A Guide to Selecting an International School in Singapore

International schools in Singapore have a lot to offer. Most provide a multicultural environment with students from diverse countries and backgrounds. The curriculums also vary, with some schools providing single-country programs, while others use the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. There is plenty for parents to consider to ensure the international school they choose is the right one for their children.

The location of the school

This is a critical decision because you need to consider the proximity of the school to your home. You do not want to enroll your child in a school that is too out of your way. If you expect to use public transport, it is important to consider the transport network to and from school.

Is your child of school going age? What curriculum has he or she been studying?

If you are relocating to Singapore for work or business, it would help if you considered the education needs of your children. Moving to another country is disruptive enough for a child since he is moving away from the home he has known and his friends. You do not want to compound the situation by sending him to a school with a curriculum he will struggle to adjust to.

What extra-curricular options are available?

Most of the international schools in Singapore provide extra-curricular activities to provide the necessary balance your child needs. If your child is interested in music, which schools can you shortlist that offer music? What about sports? If he loves swimming, which schools have the necessary facilities? Narrowing your search to a couple of schools will make it easier for you to pick one that meets your child’s passion.

What second language options are available, and is it compulsory?

To shorten the list of schools you need to visit to request for a placement for your child, find out the language options, the benefits to your child, and if the lesson is considered compulsory. It is essential to include your child in this decision. You don’t want to force your child to learn French when he is interested in German. You may choose to provide guidance based on the benefits of the language you think will be most beneficial to your child in the future.

Find out if there are parental involvement programs

Sometimes a parent needs to interact with the students and staff of the school to be sure that the choice made is right. If you do not have a tight schedule and are looking to be more involved in your child’s school, you could find out if there are programs parents can be involved in. Besides learning more about the school, this is an excellent opportunity for parents to meet new people.

Does the school have excursions to expose students to different cultures?

Although international schools have students of various nationalities, some organize visits to multiple countries in a bid to further provide exposure for the students. Learning about different countries and communities is significant for student development. Having volunteer programs is common in international schools. If this something you and your child are interested in, find out if such a program exists.

If you are looking for schools before relocating, you can find out what people have to say about the school online. If your family and friends have lived in Singapore before, ask for their advice when it comes to some of the schools they would recommend for your child.