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.

Merlion Thu 08-Mar-12 09:18:19

London my neighbour's eldest is there and she is just applying to send the next one and put youngest on the list. She really likes it especially she says for the early years. Her son is 7. She's a teacher herself from Sweden. I don't know much else about it but happy to have another chat with her if you want.

Hello again!
I was going to broach the subject on the other thread.

Oddly, that is the one school i have never ever head anything about.
In 4 years, never met anyone with children there, never came up in a conversation!
Not even sure what curriculum?

londonmoo Thu 08-Mar-12 12:28:56

Merlion, that would be a help, yes please. harpy, it follows international IB syllabus, small, central (nr Orchard), got a bit of greenery around it, happy smiling kids from what I can see on website and very friendly emails to and fro with admin. Cordial feedback from Dover Court, but just that bit more warmth from ISS. Plus I do wonder: do I just extend DS's British schooling overseas, or do I dip his toes into the globe a bit more by going the international route.

Two lovely choices, anyway.

ISS comes up all the time on (scary) expat forum, notsomuch here. Stands to reason, really, as MN will be more Brit-centric.

londalion Wed 14-Mar-12 13:00:58

We applied for Tanglin before we got here. When a place came up, I finally got around to visiting and was very disappointed. In fairness to Tanglin, I think it was because I was expecting a prep school, rather than a state school with flashy facilities. So, I looked around UWC Dover (didn't like it for a 4 year old, too much of a concrete jungle), Dover Court (wasn't convinced by the teachers I spoke to), UWC East, OFS (too many speakers of ESL, poor teachers) and St Joseph's International. Our decision to go with SJII was pretty instantaneous, even though it meant losing the 2,000 odd $ we'd already given Tanglin. Small school, caring environment, I liked the IPC curriculum, Mandarin every day, the children were very international and seemed well behaved and polite. I also think it's less transient than Tanglin, as there are many more PRs' kids there.

Although I'm not sure I'd send my children to the high school, as it seems much more Singaporean and therefore pressurised, we've been very happy with the elementary school over the last couple of years and haven't regretted the decision to turn down the place at Tanglin (we could also have gone to UWC East).

As I was already here when shopping around and had some experience of the kids attending the various schools, I didn't even consider ISS, as it seemed to be very Euro-centric, even more so than OFS. To be brutally honest, most Brits go for Tanglin, UWC or SJII. I know of some that treat the Canadian School and OFS as a 'holding school' whilst places at the others come up.

If you're coming from left-field, I hear the German School isn't bad. I know a couple of teachers in the European section who obviously think it's good!

The French school is the cheapest if that's important, but I think the bilingual section is very over subscribed, even with French passport holders.

The Ozzie school always seems to have places, but it's in Serangoon and is definitely less academic than UWC, Tanglin and SJII - maybe just in the early years as they seem to start proper schooling later.

londalion Wed 14-Mar-12 13:11:02

PS UWC has just changed its entrance policy, so there is no longer a waitlist. Not quite sure how this is going to work with people who've been on the list for a couple of years, but it should mean a better chance for people who are coming to Singapore afresh. Word on the street it's to mix up the nationalities a bit more, there is talk of UWC East getting 'very Indian'. Not sure exactly what people meant by that, but from mumblings I surmised that parents found the amount of extra tutoring / enrichment classes after school that many kids were undertaking off putting. Who knows.
Don't be traumatised by the Tanglin list if that's what you've decided you want, the lists do seem to move, esp if you have British passports.
I think the waiting lists at SJII might be closed, as they only have 4 classes per year. But this may just be a rumour.
I realise I didn't mention Avondale. It is fairly new and has a very small campus. Have heard mixed reviews, but I do know a couple of families that have transfered from the Canadian School and prefer it. Seems to an outsider to be more play-based in the EY programme - maybe the Aussie influence?

londonmoo Thu 15-Mar-12 06:26:35

Wow, Londalion, that's very comprehensive, thank you.

We are still going for DC - not having the chance to get out there before we apply we are having to make the application and then DH will get out there and do a visit of various schools but it will be more to confirm the various good things we have heard about Dover (into which we will have booked). If he decides it's rubbish then, as you did, we will just have to ditch the deposit and go with whatever second choice he finds. Would never normally choose a school unseen but then this whole thing is a bit strange, so...

