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Feed back on Australian International School Singapore

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girlPower
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Feed back on Australian International School Singapore

Postby girlPower » Thu, 05 Jun 2008 12:58 pm

We are an Australian family with 2 boys age 5 & 3. We will be moving to Singapore later this year and we are considering AIS as an option. Looking through the forum, there had been little discussion about AIS (except in 2004) and I'm worried. Our 5 year old will be attending year 1 next year.

I was wondering if anyone who has (or know of) children attending (or attended) the school can provide me with some feedback on both the pros & cons of the school.

HELP!!!!!!

Kells
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Postby Kells » Fri, 06 Jun 2008 2:07 pm

My 5 year old son and 3 yr old daughter started at AIS this January and we have been very happy. Choosing a school is a personal decision and will depend on your family's values and your children's strength's/weaknesses, etc. I would highly recommend having a look at a couple of schools if you get a chance to visit Singapore before actually move.

I know that AIS is opening up its new junior school building tin increase capacity in term 3 so their waiting list may not be as bad as some of the others International Schools.

Feel free to ask me any other specific questions you have about AIS, as i know how stressful it is to move a family especially with children just starting school

girlPower
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Postby girlPower » Mon, 09 Jun 2008 11:42 am

thanks for the info. I feel much better. However, I am a bit worried about the school size. It does seem rather large. Do you find that an issue for the little ones?

Gotjust1kid
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Postby Gotjust1kid » Tue, 10 Jun 2008 2:08 pm

We had a child do Prep and Garde 1 there. It was lovely. Doesnt matter about the number of classes. Its the class size that's important. Since there will be alot of classes in EACH year level - it isnt bad, becasue for sports carnivals and asseblies and school plays etc - each grade (at the young grades) is in its own little world. This is better really than having to combine say Prep thru Grade 2 all together for events. Its nice that each level is kept on its own. I like the separate play areas they had when they were in young grade. I dont like it that from Grade 3 the playground gets kids of all ages on it. PLUS from July 2008 is brand new school. Should be nice. Teachers were nice and it was all good for us. I preferred it when kids at young grades, they were protected.

Stego
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Postby Stego » Tue, 10 Jun 2008 4:01 pm

We are also an Australian family (with a 5 year old boy and 3 year old girl) that will be relocating to Singapore at the end of the year. Our children are both on the waiting list for the Australian International School for 2009 (my son for Year 1 and my daughter for the preschool). Like girlPower I couldn't find much recent discussion on the school (except in the context of a few posts about Avondale), so this discussion has been really helpful. My husband has had a tour of the school and was really impressed, particularly with the proposed new buildings for the junior school. He has spoken to a few collegues whose children attended the school in the past, and they were all really happy with the junior school, although I haven't heard much about the higher grades. Just wondering about the quality of the teaching staff and how the school compares to the schools back in Australia? Does it seem like an easy transition from and then back into the Australian school system once you head back home? Also wondering whether most children attending the school live in the local area? I know lots of questions.... Just lots to think about when relocating to a new country with kids...

Gotjust1kid
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Postby Gotjust1kid » Tue, 10 Jun 2008 5:24 pm

If your company pays, you may as well use the bus system (about $400/$500 a month). Even if company doesnt pay, you still might use buses - saves you the morning commute. I love the bus coming right to my house and back every day. When you use buses, it doesnt really matter where you live, unles you have preschooler THEN YOU cant not use bus - so living close to school will be a big help. Seems like preschool mums are often at school.

We live far away, kid gets on bus at 705 am, and gets home at 410 pm(school finishes at 3pm). Hasnt been a problem. Kids in Prep/Grade 1 who live far out like us might nap on the bus home - I see them asleep. This never bothered me - I liked my kid to take the nap when he was young.

THE school was lovely for preschool, Prep, Year One - they may favourite becasue they really take care of kids - its NOT pushy academically, so if your kid is VERY smart - they will be ahead, its a slow gentle approach to learning.

DOnt worry about any of the parent/social side of stuff - I read some of that on these forums - I have had NO issues - but I not involved in any social scene at the school and I like it that way. THere are some condos that are popular. If you plan to use public transport ie Is your maid gonna pick the kids up by bus?? some do, but not many?? I like to be near busstop and MRT although taxis alos not too expensive.

