A Moving Child is a Learning Child
Starting from Nursery, Tanglin creates an environment where children’s natural curiosity can grow through play, movement and activity, flourishing into a lifelong love of learning.
Movement develops essential life skills such as spatial and situational awareness and Tanglin’s Early Years Programme incorporates these in its curriculum by teaching fundamental movement skills in PE or simply by playing in the school’s brand new Infant playground or exploring our new onsite Forest School area. Children find equilibrium through the balance bike programme, learn to be water safe at the pool, develop tenacity whilst scaling Tanglin’s bespoke Infant climbing wall, or have fun in the largest recreational gymnastics programme in Singapore.
Children thrive in our exciting learning landscape; one that has been cultivated through 97 years of careful planning, lovingly taught by Tanglin’s exceptional Nursery team. Opportunities abound for Infant children at Tanglin.
Find out more at www.tts.edu.sg and discover why Tanglin was named International School of the Year 2023.
We all know parenting is tough and comes with so many decisions –education being one. We’re super lucky to be spoilt for choice when it comes to schooling options for our kids in the Little Red Dot, but that doesn’t make the decision any easier. In fact I reckon it makes it way harder.
Where do you start? Here is a good place. This little guide will make your decision a whole lot easier.
Whether you’re looking for the first school for your little one, are considering switching schools, or you’re on the hunt for the best enrichment and afterschool options, we’ve got it covered. Not only that, but we’ve also added a bunch of other useful guides, from need-to-know info on curriculum options to kid-friendly neighbourhoods to explore come the weekend. We’ve even asked the mums at HoneyKids HQ to share their top tips on family living in Singapore.
Still after more? Look no further than our biggest event of the year – the HoneyKids Asia International School Fair. This year is the 10th edition, making it the oldest (and best!) school fair in town. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet over 20 top international schools under one roof, put your questions to the experts, and listen in on a whole host of education talks. And if you can’t make the date, then remember, you’ve got this handy book to help, too.
Good luck with those parenting decisions!Chris Edwards Mum to Evie, Louis, & Darcy Founder & CEO of Honeycombers, HoneyKids Asia & Launchpad
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL CELEBRATES 30 YEARS IN SINGAPORE.
We are proud of what we have achieved from opening in September 1993 with only 32 students, to recently being voted ‘Singapore’s Best International School 2022’.
Our school philosophy remains committed to the notion of a holistic, rounded education, which cherishes the arts and sports as well as academics as essential dimensions of each student’s education.
To find out more please contact our friendly Admissions Team on email@example.com or 6653 2958 www.ais.com.sg
What do you about the education on offer in Singapore?
Kate, Mum to Jess and Sienna
“The quality of education in Singapore is amazing, both in terms of teaching, curriculum and world-class facilities. The difficult part? Picking a school from all the fantastic options on offer!”
Angela, Mum to Xavier and Marcel
“The education here provides a nurturing space for my kids to realise their potential. There are so many options in terms of curriculum and languages.”
Amanda, Mum to James, Emily, and Sophie
“I love that our kids can have a world-class education with a choice of different curriculums. The huge range of extra activities is also really appealing - my kids are involved in music lessons, basketball, football and ballet!”
What do you llll about the education on offer in Singapore?
Chris, Mum to Evie, Louis & Darcy
“There is something for everyone! So many options; we are spoilt for choice. I also love how international the schools are - diversity is everywhere.”
Jasmine, Mum to Jack, Lynn, & John
“There are so many options available, and the education system is great – both local and international schools.”
Esther, Mum to Hadrian
“So many excellent choices! The country has some of the best international schools, and the local system is also voted as one of the best in the world.”
What do you about the education on offer in Singapore?
“The education system in Singapore is progressive, offering ever-evolving activities like coding and design, introduced very early on in the educational journey. There’s also a focus on building children’s awareness about pressing issues like protecting the environment, cyber-bullying and, most importantly, self-care.”
Megha, Mum to Ayaan and Amaan
“There’s lots of variety to cater to different educational paths and more schooling options available at different price points.”
Dover Court International School is a community with inclusion at its heart, where all students are heard and included - building confidence, opening minds and cultivating success.
An expat parent’s guide to schools in Singapore
Picking a school for the kids is usually one of the toughest decisions parents have to make. Even more so if the fam bam just moved to a new country and is still in the midst of settling in! Whether you’re new to Singapore, or still searching for the perfect school for your child - fret not, we’re here to help you decipher the Singapore education landscape and schooling options for your child.
Types of schools in Singapore
There are mainly two types of schools in Singapore: local government and independent schools that mostly follow the Singaporean curriculum; and international schools that offer a variety of curricula and academic pathways.
Local schools International schools
Can a non-Singaporean citizen attend a local school? Yes - as long as you fulfil the requirements. Singapore’s education system is ranked as one of the best in the world. Students join Primary 1 at around six years of age, and usually start pre-university studies at 16 years old. With over 300 schools around the country, you’ll be bound to find one that’s within or nearby your neighbourhood. International students will need to sit for the Admissions Exercise for International Students test to be considered for admission. You can check out the Singapore Ministry of Education’s website for more details about the admission process and requirements. Curious to know more? Read about our HoneyKids mum Tracy’s thoughts on having one child in an international school and two children in the local school system.
As the name suggests, international schools cater to the international community in Singapore (ie. you!). The curriculum differs according to each school: some follow the International Baccalaureate (IB), some follow the IGCSE, and some follow the national curricula of specific countries - we’ll explain more about this later in our Let’s Talk Curricula article on page 27. As these schools are operated by independent education groups, the admission procedure for each school is different as well. But this is no cause for alarm! The Admissions Teams at all international schools are more than happy to guide you on the process and requirements. Plus, they even offer school tours for prospective families as well. Just get in touch with your shortlisted schools (psst… we’ve got a directory full of them in this guide) and let the search begin!
SMART campus: 27 Punggol Field Walk, S828649.
East Coast campus: 82 Cheviot Hill, S459663.
2.5 - 18 years
9am - 3:30pm
Global Indian International School (GIIS)
3 things you need to know
Call +65 6914 7100; or email admissions.sg@ globalindianschool.org
GIIS offers multiple international curricula: IB PYP, Cambridge IGCSE, IBDP, and CBSE.
A tech-empowered school with over 40 skill-based labs and studios, eg. radio and TV studio, design and technology lab, culinary lab, etc. These studios help students develop new skills like critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and more.
The school’s results are among the best in Singapore - an average of 38.6 in 2022 IBDP exams.
Why parents l ve this school
“I’m very impressed with the kindergarten teachers’ warmth and passion for children at GIIS. We are very comfortable communicating with them. Both my children are very happy to go to school everyday. I can see their development from every angle.”
Mihee Kown, parent of GIIS students Minjoon and Joonhee
65 Bukit Tinggi Road, S289757.
18 months-12 years
8:30am - 3:30pm (Mondays - Thursdays)
8:30am - 1:30pm (Fridays)
Holland International School (HIS)
3 things you need to know
Call +65 6466 0662; or email admissions@ hollandinternationalschool.sg
Sparking a love for learning since 1920, HIS is one of the top three oldest international schools in Singapore.
HIS has a bilingual preschool (50% English, 50% Dutch), with a choice for students to follow either the English or Dutch national curriculum in primary school.
