(International) Public School for western kid

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mvm_hk
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(International) Public School for western kid

Post by mvm_hk » Mon, 16 Mar 2009 4:00 pm

We are an Asian/German family and we might move to Singapore from Hong Kong. Here in Hong Kong, our son is going to an ESF school, which is an International School, subsidized by the Hong Kong government. As such, there is no debenture or loan and the school fees are lesser compared to other International Schools.

Question: Are there any similar schools like this in Singapore or does anyone from the community has a good recommendation for an international public school? Our son speaks English, German and very very basic Mandarin.

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Post by jon0lim » Mon, 16 Mar 2009 4:08 pm

Sorry, but I dont quite understand your post. Are you looking for an International School or a Public (Government Run) School?

Regarding your first question, I dont think there are any International Schools in Singapore that are subsidized by the government.

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Post by mvm_hk » Mon, 16 Mar 2009 4:14 pm

Maybe I was not clear enough. In case the new employer would not pay an International School, we would have to look for a public school, which hopefully also accepts international students. In Hong Kong in all the public schools Chinese is the primary language, whereas in International Schools here it is English. We are not sure about Singapore. So, just in case, we would like to send our son to a public school provided that the curriculum is being taught in English. Hope its more clear now. Does anyone face a similar experience?

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Post by jon0lim » Mon, 16 Mar 2009 4:31 pm

All public schools in Singapore use English. All public schools accept international students as well. However, there are several schools which tend to have a bigger "expat" population, such as Tanjong Katong Primary School.

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Post by mvm_hk » Mon, 16 Mar 2009 4:56 pm

[quote="jon0lim"]All public schools in Singapore use English. All public schools accept international students as well. However, there are several schools which tend to have a bigger "expat" population, such as Tanjong Katong Primary School.[/quote]


Thanks jon0lim for the input. Are there any other public schools with a larger expat student population in Singapore?

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Post by gillypadi » Mon, 16 Mar 2009 5:03 pm

it depends on where you want to live as well. Tanjong Katong as mentioned is in the east and there are other good schools in the east. If I am not wrong (during my time) you can also study german as a second language in the public schools here.

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Post by mvm_hk » Mon, 16 Mar 2009 5:33 pm

[quote="gillypadi"]it depends on where you want to live as well. Tanjong Katong as mentioned is in the east and there are other good schools in the east. If I am not wrong (during my time) you can also study german as a second language in the public schools here.[/quote]


Thanks gillypadi. For us living area comes second, as we first look for the school (like we did here in Hong Kong). Therefore, we would be open to any suggestions.

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Post by jon0lim » Mon, 16 Mar 2009 11:35 pm

mvm_hk, it really depends on what you are looking for in a school. Are you limiting your search to schools that have a larger expat student population? Do you value academic achievements greatly or are you looking for a more well rounded education.

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Re: (International) Public School for western kid

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 17 Mar 2009 9:08 am

mvm_hk wrote:We are an Asian/German family and we might move to Singapore from Hong Kong. Here in Hong Kong, our son is going to an ESF school, which is an International School, subsidized by the Hong Kong government. As such, there is no debenture or loan and the school fees are lesser compared to other International Schools.

Question: Are there any similar schools like this in Singapore or does anyone from the community has a good recommendation for an international public school? Our son speaks English, German and very very basic Mandarin.
mvm_hk,

I know what you are talking about and the answer is no. The "international" schools are just that. Singaporeans have to jump through hoops to send their children to them (either special needs children or those who have/are/will be migrating to other countries) The MOE (Ministry of Education) vets those applicants on a case by case basis. On the other hand, there is the Singapore school system that caters to Singapore Citizens but also allows foreigners to attend and a cost that is higher than the local citizenry but only a small percentage of what the cheapest "International" school would charge. The local school systems are among the best in the world both in facilities and in educational merit with their strengths in Maths & Sciences. However, a lot of foreigners do not like them as they would rather have their children in a school system that isn't quite as competitive or stressful or where the parents aren't expected to actively take a major part in the schooling of the child. Again, I'm not saying either is better, it's just a matter of expectations and perceived worth.

