For many of us, selecting the right school for our children is, after choosing where to live, the most important decision we have to make when moving to a new country. In Singapore there’s a wide choice of international schools, 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 features a multitude of referrals from EL readers to help you decide on a school. There’s also a map to reveal all of the school locations across town below.
A few things to take into account when choosing a school:
✓ Check the location of the campus, and its convenience to your home and transport options.
✓ Ensure the curriculum fits your child’s education needs and your future plans; the right fit may minimise the disruption of moving to another country and changing schools.
✓ Class sizes and teacher-to-child ratios vary markedly from school to school.
✓ Mandarin is widely taught as a compulsory language, but there are often other options, including European languages.
✓ Extra-curricular activities can offer children a balance to the academic experience. Most schools offer a wide range of sports, music and the arts.
✓ Most international schools come with a higher price tag than expats may be accustomed to in their home countries.
✓ School holidays and term dates vary from school to school.
✓ Depending on the age of your child, schools often encourage parent participation; if work commitments allow, this can be a wonderful way to meet new people and get to know the school.
✓ Because of the tropical climate, outdoor experiences are a feature of most schools; check the facilities available.
✓ School excursions to a range of countries are a normal part of the school curriculum; they often focus on learning about other countries and sometimes on volunteering.
DID YOU KNOW?
• There are currently 73 international schools in Singapore, catering for almost 52,000 students.• The Singaporean government coordinates the availability of international school places in line with demand.
• Singaporean student enrolments constitute approximately four percent of the total international school population.
• Malaysia aims to be the sixth-largest education exporter by 2020 with a target of 200,000 international students (The Star Online).
• The OECD estimates the global population of international students could reach five million this year.
• During 2013, the global international schools market generated US$35 billion annually in fee income.
Statistics courtesy of monitor.icef.com
Australian International School (AIS)
1 Lorong Chuan | 6883 5155
Marc and Natalie Radatt, South African
Storm (14) and Skye (12)
The high school years are a difficult time for teenagers, especially when their parents make the difficult decision to move them to a foreign country away from their friends. We initially read about AIS on the internet and shortlisted three schools to visit. We left the choice up to the girls, and after visiting AIS there was absolutely no doubt that it was the school for them. Another deciding factor was the location; there are great public transport facilities and a variety of accommodation options within walking distance.
Storm, in Year 8, was very reluctant to make the move and sad to leave her school when we moved from Sydney at the end of last year. But after only one term, she has settled in incredibly well and finds AIS to be more friendly and exciting than her previous schools; this is a reflection of the caring, dedicated teaching and management staff. In that short time she has helped with the fundraising for an orphanage in Vietnam and travelled there on the Year 8 camp. She swims for the school’s representative team, the Sharks, has competed against other international schools in Singapore, and has travelled to an international meet in Hong Kong. She was also elected as a student house leader.
Skye, in Year 6, is very comfortable at the school and has made many friends. She will never forget travelling to Tioman Island in Malaysia for the Year 6 camp, where she snorkelled on the reef and hiked in the rainforest. She loves learning French at school and also participates in the AIS choir that performed at the recent ANZAC Day ceremony. She enjoys being part of the AIS cheerleading team that supports the basketball teams and competes in cheerleading tournaments.
AIS provides a nurturing environment where all facets of learning are highly valued. There is a feeling of optimism in the school that is contagious. We attribute this to the highly motivated and caring teaching staff and the like-minded AIS family of students and their parents.
Avondale Grammar School
318 Tanglin Road | 6258 8544
Angelo and Rosalind Scasserra, Australian
Mia (10), Lola (8), Catia (5), Nico (2) and Luca (2)
We have lived in Singapore for six years. Mia, Lola and Catia are in Grade 5, Grade 3 and Foundation. Nico and Luca will attend the preschool when the time comes.
Friends who were extremely happy with the school referred us to Avondale, and separately we had heard about its small size and great reputation. Everyone knows everyone at Avondale: from the children and their parents to the principal and teachers and the reception, canteen and security staff. It’s lovely to walk in and be greeted by so many warm and familiar faces.
