What makes a top school in Singapore? It could be the programmes, or school facilities that make you wish you were back at school again. These Singapore international schools have both! There are state-of-the-art music or film studios, maker labs and forward-thinking language, arts and sports programmes – so much for kids to look forward to. Read on for our school-by-school breakdown.
Tanglin Trust School’s new school facilities
Tanglin Trust School understands that free Wi-Fi and a decent cup of coffee are two things that most working parents appreciate of a co-working space. So when designing new spaces in its new Tanglin Centenary Tower, slated to open its doors in August or September 2022, they kept parents in mind. The school will offer co-working spaces to parents with children aged three to 18 years. This will enable parents to work at a place that’s not just close to their child’s school but actually within it.
The global boom in flexible working has seen the growth of co-working spaces with on-site childcare in countries such as the US and the UK. Spaces such as Third Door in London and The Wing in New York give parents a hot desk to work at while their pre-school children play and learn under the same roof. Tanglin now brings this concept to Singapore, too.
A word from the school
“The new coworking space really caters to our diverse community. It’s one of several new parent spaces within the school, including viewing areas for parents to watch their children swim or do gymnastics. There’s also a larger parent café, which is already hugely popular with parents waiting between infant and junior pick-ups or during co-curricular activities. These new spaces will give parents, especially those new at the school, a plethora of opportunities to meet other parents and help embed their children within the Tanglin community.” – Cecilia Handel, Director of Development
Brighton College (Singapore) purpose-built campus
Brighton is based on the same education hub as its two sister schools (Australian International School and Stamford American International School), providing it with immediate access to some exceptional external facilities such as playgrounds, swimming pools and sports fields. The purpose-built campus for younger children features classrooms that have access to their own outdoor spaces. Sitting at treetop level and surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, these are light-filled spaces that encourage creativity, collaboration and imaginative play. Pre-Prep pupils also have access to three playgrounds, a large indoor multipurpose gymnasium and a sheltered 20m swimming pool.
The Prep school consists of 15 classrooms, a maker-lab, a science lab (the likes of which is usually only seen in secondary schools), a pupil common room, music room and plenty of cosy spaces for children to work together. The facilities here include a 4G football pitch, an indoor multipurpose gymnasium, an outdoor uncovered 25m eight-lane swimming pool, a large playground, play equipment and a mini climbing wall. Aside from its facilities, Brighton’s approach to learning and school programmes emulates the success of its founding school in the UK; the learning spaces are the icing on the cake.
A word from the school
“At Brighton Singapore international school, we recognise the invaluable role that sport plays in a child’s holistic development, and access to first-class facilities is key to promoting physical activity. What I love about our sporting facilities are the large, airy and shaded spaces, some of which are fully air-conditioned to provide a pleasant learning environment for our pupils when taking part in games or PE. In addition, as these spaces are dedicated only to our age group, we avoid having to compete with older years for access.” – Liam Johnson, Head of PE
The Arts at Dulwich College (Singapore) School
The pursuit of the arts is a staple of school life at Dulwich – all students are encouraged to take to the stage, whether that’s joining in celebrations for Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya or Christmas, or performing in the school play or at the MADD (Music, Art, Drama, Dance) Festival. The school devotes considerable resources to create opportunities for their students to experience all areas of the arts. Beginning with a professional 750-seat performing arts theatre, two black box theatres (with three more on the way) and a dance studio to create an environment that mirrors the experience of performing on Broadway or London’s West End.
For students of this Singapore international school who are particularly committed to aspirations of becoming performers, creators, directors, designers or choreographers, the school’s performance development programme, Ignite!, fosters their development in this area. This gives them the opportunity to take on larger and more challenging roles in smaller case performances; participate in specialised workshops such as make-up artistry, radio drama, musical theatre workshops and set design classes that aren’t in the curriculum; attend master classes in audition technique and receive support in creating a performing arts portfolio. This is complemented by Dulwich’s existing relationships with the Royal Shakespeare Company, International School Theatre Association, Auckland Dance and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, which give Dulwich students the opportunity to work with professionals from all areas of the performing arts industry.
