With a teacher-to-student ratio of 1:18, Astor International School (formerly Razum International School) is a rare Singapore school with a tight-knit community. Founder ELENA HOLLOWAY shares her reasons for keeping things on the small side, and its impact on the education system in Singapore.
Four years ago, Elena was struggling to find a Singapore school for her oldest daughter.
“When she was five years old, Sophia was a shy child. I thought she would be lost in a big international school. So I wanted a school with a community feel, where everyone knows everyone and each child is noticed.”
Elena also had friends who moved to countries with more affordable private schools available as international schools in Singapore are too expensive for them.
When it became clear that there was a niche for an affordable community-based school in the education system in Singapore, Elena decided to open Razum International School for her two daughters.
A day at Astor Singapore school
On 15 August 2022, the first day of the 2022/23 academic year, the school rebranded to Astor International School. The new logo incorporates a tree. It symbolises growth, development and nature – all the fundamental elements of the school’s philosophy.
Rather than trying to put children into a “one size fits all” education system in Singapore, Astor allows a child to nurture and develop their individual interests.
Astor’s Principal greets children when they come through the door in the morning. Children are taught the main curriculum from 9am to 1pm, and they can pick what they’d like to learn according to ability.
After lunch, students have a great choice of specialist classes to choose from, including sports, arts, drama, dance, foreign languages, forest school and many more.
A tight-knit community in the Singapore education system
There are currently 65 children across seven grades at Astor, with the total student body capped at 150. The small size of the school means that there’s a real community feel. It also makes it responsive to feedback from parents.
Parents who choose Astor say they like the ability to adjust their child’s timetable to suit the family’s needs and to choose what specialist classes their child would like to attend. They feel that they’re participating in their child’s education at this boutique primary school.
This article first appeared in the February 2023 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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