Singapore Schools - any recommendations?

(37 Posts)
bagladywilts Thu 10-Feb-11 17:25:54

We have just agreed to move to Singapore in May / June this year. DS will be 5 and DD is 3 with another on way in 2 weeks. Thinking that getting DS's name down for a school is fairly urgent as they seem to fill up. Does anyone have anything good or bad to say about any of the international schools there? We are considering Tanglin.

papooshka Fri 11-Feb-11 01:20:00

Alot of the schools have long waiting lists. You really have to take a look at them and see which one you prefer.

They are all generally good, but obviously appeal to different people.

I know that if you put your 3 yr old in Tanglin now she will have a guaranteed place going forward.

Try Canadian School, Australian, OFS, ISS, Dover Court, Chatsworth, Avondale.

Tanglin and UWC are the most popular so have the longest waiting lists.

Good luck, we are just starting the process too!

EggyChick Fri 11-Feb-11 01:54:03

My DS is at Dover Court and we like it. He is 4. But I second going to visit as many as you can to see if what they offer fits your family. I visited Canadian, Tanglin, UWC, OFS and Dover Court. For me it was a toss up between Dover Court and Canadian School.

One of the plus points for Dover is they offer full days and, if I recall, the others only offer 1/2 days for the younger children.

Good luck.

awayfromhome Fri 11-Feb-11 07:16:44

I would second the view on having a look at them all.

Tanglin has huge waiting lists, we arrived in July 2010 and a place would have opened up for my DD in Year 2 this term, only if we had put our DS into the nursery on arrival (as siblings jump the queue). It seems to be much easier to get your child into the nursery than the other year groups.

My two are now at Dover Court, which so far is suiting them both.

I have heard very good things about UWC and the Canadian school as well.

bagladywilts Fri 11-Feb-11 08:20:42

Thanks for the advice. It sounds from the schools like we have to apply asap. There are already no places at Tanglin or UWC (for years it seems!) and I'm not able to make it out for a look round because of the impending baby situation. On the alternatives.. is the curriculum very different to UK's at Canadian and Australian? Want to avoid too much confusion when we eventually return home. OFS also have places,.. how does that compare to Dover Court?

EggyChick Fri 11-Feb-11 12:25:06

OFS is very popular too. But I chose DC because the admissions lady spoke to my child, the others didn't acknowledge him and went straight to talking about cold, hard cash! It's such a personal choice though. If you contact the schools they will talk you through the curriculum.

bagladywilts Fri 11-Feb-11 14:43:01

Eggychick - you are right, it does seem to be very much about the cash. Has anyone heard of jumping a waiting list by giving an additional "donation"? I've heard this is possible and seen it on other threads but don't know much more. Is it common? How much are they talking? Is it fairly open or all hush hush?

Lollypolly Fri 11-Feb-11 15:39:01

Dover Court is lovely - DD1 has been there since she was 3 - now 6 and in P1. We considered UWC and Tanglin too but felt they were too big (3000+ students) for a 3 year old who was very shy at the time. Can't say enough nice things about Dover, esp their infant school.

Lollypolly Fri 11-Feb-11 15:41:39

Also meant to add that Tanglin is a very British school that doesn't observe local celebrations as much as Dover. We feel that one of the advantages of living here is that the DCs learn about local culture, traditions etc so we chose a school that teaches them about Deepavali, Christmas, Hari Raya, Chinese New Year etc.

empirestateofmind Fri 11-Feb-11 17:41:16

Tanglin is three schools on one campus. The infants do not come into contact with the seniors (or juniors) as they are in a different building, have different break times and go home at a different time. Hence it doesn't feel like a big school to me.

I think Tanglin does observe all the local celebrations. I can't think of one that they don't celebrate. They do do more on these things in the infants and juniors than in the seniors, but that is to be expected. There was a dragon dance there for each of the schools on Wednesday morning for CNY and there are plenty of CNY decorations up.

empirestateofmind Fri 11-Feb-11 17:47:41

You can buy placement rights at Tanglin. For details see the school website under How To Apply. All the prices are there. The money is used to fund building projects like the new library and sixth form centre which opened 18 months ago.

bagladywilts Fri 11-Feb-11 18:32:02

Aha,.. just found the placement rights bit.. thank you, not realising what "placement rights" were I hadn't read that section.

Guacamole Fri 11-Feb-11 18:39:57

I went to UWC as a boarder (in the 1990s) before they accepted such small children. It was a huge school then, it must be enormous now. I'd put them down on the waiting list for when they're older if you're planning on staying in Singapore (it was a fab school and I have nothing but fond memories) but go for somewhere smaller whilst they're so young.

tootsieroll Sat 12-Feb-11 11:16:54

My children are turning 5 and 3. We'd have opted for the local education system had they been citizens. We visited Tanglin and Dover Court last month - Dover Court had places for my 4 year old going into Year 1 this August/September, and when I said I only wanted a place next year, was told to apply start of 2012, and DS would more than likely get a place (no wait list).

Tanglin advised us to put DS and DD's name down ASAP as they had 80+ on their wait list, and although turnover is generally about 20-30% each year, last semester's turnover was a lot less...they are apparently monitoring the situation.

Of the 2 schools, TTS appealed to us more, facilities-wise. It felt like the school DS would have gone to in the UK had we not come out to Singapore.

