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Mini Guide: International Schools

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 pages feature a multitude of referrals from Expat Living readers to help you decide on a school.

Singapore offers a wide choice of international schools, most of which have 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 the International Primary Curriculum, and there’s not much more that a parent could wish for.

CHECKLIST
10 things to take into account when choosing a school

1. Ensure the curriculum fits your child’s educational needs and your future plans; the right fit may minimise the disruption of moving to another country and changing schools.

2. Check the location of the campus, and its convenience to your home and transport options.

3. Class sizes and teacher-to-child ratios vary markedly from school to school.

4. Mandarin is widely taught as a compulsory language, but there are often other options, including European languages.

5. Extracurricular activities can provide children with a balance to the academic experience. Most schools offer a wide range of sports, music and visual arts.

6. Most international schools come with a higher price tag than expats may be accustomed to in their home countries.

7. Depending on the age of the child, schools often encourage parental participation; if work commitments allow, this can be a wonderful way to meet new people and get to know the school.

8. Because of the tropical climate, outdoor experiences are a feature of most schools; check the facilities available.

9. School excursions to other countries are a normal part of the school curriculum; they often focus on learning about those countries and sometimes on volunteering.

10. School holidays and term dates vary from school to school.


Need to Know:

Schools fit into four broad categories

#1 International schools
Examples include UWCSEA, St Joseph’s Institution International and GEMS World Academy. These schools typically cater to dozens of cultures, with all having equal footing, and with annual global celebrationdays. For mobile expats, the mix of international curriculums allows children to transfer and continue their education easily. Curriculums are typically a mix of the International Baccalaureate, the International Primary Curriculum and the ICGSE.

#2 National curriculum schools
Examples include Marlborough College Malaysia, Tanglin Trust School, the Singapore American School and Avondale Grammar School. Parents value the way that these schools ensure minimum disruption when transferring between countries, and, for older children, allow easy entry to university in their home country. Typically, these schools demonstrate strong cultural ties, while embracing their place in Singapore and its cultural diversity.

#3 Hybrid curriculum schools
Examples include Stamford American International School, the German European School Singapore and the Australian International School. These schools offer a dual curriculum approach, combining a home country curriculum with one or more international curriculums, typically with a culturally diverse student population and strong emphasis on language.

#4 Local schools
Some expats choose local schools, especially if their children attended local kindergarten or preschool and they are keen to continue their intensive language instruction. Singapore’s education system has an excellent reputation internationally and regularly tops the world in mathematics and science. Families considering staying in Singapore for the long term may favour this option, but should be aware that there can be strong competition for places.

 

international schools in singapore
Sheila and Joe Igoe, American Nona (17), Nathan (11) and Claire (6)


Stamford American International School

‘All three of our children attend Stamford and are currently in their third year at the school. Nona is in Grade 12, Nathan in Grade 5 and Claire in Grade 1. Before we moved here, we did our research on schools and then took a tour of Stamford once we arrived. After seeing the campus in person, we knew it was the right place for us.

First and foremost, the teachers are exceptional and they always go above and beyond for each of our children. Second would be the parent community – the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is very active and inclusive of the entire community (parents, students and teachers). Parent involvement isn’t just something the school puts on its flyers. You can even see it in the design of the campus – we have two parents’ cafés open all day, for example. It’s a great way to relax or catch up with other parents after drop-off, or while waiting to pick your kids up. The school also offers free fitness classes for parents on campus during the school day. It’s a great way to stay in shape and keep in touch with the school community.

I would recommend Stamford because it focuses not just on the child but also on the entire family; as an expat, that sense of community is priceless. When we were new to Singapore, Stamford was a great place to meet new families and friends, and they were incredibly supportive in helping us figure out life in Singapore.’

1 Woodleigh Lane
6653 7907 | sais.edu.sg

international schools in singapore
Fleur and Anthony, Australian Scarlet (13), Mila (11), Luca (7) and Jed (4)

 

Australian International School

‘We’ve been living in Singapore for around two-and-a-half years. All our children attend AIS: Jed in the Preschool, Luca in Year 2, Mila in Year 6, and Scarlet in Year 8. Year 6, and Scarlet in Year 8. We were told about AIS through Anthony’s work and it came highly recommended. We also had friends who were teachers at the school – a bit of insider information is always useful. So far, our time there has been pretty amazing. The school has always been welcoming, assisting our children in settling in. It also helps that our kids love sports and AIS has a well-run sports programme; they have met some great friends through basketball, netball and football. Parents are also encouraged to take part in coaching and managing teams through the Sharks sport programmes outside of school, which helps build a close community.

