Singapore has some of the best international schools in Asia. In fact, looking at a few of the facilities on offer, you’ll wish you were back at school yourself! From state-of-the-art Performing Arts Centres to in situ rainforests, full-size cricket pitches and massive covered play areas, we hope this article helps you with your decision on where to send your little treasures.
Singapore American School
Families often cite facilities as one of the things that makes SAS special. Everyone appreciates that the learning spaces are purpose-made. From robotics labs and maker spaces to recording studios, multiple fitness facilities, student’s interests can be supported right on campus.
The school’s 36-acre campus includes a 1.6-acre indigenous rainforest, a living laboratory that is home to thousands of plants, animals and insects. Students explore the rainforest as part of their science classes, and also learn how they can play an active role in protecting natural spaces like this around the world.
As well as the space and greenery, the newly renovated 800-seat auditorium is the first and only Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system in Southeast Asia; it has 38 microphones and over 200 speakers. At the touch of a screen, performers can achieve a cathedral-like lushness, a crisp and distinct sound and echo-free clarity.
Other new projects are aimed at showcasing SAS as a school of the future. An early learning centre was completed last year, while in the middle of this year, some of the school’s kindergarten, immersion classes, and sixth grade classes will be re-imagined, all part of a larger facilities master plan.
Canadian International School
Among their fantastic array of facilities across two campuses (Tanjong Katong in the east and Lakeside in the west) are the indoor and outdoor auditoriums, junior and senior libraries, extensive sports facilities (indoor gyms, 50m swimming pool, tennis courts and football fields), spacious and bright classrooms, science laboratories, art areas and a black box theatre, and dedicated Kindergarten kitchen.
Arguably the most unique and admired facilities are the Outdoor Discovery Centres and STEAM makerspaces. Parents and students love the Outdoor Discovery Centres as they’re more than just playgrounds – rather, they’re an extension of the indoor classrooms, filled with textures, sounds and smells unique to the outdoors. Special features such as the mud kitchen, art walls, and herb garden help children develop early mathematics, science and literacy skills in ways that are so much fun they don’t even realise they are learning.
CIS’s STEAM makerspaces are stimulating areas filled with state-of-the art equipment such as 3D printers and laser cutters. STEAM plays an integral part of the school’s curriculum and is integrated across the entire school from pre-Kindergarten through to Grade 12. Students of all ages enjoy using the spaces to invent and build, learn how to make connections, and develop important creative thinking and problem-solving skills.
Stamford American International
Stamford boasts the only school theatre in Singapore with a 60-square-metre LED screen, and its 500-seat theatre is equipped with professional lighting and sound – ideal conditions for the school to smash out as many as nine productions a year!
Advanced cutting-edge technology and immersive hands-on experiences are introduced to students in the dedicated Innovation Center, which is equipped with Virtual Reality (VR), coding, 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC router, robotic kits and electronics to offer students real-life conception skills such as craftsmanship and technical aptitude.
With over 90 competitive sports teams and over 250 CCAs, their Athletics team is able to maximise the three swimming pools, three indoor sports arenas, sports fields, tennis courts and a Golf Academy, which together create an exceptional sporting experience for all students. Classrooms are also equipped with interactive Promethean boards and Apple TVs that are used during classes.
Stamford’s one-of-a-kind, new and inspirational Early Learning Village will open in August for children aged 18 months to six years, and will feature six Discovery outdoor play spaces with 75% UV coverage, a 22m swimming pool with UV protective roof, Reggio-Emilia inspired classrooms with dedicated age level outdoor spaces, and an air-conditioned multi-purpose “Hive” for sports and performances. Parents can hang out at the Parent Cafe and enjoy snacks and drinks while waiting for their little ones.
Australian International School
At AIS, facilities support the school’s philosophy of a holistic education. Intensive sport training is conducted across two multi-purpose, fully equipped gyms and swimming pool. Performing arts and music programs are available for children as early as 18 months, and are supported by dedicated music suites and a multipurpose theatre, equipped with professional sound and lighting. There’s also an on-site Medical Centre to support the health and wellbeing of teachers and students, and a range age-appropriate outdoor play and discovery spaces.
In the latest development at the School’s Lorong Chuan campus, a swimming pool has been designed specifically for first-time swimmers – shallow enough for safe learn-to-swim and parent/child classes. The new AIS Early Learning Village is designed with young learners firmly in mind; the world-class purpose-built facilities are for children aged 18 months to six years. There’s a Library and Enquiry Centre and each of the Reggio Emilia-designed classrooms is attached to a dedicated outdoor discovery space tailoring to the ages of the kids; the 1,500 square metres of UV covered play space feature sensory play equipment, water play, bike tracks and sandpits.
But the School’s facilities aren’t just built for its learners – parents can enjoy coffee or light snacks at one of two the Parent Cafes across the campus while waiting for their children, celebrating one of the key elements that make AIS so special: its welcoming community.
Marlborough College Malaysia
Probably the biggest point of difference with Marlborough, which lies about a 10-minute drive past the Tuas crossing between Singapore and Malaysia, is the space. Set in a beautiful campus of 90 acres, the size of the campus with its full-size pitches means the school can host big tournaments and field teams from all age groups across multiple sports at any one time. The pupils also have the use of the fields at break time.
