The world has been moving into the digital realm for some time, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone to go virtual almost immediately. In Singapore, educators were faced with the same challenges being faced by other teaching professionals around the world. Not only were teachers trying to design innovative and interactive remote learning environments, but administrators also had to create virtual tours that allowed prospective parents and students to learn more about their schools.
Initially, virtual experiences such as school tours seemed like they would be the exception during a trying and tumultuous period, but at One World International School (OWIS), we have found that there is merit to these immersive options.
Advantages of Virtual Tours and Webinars for Expatriate Parents Relocating to or Already in Singapore
- Both parents and their children are able to learn about their new school from the comfort of their home. This can feel less intimidating than an in-person tour and give the entire family an opportunity to become accustomed to the new environment.
- Everyone can feel confident knowing that they are staying safe in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Parents and children are able to get an accurate feel for the atmosphere and culture of the school because they can see the students enjoying daily life inside their classrooms. Unfortunately, due to current COVID-19 restrictions, parents who sign up for in-person tours are only able to view empty classrooms.
- During a virtual tour, parents and students can ask questions of the admissions team and get feedback immediately. During a webinar, parents are able to talk to the academic team about the topic at hand, which helps foster positive relationships in a safe setting.
- Parents can listen to the questions that other tour participants have, which can give them perspective and help them gather more information about the school.
- School tour and webinar participants enjoy a first-level introduction to the school that can be explored further through additional discussions.
- Parents who participate in the tours often feel that they get the clarity they need to make a confident decision about their child’s education.
What to Expect From the OWIS Virtual Tours
At OWIS, we are proud that our virtual tours are not only informative but are also engaging and enjoyable. For expat parents who are already in Singapore or looking to relocate soon, this is what you can expect from our virtual tours:
- A video of the school facilities, including footage of the students enjoying campus life in pre-Covid days (which we hope to return to in the new normal in Singapore).
- A video introduction from some members of the academic staff. These staff members provide detailed information about the teaching methodologies at OWIS, what sets our school apart and why they love teaching here.
- Background information about OWIS and specific information about the school’s philosophy of kindness and respect for diversity.
- Detailed information about the academic pathway that is offered to all learners at OWIS. This pathway — which includes globally recognised qualifications — provides a smooth transition for students who may relocate to their home country or for those who graduate after Grade 12.
- Detailed information about the admissions process at OWIS and the tuition fees. An admissions counsellor is available live on the tour so parents can ask questions and address any concerns they may have.
What to Expect From Our Curriculum Webinars
For in-depth information about specific aspects of the OWIS curricula, prospective parents can enrol in one of our curriculum webinars. We have a variety of curriculum-related webinars available, including those on the IB PYP, the IGCSE, IB DP and the Bilingual Programme. All webinars are hosted by members of the academic team, allowing parents to meet the professionals who are most familiar with these programmes.
Here’s what parents can expect from these webinars:
- Information about the school’s background, mission and core values
- Information about the pillars of each programme
- Information about the focus areas of each programme
- Information about internal and external assessments, including how those assessments are prepared for and conducted
- Recorded videos about the subjects taught within the curriculum
- An opportunity to ask questions and clarify any concerns with the academic team
By the end of the webinar, parents will develop an understanding of whether their child is well-suited to one of those particular programmes.
Next Steps After Virtual Tours and Webinars
After parents complete their virtual tours and webinars, they are free to contact the admissions team for further details, specific to their child and their family. Many parents, however, feel confident enough to begin the enrolment process immediately after finishing their virtual tours and webinars.
This blog was originally written in collaboration with Jasween Gill, former Admissions and Communications Director, OWIS Nanyang and Suntec.