For many of us, selecting the right international schools for our children is the most important decision we have to make when moving to a new country. There’s a wide choice of international schools in Singapore, most of which offer a multicultural environment, with students from a diverse range of backgrounds and countries. Add to this a wide variety of curriculums, from single-country programmes to the International Baccalaureate and International Primary Curriculum, and there’s not much more that a parent could wish for.
While a visit to a school is often the best way to make an instinctive decision based on the individual needs of your children, hearing the opinions of other families about their experiences can be invaluable. The following guide is not just a list of international schools in Singapore, it features referrals from Expat Living readers to help you slim down the list of schools you will need to visit. Plus some tips on which questions to ask!
Australian International School
Grant and Fiona Mooney, Australian; Harry (12), Oscar (9) and Evie (7)
“All our children have attended AIS since we moved to Singapore two years ago. Harry has started Secondary, Oscar is in Upper Elementary and Evie is in Lower Elementary.
We were very impressed by the facilities of the school when we first visited. There’s a lot of playing space where the children can play various sports, climb on equipment and run around. The school also has new learning pods that are state of the art; our two youngest children are learning in these pods and absolutely love it.
The teachers and support staff are very responsive and dedicated to the wellbeing of the children, and the leadership group are extremely visible and approachable. AIS is a community-based school that arranges social events for families to connect with other families.
The school mirrors the Australian curriculum and school terms, and the CCAs offered are also varied and suitable for all interests. AIS would suit families who value a learning environment that balances their child’s wellbeing with a solid academic focus. It’ll also benefit families who would like to be part of a friendly and social community”
Brighton College (Singapore)
Felicity and Mark Sainsbury, Australian; Harry (9), Finn (7) and Willow (5)
“Harry and Finn have attended Brighton since August 2020 and Willow will be joining in the near future. We were searching for a school that could offer a structured curriculum, without the scale and size of a large school. We decided to enrol the children following a tour with the Headmaster and Deputy Head, Paul Wilson and Lois Pugh. We had the comfort that, being a smaller school, Brighton would be able to provide the necessary support to our children and focus on their individual needs socially and academically. Our children came from a smaller school and Brighton College was the perfect transition. The CCA programme was of great appeal, exposing the children to a broad range of interests and skills beyond the classroom. The sports programme has also been excellent.
The boys are learning a wide variety of subjects and their enjoyment of school continues to grow. The curriculum is well balanced, with a strong focus on the building blocks of literacy and numeracy. The teachers at Brighton are passionate and committed and are able to connect with the children. There is also the Pelican Points Award System, which incentivises the children to work toward personal and academic goals.
We’d recommend Brighton for a number of reasons. The size and diversity of the school are such that Harry and Finn look forward to going each day, and they return home full of enthusiasm. The teachers are of a high calibre and have been instrumental in entrenching this love of learning, and the founding and incoming families have also developed a warm community feel. The core values of Brighton are kindness, confidence and curiosity, encompassing all the key aspects of a child’s developmental years, and offering a sound moral foundation for the future.”
Canadian International School
Montray and Sonja Leavy, American; Zaria (11)
“This is Zaria’s fourth year at CIS; she started in Grade 2 and is currently in Grade 5. What drew us to CIS was its bilingual programme. We’ve always felt it’s important to immerse our child in the culture and language of wherever we are living. Zaria was not yet two years old when we moved to Taiwan but she started learning Chinese at a Chinese-speaking preschool, followed by kindergarten.
When we moved to Singapore five years ago, we wanted a school where she could continue learning Chinese and also English, which she hadn’t been exposed to in a school setting. At CIS, the students learn in both languages, with half of their learning in Chinese and half in English. It has been an enriching experience for our daughter.
We’re also impressed with the focus on visual and performing arts. The student performances, both in English and Chinese, amaze us. The children are all talented and confident, and their stage presence is enthralling. It’s always a proud moment for us, watching our daughter perform in concerts and year-end assemblies.
We’ve found the teachers to be warm, dedicated, approachable and always eager to provide resources and feedback as we partner with them in Zaria’s learning. The curriculum allows for independent as well as collaborative learning, which strengthens a child’s development and confidence.
