International schools have progressed to become the preferred education option over other categories of schools. Various reasons contribute to this, the most important of them being the high standards of curriculum offered and its uniformity and acceptance across different geographies. In today’s globalized world, families are more mobile than ever, shuttling across countries for better job prospects. Also, the aspiration for good quality education takes students across borders. Therefore, parents want to give an advantageous head start to their kids by enrolling them in international schools as early as possible. Singapore is a multicultural cosmopolitan nation and it is here that one can experience what the best international schools have on offer.
What is an international school?
Not all schools named “International” are international in the true sense. So, remember to do your research before shortlisting a school! An international school offers an IB, Edexcel or Cambridge curriculum. In the Singapore context, an international school is one that offers a curriculum other than its national curriculum.
Choose the ideal curriculum
Local Schools in Singapore offer the state curricula, while the International ones offer IB, Cambridge, Edexcel, American, French and Indian Curriculum. Choose the one that best suits your child’s present and future prospects. The IB curriculum is one of the most sought after programmes. International schools like the Canadian International School offers the IB programme through the Primary, Middle and High School levels. This school also offers the Bilingual Programme in English and Chinese apart from innovative and research backed teaching methodologies (Read more about their STEAM programme).
Visit the school in person
A whole lot of information gathering can happen online or by reading the school prospectus and getting reviews, but a personal visit to the school campus can open your mind and ease the decision-making process. Look at the school’s infrastructure and talk to teachers and students if you can. This will help you get a real understanding of the school’s facilities and teaching philosophy. Spending some time on the campus can help ascertain things that may not be available online! This may be a time-consuming activity, but is worth the efforts.
Know your child
Parents are the ones who best understand their child. So, it is crucial that they assess the child’s personality and readiness for a school. A young school kid may be hesitant to join a new bigger school; a child with a flair for sports or arts may flourish better in school that offers opportunities and encouragement in these areas over and above academics; and a French child may feel at home in a school offering French curriculum.
Choosing the right school is a decision that varies from family to family. Factors like economic situation, entrance criteria of each school, teaching and parenting philosophy play a major role in the decision making. It is good to know that schools today are actively programming themselves to new research and data which suggest that a holistic approach to teaching is the right way to educate the next generation. International schools are the quickest to respond in this regard and therefore considered the most progressive.