Singapore has some of the best international schools in Asia. In fact, looking at a few of the facilities and programmes on offer, you’ll wish you were back at school yourself! There are state-of-the-art music 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
If your kids are keen to dabble in Virtual Reality (VR), 3D printing and more, they can do just that at the Innovation Center at Stamford American International School. The school’s classrooms are equipped with high-tech interactive Promethean boards and Apple TVs to facilitate learning. Students can look forward to performing in the 500-seater theatre as part of the Performing Arts Programme. They can try out a wide variety of sports, too, at the swimming pools, sports field and through the Athletics Programme. The Lincoln Library was recently renovated. It showcases a new feature wall, whiteboard tables, Lego walls and stadium seating at the back. Little ones (aged two months to six years) will enjoy the purpose-built Early Learning Village that has outdoor play spaces, a swimming pool and Reggio-Emilia inspired classrooms.
“I really like the library. It has nice seats and it’s very quiet so I can do my reading.” – Georgia, Grade 2
“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
Brighton College (Singapore)
Brighton College (Singapore) will officially open in August this year. With a maximum of 550 enrolments, students will be taught the English National Curriculum, enhanced with local adaptations such as Mandarin. The school’s learning spaces are purpose-built – from early learning classrooms to science labs and maker labs – and students can look forward to excellent play and sports facilities, including multi-purpose gyms and outdoor swimming pools. Brighton College (Singapore) will occupy the same campus in Lorong Chuan as its sister schools, Australian International School and Stamford American International School. Parents are encouraged to drop by for a visit to see how Brighton College (Singapore) fits in to this already well-established campus of schools.
“Outdoor learning is most potent when it’s interwoven within the academic school curriculum and when it takes place regularly. For example, nature is a huge inspiration for creative writing; at Brighton College, we ask the children to take photos of things that interest them and then use one or more of the pictures to write a short story. In our poetry units, we collect sensory images from nature to create an original poem.” – Lois Pugh, Deputy Head
“We want our students to develop intellectual virtues of courage in asking questions, caution in forming opinions, open attentiveness to the words of their peers, awareness of the world around them and their place within it, and confidence in communication.” – Paul Wilson, Head Master
Australian International School
The Australian International School has a wide range of facilities to support its 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
The Grange Institution
At The Grange Institution, the school’s future-focused curriculum supports their unique Cre8tors-in-Action educational philosophy that aims to develop global citizens. All lessons and activities are designed and structured to develop eight core competencies in learners – Construction and Design, Respecting the Environment, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Active Citizenship, Teamwork and Partnership, Original Ideas, Recognising Ideas and Service Leadership. The school offers technology classes for students to develop computing skills and digital literacy skills. As they progress through the years, students will be taught how to use word-processing, data handling and presentation software. Weekly coding lessons are also part of the curriculum, equipping students with information-processing and problem-solving skills.
“The ICT/coding class exposes us to technology using iPads and MacBooks. We learn how to programme games with Scratch – it allows us to programme our animal characters to move and speak! The lesson encourages us to be creative about how we want our characters to be different from those our friends have created.” – Yuna, Kayleigh and Rein (Year 2 and 3 students)
Dulwich College (Singapore)
Dulwich College (Singapore) continually upgrades its facilities with the aim of promoting the holistic development of students. The College 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, roof-top gardens, gymnasiums, three dining rooms and two coffee shops. The Mandarin programme is a huge part of the experience at Dulwich – it has a unique Mandarin centre for learning and culture.
There’s also a sustainable garden that’s used as an outdoor learning space. Entirely sustainable and maintained by the students, the garden’s edible produce is used across the College in lunches for students and staff.
“Whatever your child is into, Dulwich has a CCA for it. Whether it’s playing rugby or learning a language, scuba diving or hip hop, writing for the school newspaper or joining a film club, we’ve always been very impressed by the way that every child’s passions can be accommodated within the school. It’s this focus on individual interests that makes the College an excellent place for both learning and enrichment. It’s also a safe space for the kids to try new things and grow in confidence.” – Tom Batchelor, Parent
“The Student Athlete Support Programme is an incredible part of the College and invaluable to the students involved. It supports Senior School students in the development of their sporting ability in their chosen sport through weekly strength and conditioning sessions in the gym, personal exercise programmes and group workout sessions.” – Ananya Thorpe, Head Girl
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 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 facilities cater to students’ diverse range of interests and also offer spaces for them to refine skills and pursue passions.
“The Design and Technology studio enables both MYP and IB students to use more advanced tools. It gives us an understanding of how to operate different types of machines. The wide range of gadgets and machines allows us to be creative and choose a different approach when we construct something new.” – Marcus Norup, Grade 11
“Our daughter is enjoying the lovely campus, which is easy to master as a new student. All the classrooms are big and bright. She also loves the indoor swimming pool and sports facilities. It’s so lovely to see her going to school happy.” – Mette Ohlsen, Parent
Integrated International School
The Integrated International School believes that children have different learning needs, styles and strengths. The campus may not be big but the facilities are purpose-built to accommodate different students and keeping in mind that children respond best to a nurturing, creative and safe environment. Besides its welcoming interior, the school makes full use of their surrounding community spaces (such playgrounds, parks and sports facilities). The aim is to encourage students to become well-integrated members of the community. Dedicated facilities include a one-of-a-kind multi-sensory Ocean Snoezelen room and an indoor occupational therapy gym. There are also several private suites for support staff to ensure that students’ needs are met. A favourite spot is the outdoor recreation area where they eat lunch at the picnic benches or relax in the wooden teepee. They can also enjoy the sandpit and hand-crafted “music wall”, and tend to the upcycled herb garden.
