We are past the midway point of the school year for most children in Singapore. It is almost time to think about what kind of education we want to give them. They may take a virtual campus tour, check school brochures, or make a shortlist of all the schools they want to go to.
As a parent, you have to get involved in the process of choosing which schools you would like your child to go to. Your children deserve only the very best education that you can give them.
In today’s day and age, material things or wealth may be a great asset, but it is not the one thing your child will rely on to get by in most situations. The one thing they need is talent and skill, which people may only refine and hone when practised. If they have both of these, they can reach many places. And in a competitive country like Singapore, people understand this fact the most.
Singaporeans are one of the most highly educated people on the planet. But in a highly competitive working environment like ours, children might have difficulty standing out or gaining the skills that they need.
If you can, then enrol your children in an international school. Give them the world-class education they deserve and they might just thrive. You do not need a school virtual tourto know that an international school experience might be more enriching for your child. Here is what you need to know about an international school.
What is an International School?
If you are not already familiar with international schools, they are schools that focus heavily on an international-style curriculum and place students in an international environment. For example, an American international school may focus on an American-style curriculum, follow an American school schedule, and teach subjects offered in American schools. The same is true for Chinese and Indian international schools, and so on.
Others may focus on providing education that will help students to adapt to curriculums around the world. For example, an international baccalaureate programme can help students enter world-class universities.
There are no set criteria for a school to be considered international. There is no true definition for an international school either, but one can distinguish international schools by their international student body and staff, subjects aimed toward global living, an emphasis on world-class standards, and subjects promoting international citizenship, cooperation, and globalism.
Not everyone will be lucky enough to attend an international school from primary to the middle to secondary school in Singapore. At every grade level, Singaporean citizens are highly encouraged to attend Singaporean schools. The rule leaves only foreign expatriates and those with prior international school backgrounds can go. Should your child be presented with the opportunity to go to an international school in Singapore, it is highly advisable to send them to one.
Because they cater to foreign students and follow different curriculums and schedules, if your children come from a foreign school from abroad, this may give them less of a culture shock. Transitioning to a local school in Singapore may be much harder for your child if they do not know the local language or what the education system in Singapore may be like.
This will also give them more opportunities to explore abroad. While Singapore schools can still help students find work abroad, those who graduate from IB programmes and other similar international institutions will find it easier to adapt. They are also much more likely to get accepted to world-class institutions abroad.
How to Help Your Child Adapt to International Schools
While it may be easier for foreign nationals to adapt to an international environment, that does not mean your child may not experience culture shock when they first transfer to an international school in Singapore. As a parent, it is your job to ensure that your child receives the best possible education and develops into a confident student during their stay.
Here are a few tips that might help you and your child. Relay this information to them so they can prepare for their education.
1) Get to know the student body
Making new friends might be the hardest thing about going to a new school, but it is necessary if they want to survive the school environment. Having a few allies by your side would mean more when navigating a confusing labyrinth. The school would be so much easier with people by your side, so make friends wisely.
2) Learn more languages and become fluent
While international curriculums are more suitable for foreigners who do not know the local language, an international school in Singapore is a melting pot of cultures and nationalities. It is impossible to communicate and be friends with people in an international school in Singapore without some fluency in English and perhaps another language. Do not be afraid to learn a new language and hone your skills.
3) Learn more about the international school’s education system
Whether they follow the IB curriculum or an American or British one, let yourself know more about it before entering the school. Familiarise yourself with the differences from your previous school system so you can seamlessly integrate into the school. Unlike local schools that are more standardised, international schools are not.
4) Join extracurricular activities and get involved in other areas of school life
School might be defined by grades and work, but even in international schools, It is not an end-all-be-all. Join extracurriculars to enrich your school life and help you assimilate better into the system.
NPS International School helps students prepare for all the challenges they may face in their chosen career paths. Why not take them there if you want your child to pursue a global profession? NPS International School is a Montessori school in Singapore. Reach out to them via their website.