Singapore Expats Forum

Nexus International School

Discuss various schooling options for your children here.
bizzybee
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Postby bizzybee » Thu, 29 Aug 2013 10:16 am

Hi Veronica,

Thanks for the perspective! From what you have shared so far, it sounds good and seems like the kids are really learning the right way.

When you did the school hunting, did you consider the likes of UWC/Tanglin/SAS? If not, or if you did and decided against them, what was the reason? Somehow I don't like the huge school thing, feels like the kids will be lost amongst the sea of people. But I read also that schools like UWC does lend a prestigious name to the kids CV. Does that mean its easier for them to get into top unis because they had a UWC education? I suppose it will be hard for Nexus as its new and they have no track record to speak of.

Looking forward to my visit tomorrow. So far, everything I have heard gives me a good feel, hope its even better after I see them!

Veronica VanE
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Postby Veronica VanE » Thu, 29 Aug 2013 12:16 pm

Hi bizzybee
I did not consider those schools because they are too big for my kids and they have separate campuses for different age groups – I like all the kids being in the same place. I also understood that one is able to jump the queue at one if those schools if you paid a huge amount of money and we found that morally repugnant. I have friends with kids at Nexus and their siblings may be at one of the schools you mention. They remain at those schools usually because they are in exam years, otherwise the parents would have moved them.
I am probably not the person to ask about the “prestigioius nameâ€Â

bizzybee
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Postby bizzybee » Thu, 29 Aug 2013 6:08 pm

Thanks V!! Appreciate all your inputs!

Hannieroo
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Postby Hannieroo » Fri, 30 Aug 2013 4:30 pm

Veronica's last post speaks for me too. Taylor has 20,000 pupils worldwide.

My youngest is nearly 6 and my eldest is 15. There is encouragement to be the best you can be across the board. But your best, not anyone else's. the encouragement, support and open communication is something I've not found at this level before.

The positivity and happiness that radiates out of the children and staff sold it for me. It's a nice place to be. The tinies cry when their parents come to take them home, not when they drop them off.

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Postby scarbowl » Sun, 01 Sep 2013 12:33 pm

I'm curious about the rumours of high numbers of mainland Chinese and special needs students there. Is there any truth to that? Is it a problem or to - guessing not since you didn't mention it. What's the truth to it?

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Postby Hannieroo » Sun, 01 Sep 2013 7:21 pm

As far as special needs go, I am not aware of anything other than an inclusive whole child response. I'm not sure what special needs actually means but if you mean whether a child with dyslexia is helped then, yes. But not to the detriment of other children. Every child is taught to their abilities.

It's an International School in Asia. I have no idea where half of the children come from without asking but just because somebody appears Chinese etc does not mean they aren't Australian or half Chinese with a German parent.

But like it matters, right? We're raising our children to be globally aware and considerate.

Veronica VanE
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Postby Veronica VanE » Sun, 01 Sep 2013 7:52 pm

Dear Scarbowl
Perhaps I am being obtuse but I am not aware of these rumours and don’t really understand the question – perhaps you could be more specific. I don’t want to appear as though I speak for the school – I am really just a parent, albeit an informed and opinionated one! Concerning the two subject areas you mentioned:

Mainland Chinese: There are quite a lot of Mainland Chinese in the upper years. It is very common for Chinese parents on the Mainland to send their teenage kids to Singapore for a more international education. There are also Taiwanese, Korean and other nationalities from Asia. I am guessing that many Western parents (if they are not here for the long term), prefer to board their kids in their home countries to enable them to continue the higher education they may have already started there. I feel sorry for Chinese kids whose parents live in Mainland China and Western kids whose parents live in Singapore. We have a team of English Language Support staff who assist all Learners whose first language is not English.

“Special Needsâ€Â

scarbowl
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Postby scarbowl » Mon, 02 Sep 2013 5:09 pm

Thank you for your reply. The school will not release information about the concentration of particular nationalities, how many students are attending without their parents present in Singapore, or the level of students receiving special assistance.

Nexus may offer a great program, but saying that "all Learners have special education needs" ignores the challenges of having your child in a classroom with a high percentage of students with learning difficulties. You are correct, though, that few private schools in Singapore offer additional support. Most of them do not accept students who require such help. The question really is whether Nexus provides adequate support for those students or whether they are solely the responsibility of the classroom teacher and taking time away from the other students.

The short answer to your suggestion, though, is that the school will not offer accurate information on these questions. I heard these things from an employee on an unofficial basis and did not know if it was reliable. So I wanted to ask someone with a child actually in attendance.

Thank you.

Veronica VanE
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Postby Veronica VanE » Mon, 02 Sep 2013 5:15 pm

I have children in different grades in Secondary School. One has just moved from Primary. I am not aware of a "high percentage" of learning diifficulties in either School. I understand that Dover has a reputation for dealing with learning issues. I don't think we have.

