Singapore Expats Forum

Experience of ISS, Chatsworth (Orchard), Nexus?

Discuss various schooling options for your children here.
Makingthemove
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Postby Makingthemove » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 9:53 am

Veronica that's great feedback, lovely that you are enjoying it so much. Have you told the school you think it's wonderful, too? Must be nice for their efforts to be recognised.

Veronica VanE
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Postby Veronica VanE » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 10:01 am

Hi Makingthe Move - Oh I think they know......!

It's great to be in a place where the leadership are so open and where communication is transparent. My son used to go to a UK Prep school where you were not allowed to email teachers, you had to email the office and they would forward the email to the teacher (eventually) and the teacher would reply (if you were lucky).

At Nexus we email the teachers whenever we want and they reply within 24 hours.... and the parents AND children were involved in the interview process for the new Junior School Head!

I ought to stop now otherwise you will think they have hypnotised me...

(BTW - I am no longer a Newbie - how do I change it - can't see it in Profile?)

Makingthemove
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Postby Makingthemove » Mon, 11 Mar 2013 10:06 am

Your status will change when you have emailed enough posts on the board - it's done automatically and I can't remember the number of posts you need to make. Write more!

I wish we had an email system at Dover. I communicate with the teacher through a book that my son brings home every day. If I am lucky the carrier pigeon / Hogwarts Owl returns it to her desk and she will then return it with a note back. My son also has to write down his homework in such a way. This is great if you have a child who can a) remember what has been discussed b) write it down c) communicate it to you at home. Plenty emails to class mums asking: ???? He's made lots of friends though, on the up-side. So that's nice.

I guess if I was a teacher I wouldn't want to be emailed all the time but it sort of comes with the territory, though, doesn't it? My Dad only retired last year and right up to the last week was staying up late to answer emails from sixth formers with a lesson question.

Those who can...

Anyway, am off topic. Glad you are happy!

ivysmom
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Postby ivysmom » Sun, 31 Mar 2013 1:24 pm

Veronica,

Thank you for the very helpful post! We are currently looking at schools (from afar, "look/see" should happen in the next month) and would prefer one of the smaller ones. Our girls, 8 and 6, currently attend a small (200 kids K-8) independent, progressive school in the US that I think is more IB"ish" than US"ish". No tests, integrated, experiental, project based learning, independent thought vs. pedagogy, emphasis on creativity and character, etc. 18 kids with two teachers in blended classrooms on 25 acres in the country, sure wish I'd gone to a school like this :) . They are both thriving in this small school environment, working a year + above their grade level in the US public system, and we love the school. The girls are both social, sporty, and intellectually super engaged in school. We want a place where they feel challenged intellectually but not because they're studying for the next test.

After reading your post, we will definitely look at Nexxus. Wondering what your thoughts were on ISS, which looks appealing from the site and initial conversations with the school. Since you're probably a school expert at this point, any other schools that jump to mind? Can't tell you how much I'd appreciate any feedback you'd be kind enough to share (or anyone else reading this post)! I've been pouring over the site but up-to-date info is a commodity.

freshmeat
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Postby freshmeat » Sun, 31 Mar 2013 6:08 pm

ivysmom wrote:Veronica,

Thank you for the very helpful post! We are currently looking at schools (from afar, "look/see" should happen in the next month) and would prefer one of the smaller ones. Our girls, 8 and 6, currently attend a small (200 kids K-8) independent, progressive school in the US that I think is more IB"ish" than US"ish". No tests, integrated, experiental, project based learning, independent thought vs. pedagogy, emphasis on creativity and character, etc. 18 kids with two teachers in blended classrooms on 25 acres in the country, sure wish I'd gone to a school like this :) . They are both thriving in this small school environment, working a year + above their grade level in the US public system, and we love the school. The girls are both social, sporty, and intellectually super engaged in school. We want a place where they feel challenged intellectually but not because they're studying for the next test.

After reading your post, we will definitely look at Nexxus. Wondering what your thoughts were on ISS, which looks appealing from the site and initial conversations with the school. Since you're probably a school expert at this point, any other schools that jump to mind? Can't tell you how much I'd appreciate any feedback you'd be kind enough to share (or anyone else reading this post)! I've been pouring over the site but up-to-date info is a commodity.


We just visited Chatsworth last week and was very impressed. It is a small school with relatively less facilities compared to other larger school. However it is on our short list because we like its neighbourhood feel and that the kids look happy in their class. We saw a school where the kids seem can't wait to get out of their class. Nexus is next on our short list after Chatsworth. Larger school with better facilities than Chatsworth but the classes are small enough. Didn't get to see the kids as it was spring break. Hope this helps.

Veronica VanE
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Postby Veronica VanE » Sun, 31 Mar 2013 10:53 pm

Hi Ivysmom and freshmeat,

It is nearly a year ago that I visited ISS, Chatsworth and Nexus. At the time I did a comparative table which I recently deleted as I didn't think I would need it any more! Briefly and from memory, we preferred Nexus over all (obviously as that is where we sent our children) - we liked the space, class size, location, style of teaching and experienced leadership. Second we liked Chatsworth. ISS was 3rd because it seemed very cramped and offered IB only. Nexus has IGCSE in Middle School which we prefer (for that age group) but that may not be a consideration if your kids are quite little. ISS and Chatsworth are in a similar location (Orchard/Somerset area). I thought it rather congested with bad air quality. Nexus is up on the West side and my kids take the public bus every morning ( they are nearly 11 and 13 now). There is a school bus of course if that is what you need.

