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What Does My Child Need to Get into a Top UK School?




The UK has some of the most prestigious boarding schools in the world. As you may have guessed, that also means that admissions are highly competitive. Students from all over the world strive for a limited number of places.


So what can you, as the parent, do to prepare your child to win a place at a top school?


1. Get Started Early


It’s never too early to begin working towards your goal of entering into a boarding school. All of the following ideas are ways that you can get started planning as soon as you decide that getting into a top boarding school is your goal. Many boarding schools have application deadlines, so you should familiarise yourself with those as early as possible. Online preparatory schools are a great service if you need additional expertise or support.


2. Set a Plan for Academic Goals


This will go hand in hand with the research you will need to do on the school(s) that you are applying to. Make sure that you know the academic requirements. Once you know this, you can set academic goals and create a plan to reach these goals. What kind of student is your child? Be familiar with their current level. Then, set a challenging goal, one that may go beyond your initial expectations, and work systematically towards achieving it.


3. Other Interests


Schools look for well-rounded students, those who are not just an academic fit for their school, but those who will contribute to school life in a positive way. This may through sport, music, art, drama or any hobby. So, , encourage your child to find a passion early on and then develop that skill.


4. Research and Visits


There may be one school in particular that you and your child want to be admitted to, but we recommend that you to apply to a few schools. You need to be doing research on these schools. Ask friends, look online, try and speak to teachers familiar with them. Ensure that you know what the school prioritizes and their mission for students. As you find schools which fit your vision, find out when they offer schools visits. Go tour the school and ask any questions you may still have even after all of your research.


5. Stay Organized


Stay on top of the process so you don’t miss any due dates. Develop a system or calendar that will help you remember when applications, fees, and tests are due. You do not want to miss getting accepted to a particular school just because you missed a due date.


6. Prepare for Exams


Don’t just assume that in class school work is enough to prepare your child for entrance exams. Online preparatory schools may be best suited to prepare students for these exams. Most schools will offer specimen papers, check and see if the school offers an exam outline or even a study guide. Begin studying early.


7. Work on Interview Skills


Part of the application and selection process will include an interview. Complete some practice interviews with a variety of people. Start preparing as early as 7 or 8 years old, and continue this work all the way up until actually getting accepted into a school. Work on common questions that may be asked. Also, and maybe more importantly, work on being relaxed in what can be a stressful situation. The more that they practice interviewing, the more confident and relaxed your child will be.


Final Takeaways


The two key things that you can do to really help your child is to do your research and to start early. You do not want to be rushing or cramming anything last minute. Any time from as early as 7 years old is a perfect time to get started. Should you need additional support, you might consider enrolling in an online preparatory school, like One School, in order to prepare for getting accepted and entering into these top boarding schools.


Also, prepare for the possibility of not being accepted by some schools. Of course, the goal is to get in, but sometimes it doesn’t always work out that way, so it’s equally important to prepare your child for the possibility they won’t be accepted – and that’s ok too, just make sure your child knows that!


Good luck!


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