We recommend CIS to anyone looking for a multicultural learning environment where diversity is celebrated and children thrive”
Chatsworth International School
Amy and Nate Moon, American; Avery (17), Savannah (13) and Jonah (8)
“Our children are in their third year at Chatsworth, having started in August 2018. We heard about Chatsworth through online research. We specifically wanted an international experience and a school that doesn’t have a dominant nationality. We wanted a curriculum that would allow us to transfer back to the US if needed, and the IB curriculum worked well. We love the small class sizes and community feel, and the tuition was at a better price point than other larger schools.
As parents, we always second guess the decisions we make for our children. Every time we do, we pause and take inventory. We see children who are happy to go to school, excited to learn, have kind friends and classmates as well as supportive teachers. They also can walk to school and are excelling in different areas. Our children are thriving in this small, community-oriented environment. What the school lacks in the bells and whistles of a large campus, it makes up for in the charm of a unique indoor-outdoor learning arrangement, where children walk through a covered path through the jungle to get to the Swiss Club’s recreational facilities. They meet up with friends every morning at the outdoor “nest” and our littlest loves the playground. Our family has found not only a school but also a community.
We’d recommend Chatsworth to anyone looking for a quality education with caring and knowledgeable teachers and a welcoming, diverse community of students and parents. The school makes the individual child feel special. The teachers and administrators know our children and take a genuine interest in their success. We’ve utilised the counselling services in both primary and secondary and appreciate the care and counsel given. We’re also extremely grateful for the sibling discount and the availability of scholarships for the diploma programme.”
Dover Court International School
Jeremy Lee and Joanna Ip, Australian and American; Bella (9) and Connor (6)
“We’ve been in Singapore for 15 years. Bella has been at Dover Court International since Year 1 and is now in Year 4; Connor has been there since Reception and is now in Year 1.
We love the warm and welcoming community feel of the school, which is important to us. The teachers are nurturing, fun, energetic and go the extra mile to inculcate a love of learning. They’re creative in the ways they deliver the materials and really have a passion for teaching. They even take learning outside the classroom – it’s not unusual to find a class conducted in the sensory garden on a sunny day, or for the kids to interact with staff in a treasure hunt or a “crime scene” investigation. Both our kids have been instilled with a curiosity to learn and a love of reading. They look forward to going to school every day and even miss it during the breaks!
The school has a connection to MIT and Juilliard and older kids can be more involved in these programmes. As it is, dance is incorporated into the PE programme, which my daughter loves. The STEAM challenges are very engaging, especially for our son, even at such a young age.
Some of our friends have children in the Pathways programme at Dover and they couldn’t be happier with the way the school supports children in their learning journey. We also find the parent community really welcoming. Our daughter started Dover in the last term of Year 1, but before she started a parent invited her to a play date so she could meet some of her future classmates. This made the transition for her so much easier.”
Dulwich College Singapore
Victoria and Andrew Watkins-Ball, British and South African; Maddie (10), Frankie (8) Benjamin (6) and Thomas (4)
“It’s our children’s third academic year at Dulwich, and Thomas will start in September. The school had been highly recommended by friends in Singapore. We went through the enrolment process remotely, and it was seamless. Dulwich conversed with our schools back in Cape Town and we were delighted to get places for the children. We felt very welcome by the teaching staff and other parents.
Each child has very different strengths and interests, and Dulwich has successfully managed to keep them all interested and develop these strengths. They’re all very happy going to school each day! We’ve seen the breadth of the curriculum increase as Maddie and Frankie joined Junior School, and besides academics there’s plenty of opportunity to take part in productions and shows, celebrate festivals and join projects beyond the curriculum. There are extensive pre- and postschool activities, too, as well as lunchtime options for Ben in DUCKS (Dulwich College Kindergarten School), including sports, drama, music, Chinese calligraphy, board games, film club, golf and polo. The standard of teaching is very high and we can see how well the teachers know our children.
Being a relatively new campus, Dulwich has been able to cherry-pick the best resources available and incorporate traditions from Dulwich College in London. The children have access to the most wonderful facilities and programmes such as libraries, D&T (Design & Technology), art, drama, swimming and technology, and the school’s Mandarin offering really sets it apart. Dulwich is also doing a great job highlighting global issues through different initiatives, showing our children that everyone can make a difference and create positive change. The school offers a one-way, return and late school bus, plus flexible school lunch options, so you can tailor things to suit your family.”
