Thanks to Chartwell International School‘s generous sponsorship of our Private School Admissions Seminar for International Families, Santiago’s English-speaking community had the opportunity to have their concerns and questions addressed by our panel of experts: Katrina Ferreyra, Dean of Advancement and Enrollment at Nido de Aguilas, Ross Morrow, Head of Secondary School, and Loreto Besoaín, Head of Admissions at The International Preparatory School (TIPS), Elena Young, Rector at Colegio Huelquen Montessori, Daniela Molina, Bilingual Speech Therapist or “Fonoaudióloga”, and Stephanie Ray, Bilingual Academic Specialist or “Psicopedagoga”- all came out in the spirit of helping families from our community successfully navigate the often overwhelming private school admissions process in Chile.
A heartfelt THANK YOU to our panel members and Chartwell International School for helping ExPat families prepare themselves for what is often a most stressful experience! Without the participation of Chartwell International School, Nido de Aguilas, The International Preparatory School (TIPS), Huelquen Montessori and our educational specialists, the event would not have been possible.
If you missed our Private School Admissions seminar, here is Discover Chile’s pick of the TOP 10 TIPS offered by our panel of experts to help you better prepare your family for Chile’s private school application process:
- Do Your Research and apply to the school that best fits your family’s values and reality: For example, if your family is atheist then you may want to think twice before applying to a super religious private school.
- And on that note, the Best Way to Find out About a School is to Talk to Parents Who Already have their Children at the School! How open are they with the realities of ExPat families? Will they permit you to take a few extra days off from school in order to extend a family trip back home? If you’re all about extra-curricular sports and activities, how much homework does this school send home during the week and on weekends? Asking parents who already have their kids at the school is probably the best way to find out about the school and its values.
- Timing is Important: Whenever possible, apply during the school’s official application period. For the actual interview and assessment, show up on time!
- Do not Overwhelm Your Family Unnecessarily: It is tempting to apply to as many schools as possible, but after a while, your child (and you!) will be mentally exhausted, which will not bode well at the interview and assessment! Stephanie Ray, for instance, recommended applying to no more than four or five schools.
- Show the School You Are a Committed Family: It’s the little things that will show the school you are committed to your child’s education – like ensuring the application is complete, having both parents show up for the interview, SHOWING UP ON TIME, sending a kind, “pleased to have met you” email after the interview and evaluation
- If the Private School You Want to Apply to has a Preschool then do Consider Enrolling in the Preschool to Increase the Chances of Admittance into the School Itself: The rumours are true, I’m afraid. Private schools will prioritize certain children during the admissions process: siblings of current students, for instance, and children who are already enrolled in the preschool (although, in most cases, it won’t guarantee you a spot!)
- Prepare Your Child in a Fun and Relaxed Way: During your child’s assessment, certain aspects of his/her cognitive and physical development will be evaluated – literary comprehension, hand-eye coordination, communication skills, fine and gross motor skills, etc. and it’s easy to help your child prepare in an anxiety-free way: a) Read to your child often and then ask him/her age-appropriate questions about the story b) Talk to your child – at dinner, over breakfast, while driving…there are plenty of opportunities to have a conversation with your child (even your toddler will benefit from what seems to be a one-sided conversation!) c) Socialize your child: if your child does not go to preschool, for instance, then go to the park, set-up play-dates, etc. d) Play with your child: There are so many toys available that will help develop his/her spatial reasoning skills, hand-eye coordination, gross and fine motor skills, etc. and don’t forget good ol’ fashion running around and climbing stuff!
- Set Yourself Up for Success: Make sure you and your family get a good night’s sleep prior to the interview and assessment. Wake up extra early (while leaving your child to sleep) so you can get a head start on things in the morning…preparing breakfast, getting ready yourself so that when it’s time to get your child up, you can focus on him/her. If you are relaxed and not stressed for fear of being late, then your child will likely also be relaxed.
- Routine is Key: If you haven’t done so already, set-up a routine for your child and stick to it…meal times, bed time, bath time, etc. Studies show that a healthy routine and structure can benefit your child in so many ways – including instilling in him/her a sense of security and certainty in him/herself and their surroundings.
- Communicate Openly to the School about Your Child: Whatever relevant information you think they should know, then do let them know about it! Chances are, they will notice it during the assessment, so it’s best you are upfront about whatever realities or difficulties you are working with and, if applicable, how you are working to resolve it. If, for instance, your child is growing up in a bilingual home, it’s important the school is aware of this since language development in preschool-aged children is different from those children growing up in a unilingual home.
(56) 9 9370 6365 or (56) 9 3092 4771
The International School Nido de Aguilas
Av. El Rodeo 14200, Lo Barnechea, Santiago, Chile
(56) 2 2339 8100
The International Preparatory School (TIPS)
Pastor Fernandez 16001, Lo Barnechea, Santiago, Chile
(56) 22 321 5800
Colegio Huelquen Montessori
Calle el Rodeo 13798, Lo Barnechea, Santiago, Chile
(56) 22 242 4278
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