Something that sets AIS apart is the transition programme in Year 6, which Mila is currently in. It provides her the opportunity to get a head start for Year 7 – she learns to navigate her way around the demands and responsibilities of Secondary life, while still receiving the support one gets in Elementary school. We also love that the younger kids have Mandarin lessons every day of the week in Elementary and Preschool. Another aspect we like is how flexible AIS is in the Secondary programme – the students can choose to continue with their Mandarin studies or take up a new language.

Our kids have loved every minute of their time at AIS. The opportunities it provides, the community support and the easy transition from Australian school life to Singapore are reasons why we highly recommend the school.’

1 Lorong Chuan
6653 7906 | ais.com.sg

 

international schools in singapore
Simone and Andrew Manning, Australian and British Rose (8), Ethan (5)

Avondale Grammar School

‘We’ve been living in Singapore since 2014, and before that we were in Melbourne, Perth and Dubai. Rose is currently in Grade 3 and Ethan in EY2A, formerly Transition. This is their third year in Avondale. We chose the school as a close friend of ours had her son enrolled there. Our lovely enrolment officer took us around the school where we met the principal, teachers and students – it was a good chance for us to really see the workings of Avondale. Within minutes there was no question our kids would love the school.

There’s a real sense of ownership – everyone knows one another. Furthermore, no matter where the kids are in the school, there are plenty of experiences to be had, from science and music to being part of various cultural and sporting events throughout the year. In terms of the teaching staff, I feel, as a parent, that I almost have a one-on-one relationship with all of them. The access to the people directly in charge of the kids’ schooling is unequivocal, and this to me is a complete selling point for Avondale.

As for day-to-day schooling, Avondale offers a unique personal programme for each child, so no matter what their strengths and weaknesses are, they’re catered for. The school also makes a point of continuously updating parents and involving them in their children’s personal development. We would recommend Avondale for its community vibe. The parents are as active as the kids and are often encouraged to take part in school activities and functions. Never have I been unable to approach a teacher or the principal – there is an open door policy that many of the bigger schools can’t compete with.’

318 Tanglin Road, Phoenix Park
6258 8544 | avondale.edu.sg

international schools in singapore
Suriyanti Salim and Cornelius Murphy, Singaporean and Irish Maya (16), Nadia (14), Lia (11), Dylan (1)

Canadian International School

‘We returned to Singapore in 2001 when Mayawas four months old. Our family has been in Singapore ever since, except for when we went away briefly in 2006 for a year. Our three daughters have been attending CIS since kindergarten. Maya is now in Grade 10, while Nadia is in Grade 8 and Lia in Grade 5. Back in 2004 when we were looking for a school for Maya, our neighbours had recommended CIS to us. Those early years offered us a very good insight to the school, in terms of the calibre of teachers, the general academic environment, and the sense of community spirit that the school administrators were so keen to develop.

While the school has top-quality facilities and a stunning campus, we believe that its success is in fact due to the tireless efforts and genuine depth of responsibility and care put in place and nurtured by the Head of School, Dr Glenn Odland, and Deputy Head of School (Curriculum) Keith Bland. We’ve seen them contribute and participate so much over the years; they’re both such truly dedicated educators and CIS is very fortunate to have them. Other committed personnel include Rachel Poff, Kendra Jones, Lisa Miller and Susan Bisby. These teachers and administrators have positively shaped our daughters’ lives in ways they are probably not even aware of.

Choosing a school for your child isn’t easy. It really depends on the child’s personality and what the parents expect. CIS has been the school for our family for 11 years. We’re very happy how our girls have grown up beautifully as smart, strong, independent and compassionate individuals.’

Lakeside Campus, 7 Jurong West Street
6467 1732 | cis.edu.sg
Tanjong Katong Campus, 371 Tanjong Katong
6345 1573 | cis.edu.sg

 

international schools in singapore
Nathiya and Glenn Porritt, Thai and Australian Liam (10) and Kyra (8)

Chatsworth International School

‘Both our children are attending Chatsworth Orchard campus. Liam started in Year 1 – this is his sixth year there. Kyra joined in K2 and it’s her fifth year. When we started looking for a school, Liam was still very young. He was in a one-class kindergarten not far from where we live, so it would be a big step for him moving into a larger school. After doing some online research on school curriculums and talking to friends, we came up with a list of schools. I can honestly say the deciding factor that made us choose Chatsworth was how happy and polite the students were during the school tour.

