How to choose an international school in Singapore: K-12 education guide

Singapore has become a premier destination for expatriates – it features a strong, high-tech economy that offers professionals the potential to fulfil rewarding careers, and has many of the amenities that international families crave. Parents who are relocating to Singapore are often very concerned about the quality of schools.

Fortunately, there are many excellent education options to choose from in Singapore. The government in Singapore is dedicated to ensuring that students have the best education possible in a safe and secure environment. The Ministry of Education (MoE) oversees all public schools, while the Committee for Private Education (CPE) is a regulatory authority for private schools in Singapore. OWIS has created a detailed resource that is designed to make the process of selecting a school as easy as possible. This guide for K-12 education in Singapore will provide insight into choosing the best school for your child in Singapore.

Some of the topics that our K-12 education guide delves deeply into include:

● Demographics in Singapore — While nearly 60 percent of the population in Singapore hails from southeastern Asian countries, another 40 percent consists of international residents from other continents. This is important for parents to understand as they select a school for their child. Having classrooms composed of students from a range of backgrounds teaches our children the importance of cultural awareness, diversity and in turn readies them to becoming global citizens. It also gives them the opportunity to improve their language skills.

● Educational Trends in Singapore — Both domestic and international educational trends influence the opportunities for students in Singapore. Preparing students to be future leaders, innovators and forward thinkers is an essential part of the education system in Singapore. For this reason, developing research skills and technology usage are important components of their education. Non Cognitive skills such as perseverance, cross-cultural awareness and cooperation are prioritised, as well as activities such as sports, arts and music, ensuring our students gain a holistic education. This guide helps parents understand the trends that are taking shape, and how they impact the educational systems in Singapore.

● The Government’s Role in Education in Singapore — The government in Singapore recognises the importance of education, and provides funding for all educational levels in the community for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. They ensure that their goals for children’s development are reached across Singapore and that all students have the opportunity for the best education possible.The Singapore educational structure consists of early childhood education, primary school and secondary school.

● Schooling Options in Singapore — The three main types of schools in Singapore are public schools, private schools and international schools. Expatriate families often find that international schools are the ideal option for them, as they allow students to adjust quickly to life in Singapore. These schools also offer a range of different teaching and curricula options which allows parents to select the most appropriate educational pathway for their children. These schools often are easier for their children to integrate into as their curriculum is interchangeable with schools across the world. There will be a huge amount of diversity within the school, and children are able to experience a true multi-cultural society.

● Overview of International schooling in Singapore – There are different types of school curricula offered by international schools – some are internationally-recognised, while others are national-curricula. Other criteria to consider when choosing a school in Singapore are the costs of various international schools, additional programmes offered, the skills developed and the qualifications of the teaching staff. It is important for parents to know what funding options there are, and if there is the option to select add-ons such as sports and extracurricular activities. Some of the challenges and concerns of parents when looking for an international school are also addressed in our K-12 educational options in Singapore guide.

The Best Education Options for Expatriate Families in Singapore

Many expatriate families find that an international school is the best educational option in Singapore. Those who are relocating from another country will find that an international school, such as One World International School, allows for an easy transition from one school to another. Our teachers are able to quickly integrate new children into their classrooms, often having had the experience of working in different countries and cultures themselves. OWIS ensures that children are made to feel confident and welcomed into their new classroom from Day 1 and their transition to a new school is as smooth as possible.

OWIS offers internationally-recognised curricula such as the IB PYP (International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme), the Cambridge IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) and the IB DP (International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme) which many international students are familiar with. As these educational programmes are prevalent across the world, the integration into the school becomes seamless, making the move for children less daunting as they will feel confident that they can continue where they left off.  In addition, OWIS has a multicultural student body, with students from over 70 nationalities, which helps expatriate families to feel welcome and accepted in their new school environment.

Whether you are planning to move to Singapore for a short-term stint or you intend to stay for many years, you will want to do significant research on the education options in Singapore before you select a school for your child. The OWIS e-book, K-12 Education in Singapore, is the ideal resource for families who are looking to relocate to the area.

Download K-12 education guide today.

This blog was originally written in collaboration with Jasween Gill, former Admissions and Communications Director, OWIS Nanyang and Suntec. 

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