We're going to look at SJI International (Elementary) on Wednesday, and will probably make out decision after that.

tootsieroll Sat 12-Feb-11 11:16:57

My children are turning 5 and 3. We'd have opted for the local education system had they been citizens. We visited Tanglin and Dover Court last month - Dover Court had places for my 4 year old going into Year 1 this August/September, and when I said I only wanted a place next year, was told to apply start of 2012, and DS would more than likely get a place (no wait list).

Tanglin advised us to put DS and DD's name down ASAP as they had 80+ on their wait list, and although turnover is generally about 20-30% each year, last semester's turnover was a lot less...they are apparently monitoring the situation.

Of the 2 schools, TTS appealed to us more, facilities-wise. It felt like the school DS would have gone to in the UK had we not come out to Singapore.

We're going to look at SJI International (Elementary) on Wednesday, and will probably make out decision after that.

TilGT Wed 24-Aug-11 23:17:13

Hi,
We're moving to Sing early next year and I'm amazed by the waiting lists at the schools.
We're in Switzerland at the moment and it doesn't compare!
Anyway, our kids are 4, 3 and 1 and my 4year old is number 98 on the waiting list for Tanglin! I'm waiting for UWC to reply...
Have you come up with any other school ideas?

Try ofs and dover court.
Both are very esrablished albeit very different schools.
Dover is very british so you might prefer that. Kids are very happy at ofs and acadwmics have umproved significantly over recent years

acatcalledbob Thu 25-Aug-11 13:20:53

My DD1 has been at Dover Court since nursery class (aged 3), now going into P2 and she loves it. DH and I do too, it's a very friendly and nurturing environment with emphasis on older children helping younger ones. Teachers are recruited worldwide from UK, Australia and South Africa and are fab. Headmistress knows all the kids and parents by name, and meets all the school buses every morning. Dover follows the UK curriculum but celebrates all the local festivals and, of course, mandarin is taken from age 3.

If you've got any questions, just ask.

TilGT Sat 27-Aug-11 22:57:13

Thanks so much, I shall go and see dover. I think I didn't consider because their website has been down for the last week. The headmistress knowing all the children by name is definitely a school that sounds like our cup of tea.
Thx

acatcalledbob Sun 28-Aug-11 01:14:42

The website is down and I think this is pretty bad. I had thought about mentioning it in the office when I go in on the first day of term (wanted school term dates last week and couldn't get them).

Dover isn't as "glossy" as Tanglin or UWC that have climbing walls, huge theatres and music departments that could show UK universities a thing or two... but it has a running track and huge sports field, 25m pool (all kids swim every week of the school year and this is the only school I know of that does this) and a great school hall with stage. I have a friend who was put off by the layers of paint on the bannisters and the fact that it's an old building but we didn't consider it that important when compared to the quality of teaching, the care and the feeling of the school.

A small point, but there is also a dedicated special needs department (children with special needs have their own therapist) but for school trips, productions, sports days, concerts, assemblies etc, all children are together. Every time they sing happy birthday in assembly, all kids know the sign language and do the actions - makes me cry. We want DD to grow up accepting that everyone is different and has different strengths and this environment does just that.

TilGT Tue 30-Aug-11 21:13:11

Thanks acatcalledbob, really interesting, I'm much more interested in the feel rather than a high gloss finish, iykwim...

begonyabampot Tue 06-Sep-11 17:14:42

Only one I totally ruled out was OFS, can't believe they get away with charging what they do for what they provide. It is huge (in numbers anyway) and very run down looking. The classes were small and over crowded and soulless, didn't even have interactive whiteboards. I really wanted to like it and as it would have solved all our problems but it was awful, I was really shocked.

leavingnwlondon Fri 27-Jan-12 09:16:48

Hi
Im leaving London to go to Singapore May/June this year. Sounds like Im having all the same dilemas as Bagladywilts and i have the same aged children 5 & 3 so I was just wondering how you got on? Tangling - no chance till 2014. Dover Ct was on my list though.
Most importantly i was wondering whether it was ok starting the kids @ school a month before the holidays? Might it be better to keep them at their own school until the end of the year and then let them enjoy summer holidays before starting fresh in the new school year? Thoughts please

sozzledchops Fri 27-Jan-12 19:37:13

saw OFS recently and would never send the kids there even though it was our favourite (before we actually saw it). It is way overcrowded, dowdy, small classrooms etc. About 6 yrs ago it had about 1500 pupils - now it's approaching 4000. Looks like they just halved the classrooms to give extra rooms and squeezed the same amount of kids in. Visited Tanglin the same day and the difference is amazing though understand about the waiting lists.

Liked Dover Court, small, less pupils, old but with big classrooms, quite good facilities and it has a charm to it and a good accademic reputation. Would also consider the Canadian School but would prefer the one on the East Coast for younger children. Eton House and Chatsworth East are also nice if you are looking for a smaller more intimate school.

londonmoo Thu 08-Mar-12 07:22:01

Me again, have posted on other threads but not this one yet; apologies to those who've already talked to me!

No mention here of ISS, which I'm seriously considering along with Dover. OFS slowly slipping into third place. Any views on ISS International? Would meet all our needs and sounds sweet and intimate yet still academic.

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