At Firmstone Education, we have a singular mission: to find the best private school for your child in the UK or Canada. We do not take commission from any schools which means that we are free to recommend only the schools that we believe will allow your child to thrive and reach their full potential.
However, choosing and applying to a UK or Canadian school is a complex and time-consuming process. Whether your child is looking to enter a Prep School, Senior School or Six Form, we work with you each step of the way to make the best choice. We also ensure that your child is emotionally and academically prepared to attend a top tier boarding school abroad.
In particular, we help you evaluate each school by:
Academic level, curriculum
Facilities, e.g. boarding, sports, drama
Special needs and support
Size, location, staff/pupil ratio
Given that applying to prestigious boarding schools is a complex process, we recommend that you allow eighteen months to two years, to research, visit schools and make that important decision of selecting the best school for your child.
School Search – finding the right school for your child
We take the time to get to know your child, their academic ability, special needs, interests and personality as well as their current level of English. We also assess their academic readiness and identify opportunities for improvement. We also take the time to help parents understand the UK and Canada’s independent education system which can be complex to navigate. And we and talk about the practicalities and realities of sending your child to study in the UK.
Then we go to work to develop a list of schools that we believe are a good fit for your child. If possible, we arrange for you and your child to visit as many schools on this list as possible to experience each school’s facilities, staff, students and the local area. If you cannot travel to the UK or Canada, we arrange virtual visits.
We help you understand the admission process and requirements for each school your child plans to apply to. Some schools, for example require a written essay, most require an interview with your child that can be conducted in person or via Skype. Schools make formal offers of places in writing after reviewing your child’s performance in entrance exams and interviews. Once places have been offered, we will help you and your child choose the most appropriate school.
The application process involves a number of steps and it is never too early to start. Firmstone Education guides you through the application process, and reviews and edits all documents before submission. Our goal is to help your child produce the strongest applications possible. We supervise each component of an application, working with your family and the school to set timelines and monitor deadlines along the way. This is how we ensure that each application and its written supplements are perfectly aligned to each school’s institutional priorities and your child’s strengths and interests.
Entrance Exam Preparation
Ensuring that your child is prepared for the entrance exam can be daunting. Our tutors will work together with your child to prepare them for the entry exams and interview. We also offer private one-on-one tutoring in individual subjects as well as English Language tutoring to raise English literacy.
This is important because international applicants to UK based British boarding schools are required to have an adequate understanding of English to enable them to access all the elements of the UK school curriculum.
Bursaries & financial aid
Most schools offer financial assistance in the forms of scholarships or bursaries for pupils who are either very able or can demonstrate the need for monetary support. Some also offer Art, Sport and Music Bursaries. Qualifying students need to apply for scholarships and bursaries in advance. Firmstone Education can help get you on the path to securing financial assistance for your child. It is important, however to be on time and organised. If your child gets the offer of a place and you then decide to ask about bursaries, it may well be too late.
Once your child has been accepted into a school, the next stage is to apply for a Tier 4 student visa before they leave home. Applying for a visa can be complicated but we guide you through the process smoothly. In addition, since January 2014, Hong Kong residents staying in the UK for more than 6 months (other than children aged under 11) are required to take the Tuberculosis Test in the assigned clinics by UK Visa and immigration.
Our service does not end once your child starts at their new school. We conduct regular wellness calls and send your child care packages throughout the academic year.
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