Singapore Expats Forum

international schools vs local schools?

Discuss various schooling options for your children here.
taxico
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Postby taxico » Wed, 21 May 2008 12:47 pm

road.not.taken wrote:
taxico wrote:i won't say much more than this, cos i don't think this is an issue that can be concluded. i've said my piece and peace.


Wow, all I can say is I'm happy to agree to disagree. No wait! One more thing: thanks. :D


:cool:

madura
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Re: St. Francis Methosdist School

Postby madura » Fri, 23 May 2008 9:41 pm

nabilalarasati wrote:Folks,
I am planning to send my childreens to attend the Sec 3 and Sec 1 to this schools as it has been promoted as as good International Schools exposure ( multi nationalities as opposed to local student only ) and the rate are more economical than the notoriusly expensive International School. Are they good in academic value ? Integrated education value? has anyone has experienced with this schools? Appreciate for sharing with me.
:D


Why don't you try schools like ACS (international), SJI (international)? st francis doesn't exactly have a great reputation imho.

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Postby Annie67 » Fri, 27 Jun 2008 8:59 pm

katbh wrote:Any one got any names of secondary schools that accept expat children. I have 3 of my children in local primary schools and need to move my elder child over from an International School to a secondary school.


I think you might find it difficult to get admission into a good local school at secondary level as things become tough at this stage. However, if your child demonstrates any special capability, you can capitalize on that and approach a school which is known for the same activity. in such cases, the schools are allowed to accept a few students at their own discretion and i can confirm that in many cases the school will even accept a weak academic result.

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Postby Annie67 » Fri, 27 Jun 2008 9:02 pm

kwokhua wrote:Frankly, many local schools in Singapore have become semi-international schools. Take for example this quiet and quaint local school, East Coast Primary School in Chai Chee, it has 40% of its population being foreigners and the foreigners are mixing very well with the local kids as well.

The most important thing is that the teachers in the school have already gotten used to the kind of high percentage of foreign pupils and they certainly know to handle the kind of group dynamics that coexist between the foreigners and the locals.

Now, how do iI know that? I have two educator-friends in the school and already I feel that their thinkings are really different from the local teachers. Perhaps, it is because that these teachers have long been interacting with the large number of foreigners in the school and this has brought about a perspective change.

Hope that helps.. :-)


Tanjong Katong Primary school in the east is another such school. Infact it is often refered to as the local International School. the best part is that the principal is very progressive.

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Postby Blue Sapphire » Tue, 22 Jul 2008 1:45 am

Any recommendations for local school? Preferable central or close to central. We are going to be here long term probably until my kid needs to go to university.

I've already looked at a few International Schools that does the IB programme. I dont know whether its because I heard Spore schools are high standard that I expected more from the internaional schools that charge exorbant school fees. But I wasnt impressed at all.

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Postby boffenl » Wed, 23 Jul 2008 12:02 pm

Ah Blue Sapphire, a post I can truly relate to! I'd suggest you go on a vist to all the schools close to your home. I visited three local schools--ended up only one had spots available during the "others' balloting. Check out MOE's website for the websites of local schools. Either call or e-mail to set up a time to visit. Certainly visit while class is in session--then you can check out uniforms, friendliness of staff and students as well as condition of school during open hours.

I was stunned when the Principal of all three schools led our tour. At the International Schools I was treated as a dime a dozen. :roll: I'm sure the principal will extoll the virtues of her school, but ask about athletics/dance/extra activities they offer. Some schools offer more than others--and it's excellent quality for not a lot of money.

Let me know if you have additional questions once you visit the schools.

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Postby viajera » Thu, 24 Jul 2008 11:35 pm

hi boffenl! depending on the vacancies left for Phase 3, our son might go to pei tong, too! wish us luck!

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Fri, 25 Jul 2008 2:03 pm

boffenl, your kid(s) is/are PR?