Chatsworth is a friendly and welcoming school with a strong sense of community. It has an open door policy; as a parent, I find the teachers very approachable. The school is in an old colonial house in the middle of Orchard Road. While the space is limited and the facilities may not be as modern or comprehensive as some of the other international schools in Singapore, this doesn’t detract from the overall qualities of the school, which in my view outweigh the limitations. Furthermore, in August 2018 we will be moving to a bigger campus!

As a parent, you need to look for a school that fits your family and your children – there is no absolute answer as to which school is the best. Chatsworth is a non-selective school that focuses on the development of individual students, and this is made possible by its smaller size. The amount of support that I’ve seen teachers giving to each individual student is also amazing. In all, Chatsworth has been a really positive experience for us.’

37 Emerald Hill Road
67375955 | chatsworth.com.sg

 

international schools in singapore
Andrew and Emma Long, British Felix (14), Chloe (17)

Dover Court International School

‘Our son Felix has been attending Dover Court for the past three years. From the day he arrived at the school we knew it was the perfect fit for him. The small class sizes and a genuine emphasis on treating each child as an individual really spoke volumes to us. The senior school pupils have their own mentor (a senior teacher) whom they have regular one-to-one meetings with to discuss the progress of their long- and short-term goals. Last year, the school invested significantly in a number of upgrades including the classrooms, the school library, art facilities and IT suites. However, the most exciting news is the school’s move towards launching the IB programme next year.

Dover Court is part of the Nord Anglia Education (NEA) group, which creates incredible opportunities for the kids to connect with other pupils in the NEA Global Campus, as well as the renowned Juilliard School of Performing Arts in New York. Felix was lucky enough to be chosen for the Global Orchestra, made up of NAE students from around the world, with expert tuition from Juilliard professors in music, dance and drama. It was a truly incredible opportunity for him, and a week he will never forget.

The school also has a flourishing parents’ association that holds regular events, from outdoor cinema evenings for families to Christmas fairs. If you want your child to be part of a true ‘international school family’ with exciting opportunities, then Dover Court International School is the one!’

301 Dover Road
6775 7664 | dovercourt.edu.sg

 

international schools in singapore
Saskia and Joep Huntjens, Dutch and British-Dutch Giselle (11), Elodie (9), Phileine (8)

Dulwich College (Singapore)

‘We’ve been living in Singapore for five-and-a-half years. Giselle, Elodie and Phileine are in Year 6, 5 and 4 (Junior School) respectively. There were a few reasons why we chose the school. Dulwich College in the UK has an outstanding name and we were sure the education at the Singapore College would be brilliant as well. Also, when we went on our school tour, the staff and facilities won us over so the decision was quickly made. Our experience at Dulwich College (Singapore) has been great so far and there’s nothing we’d like to see done differently. I’m often positively surprised by the high quality of the staff, the events and the overall attitudes. The school takes any issues involving the parent and the child seriously and deals with hiccups swiftly and professionally.

Dulwich College (Singapore) is academically selective and learning is differentiated: this means that in several subjects children work at their own level. Nonetheless, every child is stimulated to their fullest potential and guided by the teacher. We’ve been very impressed by the support our children have received. The teachers are constantly aware of the wellbeing of the children in the group, at both the academic level and the social level.

We would wholeheartedly recommend Dulwich College (Singapore) to other families. The school has a great atmosphere, extremely professional teaching staff and an ability to get the very best out of your child. We feel our girls have transformed into confident learners who are open to new ideas. Everyone is good at something, and that something is highlighted and built on at the school. Children get the opportunity to excel, be it in sport, the arts, science, languages or other pursuits.’

71 Bukit Batok West Avenue 8
6890 1000 | dulwich-singapore.edu.sg

international schools in singapore
Melinda Earsdon, British Keiron Elijah (EJ) Hines (12)


EtonHouse International School

‘EJ has been attending school at the Broadrick Road campus since he was three and a half. He’s now in Year 7 and is part of the first cohort of the school’s senior programme. My mum used to be a school inspector, so I set her to work finding a kindergarten for EJ when she came over to visit for the first time. She looked at a whole host of schools, but we eventually settled on EtonHouse because of the International Baccalaureate curriculum and the fact that it’s just so lovely.

I personally love the school. EJ has attended EtonHouse since he was little, so we’ve had a chance to get to know the faculty along the way, and it’s been great to see him grow in such a warm and welcoming environment. The school always strives to create an inclusive culture that celebrates the diverse traditions of a multi-national population. The school never focuses solely on Western traditions; rather, it celebrates festivals like Hari Raya and Chinese New Year too. Kids are encouraged to explore their own heritage while learning more about the cultural background of their friends and family at the same time.

