The struggle of having to move and adapt to a new country and lifestyle can be harsh for families. One of the most critical aspects that expats or international families coming to stay in Singapore is finding the right school for their children. However, fret not, this article helps expat parents in Singapore to know where to start for searching the right private schools in Singapore for their children.
First Time Expat Parents in Singapore – Must-Know Guide
The curriculum of Mainstream Schools in Singapore
The mainstream schools, also known as neighborhood schools in Singapore, are schools that follow the Singapore National Curriculum. The locals here call the Singapore National Curriculum, the MOE syllabus. The MOE syllabus is crafted and curated by the Ministry of Education Singapore. It is designed specifically for the citizens of Singapore.
For instance, mainstream primary and secondary schools in Singapore requires all students to take Mother Tongue Language. It is compulsory for all students unless one has a suitable reason to be exempted. Additionally, subjects like Social Studies are introduced for Singaporean students to learn specifically about Singapore culture and history. This is part of the government’s efforts to build a cohesive nation by educating the young.
Hence, expat parents and children may not find mainstream schools suitable for their children. This makes private schools in Singapore the best option for their children. However, should any expat families find enrolling in a Singapore school more fitting, the mainstream schools in Singapore always welcome you!
Private Schools in Singapore
The curriculums offered by private schools offer a range of international curriculums such as IGCSE and IB. Expat parents may find these curriculums more fitting for their children.
Private Schools in Singapore Enrolment
Private schools in Singapore provides priority for expat and foreigners as compared to Singapore local students. In other words, your children do not have to worry about competing with the locals for a spot in a Private School. However, this cannot be said about the mainstream schools in Singapore.
Private schools, in general, maybe more fitting for expat families as these international schools are meant to bring the same kind of education your child had back at home.
Here are several considerations you should look into when choosing the right private school in Singapore for your child.
3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Private School in Singapore
1 – Curriculum offered by Private Schools in Singapore
Students should look for a curriculum offered by private schools in Singapore that allows continuity from their previous curriculum. For instance, if you were taking the IGCSE curriculum back home, then you should consider continuing your IGCSE here in Singapore. There are many private schools in Singapore that offer the IGCSE curriculum. You can find a complete list of IGCSE schools in Singapore here.
Aside from offering continuity and smooth transition, the private school offers the next step of education for students. For example, if you are looking to transition to the IB MYP after the completion of IGCSE, you should find a school that offers the respective curriculums.
2 – School Environment
A school’s environment is important as your child will be spending a lot of time. Moreover, ex-pat children face new challenges as they move to a foreign country and start anew. Expat children will need to readjust to a new school and make new friends. Hence, finding a private school that offers a sense of belonging and a comfortable environment to these children can help them to adapt quickly and settle into the environment faster.
Aside from finding private schools in Singapore that bring comfort to their children, parents should also consider a few school environment factors before choosing the right private school for their child. Some factors that contribute to a school’s environment are its teachers, its resources such as facilities for extra curricula activities, and most importantly, the availability of subjects.
Subjects offered to students in private schools are often limited by the facilities available in the school. Therefore, parents and children should ensure that the school has the required facilities to aid and help their children grow academically.
Above all, the school’s facilities should also be sufficient for your child to grow their other interests outside of academics. If your child has an interest in Rugby, parents should consider a school that is able to offer Rugby or something similar for their children.
Besides the physical aspect of a school’s environment, parents should also learn more about the school’s core values and culture. This helps to put parents’ minds at ease knowing that the private school their children are attending provides well-rounded education development for their students and supports their students in everything they do.
3 – Future path
Aside from focusing on the present, parents must also consider their children’s future academic plans. For instance, is the family intending to move again? Otherwise, what is your child intending to do as a future career? Knowing about your child’s interests as well as their future plans can help with the choice process.
For instance, if your child is looking to further their studies abroad at their dream university in their dream course, perhaps your child needs to do a little research. Your child should find out the entry requirements to the university. Then, find the right private school in Singapore that can help them meet the criteria.
Already knowing your destination in your academic path can help you to choose the right curriculum and private school in Singapore.
In a nutshell, expat families should not rush into choosing a private school for their children. It is important to do sufficient research and let your child be a part of the discussion. As ultimately, it is them who will be attending the school for the next few years of their lives.
Read also: What Is Homeschooling: All you need to know as Parents and Students