A word from a student
“At Dulwich, I’ve been fortunate to have been exposed to a myriad of experiences that have enriched me as a performer. These include engaging in workshops led by industry professionals, performing in productions and being a member of the Ignite! school programme. Ignite! has been integral in expanding my skill set in the performing arts by providing me with the support to achieve my goals; this year, myself and another performer have been supported in co-directing a musical! The adaptability within the Performing Arts at Dulwich has allowed us to perform, despite COVID restrictions. I thoroughly enjoyed performing Pool (No Water) alongside my IB Theatre class, enhanced by having a live audience. The Performing Arts at Dulwich has allowed me to flourish through the support and resources available, which I will always be grateful for.” – Janaya Thorpe, Year 13
Enrichment school programmes at North London Collegiate School (Singapore)
North London Collegiate School (Singapore) offers a vibrant enrichment programme across music, drama and creative arts. The array of intellectual challenges, physical activities and social opportunities engage students and help them to develop their whole personality, and discover their strengths and passions. Music facilities include a suite of specialist music practice rooms, a recording studio and a keyboard composition suite. Students participate in the orchestra, bands and choirs that perform throughout the year, as well as the recently held instrumental solo music recital and samba competition. The school boasts a newly opened state-of-the-art Performing Arts Centre as well as several drama and dance studios, and a backstage workshop. There are many opportunities for students to become involved in large-scale theatrical stage productions and extend their creativity to lighting, sound, set design and stage management. The school recently held an immensely popular Talent Show and will host A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the end of 2022.
Students are encouraged to develop their artistic and design talents in general and specialist studios, including a fully equipped ceramics studio, a design and engineering workshop and computer design spaces. Their creations are displayed throughout the school; for example, the Wall of Wonderful Women for International Women’s Day showcased inspiring and wonderful women chosen by our students and staff. Some of these women are famous and known by most for their incredible contributions while many of them were relatives of our school community. This is particularly special as the school is reminded that everyone can be inspired by the everyday women around us.
A word from the school
“NLCS (Singapore) offers amazing extracurricular activities and workshops, encouraging us to pursue our passions beyond school. For example, I enjoyed participating in the poetry workshop in Art Week, led by the slam poet Mark Grist, as well as the frequent thought-provoking McCabe lectures discussing topics such as Ms Ip’s Does Gravity Exist?. The school also has many facilities that help students connect with what we love and enjoy. For me, the place where I feel the most comfortable is in a corner of the library, with Mr Guy our librarian recommending a book I’m sure to love.” – Elsie, Grade 8
Overseas Family School’s modern campus facilities
The modern campus at Overseas Family School reflects its strong mission to support the holistic education and personal development of students. Its spacious auditorium and Black Box Theatre feature state-of-the-art multimedia facilities and regularly showcase the amazing performing arts talent on offer at OFS. Purpose-built learning spaces from the science, computer and Design & Technology labs to art, gymnastics and dance studios accommodate a wide array of academic and extracurricular activities and interests.
As this Singapore international school’s inclusive culture promotes participation for all, both recreational and competitive sports programmes are available. The school’s sports facilities range from sports fields and basketball courts to an Olympic-standard, all-weather covered swimming pool fully equipped with Omega timing system and touchpads, and Anti Wave Starting Blocks for high-performance training. At the same time, OFS continues its focus on delivering world-leading academic programs. In the 2021 IB examinations, five OFS students achieved perfect 45 points; this is the school’s seventh consecutive year of producing perfect scorers. One third of the diplomas awarded were also prestigious IB Bilingual Diplomas, reflecting the exceptional language resources and support available at OFS.
