Selecting the right school can be a daunting task, particularly in Switzerland where there are so many institutions and curricula to choose from. Families that have recently relocated to the country often find their choices overwelming. They are are usually unfamiliar with the Swiss public system or lack a sufficient understanding of the many international curricula available to make the right decision for their child.
“What is really hard for us are the calls we get from distraught parents at the end of their tether because their child is either not happy at their new school or they have failed to find a place for their child at their first choice school,” says Sabine Hutcheson, Academic Director of TutorsPlus and education consultant, who has experience in Swiss, UK and French systems of education. “Sometimes we just wish they had come to us earlier so we could have saved them some anguish.” Anguish is a strong word but many parents know how difficult family life can become when children are not happy at school.
Education consultants at TutorsPlus use their experience in the Swiss, French and international systems to guide parents through the questions and concerns that surround choosing a school. “Parents always ask us, ‘What is the best school in my area?’ But actually the question we help them answer is ‘What is the best school for their child.’” TutorsPlus considers not only the preferences of the parents, such as language and diploma options and where the parents may move to in the future, but also the personality and unique strengths of the child; they use the information to provide a complete list of choices. The consultants aid parents in making an informed decision up to the final selection before assisting in the application process and coordinating with the school. Doing their best for students in Switzerland, however, doesn’t stop at the door to the school. TutorsPlus provides experienced tutors that support students in a variety of ways. Each tutor is handpicked for their experience and ability to motivate students, and the majority are qualified educators. Tutors develop personalized learning plans for each student based on preliminary conversations with the parents, sometimes the student. They determine what the difficulty is and use the first lesson to further assess the best learning methods. “There is a communication triangle between us in the office, the parents, and the tutor,” Hutcheson says. “We maintain communication to make sure that students are responding well to the tutor’s style, and making progress. We have a wide range of tutors so, if need be, we can change to another tutor quickly and easily.”
Visit www.tutorsplus.com or reach Sabine on 022 731 8148 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about their educational consultancy, tuition service, special needs support and intensive SAT/ACT Prep and IGCSE & IB revision courses.
5 mistakes parents often make when deciding on a school
- Not doing enough research and asking the right questions before settling on a choice
- Not understanding the pros and cons of Swiss, French, English and International curricula
- Believing that any school their friends/colleagues like will naturally be appropriate for their child
- Failing to consider the child’s next educational step (that is, next level or country of residence)
- Not matching their child’s strengths and learning style to school programmes
Key English School
The parent company of TutorsPlus, ASC International House (www.asc- ih.ch), is heavily involved in all aspects of educating children. In addition to tutoring and education consultancy, the group includes English-language and bilingual schools from Primary through to pre-university programmes, as well as holiday camps with real educational run by its affiliate, Key English School.
Over 6 weeks this summer, Key English School will run a series of language and themed camps during which children 4-12 years old will travel across English-speaking countries of the world through activities, sports and their imaginations.
Campers will learn about local culture, traditions, food and more through games, crafts, singing, dancing, cooking, language circles and sports. Key English School’s interactive and hands-on approach facilitates the forming of new friendships, the acquisition of vocabulary and fearlessness in putting new language skills to use.
For the first time this year, two weeks of camp in French are in the programme, featuring half-days of golf with a qualified instructor. In English, golf, multisport and dance options complement the usual halfand full-day enrolments.
Camps will run in Corsier, Genthod, Lutry, Chesaux and Monts-de-Corsier.
Please visit www.key-englishschool.ch for more information.
Article by Karee Magee