Singapore Expats Forum

Avondale Grammar School

Discuss various schooling options for your children here.
gok
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Avondale Grammar School

Postby gok » Mon, 04 Mar 2013 1:19 pm

Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone has any feedback on Avondale Grammar school. We will be moving to Singapore this summer and I would ideally like a small school for my 5 year old daughter. SJI is my first preference but the waiting list is 30plus for her year.

I have looked (over the internet) at SSI, Dover, SJI, Nexus and Tanglin but for one reason or the other they don't seem quite right. However, I appreciate that you never get a full picture from websites.

If anyone had any information or feedback on Avondale I would be very grateful or indeed if you had any thoughts on other options that might be a good fit then I would love to hear them.

I had also considered Dover but heard that it's a 'holding school' for Tanglin. I would like something with reasonably settled classes (within an expat context obviously). Now someone mentioned that Avondale might be a holding school for the Australian School.

So I am confused and looking for any advice please

Many thanks

Gill

Naomi_E
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Avondale Grammar School

Postby Naomi_E » Tue, 09 Apr 2013 1:55 pm

Hi Gill,

I work at Avondale Grammar School in the Admin Team.

If you like I can always put you in contact with some of the parents here at the school, alternatively you can always give us a call and arrange a school visit.

Avondale Grammar has recently had approval from the CPE to offer classes up to Year 9. We are now offering classes from Preschool to Middle School (Year 7), this could possibly be why in the past we have been considered a holding school.

Many Thanks
Naomi

Ozmum1
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Postby Ozmum1 » Tue, 11 Jun 2013 4:20 pm

Hi, just wanted to give you my two cents worth re Avondale. My child has been there for nearly three years. In that time we have seen it go from bad to worse. We pay some of the highest fees in Singapore, yet we have absolutely no facilities. None. The playground is pitiful, the resources severely lacking and the standard of education below that of other International Schools here. Everything is about making a profit for the council - the needs of the children are just not being met. An earlier post mentioned year 7. Yes, they have added a year 7, but there is ONE student in the year and he is mostly lumped in with year 6. It's an absolute joke. The school does not have a good reputation and it is only getting worse. Needless to say we are leaving.

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Postby Pixie22 » Tue, 23 Jul 2013 6:07 pm

@Gill - I must strongly disagree with the view of Ozmum1. I wholeheartedly recommend Avondale - I have several children at Avondale and cannot fault the education and care they receive.

My children are happy, engaged and respected young people at Avondale. The staff are warm, innovative, engaging and inspirational. The Avondale community is welcoming, social and inclusive. Oh, and my children are learning! And growing and succeeding in their studies, and values. Avondale has an excellent academic record which you can obtain from them.

A brand new playground has been built in the Early Learning Centre which the children love! You can't get them off it to go home! The Primary and Middle Years Campus has a play field, also newly built, and they are bussed to a larger facility for PE and swimming. There is the opportunity for kids to play competitive soccer, basketball, cricket, netball, swimming, athletics, cross country, just to name a few. The kids are certainly not without access to sports training and facilities!

Avondale is a small school that is growing in leaps and bounds. The reason there is only one child in year 7 is because that year level was only added in 2013 - each year will move up to become the highest level next year. And that child receives 1:1 teaching from the principal! You can't get more dedicated than that.

I am certainly happy that my children are a part of this growing community. My children are not just a number - they are known by every teacher and get personalised attention, with individual learning plans, and a focus on values as well as academic performance.

I cannot recommend Avondale enough. It's never an easy decision, so good luck Gill in finding the right school for your daughter!

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Postby Hannieroo » Tue, 23 Jul 2013 10:13 pm

1 child in a year? I must admit I don't think much of a school that thinks that is an appropriate whole child approach. Where's the peer appropriate social interaction? That smacks to me of money grubbing, get em in at any cost.

Pixie22
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Postby Pixie22 » Wed, 24 Jul 2013 7:18 am

As I said in my previous post, year 7 was only added at the beginning of this year. The child had been with the school for a number of years, and the parents decided that they loved the school so much that it was best he stayed on in a joint 6/7 class. The school is small and growing, and there will be a substantial year 7 class in 2014. It is not money grabbing, but supporting the wishes of the parents.

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Postby Hannieroo » Wed, 24 Jul 2013 7:27 pm

You said in your previous post that the child was taught one to one. An integrated class is quite a different story. Still not something I'd go for based on experience of such things but, hey, not my child.

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Postby Cscgj » Fri, 31 Jan 2014 10:25 am

Hi there, we are moving to Singapore 5th of April from Melbourne, Australia with a 6, 4 & 2 yrs old.
Also interested with the idea of small school for our 6 & 4 yrs old. We are going on a school tour in couple of weeks.
In the mean time, can anyone share what they think of Avondale?
So far there is a spot at Avondale, AIS & ISS all wanting us to put applications in straight away but uncomfortable in doing so without seeing the school & teachers, students interaction etc. on top of the non-refundable fees. we are worried the spots might be gone by the time we get there.

