Choosing the best IGCSE School is a hustle for many parents, especially when moving to a new country. It is twice as hard in Singapore, a hub for international schools. Being a leading destination for ex-pats, Singapore has some of the best IGCSE schools, an advantage for parents looking for something familiar. The curriculum is more flexible since it allows students to get placements in colleges and universities abroad or at home.
Instead of going through numerous school websites to find the best, here are nine factors parents should consider while choosing a secondary school in Singapore with IGCSE curriculum.
1. Curriculum Flexibility
A school’s academic curriculum is a significant consideration since it directly impacts how a student adapts to school life. The curriculum shapes the student’s educational experiences when advancing to tertiary learning. Some parents may consider an IGCSE school in Singapore to align with their nation’s curriculum since it is more familiar.
The flexibility of the curricula varies depending on each school and its teaching philosophies. A great IGCSE school devises its curriculum to teach kids to be all-rounded members of society. Its curriculum should simultaneously expand college and university learning opportunities for students.
The location of a school is critical for determining a child’s safety and access through private or public transport. Parents can select a school closer to home, with bus or shuttle options, or within a short commute from home. The location should also match the school timetable, especially if students stay after school for extra-curricular activities.
Picking a school in a convenient location ensures maximum safety and comfort for the learner. Parents should also pick transportation that aligns with the school start time to avoid straining the student.
A sense of community makes all the difference for international schools in Singapore. A school with a community culture helps new students transition into the new system. They can easily make new friends and be more involved in school work.
A school’s community also breaks geographical boundaries by combining different cultures and nationalities. Such a school also enhances parent involvement through cultural fairs and other school events. Children’s social and academic capabilities grow as they connect in such an environment, which is ideal for moulding other empathetic and considerate kids.
A school that communicates with parents regularly ensures that parents are fully involved in their kid’s education. Teachers in an IGCSE school should maintain regular communication with parents to inform them about a child’s performance and well-being. During admission, a parent should ask about parent-teacher symposiums and how administrators frequently communicate with learners.
The school should also update the website frequently with the latest information. Parents can use these avenues to understand the school’s policies, philosophies and achievements.
5. Teaching Approach
Methods of teaching vary for all secondary schools in Singapore. Some schools prioritize academic performance, while others balance academics with co-curricular activities. The latter aims at catering for the socio-emotional needs of a child through arts, sports and academics. The teaching approach will depend on a child’s learning style.
Parents should meet teachers while getting their children admitted to a school in Singapore offering the Cambridge IGCSE programme. Knowing more about their teaching experiences and qualifications will help determine whether they can meet the child’s education needs. An international school provides the best environment for students to interact with competent teachers.
6. School Fees
A suitable IGCSE school should also be within budget. International schools are costly, and besides the tuition fees, there are other costs to consider. Parents looking for an international school in Singapore should calculate the tuition fees, uniforms, meals and transportation costs to narrow down options.
Most parents make the mistake of keeping aside a set fund to pay their child’s school fees for the first year. They make the critical oversight of not counting consecutive years. Calculating the amount of money it would take to educate the child until they finish school helps assess the value of money. It also determines whether the school meets a child’s learning needs.
7. Child’s Needs
Your child should feel safe and happy in school. Prioritizing their needs ensures they attend a school that focuses on their well-being. The best IGCSE School for your child should be competitive in academics and other co-curricular activities. A rigorous programme is ideal for kids who are academically inclined.
This curriculum keeps and engages them to expand beyond their horizons. A flexible curriculum with co-curricular programs is great for moulding all-rounded kids great in sports and arts. Ultimately, this IGCSE School will also set kids up for future success as they become responsible members of society.
8. Language Programs
Even after picking a school with the best international curriculum, it is necessary to consider its language programs. For IGCSE schools in Singapore, checking for language programs is necessary for building proficiency and fluency in multiple languages. The Chinese-English bilingual programs help kids understand their native language, enabling them to connect better with the people around them.
These language programs should also meet the student’s individual learning goals. The effectiveness of the language programme is assessable through the teaching methods, other language options and the school’s accomplishments.
Facilities differ for each school, which can be great for picking the best school for a student. Every school should provide a conducive learning environment while considering individual and collective needs. Access to technology improves how students learn and engage with each other for class projects. OWIS secondary school in Singapore uses technology to achieve a well-rounded 21st-century education.
These include in-classroom technology like iPads for improving learning experiences. Even for co-curricular activities, there should be equipment and spaces for students to explore their talents. These include athletic spaces, musical instruments, and art materials. OWIS also has enough classrooms with up to 24 students to maximize attention to performance.
Finding the perfect school is challenging for kids moving to secondary grades 9 and 10. Fortunately, prioritizing these factors would narrow the options to a few schools to compare and pick the best option.