As parents, we feel that our most valued treasures are in good hands. Our children are all thriving. We have been very impressed with the standard of education and have seen vast advances with Mia and Lola, particularly in their English, mathematics and Mandarin skills, as well as their overall enthusiasm to learn.
We believe this is testament to the strength of the curriculum as well as the outstanding input and encouragement of the teachers, who offer strong support to each child’s different learning requirements. Most welcome has been the development in the girls’ confidence, whether it be standing up in front of the school and speaking at assembly, completing homework, preparing for tests or participating in class.
The girls have enjoyed taking part in athletics and swimming carnivals, cross country and interschool sports. Considering its comparatively small size, Avondale always seems to perform respectably well. The children have had the opportunity to explore different cultures and activities on class camps and excursions. Mia’s class visited Darwin to explore Australian indigenous art and culture, history and geography, while Lola visited Sibu, Malaysia.
One of the biggest highlights for the girls is Avondale’s annual Musical and Family Concert. Every child takes part and is made to feel integral to the performance, which is indicative of the school spirit on the whole.
Canadian International School (CIS)
Lakeside Campus, 7 Jurong West Street | 6467 1732
Tanjong Katong Campus, 371 Tanjong Katong | 6345 1573
Sarah and Malcolm Smith, New Zealand
Logan (16), Abbey (13) and Riley (10)
We’ve been in Singapore for three years, and all three of our children are now together at the CIS Lakeside campus. When researching schools, we relied on a relocation specialist who narrowed down the search to a shortlist that included CIS.
We were looking for a full IB school, and one with diverse nationalities, so our children would not feel like they were part of a minority. Having them on the same campus was also a plus.
We were also aware that shortly after our arrival, the new CIS Lakeside campus would be opening, which meant our children would have the most up to date and progressive start to their global experience. When we visited the school, the CIS staff and students seemed very warm, relaxed and caring, and all five of us felt welcome.
Logan enjoys the strong community at CIS, feels part of the school and enjoys his lessons thanks to the fantastic teachers. Abbey, in her words, likes the happy and inspiring vibe, and the kind and caring teachers who inspire her to do better. Riley likes that the students, teachers and principals are very friendly, and he spends a lot of time on the adventure playground with his friends.
With children across a six-year age range, we love CIS’s “school within a school” philosophy. The children are all on the same campus, but function in smaller, age-appropriate groups (junior, middle and high school). We also love that the IB curriculum is offered across the board for all ages, which makes the transition between the years smooth and seamless.
Chinese International School (CNIS)
60 Dunearn Road | 6254 0200
Tania Léger (Swiss) and Toni Martinez (Spanish)
Imma (8), Laia (7) and Daina (4)
Each of our daughters joined the school when they turned three. For us, the most important part of education is learning languages. We thought that if our daughters managed to learn foreign languages at a young age, it would be very beneficial for their future. That’s why we were looking for a school that offered a bilingual programme.
CNIS not only provides a bilingual English and Mandarin education, but it also gives students precious insights into Chinese culture. Mandarin is taught through art, songs and Chinese celebrations – it goes way beyond rote learning. The school also supports mother tongues. At home, we speak French and Spanish, and the school has given us the opportunity to set up French and Spanish mother tongue classes as after-school activities.
We also like the fact that CNIS is an IB school. We notice the value of enquiry-based learning in our everyday communications with our daughters. In Kindergarten, we love the small classes where both English and Chinese teachers are always present. Those hours of exposure to both languages are a fantastic way for young children to pick up a new language.
CNIS is a small school with a broad mix of nationalities and a very united community. The school always has an open ear for parental concerns and parents have the opportunity to meet with the school on a regular basis to exchange ideas. The teachers and other staff at CNIS know the children by name, and give us the feeling of being part of a wider family.
Francis and Elizabeth Aherne, British
Mary (11), Beatrice (9), Florence (8) and Frederick (6)
Attending EtonHouse International School Broadrick has given all the children so much. Although the IB programme is different to the English school curriculum, we love the way that our children are now able to take responsibility for their learning and have developed the confidence to present it to their peers.
