Choosing the curriculum is one of the most difficult decisions parents face when choosing the best international school for their children.
Parents may not have enough information or knowledge about the different curricula, and the implications of each of them. The decision may also be made more difficult with the added uncertainty about their future, such as which city or country their children will continue with their studies.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the curriculum. However, there are three critical questions that parents need to ask themselves when deciding:
The approach to learning varies from one curriculum to another. In traditional classroom curriculum, each child learns the same thing at the same pace. For instance, the Montessori curriculum focuses on each specific child and their rate and speed for learning. Some curriculum requires that the students participate in activities such as community service or sports, while others focus on more academic aspects. Parents need to consider these factors and decide what is the best fit for their child.
Unfortunately, national curricula are not always available abroad. Some are widely spread around the world, such as the British or French curriculum, but others are not always available, such as Spanish or Japanese. Changing address and schools is already tough enough for children, it may not be helpful to change curriculum too.
Admission procedures to universities vary depending on the university itself, but also depending on the country. Additionally, the curriculum requirements may differ, as well as the timing. Be aware of all these requirements well in advance.
Finally, year or grade levels are named differently depending on the curriculum, adding extra confusion. This table shows the grade equivalences among some of the most popular curricula.