GEMS World Academy
Ammon and Lotus Mackie, Australian; Hugo (16), Benjamin (15), Chloe (11) and Luke (5)
“Our children have been attending GEMS since we arrived in Singapore in 2017. All four of them have different reasons why they love GEMS, and they all hope to continue their entire schooling there. For some, their favourite thing about school is their teacher. For others, it’s the theatre productions, the sporting programmes and the endless opportunities for projects in the design lab. Our children have been involved in drama, choir, Rugby 7s Academy, track and field, running, soccer, rock climbing, aeronautics, school camps, international sporting competitions, and both French and Mandarin second language development programmes. They’ve also embraced theatre performance, stage productions, and developed singing, acting, dancing and backstage production skills.
Each of our children has grown and developed diverse talents through the guidance of the dedicated teaching staff. We’re especially impressed by the holistic approach the school takes to education – it maintains an exceptional IB programme and a great balance between the academic, emotional and social experience of school life. The professional teachers and staff make attending school an experience that my children look forward to.
We know that the experiences and the friendships that our family has gained through GEMS will last a lifetime. We’re happy to recommend it to other families as we know that the school and its community are a large part of our children’s experiences in Singapore.”
Umesh and Swati Mandi, Indian; Siddid (18) and Shivom (13)
“GESS has always given importance to the holistic development of children by acknowledging the fact that both mind and body work optimally when the bellies are happy and the mind intrigued and challenged with a relaxed environment in their classrooms. The teachers bring the best out of the kids – and the canteens really keep their bellies happy!
The last time we were in Singapore was from 2008 to 2013. Shivom was still doing his kindergarten at another school and Siddid started his schooling with GESS, which was then located at Swiss Club Road, before we moved to another school due to the distance from our residence then in Bishan.
Having been to a big school with Siddid’s experience, we missed the community that we had at GESS. This time, Siddid is with another school doing his IBDP while Shivom is attending Grade 7 at GESS.
We still remember classes at the old GESS campus. Siddid’s classroom overlooked the lush green surroundings. The school’s current location is also surrounded by serene nature parks and greenery.
The indoor sports hall and facilities are accessible all year round, regardless of the weather conditions outdoors. The library and design and technology studios are impressive – they make you wish you were a kid again.”
Integrated International School
Ted Osius and Clayton Bond, American; Lucile (6) and Theodore (7)
“Theodore, who is better known at IIS by his nickname TABO (for Theodore Alan Bond-Osius!), has attended the school since July 2020. We saw in a magazine and elsewhere wonderful testimonials of children who were happy going to IIS. We wish we’d enrolled him earlier! Almost immediately after TABO joined IIS, we noticed improvement with respect to his view toward school in general. He’s a much happier and more successful learner.
The small student-to-teacher ratio means that our son stays engaged throughout the school day. We know he is safe and well cared for in every sense at IIS, and that he receives the attention he needs. The generally small size of the school makes it easier to be a part of the school’s community, and none of us gets lost when communicating with or navigating IIS. The teachers and administrators are accessible and attentive. The facilities are great, especially the Snoezelen Room.
There’s so much love and warmth at the school. We love how it really celebrates and roots for TABO’s success, and every child’s and staff member’s success. We highly recommend IIS to other families. It’s a wonderful school that meaningfully welcomes children with a broad array of learning styles.”
International Community School Singapore
Chris and Chantal Leighton, South African; Gizé (9) and Zara (6)
“We’ve been in Singapore for four years now, and Gizé and Zara are both attending ICS. They have been at the school for a year. We heard about ICS from one of the teachers who goes to our church. We decided to enrol our children at the school because of the Christian values and the bold way in which the amazing teachers model Christ to the children. We also chose the school for the high standard of education offered.
The school has been an answer to our prayers. Since day one, we’ve been nothing but happy. Our children love to go to school every day. They learn so much and the teachers are so helpful and skilled in their task to teach them. The facilities are great and meet the needs of the children. ICS has so many ECAs to choose from and the children love taking part in them. The children love the community at the school and have made loads of friends; what we particularly like is the meeting that the moms have once a week. During the session, we get to know each other and, through that, we are able to serve the school better. The school is much more affordable than other schools of this quality, too.
We would definitely recommend ICS to other families! We just love being part of this school with its amazing staff. Your child will be embraced with so much love and acceptance. They will always feel loved and will grow to be a world influencer for the Kingdom of Christ while also growing in character, in academics and many other areas.”
