Getting into an Academic-Centric International School

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There are clear advantages to studying in an international school. Not only are they forward-thinking institutions, but they provide students with a diverse environment. Take, for instance, the Indian international schools in Dubai, attracting over thousands of students across the United Arab Emirates. This has provided each student with a multicultural landscape, allowing them to learn from each other’s traditions and perspectives.

However, getting into an international school, especially one that positions themselves as ‘academic-centric’, can be very competitive. There are a lot of promising students who equally deserves a spot in the best international school in town. To be able to secure a slot for your kid, you have to know what an academic-centric school is and what you need to prepare if and when they want to transfer.

To help guide you, we will talk about what academic-centric means and two of the most important requirements when applying.

What is ‘academic-centric’?

Basically, what it means is they give full weight on a child’s academic performance. Which means they will look at their final grades in each subjects. This is clearly different from GRE-centric schools – institutions that focuses on general standardised test results.

Academic-centric schools also value comments from teachers and how they would describe their relationship with your kids. So if you are enrolling your child in an international sixth form school, for example, so that they can get a good preparation for GCSEs, then you will have to make sure that they have performed well in each subject in their previous school and have formed a good working relationship with their teachers.

This leads us to two of the biggest requirements for academic-centric schools:

Good grades and notable achievements

Of course, this does not meant pressuring your child to bury their nose in books and kissing away social lives by pushing them to join school organisations. What parents should do is encourage the kids to have fun while learning and being involved. The great thing about international schools is even the teaching methods are unconventional. Some would follow what is called Bloom’s Taxonomy, and this can be a good technique to use to tutor kids. It involves the following:

  • Remembering – Recalling topics discussed in class and memorisingdefinitions
  • Understanding – be able to explain ideas and concepts in their own words
  • Application – using the knowledge by applying or demonstrating it in projects or
  • Analysis – connecting theoretical ideas with the application
  • Evaluation – taking a stance and justifying it
  • Creation – producing a new thought or work

Through this, parents will be able to turn boring class discussions into engaging discussions and project making. In no time, your kid will earn those golden stars needed to get into an international school.

Great letters of recommendations from teachers

This is really simple to do, and one that does not include pandering to teachers. Students should just pass all exams, participate in class, and follow instructions. However, this requirement should not hinder you from defending your child when teachers are being unfair. While you need shiny recommendations from them, they are not the only teacher in the school, you can always just ask someone else.

Yes, competition is very steep when applying for an international school, but do not let the pressure get to you or your child. Have fun learning and preparing for it, that is key to your application’s success.


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