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16Apr 2021

What does it mean to be academically selective?

  • Published by Melvin Wong
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Researching the right school for your child can present as many questions as answers. During your research, you may find that certain schools that you’re interested in enrolling your child at describe themselves as selective schools. If you’re asking the question, what does that mean and what does an assessment for a 5 year old even look like, you’re not alone!

What does ‘selective’ actually mean in an international school setting?

In general, ‘selective’ means there is some kind of assessment process, in all year groups, in order for a child to be admitted into the school. The specifics of ‘selective’ will be different at each school. Some schools may only be interested in a certain academic level; others may look at other aspects alongside academic results, taking into account a more holistic picture of the child. The most important thing for parents like yourselves to be clear about is what each individual school’s process is, as this will help you understand the ethos of the school and what they are looking for.

Why do schools approach its admissions in this way?

Different schools are academically selective for different purposes, and the main reason is to ensure that the curriculum suits your child's learning style. This will ensure that they will be able to thrive in the school’s environment. It is also equally important to note that as much as schools will be happy to accept your child into their schools, being selective also allows them to make sure that they are the right school for your child’s education and happiness. 

If I’m applying for a selective school, how should I prepare my child?

The best way to prepare them is to discuss with them where they will be going and why, and who will meet them when they get there. This eliminates any shock or worry when walking into a new environment. It might also be helpful to have conversations with your child where you ask them questions about what they like at school, what books they like, any favourite characters etc. This will get them used to answering questions about themselves.

Otherwise, there is no other need to prepare your child as the school administering the test just wants to see your child in as natural a situation as possible to find out what they know, what they love to do and to see a glimpse of their personality. Selective schools will also ask for previous school reports (if applicable) as it helps them to get a better understanding of your child as a learner.

As these assessments differ from school to school, please check in with the respective international schools to get more information on how they run their tests.

Enquire with us today to find out more about Brighton College (Singapore) and whether we will be a good fit for your child.

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