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Places at Singapore schools!(23 Posts)
My husband is in the interview process for a job in Singapore. We have already lived in Asia before children and would love the opportunity to live in Singapore for a few years. We have two primary school age boys and one nursery aged boy. I know that this job will not be an expat package and so unlikely they will pay for schools. I wondered if in this instance companies still are able to guarantee school places in Singapore and also whether even if they don't guarantee school places - we will be able to find places for our children in an international school?
Thanks for any help!
I am moving out with my DH and two DDs (5 and 3) later this year, so have been spending a lot of time looking at international schools and contacting their admissions staff. We are in the same boat as you may be, in that it's not an expat package so we will be paying school fees ourselves.
There are m'netters on here with much more knowledge and experience of these things than me - who have lived/are living in S'pore - but I can tell you what I have discovered so far.
There are two schools that you will read a lot about on forums called Tanglin Trust and UWC. They seem great, but they have very long waiting lists. They couldn't offer DD1 a place until August 2014 at Tanglin, but there are several who have come back to me to say they have a place for her, or have a very short waiting list. Given you are trying to get two children in it might prove trickier, but I'm sure you wouldn't have too much trouble.
We don't want DD1 to have a long commute to school so we are aiming to try and find a condo and a school close together (well, DH will be doing that as he is going out a few months in advance). Not yet sure how feasible that will be yet
Good luck to your DH in his interview!
Forgot to say....not sure that companies 'guarantee' places at international schools. DH's hasn't mentioned that, so I'm guessing they don't, and that stuff is all down to us.
Oh Hi! Thanks for that - it is really useful! Have you found it easy to communicate with the schools or tricky?! Do you mind me asking which schools have offered you places and were they for immediate starts or for a waiting list? I only asked about the guarantee places as it is something that I saw on the Tanglin website and something I know a lot of companies did when we were in Asia before by having debentures at a school. I love Singapore and would love the opportunity to go out there with our family but I'm sure - like you - I do want to know they will be able to go to school?!
Have you got any other tips you have found out along the way??!
Hello ttt, welcome to the crowd.
Not out in Singapore yet and am sure more info will follow from people who know. Started our research into all this when the idea of a move first cropped up back in Feb. Now it's all confirmed and DH has one foot on the plane (leaves on Sunday) and I follow in Aug with our boy who is 7 and will be going into Dover Court Prep School, Y3, in Aug.
We looked at Tanglin - no spaces until Aug 2014. Long wait list with UWC. Plumped for Dover Court and got in 'just in time', was told it was about to start a wait list though not sure if that was accurate...
DH is not on an expat deal with this new role and so no debentures were offered from his work and we are bearing the cost of schooling - no way of jumping the queue, not that I was entirely comfy with doing that anyway, but I asked about it all the same.
Sounds platitude-ish but I would research the school that ticks your boxes and then see what spaces are left. In many ways you might be better off coming out later in the year because you will be between many of the schools' start dates, so they should have a clearer idea of how the wait lists are looking.
Blimey, so many Singapore-bound families! Good luck with it all.
We decided to try to move out after our third holiday visiting friends at Easter. Things moved fast and we move on Thursday! We tried for UWC and Tanglin and are down on the waiting list at UWC. But the boys (9 and 7) are going to the new Stamford American Campus. The school's been there for a while but they're moving this August. It's nowhere near capacity (currently around 650 of possible 2500) but will be ramped up over the coming years to meet demand. That's one of the many things that appealed because my younger son is at a 90 pupil village school here in the UK. So, they have spaces. We also looked at Canadian which a month ago also had spaces. I flew out to look at those three (UWC, CIS and SAIS) because I didn't feel I could choose without it - needed that gut feeling I've learnt to trust.
A company can pay sth like 75k per child for a place at TTS! We too are self-funding.
Will now post about my wobble...
The first thing I have to say is that having 2 or 3 children to register is not always a hinderance. School are as happy as any business to take on 3 deposits & fees in one go. Its not cynical, that's just the way it is. So don't let that scare you.
However you are applying for the most coveted early year groups, so don't delay, start applying today to give you a bit on precedence on the waiting lists.
Briefly on the top 2:
Tanglin now has a debenture system but as you mentioned you are not on an expat package, forking out debentures for 3 kids is not an option I guess?
UWC has also changed their wait list system last year. The lists no longer roll over for years and the East campus is fully operational. Check on their website for updates, they actually do tell you for with year groups they still have vacancies.