@Gill: which school did you end up choosing?
@pixie22: what grades are your children at avondale.?

Many thanks.

Chriestiena

Pixie22
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Postby Pixie22 » Fri, 31 Jan 2014 4:15 pm

Hi Chriestiena. I also have a 6 and 5 year old, and two more in the Middle Years. We've had a great start to 2014 - the teaching staff are just wonderful and the kids have settled into their classes. I don't know much about ISS but I have three friends who pulled their kids out of AIS for bullying. And another family still there but very unhappily as they really only cater for middle of the road academics, or extreme sports people. I love that at Avondale every child's individual talents are embraced and encouraged. Their academic record is excellent, I think because of the individual learning plans they do for each kiddie. I really can't recommend it enough if are looking for a school that truly gets to know your child, and the whole family for that matter. Hope this helps - good luck with the move!!

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Postby Cscgj » Sat, 01 Feb 2014 1:23 pm

Pixie22, Good on you, cheers.

TryingTBBMom
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Review on Avondale and Info on schooling in Singapore

Postby TryingTBBMom » Tue, 11 Feb 2014 2:08 pm

As most mom's I believe we want the best for our children. So when addressing the topic of schools as an expat, one often relies on forums and posts, recommendations from other parents but the final decision sometimes just is not in your hands.
In Singapore there is a large variety of "choices" so they advertise.
That is not the case.
Many factors go into applying to the International Schools and then there is being accepted. The stigma and outright elitism in Singapore is shameful and how the parents who dog out other schools is laughable and frankly not a good example for their children.
There are the "top" schools SAS,UWC, Tanglin,Raffles,etc... The 2nd tier that tout they are 1st tier AIS,SAIS,OFS, there are the Country specific and Religious Private schools and the "others".When I arrived, I was told Dover is for special needs and everyone knows it, on top of which the admin is difficult. I do not know that to be factual. UWC is snobbish and only the best of the best get accepted. This is true and your child will be asked to leave if they do not make the grade, especially in HS with the IB.I thought we were a shoe in for SAS as we are American….no so.
The stuff I heard goes on and on and on. Some, in my personal findings were correct but others were "mommy mean girl" attitudes.
I have 3 kids. all have been or are currently being schooled in an International School, 2 right now here in Singapore. They attend different schools for a variety of reasons. Would I have liked them in the same school?…yes. Was that an option?... At the time no. There in lies my comment that it is not in your control.
So now Avondale…
It is a small school and growing organically. It's a nice way to say they have low numbers of enrollment. Does that make it bad…NO. Is it posh with all the bells and whistles…NO, Are the Staff and Admin, kind..YES! Are the Teachers
Qualified, caring and involved…YES. Are the Standards on par with NSW…Above the median by the reports.
There is no one size fits all for your children.
If your child received a million dollar pair shoes, but they were too tight would you make him or her suffer because they were expensive?
Apply the same logic to education.
Primary, intermediate education and for that matter even middle school is all basically the same. Your son or daughter will not get into the best university based on their lower education. Your daft if you think so. Sorry to be so harsh.
But what they will get from you choosing the right school (Avondale being small) for them is a love of learning, confidence and hopefully good moral foundation that will take them on to High School and then University.
So if your a mom that buckles under the "mommy pier pressure" then apply to all the schools in the top 10 list, there is a very good chance your child will be rejected, or wait listed which will leave you feeling gutted and think about how your child will feel as well.
It's not uncommon to be told there is no space, or your child is not a good fit. If you have a child with any medical issues no matter how small thats another check against you. If your child has ADD/ADHD or is on the spectrum…be prepared for rejection.
You should be applying to at least 3 if not more schools…period.
Singapore as a country that provides a vast amount of resources for children, education and sport... but they are very expensive.
So that's what I know and am experiencing to date.
Avondale is a lovely school, no glam but it's got a good heart and my child will
probably out grow it. But he or she will depart with all the tools needed to be a positive, sensitive, world citizen. He or she will have a good sense of self and as you can gather I have been around the expat block…best of luck

newjunior
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Postby newjunior » Wed, 09 Apr 2014 5:42 pm

Hi, I visited Avondale earlier this year. A lovely lady, Sarah gave me a tour of the premises. I was really keen on enrolling my son but I've heard rumors that the lease for the premises are expiring in 2016. I'm really keen to enroll my son at Avondale for it's curriculum and of course the close proximity to our home. Has anyone else heard about this rumor or is it just hearsay?