The new senior school is also a revelation. Because the class is so small, the teacher Mr Ashley is in a unique position to tailor his lessons well. EtonHouse provides a great environment for kids to learn in, offering a host of interesting after-school activities in addition to the standard curriculum. EJ has done everything from rollerblading to fun science courses, and he’s loved every minute of it.’

EtonHouse has 17 outlets island-wide and offers preschool,
primary and secondary levels

6346 6922 | ehis.edu.sg

 

international schools in singapore
Ina and Alex Davila, American Alex (14), Monica (11) and Anthony (6)

GEMS World Academy

‘All our children have been attending GEMS World Academy (GWA) since we arrived in September 2015. We learned of GWA through our company’s Child and Youth Program Director/School Liaison Officer. We decided to enrol our children at GWA shortly after visiting the school, meeting the attentive staff, and engaging with teachers and students as we toured the campus. Their facilities are state-of-the-art and inspire imagination and initiative, something we wanted for our children as we transitioned to Singapore.

Our family has been thrilled with the GWA experience. Its new facilities coupled with friendly and supportive educators and staff, with a focus on building student experiences and comfort with technology, have all made it a rewarding opportunity for our family. GWA’s values, philosophy and goals are expressed in all its academic, arts and sports programmes and we are glad to see our children being able to participate in the IB programme to better prepare them for an ever-changing global environment. We especially enjoy the cultural diversity GWA offers, allowing our children to interact with children from over 52 other nationalities. This experience is one we expect will bring a lifetime of great memories.

We would highly recommend the school to anyone. GWA has exceptional leadership and educators who take an earnest interest in providing the richest learning opportunities possible.’

2 Yishun, Street 42
6808 7300 | gwa.edu.sg

international schools in singapore
Sandra and Michael Doerpinghaus, Swiss and German Emma (10), Luisa (7)

German European School Singapore (Junior School)

‘We’ve had Emma and Luisa at the German European School Singapore (GESS) for over three years now. When we were researching schools in Singapore we agreed that both a good education and a friendly environment were important. For us ‘moving folks’, an IB curriculum is a must so that our children don’t have to change education system if we have to move again. At GESS, this is balanced with modern technological learning tools which we think have become fundamental to every education. Every year, GESS graduates achieve outstanding IB Diploma and Abitur results, and this impressed us when we were deciding on the enrolment.

If you’re parenting internationally like we are, you’ll know that the issue of ‘where you’re from’ is very important to children. Compared with other international schools in Singapore, GESS has the advantage of teaching our children an outstanding IB curriculum that includes learning their mother tongue, German, at a level that is only otherwise offered by schools in Germany or Switzerland. For us, this is the best of both worlds. Our children enjoy learning their mother tongue and have friends

We also appreciate that GESS teaches beyond the academics and has engaged our girls actively in social and environmental responsibility from an early age. All these facts tick off everything on our list of what makes for happy children – and happy parents!’

Main Campus
72 Bukit Tinggi Road
6469 1131

Junior School Campus
300 Jalan Jurong Kechil
6461 0802 | gess.sg

 

international schools in singapore
Ellen and Simon Cholmeley, British Jessica (10), Maddie (8)

 

Hillside World Academy

‘We’ve been living in Singapore for 10 years. Both our girls have been attending Hillside World Academy (HWA) since they were three. I found the school on the internet. For some time, I’d been looking for a school that offered Mandarin lessons, and when I visited HWA I knew straightaway it was the right choice. The school, I feel, is the only one of its kind that truly delivers on an immersive English-Chinese programme, and that is because it has its roots in China. The Chinese tuition is woven into the curriculum, so on top of Chinese language classes, art, music and mathematics are also taught in both languages. There’s also support for the mother tongues of students from other cultures.

Being a small school, there is a strong sense of community; students rub shoulders with one another and play sports with students across the spectrum of age groups and classes. There is a real feeling that the community supports you, and it’s not unusual to see older kids supporting the younger ones with their class projects.

I would absolutely recommend the school. It offers a great balance between practical experience and theoretical knowledge in the classroom, but the one thing that stands out for me the most is the emphasis on building positive relationships. You only need to check out the HWA Facebook page to see that the school builds happy kids with positive outlooks.’

