The Independent School Advantage
Parents want to provide the best for their children, especially when it comes to their education and future. As parents search different schooling options to find the best fit, increasingly they are choosing independent schools. Our parents and school community express some common advantages for attending independent schools, and there are also some strong reasons supported by international research.
TEN key reasons why as an independent school there is an added advantage
- High quality teachers
The quality of teachers makes the greatest difference to a student’s learning and achievement in school. Kristin offers greater flexibility around employment conditions to attract and retain the best teachers. We also invest heavily in the ongoing professional learning and development of our teachers to ensure they are the forefront of curriculum development and pedagogical practices. The teachers at Kristin truly care about all of their students and work tirelessly to provide the best outcomes for their students.
- Higher academic standards and outcomes
There is an environment of aspiration, where all students are expected and encouraged to excel and achieve their personal best. Kristin consistently achieves higher qualification grades and results on ‘national league tables’; this occurs both for top scholars and students needing greater support to achieve their full potential. Research confirms students from independent schools are more likely to go on and study at university, earn higher wages, and have a healthier lifestyle.
- More confident and ready for the real world
In a smaller, supportive, family-like school environment like Kristin, students can experience more pastoral support to grow and nurture their confidence, self-esteem and have their voice heard. This is reinforced by being actively encouraged to get involved and participate in the wide range of activities and diverse opportunities Kristin offers.
- Smaller class sizes
With Kristin’s smaller class sizes, students are known to their teachers, enabling teachers to provide more a more individualised approach to meet their learning needs. Students are less likely to feel invisible and parents will be more reassured their child is less likely to get “lost” in a system.
- Strong values and character-based education
Each independent school has its own unique and special character that it fosters within its community. This includes its history, core values, philosophy and approach to education. Kristin has an inspiring history; set up by parents to share in a values-based education. This special character is well understood and articulated within our school community and helps strengthen a sense of community and belonging. This supports the whole child’s development.
- Greater opportunities
All students are encouraged to participate in the wider life of the school, and benefit from a much greater offering of opportunities than a typical school could offer. Kristin provides an internationally recognised qualification, through the IB programme. Beyond the classroom in the performing arts, sports, robotics, cultural groups, debating, chess, etc. a young person can find their personal passion and space with activities that engage them and help them to grow and develop.
- More flexible and innovative
Without the constraints of government politics and bureaucracy, independent schools are free to be genuinely responsive to the learning needs of their children. Whether it is with new property developments, innovative teaching programmes or developments in digital technology – independent schools can make informed decisions on what is best for students.
- Alumni networks
The strong sense of belonging within independent schools means students are typically proud to stay connected with their school well beyond graduation. Our school’s alumni and annual reunions can be major social events and a chance to make valuable social and professional contacts. Our alumni also contribute back to the community through visits and speaking engagements at the school or becoming board members.
- Truly international education
With over forty different nationalities at Kristin we provide a rich and diverse environment for students to socialise and learn in. As an IB World School our students are explicitly taught to be critical thinkers, knowledgeable and caring which enables them to have a greater understanding of global issues and perspectives. We equip students to make a positive difference in both their local and global world. It creates a “passport for life”.
- Discipline and Safety
A safe and vibrant environment is critical for any young person to be able to learn, grow and achieve. There are high standards and expectations, which are clearly and consistently enforced for the benefit of the whole community. Each student’s individual development is fostered and supported, with access to personalised pastoral care and “wrap-around” support as needed.
Some relevant research links:
Today: Parenting Team, (2017), Advantages of Private Schools
The Telegraph, (August 2018), Why the true advantages of private school are not academic
British Educational Research (February 2017), Private schooling and labour market outcomes, Journal Vol. 43, No. 1, February 2017, pp. 7–28
Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), (2015), New research shows benefits of independent learning
Hattie, J. (2009), Visible Learning, A Synthesis of over 800 Meta-analyses relating to achievement. Routledge, New York.
Our Kids (Canada's Trusted Source for families), 2019, Benefits of private schools.
Bill Meyer, Naomi Haywood, Darshan Sachdev and Sally Faraday (2008), What is independent learning and what are the benefits for students?, Department for Children, Schools and Families Research Report 051, London, 2008
Independent Schools Council (ISC) 2019 Report:
National Association of Independent School (NAIS) and Gallup research study (October 2018): Gallup Report on Student Outcomes.
The Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools (ADVIS), Why Choose an Independent School,