Great info, though. Have heard good things about SJI.

There should be separate file for each school with separate little comments underneath from all of us!

alexsauk Thu 15-Mar-12 07:48:17

I find the Telegraph to be a great resource for this kind of information as we've been looking at Singapore or Australia, they have a dedicated Expat section.

Try visiting www.telegraph.co.uk/Expat and www.expatdirectory.telegraph.co.uk/school they might help.

leavingnwlondon Mon 19-Mar-12 21:35:09

Yes we have booked into Dover court too. My other half visited and was really delighted. I
My daughter starts in reception and my son in year 2 in august 12. London moo which classes will yours be in?

londonmoo Fri 23-Mar-12 00:17:36

Leavingnwlondon, it's me, 'Making the Move' from the other forum, so we've talked off-board: my son will be starting Y3 DC in Aug, sent papers off and just waiting to hear that the job is rubber-stamped. Taking a.g.e.s. Anyway, sorry to miss you last weekend, still can't tell DS about it all and just itching to spread the news. Really wish we could get over there for a rekkie... Hope your plans are coming together.

ZHmum Mon 09-Apr-12 16:41:47

Hello all. I've been reading all the posts with great interest.
We're relocating to Singapore from the UK in time for the August School term. DD is 6, DS is nearly 3 and third one due in about 8 weeks!We recently went on a look see visit to Singapore and I'd pretty much decided on Dover Court prior to the visit.
We went to Dover court, Canadian and OFS. It was pretty much a no-brainer for us as Dover Court ticked all the boxes, Canadian was too big and commercial and OFS even more children and not very appealing generally. So we paid the deposit and secured places for both kids. However , having done that I spotted what seems like a Massive communications tower pretty near the school. Does anyone know what that massive Sing Tel tower is because I am in a major panic thinking its a massive mobile phone transmission base station and therefore not very healthy for the kids. Am really quite upset because it seems like my school search nightmare will have to be re-started.
I ideally wanted a British school as we will most likely return to the UK in a few years. Am I right in thinking DC and TTS are the only british schools? Waiting list at TTS is 100+ looked at Eton House website and they say they use a large component of the British national curriculum however when I spoke to them they said thats not true anymore. Is the IB very different to the British system, silly question but what spellings do the teach children in IB schools is it British English or American? So many questions sorry but am in a bit of a panic at the moment ... pregnancy hormones dont help either Would welcome any advice thanks.

Ukeastcoast40 Fri 28-Sep-12 17:45:38

We have had our child in the Canadian international east coat. I would not recommend it, after 1 year, we have had 2 cases of bullying and an incident of a teacher striking our 7 year old. The bully's seem to be safe to continue and grow into big bullies and it seems encouraged to do o.

LanternFestival Sat 29-Sep-12 09:41:07

As mentioned above, UWC have changed their admissions policy. People who have had their children on the waiting list have priority for this and next year I believe but after that there will be no waiting list. Even so, if you are on the list now, it doesn't guarantee you get a place. You can go online and apply now as applications for Aug 2012 are now open since Monday. However, as a poster mentioned above, there are a few hurdles. UWC want to mix it up a bit more and have a lot more nationality notches on their belt. After all their whole thing is that mixing nationalities brings world peace right? That's what I hear when I hear them sounding off in their presentations anyway. If you are English or Indian you are a bit stuffed as you hold rather a large percentage of the student pie. If you are British and Indian, then perhaps doubly stuffed. They want mixed race children e.g. a Dad from Honduras, Mum from Russia and the kid has been brought up in Zimbabwe. I kid you not, I have heard them give a very similar example and say children like this will get priority to ramp up the stats quicker.

My children attend UWC. It is OK, not blinding. My children have extra reading and maths lessons despite being told that my children are at the top end of the class because they do not cover these subjects well enough. UWC is a good school in many ways, however if I had my time again I would seriously consider SJI, one of the main reasons being that now my children are in school I have realised that literacy and maths are very important to me. SJI use Singapore maths which is one of the best in the world. UWC, on the other hand will turn your child into a philanthropist. Depends on your priorities.

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