Parents, Here's What You Need To Know About Starting School Mid-Year
Can’t meet those enrolment deadlines at the start of the year? We look to The British International School of Kuala Lumpur to explore pastoral care, personalised academic support and other advantages available to families who have made the decision to join an international school mid-year.
Teachers familiar with the needs of new joiners
Of qualified teachers there are many, but the teaching staff at the British International School of Kuala Lumpur (BSKL) are accustomed to the influx of mid-year joiners (especially among international families) and have indispensable experience getting to know students quickly and teaching them effectively amidst the transition.
BSKL’s teachers are not just internationally-qualified but also well-positioned to meet the social and academic needs of new students. In the primary school, both teachers and assistant teachers hold degrees, ensuring that 2 highly-trained adults are on hand to offer support when it’s most needed.
Emphasis on pastoral care
Is your child happy at school? It’s a complicated question, yet one that many BSKL parents can confidently answer in the affirmative.
Pastoral care is no small matter at the school, with 2 professional school counsellors on call together with a full nursing team and a nutritionist to ensure all-rounded support for the students' emotional, developmental and medical needs.
New parents can instantly grasp BSKL’s warm and inviting school culture with uplifting features in place like the buddy system, the Friendship Club at primary school level, a settling-in report on first term students and other effective measures to ease the stress of entering a new learning environment.
An inclusive learning environment
Inclusion is at the heart of the school, seen in the concerted efforts made to support students whose first language is not English. BSKL’s inclusion department serves this very purpose, identifying such students through the admissions process and developing a plan of additional support to boost language acquisition.
New joiners will benefit from the attention of well-trained early years teachers who use visual cues as an effective learning aid for teaching English as an additional language.
An active life outside the classroom
What's an easy way to see where and how your child excels outside of the classroom? Get them to try a diverse range of after-school activities.
Enrichment clubs and extra-curricular programmes will help mid-year joiners make friends quickly while nurturing their personal interests and hobbies, whether it be through sport, music, art, languages or ICT – all key areas that are amply catered for within BSKL’s well-appointed facilities.
Bringing students up to speed academically
Parents new to the British International School of Kuala Lumpur can fall back on the school’s excellent academic record.
In the 2017-2018 academic year, 75 per cent of BSKL students scored A*-A in their IGCSEs (topping the UK national average). Teachers and heads of department are ever-ready to carry out personalised provision tailored to helping mid-year starters catch up on content and skills, all with a sharp eye on their progress.
This is especially important in Years 10-13, where greater specialisation begins. Through a highly structured options process, detailed material and numerous opportunities for consultation with teachers, there’s less room for new students to feel left behind in the rush of mid-year activities.
The right community
How can you foster open conversations about your child’s transition to a new school? What can you do as a parent to help your child navigate the transition process smoothly? Questions like these and many others are hashed out and addressed within the comforting environment of BSKL’s solid support network for new parents.
Despite it’s broad expansion in recent years, the school’s community spirit has not waned and strong relationships with students’ parents remain a key focus year after year. Coffee mornings, weekly newsletters, volunteering opportunities and more offer invaluable advice on how best to provide children with the support they need outside of school.
Before you go: If you’re planning on switching schools mid-year, get in touch with BSKL’s admissions team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03- 7727 7775 to arrange a visit.