To ease the transition of moving abroad two years ago, we really wanted all the children to be together in one school. Making the choice from England was very daunting, as we were reliant on websites and phone calls. EtonHouse was able to accommodate us, and the admission staff made the transition very smooth.
The school is friendly and has a warm, family feel. The children are strongly encouraged to be caring and considerate towards one another, and we often see the older children helping the little ones. Because my children are spread throughout the school, they know every teacher and almost every child. They feel secure and totally at home. We feel that the children get a lot of individual attention from their class teachers, who get to know them really well.
Our children all have very different interests. Mary has discovered a real love of Mandarin and has picked up the language from scratch. She was thrilled to be part of the team that won the International Schools Chinese Competition. Beatrice loves PE and drama and really enjoyed performing in the school play, The Wizard of Oz. She trains every week after school in the running club. Florence is very musical and a keen member of the choir, while Frederick is sporty and desperate to make it onto the school’s championship-winning football team.
There is so much going on, and our children come home full of stories about what they are doing, whether it’s preparing for a class assembly, special themed weeks like Book or Science Week, or inter-house competitions.
301 Dover Road | 6775 7664
Mr and Mrs Mascarenhas, Indian
Alyssa (13) and Kyle (10)
Dover Court is truly multicultural. It holds a unique event called UN Day, where children from all nationalities showcase a segment of their own culture. Another feature that we’ve never experienced in other schools is that every morning as the children enter the school, they are warmly greeted by the school principal, Dr Maureen Roach. This makes them feel very welcome and it helps them to have a good day. Dr Roach deserves a special mention; she is an amazing person who takes a personal interest in each child – just one of her great leadership qualities.
Initially we choose the school because of the close proximity to our home. It also offers the British National Curriculum. And what we particularly like is the attention given to the arts and music, alongside the academics; this makes for a very balanced school life.
Kyle says the library is a great place to hang out; this is the first time that he has experienced a librarian who helps children with their book selection, and actually reserves books according to their interests. Alyssa really enjoyed the Orientation Camps. Both the children are really happy here.
German European School Singapore (GESS)
72 Bukit Tinggi Road (Main Campus) | 6469 1131
Sharon and Daryl Pereira, Australian
Anastasia (14), Natasha (13), Lucas (10) and Katharina (9)
When our older children finished primary school, we were looking for a small school where they could continue in the IB programme. We’ve been in Singapore since 2004, so we asked around and heard recommendations for GESS. We found the personal approach (we spoke directly with the principal and enrolment manager) appealing and were comforted by the smaller numbers in each grade. Anastasia and Natasha started two years ago and are now in Grade 8 and Grade 7, while our younger children attend a different school.
As parents, we appreciate that our children have been given the opportunity to become independent, both with handling school work and time management. The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) is challenging and was a big leap from the Primary Years Programme (PYP), but with support, both of them are doing well. They learn three languages: German and English are mandatory, and they’ve continued with Mandarin.
The principal and teachers are always ready to chat to us if need be, and also to help our daughters with any teenage social issues they might experience. If your children prefer a smaller school, like being close to nature and would enjoy the challenge of the MYP, consider GESS. As at any IB school, the children must be prepared to work hard and independently, but they will also benefit greatly from the warmth of GESS.
Hwa Chong International School (HCIS)
663 Bukit Timah Road | 6464 7077
Genri and Sanae Goto, Japanese
Our son has been attending HCIS for over two years and has matured dramatically since his admission. He had been going to school in Japan for over seven years before we moved here.
HCIS is an international school with a pleasing learning environment and good discipline. Our son needed lots of homework and monitoring to catch up on classes. His educational level – not only in English, but also in other subjects – has greatly improved since he transferred to the school.
