Unlike public schools, private schools have specific admissions requirements and financial responsibilities. This is up to the discretion of the school, with the more prestigious schools mandating a more rigorous application process. While grades are important, students are expected to prepare a portfolio of sorts, documenting their best accompaniments through a personalized essay. This will not only give the school an understanding of how the student performs academically, but also how their values align with theirs. They are interested not only in how a student performs at the time of application, but also their potential to grow within the perimeters of their elite curriculum.
While this may seem like a little difficult, it is very doable with a little bit of support and guidance. We have helped countless students apply to both private schools and universities both domestic and abroad. We know that you value your children’s education, wanting them to gain access to the best opportunities, building a future that we could only dream of. That journey starts with the application package, crafting and curating a list of media-samples that will show the school why your child is the best choice!
Schools are interested in getting to know the student’s family dynamic, specifically who they live with and whether they have social support. This means that you should discuss the family structure, and how everyone relates to one another. Be sure to include hobbies, interests, languages, parent-job description and other personal details. This should be written in clear and concise language, whether it be English or French. The vocabulary need not be advanced or technical but should be free of grammar mistakes (which make it difficult to read). If you have language issues, you can ask a friend to help or retain an expert-such as us-to put together your portfolio, ensuring that your best light shines through.
The student will be invited to an in-person interview, either alone or with a parent or guardian. This is to determine the language skills of the applicant, and how to deal with stress and public speaking. This step causes many students anxiety, unsure of what is a “good or bad”. It is important to note that there are no correct answers, only students who can–or cannot–express themselves “on the spot”. Despite being compiled for American applicants, you can get a great list of questions by clicking here.
Common questions include (but are not limited to:)
What is your favourite sports team?
What are the best things to do in Toronto?
What do you hope to be when you grow up?
Who is your biggest hero (or idol)?
These questions are simple but should be practiced–and prepared–prior to the interview. This will ensure that the session is not stressful and that a positive result will manifest. It is ok to make mistakes! If the student messes up, they can simply go back to the beginning of the thought and reiterate the points. In fact, it demonstrates intellectual strength to recognize a problem, taking the initiative to correct it as soon as possible!
In order to apply, go to the school’s website and set up an account. You will need a valid email, since they will send a confirmation message to ensure that the email address is valid. Once that is all set up, add a picture to the profile. It does not need to be glamorous but should be clear and identifiable. Some parents opt to include their child’s passport photo while others include a personal snapshot, preferably with them as the only subject. In other words, if there are many students in a picture, it is difficult to tell who is who.
Students are expected to to be involved in activities outside formal education, whether it be team sports, chess, piano or otherwise. This shows that the student is well rounded and is able to manage a heavy workload. While prizes and awards are helpful, students can support their application even if they are not the best in their cohort. However, it is advantageous for students to focus on activities where they excel, allowing them to reach the highest echelons in their chosen discipline.
Putting It All Together
Most schools have a multi-step admissions process, requiring different pieces of information from different people. Some ask for an academic reference, a letter from a current (or past) teacher. This should be positive in nature, signally that a student has potential to learn and develop. This could be difficult for current students since they have been studying online for the past two years. As such, many schools are more flexible with this criteria, allowing third parties to vouch for them. Eligible people include family friends, volunteer coordinators, coaches and more.
Inspiration Learning Centre has served Canadian families for over 20 years, giving them the tools and resources to support their children in their academic dreams. If you would like to come in for a free evaluation, kindly send us an email and we will invite you in!