Blue House Nursery
238 River Valley Road
+65 6734 0824
Rachel (2) has been going to Blue House since it opened in February. It’s very small and welcoming and they use the Reggio Amilia approach, which is an Italian learning concept. Interestingly the school uses all-natural products and even the bowls that the children eat out of are made from wood. They also make their own play-doh!
The curriculum isn’t rigid and tends to go with the flow. For instance if a child were to bring a toy horse into class, the teachers would try to incorporate horses into the lesson.
Because they are in a shophouse, they don’t have much outdoor space but there is a small garden with a sandpit and water-play area. They also have a wonderful indoor sensory garden where the children can grow herbs, and they have a pet rabbit that the children take care of.
Andrea Poulten – Canada
CS Montessori Learning Centre
302 Tiong Bahru Road
#05-07 Tiong Bahru Plaza
+65 6377 2822
Giuliano (3), who is half Italian, started at CS in February 2008. I like that it is clean, bright and new, and that they offer bilingual teaching in English and Mandarin.
The classes contain mixed age groups, which is great because children of 3 get to interact with children of 5. Children are grouped by ability rather than age.
They are taken on regular field trips (at least one per term), and recently they went to a goat farm where Guiliano had great fun. He even brought some goat’s milk home with him.
The approach is very holistic and they are exposed to many things, including geography. During the Olympics Giuliano was shouting out the name of every country when he saw its flag!
Angel Merito – Singapore
International School Singapore
25 Paterson Road
+65 6235 5844
Our youngest son Connor (4) attends the pre-school at ISS, but our older two are also at the school. When we were shown around, it was obviously a close-knit environment where our children weren’t going to get lost between the cracks. All the kids looked happy, and the classrooms were full of bright and interesting work.
They follow the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP), which is very focused on the kids learning about themselves. They also employ an early childhood specialist who takes the kids for PE, art, and music.
I cannot speak highly enough about the pre-school teacher, Sharon Moore. At the beginning of the semester, Connor spent most of class hiding under the table. By the end, he’d made friends and was participating in all class activities. Most importantly, he is happy.
Jaynie Ritchie – New Zealand
Eton House International School
2 Orchard Boulevard
+65 6346 6522
I looked at about six schools, but finally chose Eton House because of its play-based methods. This was the most effective method for teaching my daughter, Victoria (5).
Topics are adjusted according to each child’s interest. One project she loved had the theme of “clean and green” with the children cleaning the rubbish on East Coast Beach. They were also taught about the effects littering has on the environment and wildlife. It really struck a chord with her and to this day she insists I go green.
In terms of facilities, they have wide open spaces, a safe playground area and some great toys. The teachers are also well qualified and nurturing.
There are lots of great schools in Singapore, but you have to choose one that is the right fit for your child. For me it was Eton House.
Jolee Montinola – the Philippines
Learn Different Centre for Language and Literacy
442 Orchard Road
Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade
+65 6836 1128
I heard about the centre through a friend, who already had a child attending. Lily (6) has learning difficulties due to a lack of confidence. Although Learn Different does have a pre-school programme, we sent Lilly there simply to boost her learning skills. They have been fantastic in this respect. It’s a lovely place with a library and a pantry. The teachers are brilliant at getting the children to learn in a fun way.
One of the techniques they used to help Lily remember was through song, which worked wonders. They can help children with all types of learning difficulties, teaching them various different coping mechanisms.
Her teacher gives us very good feedback at the end of every session, and even went as far as to call and see how Lily was getting on at her new school. We are so grateful to have found them.
Amanda Copping – UK
Swiss Club Road
When we moved to Singapore three years ago I was worried about sending my boys to a big international school and thought they might get a bit lost. The Swiss School, however, is relatively small, and has a cosy feel.
Children can start from as young as two in the little tots group. Both of my boys Mika (5) and Leon (3) have shown very good progression. They learn in a play-like environment, and among a mix of nationalities.
