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British school Singapore

(53 Posts)
dxbtosg Wed 25-Mar-15 18:46:43

I am looking for recent information on British curriculum schools. Tanglin has long waiting list so I have narrowed it to Dover and Dulwich. I like the small school feeling of Dover, on the other hand the academics at Dulwich is very admirable. Any thoughts will be much appreciated.

TakeMeUpNorthMountain Thu 26-Mar-15 20:44:06

Hi there. I was about to start a similar thread! We're moving to Singapore in July. We've put applications in to Dover Court and are considering Dulwich College. A friend in Singapore is about to start working there and is really impressed by it.

How old are your children? When will you arrive in Singapore?

dxbtosg Fri 27-Mar-15 10:49:55


I have a 7 yr old son. Yours? we arrive in summer. It's so confusing to make all these decisions.

papooshka Fri 27-Mar-15 11:37:34

I have friends with kids at both schools and they are all happy so its down to personal choice really…are you able to do a recce before you move? Location wise Dover is much more central. Dulwich is further from town but most kids take the school bus.

TakeMeUpNorthMountain Fri 27-Mar-15 13:02:13

Hi dxbtosg. Our son is 5 so will go into year one. Our daughter is 3 and will go to nursery. Yes, yes, so hard re decisions. I cannot believe I am choosing their schools over the internet! And planning a life in a place I have only visited once on an extended stopover! Craziness.

All the best for your move. Hope you get the school thing sorted. From what I've read and heard, both sound like good schools.

Are you on Facebook? There is a group called the Real Wives of Singapore. Sounds a bit much but it's been really helpful to ask questions and start to plan the move.

Laptopwieldingharpy Sat 28-Mar-15 02:07:53

singapore expat wives also on FB. It can feel like a parallel universe on there sometimes but good for practical questions.
Just stay away from the AIBU style post on helpers etc......

tiredvommachine Sat 28-Mar-15 04:06:16

Singapore is gorgeous, I went there last year whilst 6 months pregnant.
lucky OP!

dxbtosg Sat 28-Mar-15 10:46:30

My gut instinct is telling me to go with Dover, i love the small school feeling of it. Besides it's more central so easier for the rest of family. I have a 2 yr old as well, need to sort out nursery for him as well. Any suggestions?

dxbtosg Sat 28-Mar-15 10:48:35

I guess so, but as exciting a new location is, it brings much stress too, maybe in few months ill be counting my blessings smile

papooshka Sat 28-Mar-15 12:00:37

The Children's Place is a fab nursery. Both my kids went there, it's not too big, lots of outdoor space and the teachers are lovely. We miss it still!

Christinayangstwistedsister Sat 28-Mar-15 15:06:12

Dover is a lovely little school, with spacious grounds and a central location

Dullwich has more facilities and would be better if staying for high school

We have recently left singers so feel free to pm me

dxbtosg Sun 29-Mar-15 11:51:15

Takemeup, which school are you leaning towards?

TakeMeUpNorthMountain Sun 29-Mar-15 22:35:26

dxbtosg, I'm leaning towards Dover as my DS is currently at a very small independent school at the moment and I think that would be a smoother transition for him. Also the central location as DH will be working downtown near Marina Bay.

But, I was just emailed by a friend of a friend who has a son at Dulwich and they are very happy there.

Really I think we'd be happy with both and it will be whomever offers us a place first! They can both guarantee us a place for my daughter (age 3) but not for my son.

TakeMeUpNorthMountain Sun 29-Mar-15 22:40:22

Laptopweildingharpy has the correct name for the FB group I am a member of too. I'm clearly just making stuff up smile
But helpful just to get you thinking about stuff like mail redirection, shipping costs, how on earth we will cope with the heat.....

I think I would really prefer Dover as it is more established in Singapore and I have read so many good things about it (albeit from complete strangers off the internet). My kids are too young to be concerned about facilities just yet.

dxbtosg Mon 30-Mar-15 05:32:04

I am on that FB group, it's quite interesting. another reason I'm leaning towards Dover is the recent acquisition by Nord Anglia, i see from the Dover Fb page that they are making lots of infrastructural changes, so hopefully they will bring it upto the mark.

Laptopwieldingharpy Mon 30-Mar-15 06:05:01

My twopence worth.
Dover is lovely and nurturing and well established, or was so far.
I would not see its acquisition by Nord Anglia as great news in the short term. Why could it not stand on its own?
Structural changes and curriculum changes likely to happen in the transition & possibly management & staff turnover, new school culture, transitioning into IB ( not a great thing in my book in primary/MYP).
Dulwich on the other hand is a well oiled machine now.
( have no first hand experience though, left singapore 4 years ago and mine were in Tanglin).
Sorry don't mean to confuse you more but I would be asking these questions.