Small by design to enable personalised learning, HIS is a school that values both its students’ well-being and academic achievements.
Why parents l ve this school
“HIS stands out for its personalised learning philosophy and developing skills in a cosy, small school environment. Though it has ‘Holland’ in its name, it’s not for Dutch families only - the school has a supportive, active, and engaged international community!”
Adolfo and Karen Vazquez Smit, parents of HIS students
Excellent Dutch and English preschool and primary education is provided at moderate fees, in a safe, personalised and rich learning environment.
Holland International School empowers children to become happy, confident learners, through shared ownership, critical thinking and cooperative learning.
Dutch national curriculum within the framework of the IPC and an English language programme
English national curriculum within the framework of the IPC and a Dutch language programme
International French School Singapore (IFS)
IFS is a unique and vibrant learning environment that offers high-quality education to students from all over the world.
The school provides a comprehensive curriculum that is based on the French national curriculum, tailored to meet the needs of each individual student.
IFS is committed to providing a safe and supportive learning environment to ensure all students are able to reach their full potential.
Why parents l ve this school
“Many IFS students come from different parts of the world and “mastering French” is not a must for enrolment. The school also has a number of programmes to facilitate integration, help students feel at home, and exploit their potential fully.”
A small school housed on a lush three-acre land, The Grange offers a holistic, creative, and sustainability-driven learning experience to children. It’s the first international school in Singapore to offer a combination of the IPC and Cambridge Primary curricula with specialist subjects incorporated at no extra cost.
The Grange is a two-time winner of Singapore Education Awards’ Best Environmental Initiative with its Green Granger programme.
Why parents l ve this school
“The Grange is a school that feels like a family. The atmosphere is cosy, friendly, and nurturing. Everyone knows each other and looks out for each other. The teachers are creative, caring, and passionate, which goes a long way..”Nicholas Boeglin, parent of The Grange students
O u r r a p i d l y a l t e r i n g w o r l d i s i m p a c t i n g u s i n u n p r e c e d e n t e d w a y s . T o s h a p e a n d b u i l d t h e w o r l d t h a t t h e y w a n t , s t u d e n t s t o d a y n e e d a d i f f e r e n t e d u c a t i o n . T h e G r a n g e I n s t i t u t i o n e q u i p s o u r s t u d e n t s w i t h g l o b a l c i t i z e n r y s k i l l s , t o t h i n k c r i t i c a l l y a n d h o l i s t i c a l l y . T o c o m m u n i c a t e a n d c o l l a b o r a t e . T o s o l v e r e a l - l i f e p r o b l e m s . T o a c t a n d b e c o m e a g e n t s o f c h a n g e .
Learn about our award-winning initiatives. B o o k A S c h o o l T o u r N o w
C o n n e c t w i t h u s :
T G I S I N G A P O R E
Gold Winner for Best Environmental Initiative. Again
Nexus encourages learner agency in its activities, decisions, and daily classes, cultivating confidence and independence in them.
Nexus believes in nurturing strong relationships between learners, teachers, and the larger school community to create a supportive and safe environment for all children with nobody left behind. The school is equipped with world-class, state-of-theart facilities that were designed by its own educators that encourages innovative learning.
Why parents l ve this school
“Nexus teachers care. They are easy to speak to, and from recent experience, it’s clear that they have taken the time to get to know our children.”
The McMurtrie family
Our creative and innovative teachers know that the biggest ideas often come from young minds. Our unique learning environments truly allow our teachers to bring out the very best in our learners and encourage them to take risks, make mistakes and challenge themselves to succeed.
Year established Location
6 Sin Ming Road, #01-15 Sin Ming Plaza, S575585.
Full tuition schedule on website
WhatsApp +65 9777 3532; or email firstname.lastname@example.org
3 things you need to know
Academia uses a learner-oriented pedagogy that blends the best of Singapore’s education system with strategies re-engineered from research and liberal arts colleges.
Its curriculum is refined continuously by its teaching experts (tutors from Oxbridge and the Ivy League).
Academia’s proven track record includes over 60% AL1s for 2021 and 2022 PSLEs, 100% A/B for 2021 O-Levels, and 70% Distinction for 2021 A-Level General Paper.
Why parents l ve this centre
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn from Dr. Coomber at Academia. On top of equipping me to tackle exams, Dr. Coomber provides students with awareness, skills, and sensitivity of thought that will last you the rest of your life.”
K, Academia’s student from Raffles Institution (Junior College)
Let’s talk curricula!
Our one-stop guide to some of the more recognised curricula on offer in Singapore will help you understand what they’re all about.
Whether you are choosing an international school in Singapore for the first time or looking to move your child to a new school, one thing’s for sure – the variety of curricula out there can be confusing. Here’s a handy guide to get you started...
Montessori is a method of education developed by Italian physician and educator Dr Maria Montessori. It is based on independence, hands-on play and learning through experience. Students are allowed freedom to choose activities based on their natural interests, thereby learning free from strict instruction.
The Reggio Emilia approach is a preschool and primary educational philosophy whose ethos is that young people form lifelong personalities during the early years. The program is very hands-on and aims to inspire students to use symbolic languages (such as painting and sculpture) in their day-to-day learning. It focuses on values of community, responsibility, and respect.
Many schools also offer nationally recognised curricula, such as the British, American, Australian, German, and French learning systems, to name a few. This is a great choice if you are already familiar with a particular country’s curriculum, if you know your family will be moving to that country or if you’re aiming for your child to go into further education in that country.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
The IB aims to provide a truly international education by developing academic, personal, emotional, and social skills students require for success in today’s world. The IB is the most widely offered curriculum in international schools in Singapore and receives high recognition among higher education institutions. It also has a focus on producing caring world citizens who are able to think independently.
International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)
IGCSE are internationally adapted certificate courses for students of highschool age. Originally based on the UK GCE O-Level examinations, the content of the course has been adapted to suit the needs of international students who are not studying in the UK, or will be taking a different course in their final years of school. IGCSEs are considered to be excellent preparation for A Levels and IBDP (IB Diploma Program) subject courses.
Prepping your child for school: 101 guide
Starting school is a big milestone with a rollercoaster of emotions – excitement, nervousness, panic (and that’s just us parents). Preparing your child for the big event can sometimes feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. To make the transition easier, we put your burning questions to the education experts at Kinderland Academy & Preschool to help your little one’s first day go without a hitch!
How can I help prepare my child for their first day of school?
Your little one will be looking up to you in preparation for their first day at school, and we all know that they are way more observant than we give them credit for! With this in mind, make sure you share your excitement and use positive language when talking about their first day. If you’re excited and positive, they are more likely to be too!
You can also get your child involved in preparing for their first day – whether it’s picking a school bag with their favourite character on it or going to try on some fancy new school shoes. Being part of the decision-making process really helps them to feel part of it and get excited about their first day.
Psst, the first day can often be a busy one, so snap a few photos in advance of your little one in their new get-up to take the pressure off.
What if they’re really nervous (and I am, too)?
While positive vibes are important, it’s also good to discuss the mix of emotions they might face on their first day at school. Offer them reassurance that it’s completely normal (and you probably feel it, too!). Giving your child the opportunity to ask questions and explore these feelings in advance really helps. You can rest assured that educators are very well-versed in first-day nerves and will work to help your child overcome any anxiety they might feel in their new environment. At the end of the school day, you can have a conversation with your child about their time at school. This can really encourage them to communicate their feelings and teach them to handle their emotions better.
