For those of us out there paying international school fees in Singapore, or thinking about taking that plunge, it’s good to be reminded of how your hard-earned wonga is being spent. We chat to a few schools who are (justifiably) raving about their pretty awesome facilities.
School: Singapore American School
Facilities: While Singapore American School has many fantastic facilities, including a newly-renovated auditorium with a Constellation acoustic system from Meyer Sound, a high ropes course, three libraries, five air-conditioned gyms and a rock climbing wall, robotics laboratories and more, the most unique and ever-changing facility is the 1.6 acre on-campus rainforest.
Imagine seeing a rare green crested lizard, discovering a new species of plant life, or working with a professional environmental scientist in school. This virgin rainforest was preserved by SAS students when the campus was originally built in the 1990s, and continues to serve as a living classroom of biodiversity. In 2014, SAS partnered with the Singapore Botanic Gardens to transform the rainforest into a home for native trees and turn the existing garden into an endemic forest nursery.
What this means for your child: Your child can benefit from this partnership that makes SAS a center for international conservation education, offering students access to world renowned mentors in botany and environmental science. SAS students have conducted studies that identified over 500 species of fungi, insects, plants, animals, and pulai, a heritage tree species!
School: Australian International School
Facilities: A dedicated athlete performance centre offers the top 1% of sportsmen and women selected for the Athlete Development Program the opportunity to train and be coached on a path to university scholarships and elite level sport. The extensive sports facilities include three indoor zircon gyms, two large sports fields, a swimming pool and tennis courts. Outstanding theatre and music performance spaces house a music pod, complete with digital music lab and individual practice rooms, and a 250-seat theatre.
Dedicated facilities for children from 18 months to 5 years old include outdoor play spaces, a secret garden and Reggio Emilia inspired environment. A new state-of-the-art Early Years campus, launching soon, will enhance these facilities with a 22-metre swimming pool, a large sports gym, 5 library and learning resource centres and 9 arts and language specialist classrooms.
What this means for your child: Enhanced competitive sporting opportunities across 10 sports, 100 teams and 500 fixtures. The fostering of a lifelong passion for music through the 100 annual performances by AIS students. Early Years at AIS offers daily Maths and Mandarin, the weekly Accelerated Literacy Program, weekly violin lessons, and the SMART Steps and Physical Education Program. Kids also enjoy a weekly Speech and Drama Program based on the curriculum and examinations from LAMDA (the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), which has 150 years of proven experience in nurturing children to be confident speakers with a varied and rich vocabulary.
For more information on AIS and its programs, book your place for the Open House on 20 April!
School: Dulwich College (Singapore)
Facilities: Age-appropriate specialist areas such as well-resourced libraries for each school, ICT suites, wi-fi connection in every classroom, theatre and performing arts center, three swimming pools, football and rugby field, roof-top gardens, outdoor study areas, multi-purpose rooms, music rooms, gymnasiums, dining halls and café. The new Senior School comprises of a performing arts center with 700+ seat theatre and black box theatres, science laboratories, art/technology areas all within a carefully considered environment designed to provide the best possible opportunities for teaching and learning. To promote a sense of wellbeing, classrooms are spacious, bright, ventilated and well-furnished on a purpose built campus. Each school has its own discrete area in landscaped grounds.
What this means for your child: Although the school’s priority is to provide an exceptional academic education, it has a broader educational mission: to produce well-rounded, happy and fulfilled individuals. To achieve this, students are encouraged to participate in the extensive range of activities available both inside and outside the classroom, particularly in drama, sports, music and art. To facilitate this, the school provides students with exceptional state of the art facilities.
School: GEMS World Academy (Singapore)
Facility: The awe-inspiring 750-seat Auditorium.
Having world-class facilities that include an Olympic-sized pool and rock climbing wall is impressive, but what makes GWA more impressive is how they make use of these facilities to improve their students’ academic, sporting and artistic performance and build character, wonder and creativity. Take their huge Auditorium for example. All students at GWA get an opportunity to be on its vast stage and perform to a large crowd – with the guidance of the expert educators, students are helped to overcome stage fright, build their confidence and become better public speakers. A highlight at GWA is the weekly Students Assembly where their students perform on stage in front of other students, teachers, staff and proud parents. Daunting indeed for most, but second nature for GWA students!
