International schools have different curriculums. It is the very thing that differentiates them from regular private and public schools in a given country. It is the elevated and advanced curriculums of international schools that make them extra special. If you’re keen to enroll your child in an international school, knowing a thing or two about international curriculums is a must.
Choosing the right international school for your kid will be easier if you have the right amount of knowledge on different curriculums. To help you with that, we would share the following information:
- the main curriculums to choose from
- the main factors to consider when choosing a curriculum
3 Main Curriculums to Choose From
When choosing a curriculum for your child, you simply have to keep in mind that there are primarily three curriculums to choose from:
1. National Curriculum or State Curriculum
State curriculums are designed and provided by a country’s local education agency. It is centered on the knowledge, values, and skills that states want to promote and inculcate among students. It is a straightforward curriculum that is geared towards realizing a state’s goal and vision for its citizens.
2. Non-Country Curriculum
A non-country curriculum is not provided by a specific education authority of any country. It is not associated with or mandated by any specific country. This kind of curriculum is set by an international body. A good example of this is the International Baccalaureate Curriculum that is provided by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO).
A non-country curriculum is more detailed and diverse than a national curriculum. It has separate programs for each academic level. It is not monitored and evaluated by any national board. To date, there are over 5,000 international schools all over the globe that use a non-country curriculum.
3. Mixed Curriculum
International schools that prefer giving students the option to learn both national and non-country curriculums offer a mixed curriculum. This curriculum gives parents and children the opportunity to easily decide on their preferred academic trajectory. This curriculum balances the need for students to be effective global citizens while still being engaged with local members of their community.
5 Things to Consider When Choosing an International School Curriculum
As a parent, your no. 1 tool in making decisions for your child will always be researching. You should always duly research anything that you want your child to experience because your child deserves nothing but the best. To help you with that, we share the following expert insights on choosing a curriculum:
1: Role of Religion
Do you want teachings on religion to be part of your child’s learning experience?
This is an important point to ponder as you need to be extremely clear on how you want to raise your child. Families with a religious household end up choosing international schools that incorporate teachings on religion as they end up echoing virtues and values that they already practice at home. Most international schools don’t have courses on religion. If you want religious teachings to be incorporated into your child’s learning, you need to look for a particular international school that offers such.
2: Learning Styles
Children have different learning styles that allow them to reach their full potential. It is your obligation as a parent to give them everything that they need to reach their full potential so it is imperative that you’re familiar with different learning styles.
Regular schools apply the textbook approach where students learn from different books from different courses. Such learnings are then tested through periodic examinations. Most international schools don’t use this approach as most now use a self-directed learning approach that is not heavily based on textbooks but on hands-on experiences and experiments.
You need to ensure that it will be easy for your child to enroll at your local school should it be that you need to return back home. If you’re from Britain and you want your child to be able to easily enroll at British schools once you’re done with your foreign assignment, you need to enroll your a leading Hong Kong international school, has many British students. The parents of such kids know that the school offers a British Curriculum so come the time that they need to return home, they can be sure that all the units that their child took up in Hong Kong will be fully accredited.
4: Access to Special Education
This is something that you need to consider if you have a child with special needs. Unbeknownst to many, international schools also offer curriculums for kids with special needs. You will be pleasantly surprised at how most international schools are way better than local regular schools in providing inclusive and advanced curriculums for kids with special needs. Looking for an international school that caters to the needs of children with special needs is way easier than looking for a regular local school that caters to such needs.
5: Long-term Academic Goals
Last but not the least, you should start your search — or any activity actually – with an end in mind. Do you want your child to be a Harvard graduate? Do you want your child to be open to global careers? Your long-term goal should always be at the center of all your decisions. If you want your child to have a good chance of entering Harvard, then you should look for an international school that offers a curriculum that is compatible with the requisites that Harvard demands. The clearer your goals, the faster your decision-making process will be.