11 Hillside Drive
6254 0200 | hwa.edu.sg

 

international schools in singapore
Thérèse Lapperre and Pierre Stevens, Dutch and Belgian Felicia (10), Boaz (8) and Maxim (6)

 

Hollandse School

‘We’ve been living in Singapore for more than four years. All three of our children are attending HSL – our youngest started in the preschool (‘Jip and Janneke’) when he was only two, and the other two started in the first and third grades of the primary school. We discovered there was a Dutch school in Singapore when we were surfing the internet while preparing for our move to Singapore. Having both the Dutch and English languages in the curriculum was what attracted us the most, as our children were only able to speak Dutch at that time. Now they are fluent in both English and Dutch.

Our experience with HSL has been very positive right from the first day. We were impressed by how our children were welcomed when they joined the classes and how well they fitted in. The school is relatively small compared to some other international schools, but it’s cosy – it feels like everyone knows each other, and our kids are always happy to go to school. There is a positive atmosphere in the school and direct communication between the parents and teachers. The quality of the teachers and the educational material has proven to be of a high standard.

Furthermore, the International Primary Curriculum units and after-school activities are very popular with our children. Our daughter is currently taking the French lessons too, and this is important to us because of our Belgian background. We would definitely recommend HSL to other families!’

65 Bukit Tinggi Road
6466 0662 | hollandseschool.edu.sg

 

international schools in singapore
Amy and Don Weaver, American Graham (17) and Ethan (15)

International Community School

‘We have been in Singapore for 19 months. Both our boys are attending International Community School (ICS). We learned about ICS while searching for a Christian school online. We chose ICS partly because it had room for both boys, but mainly because we were looking for a close-knit community for us and for our boys. From our very first day at ICS it has been a family, a community. We were lovingly welcomed – me by the many mums hanging around at drop-off and my boys by the students who were excited to meet them. The other mums went beyond introducing themselves – they immediately invited me to have lunch and took me to the best places for grocery shopping. While the first couple of weeks in Singapore were rough, starting at ICS changed everything.

Despite being at a relatively small school, my boys have been able to participate in a way they would not have been able to in a much larger school. They have been involved in cross-country, basketball, volleyball and ultimate frisbee. My older son was also involved in the backstage crew for the school plays. These are things that they probably would have shied away from if they were in a larger, more intimidating atmosphere.

I would absolutely recommend the school to others! You do not have to be a Christian to attend the school, but you will be blessed by the families there, for sure. In addition, the curriculum is fantastic, with graduates moving on to some of the best universities in the world. The class sizes are also much smaller than in some other schools, so the teachers are better able to meet every student’s needs.’

27A Jubilee Road
6776 7435 | ics.edu.sg

international schools in singapore
Jade Marie and Redentor R. Romero, Filipino Shanon (15) and Sophitia (10)

Integrated International School Singapore

‘We first moved to Singapore in the middle of 2013. We enrolled the girls at another international school, which we had selected from a list of about five schools. While our youngest daughter Sophitia thrived there, our eldest, Shanon, had some challenges academically. After doing some online research on schools in Singapore, my husband found a school that was focused on helping students with academic difficulties and had a very high teacher-tostudent-ratio. That school was Integrated International School (IIS).

Shanon required a lot of one-on-one focus for her to do better academically, and this kind of attention would not have been available to her in a school with a lower teacher-to-student ratio. So we decided to enrol her at IIS. A month in, we knew that we had made the right call. For the first time, Shanon became fully engaged with lessons and diligent in turning in her school work. She has started believing more in herself and having a clearer vision of her future. IIS and its teachers have everything to do with that.

Beyond the genuine concern shown by the staff, from its Founder and Principal, Dr Vanessa von Auer, to Sarah Bowler in Admissions, to Junior School Head Shanida Abraham, to Shanon’s teachers, Dr Andrew Schamschurin and Suneela Chopra, it’s clear that the educational approach is scientifically sound. This is rare for any school anywhere, and I strongly recommend IIS for students who require a more focused approach to their education.’

41 Sunset Way, #02-03/04 Clementi Arcade
6466 4475 | iis.com.sg

 

international school singapore
Dirk and Vicki de Bruyn Bryce (14) and Travis (13)

ISS International School

‘Our two sons have been attending ISS since we moved here from Tanzania three years ago. With every international move, we have found that schooling has been the most important decision for us. Since our boys had been in the IB schooling system since the age of three, it was important to us that they attend an IB school here, as we feel the IB curriculum develops inquiring, knowledgeable, motivated and caring global citizens. ISS has proven to be a perfect fit for us. Small classes led by encouraging teachers who have a passion for teaching and robust academics have resulted in our boys being treated as individuals with personalised learning styles and goals.