“I love the Ocean Room! It’s really cool and helps me relax if I get overwhelmed. We can also use the space for mindfulness and other fun activities.” – Reece Thompson, Grade 3
International Community School
Offering an American curriculum with a biblical outlook, International Community School provides a wide range of programmes for students to enjoy. To support the physical education and Knight Nation Athletics programme, the school has a host of sporting facilities on offer, from basketball and volleyball courts to fields, playgrounds and gymnasium. There is also an emphasis on dance, drama, design, music and visual arts as part of the school’s Fine Arts programme. The campus also houses science and technology labs, a multi-purpose hall and library.
“My son always looks forward to his ECAs after school! From athletics (soccer, four square and frisbee golf) and arts (colouring, wheel throwing and photography club) to academic (readers club, Kahoot! learning, cursive and handwriting) to hobby clubs (Minecraft, jump for joy, crossword and other word games), there is 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
“I am impressed by the new layout and design of the library. I have seen Ms Martin and Ms Larson organise and set up the shelves in a way that draws the children to check out the books. They even set up word games and quizzes at the entrance. I am grateful for the atmosphere that they have cultivated for my kids and I find myself always making sure to check out a book or two whenever I go to the school!” –Mrs A Kim, Parent
Melbourne Specialist International School
At Melbourne Specialist International School, students learn through an interactive visual and performing arts programme using concrete experiences such as dance, drama and music. The school offers academic subjects such as English, mathematics and science, skills development through pre-vocational training coupled with group occupational and speech therapy as part of the weekly curriculum. Students also have the opportunity to take part in an independent living skills programme that teaches them everything from personal safety and nutrition to hygiene and getting dressed each morning. Therapists and school teachers work with and update parents regularly so students’ progress can be monitored. The school campus houses various specialised facilities and equipment to facilitate learning and cater to students’ different needs. These include a gymnasium, dance/music studio, life skills classroom, therapy room and enclosed yards for outdoor play and sports.
“MSIS has a specially equipped gym that’s ideal for our son Patrick who has weaker motor skills. In-floor trampolines and padded equipment allow him to have fun and succeed at the same time in a safe environment.” – Thomas and Darlene Way, Parents
Singapore American School
Facilities are considered the structural cornerstone of Singapore American School – they support the school’s learning programmes and are constantly quoted as a highlight of being part of the SAS community. The school houses a variety of facilities, including robotics labs, makerspaces, recording studios and sports facilities that support the school’s athletics, arts and other activities.
Personalising learning journeys for students, the middle school features flexible learning environments as part of learning communities that offer students the space to grow and explore. There are small breakout rooms so groups of students can work collaboratively on activities such as presentations and math explorations. A teacher might also gather a few students to re-teach a concept or provide an extended lesson. There is also the option of opening the space to bring all students on a grade level team together for large group activities. These flexible learning spaces have also enabled teachers to work together, learn from each other and get feedback on their teaching practices.
“I’ve had a great opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues. Here we make sure we are planning together, and doing together. Previously, we would talk about what we wanted to do with the students and then go off and plan in our separate spaces. Now we come up with a plan and we execute the plan together.” – James Toney, Grade 6 teacher
I like the fact that the school’s learning spaces have classrooms that are linked together, with walls that can be removed. This allows for a strengthened sense of community.” – Benjamin Cheong, Grade 7
Tanglin Trust School
Tanglin Trust School’s campus comprises separate modern buildings for Infant, Junior, Senior School and Sixth Form students. To facilitate the school’s various learning programmes, each school has well-designed classrooms with age-appropriate facilities, set around common areas and outdoor spaces. Besides performance halls, art studios, laboratories, a new D&T suite and sports facilities, the Infant School has a playground with an outdoor kitchen and music shed. The Junior School also recently opened The Snug Sensory and Learning Room and the Personalised Learning Room. In the Senior School, there are well-resourced studio spaces where students can learn video editing, 3D animation, compositing and motion graphics, and graphic design as part of the film programme.
“The diverse range of sporting facilities at Tanglin cater to all manner of activities. They’re a standout feature of the campus. The facilities are constantly improving and I’m incredibly excited about the addition of an innovative gymnastics centre and a 50-metre swimming pool.” – Daniel, Year 13
“My daughter is studying IB Film, so I find myself on the campus quite often to see her work. I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the facilities, which are comparable to those of universities. With state-of-the-art resources and a team of dedicated and experienced staff, the Tanglin film department is exquisite.” – Mary Goh, Parent
Overseas Family School
Overseas Family School’s modern campus reflects its strong mission to support the holistic education and personal development of its students. For example, there’s a spacious auditorium and black box theatre with state-of-the-art multimedia facilities, where performing arts showcases are regularly held. Elsewhere, the purpose-built learning spaces range from science, computer, design and technology labs to art, gymnastics and dance studios, all accommodating a wide array of academic and extra-curricular activities and interests.
The school’s inclusive culture promotes participation for all, including recreational and competitive sports programs. These are supported by the school’s sports facilities, ranging from fields and basketball courts to an Olympic-sized covered swimming pool. OFS also focuses on delivering world-leading academic programs. In 2019, two students were awarded Cambridge IGCSE “Top in the World” awards for achieving the highest standard mark for a single subject. Plus, the school has also been producing students with perfect International Baccalaureate scores for six years running,
“I joined OFS in Grade 1 and think of OFS as my home. My English teacher Mrs Dench played a big role in helping me prepare for my IB Diploma exams. Not only was she helpful in pushing me to achieve top results in Higher Level English A, but she was also my supervisor for my Extended Essay in the same subject. I could always rely on her. The advice she gave me was crucial to my success.” – Anon Muroi, who scored 45 points in 2020