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Australian Int'l, Chatsworth East, Eton House Broadrick

Discuss various schooling options for your children here.
maigonokoneko
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Australian Int'l, Chatsworth East, Eton House Broadrick

Postby maigonokoneko » Sat, 16 Nov 2013 9:41 pm

I recently visited the Australian International School, Chatsworth East and Eton House Broadrick for K2/Pre School Older and Primary 1 / Prep. I would like to share my views and also get the views of other parents on these schools so I can get a more rounded view.

The Australian International School facilities and the structure of the classes blew me away (as the school is huge I had some reservations on the suitability for such a young child) - the classes had a theme and you could really feel that they encourage a child to be curious about the world around them; music / PE / etc. are taught by subject matter teacher; Mandarin is 5 times a week; School lunches looked tasty; There is a proper large gym specifically for junior school; a separate playground for junior school; spacious classrooms; lovely library for junior school (they are building another one for Pre School); till Year 2 they have 1 teacher and 2 teaching assistants per class of 21 students. AIS only has 4 major breaks with the option of Camp Asia which covers the 2 major breaks. Making the other holidays easier to manage. However, they do not have school buses available if your child is participating in an after school activity. Which means for a working mom, you're going to have a very busy helper.

Chatsworth East has small facilities but the school and classes seem very organised and the children seem very happy. The school stresses inquiry based learning and academically they seem to be more advanced than AIS. Mandarin is twice a week. The staff at the school know the children by name even if they weren't their class teacher. Most of the children I saw had bought school lunches from home but they do have school canteen option. The holidays are scattered so as a working mom it might be difficult to juggle.

Eton House feels a bit worn and has no real facilities - the art room is shared from Primary 1 to 6; The music room doesn't have very many instruments; Large outdoor field for games but very small playground - although the breaks are staggered there are 150-180 students in one break slot; No pool on site - swimming classes are a 10 min bus ride away. My son would be the youngest in the class - If they find he is falling behind as the learning gap is large for their age group, they would suggest he stays a year behind rather than someone work with him to bring him up to speed. There doesn't seem to be a theme to the teaching - didn't get a vibe of inquiry based learning. The staff didn't know the children's names. Many parents have said they love Eton House but I am not sure why as the only good points are: they have holiday classes, school buses are available for children who attend after school activities. Which is a big benefit for working mothers, the communication with the teacher is in a notebook and checked daily (so more frequent) and you have Japanese option rather than only Mandarin and English as a second language.

I have seen recommendations for Nexus are there any other parents who would be able to recommend other International Schools - I have gone through the other posts on International Schools on this site but they seem quite dated.

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Postby Hannieroo » Sun, 17 Nov 2013 12:45 pm

Not personal experience but I have heard UWCSEA is fabulous.

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Postby PNGMK » Sun, 17 Nov 2013 4:23 pm

All of those are for profit schools.

maigonokoneko
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Other international schools....

Postby maigonokoneko » Sun, 17 Nov 2013 4:26 pm

Thanks Hannieroo. Have looked at UWCSEA. But it seems like a mammoth place for a 5 year old. Unless someone else has positive experience sending their 5 year old there? The other school recommended is One World College - would love to read reviews on OWC - they are very sparse and usually dated... the most recent one I found said that their children are quite a bit behind academically. Which is concerning.

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I am open to not for profit schools as well

Postby maigonokoneko » Sun, 17 Nov 2013 4:30 pm

The schools in my short list were simply because they have school buses which pick up students from my condo. And I see how happy the children are to go to school. If there are other schools out there (e.g. not for profit) - I am happy to take a look and arrange a visit.

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Re: I am open to not for profit schools as well

Postby PNGMK » Sun, 17 Nov 2013 4:52 pm

maigonokoneko wrote:The schools in my short list were simply because they have school buses which pick up students from my condo. And I see how happy the children are to go to school. If there are other schools out there (e.g. not for profit) - I am happy to take a look and arrange a visit.


Add ICS (International Community/Christian School) to your list. Small not for profit - seems to have a good vibe.

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Postby Hannieroo » Sun, 17 Nov 2013 5:27 pm

Dover?

We're nexus which is a smaller school but I had to balance two children with very different requirements. Most schools will have a bus service, even if your guy is the only one on. That's not a biggie.

