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 international schools in Singapore 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.
Stamford American International School Facilities
Stamford American boasts two bespoke state-of-the-art campuses, both centrally located near downtown Singapore. These physical environments support the school’s holistic learning philosophy – that of an open and vibrant community and an appreciation for different learning styles as well as cultures. The Elementary and Secondary Campus at Woodleigh emphasises the importance of learning through doing in the school programmes. There’s plenty of opportunities for that with the new Washington Plaza for games, a 500-seat theatre, three swimming pools, two air-conditioned indoor sports arenas, rooftop tennis courts, dance studios, rock-climbing walls, a full-size sports field and Golf Academy plus a Dedicated Innovation Center. The Early Learning Village at Chuan Lane is inspired by the philosophy of Reggio Emilia – that the environment nurtures the child. The international school facilities features six large outdoor play areas, a 20-metre swimming pool with varying depths to encourage new swimmers, and an air-conditioned multi-purpose indoor Hive arena for sports and performances. The light and airy classrooms each have dedicated age-level discovery spaces attached.
“Stamford has excellent art facilities – I’m impressed with the amount of materials the students can use in their art classes. The sports facilities are also great, with the pool being a huge draw. The gymnastics programme has a vast array of equipment for regular gymnastics, plus tumbling trampolines and mats for parkour. It’s great that our kids can have exposure to so many different avenues of physical activity.”
– Andrea McKenna Brankin, parent
Woodleigh Campus: 1 Woodleigh Lane
Early Learning Village: 3 Chuan Lane, Gate 4
Tanglin Trust School Facilities
The campus of Tanglin Trust School is continually evolving to facilitate learning, while keeping a community feel at its heart. Each campus has well-designed classrooms with age-appropriate international school facilities set around common areas, outdoor spaces and sports facilities, including a FIFA and RFU approved 4G surface playing field. In recent years, new performance spaces, sports facilities, Infant play areas and specialist learning rooms have enhanced the school’s curricular and co-curricular learning opportunities. A state-of-the-art film studies department and D&T Suite are particular student favourites. Whether they prefer to be behind the camera or in front of it, to design in CAD or through traditional sketches, these resources enable the thinkers, creators and innovators of the future to experiment, take risks and develop transferable skill sets. When it opens in 2022, a new 11-storey building will significantly impact teaching and learning across Tanglin. With a 50-metre swimming pool and aquatics centre, music school, Infant dining area and much more, it’s an exciting evolution for the school.
“The new olympic-size swimming pool and athletics facilities at Tanglin will provide a great opportunity for the whole school. The Merlion swimming programme caters for the varying needs of students from beginner to competitive racing. I have enjoyed progressing through the stages of the swim programme and the new pool and gym facilities will further aid our development in the sport.” – Nathalie, Year 7
“The [film] facilities are better than some universities I’ve seen. They give students the opportunity to collaborate, share ideas and make films together. I wouldn’t leave the suites if I was here!” – Dan Sully, award-winning British film director
The Grange Institution School Programmes
Since the start of this year, The Grange Institution (TGI) has integrated an Eco Garden and Farm into its outdoor play area. They’re part of the school’s multi-pronged Green Granger initiative to help students develop a genuine love for plants and to experiment with planting. The initiative falls under the core competencies of Respecting the Environment and Active Citizenship, which come under TGI’s Cre8tors-in-Action educational philosophy. Its purpose is to help their students to think deeper about everyone’s responsibility towards nature and explore new ideas. A professional farmer has been hired to grow suitable greens to support the Garden-to-Table project, where students are educated about fresh and organic vegetables, fruit and edible flowers. They also get to bring fresh produce home for their families to enjoy. In addition, the Eco-Garden features a specially curated “food forest” that mimics the structure of a natural forest to support students’ science learning about tropical plants and fauna.
“Bringing home fresh produce grown from the school garden to cook our meal has been a wonderful experience for the kids and for the family. TGI’s Garden-to-Table initiative exposes the children not just to healthy eating, but more importantly introduces them to sustainability and the advantages of growing your own food supply.”
– Christina and Juan Gonzales, parents of Joaquin and Ysabela, Year 1A and 3
“I love science lessons in the garden, where we learn about different plants, vegetables and fruit. I even planted my own okra plant and have harvested it. Mr Alika also planted a cotton plant for me to take home and take care of. We get to see many creatures like grasshoppers, butterflies and earthworms around, which is so cool!”
– Ryugo, Year 1B student
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 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.
“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 8
“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 5
Brighton College (Singapore) Purpose-built Campus
Brighton College (Singapore) is based on the same education hub as its two sister schools (AIS and Stamford American), providing it with immediate access to some exceptional external facilities such as playgrounds, swimming pools and sports fields. Its 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. The Prep school consists of 15 classrooms, a maker-lab, a science lab (the like 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 in Prep 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. Pre-Prep pupils have access to three exciting playgrounds, a large indoor multipurpose gymnasium and an outdoor covered 20m swimming pool. Aside from its facilities, Brighton’s approach to learning emulates the success of Brighton College, its parent school in the UK; the learning spaces are the icing on the cake.
“At Brighton College, we recognise the invaluable role that sport plays, and that providing first-class facilities is key to promoting physical activity. What I love about the sporting facilities at the Brighton campus 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 our spaces are dedicated only to our age group, we avoid having to compete with older years for access to spaces.”