One of the many things I like about Nexus is that it is K-G12 in one location whereas the other schools have different locations for the different age groups. It is not a deal maker/breaker but it is really lovely to see the different ages together and I know the kids (young and more senior) really enjoy it too. They learn a lot from each other.

Ivysmom - from what I can gather of your views, it appears as though Nexus would be very much in keeping with your education ideal. I would be really interested to hear what you think of the school. All the best in your search. I personally think that nothing beats a visit - you will just know whether your kids are going to be happy there.

Btw - I only visited these three schools and am no "schools expert"!

ivysmom
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Postby ivysmom » Mon, 01 Apr 2013 12:01 pm

Again, very helpful, thanks. I was hoping to find something I liked on the East Coast since I tend to think we'll like that area (picturing my 2 year old running down the beach all day!). But all this is so TBD until we can make a visit. di you have any perspective, btw, on whether starting mid-year (Jan.) would be a serious liaibility? Not sure how many kids come in mid-year. I hope to have things buttoned up by August but you just never know.

Thanks again for your perspective!

Veronica VanE
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Postby Veronica VanE » Mon, 01 Apr 2013 6:56 pm

Hi Ivysmom

I don't know the East coast... We live near Sentosa, "Asia'a favourite playground" which suits us just fine!

I really wouldn't worry about joining in January.... It is the nature of International Schools that people come and go all the time. We have just had 14 students of all ages join us yesterday!

welshfowlers
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Postby welshfowlers » Sat, 11 May 2013 7:48 am

Hi Veronica
Been here a year now, looked at Chatsworth, OSS and Dover, but decided on Marlborough. Travel is getting too much so need to look for more of a 'local option' - son is 10 years old, but doesn't want to move and we need a school that encourages his strengths (maths sciences etc), works with him on things he doesn't like (English, creative writing and soccer !) but also really helps a shy boy integrate into the new school environment - as well as growing our circle of friends for him.

Have dropped Nexus an email asking to visit, still awaiting a response, but would be interested in your views
Thanks

Veronica VanE
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Postby Veronica VanE » Sat, 11 May 2013 11:40 am

Hi again welshfowlers – wow - I was going to draft a quick reply but it turned into a Magnus Opus! I am hoping that More rather than Less is OK as it is such an important subject….

I have heard that Marlborough is a lovely school but it is quite a trek, isn’t it? Have you looked at the new NISS website (http://www.nexus.edu.sg/) as it now has its YouTube entries which give a good flavour of the school. This is a new website (which they are rolling out in stages to iron out any bugs) and there are some bits still missing which is a bit aggravating for existing parents who have come to rely on it but it is mostly OK for prospective parents.

Nexus is not a One Size Fits All sort of school and they have employed staff whose raison d'etre is to ensure that different sorts of learning are accommodated. To be honest unless a school is absolutely dreadful most children do not want to move! My children were extremely resistant – we were moving from the UK - and my daughter has since divulged that before our “Look seeâ€Â

5gomadinsing
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Postby 5gomadinsing » Sat, 11 May 2013 6:02 pm

Hi welshfowlers really interested to hear where you lived in Singapore that made travel to Marlborough too much. Our kids are due to start there in August (in years 2 and 3) as we liked it best when we looked at schools last December. The journey has always worried me though......

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Postby Hannieroo » Sun, 12 May 2013 9:56 pm

What Veronica said. The attitude the staff have to the children, the warm atmosphere and the whole child approach means I don't regret our decision for a second. Our 5 and nearly 15 year old are very happy and we've done a few international moves and have never found it so easy to integrate. It's a friendly happy place for families, there is so much fun stuff organised for parents and families that you do feel part of a community.

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Any updates on Nexus>

Postby fivegomad » Fri, 17 Jan 2014 7:35 pm

Having read through the various posts on Nexus, I wonder if anyone has any updates as the new management/staff have been in for a while now?

Looking at the school for my daughter who will be going in to year 5 in August and possibly my eldest, who will be started sixth form (year 12).

Does anyone have any experience with the sixth form?
Many thanks.
:D

Hannieroo
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Postby Hannieroo » Sat, 18 Jan 2014 12:48 pm

I'm very happy with them. I'm pretty active in the school, volunteering etc., and you see how hard they work and how committed they are.

My eldest is not at I.B level yet but the events I get involved frequently include IB students as part of their citizenship etc. They're a cracking bunch of young adults and their co ordinater is very on the ball.

JackieO
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Nexus

Postby JackieO » Sat, 15 Feb 2014 10:39 am

We are moving to Singapore in the summer and I am looking for a place for my 12 year old daughter, current school follows IB program (in Canada) and looking for similar. Like the look of Chatsworth, ISS or Nexus but noticed on the Nexus site that there are quite a few job postings - is there a problem with staff turnover?


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