The facilities are really good, with two new playgrounds, a sandpit and access to the Swiss Club swimming pool. The teachers also take them to the nearby German gym once a week, where they get to take part in sporting activities.
Katharina Casanova – Switzerland
International Community School
27A Jubilee Road
We first enrolled our children at the school because we had two friends teaching there. It’s a wonderful place that is caring, loving and offers a very family-oriented environment. We have two children, Jonathan (13) and Joy (7), and Joy has just finished the pre-school programme. We like he fact that that we can send both of them to the same school – it’s nice for the pre-school children to see their older siblings close by.
Although it is an American-based curriculum it has a very international feel. There are two teachers per class and there are also opportunities for parents to get involved. Every Tuesday they have activities like cooking, craft, Bible studies and outings. Parents are invited to help out, which creates a camaraderie between us.
Kim Hane – US
Learning Vision Preschool
Biopolis Centre, One North
11 Biopolis Way, #02-01 to #02-03 Helios
+65 6501 7500
We moved to Singapore two months ago and had to decide where to send our three sons, Krystof (2), Jakub and Matous (6) while we were at work. After looking, we chose Learning Vision @ Biopolis.
Our children had no prior experience with English or Chinese languages, but they became accustomed to the new kindergarten very quickly. All three boys continue to improve their language and communication skills, while developing other abilities and cultivating friendships.
It’s no wonder the children are so happy when they have such nice teachers. I appreciate the individual approach they have toward the children, taking time to understand their strengths and weaknesses. I would recommend the school to anyone.
Barbora Fricova – Czech Republic
45 Gentle Road
+65 6251 0817
Zac (6) has been at the school for three years and Callum (3) for over a year. Class sizes are small and the location is great for us as we live in Novena. My initial reason for choosing Littlewoods was simply my gut feeling when I visited the school.
Now I can pinpoint the positive aspects of the school. At Littlewoods they have a very good balance between play and academia. Callum is currently learning the alphabet and Zac was reading by the age of four. However, because it’s a Montessori school, the children get to choose the topics they want to work on, which keeps them interested.
Attendance times are quite flexible and the boys attend five days per week for three hours, which really suits our routine.
Grazia Douglas – Australia
German European School (GESS)
72 Bukit Tinggi Road
+65 6469 1131
Our youngest boy Konstantin (5) joined the kindergarten in 2007, and moved on to the pre-primary class in August. It was important that he be exposed to both an international and a German environment, and GESS is a perfect combination of the two.
The pre-school follows the PYP philosophy (IB Primary Years Programme) in conjunction with the German curriculum. They have language classes in German and English, and also have a strong emphasis on sports and music, with specially trained teachers. There is also a speech therapist and a physiotherapist on hand. The teachers promote the individuality and strengths of each child, while assisting with any weaknesses.
We appreciate the effort they put into raising the children’s awareness about different cultures and backgrounds, even putting on stage shows to give the kids a better understanding about a particular cultural or religious holiday.
Anne-Marie Wiehler – Germany
Lock Road Kindergarten
10 Lock Road
+65 6474 6181
When my daughter Georgia (6) left Lock Road, her teacher kept in touch and was interested in how she was getting along. On one occasion she took her out for afternoon tea. I felt that she knew her as well as I did. Older children that have left are always invited back to the school for the holidays to be the teachers’ helper.
Jasmine (4) is now at the school five days per week, and Sophie (2) will start there in six months. Instead of simply listening to the teachers, the children are given interactive activities, including a lot of craft work.
Once a year they hold a school fair which is a fundraising event and a good opportunity for parents to get involved. It’s a good school for new expat families because it’s a nice community. We’ve made lots of friends there.
Kristin Kestel – Australia
25 Ettrick Terrace
+65 6446 4636
My son Finn (3) has been at Rosemount since March of last year. My gut impression when we first visited was that it felt like a proper school. Based in a house, it wasn’t boisterous and loud but still felt very warm and welcoming. Another reason I chose to send him there was the fact that they were flexible about the number of days he could attend.