One of the main reasons we chose HCIS was its strong IB programme and bilingual language programme (English and Chinese). Initially, his English skills were not strong enough for him to keep up in class; however, close monitoring by the teachers, alongside a teaching pedagogy that is aimed at improving learning ability, enabled him to catch up and settle into the school and Singapore. Tairi really enjoys his classmates of divergent nationalities and cultures, including Singapore, other Asian countries and Western countries.
International Community School (ICS)
27A Jubilee Road | 6776 7435
Brooke and Randall Simon, American
Deaven (14), Kaelob (12) and Prestin (8)
Prior to moving to Singapore, our boys attended a small community school in Texas. We learned of ICS through an online search for Christian schools in Singapore.
We were concerned that the boys might have a hard time adjusting to an international school, but we truly feel that the small classroom sizes at ICS have played a key role in their smooth transition. The teachers have been able to reach out to them on an individual level. They really push to challenge the students, while continually guiding and encouraging them to reach their full potential.
We enjoy that ICS is a multinational Christian school, and as a family we feel blessed to be part of its small community environment. This is not only beneficial for the students, but for the parents as well.
Integrated international School (IIS)
#02-03/04 Clementi Arcade, 41 Sunset Way | 6466 4475
Michelle and Justin Gatlin, American
Jake (9), Tucker (11), Nick (8) and Rowan (6)
We moved to Singapore from the United States three years ago with our four children who are aged 11, nine, eight and six. One of them has dyslexia, and one has high-functioning Asperger’s. Both require support to succeed socially and academically.
It was important to find an environment where they could get personal support from well-trained teachers. The teachers at IIS are specialists and trained to help children with learning differences succeed. In addition, IIS offers an integrated learning approach, with two streams, both mainstream and support.
There is a low student-teacher ratio and each child has a personalised learning plan which focuses on their academics as well as their social and emotional wellbeing.
IIS is a small school, but it is big on creating change in the students’ lives.
It was a hard decision to divide our children between different schools (our other children attend a different international school). For our two boys at IIS, we have seen dramatic increases in self-confidence, academic success and, most importantly, a desire to learn. They love their teachers, their friends and the IIS community.
21 Preston Road | 6470 0114
Ingela Johansson and Shahriyar Azima, Swedish
Sarah (16) and David (14) Johansson
We were looking for a school that had a true international spirit, a good learning environment and a small student body, as the schools in Sweden are much smaller than some of the schools here. Both of our children have been attending ISS for the past two years.
When transferring from a different system, it can take a few months to get used to the IB curriculum. They both have better grades now in the IB than they used to have back home, although it is more difficult and they spend more time doing homework. They also tell me about their homework because they are interested in it, which wasn’t a frequent occurrence in Sweden.
Sarah has always been a driven, eager student and ISS has given her the opportunity to develop. She has found new interests in drama, yoga and dance. She has had many opportunities to lead, and through community work she has learnt skills that go beyond the academic; she has matured and grown as a person.
David is in the basketball and football teams and is coaching one of the girls’ teams. He enjoys science and drama and was the House Captain at the annual Sports Day and Swim Gala. These extra-curricular activities have also helped him mature and become an even better friend.
ISS has proved to be all the things that we hoped for, and more. The teachers are involved and passionate. The academic level is high and the students are encouraged to do their best. And the annual UN concert is magnificent and powerful!
Marlborough College Malaysia (MCM)
Jalan Marlborough, 79250 Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia | +60 7 560 2200
Nuala and Ken Tainton, Irish and Welsh
Gareth (15) and twins Niall and Siobhan (12)
Our kids have attended schools in Brazil, South Africa, Australia, England, and now in Malaysia. We like to think that this culturally diverse education will make us all more tolerant world citizens. All three are proud to be founding members of the College, which opened in August 2012. The twins are in Year 7 and Gareth (Year 10) is in the senior boys’ boarding house.
MCM is a vibrant, busy place with loads of space for thinking, learning and just being. With numbers capped at around 900 kids, the extensive 90-acre site gives them ample space to burn off energy. MCM is unique in that it is not a franchise of Marlborough College UK, but an extension of it. Thus, MCM is essentially British. It has the established ethos of a 170-year-old English boarding school, placing great store in good etiquette and manners, academic rigour and sportsmanship.