Its definitely worth contacting them too, they might have a place in a certain year group you are applying for and then that will give sibling priority to your other children.
Many other good schools. SJI, canadian, Dover, SAS, stamford, Australian, Avondale, OFS to name a few.
Do you have any hang ups about changing systems?
Most International schools run a full IB program me and all the above have consistently sound academic results.
Just call all of them/email and start applying. The application costs are frankly something you should ask the employer to cover as for 3 kids that will add up.
Don't be stressed about talking to the schools. Remember they do it all day long, its their job and its only an emotional issue for you, not them
The job may come with a relocation agent. Some are very good at navigating the school system but they will just point you in the right direction. They can't "shake things up" and find you a place. Unless you pay for a debenture that is.
The children may end up at different schools for the first year but school buses run very efficiently so don't stress out too much about it.
What year group are they if you don't mind my asking?
Hi all, Thanks so much for all that - it really is helpful and we have been really wary about my husband going through to the final interview if it is a waste of everyone's time and there are no school places. In Jan my eldest will be 8 (in UK Year 3), my middle will be 6(In UK Year 2) and 4, (UK Nursery year). I would really like the older two to be at the same school as they are very close in age and good friends and think would be a massive support for each other. I don't have a huge problem with them doing an IB program. I don't know anything about the Australian or Avondale school - do they run IB or an Australian curriculum. I have looked at SAS and really liked the look of it and suppose it may be more likely to have places??
laptopwieldingharpy - does a debenture guarantee a place or just push you up the list - do you know??
Also can anyone tell me - presumably you need to get the school place then look for place to live ?? and how close do most people live to their school?
Any recommendations on condo over a house??
Sorry for all the questions - I am just trying to work out what we need to be taking into account and maybe trying to negotiate in my husband's package?? (of course - providing he actually even gets the job?!)
At TTS you can get either a garanteed placement right or a Standard placement right which only gives you top priority on relevant waitlists.
I know a few families who have homeschooled for a term or 2 in the meantime.
The most oversubscribed years in any school are typically nursery-year3, so again, prepare yourself for the possibility that they may go to different schools the first year.
For your youngest you have the option of choosing a pre-school for the next 2 years, while you wait for a place.
Lock road kindergarden is traditionally a feeder to tanglin and uwc. Its nice and quaint with native speaker teachers. But there are lots of very good ones.
So really I'd say concentrate on the eldest for now.
Australian is IB accredited.
Remember once a child gets in, he'll give sibbling prioroty to the others.
School buses run efficiently from pretty much anywhere to any school.
It would be wise to choose between east and west and opt for residential areas west-north-west if you opt for the canadian, Sas, stamford and australian.
If kids are close and play well together a house is great. They'll make friends in no time and fill it up.
Depending on your budget, you may or not have a proper garden and pool. You will really need them. That's the main draw of the lifestyle change coming to asia, no? There are many condos which are interterraced townhouse but still with full facilities.
Worry, not, accomodation is usually pretty good in singapore, but a bit small for the newest built.
Dulwich will be opening in the next couple of years. Just another to check out and add in the mix. There are lots of excellent pre-schools and kindergartens that take children up to the end of Y1. I would consider one of these ahead of some of the other international schools and wait it out for the best ones/ones you consider to be the best fit. Good luck.
Also another one to consider is Marlborough, Malaysia. Some are commuting each day from Singapore (school bus) come September. You'd probably need to live near the border though.
At this stage - and all my change in August once DH is there and investigating all our options - we are aiming to living in the East so that DH has a short commute, and from there have looked at what schools are in that area. DD1 is only 5 so we don't really want her to spend ages on a bus to school, and ideally I would like to walk her there. DH will start looking at condos and visiting schools and get a better feel for it all. We know Singapore, but not that well so everything may change once he's there!
I have been in touch with the admissions staff via email at Eton House, Chatsworth, and Canadian Internation School (CIS). As it stands now Eton House and CIS have a place for her (although at CIS they have said she would go into Year 2 because she is September born, and as she is only in Reception now in the UK, she would skip Year 1 and go from being the oldest in the year to the youngest....not happy with that!), and Chatsworth have a waiting list. They all came back to me quickly after my initial email and were really helpful, providing lots of helpful information and links to the documentation they require etc.
We are opting for a 3-bed condo in a complex with a pool and tennis court. My in-laws have been living at the Carribean Club at Keppel Bay which is lovely, and has spoilt me now as everything we can afford will probably be a disappointment
There are lots of sites online which show the complex and what is available, but not always the price or photos of the individual apartment, so I think it's something you definitely need to do in person.....no tips for you on that yet, obviously.