Things are always scarier when they’re unfamiliar, so if you can, it’s often helpful to bring your little one on a school tour before starting. This can really help ease nerves (for both of you!), get familiar with the environment, and they’ll be able to see what fun is in store!
How do I introduce a new routine for my child’s first day?
The first day of school could mean a whole new routine for everyone in the family. From a new breakfast time to a new journey to school, don’t leave it until the first day to try it. Set yourself time to practise your routine together. One way to make it fun is to use incentives such as stickers, and reward your little one for their progress with the new routine, e.g. helping to get their bag, eating their breakfast on time, etc. It’s advisable to keep these routines consistent (time to wake up, leave home, nap time) on off-school days as well, as it builds a systemic pattern for your child which can regulate their moods better.
This will also support their in-school transition, where they will also establish new routines and ways of working. At Kinderland Academy & Preschool, teachers introduce classroom rules and learning corners in the first week and encourage children to take ownership of their belongings in fun and creative ways. For instance, using photo cut-outs and their names to help them recognise their seat and cubby. This helps them feel at ease at being a part of the school community straightaway.
Should I take my little one along to visit the school in advance of their first day?
Are there any resources that can help me prepare my child for starting school?
Loads! In fact, the best source for these is through your child’s preschool itself! You can check with the school for tips, or even get a copy of its daily schedule to replicate the routine at home. Another good way is to read a book with a school theme to ease any jitters ahead of starting school. Stories can help your child visualise and gain a better understanding of what their first day might be like. One great suggestion is Little Owl’s First Day by Alison Brown & Debi Gliori. This is a reassuring tale about Little Owl’s first day at school, which is sure to ease your own little owl’s anxiety.
Do you recommend going for a phased approach when starting school?
If it’s an option, then a phased approach can be a great way to test the water when starting school, with perhaps a half day or a shorter week. It’s also useful if you can stay for the settling-in sessions. At Kinderland Academy & Preschool, new students usually attend school for half a day in the first week, with parents allowed to accompany them for the first two days. This gradual approach allows for an adjustment period where children can get used to their new surroundings with parents around for support.
Parents should be reassured that while they play an important role in getting their children ready for their first day, new starters are in the very best hands at school. Schools will support little ones from the get-go and use a range of fun activities to build friendships and settle quickly.
Schools also have a range of support systems in place. Kinderland Academy & Preschool matches younger children with older preschoolers, who, with the support of their teachers, act as helpful guides for new starters to settle in. Besides, this interaction also helps to build up social-confidence as children interact more comfortably with peers rather than stranger adults.
Your little one is about to start on a super fun adventure and their very own learning journey. And luckily for them, there are plenty of fun experiences, not just inside but also outside the classroom! Whether it’s getting outdoors and up close with nature, like the pupils at Kinderland Academy @ Yio Chu Kang, who enjoy exploring the Animal Sanctuary, or the chance to establish friendships and learn from seniors through the partnership with Lions Befrienders. Learning within and beyond the classrooms can fulfil a child’s naturally inquisitiveness, developing them to be eager learners. Plus, learning through intended activities helps them build characters as leaders of tomorrow. Have
How do teachers help settle new starters once parents have said goodbye at the gates?
What other new experiences will my child have to look forward to at school?
Planning to send your kids to an international school in Singapore? From application fees and lunch at the canteen each day to building maintenance and insurance, we take a look at how much it really costs to get started.
It goes without saying that cost is a huge factor in your decision-making process when choosing an international school for your child. And, while annual tuition fees for international schools can vary considerably, what about all the other costs involved? Getting your kid to their first day at school may have you coughing up for application fees, enrolment or registration fees, building maintenance costs, contributions to the parents’ association, extracurricular activities, exams, insurance… and that’s before your little person has even made it to morning snack break. Here are a few factors you may want to consider.
Calculators at the ready!
This is the biggest cost you need to consider and can vary a lot from school to school. Ask as well about when you’d have to pay: is it in instalments or is full payment required upfront? School fees tend to increase as your child moves up an age group, so do bear that in mind if you plan to send your child to school in Singapore for an extended period of time.
Submitting an application is free at some schools, while others add this charge to the list. However, some application fees are partially refundable. Keep an eye out for open days that have offers of discounted or waived registration fees to help you save some pennies.
Waving goodbye to your child on the school bus is another cost to include in your sums.
It could be a small fee, it could be another hundred dollars or so. Either way, it’s good to find out the cost and add it to your list.
Rocking up to the school canteen every day may eat another chunk out of your wallet per year. It’s worth factoring in!
And then there’s...
Other costs that might crop up include fees for extracurricular activities, technology, books, field trips, resources, exams, insurance, learning support, and charges for studying English as a Second Language.
Savings Alert !
Sibling discounts are sometimes offered to families who have more than one child attending the school. If you’ve got more than one child and you plan on sending them to the same school, be sure to ask your shortlisted schools if they have any
discounts in place. Also, it’s worth noting that some fees are a one-off, such as your registration or application fee. That means while you have to factor in to your firstyear costs, it won’t be applicable from the second year onwards.
Ever thought about scholarships?
International school fees can certainly make a dent on your bank account. The good news? Your child might qualify for a scholarship…
Sending your kids to international school in Singapore can cost a pretty penny. One way to get around some of the fees and enjoy all the perks of attending a world-class international school? A scholarship! Here’s how it works in Singapore...
What kind of scholarships are out there?
It depends on the school. Some offer full and partial tuition scholarships and some offer scholarships that last for two or three years. Some schools only offer scholarships to students who are in secondary school or higher.
What do international schools look for in potential scholars?
Apart from a strong academic record, scholarship committees also look at a student’s ability, dedication, leadership skills, and aptitude across a range of disciplines. Some even consider a student’s background, and favour those who would benefit most from financial assistance or a scholarship.
What is the application process like?
Different schools have different prerequisites for potential scholars. Typically, there’ll be a rigorous selection process that involves several interviews, and, in some cases, aptitude tests and personal statements. These requirements are reviewed by a scholarship committee who will review all cases.
What are the benefits of applying for a scholarship?
Apart from financial assistance, students can capitalise on the prestige of having the achievement of a scholarship on their records. This helps when they apply to universities in the future. Usually, scholarship recipients tend to do well in their university applications and thrive in well-known institutions.
Interested to know more? Reach out to your shortlisted schools and ask them for further information.
A-Levels or International Baccalaureate
Which is the right fit for your child?
The International A-Levels* and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programmes (IBDP) are some of the most popular pre-university programmes available in Singapore. Both two-year programmes are academically rigorous and are recognised by universities worldwide. Universities don’t really have a ‘preferred’ qualification: Admissions Departments evaluate each student based on their overall achievements, including academics and extracurricular activities. As long as your child meets the minimum grade requirements in the necessary subjects for their chosen course, it doesn’t really matter whether they’re applying with the A-Levels results or IBDP.
What really matters is that your child chooses a pre-university programme that is suitable for them. Both A-Levels and IBDP have their merits, so what parents and students should be looking for is a programme that can help the latter excel and achieve their full potential.
