TYPES OF SCHOOLS & HIGH SCHOOLS
Once you have chosen the destination country and the study program, you will have to choose the school or high school where you will continue your studies.
I know that everyone wants the best school, the best high school, the best teachers, the best conditions, the best… But, as perfection does not exist, I suggest you find together the school or high school that suits you best.
It is a personal choice, and the variety and multitude of existing offers don’t make the process easier.
MULTIPLE OPTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM
There are several criteria according to which the private/independent schools may be classified.
Considering the academic admission requirements, there are:
- Highly selective schools: are highly selective in terms of admission and, being smart and having the right budget is not enough. Students’ interests, potential, attitude, personality and how they fit into the school environment are also very important;
- Selective schools: places are filling up quickly and, continuing the studies from one form to another is conditioned by academic results;
- Non-selective schools: have lower entry requirements at entrance tests. Some of them use the entrance tests just to see in which class the student will be a better fit.
Based on gender:
- Co-educational schools;
- Single-sex schools, all-boys or all-girls schools;
- Diamond schools (in the UK only), co-ed before Y7, single-sex Y7÷Y11, co-ed Y12+Y13.
Considering the school’s structure, style and educational approach, there are:
- Traditional boarding schools;
- College schools.
Life in a boarding school offers many benefits. Inside the campus, students have everything they need: classrooms, art department, library, sports facilities, boarding houses, canteen, cafeteria, medical office, church, etc. Usually, in boarding schools students wear uniforms. In most cases, the schools are located outside the big cities.
Age of boarding students
Most boarding schools take boarders from the age of 13 or 14, but there are also schools that accept younger international students.
Boarders live in allocated boarding houses, within the school grounds. Each boarding house has a Housemaster, a Houseparent and a Tutor who cares for students wellbeing. Students have permanent supervision from the school’s staff and they may not leave the school campus without the prior consent of the school.
All meals are provided. The food is varied, but students should expect a different experience from what they are used to at home. Students don’t have the possibility of opting out of a meal plan.
The uniform is mandatory. Some schools, replace it with a suit/business dress code in the last 2 years of high school.
Students have a timetable designed by the school, for the classroom and for sports activities, extra-curricular activities, independent study, clubs & societies. Following the school program, they enjoy a balanced life. The very structured program implemented in boarding schools helps students to become responsible, develop self-confidence, learn to manage their time effectively while they are enjoying the beauty of their age.
Boarding schools take the sport seriously and have excellent sports facilities, on the school grounds: tennis courts, rugby and football fields, swimming pool, indoor sports centre, netball courts etc.
In a college school, the rules are more flexible: students do not wear uniforms but follow the school’s dress code, there is no church, students can address teachers by the first name, and after class, the program is not as rigorous as in -a boarding school. College schools are located in cities such as London, Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham.
Age of students
Most College schools take students from the age of 14, 15 or 16. There are no younger students in College schools.
Student residence or host-families accommodation is offered. Students have permanent supervision from the school’s staff, but they will also have enough freedom to go out with friends and colleagues. The accommodation may be in the school proximity or at 5-30 minutes distance. Students may walk or use public transport from their accommodation to the school.
Some schools offer breakfast, others offer full board, while most College schools offer to their students the possibility of opting in or out of a meal plan. The accommodation has a practical kitchenette.
No uniform is required but there is a dress code.
After lessons, students who are 16 years old, decide what sports and activities they would like to join or not, and when they are doing their homework and individual study. That is why a certain maturity and a sense of well-developed responsibility is needed. In a College school, students need proper management of their own resources and a balance between study time and socialization time.
Because the College schools’ areas are limited, usually they don’t have their own sports facilities, but they subcontract sports grounds and swimming pools from other institutions in the proximity.
If you are oscillating between the two types of schools and it is not clear to you which type of school would suit you best, don’t worry. We can arrange visits and start admissions procedures for both types of schools. After visiting the schools and after going through the admission process, it will be much easier for you to make such a decision. We are a click/phone call away if you want to benefit from professional help and support, from the first meeting to graduation.
Rafa Nadal Academy