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Singapore International School - any comments pls?

  1. #1
    lost is offline Registered User
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    Singapore International School - any comments pls?

    Hi everyone,

    My child just got an offer for SIS PY 1 and we would like to find out more about the school. She is currently in a local kindy and we are deciding if we should move her to the international route instead. We have picked a relatively "stress-free" local kindy and have heard SIS could be more stressful than a local kindy and wanted to learn more about that. So any information would be appreciated.

    In particular, how much homework is there for children in PY level? Any assessments and project work?

    Looking ahead, we were wondering what a typical day would be like at the primary level - particularly, how much homework (again), how much time spent on CCA's and what is the regular assessment timelines.

    Thank you in advance for your replies.

  2. #2
    Zergmei is offline Registered User
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    hi Lost

    are you local? do you have any backup plans as to where to send your child for primary school? usually entering at py1 is the route to spending primary school at sis. if you want an easy life for your kids then the route will be via international school. sis is probably one of the more rigorous international schools. if you plan for them to go to local school then life will be a lot harder for them than sis.

  3. #3
    lost is offline Registered User
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    Zergmei,

    Thanks for the reply. I'm not local but my husband is... That's why I'm afraid that I may not be able to help my child go through local school life/academics and my husband will not have much time to spend with our child on studies. We do think chinese is important, hence the choice of SIS (compared to some other international schools.)

  4. #4
    Zergmei is offline Registered User
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    Congratulations! U r the first ( aside from myself) one i am hearing of, who has gotten early acceptance. So far have not heard of any other success cases. Even those kids holding SG passports have been asked to go for another round of interviews.

    It really depends on your nationality and if there is any chance that you may want your child to integrate into a public school in singapore in the future. If you or your child is holding a Singapore passport then chances of getting the ministry of education approval to join an international school in Singapore is almost zero. So sis would be the best choice for ur child to integrate smoothly into the Singapore education system.

    Also have you got any other interviews for international schools lined up that you could stand a better chance getting a place in? You are right that most other international schools are not as rigorous about learning mandarin (aside from the cis environment. But cis entry would have been a year ago so that avenue will probably be closed off already).

    Since ur husband is local then you may be in hk for a while. This year would be quite crucial to make a decision whether local stream or international stream. Homework or assignments will prob be in all schools. Its just a reality of education these days unless u do not want ur child to have to learn much putonghua then esf will be the way to go.


    Sent from my GT-I9505 using GeoClicks mobile app

  5. #5
    nassim is offline Registered User
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    Dear Lost,

    So glad to hear that you got an offer with SIS. The school is extremely hard to get in. Not many spaces are open to non-Singaporeans, and for your child to be accepted, he/she must be pretty bright and has the quality the school looks for. I heard there are thousands of applications, and only a very small handful open to non-Singaporeans. Even siblings get no priority.

    My child has been with SIS for the past 8 years. He is now in P6. From memory, PY is a very happy place. Not much homework, especially compare to K2 & K3s of local kindies, and nothing which a child can't handle. I remember there were many opportunities for them to stand up and present their little projects which trained my kid to be quite a confident little presenter.

    I believe the primary school has become even more rigorous on their academics these last two years, specifically on English and Chinese. As a parent, you need to be prepared that there is homework. For a P6 student, on average 2 to 3 pieces a day. My child takes about two hours to complete everything - which is ok for his age. Obviously, some children handles homework well, and some encounter more challenges. I vividly remember my son spent most time struggling with his Chinese when he was younger, and I lamented what a breeze it would have been for him without Chinese. But now the hump is over, and it has become much easier to handle, and we are so pleased with the things he learnt at school. Wrt to assessments, from P3 onwards, there are two exams a year (P1, none, and P2, year-end only). For children who encounters difficulties in certain subjects, there are parallel classes where teachers give them special attention. For those who demonstrate talents in Math and Chinese, there are advance classes. SIS doesn't give you pressure about scores (unless it's really poor), most pressure probably comes from the parents themselves .

    In terms of subjects, aside from the usual English, Chinese, Math and Science, Art, PE, there is Drama, Dance, Music, Swimming, ICT. There is also a myriad of CCAs which the school encourages students to take, varying from various ball games to percussions to choir to gymnastics to root & shoot to swimming to scouts. Just too many to name. Most kids take at least one activity a week at school.

    In my opinion, SIS is a good cross between local (too much HW ) and international (too little HW), and I firmly believe that their academic programme is superb. However, whether the school is right for you depends on what you look for and importantly, your child's personality. I would definitely choose SIS over any local schools, but if you are after a totally care-free, stress-free, easy childhood, then probably other international schools are more suitable. SIS is fairly demanding in academics, probably more so than any other international schools of the same level in the primary years. And if that's not what you are aspire to, then you are better off to explore other opportunities.

  6. #6
    lost is offline Registered User
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    Hi Nassim,

    Thank you for sharing your experience! My child and I are Singaporean actually... We've enrolled in the opinion that it is a good cross between local and international so I am very glad to hear our thoughts are consistent with your experience.

    Thanks again everyone.

  7. #7
    minirat is offline Registered User
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    Hi, I just wanna say hi! Our situation is pretty similar to yours. My boy and I are Singaporeans whereas my husband is local. We just applied for SIS PY1 2015/2016. Hopefully we are able to secure a spot at SIS, keeping fingers crossed.

  8. #8
    minirat is offline Registered User
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    Any idea whether any unsuccessful case(s) for Singaporeans kids in this year's PY1 enrolment?

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