In England, independent schools are becoming an increasingly popular choice for parents seeking to provide their children with a high-quality education. According to the Independent Schools Council, over 1,300 independent schools are in the country, educating more than half a million pupils. However, gaining admission to one of these schools can be highly competitive, often involving an interview as part of the application process.
To help your child succeed in their application, it’s essential to prepare thoroughly for the interview. This guide will provide tips on preparing for a private school interview as a parent so that you can feel confident and prepared when the day comes.
Research The School
Before the interview, take the time to research the school’s mission, values, and educational philosophy. Look at the school’s website, read any brochures or pamphlets that the school may have provided, and talk to any other parents or students who have experience with the school. Having a good understanding of what the school stands for and what it offers can help you prepare thoughtful and relevant questions for the interviewers.
Review Your Child’s Academic Achievements
Make sure you know your child’s academic achievements and extracurricular activities inside and out. You may be asked to talk about your child’s interests and talents, so it’s essential to be able to discuss them in detail. Review your child’s grades, test scores, and other relevant information.
Think About Your Reasons For Considering The School
The admissions team may ask why you are interested in the school, so be prepared to answer this question thoughtfully. Think about what you believe the school can offer your child that other schools cannot. Perhaps the school has a strong music program, a reputation for academic excellence, or a commitment to community service.
Plan To Discuss Any Special Circumstances
If your child has any special needs or circumstances, such as a learning disability or a family situation that may impact their education, be prepared to discuss them positively and proactively. Make sure you know how the school can support your child and how you plan to work with the school to ensure your child’s success.
Prepare Your Own Questions
The interview is also an opportunity to ask questions about the school, so prepare some questions in advance. Consider asking about the school’s extracurricular activities, approach to teaching and learning, and policies on discipline and student behaviour.
Practice With A Friend Or Family Member
Practising with a friend or family can help you feel more comfortable and confident during the interview. Ask your friend or family member to ask you typical interview questions, and practice your responses. This can help you feel more prepared and in control during the interview.
Finally, make sure you dress appropriately for the interview. Dress professionally and make sure you are comfortable and can move around quickly. Remember, first impressions count, and how you present yourself can make a big difference in how the admissions team perceives you.
Preparing for a private school interview as a parent takes time and effort, but it is well worth it. Doing your research, reviewing your child’s academic achievements, and practising with a friend, you can go into the interview feeling confident and ready to impress the school’s admissions team. Good luck!