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How to choose your child's first school – Business Daily

Choosing the right learning environment for one’s young child is essential. A child’s first encounter with learning in a formal environment sets in motion the way in which they will view learning, how they foresee their role in society and the contributions they will make, experts say.
Choosing the learning environment that will best suit a child’s personality and needs is complicated by the numerous options available to parents and guardians. Determining what is and isn’t right for their child’s journey ahead can be overwhelming.
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However there are a few factors which should help.
The first is identifying the things that you value as a family – your hopes and expectations, and what you want to get out of an education system for your child. While we know and celebrate the importance of academic achievements, we often forget that the child is both capable and competent and comes with unique qualities and talents.
It should be recognised that children are in charge of their own learning – meaning that as much as we try to mold and drive them, ultimately, they will follow their own interests and curiosities. By meeting these unique needs, interests and talents, we have a better chance of helping the child reach their full potential.
Secondly, the aim of a school is the development of academic excellence. Schools must continually adapt to ensure students are highly prepared for the world of tomorrow. Students must be able to progress incrementally from the start of their academic journey, and be supported in the development of global competencies and 21st Century skills. Ultimately, learning must prepare students for high-stakes exams later in life and successful entry into adulthood.
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Thirdly, academic excellence requires confidence if a student is going to reach their full potential. This requires that the school provide a safe and enriched learning environment, and that the student’s wellbeing is nurtured and protected from the very beginning.
Where the child feels safe, they will be open to learning. When looking for a school, parents/guardians need to be open to possibilities and feel confident that the learning environment will support learning in a holistic way.
The fourth consideration is that the teachers are fully qualified, that the ratio of competent and responsible adults to students is in place, that the integrity of the curriculum is not compromised but rather enhanced. The focus should be on future-focused teaching and learning techniques and strategies.
It is advisable for parents and guardians to visit schools in person so that they can gain information firsthand, make comparisons, investigate, interrogate, and explore the integrity of the learning environment, the approaches to teaching and learning, the schools’ views on discipline and assessment, as well as how they view the child.
Ms Coetzee, Managing Director at Crawford International School Kenya and Angelica Ouya, Education Director at the Makini Group of School.

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Joseph Muongi

Financial.co.ke was founded by Mr. Joseph Muongi Kamau. He holds a Master of Science in Finance, Bachelors of Science in Actuarial Science and a Certificate of proficiencty in insurance. He's also the lead financial consultant.