Learning support is also available to all students in Elementary, Middle and High School, and since Travis has dyslexia this has been an invaluable asset for us. ISS also has a Mother Tongue programme that allows students to keep learning in their mother tongue while following the regular curriculum and developing their competency in English. Both Bryce and Travis have had the opportunity to represent ISS in soccer and basketball, and a variety of other after-school activities are available. The annual ‘Week Without Walls’ international trip is a highlight of the school calendar, and this year they went to Cambodia and Vietnam, where they got to extend their social and interpersonal learning outside of the classroom environment through community service.

The PTA initiates and organises a varied selection of activities and there are many opportunities for parents to get involved. There is a true sense of community in our small school with a very big heart.’

21 Preston Road
6475 4188 | iss.edu.sg

 

international schools in singapore
Isla and Ben de Haldevang, British Hamish (16), Archie (14) and Kirsty (12)

Marlborough College Malaysia

‘We moved to Singapore just over eight years ago and then to Malaysia two-and-a-half years ago. All three of our children attend MCM, and Hamish is a full-time boarder in one of the Senior boarding houses. We heard rumours about MCM opening and were at the first launch party. For us it was a fantastic alternative to sending our eldest home to a UK boarding school. We then decided to move to Johor and move the younger children to MCM too.

I have three very different children, yet each is extremely happy at MCM. The teachers are an enthusiastic, energised and inspirational group who are as generous with their time as they are with their expertise. The educational support is excellent. I believe that the inclusion of art, drama, music, PE and games in the mainstream curriculum ensures that each child can find something that they love outside the traditional academic subjects. They obviously benefit from the amazing space and facilities that span 90 acres and allow the students a chance to take a breather.

Having the opportunity to board was important to many of our friends, as it gave them peace of mind once their children started those important exam years. I know of a few children who have stayed behind for a term or two to finish their exams after their parents moved on to the next posting. There is also a nice international mix at the school – 40 nationalities are represented. In short, I would not hesitate to recommend Marlborough College Malaysia to other families!’

Jalan Marlborough, Iskandar Puteri,
79200 Malaysia, Johor, Malaysia
+60 7-560 2200 | marlboroughcollegemalaysia.org

international schools in singapore
Red and Jonet Ramirez Pio (12) and Matteo (10)

Melbourne Specialist International School

‘We’ve lived in Singapore for about eight years. Our firstborn, Pio, joined Melbourne Specialist International School (MSIS) in March 2015. He was fortunate to be one of the first students of MSIS. His younger brother Matteo is currently in Primary 4 at a local school. We had a very good impression of MSIS when we toured the school with the Principal. Pio has cerebral palsy and is using a wheelchair; we liked how the new facilities are wheelchair-accessible and we also found their future plans and programmes promising. After Pio’s trial class, we asked him what he thought about the new school and he told us that he liked it! At that point, we decided to accept the offer and enrol him.

We like the MSIS approach to teaching literacy and numeracy through art, music and drama. They have specialists who come to school weekly and engage the students in various activities. We also like the swimming programme in the nearby swimming facility held every week. Pio has thrived in MSIS and his personality has blossomed. His handwriting, spelling and reading skills have also improved a lot as he has plenty of opportunity to practise.

Each child is different and it is important for families to find the right environment for them. We’re very happy with MSIS. Pio enjoys going to school and he doesn’t want to miss a single day! We feel that MSIS is right for Pio and would definitely recommend families with children with special needs to visit the school to see if this is the right fit for them.’

75E Loewen Road
6634 8891 | msis.edu.sg

 

international schools in singapore
Kerri and Jeff Ames, Australian and British William (11), Sarah (8) and Emma (5)

Nexus International School

‘When we moved to Singapore from the UK one year ago, we found the choice of schools overwhelming. It was our second international relocation, and with Emma just four years old it was important to choose a school that had a small and nurturing environment. Nexus is just that. It’s like a big family – the teachers are so welcoming and approachable. I have never been to a school where the Head of School and Heads of Primary and Secondary are out greeting the parents and children as they enter in the morning.

Nexus was recommended to us by another parent who was working there. When we visited, we were convinced that it was the school for us. The fact that the International Baccalaureate is followed was another winning factor. As a parent committee member, it has been rewarding to work alongside some wonderful parents and teachers. We have great fun organising and hosting many fundraising events for various charities.

