What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
MEF International School - Izmir
In what town or city is this school located?
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
What grade levels are represented at this school?
Early Years - Year 13
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
The majority take a bus (external company). The rest are dropped off/collected by parents or drivers. A few older students walk.
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The campus is pleasant, quite charming. The buildings were renovated when the school opened. Although the facilities range from adequate to good (nice gym, decent pool, football pitches) there is limited green space and not a proper theatre. The Early Years playground is very nice but not spacious. The library is attractive and there is a conference hall which is decent.
There are clubs, activities and after school teams. The school arranges brilliant field trips (they call them educational excursions here) but sometimes it seems there are too many at certain times of the year (esp. May-June).
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 has the Cambridge curriculum. We had a child in primary and one in secondary. Our family was very pleased with the school in general and particularly with the academics. The transition was not difficult because our children had been in an international school previously and are native English speakers (the language of instruction at the school is English).
There is a counsellor for pastoral care (ie. student transitions into the school or when leaving). It was not a need for our children.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
In reading other reviews on this website I think they are old, perhaps from the first year or two of the school. For example, the PTA is referred to but several years ago it was changed to Parent Council. I remember when the name was changed.
The Parent Council met every month. There was also an executive group of parents who meet with school administration (I think every term). There are social activities. One of the best was the Spring Fling, an open house at the school with rummage sale and games and international food. Our entire family loved it (including some relatives who were visiting).
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
This expat website was very useful to me when moving to Turkey. But the reviews are not dated and I now know that some of the other reviews about the school are outdated and no longer accurate. I think the expat exchange website should have a section on this form for the date when a review is submitted.
My best advice to parents is take a look at the school website. It has much information and is current. Ask for copies of school documents - school communication is one of its strongest points.
The atmosphere at the school was always nice, it has a community "feel". Teachers and administration were responsive when contacted or when meeting with them.
In one of the other reviews a parent who left the school mentioned how much their children missed the school and it was one of the best they had ever attended. I am in agreement. We have only fond memories of both the school and Izmir.