Choosing the right school for your child can be a daunting task for a parent. With so many options to consider, it can be difficult to know what to do for the best. Children are so young when considering a nursery or reception class, how will you know what their educational needs will be in 5 years’ time? When considering senior schools, how can you tell if your child will thrive in that environment or become lost amongst the masses? And sixth forms offer so many options, which one will guide your child to the next step in their education or career?
With recent events bringing the importance of education to the forefront, many parents are assessing their options.
Doncaster and its surrounding areas offer a variety of schools, nurseries and sixth forms which can be overwhelming at times and it can often lead to the question, “why should I pay for my child’s education?”
Well, we think there are a number of benefits to an independent education.
Let’s start with the obvious, small class sizes. It is well known that independent schools can offer smaller class sizes than the average state school. While Britain’s state schools have the largest primary school class sizes in the developed world, with most averaging nearly 30 pupils per class, independent schools have a much smaller teacher to pupil ratio. At Hill House, classes generally have fewer than 20 children, with GCSE and A Level classes even smaller still.
This lets teachers do what they do best - teach.
Parents coming to look around our school, often speak of their children going “under the radar” and “coasting” at their current school. Easily done if teachers have to split their time between so many pupils.
Smaller class sizes mean teachers can get to know their pupils’ strengths, weaknesses and learning styles. It also allows them to know pupils as individuals, a hugely important factor in pastoral care. Independent schools allow for pupils to discover who they are, what their skills are and where their passions lie. This helps to build the sense of community. A child’s success and happiness is the result of an effective partnership between the child, parents and school. At Hill House, parents are encouraged to be a part of the life of the school, including supporting matches, concerts and productions.
Independent school life extends beyond the classroom, with children given the opportunity to explore hobbies and interests outside of the curriculum. Perhaps they are experiencing different cultures through World Challenge, or trips and sports tours around the globe. Maybe they discover new hobbies amongst the many after-school activities on offer. Or they could be inspired by visiting experts and prestigious speakers.
The experts aren’t just fleeting visitors though, they are in the classrooms day in, day out. Specialist teachers, whether it be music, languages, science or sport, offer pupils a wealth of knowledge and experience. They are not just teaching that subject because it is in the curriculum, but because it is their passion, making the lessons far more interesting and beneficial to pupils.
At Hill House, we are lucky to have an array of specialist teachers. Our Nursery is led by a qualified teacher with over 18 years’ experience. Our sports staff have achieved huge levels of success, some even reaching the world stage. Music is led by highly experienced and knowledgeable staff and our subject teachers bring insight and innovate ideas to the education on offer.
Of course all of the above helps pupils attain excellent results. The Independent Schools Council stated that, in their schools, 95.6% of entries received a C/4 grade or higher at GCSE, compared to 67.3% nationally.
This undoubtedly helps pupils reach the next stage, whether that be further education or the first step in a career. They are supported by staff who know them and know what they are capable of achieving. The long-term benefits of an independent education are clear to see. A recent study found that the average annual salary of a 25-year-old who had gone to a private school was £28,974 while the average salary of their state educated peers was £20,857-a-year.
So, when considering your options, remember that an independent school isn’t just “paying for an education”, it is investing in your child’s future.
If you would like to hear more about the benefits of an education at Hill House School, request a prospectus HERE or speak to our admissions team on 01302 776300.