The children have many opportunities at Nexus. When I ask Sarah what she likes about the school, she says she loves that the students can do so much. She is a student council representative, she’s in the swim squad, she sings in the choir and plays the piano. She also won a silver medal in gymnastics and cross-country for the school! William’s transition to the secondary school was also an easy one. He is very much interested in the IT side and can’t believe how ‘high tech’ the school is, including the possibility to create objects with a new 3D printer. We would highly recommend Nexus to other families. Academically, our children are thriving, and that’s thanks to the smaller class sizes that promote personalised learning.’

201 Ulu Pandan Road
6536 6566 | nexus.edu.sg

international schools in singapore
Catherine and Adrian Richter, Australian Mary (10) and Edward (7)


One World International School

‘We’ve been living in Singapore since August 2010. Both our children started attending One World in January 2015 after we moved from the west when my husband’s office relocated from the city to the Expo area in the east. Back then, we heard wonderful feedback from a friend’s mother about the school. To us, big showy buildings do not directly equate to engaged learning – it’s what happens at ground level in the classroom and how well the children fit in. The location was ideal for us and it meant less travelling time for the kids.

Up to and including Grade 5, the PYP curriculum is implemented. Being avid IB fans, this was important to us. Beyond Grade 5, the IGCSE curriculum is offered. What’s more, we were absolutely certain that we wanted our children to continue learning Mandarin, which One World offers as part of the daily curriculum. OneWorld has a community vibe – the student numbers are small. Mary is in Grade 5 with nine other children. While everyone has a preference when it comes to school size, I can clearly say OneWorld is a wonderful school with teachers who care and a friendly parent community.

I would recommend other families to take a look at this school. Our children are happy learners and the overall feeling is positive. One World doesn’t have all the bells and whistles like the ‘super schools’ do in regards to polished new buildings. However, it does have something very special, and I’m sure the One World community would agree with that.’

696 Upper Changi Road East
6542 2285 | owis.org

 

international schools in singapore
Stewart & Schuyler House, American Flynn (11), Paige (8) and Libby (6)

Singapore American School

‘All three of our daughters attend SAS. The eldest, Flynn, started in kindergarten six years ago, and her sisters followed her two and four years afterwards respectively, when they became of elementary school age. My sister and I attended SAS as children, where our mother was also a teacher, so the school has long been part of our family. When it was time for our eldest to attend, however, we seriously considered a number of international schools. We ultimately decided on SAS because of the curriculum, the language programme, the ethos of promoting well-rounded development, and the excellent facilities.

Our experience at SAS has been absolutely amazing. In addition to excellent academics and resources, including the wonderful school facilities and libraries, the school also has extensive athletics, arts, music and language programmes that have given our girls incredible exposure and opportunity to explore a diversity of interests.

Academically, we have found the faculty to be topnotch professionals with excellent teaching skills and commitment to supporting children with all different strengths and needs. The school also places a strong emphasis on core values like honesty and compassion. These values are part of everyday life at SAS and reinforced in classroom learning. I absolutely recommend the school! Despite having very different personalities, strengths, needs and interests, our girls have all had wonderful experiences at SAS. They love to go to school every day, they feel excited to learn and try new things, and they’ve flourished in the SAS family.’

40 Woodlands Street 41
6363 3403 | sas.edu.sg

 

international schools in singapore
Rosaline and John Wilson, Singaporean and Welsh Rhys (17)


St. Joseph’s Institution International

In 2012, Rhys started high school (Grade 7) at SJI International, completing his IGCSE in 2015 (that’s Grade 10). He’s now in Grade 11 pursuing the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma. I learnt of this school through my friend whose son went there, and also through newspaper reports about its success in IB results. I wanted my son to have the opportunity to be involved in sports and make friends in addition to having just an academic life. I wanted him to attend a school based on Christian values, and SJI International, being a Lasallian Catholic school, was the most suitable choice.

It also offered a better teacher-to-child ratio, and the teaching method ensures my son learns sufficiently. He is constantly inspired in the music programmes and has volunteered to perform on many occasions. The teachers are wonderful and committed – they will discuss at length my child’s strengths and weakness, suggest ideas and keep us informed of his progress. Rhys says that the teachers talk to him as an individual, encouraging him and challenging him. We particularly like that a good number of them come from other countries, which brings in international teaching standards.

The curriculum is great – we like the method of teaching, which includes getting the students to conduct research, write essays, and hold conversations on topics with classmates. My son has become more confident through all these. The school facilities are also excellent – it is well-equipped and has spacious grounds. We would strongly recommend SJI International to other families for its Christian values, the quality education, the international outlook, the fantastic teachers, the top facilities and the balanced curriculum.’

