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Parent's Review of The Grange in Santiago, Chile

Submitted by expatheaven

What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)

The Grange

In what town or city is this school located?

Santiago

How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)

British but changing to Chilean

What grade levels are represented at this school?

Infant to Senior

How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)

Generally parents drive the pupils or the nannies walk them school. Pupils are from all over Santiago.

How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?

The campus is a beautiful old charm, however it is designed for the aesthetic and not for the pupils. There is nowhere for pupils to play and to be children. Cobble stone and bushes, but no open areas or climbing apparatus. Fields are congested, as is the parking. Events must be scattered by grade groups because there is no place to park. Difficult if you have several children. They are a superior school as far as what is offered is sports, and invest a lot of money for this area. However, if you are not a natural athlete you can be made to feel quite incompetent since they assign an ability number which you are branded with. Highly competitive in sports in an old traditional way. Lots of opportunity to travel if you remain in the school for many years. True citizenship opportunities and volunteering don't really exist since many just expect things to be done for them. This part is unfortunate in developing caring global students. New arts center is set to open, but arts are not really valued as much as other areas. No mark for drama, music in basement, under utilization of choirs. Good teachers in the arts, and it would be nice to see more balance in recognizing abilities in these areas. Flamenco dance was popular but were not allowed to use main presentation hall because they could dent the floor. Cooking for younger. Not much variety for junior levels. Older have more opportunities with debating and speech. Always changing what is offered.

What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?

The school doesn't do much, Sink or swim attitude. They do very little to assess and monitor. If you look at workbooks you find unrelated, inconsistent work. Teachers don't correct it so I don't see the point. First time you hear of issues is about a week before the term end. Pupils take a test which can account for about 80% of their mark. This system needs a lot of work. Unfortunately there was work being done to improve this area and then there was a big coup with many changes and people being fired. I doubt it will change now. There seems to be no one left who knows about curriculum delivery and meeting needs of all learners. Most times teachers will blame children for not doing the work,, rather than looking at their teaching. The children liked the lessons and the teachers, but the academic standards are low in comparison to other countries. The change in leadership and direction of the school is of concern. Too many staff quit or are fired so the stability is something to look at. For a British school, I don't see any British elements. Spoken English level is poor in senior, considering number of years in the school. The infant house needs to work on basics instead of playing. Lots of work to be done. If you are putting your children there, you will see many smiling faces but action is slow.

How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?

Parents do not have a say. There is a Board of Directors with old boys and old girls with internal power and past connections. The parent group works hard and has representatives, but it is hard to get any truthful answers from the rector. Lots of run around and misrepresented information. It is pretty closed. Assessment data is not shared. You aren't, as a parent, allowed to see the scoring to any teacher directed test. That is odd in this day and age.

What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?

This is a school clinging to a bygone era of achievement. This school has a good reputation but I don't think it is necessarily merited anymore. Only about a quarter of students get in, and mostly because of contacts or because of family ties. If you don't do well as a student, you have to sign a contract and will be kicked out if any special needs issues. So really it is up to you as a student to achieve. Good staff leave pretty quickly and are snapped up in better organizations. Lots of internal bullying issues. School identity is unclear, and it does not feel British at all. There are strengths, such as the emphasis on sports. It is hard to find information about curriculum, and anti-bullying. When issues happen there is more of a lets shake hands and forget approach. If your child falls behind be prepared to be blamed and sent to see a psychologist. I wouldn't say it is all bad, but a lot of work to bring it out of the past. If you are wanting your child to be globally competitive then not the right option - especially with the rector saying that computer access and technology would be reduced. If you are looking to be in the whos who of Chile, then this is the choice for you. I am neutral on the education. Some good and some bad. Tutoring would be needed if you want your child to attend another school later on. If you have been to other schools abroad, you will quickly see through the pomp and ceremony and recognize those who are knowledgeable educators.

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