the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

6. “There are many misconceptions about single-sex girls schools”

Outstanding results come from giving girls the confidence to be themselves, to be aspirational and to feel that there is no role they can’t accept, nothing they can’t achieve, if they put their minds to it. “Perhaps the greatest thing that my single sex school taught me was that a woman can pursue any career she wants, and will do well, if her schooling has given her self confidence and a strong academic foundation,” says Antonia Beary, Headmistress of Mayfield School, Sussex. Find out more.

 

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