Singapore, Singapore Report of what it's like to live there - 01/27/15
Personal Experiences from Singapore, Singapore
1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?
2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?
2nd Grade - 5th Grade
PreK - Grade 10 is offered while we were there. Follows the Australian schedule - School year runs from January through December. Big break is during Christmas and past New Year's.
3. During what years were you affiliated with this school?
2014 - 2016.
4. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?
5. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?
This is a Mainstream/Support school and our son needed extra support that the larger International Schools could not provide.
Admissions & Welcome:
1. Are the admissions and placement procedures clearly stated to prospective families, either on the school website or through other means of communication?
Lots of paperwork. Interviewed parents and child via Skype before acceptance into school.
2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
Administration & School Procedures:
1. Describe the general climate of the grade level that you teach or your child attends:
Small boutique school. Class ratio for my son's class was never more than 10 children with 1 teacher and assistant per class.
2. For the following attributes, down to the next blank box, grade your experience at the school on a scale of A (excellent) to F (unacceptable/terrible) and provide comments:<br><br>Overall fair and equitable treatment of all students and families:
A - small school no worries on fairness.
3. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
Send home a communication book everyday that you can write in. Also able to email concerns or questions and they are responded to within that day.
4. Services for gifted students who need academic challenge and students with learning difficulties:
Gifted students unknown. This gears towards children that have more mild forms of learning difficulties - Dsylexia, ADD, ADHD, Asperger's, Down Syndrom. The school does a great job of keeping all children on track.
5. Aside from school fees, are there required expenses such as uniforms, laptops/tablets, musical instruments, or field trips that parents are expected to cover? What are the approximate costs?
Uniforms, books, school bus, and excursion cost that are outside of tuition.
6. Availability and variety of after-school activities for various ages:
D - very little offered. Maybe 1x a week - in the past they have offered Art, Zumba, Yoga.
7. Maintenance of appropriately high standards for all students:
8. Homework assigned (quality, quantity):
Some seemed to be non-relevant. Depends on the teacher. Current year, homework seems to be better.
9. Administration-parent communication:
B - Email only, usually.
10. Teacher-student communication:
A - responds promptly within that day
11. Academics, answer the following questions "yes" or "no" with an explanation if appropriate:<br><br>Are there any classes or subjects where students are not appropriately challenged?
12. Does your child receive any special-needs assistance or instruction at this school? If yes, what types? Who provides services and where:
Yes, Testing accommodations; counseling; social skills.
13. Do you believe the special-needs assistance is appropriate and fills your needs? Explain:
Yes - he has thrived in the small classroom setting.
14. Please describe any classes or programs that you believe are missing:
Academics & Resources:
1. What personal or academic counseling resources are available at this school? Is there a dedicated college counselor at the school? Is he/she familiar with universities worldwide?
School counsellor is at the school.
2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
Does have a small Library and the Mobile Library comes to school for children to check out books
3. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
Has a Computer area at the school.
4. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
C - only has PE 2x a week. No after-school activities offered because of the size of the school. Though there are tons of options in Singapore for your child to do physical activity and teams to join.
5. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
6-10 to 1 teacher and 1 assistant teacher too in classroom.
6. Are Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses available in upper grades? If this is an IB school, is the full diploma required of all students?
Not sure. My child was only in Primary School.
7. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?
8. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
They do art in their general classroom and have music 1x a week. No drama.
9. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
Yes - most are British, American and Australian teachers.
10. What extra-curricular activities (including sports) are available at this school? Have your children participated in these activities? What activities do you feel are missing at the school?
Social & Emotional Well-Being:
1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?
Yes, we have done things with his classmates outside of school.
2. Are there are any problems with exclusionary behavior, cliques, or bullying at this school? Please describe any problems your children may have experienced in this area.
No - Haven't seen this ever. Since it is a very small school it would be easy to see.
1. What is the greatest strength of this school?
Small class size; student to teacher ratio; support in the classroom.
2. Would you choose this school again? Why?
Probably, but there are more options now in Singapore that were not available when we arrived.