The German European School Singapore (GESS) has just opened a fabulous new campus; here’s what students and parents can expect from this established International School.
GESS’s new campus is a $135,000,000 state-of-the-art facility on Dairy Farm Lane. Located between Upper Bukit Timah Road and the BKE, the new GESS (pronounced “Jess”) campus is not far from its previous primary school and offers easier access to public transportation. It sits at the north end of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, which educators plan to utilise as a natural, outdoor classroom.
On the first day of class, Principal Christoph Zaenglein recalled how “the students’ faces lit up when they stepped into their new home.” With an increased capacity to house 2,000 students, the new campus is a modern six-storey school outfitted with an Olympic-sized pool, 400- seat auditorium, Design Technology studio, media/green-screen room and preschool sensory garden and room. There’s even a cooking lab where budding chefs can train under the guidance of professional cooking instructors. Sixth-grade American student Wyatt Graff said, “I was excited on the first day of school; this campus is bigger. The playground is my favourite, that and DT (design technology) where we are learning to cut, smooth and make things with wood.”
# Eco-friendly aspects
The new 47,000-square-metre school was awarded the stringent Green Mark Gold Plus rating, which is granted to structures that exceed Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark standards. The campus features vertical greenery and an energy-efficient water chiller plant. The canteen uses reusable plates and bowls as well as biodegradable plastic. The campus itself is decorated in green accents, which is highlighted by beautiful natural greenery from nearby rainforests.
# New academy
To support STEM learning, GESS launched the Junior Engineer Academy, the first programme of its kind outside of Europe. The programme trains budding engineers through collaborations with universities and companies such as National University of Singapore, Pomeroy Studio and Bosch. The programme is available to selected students from grade 8 in both the German programme and English IB programme.
# Growth and reach
In 1971, GESS opened with a mere six students. Today it brings together over 60 nationalities from around the world – and now, for the first time in 10 years, GESS students from 18 months to 18 years of age are located under one roof. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, who attended the campus’s official launch in September along with 11 European ambassadors, highlighted Singapore’s strong relationship with the EU as a key reason for the school’s continual success.
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