Sport is encouraged at all levels and abilities. The facilities are impressive and the kids are exposed to a myriad of activities ranging from the traditional sports to the lesser-known lacrosse.
Having been exposed to a number of different schooling systems, we took the conscious decision to keep the kids in the British education system. Suitable schools in Singapore had no places available for the twins, so we decided to take on the challenge of being part of this brand new school. The journey has been exciting, edgy and on occasions challenging.
Rather than being “the new kids on the block”, our children have had a unique opportunity to forge friendships in the absence of established cliques. The result of a semi-pioneering spirit with everybody being equally new, is a tight-knit bunch of kids that are fiercely supportive of each other when faced with outside competition.
Watching an U16 rugby match against a larger school, I overheard the comment that MCM won, not necessarily because they had the better players, but because they worked incredibly well as a team. The sentiment was echoed when the U13 girls’ football team won the Southeast Asia tournament “through sheer guts”.
Our children have different personalities, interests and abilities and are all happy and thriving at MCM.
Singapore American School (SAS)
40 Woodlands Street 41 | 6360 6698
Garima and Ashok Lalwani, American
Akshay (18, graduated) and Ashna (16)
Ashna started in Kindergarten and Ashkay graduated from SAS last year. The only school we considered when moving from the US 12 years ago was SAS. We knew our kids would slip right back into the US school system if we had to move back at any point.
Teachers are the backbone of any school. From Kindergarten to High School I have found wonderful teachers and staff who really care about the kids. When my daughter struggled to manage her school load with dance, I approached the dance teacher in confidence, and she helped my daughter figure out her schedule without letting on about my involvement.
SAS offers choices. If your child loves languages or wants to become a dancer or artist, they can pursue these interests in addition to the regular academic classes. There are opportunities to get involved in music, dance, drama, band, debate and athletics. Over the years, my kids have taken classes in photography, ceramics, Mandarin, drums, dance, rock climbing, personal defence and many more.
Teachers in the younger grades are nurturing, while in higher grades the students are expected to take on more responsibility in preparation for college. Teachers and administrators alike are willing to talk about any concern you may have. Plus, highly competent counsellors are available to advise and support the kids when needed. The parent community is involved and welcomed on school campus.
Excelsior International School
8 Jalan Purnama, Bandar Seri Alam, 81750 Johor Bahru, Malaysia |+607 3 888 999
Sharon and Anthony Rivers, American
Isaac (6), Isaiah (4), Immanuelle (2) and Ivy (9 months)
We have lived in Malaysia for over six years, the last three in Johor Bahru. We first met Excelsior principal Julian Leah at an International School Fair while the school was under construction. After seeing the plans and hearing about the teaching staff and sports and academic facilities, plus the inclusion of Singapore maths in the curriculum, we were convinced they meant business about providing a well-rounded education.
Isaac and Isaiah are both students in the Early Years programme, Isaiah in Nursery and Isaac in Kindergarten 2. Excelsior opened this year, and from the start it was clear that not only were we, as parents, allowed on campus, we were welcomed and expected to participate in as many aspects of campus happenings as possible.
There have been opportunities to help with the Nursery class’s weekly swim lessons and KG2’s library and PE lessons.
Isaiah has always been quite timid, but this year we have witnessed him blooming in how he relates to others. He now regularly takes the lead at home and away, as he plays with his siblings and friends. His teacher has also noted this change. It’s great to know she is watching him so keenly and celebrating his progress.
We have been so impressed with the academics, the creative freedom, the daily communication between home and school, the athletics, and even the playground equipment. Excelsior International is just getting started, and we are so glad to have found such a fantastic school for our children.
Sir Manasseh Meyer International School (SMM)
38C Belvedere Close | 6737 9746
David and Bianca Janover, Australian
Phoenix (6), Ty (5) and Miller (2)
Phoenix started in the Nursery class (aged three) when we moved to Singapore. Ty started Pre-Nursery at two years, and last year Miller joined the Tiny Tots class at the age of 18 months. I love the fact that all three siblings are on the same campus. This not only makes it easier for me, as a working mum, to drop them off and pick them up, but more importantly they can see each other throughout the day in the playground, at lunch and during break.