490 Thomson Road
6353 9383 | sji-international.com.sg

 

international schools in singapore
Sarah and Nick Gillett, British Freya (12), Sophia (11) and Theo (4)

Tanglin Trust School

‘We’ve been in Singapore for eight years. All three of our children attend Tanglin Trust School: Freya and Sophia since 2008, and Theo since last August when he joined Nursery. We wanted to keep our children in the UK education system, so Tanglin was the obvious choice. We were aware of Tanglin Trust School’s excellent reputation before we came to Singapore, and when we visited the school, the positive, happy atmosphere attracted us. Our children have always been extremely happy at TTS – they really do love going to school every day. A highlight for us is definitely the inspirational teaching staff, who combine excellent academic instruction with a wonderful sense of fun.

The Nursery class gave Sophia, and now Theo, a fabulous introduction to school life and routines, making the transition into Reception very easy. The love of reading that is instilled in the children sets them up for life, and going to the fabulous Infant Library is a real treat for the little ones. We’ve been consistently impressed by the Junior School. The academic achievements are excellent, but what makes the school special is the opportunity the children have to broaden their skills and interests. In the Senior School the teachers are genuinely passionate about their subjects, and this enthusiasm is infectious. The recent initiative to ensure sport-for-all has been extremely successful, encouraging many children to take part in sports and affording them the chance represent the school in matches.

We would absolutely recommend TTS to other families. The quality of the academic education is excellent, but more than this the school provides the children with important life skills that will stay with them forever.’

95 Portsdown Road
6778 0771 | tts.edu.sg

 

international schools in singapore
Wendy and Shaun McEwan, Australian Charles (8) and Mary (5)

The Winstedt School

‘Charlie has been attending the school for almost two years. Mary has been at a local preschool, and just started in January at another international school as it’s closer to home and better suited to her learning style. We initially learnt about The Winstedt School via Charlie’s preschool teachers at the wonderful Thinking Box at Tanglin Shopping Centre, and then another friend with a son there gave it great reviews. With those recommendations and after meeting the teachers, we knew the philosophy of the school would be of great benefit to Charlie.

The Winstedt School provides a learning environment for children who may struggle with large classes and competitive learning environments. It also offers integrated support services on site, so Charlie’s development has been managed closely by his teachers, his Occupational and Speech Therapist and Learning Support, all in one place. As a result of this integrated approach and close personal attention, Charlie’s engagement with his educational environment has been very enthusiastic and therefore his progress has been outstanding.

Both the parent community and the teachers keep us up-to-date with school activities and social opportunities. In particular, we love Ms Rachael from the Integrated Therapy team – we really appreciate her dedication in helping us work with Charlie and his development. The Winstedt School is a great place for learning as everyone is very supportive and interactive. Our greatest hope is that the school will be able to secure a bigger campus to accommodate more children in need of an environment where they can learn differently and also still have the opportunity to enjoy all the typical aspects of school such as sport and music.

10 Winstedt Road
6836 1128 | winstedt.edu.sg

 

international schools in singapore
Debbie and Steve Worrall, British Holly (17) and Rosie (14)

UWC South East Asia (East Campus)

‘We left the UK for a three-year assignment to Switzerland. Nine years and four countries later we arrived in Singapore! We knew we wanted an IB school with outstanding results, but also wanted to consider the whole programme and the underlying ethos of the school. We wanted our children to be in a truly international school so that in the future they would be used to working with people from different cultures and with different perspectives.

When looking for a school, we asked the advice of parents who we knew had lived here and teachers from our past schools; without hesitation they recommended UWCSEA as the gold standard for international schools worldwide. There is a great open-hearted dialogue between parents, students and teachers. Our opinions are sought regularly and the communication is really good. The Parent Teacher Association is really active, positive and welcoming.

The range of extracurricular opportunities available to the girls has been unparalleled. They have participated in drama productions and international sports competitions, befriended elderly residents at a nursing home and developed activity programmes for local children with mental health issues. Academically, we’re really pleased with their progress, but the most amazing thing has been seeing how their confidence has grown and their individuality encouraged and nurtured. They now believe in themselves and their ability to make a difference to the world. Eighteen months at this school has changed our daughters’ entire outlook on life. I don’t think we could have asked for more.’

East Campus, 1 Tampines Street 73
6305 5344 | uwcsea.edu.sg
Dover Campus, 1207 Dover Road
6775 5344 | uwcsea.edu.sg

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