TryingTBBMom
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Avondale

Postby TryingTBBMom » Wed, 09 Apr 2014 7:48 pm

I am a current parent and I have not heard that.
Avondale is a great little school. I cannot speak higher of the Admin ,Staff and Teachers.
The kids don't miss all the bells and whistles that some of the bigger schools may have. They are all happy, engaged, respectful and kind to each other.
There are a lot of nay sayers so if you have a question… call up and ask.
The school is very open and helpful.
BTW..the school for being small offers art, music, language, team sports, they have theater assembles and all kids are encouraged and willingly participate.
The Naplan scores are high and the kids take pride in learning.

regards
TBB

sunnydebruyn
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Postby sunnydebruyn » Mon, 19 May 2014 7:41 pm

Ozmum1 wrote:Hi, just wanted to give you my two cents worth re Avondale. My child has been there for nearly three years. In that time we have seen it go from bad to worse. We pay some of the highest fees in Singapore, yet we have absolutely no facilities. None. The playground is pitiful, the resources severely lacking and the standard of education below that of other International Schools here. Everything is about making a profit for the council - the needs of the children are just not being met. An earlier post mentioned year 7. Yes, they have added a year 7, but there is ONE student in the year and he is mostly lumped in with year 6. It's an absolute joke. The school does not have a good reputation and it is only getting worse. Needless to say we are leaving.


Has there been any improvement since then? (The post above is about a year old so just wondering).

sunnydebruyn
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Re: Review on Avondale and Info on schooling in Singapore

Postby sunnydebruyn » Mon, 19 May 2014 7:46 pm

TryingTBBMom wrote:As most mom's I believe we want the best for our children. So when addressing the topic of schools as an expat, one often relies on forums and posts, recommendations from other parents but the final decision sometimes just is not in your hands.
In Singapore there is a large variety of "choices" so they advertise.
That is not the case.
Many factors go into applying to the International Schools and then there is being accepted. The stigma and outright elitism in Singapore is shameful and how the parents who dog out other schools is laughable and frankly not a good example for their children.
There are the "top" schools SAS,UWC, Tanglin,Raffles,etc... The 2nd tier that tout they are 1st tier AIS,SAIS,OFS, there are the Country specific and Religious Private schools and the "others".When I arrived, I was told Dover is for special needs and everyone knows it, on top of which the admin is difficult. I do not know that to be factual. UWC is snobbish and only the best of the best get accepted. This is true and your child will be asked to leave if they do not make the grade, especially in HS with the IB.I thought we were a shoe in for SAS as we are American….no so.
The stuff I heard goes on and on and on. Some, in my personal findings were correct but others were "mommy mean girl" attitudes.
I have 3 kids. all have been or are currently being schooled in an International School, 2 right now here in Singapore. They attend different schools for a variety of reasons. Would I have liked them in the same school?…yes. Was that an option?... At the time no. There in lies my comment that it is not in your control.
So now Avondale…
It is a small school and growing organically. It's a nice way to say they have low numbers of enrollment. Does that make it bad…NO. Is it posh with all the bells and whistles…NO, Are the Staff and Admin, kind..YES! Are the Teachers
Qualified, caring and involved…YES. Are the Standards on par with NSW…Above the median by the reports.
There is no one size fits all for your children.
If your child received a million dollar pair shoes, but they were too tight would you make him or her suffer because they were expensive?
Apply the same logic to education.
Primary, intermediate education and for that matter even middle school is all basically the same. Your son or daughter will not get into the best university based on their lower education. Your daft if you think so. Sorry to be so harsh.
But what they will get from you choosing the right school (Avondale being small) for them is a love of learning, confidence and hopefully good moral foundation that will take them on to High School and then University.
So if your a mom that buckles under the "mommy pier pressure" then apply to all the schools in the top 10 list, there is a very good chance your child will be rejected, or wait listed which will leave you feeling gutted and think about how your child will feel as well.
It's not uncommon to be told there is no space, or your child is not a good fit. If you have a child with any medical issues no matter how small thats another check against you. If your child has ADD/ADHD or is on the spectrum…be prepared for rejection.
You should be applying to at least 3 if not more schools…period.
Singapore as a country that provides a vast amount of resources for children, education and sport... but they are very expensive.
So that's what I know and am experiencing to date.
Avondale is a lovely school, no glam but it's got a good heart and my child will
probably out grow it. But he or she will depart with all the tools needed to be a positive, sensitive, world citizen. He or she will have a good sense of self and as you can gather I have been around the expat block…best of luck


Hi TryingTBBMom. When you say it doesn't have all the bells and whistles what do you mean? Am just trying to get a gauge of facilities/programs on offer. I don't need top-class everything for my kids, but would love it if they have exposure to choir, drama, musical instrument lessons, art and lots of sport. Do you think Avondale adequately offer the above? My daughter is at a really tiny school here in Sydney (200 or so students) and they have only just started a music, drama and sports program in the last 12 months! So as I said, not expecting the world, but would like a good basic foundation of the above. Thanks in advance!


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