When will your DH know if he has the job???
We are not sure when he will find out if he has the job but I would really like to know sooner than later so I can get on with sorting all of this stuff!!! You have all been so helpful.
Bellamummy - when you say you are planning on living in the East - what districts does that mean?
Laptopwieldingharpy - I didn't know about the townhouses so that is really useful info. How long would a child averagely travel by bus to school?
I suppose another option is that we wait in the UK and my husband goes over until we find a school that has places for both the middle and eldest?? It is complicated isn't it?
its not that complicated. Once you start setting things in motion, everything falls into place rather easily.
Its the wait that is a killer! Hope you get a straight answer soon.
School bus journey's are generally not very long as traffic is not ever really horrendous here and no-where is far. Depending on what your DH/you do then personally I would prefer to live closer to work as hours are generally long and at least it would mean you/DH gets home to see the kids in the evening (that said despite proximity to the office it's rare DH gets home before mine go to bed but they are still little). The buses do work really well or the other options are taxis which are still fairly cheap and plentiful or getting a car and driving (assuming you are not working) or MRT or public bus.
As Laptop says newer condos/townhouses do tend to be smaller especially individual room sizes. So older better IMHO.
Bella we have friends at the Caribbean - the facilities are great.
I think you might stand more chance of getting your older son a place as Laptop says early years are really congested. DS is going to SJI in January 2013. It doesn't offer sibling priority though (I'm about to put dd's name down despite the fact we may not be here and she only turned 1 last month ).
My DH called this morning to say that we're moving to Singapore, probably as soon as August. My first step in researching schools has brought me to this thread and now I feel like my head is about to explode...
It all sounds incredibly complicated and having been through a similar experience with Hong Kong schools before, I am dreading the whole process. I need to figure out which schools to visit NEXT WEEK (!) for my 10 year old DD and find a Nursery or Pre School, for my 3 year old DS. It seems the best thing to do is find a school first and then look at housing, am I right?
Once I've calmed down a bit and waded through the various threads regarding schooling, I might have something sensible to add to the conversation. Or at least further questions...
Its nowhere near as bad as HK so relax!
nice to get all this information! We are also planning on moving in January with 3 kids (currently Y3, Y1 and a two years old). We are French but have been living in the UK for a while and will probably stick to the British system, which seems to work very well for our kids.
One question regarding date of birth: my DS is from october 2003 and he is in Y3 (one of the oldest in the class). Would that be any different in Singapore?
That will depend on the school you choose - they all operate different cut offs for entry. If you stick to a British school like Tanglin (if you can get in) then they should stay the same. If you need to take a place somewhere else, they might go up or down a year (although you could always argue they should'nt, if they would've too young, not socially ready etc etc.). Good luck with your move.
Thanks kday! It looks like it is going to be tricky to find a school... and the children are in a school they love right now, quite small (1 or 2 classes only at each level), so moving to a huge school such as Tanglin would be a shock.
We'll see, I am going to start my enquiries seriously in the next few days.
Wondering how you folks got on with your move/school choices. DH been asked to move imminently but has no realistic expectation ref schools. We have a son who is mainstream but has Aspergers, very bright (3yrs ahead in maths, 1 in English). I understand that will limit our choices despite him not needing extra help? He is currently in Y3, daughter Y1 (also a year ahead academically). I understand Dover Court is SEN friendly and TTS much less so. Am in 2 minds about whether this move is feasible.
I don't know much about SEN provision except that most international schools will accept but you do pay an additional fee and any therapy needs (speech, socialisation etc) usually have to be accessed privately (ie you need to take your son to appointments with private providers and pay!). I have friends with a gifted and talented boy who shows some Aspergers tendencies who is really well supported at the Auatralian International School (IB curriculum) but they do need to pay extra - about $3000 on top of the usual fees because he has special needs. Gifted and talented is included in the $28,000 basic fee! HTH.
Hi, i've been lurking on here for a while but looking pretty likely we are moving to singapore in june. Know this postis old but terribletwosomes would be really interested in how your children are getting on at sais. I have a daughter in yr 2 and looking at dovercourt (don't know if availability they haven't replied to any emails i've sent), sais and cis whic has been recommended by hubbie's boss. However, same concern as above, she is just holding her own this yr and would be one of youngest there and i worry that she would struggle. Any advice really gratefully received
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