International French School Singapore
Andrew Boscence and Marta Bulnes Diez, Australian and Spanish; Eduardo (7)
“Eduardo has been attending Grade 1 at International French School since September 2020. He spoke no French prior to starting at IFS. We placed him in IFS’s immersion programme, and in Anglais+, which splits tuition time 50- 50 in English and French. Both the English and French teachers work really closely together to ensure seamless transition between the languages. After only a few months, Eduardo is already able to read and write in French. This methodology has helped him learn without being held back by his initial lack of French.
The most important thing for us has been to see him grow in self-esteem and confidence. We have the teachers to thank – they’re technically competent and empathic, and their passion and commitment to our child’s learning really shows.
The teachers really get to know your child and adapt, within reason, to their strengths and weaknesses. The school’s list of activities is impressive. Eduardo currently attends Spanish classes and football as ECAs. IFS also offers school camps during some of the holidays, which is a bonus, especially with travel not really being an option at the moment.
Eduardo loves going to IFS and we’ve found it to be a safe, fun and disciplined environment for him to learn and grow. We’re also enjoying all the cultural learning that comes from sending Eduardo to the school – from songs to food recipes, we’re all becoming Francophiles! As a family, we’ve found the school community significantly more multicultural than we expected, and they’re also welcoming and easy-going. For those who don’t speak French, school communications are sent out in English as well as French, and parents use English in the WhatsApp class group chat, which is very much appreciated.”
Invictus International School
Richard Hooker, Kanjana Wihokthong, British; Lily (13) and Thomas (10)
“Our family has lived in Singapore for nine years. Working for a company that supports people relocating round the world, we were aware of the school since the Dempsey campus opened. We decided to enrol our children there, mainly due to the small classroom sizes. The class sizes are much smaller than some of the established and more expensive schools. We value this intimate teaching environment over some of the facilities available at other schools that trade off with larger classes.
Last August, both Lily and Thomas moved to the Centrium campus when it opened. Our experience of the new campus so far has been very positive as the facilities are brand new.
The experience with the teachers has been equally positive. Both of our children have teachers from a wide variety of backgrounds and all the teachers have been engaging and helpful, interacting with us positively when needed. Thomas is enrolled in the bilingual Mandarin programme, which has been fantastic for his Chinese language absorption.
We would recommend Invictus to other families and have done so already. The small classes, new facilities and lower comparable fees make the school a worthwhile option to consider.”
ISS International School
Anastasia Shavrina and Alexey Shavrin, Russian; Grigory (12) and Mikhail (10)
“Grigory (Greg) and Mikhail (Mike) are currently in their second year at ISS. Alexey’s friend from Switzerland recommended ISS; his niece graduated with good scores and attended her dream university.
There are a few reasons why we love ISS. Firstly, the location. The school is on a hill, surrounded by a park; there’s always a fresh breeze. Mike likes to read at the terrace next to his classroom, which has a view of the park. The second reason is the family-friendliness and kindness of the people. ISS is not a very big school, so everyone knows each other by name. Our biggest reason is their amazing team; Dr Alvarez has an eye for those who have a calling to teach, develop and bring up children. The teachers not only care about good academic results but about the children’s wellbeing and personal growth. Our boys have learnt not to be afraid to make mistakes, to be happy for their peers’ achievements, and to enjoy helping others and getting to know new things. When we ask, “How was your day in school?”, Greg usually answers “Amazing!” Coming from a tween, that means a lot. Another wonderful thing is the easy communication between the school and parents.
During quarantine times last year, we had regular online meetings with school counsellors and professional speakers to help us stay physically and mentally healthy, manage online schooling and more. This year, the school continues to support us with meetings about online safety, healthy eating and self-management. We’d recommend ISS to families seeking a school that can give strong academic results in a friendly atmosphere, with natural surroundings and without hard pressure.”
Nexus International School (Singapore)
Tom and Jenn Simon, American; Caroline (11), William (9) and Luke (6)
“Our children, currently in Year 6, 4 and 2, respectively, started attending Nexus International School (Singapore) in January 2020, on the first day that the brand new campus opened.
The majority of our school research was done online; we found out in October 2019 that we were moving to Singapore, viewed the new school campus during a virtual Open Day in November, and moved to Singapore on 31 December. This is our first time living internationally.