Laptopwieldingharpy Mon 30-Mar-15 06:40:24

Bah! your little one is only 3! sorry, the above doesn't matter too much at this stage.
I would take the place at Dover and keep your options open with applications at Dulwich and Tanglin. Waitlists at Tanglin are NOT hopeless ( we have been on tanglin's for 4 years pending a possible return and update them every year early march, there are a lot like us with priority + people who move out of Singapore & those who move on to UWC). They have a debenture system now though. Is it out in the open or still all hush hush?

dxbtosg Mon 30-Mar-15 07:29:32

That's a fair analysis, though I'd be ok with some chaos if transition is for better and it doesn't upset kids much.
UWC comes up a lot but I'm very confused on that one. It seems to be following K 12 curriculum, I have no understanding of it, and if the kids move back, will it hinder them settling back to the British curriculum. Appreciate your feedback alot.

Laptopwieldingharpy Mon 30-Mar-15 09:20:20

UWC is "the" school for long term expats & locals who have another passport and can afford to send their kids there.
It has a long standing reputation for academic excellence but in my opinion there is more magical thinking in that reputation than actual fact when you compare it to other schools like Tanglin or Dulwich for instance.
It's just that it is the longest established IB program, high proportion of high achieving parents with connections to Ivy league colleges in the US, "we are in a class of our own - reproduction of the elites kind of mentality" etc etc.....
I personally loath that kind of mindset but it does produce good results.
I know dozens of people there, don't get me wrong, very very well turned kids but there you go, there is a mindset within the parent community ( many of whom I do count as my friends).

IB is not subject based so schools have a wide latitude on content ( you need to research IB to make up your mind). In broad strokes, a school with a very solid reputation and faculty like UWC will certainly deliver a solid basic literacy and numeracy foundation similar to UK key stages and stream ( and push) kids appropriately if so inclined.
I would hold my breath on a school that was newly transitioning to IB as the primary years program if not properly delivered by experienced teachers can leave you open to gaps at the end of primary.
That said, since Dover has been delivering a standard UK curriculum so far I don't expect it would be too much of a problem. Tanglin did that very well a few years back. As long as existing admin and faculty are are valued in the transition period.

I really don't think you can go wrong with any of the schools you are looking at right now. And you certainly do have time on your hands as you are still a couple of years from Y1 when all those thing really start to matter. You still have time to play the waitlist game. You can move them when you have more clarity on your mid-long term plans and if you feel the bigger through train schools are more appropriate for your situation.

We really tend to overthink things when they are so little. Just secure a place where you feel you belong as a family and take it from there.

TakeMeUpNorthMountain Mon 30-Mar-15 11:38:29

Good to hear that Tanglin wait lists are not hopeless. I didn't think we had a chance.

caramelgirl Mon 30-Mar-15 14:01:01

Had a tour around Dover today and visiting Dulwich tomorrow and Tanglin Weds. The acquisition by Nord Anglia (which I think christinayang flagged up to me on another thread- thanks) seems to be a big part of the sales pitch. But, as far as I could tell, it means new uniform, a school TV and radio station and a Nord Anglia Olympics for gifted athletes.
The shift to IB seemed to involve thematic learning rather than teaching subjects in silos and all teachers will undergo retraining. Unsure if this would impact their staff turnover.
We are hoping for a year 1 place in August but yet to make a final decision (about anything, even moving as that feels like a gamble if no school places).
Good luck <mops brow, returns it to furrowed position>.

dxbtosg Mon 30-Mar-15 17:17:25

Is Dover shifting to PYP? I thought IB was being introduced in Secondary stage only.

Laptopwieldingharpy Tue 31-Mar-15 06:25:56

You are right, only seniors for now!

caramelgirl Tue 31-Mar-15 06:35:51

I don't knkw, when the (tbf v rehearsed) spiel was being delivers they talked about elements of IB being immediately introduced and working towards full IB.
Just back from looking around Dulwich. A very different beast. I liked it more than I expected to (and Dover Court less) but hard to know how much that actually translates yo the schools. Didn't like the ongoing works which are running until 2016/17 I think.
Anecdotally seems to be more people happy with Dover Court than Dulwich in my friends of friends circle.

dxbtosg Wed 01-Apr-15 03:44:33

Oh that's something I didn't expect , I'm not a big fan of PYP, I'm having second thoughts now. thinking thinking thinking.

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