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Recommendations for singapore schools?

(13 Posts)
ashlynneaway Sun 09-Mar-14 13:53:47


We will be moving to Singapore in August of this coming year. We are Canadian but have been living abroad for 7 years and have no plans to go back anytime soon. We have two children, a boy who will just have turned 6 when we arrive and a girl who will be 2. Our biggest concern is finding a school for our boy. We apparently have a bit of time to visit schools once we have settled in for our little girl as most seem to have places still for 2015. Places seem to be very limited already for August, and it is so hard to get a real feeling for the schools before visiting.

We are leaving for a visit this week and have booked appointments at Tanglin (wait list places only), Stamford American School, Sing American School (concerned about the distance?) the Canadian School (lakeside, but we will also visit the other campus), Avondale and we are considering visiting Dover Court, ISS and Etonhouse.

Our son is a very creative child who spends all of his free time drawing and building "cities" with anything he can find around the house. He is quite a sensitive little boy and we feel he would do better in a smaller school with a more one to one approach. He is not competitive about academics and neither are we. Our belief is that learning should be fun and we want to avoid a high stress environment for him where the kids are pushed to study all of the time.

Any insight or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance

butterfliesinmytummy Sun 09-Mar-14 14:52:51

We left singapore last summer after 5 years there. Both our girls went to Dover court and loved it. Our eldest was there from nursery to year 3 and our youngest did a year of nursery. It is a very gentle, nurturing school, smaller than the others you mention. There is a lot of consideration for others and it's a good community. I would recommend that you visit. It's not a flashy campus but that's not what we looked for in a school. I have friends with kids at tanglin, Canadian, Stamford and American schools too who are all very happy there.

Pupsiecola Sun 09-Mar-14 17:29:37

Be wary of the larger international schools for your son. He sounds a bit like my son who was 7 when we moved to Singapore. He was very unhappy at school there. Lots of stress and pressure and expectation re academics and he's more the creative, free-spirited type. Go and see them all but look beyond the marketing, the hype and the facilities. If I had my time again I'd have visited Dover Court as I think it would have suited him much better. Although I understand it's not so good for the older kids and I have an older one too and I wanted them at the same school.

Good luck.

roomwithoutaroof Mon 10-Mar-14 11:25:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MasterOfTheYoniverse Mon 10-Mar-14 13:34:59

Re Dulwich, they WILL have a waitinglist…if only to keep up with the joneses. lots of boarders trying to escape the PR rules of residency making 12+ boys eligible for military service unless they leave the country before 13….
But they WILL also favor the farangi.
Not much feedback but surely cant be bad consiering the fees and overall reputation.

UWC is totally Indian/asian-British-high-achieving-deposit-rich professionals-who-want -to-stay-among-their-kind-type-of-people. Dont believe-the-hype.
They are-no-better-than-the-rest. The parents are usually Ivy league educated and or well connected.
If you are looking for a truly multicultural peer group, that kumons to the max, goes skiing to Niseko if not St moritz/Aspen….
TBH, if I were to return to singapore that would be my N.1 priority….for older academic kids.

Tanglin is holier-than-thou-PTA-queenbees-stuck-in-the-post-raj-era. British club, white linens etc….Am hugely generalising but just about.
Very very very cute proper unifoms….really really good primary years program if you are planning to go back to the UK.
But totally insular & nombrilistic

St Joseph's is a good allrounder for permanent residents but TBH you would have to buy into that ethos.

The rest are normal people, trying to do the best they can. Than includes the very cool australian school & avondales, the very adequately achieving SAS and stamford american school if you are so inclined on the curriculum and size as well as the once stellar canadian primary years program which we don't hear much of lately….

Dover court always gets very good feedback….for littler ones.

Depends how much academics/ mandarin or SN mater for you…, how old are your children etc….

The only school that matters is the one that is right for your child.

roomwithoutaroof Mon 10-Mar-14 13:51:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Schmedz Tue 11-Mar-14 20:31:11

Please expand on your experience/views of UWC as I am considering working there and sending my children! Is the enormous size of the school a real barrier to personal attention within classes?

MasterOfTheYoniverse Wed 12-Mar-14 00:35:54

Don't get me wrong, UWC is a very good school. What I was trying to illustrate is the demographics. In my experience, the right fit in terms of peer group matters as much as pure academics.

UWC delivers consistently on academics and its primarily geared up towards grooming their alumni to continue to US/Ivy league unis.
It is truly multicultural and is a perfect fit for mixed families, long term expats who themselves in the vast majority come from a very affluent/high achieving background.

As I teacher, I would expect it is a great job, albeit maybe a bit intense having to deal with very involved (in a good way!) parents.

For the children, the pressure is definitely on but it is a very well rounded place with lots of sports/arts/great facilities.

It remains firmly on top of the priority lists for long term expats and a very sizeable chunk of kids who start out in the fantastic Tanglin primary move on to UWC in the middle years. There is something more wrdly about UWC that obviously appeals to those who are unlikely to return to the UK public/boarding school system.

I would certainly take the job and the school place for your children.

TerrorAustralis Wed 12-Mar-14 10:49:05

Schmedz I have heard that UWC works its teachers very hard. Be very clear about what is expected of you in addition to regular classroom teaching before accepting.

Schmedz Wed 12-Mar-14 19:24:56

Thanks ... Am used to working hard so that won't be any different, but I don't want to put my children in a pressured environment and certainly don't plan on any university in the US, but perhaps they might like the idea...
Lots to think about (if they offer me a job!) as 'thinking about working there' is completely optimistic at the moment grin
and I've decided to let youngest finish primary school next year before accepting any work abroad...

Cerisier Thu 13-Mar-14 15:04:02

Very few move from Tanglin to UWC after Y6 these days. A few go to UK boarding schools at the end of Y8 but most stay on. UWC doesn't suit everyone as not everyone is smitten with the IB.

The UWC package for teachers is good (though the best one is that offered by SAS) but they do expect their pound of flesh. For example all the teachers have to give up a week of their holiday during the year to supervise a school trip.

Plenty of the UWC students go to university in the UK, it is not just the US they go to.

MrsThor Sat 15-Mar-14 10:10:48

dover doesn't have some of the impressive facilities as other, but it is small and not as competitive its sounds ideal for your son another thing to consider is travel...depending on where you stay dulwhich can be pretty far out it is likely that your little one will get school bus so its good to think about your location so that they are on the bus for the minimum amount of time

dancingnancy Sat 15-Mar-14 18:04:45

Really liked the small, personal feel of Dover Court. It had a old dusty charm about it and the grounds seemed quite spacious for the amount of pupils. The Canadian school in the East Coast also had a good vibe and not too big. Chatsworth East and Eton House might also be worth looking at.

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