Sir Manasseh Meyer International School (SMM), an international day school for children aged 18 months to Grade 8, has a state-of-the-art campus. Head of School, Dr Daniel Khan explains what the staff, children and parents are excited about.
It’s obvious from our chat about SMM’s campus at Sembawang that Dr Kahn is enthusiastic about this next phase of the school’s development. He stresses, though, that a few things will remain the same: for example, the medium size of the school (facilities at the new campus are designed to serve 450 students), and the fact that it is open to all, not only those of Jewish faith.
“Our multicultural, multi-religion learning environment welcomes children of all faiths and races,” says Dr Kahn. “We currently have 19 nationalities represented at the school.” Similarly, tuition fees will remain among the lowest for an international school in Singapore. “Unlike many others, SMM is a not-for-profit school. We’re supported through the generosity of the Sir Manasseh Meyer Synagogue and School Trust, which ensures children receive a rich educational experience.”
So what can parents expect at the new location? Technology, for one thing. “It’s a wireless campus, so students and teachers can use their provided iPads and MacBook Airs everywhere,” says Dr Kahn. “Each classroom is fitted with an 87-inch projector Smartboard, which will bring the world into the classroom, whether it’s a virtual tour to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre or the Great Pyramids in Egypt. We have also built specialised science labs for chemistry, physics and biology.”
Along with two libraries, there are plenty of facilities to encourage kids to get sporty, including a seven-lane swimming pool, a soccer field, a gymnasium and an indoor playground for Early Childhood students.
SMM also values the arts, and a 450-seat auditorium will host concert and theatre productions. “Our students won’t just read Shakespearean plays. They’ll perform in them too. And they won’t just learn about Beethoven, they’ll be given the opportunity to perform his works,” says Dr Kahn.
SMM is working toward becoming the first school in Southeast Asia to have all its teachers trained as certified reading experts. “They’re undertaking a programme that provides the latest educational, psychological and medical research into the most effective ways to teach language acquisition and reading,” says Dr Kahn. This part of the curriculum exposes children to “best practices”, which maximise their progression from decoding to critical reading and developing strong comprehension skills.
The unique curriculum is designed in such a way that children, when they move on from SMM, are prepared to successfully complete the International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement and “A” level exams, or any other curriculum, for that matter. “By emphasising research skills and critical and creative thinking, we prepare our students to excel in high school and beyond,” says Dr Kahn.