Ijustwantthebestformykids
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Postby Ijustwantthebestformykids » Tue, 10 Jun 2008 5:41 pm

the big school size doesnt matter, all the International Schools are big, or if they are newer and not yet big - they will be soon. Anyway, you said you only have young kids - each young grade never mixes with other grades so it doesnt matter. And you will be at new school prep to grade 2 only, they will never see the big kids - which is great. There might be differing opinions about the higher grades - but since you dont have older kids dont even worry about it - the younger grades are good, You really MUST have the little kids away from the bigger kids (soccer balls and running and pushing and all the older stuff) BUT AISS does great job keeping the younger kids away from all that.

Ijustwantthebestformykids
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Postby Ijustwantthebestformykids » Tue, 10 Jun 2008 5:48 pm

I dont think preschool kids can use the school bus system. SO if you have preschoolers you will be driving them in. Or your maid takes them in taxi or bus.

girlPower
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Postby girlPower » Wed, 11 Jun 2008 8:18 am

Yes, just like Stego I am interested to know how the kids transitioned back to the system once they return to Australia. It is nice to know that the teachers are not pushy, but does the standard compare well when the kids return home.

Matney
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Postby Matney » Wed, 11 Jun 2008 2:18 pm

Assuming you are from NSW, AIS uses the same system. It will be different if you are from any other state in Australia. If you children are younger, it shouldn't make that much of a difference. I know they had a huge turn over in teachers in 2007, but that can be a good thing.

Leemmo
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Postby Leemmo » Tue, 17 Jun 2008 1:59 am

Hi
If you are wanting a small int. school, we have recently arrived from Melbourne and are on the east coast which is great for familys and have our 8 year old at Chatsworth east.

It is kinda & primary only and the class no. are very small as it is a new campus, 2 small classes in my sons year. The main and large campus is at Orchard. The teachers are from all over, Aus., NZ, UK etc. Being only primary the campus does not have all the facilities of the large campus but, no less than any primary school in Aus., and I think they are updating systems in the holiday, interactive white boards etc. They have aircon class rooms and swimming lessons every week in their pool.

I did ask my 8 year old if he would prefer a small or large school before we made the decision and he is very happy and getting the school bus to and from for the first time.
From what I gather any child going the other way (back to Aus.) will be ahead of their class.

Good luck! :)
Lee

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Postby EDC » Fri, 08 Aug 2008 11:19 am

Lee,

would love to discuss Chatsworth East with you further. Hubby & I will be visiting the school 22nd August as well as Tanjong Katong. Our son is in Yr 1 in Oz at the moment, and #2 is in Kindy. School fees have blown me away abit generally with the International Schools, but local schools are very hard to get into, and then there is the problem of mother tongue - which one school told me would put our son at a disadvantage as the children start this in kindy.

How did you find the conversion of year levels from Oz to Singapore?

Our main dilemma is that we are unlikely to move until towards end of year - and school year starts in August - for those that have done this before, has it been a problem for the children?

Thanks

EDC :)

RIP
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Postby RIP » Thu, 21 Aug 2008 8:14 am

EDC would be interested in hearing from you about Chatsworth and Tanjong Katong as I am moving from Oz in Sept and will be looking around for schools for my 3 year old. Let me know how you go and your thoughts please.
RIP

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Postby EDC » Mon, 01 Sep 2008 4:45 pm

Hi RIP,

trip last week was great - must have brought the rain with me though, and the sun did not come out until the afternoon I was leaving!

As one of our children is already in school, Katong did not 'encourage' us to apply as learning mother tongue would have been a huge issue. Most of the children have been learning since they started school at 3 or 4, and probably speak at home also, so he would have been at a big disadvantage. Otherthing was, Katong is a very popular school and has 2 sittings. Can barely get mine up and ready to leave at 8am - let alone starting school at 7.30am, and if they are in the afternoon session, do not get home until at least 6.30pm which is too late for me.

Loved Chatsworth East - definitely not as modern as alot of the other International Schools, but has that 'local' Aussie school feel. Only about 200 students, great mix of nationalities and felt really comfortable. May have helped that we met up with another Aussie family whose 2 children have been there for a couple of years, and would be in the same year levels as ours!

So all going well, we may be able to get both of our boys in - although there may be a delay with the eldest as there won't be a place until December.

This is my personal views only, but hope it helps


EDC :D

samp1
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Local school

Postby samp1 » Thu, 11 Sep 2008 1:47 pm

I am mainly replying to EDC.

My 6 year old daughter (Australian) goes to Tajong Katong Primary School, East Coast. If you want some feedback about local school let me know. So far, we are survived Primary 1 this year and she has managed to learn Chinese.


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