We learnt about the school through friends of friends who had children attending SMM at the time. After taking a tour of the school, we too felt that immediate sense of local community, and felt it was vital in the early learning years for our children to be in a nurturing school environment. Parents are welcome to get involved, to be heard and to help grow the school; Bianca was active in the Parents’ Association for three years.
Relocating to a new country and a new school can be daunting, but the SMM community is like a family. This is possible in a school where the class sizes are small. This also enables teachers to understand and cater to each child’s needs, both academic and social.
There are so many amazing international schools in Singapore, but being able to send our children to a Jewish school where they can learn three languages (English, Hebrew, Mandarin), study their Jewish heritage and celebrate international, cultural festivals in addition to the excellent secular studies on offer, is something that as Jewish parents we couldn’t look past.
One World International School (OWIS)
696 Upper Changi Road | 6542 2285
Colin and Simrin Gregory, Indian
Liam (11) and Kian (6)
Our boys were following the IB curriculum at their school in Hong Kong, so moving to OWIS, which has the same curriculum, was a smooth transition for them. Also, the school is small and has a family feel, a factor that really helped the children settle in easily, as all the teachers know all of the students. The principal and the teachers are very communicative, and every little concern is dealt with immediately and pro-actively.
Before moving here, we searched online and found good reviews of OWIS. When we came to Singapore to visit the schools we had shortlisted, OWIS instantly made a good impression. The staff friendliness, the excellent teacher-to-student ratio and knowing that both our boys could go to the same school and that there was no waiting list sealed the decision.
We love the fact that the school is very close to both work and home, and that the teachers all seem enthusiastic, warm, friendly and supportive. We feel happy sending our kids to a school we can trust to do a great job. We could not have made a better decision.
The Winstedt School
10 Winstedt Road, Block C #01-16 | 6836 1128
Rebecca and Colin Albert, Australian
Hugo (8), Isaac (7) and Cooper (3)
Hugo and Isaac have been attending The Winstedt School since April 2013. We decided to move the boys out of a large international school and give The Winstedt School a go. Cooper is already enrolled and will start in August 2015. Winstedt offers a mainstream international curriculum (IPC) and keeps class sizes at a 6:1 ratio.
After spending just 10 minutes with founder and CEO, Sharon Solomon, you can see that this isn’t just a job or a business for her, but a passion. We can honestly say the school has been a positive experience since our initial phone call.
The children had a three-day trial, and their reaction to it made the decision easy. After the second trial day, Hugo said, ‘Mum, if The Winstedt School doesn’t take me, I don’t know what’s going to happen because I’m not going back to the other school!’ He made it very clear where he wanted to be. We went from having two little boys dragging their feet into school each day to having two little boys upset when it was time to go home!
Since moving, both boys have blossomed into keen learners and are now showing good academic results. Each day we are thrilled to hear their stories and touch base with their teachers. The warm, welcoming feeling I get when I enter the front door tells me that my boys are in the best nurturing learning environment we could possibly have found for them.
Isaac says: “The school is fun because of my friends, the gym and the trampoline, and I enjoy going to the art and music studio and also the library.”
Hugo loves starting every morning with fitness in the gym. “Because the school is really small, it’s so easy to find my friends! And all the teachers are very kind.”
Stamford American International School
1 Woodleigh Lane (off Upper Serangoon Road) | 6602 7247
Tony and Joan Braca, American
Twins Addison and Emily (5), and Quinn (5)
All three children attend Stamford in three different Kindergarten 1 classes and have been at the school for two years. Thanks to their amazing teachers, we have seen a huge growth in their mathematics, speaking and general knowledge abilities.
We find the teachers, facilities, activities, languages and equipment some of the best we have encountered in America or Asia. We enjoy that the children get a chance to learn from and be involved with children from so many other nationalities and cultures, which I believe broadens their outlook and development.