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Postby GBR » Tue, 30 Sep 2014 6:08 pm

Hi maigonokoneko

I am new to the forum, but am moving to Singapore around April 2015. I just wanted to know how you got on with finding a school? We are going through the same process now and one of the schools on the radar is AIS.

Cheers

maigonokoneko
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Postby maigonokoneko » Tue, 30 Sep 2014 10:52 pm

Hi GBR, I decided to go the local school route as the thought of forking out the same or more tuition fee as an Cambridge University, Stanford or Harvard for a 5 year old didn't sit well with me. My son is still in K1 so I may doubt my decision next year when the mad rush for Phase 3 begins as I am not a SG national nor a PR. If it all goes pear shaped I may have to revisit the International School route.

If money is not a factor then I would recommend Dover, Australian International School, or Tanglin Trust. Dover had a lovely old fashioned community (slightly rustic) school feel to it where the teachers, parents, and children know each other. An old American song popped into my head when I was there "Be glad there's one place in the world; Where everybody knows your name, And they're always glad you came; You want to go where people know, People are all the same;You want to go where everybody knows your name." I felt Dover offered a well rounded curriculum of academics, arts and sports. I think they had the smallest teacher to child ratio in all the int'l schools I visited (but don't quote me). They also had a good selection of after school activities and encouraged parents to get involved. The children here looked the most animated and engaged out of all the int'l schools I visited.

Tanglin had excellent facilities and had an established feel to it. I loved their classrooms. They have a long wait list but if you or your company can pay the debenture of S$176,550, your child will be guaranteed a spot (multiply this amount with the number of children you would like to place in Tanglin).

Australian int'l school follows in close 3rd.

Stamford American had all the bells and whistles but I didn't like the fact that none of the staff knew the children's names or even the other teacher's names. So if my son decided to go "exploring" then who will watch out for him? I was told the class teacher but the class teacher has 20 other children to take care of and she won't be able to give that much attention to one child (although they say they will) and they also said the teacher will tailor the course to the child (with 20-22 kids that's really hard). Lunches/breaks are not staggered so the grade 1s and 2s will have to have to fight their way with the older kids in their vast canteen and play area. Oh and not one teacher / parent / person /child smiled back when I smiled at them.

Let me know if you have any questions about any of the other schools you are interested in - I visited tons (I visited about 13 or was it 15?) so may be able to answer questions.

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Postby nutnut » Wed, 01 Oct 2014 9:59 am

I've had my kids at Chatsworth East for nearly 4 years, the school is great, Gordon Arndt (the principle) is very good from a parents perspective, however, we have heard on the grape vine recently that he's being given the heave-ho soon due to not brining class numbers up by the overall principle of all schools Tyler Sherwood, I have had dealings with Tyler only once or twice and find him to be a horrible man, but, that is just my opinion.

The school has just released the news that the East coast campus is being closed in 2017 and all kids will be moved to Bukit Timah area in a new All-in-one campus, no doubt the cause of our fees going up every year to fund this.

The kids love the school, the teachers seem to love the kids and the parents have a good raport there too. I'd highly recommend Chatsworth if you are looking for something for a few years to feed into another school or if you are willing to move over to Bukit Timah in 2017. However, if it's all under Tyler Sherwood from 2017, I personally wouldn't send my kids there, I cannot stomach that man.

That's my tuppence ha'penny.

Oh and OSOD doesn't like it cause it's a "for profit" school and probably run by the mafia. :P
nutnut

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Postby shannada » Fri, 03 Oct 2014 8:42 am

Many parents have said they love Eton House but I am not sure why as the only good points are: they have holiday classes, school buses are available for children who attend after school activities.


Having had 4 children attend two different International Schools, I can safely say that Eton House is not about the newness of its facilities or buildings, school buses and holiday classes or other secondary matters. Why it is popular with parents is because the school has a big heart. This school is all about the quality and dedication of its teachers to holistic learning (IB style), the care and warmth they have towards the children, and the sincerity of the Principal and Vice-Principals in placing the children first before other matters. Many of the teachers have taught there for more than 5 to 10 years on renewed contracts, which is testimony to the school's ability to retain good teachers.

Yes, there are some facilities that are tired or old, but isn't education especially at primary school level about having motivated and good teachers to inspire and motivate our children to acquire a love for learning and knowledge?