Since we’ve established the similarities between the A-Levels and IBDP, let’s take a look at their respective differences.
International A-Levels International Baccalaureate Diploma
Subjects Students select three to four subjects to specialise in. Depending on the chosen degree, these should be the course’s required subjects. If there are no subject requirements, students are encouraged to select any that they are interested in and wish to study in depth.
Students select a total of six subjects to study throughout the programme: three at Higher Level; three at Standard Level. The chosen subjects should include at least one from each of the subject groups: Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, and Arts (this can be replaced by an additional subject from Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, or Sciences).
There are also three core elements that students are required to take: Theory of Knowledge (TOK); Extended Essay (EE); and Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS).
Examinations Subjects are assessed at two levels: AS (at the end of the first year) and A2 (at the end of the second year), and they will only be tested on content covered in that year.
Examination periods are in May/June and October/ November. Students have the flexibility to resit and retake modules if necessary.
Scoring Students are graded by letters A*-E, with A* being the highest grade. Universities usually look at a student’s top three subjects for admission.
Written examinations usually occur at the end of the two-year programme.
Coursework-based subjects or elements (e.g. TOK and EE) are assessed throughout the two years under teacher supervision. These are assessed in the form of essays, student-led exhibitions, extracurricular activities, and voluntary social work.
Students are graded through a points system ranging 1-7 (7 being the highest) for the six subjects they select.
Core elements (TOK, EE, CAS) are worth one point each.
This means that the highest possible score is 45. A student needs 24 points (on top of meeting the minimum requirements) to be awarded a diploma.
Some may feel that the IBDP offers a more well-rounded approach to education as every student needs to pass their core elements to receive a diploma. While this is true, many international schools that offer A-Levels in Singapore do include additional programmes and extracurricular activities to provide their students with a holistic education. This is possible given the lighter course load of the A-Levels, compared to the IBDP pathway.
An example is EtonHouse International School’s bespoke EtonCore and Lifeskills programmes. EtonCore allows High School students to create their own personalised learning journey with elective aspects that can develop their interests and nurture student agency. This includes:
• Community service projects through the EtonHouse Community Fund;
• The Extended Project Qualification (an accredited qualification that involves researching and producing an essay on a self-selected topic);
• Working towards the Duke of Edinburgh Award;
• Participating in partnerships, internships, and residential programmes; and
• Collaborating with overseas schools in the EtonHouse global network to develop international mindedness.
The Lifeskills programme, on the other hand, exposes students to a range of soft skills. This ranges from study skills, wellbeing, to finance, and even preparing for the world of work. You can book a tour to visit EtonHouse International School’s Orchard campus to learn more about how it provides a wholesome learning experience with the International A-Levels that runs from August to June. Its sister school, Middleton International School, also offers the International A-Levels programme running from January to December.
As you can see, each programme has its own merits. While the IBDP allows students to study a wide range of subjects, the A-Levels provide flexibility and the chance for specialisation. It all boils down to a child’s preference and strengths. If your child is stronger in certain subjects or has already made up their mind on the type of degree they want, then A-Levels is a more appropriate choice as your child can focus on equipping themselves with all the knowledge and skills required for it. On the other hand, if your child prefers a mix of written, coursework, and activities-based assessments, then the IBDP may be more suitable. So take some time to discuss with your child about the kind of learning experience they would like. This can really help you and your child decide on the right fit for them.
A PERSONALISED EDUCATION TO BRING OUT THE BEST IN YOUR CHILD
We welcome you to visit our schools and experience our
• Warm family oriented environment
• Internationally recognised pathway with IB PYP, IGCSE and International A-Levels
• Inquiry led and Reggio Emilia inspired pedagogy
• Carefully planned and beautifully resourced learning environment
• Strong mindfulness and wellbeing practices
• Bilingual foundation from early years to primary and beyond
• Multiple campuses in popular residential areas
Infant care to high school
BOOK A TOUR
Did you know?
EtonHouse also operates Middleton, one of the most affordable international schools in Singapore which offers the IPC, IGCSE and A-Levels curriculum. It has campuses at Tampines and West Coast.
A little help goes a long way: Where to find early intervention and learning support in Singapore
Watching little ones along their learning journey path is full of highs, lows, and plenty of tears of both joy and frustration for all parents. But while we know that all of our children are unique, brilliant little masterpieces, formal education and academia aren’t easy for everyone. If your child has special needs, a developmental delay or learning challenges, know this - you’re absolutely not alone.
Luckily, Singapore has some excellent early intervention centres and schools - both local and international - that offer support for kids of all ages. Here’s what you need to know about the options available.
Early intervention centres and inclusive preschools
For families who want to provide their children with supportive education from a young age, early intervention centres and inclusive preschools are your best options. Depending on the centre and preschool, children may start as young as one year old. On top of therapy, early intervention centres may also offer training in life skills and after-school academic support. As some of the early intervention centres are run by psychological clinics, they provide families with a one-stop diagnosis and intervention support services. Should you end up on a waiting list for an inclusive preschool, there are also early intervention centres that operate in a school or classroom-based setting. Check out our list of top early intervention centres and inclusive schools in Singapore right here
Local mainstream schools
Local schools that offer the mainstream national curriculum are able to support children with specific special needs from primary to secondary levels. This includes support for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, hearing loss, mild autism spectrum disorder, physical impairment, and visual impairment. Students will have access to Special Education Needs Officers, who provide learning and behaviour support (individual, group, or in-class); a Main Literacy Programme conducted by the Dyslexia Association of Singapore, assistive technology like text-to-speech software; services from social agencies and more. You may check the full list of support available on the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) website.
Special education schools
Special education (SPED) schools are government-funded schools that follow the Singapore national curriculum, tailored according to the SPED Curriculum Framework. It’s worth noting that Singapore citizens are given absolute priority for admission to these schools. Nevertheless, international students may still apply for admission to SPED schools and will be served should there be no Singapore citizen children on the school’s waiting list. SPED schools currently cater to children with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability (mild to severe), multiple disabilities, and sensory impairment. A professional assessment and/or medicl report is required for admission. More information on the application process can be found on MOE’s website.
Most international schools in Singapore do offer some form of learning support for students who follow the mainstream academic pathway. There are also a few with dedicated special needs curricula and academic programmes that children can start as young as two. The latter schools usually have specialised classrooms and equipment for students with learning differences. Most schools have a dedicated Academic of Learning Supports Team, some even comprising Occupational Therapists and Speech-Language Therapists on top of School Counsellors and Special Education Teachers. There are also schools that work closely with external professional services to provide children with the extra help they need. You can check out the detailed list of international schools with learning support, as well as the support services they offer on our website!
What’s your favourite activity to do with the kids in Singapore?
“We love cycling with the kids in the various parks and park connectors and exploring new playgrounds in the heartlands.”
“I love doing family staycations in Sentosa. It feels like you are on a relaxing holiday without any of the work needed for overseas holidays.”
“We love Gardens by the Bay for a mix of nature and beautiful sights, with an awesome view of Marina Bay Sands.”
“We love the nature hikes and bike rides in Singapore; MacRitchie reservoir is our favourite, but we also love Pulau Ubin and Coney Island.”
“With a toddler, we love visiting new play areas which can be found almost anywhere - parks, malls, and even in community clubs.”
“I love visiting museums with the family.”
