Education is an important aspect for every parent looking for a solid institution for their child, but it should not be the only priority. Many schools will boast they run a Western curriculum and have highly qualified teachers, but this is not the only component that makes a school great. The additional programs and facilities they offer are what can really make an international school stand out from the crowd.
Extra-Curricular Offerings During and After School
Many quality international schools will offer additional classes or activities beyond simply what needs to be covered within a lesson. If a school only offers tutoring or a homework club, this is not always a good thing. Good schools understand that a lot of learning takes place outside of the classroom, and many schools will offer this in the form of ECAs, or extra-curricular activities. If you enrol your child into a new international school in Bangkok, there is a very good chance that these ECAs will even be free or at a reduced price. This is usually because the schools are trying to appeal to as many parents and students as possible.
ECAs can vastly range, dependent on the teachers’ personal interests or the type of outside hiring that the school is willing to do. Common ECAs that are usually offered are:
- Basic-level sports, such as swimming, football, or tennis
- Mindfulness activities such as yoga or meditation
- Health and nutrition classes such as cooking
- Storytelling or creative writing
- Learning a second language: additional English help, German, Chinese, etc.
It is important to note that ECAs are reserved usually for after school, once all lessons are finished. Sometimes, an ECA may even happen early in the morning, before classes start. Make sure you are aware of these extra commitments. Extra-curricular activities will range in price, dependent on the school, or even additional staff that is hired for the activity.
Clubs, Team Sports, and More
Sports during ECA times are typically more for fun, and usually for students that are not pursuing a serious interest in the sport. However, some students start at a young age and like to compete in tournaments and against different teams around the city. This is when they might be a better fit for a club or a team. These usually do require an additional fee to help cover uniform costs and trips off-campus.
Check around at international schools to see what is offered beyond the curriculum. The more a school is willing to do beyond academics tells you that you’ve found a good location!