We learnt about the school when deciding whether to relocate back to Singapore, and we found the admissions staff and Early Years teachers very helpful and knowledgeable. They helped make our decision to apply a very easy one.
Addison, Emily and Quinn enjoy the outside play area and PE classes as well as their music, art and Mandarin lessons. They have also enjoyed performing in the dance and cultural performances throughout the school year.
Parents are encouraged to become involved through the Parent Teacher Association; Tony has enjoyed doing this for the past two years and will continue again in the next school year. We believe that this is one of the best primary schools and international schools in the region or, indeed, the world.
Tanglin Trust School
95 Portsdown Road | 6778 0771
Deborah and Chris Hurd, British
Emilia (11), Oliver (8) and Eloise (5)
We’ve had children at Tanglin for the past eight years: Emilia since Reception, and Oliver and Eloise since Nursery. Our eldest was only three when we arrived in Singapore, so she attended a local kindergarten while we took our time to choose the right school for her. Tanglin came well recommended, and obviously has a long history here.
All three children are very happy and are progressing extremely well. The school has many selling points, like its British curriculum and great facilities, but for us the quality of teaching really comes out on top. The dedication and enthusiasm of all the staff is second to none, and contribute to a well-structured but caring environment in which children can build on their natural strengths while acquiring new skills.
Over our time at Tanglin, the school has continued to develop and improve every year, always striving to be better than before. A big highlight for our two older children was the MasterChef Kitchen, built last year. Both have been lucky enough to use this facility and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of cooking, made all the better by the wonderful array of equipment.
Our eldest daughter, Emilia, cannot wait to move to the Senior School in August. Having been taken on a tour of the school by a senior student and seen its impressive academic results, we fully appreciate her enthusiasm. Oliver loves PE, as he gets to experience all different types of sport including gymnastics, football, rock climbing and athletics; the school strikes a good balance between activities inside and outside the classroom. Having come through from Nursery, Eloise has benefitted from many areas of learning and play, and we are very pleased with her progress, especially in reading.
We look forward to all three children continuing to further their education and development at Tanglin for as long as we remain in Singapore.
UWC South East Asia (Dover Campus)
Dover Campus, 1207 Dover Road | 6775 5344
East Campus, 1 Tampines Street 73 | 6305 5344
Mairead and Shane Gill, Irish
Jake (17), Aisling (15), Caitlin (12) and Shannon (10)
In August, our children will enter Grade 12, 10, 7 and 5 respectively. We’ve lived in Singapore for 17 years, and our son spent four happy years in his first school. However, the attraction to a not-for-profit, truly international, long-established school that has a diverse student body made up of both fee-paying students and scholars, was hard to ignore. We also received this advice from two sets of parents, independently of each other: If you send your child to UWCSEA, even for one year, it will make an incalculable difference to the rest of his life.
Communication between school and parent is very important, but rarely perfect. UWCSEA tries to remedy this through regular principal forums, which lead to invaluable sharing of information, opinions and concerns between the educators and parents.
Jake has benefited from the multitude of trips on offer, including hiking in Ladakh, sea-kayaking in Malaysia, and a Grade 11 student-led trip to locations across Southeast Asia. These trips have given him long-lasting life skills and independence. Aisling has enjoyed the wide variety of subject choices, ranging from drama and sports studies to economics and math.
Caitlin loves the sports and outdoor education trips, while Shannon is eager to become more involved in the myriad of services and global concerns.
UWCSEA is a great fit for our family. When your children berate you about missing school days due to extended family holidays, or are reluctant to stay at home when ill, you know that your choice of school was a very good one.
Set to open in August after five years of planning, Dulwich College is based on 400 years of tradition and innovation from Dulwich College in London and its sister schools in China and South Korea. Besides offering a dual-language Mandarin programme and being academically selective, it also places equal emphasis on competitive sport and excellence in music and the arts.