“The weather can be unpredictable in Singapore, and I always love a rainy day playing board games with the kids.”
“We love heading to our local park and kicking the football, or a bike ride at East Coast Park never disappoints.”
“We love to visit the gorgeous tropical parks and gardens in Singapore at any chance we get. The kids run wild and have a really great time just soaking in nature.”
“Checking out a new park – there are so many in Singapore, and each one is incredible! Oh, and we are also big fans of water play to beat the heat!”
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After school: All the fun things to keep kids active and learning after classes
It’s important for kids to get a healthy mix of school, playtime, and personal development, which is why we love some after-school activities! Not only do they offer kids the chance to build soft skills and make new friends, but they also allow for learning outside of the classroom. Don’t know where to start? Take a peek at these popular after-school activities for some inspo…
Let’s start with the good ol’ co-curricular activities (CCAs) and extracurricular activities (ECAs) we loved when we were kids. Both local and international schools in Singapore have a variety of options for your kids. In fact, we’re told that one international school even has over 90 of them! These range from the well-known Singapore Scout Association and Red Cross Youth to only-in-Singapore ones like the National Cadet Corps, and unique options like tchoukball, Singapore Youth Flying Club, and more. We’ve got a whole list of them here!
Specialist classes (non-academic)
Has your kid got a passion for sports or the arts that you’re keen to nurture? Good news! In Singapore, you can find everything –from rugby classes, swimming, coding, art, yoga, music and dance, football, theatre, gymnastics, martial arts, and even cooking! Got a very young child but keen on starting them early? Not a problem - Singapore has loads of baby and toddler classes for you and bub to try out too.
Tuition and enrichment (academic)
Looking for something academic-based, but fun and engaging for the kids? Singapore has many excellent tuition and enrichment centres that offer after-school academicbased programmes. While most centres offer programmes that are complementary to the national curriculum, there are also those with programmes that are aligned to international curricula or even offer the centre’s proprietary curriculum. Whether you want to pick up the Chinese language, give your kid a boost through English as an Additional Language, or need a student care centre for after school. Here’s our list of some of the best centres on the island.
Bilingual kids? No problem!
Don’t speak the lingo? Even if you don’t speak the language your children are learning at school, parents can still be a huge support at home.
Singapore is a melting pot of different cultures, each with their own language. And that’s a huge benefit to our kids – they’re exposed to and given the opportunity to learn more than just their mother tongue. But what if you don’t speak the language they're learning? Worry not: even if you don’t know the lingo, you can still be a huge support to your child’s studies. The secret is keeping them excited and engaged, rather than bored. Here’s how…
Set up ‘dates’: Arranging meet-ups with friends, relatives and neighbours who speak the language your child is learning can help with their new communication skills.
Workshops and performances: Keep your eyes peeled for helpful workshops or theatre productions in their second language to keep things fresh.
Books, books, books: Fun children’s books in their second language – even translated versions of their usual faves –can help generate excitement.
Use TV and apps: Screen time just got positive! TV shows and apps in their second language may encourage engagement.
Keep tabs on homework: Helping your children stay on top of the learning can keep them on track.
Learn, too! You might even want to take adult classes so you can learn the same language!
Giving back: Family-friendly volunteering opportunities in Singapore
It’s true that choosing a suitable curriculum and the right school can provide our kids with a great education experience. But let’s not forget that education can also be gained through activities like volunteering. We’ve done some digging and compiled a short list of organisations that welcome helping hands - big and small!
This organisation is all about closing the fashion loop. Cloop’s mission is to reduce fashion overconsumption and waste by keeping apparel circulated within the community through its very own Cloop Cycle. It welcomes volunteers to help sort clothes - a great way to introduce the kiddos to circular fashion and the importance of recycling!
2. Trash Heroes Singapore
Gloves and garbage collection bags are provided for the regular Trash Hero beach clean-up sessions. Kids (and adults) can come along and do their bit for the environment by keeping Singapore’s shorelines trash-free. Guides will also impart wise words about the impact that waste and rubbish have on the global environment.
Volunteering opportunities with animal interactions
3. Therapy Dogs Singapore
It’s no secret that dogs are man’s best friend, so this non-profit voluntary welfare organisation uses pet-assisted therapy to engage with and help the underprivileged. It’s a great opportunity for kids to tag along with parents as they volunteer to learn from this pawsome experience.
4. Willing Hearts
This volunteer-run soup kitchen sends about 7,000 packed meals to about 70 locations all over Singapore. Kids can take part in prepping ingredients, cleaning dishes and utensils and eventually packing lunch boxes ready for distribution. There’s a way for everyone to contribute to this thoughtful initiative from Willing Hearts.
Do you have an avid reader at home? Then get them to share their love of reading with kids from less privileged families. How? By partaking in KidsRead, a nationwide reading programme! Kids aged fifteen and above will spend an hour each week reading books (hooray!). They also get involved in story-related activities that’ll spark imagination and creativity.
What’s your top tip for living in Singapore?
“Be daring and try local food with an open mind to fully enjoy the wide variety of food Singapore has to offer.”
“Singapore may be tiny, but it has a vibrant diaspora of cultures. Explore each one, and you’ll discover that Singapore is such an interesting place to live in.”
“If you’re working, aim to maintain a good work-life balance to make the most of Singapore.”
“Be open, be curious, be kind, smile, and strike up a chat.”
“Try everything! The food, the activities, and the nearby travel options. Don’t be afraid of hawker centres; they are awesome and cheaper than supermarkets. Make friends, and be prepared for transience. Lots offriends leave, but lots more arrive - you’ll make a global network of friendships!”
“Get up and do things early; beat the heat! Then enjoy a siesta during the heat of the day.”
“Citymapper + SGBusLeh = cheapest and (I think) the best way to travel around Singapore.“
“Listen to our Growing Pains podcast for parenting tips from experts and fellow parents! (haha!) - No, really: Make the most of the beautiful parks and gardens; there are so many to explore with the family. Just remember to always bring a hat, sunscreen and an umbrella!”
“Do your research and check out what education options are available to you and your family. There are so many fantastic international schools, as well as incredible local school options to consider. Don’t rule anything out from the get-go!”
“Create a bucket list of all the places you’d like to visit in SG – it’s something fun to do with the family and will push you to explore all Singapore has to offer (which is a lot!).”
8 tips on how to be an eco-friendly family in Singapore
Looking for some easy-peasy hacks to help you go green as a family? Here’s where to start…
1. Use reusable bottles
An absolute must when there are many cute offerings on the market! Go for a reusable water bottle when out and about.
2. Try more plant-based meals
If you’re not prepared to go full-on vegan, try one day a week to get you started (#MeatFreeMonday, anyone?).
3. Cut down on the AC
We get it: Singapore is hot, hot, hot. Whenever you can, go green and open the window for some natural air. If you can’t live without your AC, set it at between 25 and 27ºC.
4. Avoid single-use plastic
Lead by example and carry some foldable, reusable totes with you. Check out our full guide to reusable products and avoid those disposables!
5. Say no to straws
Eugh, straws are the worst. The good news is there are some great reusable options out there – and a lot of the time, you don’t even need them at all!
6. Wise up to recycling
You don’t need us to tell you how important it is to teach our kids to reduce, reuse, recycle. Why not take a look at our A-Z of recycling so you know once and for all what goes in what bin? Thank us later.