Our main goal was to find a school that would give the children an excellent education and also allow them to have fun while learning. Nexus has given our children the international experience that we were hoping for. The school’s learners and staff come from so many different cultures and backgrounds, and they celebrate several holidays, which helps to create an inclusive school environment. Our children now have friends from all over the world.
The school’s facilities are incredible but what makes it special are the people and the interesting things happening inside. Our children have wonderful teachers who challenge them while also nurturing them. The teachers keep each day different and interesting. There’s also a focus on overall wellness with a good amount of time each week focused on mindfulness, PE classes, music, yoga, art and more.
If we had to pick one word to describe Nexus, we would say “happy”. Our children go to school happy and come home happy, with interesting stories about their day and experiences. They are constantly saying, “School is so much fun!” As a parent, what more could you really want for your children?”
One World International School
Nelson and Siobhan Lobo, Indian; Keira (11), Giselle (7), Kayleb and Jayden (5)
“Our four children all attend OWIS. Keira (Grade 5) and Giselle (Grade 2) have been there for three years, and the twin boys (Early Childhood) are in their second year.
We’re pleased with the way the curriculum opens the minds of our children, and makes them independent thinkers and imaginative writers as well. The school’s objective and practical approach to hands-on learning is a key feature for kids of all ages, and we can certainly see the benefits and progress through our children’s development.
OWIS offers a lot of learning through the use of new technology. It keeps improving the programmes, and our children are happy to go to school every day to learn. The school also has a good variety of extracurricular activities that help our children to develop their interests and hone their talents.
Our children enjoy the activities and festivities through the cultural programmes and community activities at the school. This allows them to be involved in different cultures and traditions. This is important, as all the students here feel as one with others, which is is an integral part of growing up in a new environment.
We are pleased with the way that the school includes the child, teachers and parents in as many activities and experiences as they can. This allows both the parents and children to develop the feeling of being one as a family. We’re happy that our children are learning well in an environment that’s warm and welcoming of diversity.”
Overseas Family School
Rotem and Ada Shani, Israel; Shahar (12), Yuval (10) and Amit (7)
“Our kids have been studying at Overseas Family School since August 2019. Prior to this, they had only lived in Israel; so, when we first arrived here, they didn’t know any English and everything was new to them.
We chose OFS for its multicultural learning environment and its attention to student care and support. We were also drawn in by the Study Preparation Program (SPP), which has a strong reputation for rapid English language acquisition. The children are grouped into smaller, dedicated classes according to language proficiency. Under the nurturing instruction of experienced teachers, non-English speaking students at OFS are quickly immersed in the English language. Students learn both social and academic vocabulary daily in all subjects so that no academic time is lost.
The SPP enabled our children to learn English without being overwhelmed by their new environment. Their teachers, Ms Gergely, Mr Calais and Ms Word, encouraged our children to trust themselves and their capability to cope with the new language. Our children were encouraged to read, write and sing in English. They were also taught how to express their thoughts and ideas both verbally and in writing.
Today, Shahar and Yuval are both speaking English like native speakers. They progressed through all levels of SPP and joined mainstream classes within 12 months. They can express themselves freely, read entire novels and get along with their friends.
Singapore American School
“We moved to Singapore three years ago and we’re likely to return to the US in the future. So we thought that enrolling our children in SAS would provide some continuity. We were also attracted by the school’s Chinese Immersion Programme, as language learning is very important for us. Catherine has been at SAS since the third grade. Adeline has been in preschool in the Early Learning Center since last year.
The school offers a personalised learning experience for each child – it’s customised to the child’s interests, strengths and needs. The growth mindset and affirming environment have nurtured a love for learning in our children. Students are also encouraged to explore and discover new things through an amazingly broad co-curricular programme. This was how Catherine discovered her love for stop-motion animation and rock-climbing. Student leadership is encouraged and nurtured. For example, when we raised an issue to our child’s teacher, we were told that other 10- and 11-year-old students had raised the same thing with their counsellor and formed an advocacy group for change.
The teachers are highly engaged, proactive and always on top of things. Classroom teachers are supported by a strong team of counsellors who actively teach soft skills like how to identify emotions, make friends, conflict resolution and child safety. There’s also a solid partnership and feedback loop between the school board, administration, teaching faculty, parents and students.