A word from students
“The transition from the IB MYP to the IB DP is one of the best features of OFS’s curriculum. The IB MYP didn’t just provide me with knowledge, but allowed me to see the bigger picture of what I was learning through real-life situations.” – Ananya Gopal Iyer, Grade 11
“I’ve been provided with many high-level sports opportunities at OFS, from earning a Taekwondo blackbelt through the Enrichment Program, to swimming at the Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships through the OFS Tigers competitive swim team. These sports programmes have brought out the best in me. At OFS, we have some of the most supportive coaches. I’m grateful to the school for providing me with a platform for developing high academic standards alongside high-level competitive sports skills.” – Naya Verma, Grade 7
Singapore American School’s facilities and campus upgrades
After several years of planning and school community engagement involving thousands of parent, educator and student voices, Singapore American School has embarked on a S$400 million campus upgrade project. Called SAS Reimagined, it will put in place the supports that empower educators to deliver high-quality experiences tailored to the individual needs of each student. The project will be completed in three phases; phase one began in May 2021 and the entire project is scheduled for completion by autumn 2026.
The project reimagines the role of classrooms and buildings in the learning journey at this Singapore international school – a flexible campus with international school facilities that will meet the needs of current and future students as education changes over time. There will be more space for learning, activities and new school programmes, modular spaces that allow teachers to adjust learning spaces according to student learning needs and modern innovative systems that support learning well into the future while also promoting energy efficiency that meets Singapore’s Green Mark Platinum standard and the WELL standard.
A word from the school
“Our greatest asset as a school is our educators. They are essential in creating engaging and meaningful learning experiences for each and every student who comes to SAS. We invest significantly in attracting, developing and retaining some of the greatest teachers in the world. Our campus upgrade project represents one more way we are investing in our educators. This project will create learning environments with endless possibilities for our students and educators. We’re also excited to create a new place where community members can come together to enjoy sports and also enjoy the fruits of their work.” – Tom Boasberg, Superintendent
XCL World Academy’s new Innovation Hub
XCL World Academy has launched a new Innovation Hub, a state-of-the-art multi-level building that’s purpose-designed with the latest in technology and specialised labs to enhance the learning environment for students in Grades 9 to 12. It will also be home to a digital multimedia lab, a top floor student lounge, specialist labs, fabrication and design thinking labs and a multi-use eSports arena, the first of its kind in an international school.
The focal point will be a Central Square featuring an eco-pond, meditation area, outdoor classrooms and a bouldering wall to facilitate interaction and community building. Designed to be environmentally friendly and with sustainability at its forefront, the Innovation Hub will include clean air filtration in all learning spaces. Several new sporting facilities are also under development at the school, including tennis courts, cricket/baseball practice batting nets and a 550m athletics track.
A word from a student
“The Vantage Point is a unique school programme that allows students in our community to apply what they’ve learned in their Language & Literature classes and write question-prompting articles. As a school magazine, we provide our readers with a bird’s-eye view and a look at the bigger picture, a vantage point, if you will. As its Editor-in-Chief and former writer, it’s become one of my favourite student-led programmes at XWA. With each article and student’s work, everyone’s skill in writing improves. However, what really makes Vantage Point shine is the collaborative effort each member of the team contributes to each issue. Whether it be the writers, photographers, artists or graphic designers, the hard work and passion behind each word make each issue unique.” – Adelin Grace Conanan, Grade 11
A word from a parent
“My daughter Cathrine is in Grade 11 and she really enjoys going to school every day! She loves meeting her friends and teachers, and she enjoys the subjects that she takes. She appreciates being a part of this welcoming community and having access to amazing facilities such as the design centre, the music space and the new DP student lounge that has been made for students in Grades 11 and 12. It’s an absolutely amazing school – we couldn’t have asked for a better school for our daughter.” – Mette Ohlsen
A nature focus and more at UWCSEA
UWCSEA intentionally embeds opportunities for students from K1 to Grade 12 to develop knowledge, skills and understanding that will enable them to contribute to creating a peaceful and sustainable future for themselves and their communities. This happens through sustainability-linked topics such as environmental stewardship and opportunities to learn about and appreciate nature. To support their development and learning, students have access to age-appropriate facilities. Over the past two years, many ‘outdoor classrooms’ and learning spaces have been developed on the East Campus.
