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Moving to Singapore and need some help choosing new schools for your kids?

Relocating the whole family is a massive deal. And navigating through the important factors of choosing a new international school here in Singapore, when stress and emotions are running high, can be daunting and at times overwhelming.

We chatted to David Edwards, Head of Education at GEMS World Academy here in Singapore, and asked him for his four top tips to set you on the path for choosing the right school for your child.

1. The quality of the teachers is paramount

The difference between good, great and outstanding schools doesn’t come down to the facilities; it’s the quality of teachers that counts the most. We encourage parents to ask school leaders about their teacher hiring policy, how they ensure their staff are valued, what programmes for development are provided and what the turnover of staff is. We also encourage families to ask a simple question: Why did you become a teacher? Look for a teacher who shares their story with passion.

2. Find out more about the school model

The school philosophy, culture and demographics are all important elements to consider. Curriculum models must support the smooth transition of children into the school, while opening up suitable pathways for further study. National schools are great for families wanting a singular culture, curriculum and certification model. International schools celebrate the many things that make us similar, as well as highlighting those delightful elements that make us different, while offering globally recognised school programmes that prepare students well for their next step in formal education.

3. Are the value-added programmes offered going to benefit your child?

Additional programmes support a balanced learning environment; these include extra-curricular activities across sports, arts and academics and leadership groups that enable students to deepen their understanding of the world around them. Community and service activities, as well as entrepreneurship programmes, continue to broaden the learning opportunities available to children both in and out of the classroom. It’s important that parents avoid getting dazzled by facilities, and return to the fundamentals: Are these programmes a must for my child? Are the people driving these initiatives committed to children and to ensuring outstanding learning opportunities are being consistently provided?

4. Consider the effects of relocation on your kids

We know that you as parents are making a significant decision, one that impacts the child’s education now and in the future. You should consider whether children will be able to cope with the big change, and will they feel out of place at a new location?
 

 

Does GWA (Singapore) have a specific programme in place for helping with this adjustment?

From the outset, our goal is to guide parents through the process of selecting a school that best suits the needs of their child and their aspirations for the future. There’s no hard sell. Our team has extensive knowledge and experience of all the schools in Singapore, and we lay this information out for families. We don’t attempt to be a school that we are not. We make the distinction between local, national and international school models, and guide parents on the type of questions they should be asking as they review the many options available to them. This is all done through the senior education leadership team.

Tell us more about the GWA Parental Engagement Programme

During the enrolment process, the Head of Education or the Principal personally meets and interacts with the new family to learn more about the child and their family, and to gain insight into the child’s educational aspirations and interests. The goal is to ensure that before the first day of school, we know the family and child well and can ensure a smooth start at a new school in a new country.

Tens of thousands of parents worldwide are participating in the programme, which was launched in 2009 to give parents a more proactive role in monitoring, mentoring and sharing in their child’s progress. Highlights include:

  • one-on-one consultation opportunities with teachers to assess progress and set performance targets;
  • workshops for parents to better understand the latest teaching methods, learning and child development;
  • tools, resources and guidance for parents to support their child’s learning.

With 55 years experience of teaching 140,000 students across 14 countries, GEMS has alumni spanning the globe. To find out more, contact GEMS World Academy Singapore.

2 Yishun Street 42, Singapore, 768039

Admission Enquiries: +65 6808 7300 | General School Enquiries: +65 6808 73

 

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