They follow the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), which contains several units of enquiry on which they base their weekly themes. For instance, the theme at the moment is “Who Am I?”, which gives the children a sense of who they are in the world.
They also have a policy of allowing a maximum of 25 percent of any one nationality. This means that the children are exposed to a good mix of cultures, which I think is very important.
Gretchen Kupin – US
7 Halifax Road
+65 6392 2007
My daughter Tina (4) has been going to Halifax for a few years now. The teachers are very kind and friendly, and Tina’s favourite part of the school day is when they sing. She also likes the drawing, cooking, outdoor play and Chinese lessons.
The teachers are incredibly experienced and have a great deal of love for the children, often taking them on excursions outside of the school. In the true spirit of an international school they also celebrate the New Year of each nationality.
There are some great toys and facilities including basketball, slides, seesaws and a toy house. We feel very relaxed sending Tina to school, as it is like a second home to her.
Yasuko Kaneko – Japan
Pibo’s Garden Playschool
1 Dunearn Close
+65 6466 2639
At Pibo’s they accept children from as young as 18 months. Aedan was four when we enrolled him, and we now have another son (Jake, 2) who attends. They are both very happy there. They get the opportunity to do lots of artwork, and recently Jake has been coming home singing the alphabet.
The teachers are great. When we drop him off, Jake runs to his for a hug! When I was pregnant, she phoned and asked if there was anything I needed. That’s what I call the personal touch.
They have some great play equipment including bikes and cars. Jake is into anything with four wheels and when we received his end of term photos, all of the shots were of him in various vehicles!
Rachel Deveney – Australia
White Lodge Early Learning Centre
75E Loewen Road
+65 6475 7262
When we were looking for a pre-school for our son, Sarin (4), we asked our friends for recommendations and searched various websites. What struck us about White Lodge was their high standard of hygiene. On top of that the school has a very open, green environment, but within a secure enclosure.
It was important that my son go to a school with a diverse population – I didn’t want there to be any segregation but a good local and foreign mix of children. At White Lodge they have that.
The teachers have a very good way with the children and they operate a non-structured programme, where the children learn through fun activities at their own pace. They have cooking classes, for example, where the children learn about metrics. My son always comes home and talks enthusiastically about what he’s learned.
Asanaka Kutatileka – Sri Lanka
41 Sunset Way
#01-01 Clementi Arcade
+65 6465 4481
My daughter Lily (3) has been attending Play Days since it opened last January. The teachers truly love the kids and have a passion for what they do. They have a different theme each term, from pond-life to dinosaurs, and there is an excursion at the end of the term that relates to the theme.
The classroom size is small and they focus on learning through play; Lily comes home with some wonderfully inventive craftwork. They also teach Mandarin, which is a bonus.
The school is very health-conscious; the classrooms and toys are cleaned at the end of each day. We also get a menu at the start of each term with a choice of three nutritious meals per day, so there is usually something to please every child.
Andree Wigan – Australia
United World College of South East Asia
1 Tampines Street 73
+65 6774 2653
The small campus that my two children Lucian (6) and Angus (5) go to in Ang Mo Kio is perfect. They don’t just teach the children about their immediate environment but about the world as a whole. They are committed to projects involving the community and the natural environment and instil a sense of responsibility in the children and an awareness of other people.
During one project, they invited less fortunate children into the classroom and they were able to interact with one another. That kind of exposure is important. UWC offers Chinese or Spanish, plus PE and music lessons. They also have great equipment for the age group they are catering to.
I’m Singaporean but my kids hold British passports and we’ve lived in various foreign countries. It is important to me that they attend a truly international school.
Jo Bennett – Singapore
Preschool by the Park
63 Shelford Road
+65 6462 0180
My daughter Elise (6) attended Preschool by the Park before she joined Grade 1 at the Canadian School. Initially I chose it because it was very close to where we lived, but also because I had a good feeling about it on my first visit. I remember being impressed with the performance of the older kids at their year-end concert.
