What’s right for my child?

Posted on 12th Oct 2022 in School News, Hong Kong, International Schools, International Education

Shaping your child’s education journey – insights from Malvern College Hong Kong.

Everyone understands that no two children are the same. Their interests, behaviour and academic abilities are all unique, which can make choosing the right school a difficult task for parents.

Malvern College Hong Kong has many years’ experience in guiding parents to navigate what is one of the most important decisions they will make on behalf of their children. Our academic and admissions staff work closely with all prospective families offering tailored guidance and advice specific to each child’s need.

We understand that the reality of a modern classroom can sometimes be daunting for parents who only have their own school experiences as a reference point. In our increasingly connected world, technology has vastly changed what and how children learn. In accepting that a child’s school experience will be vastly different to their own, parents are often required to take a ‘leap of faith’ and need to trust that the chosen school will truly understand their child. However, once that hurdle is overcome, they can concentrate on deciding ‘which school?’ can best meet their child’s specific educational and developmental needs and best match their personality and learning style.

Schools strive to work in partnership with parents and understand all too well the need for them to find the ‘best fit’ for their child. To help in this process we believe that ‘forewarned is forearmed’. We encourage families to equip themselves with as much information as possible before visiting a school and making a final decision, and whilst it’s important to let a child feel involved in the decision-making process we recommend the ultimate decision should rest with the parents.

Schools provide extensive information on their websites and actively encourage questions via email, telephone or during school tours. Many offer ‘meet and greets’ or formal school tours which can be invaluable in assessing a school’s true character. In addition, parents should be prepared to share with prospective schools a full and honest assessment of their child’s strengths and weaknesses, their interests, personality, and their preferred learning style. This will ensure that both parties can get a good understanding of each other before an offer or acceptance is made.

Important aspects to consider during a visit which will help in making a final selection include:

The School’s Vision: What sort of pupils does the school develop? Is there a focus on becoming an international citizen, a leader of the future, and is the infrastructure there to enable that to happen?

The Calibre of Staff: Is there a good relationship between staff and pupils, do teachers seem engaged with their pupils, do they appear to understand their needs?

The Curriculum: Does it cater for your child’s academic and developmental needs? What activities are offered beyond the curriculum, is there a strong extra curriculum activities programme, a pastoral care programme or additional learning support etc?

The Environment: Does the school have a vibrant and friendly atmosphere; does it feel like a supportive and nurturing place for your child? Do you sense children are pressured in their work or is there a more relaxed learning style in place?

Like many international schools, Malvern College Hong Kong places great importance on developing bright, self-assured, and resilient global citizens who will not shy away from leadership responsibilities, and who will proactively contribute to their chosen career, wherever they may decide to live in the future. Children spend a significant part of their lives in school so understanding how a school will impact their development is therefore vitally important.

In conclusion, we believe that in selecting the most appropriate school, parents are best guided by viewing their child’s development as a partnership between the home and the school, rather than simply an extension of their own parenting efforts. By seeking to align their own vision and values with those of the framework of the chosen school, parents maximize the chances of success for their child in their educational journey.

This article first appeared in the 2022/23 edition of John Catt's Guide to International Schools, which you can read here: