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How to choose a private school: What to pay attention to when choosing a non-public school | The British International School

10 January 2022

Every parent strives to give their children the best of everything, and education is no exception. Therefore, parents often face the question of how to find a suitable school. The increasing number of private educational institutions has expanded the opportunities for children to learn and thus, the options from which to choose.

In this article we'll share the advantages of private schools and what you should pay attention to when choosing the right school, using the example of the British International School in Moscow.

Advantages and disadvantages 

Small classes, highly-qualified teachers, and high quality of education are the main advantages of private schools, not to mention an individual approach to learning.

The composition of classes is relatively small in private schools (for example, at BIS, 7-15 children study in a class), which makes it possible to devote sufficient attention and time to each student. With an individual approach at school, children feel more comfortable, and they are given more opportunities to develop their talents and strengths. Children know that a teacher will always help in the learning process.

The teaching staff is another factor to take into account as the final results of students depend on the qualifications of teachers and their professional achievements. Excellent exam results at the British International School in English programmes (IB and A-Level), as well as in the Russian programme, indicate that the school provides a first-class education, giving their graduates the opportunity to enrol in the best universities around the world. For example, last year our IB students had an average result of 34 points, which is higher than the global mean. Our graduates of the Russian branch successfully completed their academic year and received high scores in the Unified State Examination, from 79 to 100.

The educational environment established in private schools also positively influences a child’s development. Classrooms, gyms and even laboratories are equipped with everything necessary for a comfortable learning process.

Another obvious advantage is that almost all private schools have a nursery school in their structure, and the British International School is no exception. The BIS Nursery offers educational services according to the English National Curriculum education and teaches kids aged 3-4 years.

However, it is necessary to talk about the disadvantages of private schools. For example, the cost of education. Although sending your child to study at a private school may be expensive, a number of schools, including BIS, offer various discounts during the academic year.

Let's say you finally decide to entrust the education of your child to a private school. 

What should you pay attention to when choosing it?

1. Licence and state accreditation. 

These two documents are unconditional guarantors of the provision of quality educational services. The British International School is accredited not only by the Education Department of Moscow, but also has international accreditation for its educational programmes. BIS has also been a member of the Council of International Schools (CIS) for many years.

2. Effective educational programmes. 

The future of the child depends on the correct choice of educational programme. The British International School provides two educational programmes regarding the language of studies - Russian and English. The Russian programme is based on the Federal State Educational Standard, and Russian-speaking teachers give classes.

Nevertheless, the popularity of studying according to the British National Programme is growing every year, as more and more parents are attracted by the prospects of working and studying abroad. They are willing to provide their child with an international education, which is possible in the IB (International Baccalaureate) and A-Level programmes, entirely conducted in English by native speakers.

3. School building and its security. 

For each school, an important goal is to make sure that a kid feels comfortable at school. Every detail of the interior can play its role. Not only the decor and design, but also the safe environment have an impact on the learning process. 

4. Teaching staff. 

It is important that teachers are professionals in their field, who are always ready to help a student. BIS teachers are qualified specialists from the UK and other English-speaking countries with extensive work experience.

5. Medical office and dining room. 

Children spend a significant part of the day at school, and maintaining and improving their health is the task of not only parents, but also teachers. The school should form the students’ hygiene habits, as well as monitor the provision of nutritious food in the dining room.

6. Extracurricular activities. 

These help students broaden their horizons, increase their erudition, and deepen their knowledge. Learning through educational games, and clubs - all this is just a part of what awaits your child when enrolling in the British International School.

7. Communication between parents and teachers.

Communication between parents and teachers is very important in the learning process, as most of the time parents want to be aware of the activity of the child in his/her school and extracurricular activities.

8. Atmosphere at school. 

A friendly school environment allows children to develop their social skills. For example, The British International School has students of  65 nationalities. Getting acquainted with the culture of different peoples, children cultivate tolerance and form an undistorted worldview.

9. Graduates. 

When choosing a private school, it is important to pay attention to the achievements of graduates, where they studied after graduation, and how their career has developed. This information can be found on social networks and on the website of the educational institution. Each year, graduates of the British International School enter the top 50 best universities, including Cambridge and Oxford Universities, the University of California and the London School of Economics.

10. The BIS community. 

Over the 27 years, around 2,000 graduates have graduated from the BIS and now study or work in different parts of the world. We have been planning the creation of an alumni community for a long time and are very pleased that this year we will be able to start implementing our plans.

In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that the British International School is not only about a high-quality education, a comfortable environment, and qualified staff. First of all, this is a certain community where everyone treats another person with respect and is always ready to help. Such a homely and even family atmosphere maintains a certain image of the school, distinguishing it from many others.

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