SAS is incredibly international and diverse. It’s great if you’re looking for a school that provides an American educational experience with an international perspective. Your children will also be supported and developed holistically and cross-culturally to be future leaders”
St. Joseph’s Institution International
Lachlan and Shirley Barnes, Australian/ Canadian; Owen (10) and Emilia (6)
“Owen has attended SJII for six years, and Emilia for three. We heard about the school from a work colleague who had kids there and loved it. We were so keen that we sent the enrolment application from New York before we moved to Singapore eight years ago.
SJII is a modest-sized school with a strong sense of community and an extremely diverse student body. As a result, students and parents alike have the opportunity to form strong friendships. The teachers are from a wide range of nationalities and backgrounds. We’ve found them all to be passionate, hard-working and genuinely interested in the children’s development.
The school has a particular focus on academics and this shows through results at all age groups. Whilst it’s a strong academic school, there isn’t a particular focus solely on one aspect of school life. Academics, sports, community, co-curricular activities and personal development are all given equal weight of importance. The sports programme is run by extremely passionate teachers who encourage participation from all. In particular, the pool and gym facilities are world class.
The teaching staff do an excellent job of raising children to be inquisitive and respectful to others, and people of high integrity. The Virtues Project is something that the school believes very strongly in and it most definitely has a positive effect on raising good human beings.
We would strongly recommend SJII for its comprehensive programme and diverse family base.”
Stamford American International School
Toni and Clinton Lourens, Australian; Tayla (12) and Oliver (9)
“Both children have been attending Stamford American International School since January 2020. We initially learnt about the school because of its gymnastics programme. After our first tour, we quickly realised the school has a lot more to offer. SAIS stood out in terms of facilities, teaching and support staff as well as from an academic and co-curricular perspective.
Our experience has been nothing but outstanding. We were warmly welcomed at our initial interview and the sense of community and inclusiveness has remained. SAIS is an IB school and both children are thriving. It enables them to introduce their own ideas and concepts and apply them to all areas, from mathematics and English to science and art. SAIS provides a wide range of co-curricular activities. Our son has taken part in Minecraft club, inline skating and table tennis, while our daughter has benefited from the gymnastics programme under a highly skilled coach. A highlight has been the community, in particular how the leadership team and teachers ensure both children and parents are engaged in school activities and life. With families from all over the world, we’re very fortunate to have made friends from different countries and cultures.
Coming from Australia, we were hesitant about how our children would adjust but our doubts were overcome within the first week. We believe that the community of a school enables children to thrive, and SAIS works hard to ensure that every child is noticed and nourished. Seeing the smiles on our children’s faces each day confirms that we made the right decision.
Don’t hesitate to look at options that might be out of your consideration because, at the end of the day, academics aren’t the only thing that’s important; the whole cultural experience is too.”
Tanglin Trust School
Paul and Jenny Cameron, British; Isobel (10) and Sophie (5)
“We’ve lived in Singapore for 14 years; both girls were born here and they’ve been at Tanglin Trust School since nursery. Isobel is now in Year 5 and Sophie is in Reception.
Our experience of the school has been excellent – the staff are experienced, professional, friendly, caring and responsive. We like that Tanglin has an established reputation in Singapore and internationally. The school’s recently acquired Gold UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools award reflects its values and the children’s daily experience. Children are encouraged to be independent and responsible, try new things, develop talents, challenge themselves and take on leadership roles. Their happiness and wellbeing are regarded as essential foundations to learning.
Beyond curriculum, children are encouraged to be active and creative, with sports and the arts highly valued. Our children have fantastic opportunities in a great breadth of extracurricular activities, inspirational visitors, school trips and other new experiences.
The school’s facilities are constantly improving, such as the Olympic size swimming pool that will be housed in the new building that’s currently under construction.
The school also actively supports the development of a strong community, and parents are encouraged to be involved with school events and activities. There are also various social groups for parents, supported by the Friends of Tanglin.
TTS is perfect for encouraging a child’s connection to the UK while being part of an international community. We love that our children feel British despite never having lived there, and they have friends from all over the world. Cultural diversity is part of their everyday life.”
The Grange Institution
Paulo and Christina Gonzales, Filipino; Ysabela (8) and Joaquin (5)
“We learnt about The Grange Institution from a Facebook group of foreign parents looking for alternatives to local schools in Singapore. We attended TGI’s open house and its inviting family atmosphere and small teacherstudent ratio were the deciding factors for us choosing it.