7. Teach them about nature
There’s no better way to teach kids about the environment than by getting them outdoors and into nature!
8. Go car-free as much as possible
There are so many family-friendly walks, cycling routes and the fabulous Park Connector Network – who needs a car anyway?! Now
Your handy guide to 24-hour clinics in Singapore
In case of emergency, break out this guide to locate the nearest 24-hour clinic or after-hours family doctor…
You don’t need to go to a hospital emergency ward (ER) in situations that are not an emergency. You can save time and make room for those in real emergencies. Instead, choose a 24-hour family clinic or after-hours doctor for non-urgent situations.
24-hour medical centres to take note of:
Thompson Medical Centre (as well as emergency, there’s a 24-hour family clinic)
339 Thomson Road, Singapore 307677
Tel: 6250 2222
Mount Elizabeth Novena (A&E and a 24-hour on-call paediatrician)
38 Irrawaddy Road, Singapore 329563
Tel: 6898 6898
Raffles Medical Airport 24-Hour Clinic
#B2-01, Changi Airport Terminal 3, 65 Airport Boulevard, Singapore 819663 Tel: 6241 8818
Central 24-HR Clinic Group
Various locations across Singapore
Here are some handy tips to remember:
• Babies and toddlers bleed a lot, especially from the head and the hands, even from the smallest nick or cut.
• Take your child’s passport, birth certificate or ID, and a credit card when you get to the hospital or clinic.
• When you panic, you can’t think straight. Have an action plan on the fridge where it can be clearly seen. Discuss your plan with your family and your helper (if you have one) to make sure everyone is on the same page ahead of an emergency arising.
• Doing a first aid course covering minor injuries, not just life-threatening situations, is always a good idea.
• Having a well-organised first aid box is critical, too.
Note: In an emergency situation, go to your nearest hospital, or call an ambulance on (+65) 995.
A bite-sized guide to visiting the dentist
Say the words ‘dentist visit’ to some people, and they’ll break into a cold sweat. Perhaps at some point in their life, they’ve had an unpleasant or painful experience while in the dental chair. It’s only natural that we want to ensure our kids enjoy going to the dentist and practise good oral hygiene.
We’ve put together answers to some of the most common questions parents ask about taking kids to the dentist, like when you should bring them, and how to keep them calm.
When do I need to take my child for their first visit to the dentist?
How do I choose a good dentist for my child?
It is recommended that children visit the dentist from the age of one, or whenever they get their first tooth (whichever comes first). Whilst it may sound early (what can possibly be wrong with those adorable little pearly whites at one year old?), the idea is that you can identify any possible issues early and therefore treat the problem more easily.
How frequently do kids need to see the dentist?
What can I do for my kids to maintain healthy teeth?
Paediatric dentists specialise in dentistry for children. They are generally well-trained in dealing with kids and can identify any potential issues quite quickly (it’s amazing what they can see during a quick peek inside a toddler’s mouth!). But it’s not essential that your child sees a paediatric dentist. You may have a great relationship with your own dentist and prefer to take your kids to see them instead. It’s totally up to you, and the most important thing is that your kids are comfortable with their dentist. Need recommendations? Check out our list of fam-friendly dentists in Singapore. Aim for a visit to the dentist every six months from their first visit. The objective is to establish good oral hygiene practices, nip any potential issues in the bud and ensure the kids develop a happy relationship with their dentist.
Keep yourself informed about what foods commonly lead to cavities. Stick to healthy whole foods, and avoid sugar-dense foods and acidic drinks like soda and juices when possible. Encourage the children to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Singapore’s water supply contains fluoride (about 0.6mg per litre of water) and is safe to drink too.
manage your kids’ screen time
While it’s all too easy to hand the kids an iPad just so you can get a nanosecond of peace, we all know that too much screen time leads to screen addiction (and not just for the little ones – grown-ups, too!). Here’s our top tips for how to manage it…
1. Talk about it
If kids understand why you’re taking their beloved iPad away, they (might) be more receptive to the idea and more likely to get on board with it.
2. Set the rules (together)
If you’re going to set rules, get the kids involved in creating them first, and lead by example and follow them too. There go the phones at the dinner table…
It’s fine to limit screen time, but there need to be alternatives to keep the kids entertained. Get outdoors and avoid square eyes, or have this list of indoor options handy for alternatives.
4. Show programmes on the TV (not a device)
It’s a much easier discussion if you use your TV for your kids to watch things. It isn’t portable, so there’s no negotiation about whether they can watch something while you’re out at a cafe; it’s simply only available at home.
5. Make it educational
We don’t want to bash technology because, let’s be honest – there are A LOT of great things about it. So if your kids are going to be using devices, try and spend a proportion of that time on valuable activities. Need inspo? Check out this list of useful websites for kids.
6. Use an app
There are loads of apps out there to help you control your kids’ screen time and device usage (and we’re not talking nanny apps that monitor them). Instead, there is a range of free apps that can help to track, lock and limit your little people’s device usage without resorting to all-out espionage.
Good luck, parents!
FIND YOUR EXCELLENCE HERE
Discover the benefits of a world-class education for your children. As one of the best international schools in Singapore, we are dedicated to providing a well-rounded education that will help your children find their unique passions and reach their full potential. Our experienced teachers, state-of-the-art facilities, and dynamic curriculum offer a unique learning experience that will challenge and inspire them. With our focus on innovation and excellence, and by providing a nurturing environment, your children will be able to find their excellence here.
Don’t miss this opportunity to give your children the best education.
What parents need to know about cyberbullying
With the growing use of technology, our kids are at an increased risk of cyberbullying. But what is it, and how can we protect them? We spoke to Anita Low-Lim, Media Literacy Council member and senior director at TOUCH Integrated Family Group, to find out more.
What is cyberbullying? How can cyberbullying affect my child?
“Cyberbullying is the act of using technology to harass, threaten, embarrass or target another person. There are five forms of cyberbullying. You might have heard of harassment and impersonation, but what about flaming (using hostile online interactions to hurt another)? Then there’s denigration, where cyberbullies post cruel rumours, and doxxing – where bullies use identifying information about an individual to discredit them.“
“Victims of cyberbullying may feel anxious and depressed, as it destroys their selfconfidence, self-esteem and happiness,” says Anita. “Or they might feel vulnerable and powerless if their bullies are acting anonymously. You might notice your child has lost interest. Instead of hanging out with their family and friends, they may prefer to be alone.”
How to protect my kid from cyberbullying?
“Take active steps to discuss the consequences of online bullying and the impact of a person’s actions online,” shares Anita. As parents, it’s also great to be well-informed by reading up on the preventive functions available on apps instead of restricting access.”
TOUCH Cyber Wellness’ five-step method:
1. Stop – Teach them to stop what they’re doing if they encounter something that makes them feel uncomfortable, fearful or hurt.
2. Block – Cut off all lines of communication.
3. Save – Save all evidence of cyberbullying – preferably in both hard and soft copies.
4. Tell – It’s important you let your kids know that rather than keeping everything to themselves, they can always tell a trusted adult (parents or teachers).
5. Report – If the previous tips aren’t effective in stopping cyberbullying, your children may need to report the cyberbullies to the relevant authorities.