These new facilities include the Infant Sky Garden, on the rooftop of the Infant School Block. It’s a safe and welcoming space, thoughtfully designed to encourage exploration and play. The different zones allow a number of activities to take place simultaneously, providing students with options to explore and engage in physical play, to find moments of quiet observation of nature, or to connect and engage with each other in a natural setting. Living walls and raised, movable sensory garden beds contain a range of plants designed to support learning and provide a varied and relaxing setting. Students can use the gardens for shade, rest and play. Other areas such as the water play space and the garden beds have been designed to be used in the learning programme. Supported by staff, students regularly explore the gardens to undertake research and observation as they apply knowledge learned in the classroom to their real-life surroundings. They're even involved in taking care of the plants as part of the classroom routines.
A word from the school
“Building the ecological and environmental literacy in our future global citizens is a critical element to education.” – Claire Psillides, Head of Environmental Sustainability, East Campus
1207 Dover Road
6775 5344 | uwcsea.edu.sg
Australian International School programmes
The Australian International School has a wide range of international school facilities to support its school programmes, including the Early Learning Village for children aged two months to five years. The purpose-built space of this Singapore international school houses Reggio Emilia-inspired classrooms, a library, dance studio and covered swimming pool. The campus also has sports facilities such as football fields and tennis courts and has a special Athlete Development Programme (ADP) that trains potential and aspiring athletes.
A word from students
“The ADP is my favourite programme at AIS because the coaches are supportive, and it helps our social, cognitive and physical health. It helps us to achieve our best in our preferred sport. I also love the huge selection of co-curricular activities as there is a variety to choose from and I’m able to develop skills in a variety of different areas and meet new people.” – Max Sullivan, Year 9
“I enjoy the music curriculum because we get to learn how to play different instruments. We’re beginning to improvise and compose our own music. I get to express myself by playing my own compositions and explore different forms of music. The co-curricular programme is also great and I love the track and field team. The best thing is we get to compete against other schools and make new friends along the way.” – Clodagh Neish, Year 6
Flexible school facilities at Nexus International School (Singapore)
Nexus is recognised as one of only three Apple Distinguished Schools in Singapore on account of its commitment to educational excellence, innovation and stimulating learning environments. The campus was purposefully designed following state-of-the-art educational research that shows that innovative learning environments allow learners to choose their own learning styles and develop self-efficacy. For example, flexible open-plan learning hubs are equipped with tables, walls and windows that can be written on. The hubs encourage creativity, collaboration, experimentation, innovation, and maximum learner agency when combined with a personalised approach to learning. As a STEAM school, Nexus encourages learners to be creative in all they do – the studios allow them to work across a variety of platforms such as ceramics, art and maker spaces.
This Singapore international school boasts many world-class facilities, with a two-tier auditorium forming the backdrop for music performances and school productions. There are two large air-conditioned gyms that can be divided into four separate teaching spaces. The full-size artificial turf field meets FIFA and World Rugby specifications. In the Aquatics Centre, the star is the 50m Olympic-size pool fitted with the latest Omega touchpads. There’s also a 20m teaching pool as well as yoga and weights studios to incorporate land training.
A word from the school
“Nexus has been a wonderful fit for my family and myself as an educator. Our new campus, including our Innovative Learning Environments and state-of-the-art facilities, truly supports our shared goals of developing collaborative, passionate global citizens. The opportunities I’ve had for developing my own teaching practice have been very rewarding and my children have also benefited greatly from the care and professionalism of my colleagues.” – Allan Bilney, Year 6 teacher
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