We’ve lived in Singapore since 2018 and Ysabela has been with TGI as one of the three pioneer students when it opened that same year; she’s currently in Year 3. Joaquin joined this year and is currently in Year 1A.
Mathematics, science and English are taught in creative ways that enable the students to gain interest and eventually apply the knowledge they’ve acquired. The IPC curriculum takes the children on a learning journey through different themes using fun and interactive activities about the world around them. Every day, there’s an exciting discussion with our children about their day in school; it might include everything from chocolates and fossils to inventors and the Dalai Lama! The school’s Garden-to-Table project also teaches gardening and farming to students in land-scarce Singapore – we get to cook and eat vegetables from the school’s garden in our own homes.
We appreciate how TGI has become a second home to our children. Their schoolmates, teachers and school staff have become a nurturing and supportive family for them. It offers a unique positive atmosphere for children to learn from experienced educators and grow into responsible citizens.”
The Perse School
Nikhil and Alison Ray, British; Willoughby and Malin (both 7)
“We’ve lived in Singapore for 11 years, and the boys attended a local preschool from the age of six months. They thoroughly enjoyed it and reached a high standard with the bilingual programme there.
We wanted the boys to continue their Chinese studies, and the daily Chinese lessons at The Perse School were a major factor in our decision to send them there. We were also drawn by the curriculum of the school, and we appreciate that specialist teachers lead each subject. We also like that the school has a designated library, science laboratory and dining area, and the boys like the house system.
Both our boys joined Year 2 at The Perse School in August 2020, on their first official intake. We chose to enrol the boys over the Circuit Breaker in Singapore; in our online meetings with the senior teachers they spoke eloquently about education and seemed most interested in our boys’ characters and their needs. We knew it would be a good fit for our children as the school is small and seemed to focus on academics more than some other primary schools.
It’s a school that is growing and improving, and our boys enjoy every day and have made lots of friends.”
UWC South East Asia
Daniel and Reina Mathieson, New Zealander and Japanese; Keanu (15), Sean (11) and Lanah (9)
“We knew about UWC’s strong reputation when we lived in Singapore from 2008 to 2011. At that time, Keanu was at a different school but when we returned here in 2015, we decided UWCSEA was the best option for our children. Keanu and Sean have been attending UWCSEA East since 2015, and Lanah started K1 in 2016.
We’ve been really happy with the whole experience. Our children learn from amazing teachers – and they’re also learning to be great learners in the UWCSEA environment. It’s so good to see them flourish with the experiences they’re having at the school.
We also love the emphasis placed on involving our children in topics related to sustainability. This is done holistically across all subjects and in the service programmes. It allows our children to think about the actions they need to take as individuals and as part of a collective society – they bring lots of ideas home and we take action as a result.
School activities are an important part of life at UWCSEA, especially sports. Our children are involved in soccer, swimming, gymnastics, rugby and basketball. They’re also taking ITP music programmes in drum and guitar, which they really enjoy.
The teachers are top class and we’ve been really impressed with the communication, and the quality of support for our children and us as involved parents. There’s always someone to help us out when we have questions or concerns.
The school is a multicultural community and we feel it’s a warm and kind environment for the children and families. This helps our children to learn, develop and grow better than what we have experienced in other schools in other countries.”
Ask yourself these 10 questions before deciding on a school
- Which curriculum will best suit my child’s educational needs and our family’s plans for the future? There are many curriculum options, and the right fit will minimise the disruption of moving to another country and a different school.
- Is the location of the campus convenient to home and public transport?
- How do class sizes and teacher-to-child ratios vary among the schools on my shortlist?
- What languages are taught as second languages? Is this compulsory, and will the experience benefit my child?
- Will the extracurricular activities offer a balance to my child’s academic studies and broaden his or her educational experience?
- Are there opportunities for parental involvement at the school? This can be a wonderful way to meet new people and get to know the school.
- What facilities are available for outdoor and after-school activities?
- What types of school excursions are offered? Many children have the opportunity to visit other countries as a part of the school curriculum, often with a focus on learning about those countries, community engagement and volunteering.
- Do the school’s holiday and term dates vary from those of my other children’s schools or my home country?
- How does the school communicate with parents about the child’s learning experience and general school news, such as online or through newsletters and excursion permission notes?
If you’re planning to live in Singapore or if you’re new to our sunny island, then make sure to read the digital edition of our latest CITY GUIDE.
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