Anita advises parents to help their children find an identity outside of cyberspace to strengthen their ability to maintain emotional stability and cope with stress. “Parents should keep the lines of communication open and check in with their children. This will allow children to share info that they post online. In turn, it’ll help keep you in the loop, too.”
Where’s your favourite neighbourhood for a family day out?
“That’s too hard – there are too many places!”
“We have many favourite places for a family day out, including any of the parks and gardens in Singapore. The list is too long!”
“ I love the East Coast.”
ZHENYING: JASMINE: MEGHA:
“We live in the West so we head into the city to go to Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands. Between these two places, there is so much to see and do including visiting the ArtScience Museum, which my boys absolutely love.”
“We love heading to Gardens By the Bay, bike riding, water park, nature and learning about the environment, and you can even fly a kite.”
“We love Sentosa. A day on the beach with an ice cream, or a visit to one of the many famous attractions like S.E.A Aquarium or Universal Studios Singapore never gets old.”
“River Valley. Breakfast at one of the charming cafes at Robertson Quay, walk along the river, head to Great World for lunch and enjoy its amazing FREE play area, and if you’re feeling fancy - lots of amazing restaurants along Mohamed Sultan Road!”
“East Coast Park or the area near the National Gallery Singapore is a firm favourite.”
“Southern Ridges. From West Coast Park to Labrador Park – I love all of it (and the playgrounds are all incredible!).”
What is at the heart of OWIS students' love of learning?
At One World International School (OWIS), we believe our kindness-led philosophy enables our students to embrace their learning experience. Your child will be guided through our inquiry-based IB PYP, IGCSE and IB DP pathway by excellent and caring educators, who are invested in ensuring all learners reach their potential. Further, we personalise the learning journey to ensure your child has opportunities to develop their interests and aspirations. At OWIS, your child will enjoy:
• Engaging, hands-on learning that nurtures creativity and collaboration
• Our multicultural environment and celebration of diversity
• A sense of belonging and positivity that drives success
+65 6914 6700
27A Punggol Field Walk, S828649 +65 6914 7351
The ultimate Singapore family bucket list
Are you new to Singapore, or do you simply want to enjoy the very best of this dazzling city? We’ve been busy picking our top things to do with kids in Singapore – all you need to do is tick them off!
Gaze at nature at Gardens by the Bay
Journey back to prehistoric times at these Dino spots in Singapore
Spend a day on Sentosa
Go behind the silver screen at Universal Studios Singapore
Meet the animals at Singapore Zoo
Get island-hopping – Pulau Ubin , Lazarus, and more!
Visit Singapore’s best kid-friendly museums
Stroll around the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Visit a nature reserve
Check out a Singapore park or two!
See Singapore by bike
Cool off at water play
Visit a temple
Get back to nature at a farm
Shop at a wet market
Hit the shops on Orchard Road
Go for activities galore at Jewel Changi Airport
Feast at a hawker centre
Get your skates on at a skate park
Visit a library
Banish rainy day blues at an indoor playground
Go on a family hike !
Check out a show at the theatre
Explore a new neighbourhood – Punggol, Ang Mo Kio, and beyond!
Visit the HoneyKids Asia International School Fair !
The best playgrounds in Singapore
Indoors or outdoors, there are many awesome places for a family day out. Singapore may be an urban jungle, but this Little Red Dot also boasts lush green spaces across the island. It’s not called the Garden City for nothing! Here are some places with the best outdoor adventure playgrounds…
• Jurong Lakeside Gardens
Take in the 90 hectares of lush greenery across the three gardens at Jurong Lakeside Gardens. Expect a natureinspired playground that encourages kids to mimic the actions and motions of the animals that inhabit the freshwater swamp habitat - pretty cool, right?
• East Coast Park
Take your pick when it comes to playgrounds in East Coast Park! Make a beeline for the awesome playground at Marine Cove, or hotfoot it to Coastal Playgrove, which offers up water play, sand pits, incredible slides, and a nature playground!
• Admiralty Park
The largest park in the north of the Little Red Dot, this vast green space scoops the title of the largest nature area within an urban park. It’s also our personal favourite as it is home to the most number of slides in any park in Singapore! That’s right, folks – Admiralty Park boasts a sliptastic 26 slides!
Sometimes, a day outdoors can be a challenging, tantrum-inducing proposition – and we don’t just mean the kids! Save your sanity and head to one of Singapore’s top indoor play centres for a blissful couple of hours. Not only will your tiny tearaways enjoy kids’ play and be entertained, but you’ll get to savour a coffee in peace.
• Themed play areas
There are plenty of indoor playgrounds with fun themes. You’ll be spoilt for choice – from the popular Pororo Penguin and Tayo Bus to a fun animal safari and science-based edutainment. And that’s barely scratching the surface!
• Trampoline parks
A trampoline park is possibly the quickest and sweatiest way to tire out your terrors. Kids go crazy for interconnected trampolines, dodge ball court, parkour walls, slam dunk rings, slacklines, tumble tracks, and rock climbing walls.
• Bouncy castle-themed indoor play centres
Here’s another option for your active kiddos, with more inflatables than your house can handle. Think largerthan-life bouncy play structures, complete with slides, bridges, ball pits, and more.
Family Friendly Neighbourhoods
Are you new to Singapore or to the parenting gig and not sure where to live? We’ve got the lowdown on the top kid-friendly hoods to kick off your search!
Holland Village is a sought-after locale for expats and locals alike, not least for its abundant bars, restaurants, and shops. We know many parents who’d swear it’s the best place to live with kids! The Lorong Mambong stretch comes alive with revellers at night, spilling out onto the pedestrianised street. It’s also home to the charming Chip Bee Gardens strip! Plus, it’s easily accessible for a whole host of schools in Orchard, Alexandra, and beyond!
This hidden gem in the north-east is known for its bustling cafes and local eateries. Not only will you get more bang for your housing buck out here, but you’re also conveniently close to a raft of kid-friendly activity zones: think art studios, climbing gyms, and free water play areas!
Central (Orchard and Tanglin)
Orchard is one of the best places to live with kids if you still want to feel the buzz of inner-city living. You’ll pay through the nose for rent per square metre, given the prime location and proximity to niceties such as retail, F&B outlets and entertainment. But fret not, you’ll save on travel costs (you won’t need a car thanks to all the public transport links).
If you’re looking for a home with a view, Tanjong Rhu has one of the best in Singapore. Bordered by parks, spacious fields and an actual river, Tanjong Rhu has always been a hotspot for home hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. Families who live in the area love to take full advantage of the awesome bike paths and close proximity to the Singapore Sports Stadium.
Joo Chiat and Katong Toa Payoh
Want to live in a child-friendly area but still in the heart of an authentic Singaporean district? Katong is all about living as the locals do (this may or may not involve multiple bowls of famous Katong laksa!).
Family hangout East Coast Park is easily accessible – so grab your scooters and bikes for some fresh air!
Toa Payoh is not only home to the Housing Development Board, but there are also family-friendly eats galore, hawker centres and even a Popular Bookstore, with plenty of playgrounds to keep the kids happy. Although you might not be in ‘Expat Central’, this area is great for integrating with Singaporean locals.
Families who love the great outdoors can settle down in Punggol. It’s the perfect place to go back to nature with wide-open green spaces, prawn fishing, and plenty of water play areas. Kids who love biking will have no shortage of paths to explore, especially with Coney Island and Punggol Settlement just a stone’s throw away.
