As a new(ish) kid on the block, Razum International School offers something a little different as far as international primary schools in Singapore go. Two expat mums, Elena and Marina, joined forces to create a primary school experience that focuses on a shorter day, strong academic curriculum and more affordable school fees in Singapore.
The shorter learning hours – from 8.45am to 1pm – means your child can spend the afternoon doing extra-curricular activities (ECAs). Kids can opt for activities they enjoy provided by external providers, or use the time to focus on their competitive sports or music classes or simply spend quality time with the family.
Find out more about this and other interesting aspects of Razum below.
#1 Four-hour primary school day
When founders Elena and Marina were researching primary school options for their own children, they found many options in their vicinity had barriers such as high fees, extended hours or distant locations. Not content with settling for a ‘Plan B’ school choice, they decided to create a school they envisaged for their own kids.
They found that long school hours don’t always go down well with children. Particularly when children are keenly pursuing a sport or a form of art. So the flexible structure allows students to pursue their interests, with a shorter school day and reasonable school fees. So there’s no need to compromise on studies or playtime.
This is how Razum’s shorter primary school day, operating from 8.45am to 1pm, was conceived.
#2 Focused International Primary Curriculum (IPC)
Razum’s focused four-hour school day sees students go through an individualised education and an academically rigorous curriculum. Subject goals cover the knowledge, skills and understanding of children relating to the subjects they are learning.
There are subject learning goals for Singapore English and Mathematics, Science, ICT & Computing, Technology, History, Geography, Music, Physical Education, Art and Society. The IPC’s thematic units of learning are designed to appeal to children’s interests. This helps them to learn more about the world around them.
The primary school day starts with morning exercises, followed by English class, which features phonics, reading and writing. Then there’s a mid-morning break with snacks and outdoor play, before the children attend Maths and IPC classes.
#3 Enquiry-based teaching culture
Accordingly to founders Marina and Elena, the school’s philosophy towards teaching and learning is based on an enquiry-based pedagogy. Through this form of enquiry-based teaching and learning, students develop skills and knowledge while developing an open-mind towards different perspectives.
#4 Boutique primary school offering
Razum is a boutique international school, with a nurturing ‘community’ sense of belonging that is fostered by its modest size and close parent-teacher relations.
#5 Optional extra-curricular activities (ECAs)
When the formal teaching period ends at 1pm, kids can go home, or they can stay for lunch and participate in ECAs from 1 to 4pm – it’s your choice!
#6 Wide range of ECAs
Razum uses external providers to provide a wide range of options for kids with different interests and needs. There are language offerings like Mandarin and French, robotics, drama, micro-construction, hip hop dance classes, healthy cooking classes for budding masterchefs, craft workshops such as jewellery making, sports classes including football, along with board games, art and more.
This primary school intentionally offers a range of different ECAs to encourage kids to explore and develop their interests.
#7 Affordable international primary school fees in Singapore
Razum’s focused timetable design allows it to offer reasonable primary school fees for expats. Currently, fees are $14,900 a year with a $1,700 admission fee (not including the optional ECAs). This places it firmly in the ‘affordable school fees’ category for international primary school options in Singapore.
#8 Diverse teaching team
Elena says that they went through hundreds of applications when initially setting out to recruit for teachers. They selected a qualified teaching team consisting of IPC-trained, native English teachers from Australia, UK, New Zealand, South Africa and Singapore.
The founders were motivated to select the best teaching team they could, especially as they both send their own children to Razum!
#9 Exciting school camps during the holidays
Aside from fun school trips scheduled in the calendar, there are holiday camps on offer, including upcoming summer camps: Harry Potter, Around the World, Movie Camp, Disney Camp, Lego Camp. Registration is open to sign up now.
#10 A personal touch
The founders chose the slogan “At Razum you are a name not a number” to define the school’s culture. They also choose the name Razum because it means ‘mind’ or ‘intellect’ in Russian. As they are literally nurturing the minds of young people, they decided to add this personal touch to reflect their Russian roots.
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