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Postby zhenova » Sun, 12 Oct 2014 10:02 am

maigongkoneko, I'll be moving to Singapore later this year and plan to bring my 3 year old over in 2015 once I find a school for her. I'm also looking for "local" or inexpensive kindergarten...but after visiting several preschool websites, including those schools mentioned here, I'm not sure what "affordable" means anymore. All the schools seem to charge upwards of S$20,000 per annum (for 3 terms)...

The schools you've mentioned - AIS, Chatsworth and Eton - based on my research, seem to be "international" schools...or do i have the wrong concept of what International School means? Have you come across other local schools with tuition below S$15,000 per annum? I'm moving to SG without school allowance and I'm getting butterflies just seeing the cost of schools there.

Also, do you recommend i pin down the school first then search for housing based on school, or should I do it the other way around?

maigonokoneko wrote:Hi GBR, I decided to go the local school route as the thought of forking out the same or more tuition fee as an Cambridge University, Stanford or Harvard for a 5 year old didn't sit well with me. My son is still in K1 so I may doubt my decision next year when the mad rush for Phase 3 begins as I am not a SG national nor a PR. If it all goes pear shaped I may have to revisit the International School route.

If money is not a factor then I would recommend Dover, Australian International School, or Tanglin Trust. Dover had a lovely old fashioned community (slightly rustic) school feel to it where the teachers, parents, and children know each other. An old American song popped into my head when I was there "Be glad there's one place in the world; Where everybody knows your name, And they're always glad you came; You want to go where people know, People are all the same;You want to go where everybody knows your name." I felt Dover offered a well rounded curriculum of academics, arts and sports. I think they had the smallest teacher to child ratio in all the int'l schools I visited (but don't quote me). They also had a good selection of after school activities and encouraged parents to get involved. The children here looked the most animated and engaged out of all the int'l schools I visited.

Tanglin had excellent facilities and had an established feel to it. I loved their classrooms. They have a long wait list but if you or your company can pay the debenture of S$176,550, your child will be guaranteed a spot (multiply this amount with the number of children you would like to place in Tanglin).

Australian int'l school follows in close 3rd.

Stamford American had all the bells and whistles but I didn't like the fact that none of the staff knew the children's names or even the other teacher's names. So if my son decided to go "exploring" then who will watch out for him? I was told the class teacher but the class teacher has 20 other children to take care of and she won't be able to give that much attention to one child (although they say they will) and they also said the teacher will tailor the course to the child (with 20-22 kids that's really hard). Lunches/breaks are not staggered so the grade 1s and 2s will have to have to fight their way with the older kids in their vast canteen and play area. Oh and not one teacher / parent / person /child smiled back when I smiled at them.

Let me know if you have any questions about any of the other schools you are interested in - I visited tons (I visited about 13 or was it 15?) so may be able to answer questions.

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Postby PNGMK » Sun, 12 Oct 2014 10:32 am

zhenova, there are NO International Schools with tuition below $15,000 p.a. to my knowledge. Without a school allowance you need to look into using the local school system. There are a lot of posts on this in the subforum on education - as for location MOE do not allow foreigners a lot of choice - you're idea of finding a (local) school and then housing is probably sensible.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_in ... _Singapore

Zhenova, there is one International School I'm aware of with cheaper fees - a fairly new school that opened on Balestier Road - I drove past if the other day and finally got around to lookin it up.

http://victorylifechristianschool.com/admissions/fees/

Also Global India Schools seems cheaper than I realized;

http://www.globalschoolsfoundation.org/ ... /Fees.aspx

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Re: Australian Int'l, Chatsworth East, Eton House Broadrick

Postby shannada » Tue, 02 Jun 2015 7:33 pm

Have heard that Eton House Broadrick Road (Primary School Campus for Kindergarten to Year 6) has received approval from the authorities to start up their Secondary School program (Secondary 1/Year 7 onwards). They have commenced their first intake into Year 7 with classes to commence in the new school year in August 2015. Plans are to progressively extend to the upper secondary years with the current intake this year being the lead cohort (i.e. open Secondary 2 in Aug 2016, Secondary 3 in Aug 2017, and so on). Curriculum will be based on IGCSE.


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