River Valley is a much-loved child-friendly area offering the perfect blend of city living and space. It’s less hustle-and-bustle and slightly more residential. The high-rise condos range from the older, larger styles to chic, river-facing homes with large balconies. In the Mohammed Sultan Road area, you’ll also find some quirky shophouses and Buddhist temples. It’s definitely the spot to be if you’re a fan of alfresco dining or river cruising.
This child-friendly area is full of delish local food, discount sports shops, an IKEA, artsy cafes and restaurants serving up honest family fare. What’s more, it’s perfectly situated to reach the Southern Ridges, one of our favourite pram-friendly park connectors!
A hidden gem situated in the north-east region of Singapore, Seletar has plenty of green spaces and kid-friendly facilities. Love planes? This neighbourhood has an airport where bub can spot a private jet or two. There are even aviation-themed playgrounds for the kids to explore!
Living in Sentosa feels like you’re on a permanent holiday while enjoying the perks of a tropical idyll and plenty of child-friendly activities. You can play golf, wander along the boardwalk post-brunch at Quayside Isle, or jump aboard a stand-up paddleboard at one of the island’s many beaches.
Bukit Timah West Coast
This well-loved residential enclave is teeming with young families drawn in by its leafy tree-lined streets and semi-suburban vibe. At one end, you have Newton Circus hawker centre, and at the other, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Singapore Botanic Gardens. And with the Hollandse Club on your doorstep, you won’t need to worry about opting for a landed place and not having a pool!
Some locals say the west side is the best side, and we can see why! Besides being home to the lush West Coast Park, with eight (yes, eight!) play spaces, you’re also spoilt with beautiful Jurong Lakeside Garden on your doorstep, too. Plus, there’s easy access to a whole host of pram-friendly walks for families with young children.
Top tips for an eco-friendly birthday bash
If you’re throwing a birthday party but want to make sure you aren’t being wasteful or damaging the environment, here’s our guide to throwing an eco-friendly birthday party!
1. Use online invitations and keep the guest list small
Both Evite and Punchbowl have great invites, or you can even do something creative in Canva. Don’t feel obliged to invite everyone either. A birthday party doesn’t have to be grand for kids to have fun!
2. Go green with an outdoor party venue
You can save on electricity, mother nature becomes your decor, kids can go wild (with little to damage), and you get great photos too.
3. Bye-bye balloons and excessive buffets
Opt for felt party decor or forego decorating and rent a bouncy castle. Once you have a fixed guest list, order bento boxes for the party or make them yourself to reduce food wastage.
4. Replace disposable plates and cutlery with steel ones
Make a one-time purchase of steel/enamel plates, bowls, and cutlery. These are super handy and will tide over all your future parties as well.
5. Sustainable goodie bags and eco-pressie alternatives
Instead of stuffing goodie bags with cheap plastic toys, why not opt for more creative tokens like a book or even personalised cookies? Also, add some of these pressies to your shopping list…
• Circular fashion: Buy your little one some new birthday threads through circular fashion. It will save you tons of time and dollars and will reduce fashion wastage, too.
• Eco-friendly toys: Plastic toys are one of the biggest contributors to pollution, so we’re making the shift towards eco-friendly toys for the sake of our littlies and the environment.
• Reusable art and eco-friendly art supplies: Think art supplies like natural beeswax crayons, playdoh, and finger paints. There are also eco-friendly craft kits and colour-in reusable art placements that the kiddies will love to get their hands on.
from Pre-KG to Grade 12
“Overall, everyone at the school seems highly professional and dedicated to providing a high-quality education for the children. The children enjoy school and the location is great for us”.
- NLCS (Singapore) parent
North London Collegiate School (Singapore) combines an ambitious academic education with pastoral care that genuinely values each individual and a range of extra-curricular activities that caters for every possible interest and talent. For families who aspire to academic excellence for their children, we bring an exceptional educational o ering to Singapore.
Call: +65 6989 3000
CPE Registration Number: 201621489R
Period of Registration: 2019-07-25 to 2023-07-24
School Address: NLCS (Singapore)
130 Depot Road Singapore 109708
Glossary of School Acronyms every parent needs to know
Don’t know your IB from your IGCSE? Past the point where it’s acceptable to ask? Our trusty guide to school acronyms should sort you out. Yup, it’s time to drop that sheepish grin — we’re here to educate!
Advanced Placement – an American program which offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students.
English as an Additional Language.
Central Board of Secondary Education – a Board of Education for schools, under the Union Government of India.
DP: Diploma Programme –an educational program managed by the IB for students aged 17 to 18 years old.
IGCSE: International General Certificate of Secondary Education – an English language curriculum based on GCE O levels.
HSC: Higher School Certificate –a secondary school credential awarded by New South Wales, Australia.
GCE A Level:
General Certificate of Education Advanced Level – pre-university course taken in the last two years of secondary school culminating in exams taken in three to five subjects chosen on what university course a student intends to pursue.
IB: International Baccalaureate – a non-profit educational institution that offers educational programs for children aged three to 18 years-old.
IBDP: International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme – a two-year educational programme for 16- to 18 year-olds.
IPC: International Primary Curriculum – curriculum for children aged five to 11 with specific learning goals for every subject and taught in over 1,000 schools worldwide.
ILP: Individual Learning Program.
PYP: Primary Years Programme – an educational program managed by the IB for students aged three to 12 years.
Programs that include Science, Technology, Engineering/ Entrepreneurship, Arts and Mathematics.
MYP: Middle Years Programme – an educational program managed by the IB for students aged 11 to 16 years old.
Programs that include Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Your admissions checklist
Things you might need when applying to an international school.
Completed school application form
Photocopies of child’s passport
Photocopies of child’s birth certificate
Photocopies of parents’ passports
While every school has its own application process, here are some of the documents required that you might want to start compiling.
Photocopies of both yours and your child’s immigration status (dependant’s pass, for example)
Passport-size photographs of your child
Vaccination history certificate
Report cards (officially translated into English if necessary)
Baptism certificate or similar if your child is applying to a faith-based school
Letter of guarantee if your company is paying the school fees
And of course, all your relevant fees
Chatsworth International School
Astor International School
Global Indian International School (GIIS)
Dover Court International School
Hillside World Academy (HWA)
Australian International School
Dulwich College (Singapore)
Holland International School
Brighton College (Singapore)
Canadian International School (CIS)
EtonHouse International School and Pre-School
Hwa Chong International School
GESS International School
Integrated International School
International Community School Singapore (ICS)
International French School Singapore (IFS)
Invictus International School
Melbourne Specialist International School
Middleton International School
Singapore American School (SAS)
Singapore Korean International School
Nexus International School (Singapore)
North London Collegiate School (Singapore)
Kinderland Academy & Preschool
One World International School (OWIS)
Sir Manasseh Meyer International School
St. Joseph’s Institution
Overseas Family School (OFS)
Knightsbridge House International School
Stamford American International School
Swiss School in Singapore
The Japanese School Singapore
XCL American Academy
Tanglin Trust International School
The Perse School Singapore
XCL World Academy
The Grange Institution
The Winstedt School
United World College of South East Asia
Yuvabharati International School
The GUILD International College