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Postby zhenni » Fri, 06 Sep 2013 10:05 pm

Reading this thread avidly as also looking to move next summer (2014) with my 5 and 7 (almost 8) yr old from the UK. They're in a small school and despite the great academic reputation of the larger schools, I think they would find the size of the campus/student numbers very daunting. I am keen for them to follow IB PYP because I understand it focuses on exams less and coursework/ongoing assessment more, am I right? I don't think primary age kids have any need to stress about exams!

Interested in reading further comments on everyone's experiences, and looking forward to visiting Nexus next month on my first visit to SG (also looking at Chatsworth Orchard and Eton House). Any other suggestions?

Veronica VanE
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Postby Veronica VanE » Sat, 07 Sep 2013 5:35 am

Hi zhenni - you may be interested in another thread about Nexus - ftopic84166.html&highlight=

Nexus has grown a little since then but is still a nice size. Throughout the Primary school the focus is on collaborative learning. The focus is NOT to cram as many facts into your head to get you through the next exam.

One of the many good things about Nexus is that it is never static. The leadership team is always striving to make it better. They listen to what parents have to say.

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Postby Hannieroo » Sun, 08 Sep 2013 11:05 am

I think Dover is also on the small side.

With an 8 year old you might want to consider how long you will be here. A primary you love might not be a secondary you want. For various reasons, we wanted same campus for our children and a decent size of senior. I know some schools add as they grow so have very, very small years later on. Which could be viewed as good in some eyes but I wondered about the lack of subject choices and friend options.

Enjoy your visit.

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Postby Hannieroo » Mon, 09 Sep 2013 8:43 pm

Right, at pick up I saw the vice principal and I asked if it was true if the school refused to give out relevant stats to prospective or current parents regarding nationalities and additional educational requirements.

I think he was a bit surprised to be asked in the corridor but there was no evasion and he said that all information was readily available to any interested party. The school has over 40 nationalities and the make up is 22% British, 18% Chinese and ( I think) 8% Australian. Then everyone else has a smaller proportion. That surprised me, I would have put money on Australian being more than British. Dunno why.

I asked about learning needs. Two learning support teachers, which I knew. One child with an assistant of their own (that impressed me) and four children with individual plans ( out of 500). Those numbers seem pretty low. But I was glad to hear it, obviously I don't want my children's learning affected but also I'd hate to think that extra needs weren't catered for. That's exactly the kind of school I would avoid.

So, yeah. I think the school is pretty open. To be fair I don't think there has been any evasion or bait and switch as far as I am aware. I hope that helps, Scarbowl.

Veronica VanE
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Postby Veronica VanE » Mon, 09 Sep 2013 9:45 pm

That's interesting - I didn't know all that, Hannieroo - though, to be honest It has never occurred to me to ask .....

The Learning Support teachers came and spoke at a school meeting the other day to explain how they help ALL learners (not just a few) and the teachers. I really liked a poster they posted on the board, "An inclusive school environment is not mainstreaming students into regular education classes but rather developing regular school and classrooms that fit, nurture & support the educational & social needs of every learner." I really liked that: Kids are not singled out ... every child is taught according to their own learning style...

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Postby bizzybee » Tue, 08 Oct 2013 2:06 pm

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to follow up on my last posting. I did a school tour of NISS last month and just wanted to share my opinion of the place.

Firstly, its huge!! It gave me the impression that I am on a college campus! In fact, it reminded me alot of the Taylors College campus in Malaysia (I'm Malaysian and am familiar with the Taylor's College there).

Secondly, I know this is a small thing, but I felt that the corridors were a little too dimly lit. The area leading to the K1/K2 classes seem a little worn and I think because it was an enclosed area in the building with no windows, it seemed a little too dim. I also got a whiff of the restrooms located nearby and that was rather unpleasant (yikes). Moving on to the K1/K2 area, the classes are placed in a circle, with the common area on the center. Its nice that the kindy section is away from the rest of the school. Kids look happy enough in the class, and seemed engaged with the teachers. The kindy section also leads out to a separate play area which is nice.

Random thing, one older class (Grade 2/3) I saw though had the teacher sitting at his place and blowing a horn at the kids and asking them to quieten down! I can't decide if that's amusing or annoying.



The thing which I felt was that the school is indeed very big with alot of common areas. The adminstrator explained that during break time and lunch hour, the kids are free to roam about and spend their time in the library/auditorium/playground/canteen/music room/gym.... my question is how do the teachers keep track of where the kids are especially the younger ones? What if the students loiter around or what if the younger kid is being bullied by some older kids in one quiet corner which no one knew about it? I know I may be over-exaggerating here but these things do cross my mind! Well, so I don't know how I feel about that.

The curriculum is wonderful in my opinion. I am a strong believer of BI and from what I saw, it seems like the kids to have fun learnin. I think Taylors is a reputable group and they should be able to get the leadership of the school right.... its just the other small stuff like the look and feel of the environment. So my verdict? I am definitely shortlisting this school but will in the meantime also look at others.

Oh yes, the adminstrator also told me that most secondary students are Chinese. Not a problem to me though... fine for the kids are exposed to different culture and nationalities and backgrounds.


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