You will find both types on this board, those who favour the local system and have put their children through them with great success, those who have tried and because of one thing or another have pulled their kids out of them and put them into International schools. I don't think there is any quantifiable long term study as to which is best. A lot would depend on whether your shifting to Singapore is temporary or long term as well as whether your educational costs are being assisted by the employer. Obviously, just like the international schools there are good and bad local schools (actually it's more like there are good and better). The facilities in the newer schools are better than one finds in ones own country quite often.

Have a good search of the Forum "Parenting, Family & Schools" as the topic has been discussed countless times. :wink:

sms
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Re: (International) Public School for western kid

Post by mandrew » Tue, 17 Mar 2009 12:42 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:However, a lot of foreigners do not like them as they would rather have their children in a school system that isn't quite as competitive or stressful or where the parents aren't expected to actively take a major part in the schooling of the child.
SMS I am not sure I agree with that, my wife and I were very active the schooling of our daughter in Australia, and we still are here in SG, but the level of parental/carer commitment (plus tutoring) expected at local SG schools is way beyond reasonable.

I'd rather say you need to commit to so much extra effort as a parent to make up for the shortfalls of the teaching methods use at school. If the schools were teaching effectively then there should not be so much requirement for tutors and extra parental involvement outside school.

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Post by boffenl » Wed, 25 Mar 2009 4:30 pm

Had to jump in, I don't believe there is any extra work I do with my daughter who attends a local school than I would if she attended a school in Maryland, USA. But it would be in reverse--I'd be filling her with math and science if we were in the US, here I'm doing art and physical ed. I much prefer this situation where my daughter has an unbelievable grounding in math, science, English, Mandarin and music than a school in the US where I would be supplementing the curriculum for BASIC subjects.

Again, I could be Kiasu and make sure she was top in her exams, but she loves school way too much for me to become a Singaporean "momma". Local schools are incredible bang for the buck--my $14 a month is the best money I spend!

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Post by happigal » Wed, 25 Mar 2009 5:36 pm

boffenl wrote:Had to jump in, I don't believe there is any extra work I do with my daughter who attends a local school than I would if she attended a school in Maryland, USA.
The amount of work is dependant on the school; it varies greatly from one school to another. I know this for a fact from comparing my child's school with another. Another contributing factor would be the age of the child. P1 and P2 children will see very little homework, while those preparing for PSLE in P6 will see much more homework!

If you want to put your child in a local school, please do ask what sort of homework is expected.

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Post by k1w1 » Wed, 25 Mar 2009 6:04 pm

happigal wrote:
boffenl wrote:Had to jump in, I don't believe there is any extra work I do with my daughter who attends a local school than I would if she attended a school in Maryland, USA.
The amount of work is dependant on the school; it varies greatly from one school to another. I know this for a fact from comparing my child's school with another. Another contributing factor would be the age of the child. P1 and P2 children will see very little homework, while those preparing for PSLE in P6 will see much more homework!

If you want to put your child in a local school, please do ask what sort of homework is expected.
And this is what SMS was referring to. Some have good stories to tell, others not so much... Like anything, it depends entirely on what suits your family situation.

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but are they thinking too much already?

Post by Lulu Mee Lah » Tue, 07 Apr 2009 8:27 pm

It's also about the transition process from their previous school. My daughters attended a school in Australia (government) where they were encouraged to think for themselves, design their own projects and work out how to put their plans into actions. This does not fit at all with the Singaporean system. It would have been an easier transition process if they had been at a more traditional school which wanted them to learn list of words. I looked into local schools but the transition would be too hard and then they would have to transition back to Australia after being used to not asking questions in class. (apparently any questions you should save for your tutors) I chose an International School (Avondale) and have only been absolutely impressed so far. It's a nice feeling to have!

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Post by boffenl » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 10:53 am

Yikes, not thinking for themselves? Not asking questions? Wow--what local school did you visit? Holy mackeral sounds like a gulag.

The vast majority of kids do not have tutors, (my kid is one) so not sure where she would "learn" if she didn't ask questions in class. My seven year old is reading at a grade 4 level in the US mostly because she's challenged to learn new vocabulary with spelling lists and dictation in her SG local English class.

Hey, we all have options. It you have the cash and inclination to put your kid in an "international" school then do so. But PLEASE do not comment on local schools when you don't have experience with the system. I came to Singapore from the US so my child would experience life in a new country--and one of the best educational systems in the world.

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