Singapore boasts a large expat community and offers a wide choice of world-class international schools. If you’re considering International Schools in Singapore or are still unsure of your choices as an expat or even a resident, it is still crucial to make comparisons across several key criteria when faced with a new school system.
For years now, Singapore, along with Japan, South Korea, Shanghai, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Finland, is placed at or near the top of international leagues which assess children’s ability in reading, Mathematics and Science. This resulted in a considerable sense of achievement in East Asia, Finland and endless awe and admiration in the West.
Now to give you an overview, Singapore schooling options fit into four broad categories:
Perfect for expats and still a viable choice for native citizens, international schools are focused on catering to a diverse culture with no dominant ethnic group or nationality. The mix of international curriculums allows expat children and the entire family to continue and transfer their curriculum quickly. The curriculum is generally a mix of International Baccalaureate (IB), which is divided into Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma (DP), the International Primary (IP) Curriculum as well as the IGCSE.
National Curriculum Schools
This school type emphasizes on reflecting the syllabus to a home country’s education system and curriculum to have easier transitions. Whether you plan to remain in Singapore as a family for quite some time or even an unspecified period, families with intentions to return to their home county prefer keeping the curriculum aligned with the curriculum of their home country. This lets the kids have a smoother transition and minimum learning disruption when transferring between countries, and for older children, allows quicker entry to higher education or universities in their home country.
Hybrid Curriculum Schools
These schools provide a dual curriculum approach, wherein a home country curriculum is combined with international curriculums. Parents will be provided with the option to pick which curriculum to follow based on personal preference.
In many cases, expats choose public schools to get the best possible exposure to the local culture and language for their kids, with added fluency in Mandarin. Singapore’s education system boasts an excellent reputation globally with a specific focus on mathematics and sciences. Families who look to stay in Singapore a long-term may select this option but must be aware that strong competition for places exists. Don’t be surprised by the long waiting lists. Those with Singapore Citizenship and families with Permanent Resident (PR) status get preferential treatment and are placed ahead of foreign nationals without PR status.
There you have it. As always, your choice should depend on your child and your family’s capability and preferences. Choosing between International Schools in Singapore can be daunting, especially with the cost, if it’s a concern. However, selecting the right school for your kid’s continuing education is vital for his current wellbeing and future development.
It will be wise to attend school presentations, acquire brochures, physically visit a school’s campus, talk with other parents, or even go online to get the latest news about a school, or read about their bulletin and/or parent forums.