When my eldest child was ready for preschool, we attended three different school open houses; this was after narrowing down a longer list of five international schools. Due to current restrictions in Singapore, many of these have become online open houses instead of physical ones; that is, virtual tours taken in the safety of your home. Even with this change, a school open house remains an extremely helpful way to determine the right place for your child’s educational journey. Today, my children have been at their school for 10 and eight years respectively; they’ve formed many close friendships, and their teachers know their different learning competencies. We made the right decision – and the open house experience definitely played a role in that.
What happens at an international school open house?
School open houses are a chance for parents to meet with both academic and non-academic staff, discover more about the school’s programmes and find out more about its approach to education. The kids get to experience the facilities and surroundings where they’ll be learning in the coming academic year. Parents can also see if the environment sparks curiosity and excitement in their children for learning.
School open houses are “up close and personal” experiences; that makes them key for helping parents figure out whether a school can support their child’s learning needs.
With current restrictions around group gatherings, international schools in Singapore have had to restrict the capacity and frequency of onsite tours. This means parents can’t spend as much time mingling and chatting in person with the leadership team, educators and staff. That’s why many schools have instead brought their open houses online. These sessions usually involve a combination of a virtual tour and a Q&A opportunity with the school’s educators. What’s more, online open houses give schools an opportunity to reach out to more parents; this includes those who aren’t yet in Singapore but are trying to decide on an international school for their child.
Bringing an open house to an online setting
One school that regularly hosts online open houses is the Australian International School (AIS). While AIS does continue to conduct on-site school tours in much smaller groups, parents can also attend these from the comfort of their own home. Whether your child is two months old or 18 years old, you’re welcome to attend.
What takes place during an AIS online open house? Besides meeting the Head of School Mr Andre Casson and Principal Dr Edward Groughan, you’ll also get to know Head of Early Years Mrs Rachael Symes, Head of Elementary Mr Adam Patterson and Head of Secondary Mr Brad Bird. These five form the school’s leadership team. During the session, they’ll share their insights and expertise in education and help parents to understand how AIS can help your child become the best version of themselves at the school.
The next AIS online open house is on Thursday, 20 May, from 5pm to 6pm. Register now at ais.com.sg/open-house-ais.