Maximizing Academic Success: The Advantages of In-School Homework Hours
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When considering a school in Montreal, many questions may arise. What type of schools are there? Are they suitable for expats? Is there an emphasis on diversity? How will language impact a child’s education? With 23% of the population being born outside of the country, Greater Montreal boasts more than 120 communities from different cultures across the world. In fact, 55% of the population is bilingual, speaking French and English, with roughly 20% able to speak three or more languages. For many, this makes the city extremely appealing for those looking to be exposed to a variety of backgrounds. Its welcoming atmosphere cultivates a great opportunity for local children to grow up with a wider perspective of the globe, while also inviting international families to experience the melting pot.
Due to this, Montreal’s cultural scene is rich. With various festivals taking place year-round, from the Arab World Festival of Montreal to Festival International Nuits d’Afrique, alongside its vast selection of shops, restaurants, and general areas that possess their own identity, any family would benefit from its cultural complexity. So, with this in mind, what are the benefits of high schools and primary schools in such a city? To explore this, let’s gain a deeper understanding of the types of schools available.
In Montreal, children attend kindergarten (maternelle) between the ages of five and six, before moving on to elementary school (école primaire), which concludes in Grades six or eight. At this level, one classroom teacher is expected to instruct all general subjects. However, specialised teachers could instruct students in other areas, such as music or physical education. When it comes to middle schools or junior highs, students attend these to prepare for secondary education, with the schools generally offering Grades five and six, or seven to eight or 9.
High schools (école secondaire) last for five years, ranging from grades seven to eleven. This is split into two ‘cycles’, aligning with junior high school (grades seven to eight) and senior high school (grades nine to eleven). Once high school students complete grade eleven, they receive their high school diploma. In high school, students may study subjects such as math, biology, physics, chemistry, economics, political science, history, literature, robotics, French language, foreign language, and more. Individual teachers will be dedicated to each respective subject.
Interestingly, Quebec has the highest number of students attending private schools in North America, covering 17% of the student population. This is certainly noteworthy, as the number rises even further in the city of Montreal, sitting at around 30%. For expat families, in particular, private schools are a solid option, as they can include specialty subjects such as language or religion. They also offer an elevated level of education. While a majority of private schools are high schools, some primary schools are available. In order to attend private secondary schools, students will most likely have to take a scholastic exam before being selected.
When deciding on a school, public or private, it is important to attend the school before making an ultimate choice. Look out for open days. However, if possible, try and visit during a normal working day to get a better understanding of its regular operations. Try to come prepared with questions. These could be related to:
Remember, just one factor here could make a significant impact on a child’s education, so it is worth exploring and asking before making that final decision.
Due to its inclusive nature, there are a variety of alternative schools in Montreal that offer specialised programs. These could focus on sports, science, music, arts, and more. In order to attend, parents must attend a mandatory pre-admissions information session. Home-schooling is also an option, but parents must contact their school board, which will conduct evaluations. Those teaching through home-schooling must deliver appropriate knowledge and competencies for the student to attend the public or private school system.
On top of the available schools, tutoring is also readily available in Montreal for locals and expats. This is a great option for those looking to strengthen their French, or even to supplement specific subjects. Particularly for students who are new to the area, tutors are a great resource to assist in multiple areas. Companies such as Skooli, Superprof, and FirstTutors: Canada are solid options for those looking to connect with certified tutors.
There is a wide selection of schools to choose from when looking for a child’s education in Montreal. For some, too many options may be overwhelming, while others may revel in the opportunity to make their selection from a wider pool. However, ultimately, it comes down to the individual’s – or family’s – personality and the context of their situation. For example, expats may benefit more from private schools, as public schools place more of an expectation on children who predominantly speak French. However, for those with younger children who may assimilate faster, public schools could be a viable option to ensure they are fully immersed in the culture.
Fortunately, language schools are also available. Families that require their children to receive instruction in English can apply through the school board, or the private schools where they intend to enroll. This provides more of an option for children who may not be in the best position to attend a French-speaking school. Though it is important to note, due to Montreal’s impressive schooling system and inclusive nature, those who do not speak French will receive a good level of support.
1. Study in Canada: Primary and secondary schools
This website by the Government of Canada provides information on studying in Canada, including primary and secondary school programs. It explains the requirements for international students, including the need for a study permit, and provides links to helpful resources.
2. Study in Montreal
This website by Montreal International provides information on studying in Montreal, including primary and secondary school programs. It includes a directory of schools, information on the application process, and links to other helpful resources.
3. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
This website by the Government of Canada provides information on immigrating to Canada, including the student visa application process. It includes information on the documents required, processing times, and other important details.
4. Quebec Education System
This website by Education Quebec provides information on the Quebec education system, including primary and secondary school programs. It explains the requirements for international students, the application process, and links to other helpful resources.
5. Arriving in Montreal
This website by Tourisme Montreal provides information for visitors to Montreal, including international students. It includes information on immigration and customs procedures, transportation, and other important details.