The student population will initially be approximately 900 with intakes in Pre-Nursery to Year 8 (ages two to 13) and will expand yearly through to Year 13. Headmaster Nick Magnus says the College’s strength will be its subtle blend of the old and the new and of the East and the West. “The time has come to stop talking and start doing. The entire Dulwich team is just raring to go, and looking forward to welcoming the students on 27 August.”
The Senior Dulwich Choir in China recently performed live on stage with the Rolling Stones in Shanghai, and the Beijing Junior Choir performed live on stage with stars of Asia’s music and film industry as part of Jackie Chan’s 60th birthday celebration.
Shane O’Shea is Director of Music for all seven Dulwich International schools and is based in Bejiing. He says: “Music and, indeed, all of the visual and performing arts, is an integral part of the development of the child. They offer opportunities for personal growth that no other subject can match, from performing on stage to composing your own music, being trained in how to listen to music correctly and being given the opportunity to lead.”
Shane adds: “From the beginning, we will have a choir and an orchestra, followed soon after by a jazz band, a big band and rock bands for those students interested in different genres.” He expects other student-initiated and student-led groups to add to the life, energy and soul of the college.
Epsom College in Malaysia
Negeri Sembilan Darul Khusus, 71760 Bandar Enstek, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | +603 6211 4488
Opening its doors in September 2014, Epsom College in Malaysia will offer a British day and boarding school experience built on all-round excellence.
With academic excellence at the heart of the educational experience, the pupils will follow an adapted English National Curriculum leading to IGCSEs at the end of Year 11 and A levels in Years 12 and 13. The boys and girls will typically study 10 IGCSEs from a list of over 20 subjects. At A level, the number of subjects taken will be four. Here the pupils can choose from a list even more extensive than the IGCSE subject list.
The A level programme will be rigorous and, as with the IGCSE programme, will be delivered in English by British teachers with boarding school experience or British-trained teachers with international school experience.
The campus boasts three astro-turf sports pitches, hard play areas, a swimming pool, 10 badminton courts and a 1,500-square-metre sports centre with a fitness centre, squash courts and a dance studio. For music, the school has a separate recital hall, 20 practice rooms, a 600-seat theatre and a recording studio. There are 18 science labs and an outdoor amphitheatre, while art and design boast a magnificent studio and workshop facilities.
This purpose-built international school is located in a quiet, suburban setting on 50 acres, 15 minutes from Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
GEMS World Academy (Singapore)
2 Yishun Street 42 | 6557 2702
GEMS is set to open on 3 September, for students in Pre-Kindergarten through to Grade 8. It is one of 132 GEMS schools that operate in 15 countries, educating over 140,000 students from 151 countries.
GEMS will provide students with an international curriculum, and is focused on fostering individual excellence. Extracurricular enrichment will be available in addition to a rigorous and stimulating academic programme.
Under the guidance of strong and experienced leadership, the GEMS team is highly passionate about making a difference in teaching. The team is not new to Singapore, its members having held key positions at top international schools for a number of years. GEMS educators are student-centred and highly experienced in providing every student with a holistic, well-rounded education.
The school is equipped with the latest in educational technology to engage, enrich, and support students through various holistic learning opportunities. State-of-the-art facilities include an auditorium theatre, a one-of-a-kind planetarium and industry-standard AV recording and film studios.
Traditional classrooms are supplemented with private tutoring chambers and portable laptop stations; and special areas throughout the school are designed for music, art and foreign language instruction. The campus also boasts excellent physical education and fitness facilities including an Olympic-size swimming pool, an all-weather playing field, a rock-climbing wall and a full-size basketball court.
Map of school locations across Singapore
A – Australian IS
B – Avondale Grammar
C – Dover Court
D – Canadian IS*
DC – Dulwich
E – Chinese IS
G – EtonHouse*
H – ICS
I – ISS
J – Hwa Chong IS
K – OWIS
P – The Winstedt School
Q – Stamford
S – SMM
T – ISS
U – SAS
X – Tanglin
Y – UWCSEA*
Z – GEMS
* Multiple locations, refer to individual websites for more details. ** Map not to scale, approximate locations only.