Being at the school gave Elise good exposure to both English and Mandarin, and her teachers were very dynamic, caring and attentive. They focus on instilling good social skills, offering lots of activities for the young ones such as sand-play, water-play, field trips, walks to the nearby playground, and dance classes.
They did a great job of teaching the kids the value of recycling, so much that I have implemented it at home!
Fabienne Ellington – France
Shaws Child Development & Learning Centre
855 Mountbatten Road
+65 6440 9192
Both of my children, Matthija (3) and Marieli (1), are at Shaws. It’s set in a lovely quiet road and has a nice outdoor area. The school is in a small one-storey building and I felt a very good vibe the first time I visited.
The teachers are local and they always put the kids first. They recognise that not all children are the same and they never make comparisons. There are monthly excursions that have included trips to Snow City, a goat farm and a vegetable farm. They also invite parents for show-and-tell sessions. When it was my turn I brought in our family dog. All the kids loved him!
As a bilingual school, they have English and Mandarin-speaking teachers. It’s a great opportunity for the kids to learn Chinese.
Natasha Bierman – Netherlands
Raffles House Learning Place
15 Robin Close
+65 6836 7959
With the sound of my mother’s voice ringing in my ears and telling me, “You shouldn’t be sending Martha-Jack to school at two years old,” I listened to my girlfriends talking about the various pre-schools that their toddlers went to. After observing the expediential oral and social development of these children, I didn’t want her to get left behind.
She has been attending Raffles Pre-School for the past year and I cannot speak highly enough of them. Her first words in the morning are often, “Can I go to school today?” The semi-structured programme includes music, painting, reading, numbers and outdoor play. The atmosphere is fantastic, with laughter, hugs and squeals of delight.
If she maintains the love of school and learning that is being instilled in her by the staff at Raffles Preschool then she will grow into a very well balanced and well educated woman.
Simon Fraser – New Zealand
Swallows and Amazons
200 Turf Club Road, Turf City
+65 6762 8158
When we were deciding where to put Harry (2), his happiness was our key consideration. We like Swallows and Amazons because they really take care of the children’s health and welfare, and they believe in learning through fun. The educational programmes include music and Mandarin, and the children get swimming lessons.
Location was another factor, as we didn’t want somewhere too far from our home on Sixth Avenue. The school is conveniently located in Turf City. They are open from 7.00am until 7.30pm, which makes it extremely flexible for those parents who work full-time.
Harry loves going to school. When I pick him up he looks really happy, and the teachers always provide me with valuable feedback about his day.
Zoe Naylor – England
San Lorenzo Montessouri
2 Waringin Park
+65 6444 2582
On our initial visit, the teachers asked our daughter Chantelle (4) to join in with the class – this set them apart from other schools we’d visited. We could see immediately that she felt comfortable with the group and so we signed her up.
Our three-year-old, Chantrice, also attends and they both enjoy the show-and-tell sessions every week. They participate in lots of exciting activities such as field trips, and on special occasions, such as National Day or Racial Harmony Day, the children dress up in costume, which they love.
At the end of every term, the school provides us with a big photo album showing pictures of what the children did throughout the term. They also hold an annual concert and it is a delight for parents like us to see our children perform through song, dance and a short play or skit.
Milady Alinea Dizon – the Philippines
Other pre-schools to choose from
Dover Court Preparatory School
Dover Court, Dover Road
+65 6775 7664
Emaar International School
201 Ulu Pandan Road
+65 6536 6566
67A Eu Chin Street, Level 2 Tiong Bahru Community Centre
+65 6456 8003
Modern Montessori International
743 Bedok Reservoir Road, #01-3081
Blk 310 Canberra Road #01-125
+65 6235 4600
The Word Learning Centre
#06-02 Woodlands Civic Centre
+65 6219 4701
One World International School
696 Upper Changi Road East
+65 6542 2285