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Postby boffenl » Fri, 25 Jul 2008 4:43 pm

Hi Viajera! That's GREAT news! Let me know how the balloting goes. Just be prepared for a wait--bring a good book. :) The office staff is great and they're so helpful--ask any question you can think of to pepare yourself. There will be a few Learning Vision kids he'll know I'm sure. It sure helped my daughter feel comfortable quickly as well.

No, my daughter is NOT PR, neither am I as the employed person in our family. Hasn't been an issue yet, but I'm applying next week. Not sure it will affect anything--the $14 I pay a month probably won't change. Best deal in town!

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how did you lose 20 kg in 14 weekss

Postby aqualini » Wed, 14 Oct 2009 5:25 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I envy your trip back. Would be nice but I'll have to pass as I'm on a diet (have lost 20kg in the past 14 weeks - should be finished around beginning of June). Going back to my military discharge weight! (that was 40 years ago!)

Enjoy your trip back.

sms


I need to lose 8 kilos in 10 weeks in time for the xmas family renion....please tell me how you did it???

taxico
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Re: how did you lose 20 kg in 14 weekss

Postby taxico » Thu, 15 Oct 2009 5:43 pm

aqualini wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:I envy your trip back. Would be nice but I'll have to pass as I'm on a diet (have lost 20kg in the past 14 weeks - should be finished around beginning of June). Going back to my military discharge weight! (that was 40 years ago!)

Enjoy your trip back.

sms


I need to lose 8 kilos in 10 weeks in time for the xmas family renion....please tell me how you did it???


see, there's this balm i sold him...

you rub it once before every meal, and once after... you'll notice the ef
Aut viam ad caelum inveniam aut faciam

angeluxdevil
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local va international school

Postby angeluxdevil » Tue, 20 Oct 2009 10:39 am

am i too late for this.

Well, i'm not a parent or a guardian. I'm a student before in local and International School. I can tell u about the direct experience that i have for the past 8 years in singapore eduation.

When i first came here, my parents sent me to a local school [i guess it better not to name the school]. Honesty, i experience depression as in I used to live in Chicago for 4 years before i came here. I'm not caucasian, i'm asian. My classmate laughed at my english accent as it is not call "Singlish" as what they speak in singapore. Of course, i attend pre-school in America and i have that american accent and it make me really hard to cope with the Singapore accent. My parent know about it. They moved me to an International School [CIS]. I enjoy life there. There no people laughed at my accent or the country i am from or saying bad things about my country [I'm not singaporean].

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boffenl
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Postby boffenl » Wed, 21 Oct 2009 10:53 am

Wow Angel, so sorry to hear about your experience. My daughter began Sinagpore schooling in Primary 1, and picked up the Singlish accent very quickly that she uses in school with classmates and the lunch aunties. She has a wonderful group of friends, and is eagerly looking forward to her results from the P2 assessments now on-going. Sounds like you had a rough start.

But if parent's understand the fluid nature of Singlish and realize there is no one-size fit-all school for any kid it'll make the choices easier. Luckily mine really excels in math and English. She has NEVER been denigrated for her "accent" and feel as at-home in the local school as at a US Girl Scout meeting with girls from four different schools. I think it's more the kid's nature than anything.

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Postby wkwoods » Thu, 22 Oct 2009 10:46 am

Someone revived this old tread so I thought that I would add my 2 cts.

road.not.taken wrote:As long as your talking strictly academics and not life skills or common sense or creative thought. My friend interviewed a product of locals schools recently for the ivy league school he had applied to -- the applicant had never done a single extra-curricular activity other than tutoring, had no idea there were long winters where he was hoping to go, didn't know know the school was in New Hampshire, he thought it was 'warm like New Jersey'.


road.not.taken, I think your sample of one is not a good representative of the students at top Singapore schools applying for top US universities and proof is in the high Singapore acceptance rate.