– Liam Johnson, Head of PE
Dulwich College (Singapore) School Facilities
Dulwich College (Singapore) continually upgrades its international school facilities with the aim of promoting the holistic development of students. The school has a state-of-the-art performing arts centre with three theatres and multiple music and art rooms. There are also three swimming pools, sports fields, rooftop gardens, gymnasiums, three dining rooms and two coffee shops. In Senior School, IBDP students benefit from a dedicated IB Centre, which includes collaborative study areas, a common room, a kitchen and quiet study spaces alongside a university counselling suite and pastoral support offices. Supporting students on their journey is a strong and committed faculty and dedicated university counselling team. They help students make informed choices about their future options based on their strengths and preferences; they also have excellent working relationships with the admissions departments of universities around the world. The team also works hand-in-hand with the Dulwich parent community to create an exceptional learning environment for all students. The emphasis is very much on a ‘student-first’ approach allowing students to follow their own personal pathway and choose college school programmes suited to them.
“Going into IB, I was still not sure what I wanted to do in university, which was something that caused a lot of stress for me. But with the help of my university counsellor, I was able to finally come to the decision to do medicine. Despite the late decision, my counsellor helped map out an appropriate and strategic pathway, helping me with any worries I had about the process. I have since received two interview offers as well as an offer for biomedical sciences.”
– Shinyi, Year 13
Surrounded by the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, the GESS campus adopts a school-within-a-school approach. Students can feel part of a bigger school community but can retreat to smaller tailored spaces that meet their age-specific needs. The school has a range of facilities to support its sports, arts and co-curricular school programmes. These include an Olympic-sized swimming pool, 400-seater auditorium, design and technology studio, maker space, black box theatre and grade-specific collaborative learning pods. The international school facilities cater to students’ diverse range of interests and also offer spaces for them to refine skills and pursue passions.
“We really love the labs! When we saw the Design and Chemistry labs, they were just beautiful. The fact that they’re brand new helps too. When we first went for the tour, we found an environment that not only our kids and but us as parents connected to. Like our elder one who has always liked basketball; when he saw the courts, he said, “Top notch!” We wanted our younger one to go for swimming and we saw the facilities here and they are amazing! Apart from the facilities, the school environment is calming, soothing and reassuring; you feel that this is a place where your kids would be taken well care of.”
– Veena and Kaushik Panicker, parents
International Community School Programmes
Established in 1993 and located on a quiet residential street in the West Coast, International Community School (Singapore) is one of the few full-service international schools in Singapore offering affordable tuition fees. Despite the lower prices, ICS offers extensive school programmes ranging from fine arts and diverse athletics, to innovative technology and science labs, as well as a host of extra-curricular programs and clubs that cater to every interest. From multiple basketball courts and playgrounds, to an open field, art studios catering to each school division, a vibrant and community-oriented library, and an expansive indoor gym, students at ICS can experience it all.
“My son always looks forward to his ECAs after school. From athletics (soccer, four square and Frisbee golf) to arts (colouring, wheel throwing and photography club), academics (readers’ club, Kahoot! learning, cursive and handwriting) and hobby clubs (Minecraft, jump for joy, crossword and other word games), there’s a broad range of choices to appeal to every individual and personality. The teachers are passionate about the kids and so encouraging, making it such a fun-filled environment, even for new kids who don’t know anybody. With such a diverse mix of choices, the hardest thing about ECAs is deciding which one to sign up for each term!”
– Mrs J Chia, parent
Nexus International School (Singapore) New Campus Facilities
As of February 2021, Nexus International School (Singapore) has a new tree house. It’s a three-storey outdoor space that is one of the many unique facilities that the school now features since moving to its new campus in 2020. The tree house can be repurposed into a learning, play or reading space. With cosy corners where learners can read their favourite books or play their favourite instrument as well as open sheltered spaces where teachers can conduct their lessons, it’s definitely not a typical four-walled classroom. In line with Nexus being a school that focuses on sustainability, younger learners created beautiful handicrafts made from recycled and upcycled materials to decorate the space; they were very proud to see them hung up for the first time at the school’s Tree House Opening Ceremony. Year 9 learners were also able to use their creative imagination to utilise various parts of the tree house to reenact scenes from Romeo and Juliet. Together with this international school’s other facilities, the tree house provides learners and teachers with an enhanced and flexible learning environment, a reflection of the school’s innovative and collaborative approach towards learning and teaching.
“I think our tree house is brilliant! It has lots of cool stuff like music instruments, beanbags and the decorations we made. It has many spaces for my friends and me to relax and be calm. I was so excited for the tree house opening ceremony. My favourite bit was the picnic and ice cream.”
– Lilly Gates, Year 2 student
“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 has been very rewarding and my children have also benefited greatly from the care and professionalism of my colleagues.”
– Allan Bilney, Year 6 teacher
1 Aljunied Walk
6536 6566 | nexus.edu.sg
Singapore American School Campus Upgrade
After several years of planning and school community engagement involving thousands of parent, educator and student voices, Singapore American School is embarking on a S$400 million campus upgrade project. Called SAS Reimagined, the project reimagines the role of classrooms and buildings in the learning journey – 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 not only support learning well into the future but also promote energy efficiency that meets Singapore’s Green Mark Platinum standard and the WELL standard. The project will be completed in three phases; phase one begins on 29 May 2021, and the entire project is scheduled for completion by autumn 2026. One of the first pieces of the plan to be completed is the creation of a new collection of athletic fields located west of the current campus. The West Fields include a baseball field, a full-size soccer/football field and four tennis/multi-purpose courts. The school is working with local community leaders to make these fields available for public use during non-school hours. Additionally, SAS will create a garden plot on this land where local community members can plant and raise gardens.
“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 of Singapore American School