Facilities include five floodlit tennis courts, four full-size (real) grass rugby/football pitches, four squash courts and four netball courts. There is also the luxury of being able to house a full-size cricket pitch with practice nets, full-size tartan athletics track, and floodlit multi-purpose astro pitch – a huge bonus compared to Singapore’s land-restricted campuses.
Everyone who visits Marlborough is extremely impressed with the campus, and parents are happy that their children are able to utilise the extensive facilities through PE, Games and co-curricular activities that all pupils participate in within the school curriculum and day.
The performance wing of the school hosts over 20 music and drama practice and teaching rooms. Each is soundproofed and acoustically designed. There are also spaces for drama and theatre that can be converted into a variety of stage formats for performances, assemblies and lectures.
The new Prep School will be completed in Sept 2017.
Dover Court International School (DCIS)
DCIS has been on this 12-acre campus in a central Singapore location for over 45 years. The outdoor facilities include the landscape designed Sensory Garden, swimming pool, sports courts and shaded play areas. The all-grass football pitch and newly installed all-weather tartan running track support team sports and PE classes as well as annual celebrations such as UN Day, the parent association’s Family Sports Day and Outdoor Movie Night.
Classrooms have been completely overhauled, including new desks, tables and interactive whiteboards. A new Design and Technology Laboratory helps students develop critical thinking and skills in collaboration, and contains a full array of power tools, a 3D printer and remote-controlled Lego Robotics. The campus also plays host to the Red Dot Radio Station and the DCTV video recording studio, with a full mixing board as well as professional-grade video cameras and top-notch video editing software. Another significant addition is the popular DCIS Café, now a community hub!
Being part of the Nord Anglia Education (NAE) family means that DCIS can offer students unique opportunities, such as collaborations with The Juilliard School and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). The Academy houses the Juilliard-based performing arts programme where visiting Juilliard alum come to perform and teach. Next year’s plans include further enhancements to cater for our new Sixth Form and IB Diploma Programme in Years 12 and 13.
Dulwich College (Singapore)
Facilities at Dulwich’s five-hectare purpose-built campus include a 750-seat theatre (with a pipe organ!), two black box theatres, three swimming pools, sports fields, rooftop gardens including an infant bike track, two large gymnasiums and three dining rooms (that are really more like cool restaurants).
As well as the three theatres, the new Performing Arts Centre and Senior School also features computer science and IT laboratories, suites of music and art rooms, and four dedicated Design and Technology workshops. The newest gymnasium has a fitness, weights and conditioning room, and a dance studio.
A few selected quotes from parents give a clear indication of how highly regarded these facilities are:
- “The school caters to the diverse interests of my children, from saxophone and theatre productions to design technology and football. We don’t need to engage in other activities because it’s all there.”
- “There’s a wonderful diversity of cultures that the children are exposed to, and don’t forget the world-class facilities that our children benefit from on a daily basis.”
- “The facilities are exceptional and one of my true joys is watching the children perform in the new Performing Arts Centre – it’s out of this world.”
The Winstedt School
The layout of the The Winstedt School is big enough to incorporate both indoor and outdoor sports events and the kind of specialist gyms that house equipment to make you wish you were a kid again. The Living Lab has room to invent and experiment and the Art Studio is perfect for big imaginations. Helping to maximise the space and its facilities is the extremely low student-teacher ratio of 6:1. This allows the school to really focus on the students as individuals.
The facilities are purposeful and accessible, giving the students a sense of strong ownership and responsibility. They’ve also been designed to prompt imaginations and exercise minds and bodies – something that all kids need. Parents understand and appreciate the offerings, and are encouraged to have a strong voice and to self-advocate.
The school’s upcoming Black Box Theatre opening in August 2017 is aimed at encouraging students to immerse themselves in various roles and interpretations using flexible staging, sound and lighting in a neutral setting. Also on the horizon are a new tennis court and running track.
Tanglin Trust School
The new Media Technology suites help to enhance the school’s offerings and accommodate the latest learning styles. From scripting and filming studios to state of the art post-production facilities including a sound design room, a colour grading suite and a 40-seat screening room, the space offers students a real-world experience of a typical media production workflow.
When award-winning British filmmaker Dan Sully visited Tanglin recently to run student workshops he commented that the facilities were better than those he had seen at some universities. “I wouldn’t ever leave the suites if I was here!” he added.
Assistant Head of Faculty Stephen Coughlin says that, thanks to these new Media Technology facilities, the school’s GCSE, A Level and IB students will have “unprecedented choice when it comes to selecting production pathways that reflect their interests and career aspirations, whether it be sound designer, production manager or animator.” This will ensure that they are “ready for the world of media”.
Tanglin is also excited to be bringing in design technology (DT) as a discrete subject in the Senior School and will be opening a new design studio and production workshop in August of this year. This new facility will enable students to follow a design process all the way through, from a design brief to a final product.
To find out more about Tanglin’s extensive facilities and resources, including two performance halls, art studios, laboratories, future learning classrooms, sports grounds (including a World Rugby-approved playing field), fully equipped gymnasium and newly opened parent café, book a tour.
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