Raffles, for example, is very focussed on ensuring that the child has a sufficiently good ECA for ivy league acceptance and they have hundreds of students with excellent extra-curricular activities from a US point of view. Groups of students from top schools regularly go to Yunnan and Myanmar to help build houses. The entire history class went on a 3-week European tour and Singapore school choirs are among the world's best because they engage internationally acclaimed composers to write for them. Students are constantly raising funds for various charities. Overall, the top Singapore school student is quite aware about the world and has often travelled extensively. He also knows that he needs a good ECA if he wants to go to a top US school.

This level of ECA at top Singapore schools is way beyond a typical U.S. school and can perhaps be found only in the top schools like Exeter, Andover, Choat etc. The high level of ECA at US schools is not natural either. U.S. parents know that they have to achieve a level of ECA to get their kids into the top schools, so they push them to volunteer in places like Nicaragua and to excel in sports, arts, science competitions etc.

I think the International Schools in Singapore like UWC are fairly good schools, certainly above average compared to a U.S. school. However, the best of the International Schools are only around the academic standard of 2nd Tier Singapore schools because they are not as selective as top Singapore schools. Except for the queue, it is much harder academically to get into Raffles or Hwa Chong compared to UWC. Many Raffles and Hwa Chong students easily master their studies, while having interesting and intense ECA.

Why do we want children to skip a year or two? Where is the value in that? Heaven forbid we let them be children for a few years. There is no guarantee that socially that would be a wise thing to do. They would already be feeling very out of place without being 2 years younger. I wouldn't want my 14 year old in class with all 16 year olds.


Its no different with U.S. students that take Advanced Placement (AP) exams and some US students skip grades if they are good. If you take enough APs, you can skip a year of college. In fact, if you get and A for certain A-level subjects, Cornell will let you skip your first year. This saves the parent USD50,000. The Singapore curicullum has also changed to make it more compatible with US liberal arts colleges. They even offer Philosophy at the A level now. Its called "Knowledge and Enquiry" and equivalent to a 1st year college course in theory of knowledge.

In any case, the Ivy Leagues Schools, Stanford etc take hundreds of Singapore students each year so they know the Singapore educational system well and now generally require the 'A' levels. You can apply after your 'O' levels, but you would be at a severe disadvantage. The international admission directors of all the top US schools tour Singapore once a year and speak at Raffles, NJC and Hwa Chong to recruit students. I would imagine that the same admission directors tour only perhaps 10% or less of the thousands of schools in the U.S. so top Singapore schools are courted on the level of top U.S. schools.

Thank God most US universities are looking for qualified, well-rounded people, not the over-tutored, grade obsessed kids that flooded their admission departments in the last 10 years.


Top US universities are flooded with grade obsessed kids period. However, being grade obsessed is a necessary but not sufficient condition to get in. Around 70% of Harvard's admissions are the valedictorian or salutatorian at their high school. You don't get to be No.1 or 2 if you arent grade obsessed. However you are right in that Harvard is looking for a diverse pool of well-rounded people and ECA is the distinguishing factor, so to get in you have to be both grade obsessed and well-rounded. The Singapore educational system seems to produce a multitude of such students

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Postby road.not.taken » Thu, 22 Oct 2009 4:04 pm

I don't necessarily disagree with your post, but you seem to have misunderstood or misconstrued my quotations. It's like you've got 70% of the story but not all. The 'sample of one' for example ~ I have lived here for 15 years. I have met, interviewed, worked with, dealt with, socialized with, been employed by this guy in a 1000 different personas. I cited one example, but I have a wealth of experience.

The International Schools here are (I'll borrow your bold) are not academically selective. Until you understand that, you won't grasp why the comparisons don't make sense. Apples to oranges. They were set up, for the most part, to educate the children of nationals of their counties, that's it. They bear no resemblance to Choate, Taft or Exeter ~ which is why western and Singaporean parents alike send their children away if they want that caliber of education for their children. The same reps from top tier colleges visit the International Schools here. They make the rounds, that's what they do.

The fact that parents the world over are rushing their children through their childood's does not make it right. I asked the question: Why? What is the value? My children have all taken too many AP classes. I don't like them and I don't see their value. High school should be high school and college should be college.


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