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Primary schooling - how important is the IB for portability?

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Primary schooling - how important is the IB for portability?

Post by OneTwoThree » Fri, 10 Jun 2011 4:49 pm

I have two pre-schoolers. We moved here before they started school in our home country (Australia). We may be in Singapore for a long time, or we may move back to Australia, or we may move elsewhere ...... so I am trying to choose a school that will provide them with the most "portable" education. I do expect that we will be here 5-7 years, but need to be prepared for anything :)

The IB sounds like a good idea, but from what I understand, it's a framework of themes rather than a specific curriculum. I don't understand how the schools benchmark learning goals for particular ages. Can anyone enlighten me, or point me in the right direction for this information?

I've also noticed that some of the "IB" schools in Singapore don't actually do the IB at primary years (eg Chatsworth Orchard, Tanglin), which has made me wonder how important it is at the primary level ..... this is from the IB search facility, please enlighten me if I am interpreting it incorrectly! ... hools=Find

I have been visiting schools (a slow process with two small kids in tow) and it was my visit to ISS that confused me. At ISS, my late-2006 child would theoretically enter K1 this August .... whereas at Tanglin or Dover she would be going into reception in August; at AISS or A (the other Australian school that always gets deleted) she would start prep in January; or in the Singapore system she would start K2 in January. ISS is an IB-only school, not aligned to any country's curriculum - but if I sent her to ISS, would she be behind if we then moved to Australia or the UK?? Or does the IB program set benchmarks for particular ages? For example, how does the curriculum vary between UWC and AISS, which are both IB PYP schools?

By the way, I am not trying to push my kids into being young prodigies. I would love them to have a well-rounded education, including non-academic activities, and be happy to go to school every day. I also think that great teachers and small class sizes are probably more important than the actual curriculum. But I also think it would be socially difficult for them to have to drop down a grade if/when we move, and be in a class with younger children.

One of my kids is quite shy, but I'm not sure that this necessarily means I need to look only at small schools - I think small class size is more important. Any advice on this would be appreciated. I am new to being a school mum, as well as being new to Singapore!

I would probably be leaning towards AISS, if it wasn't so far away - a 7:30am start for a 5-year-old seems a bit much. We live fairly close to (the other Australian school that always gets deleted), but it doesn't do the IB (although I'm undecided about how important this is) and doesn't have a lot of outdoor play space. ISS seemed OK, apart from my concerns about the starting age. I haven't seen Chatsworth or Dover Court yet. I haven't seen Tanglin or UWC, but wouldn't get a spot there straight away, in any case.

- do you feel that there is one curriculum that is more universally portable than others? (eg UK vs Aus)
- at primary level, would you recommend only considering schools that offer the IB, or is this more important at senior level?
- can anyone comment on ISS benchmarking compared to specific country curricula?
- does anyone have experience with (the other Australian school that always gets deleted) for young kids?
- besides the IB website, where else can I get info to help choose a school? Or is it all gut feel?

Many thanks in advance.

PS Why does this board always delete (the other Australian school) from posts??

Posts: 11
Joined: Mon, 01 Nov 2010 5:50 pm
Location: Bishan

Post by ksbat » Fri, 10 Jun 2011 5:47 pm

IB is a long way off for you, it is the last 2 years of schooling. I have a child doing IB here in Singapore at SJII and will then return to Australia for Uni (she spent most of her school years in Aust). The Australian universities have equivalent scores eg. HSC, TEE, A levels, IB. I also have a child who is at uni after Aust year 12. Personally I think IB is fine for wherever you end up going.

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