Q1,2,3,,4: You join a facebook group called "Singapore Expats in Local Schools". Lots of parents there can answer your questions and advise you.flowing wrote:Hello everyone. We are a family of 4 and I am currently in discussions with my employer about relocating to SG this summer. I have done as much research as possible on the primary school topic, but some things are still a bit unclear to me and I will appreciate advice from any fellow parents who had to go through this and will be curious about your views!
While we are considering the option of International Schools, the company is probably not going to pay for it, though the salary itself may allow for this option to be a possibility. On the other hand, if we can go to public school, the money would be a good saving instead, so I really want to explore the option of public schooling, especially with the crazy pricing those days with over 25k SGD per child a year at minimum. My children are 6 (girl) and 8 (boy) years old and should go to the 1st and 3rd grade respectively (we are based in Europe).
So here are the questions!
1. Getting into school - MoE mentions the OPTION of a central test for admission. However it seems to me that its also possible to get their general ok and then apply/get tested directly at the school of choice? Which one is it? To be honest, while both my children speak mandarin (my wife is Taiwanese) they speak no english, so I dont see how the older kid could pass the test. Additionally we would of course like both kids to go to the same school and not have them half a city apart.
2. Is it even remotely realistic to get them into school mid term, given that public schools start in January? We would probably come over late June/early July (trying to make the tax year in SG!). I will likely have an E-pass and kids a DP.
An additional complexity here is the start date.... if they would join mid year, e.g. our older boy who is about to finish 2nd grade - wouldn't make sense for him to join the 2nd half of 3rd grade, because he wouldnt be able to keep up. Should he rather re-join second half of 2nd grade? Daughter would be stuck at home as a to-be 1st grader. Maybe the best thing would be to send them to International School for 6 months until the public schools start.... and catch up with their english skills a bit.
3. How happy are you with the public schools if your children are going there? Is there any recommendation of schools with a higher chance of free spots? How do you even pick a school with no local knowledge. I know I will be working somewhere central (Beach Road-ish), but I dont mind to commute to work.....
4. Did you perhaps have experience with starting out in intl. school (e.g. for a half year or year and half) and then moving over to public school after obtaining PR?
5. Is there even any intl. school that doesnt charge 20k SGD or more per year? I was looking at the Swiss School as being kinda cheaper (except registration fee). My next career step in a few years may be actually to Germany, so I wouldn't mind my children to learn a bit of German too, but I think they will be busy catching up with English, Singlish and Singarin....
6. Anyone got crazy enough and has experiences with simply living/schooling in Johor, while working in SG?
EDIT - adding question 7
7. As an option, does anyone know about a suitable combination of a kindergarten/preschool facility, which also can offer preparatory courses for primary III? This could keep them busy for the second half of the year..... as an alternative to putting them short term into an international school.
Its just a lot to take in! Any advice will be appreciated ~ And of course will be happy to post updates for those interested.
If Homeschooling is a must for 6 months - perhaps, but we are a tad conservative and prefer actual schools to take care of your kids education. Anyways - International Community School is actually the cheapest school out there (compared based on P3 costs), but the curriculum appears is also 'more than average' religious with mandatory bible studies, etc. and without getting touchy or anything - religion is the one thing (unlike the rest of studies) that I prefer to get done between parents and children, not between some stranger and my kids.PNGMK wrote:Consider homeschooling? Also International Community School.
I also keep track of International School fees!flowing wrote:If Homeschooling is a must for 6 months - perhaps, but we are a tad conservative and prefer actual schools to take care of your kids education. Anyways - International Community School is actually the cheapest school out there (compared based on P3 costs), but the curriculum appears is also 'more than average' religious with mandatory bible studies, etc. and without getting touchy or anything - religion is the one thing (unlike the rest of studies) that I prefer to get done between parents and children, not between some stranger and my kids.PNGMK wrote:Consider homeschooling? Also International Community School.
Anyways, I have actually created a whole list of the majority of intl. primary schools incl. their registration and tuition costs - if anyone is interested, I will be happy ti email it over. It may not be 100% accurate or perfect, but surely helps.... (I am missing the indian, french and dutch schools in my list as my kids know none of those languages).
Should I ask, what's going on ????? With you and Dover Court ?Verity1 wrote:. They recently had a senior ESL teacher leave because of this situation. I feel that Dover Courts transition has been poorly managed and there is no real vision at present. I am sure this will change in time but I wouldn't send my child there until it does. Ask lots of questions is my advice.
Since when? The mother tongue is always determined by the father's race/nationality. If the father is from an English speaking country then the mother tongue will be English. However, if the father's native language is not English then you have a problem. I was one of the first to go to war with the MOE back in the early 1980's over this as they tried to make my children take Tamil as their mother tongue (my wife's native language) however, their own rules state very clearly that the mother tongue is determined by the father's race (go figure) and if you took your mother tongue at first language level you had your choice of the other 3 major languages here as the second language. Both of my children took Mandarin at 2nd language level and English at first language level (but admittedly I was one of the first because that was back in the day when most expats had schooling allowances. I married a local and worked offshore in the oil industry.Then there are a whole lot of issues to do with so-called Mother Tongue, which cannot be English.
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