What this means for your child: In the words of William Shakespeare, “all the world’s a stage and all the men and women are merely players”. At GWA, kids are prepped to shine on the world stage. GWA has a heavy focus on soft skills development for its students and one of the ways this school develops self-confidence in its pupils is through drama and public speaking. It’s mandatory for all kids to fully participate in Sports, Arts and Academics and their impressive facilities are put to great use by their highly qualified educators!
Facilities: 1st Class sports facilities including; 3 swimming pools, 2 indoor sports arenas, tennis courts, dance studios, rock climbing walls, a sports field and a Golf Academy, offer students opportunities in 70 competitive teams. Specialist coaches maximise the use of these facilities, preparing students to compete in the Athletics Conference of Singapore (ACSIS) with over 20 international schools in Singapore.
Stamford American’s 500-seat Reagan Theater is the only school theater in Singapore equipped with an LED backdrop screen, allowing students to give more interactive performances and presentations. Weekly drama classes begin at age 5 and progress to the International Baccalaureate Diploma in Theater.
Cutting edge technology and learning takes place in Stamford American’s unique Innovation Center. Launched in partnership with Bloomberg – a first for any high school in Asia!
Dedicated Nursery spaces for students from age 2 offer outdoor play spaces for every spacious classroom. Children learn Mandarin or Spanish under daily or bilingual options, the world-renowned Suzuki Violin Program and structured specialist physical education with SMART Steps and the Perceptual Motor Program under the guidance of specialist teachers.
What this means for your child: Stamford American’s amazing facilities offer students opportunities across 70 competitive sports teams, 100+ co-curricular activities, 5 annual theater productions and 20 music ensembles.
School: UWCSEA Dover and East Campus.
Facilities: UWCSEA’s facilities support the delivery of all five elements of their learning programme: academics, activities, outdoor education, personal and social education and service.
Age-appropriate facilities cater to students 4-18 years, with purpose built Infant School facilities, and teaching and collaboration areas dedicated to the needs of Junior, Middle and High School-age students. This includes all the expected ‘bells and whistles’: 1:1 IT provision and integrated technology, 50m and learn-to-swim pools, full-size all-weather sports fields, primary and secondary libraries, black box and other performance spaces, music practice rooms, design and technology classrooms and more.
But what sets the College apart is that (inspired by the UWC mission which aims to use education to promote a peaceful and sustainable future) UWCSEA strives for ‘environmental stewardship’. Building UWCSEA’s East Campus (completed in 2011) and the recently completed multi-million dollar five-year redevelopment of Dover Campus provided an opportunity to embed this within the campus facilities. Much more than putting solar panels on the roof, the College was able to plan ahead to lower resource need, both in construction and by the completed buildings.
UWCSEA East also has a universal design award for accessibility.
What this means for your child: Now that construction is over and both campuses have been awarded Green Mark Platinum (the highest ‘green building’ certification in Singapore), the focus has turned to embedding the campus facilities into the learning programme for students of all ages, with learning opportunities in topics such as science, engineering, mathematics and even economics.
Facilities: With the new location comes a raft of purpose built spaces and technology opportunities for students. The contemporary campus is now entirely wireless – meaning both teachers and students are always connected. Each classroom is fitted with an 87-inch projector Smartboard, bringing a virtual world into the classroom. For the budding scientists specialised labs for chemistry, physics and biology have been built as well as two libraries for when your kids need a quiet space to hit the books. To keep students active sports facilities include a seven-lane swimming pool, a soccer field, a gymnasium and an indoor playground for Early Childhood students. Finally, a 450-seat auditorium to host concert and theatre productions has been constructed.
What this means for your child: We live in a switched on world so the wireless campus means your kids can use their provided iPads and MacBook Airs everywhere. Work is done on the go these days so that means study can be too. The new Smartboards introduce the world to students with interactive tours to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre or the Great Pyramids in Egypt. The new auditorium means students won’t just read Shakespearean plays, they’ll perform them. Instead of studying Beethoven they’ll get first hand experience on how his work sounds live.
For more information on international schools in Singapore, head over to our Schools page!