Singapore is home to one of the best school systems in the world, and international schools, such as GESS Private Primary School, that provide an excellent opportunity for expat families to ensure their child’s future success. By providing internationally recognised curriculum and a diverse community of new cultures and ideas, these schools are ideal for families that will continue their adventure through life in other countries. However, finding the right school is not an easy task, but with some research, your family will be able to find an institute that is ideally suited for your child’s educational goals.
Experience – Reading about the experience of a child in a particular school or hearing it from a friend will give you greater assurance if your child will be safe attending the same school. The school’s reputation, online testimonials and the experience of the teachers and staff is a good measurement of the school’s standards.
Diversity – Early childhood is an ideal time to expose children to new ideas, different cultures and different ways of life, allowing them to have an easier time adapting to change. When researching schools, get a sense of the school’s ethos and what types of values they instill in students. Schools that cater to a wide variety of cultures, without a dominant nationality or ethnic group, provide students with a rich learning environment in human experience.
Class Size – Teachers with large class sizes struggle to provide students with the individual attention that they need. In the primary school years, it is especially important that students receive this type of specific attention in the learning environment to ensure that they get the most out of their learning experience and don’t develop any misconceptions about the material. Look into schools that offer smaller class sizes, and learn about the average teacher turnover rate. When you meet with teachers, pay close attention to their enthusiasm and if they seem genuinely happy to be teaching at the school.
Curriculum – The curriculum is a fundamental issue that can make a big difference in your child’s future. Most expat parents prefer schools that offer curriculum from their home country, and it is important that the material is age appropriate yet challenging for your child. Finding a school that prepares primary students for IB material is a great way to ensure they will be prepared for any school around the world. In addition to the core curriculum, ask the school about extra-curricular programmes and afterschool opportunities. When searching for the right primary school for your child, a proper tour is necessary to get a feel for the institution and its approach to education. If you are moving to the country, it may be tempting to do the majority of your research online before you arrive, and while that research will be helpful in determining which schools you want to visit, you should make sure to visit the school in-person prior to enrolling your child. Only by visiting the facilities and talking with educators and administrators in person can you truly get a feel for the school and how your child will fit in with the culture of the institution.
By asking questions about the experience of students at the school, the cultural makeup of the student population, the size of classes, and the core curriculum, you will likely have the right amount of information to make an informed decision about the quality and fit of the school.