Saturday, 31 May 2014

When choosing a school look for the skyscrapers

Great cities can be recognised by their skylines.
Some cities are dominated by ancient domes and spires testament to centuries of culture and learning; other more recent new-comers compete through ever taller and imaginative iconic structures; and truly great cities combine the two with a juxtaposition of history and an ever evolving modernity. 
However, on the ground, modern cities tend to be increasingly similar: shopping malls and business districts have a similar feel whether in Dubai, Kuala Lumpur or Toronto or Sydney. Life in one world city can be a very similar experience as life in another. 
In many ways schools are like cities. On the ground they all do very similar things: lessons take place, young people excel in music, drama, sport and adventurous activities; trips and visits go out both near and far. Some schools have long and distinguished histories and have the buildings to match, whilst others are forward-looking and have new technology and infrastructure to dazzle. So how to choose between them? 
Top independent schools, like world cities, have skyscrapers: areas of particular strength that define their skyline. These are areas where a school would consider itself making a distinctive contribution, areas where perhaps it puts a greater proportion of its resources than its peers. School skyscrapers are usually built on the foundations of long-standing tradition and expertise. So when choosing a school, consider the skyscrapers and ask yourself, 'Will the school in question provide my son or daughter the best possible opportunities to thrive, develop his/ her talents and, above all, to see new horizons?'

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