An affordable and accessible path for international students in Singapore: The Open Primary is open for 2017 registrations

We’ve all been there in one way or another – missing out on your school of choice is tough when there’s no suitable alternative, or perhaps you just want to invest a little less in fees. Here we take a look at The Open Primary, a great new option for primary kids in Singapore.

If you’re a parent who’s missed out on Phase 3 or AEIS school placement in Singapore, you’ll know that finding another great option is akin to a child stumbling across Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. The accessible options can be limited, often expensive (get a better idea of what it costs to get started at international school here), or a top place on the waiting list is as rare as a golden ticket. If this sounds all too familiar, there is another way. Let us talk you through a very interesting new option in Singapore known as The Open Primary.

How The Open Primary works
The Open Primary connects you with three things: (1) Like-minded families in your area; (2) Highly qualified teachers; and (3) A secure and convenient campus; all of which adds up to a Singapore curriculum education for international children aged between five and 13 years, managed and administered by The Open Primary over each academic year. Interested parents firstly register for free to gain online access and get updates on the search for other like-minded families. If you like the way things work, you then pay a one-time fee ($33.00) to gain permanent access and continue receiving regular ‘best-fit’ class updates. Then, if you decide The Open Primary is the right place for your family, you pay a refundable deposit of $500.00. If they don’t deliver on their promises of finding nine students of the same age, a skilled teacher, and a campus within 4.5km of your home, they’ll provide a refund. Or, you can accept a class that’s further from home but still convenient for your family.

Once you’ve committed, The Open Primary aims to match your child with other kids of the same age to form a class for an academic year. The class is held at the campus that’s most convenient for the families in the class, so there’s no trekking across town. Once a class is formed, the families, through The Open Primary platform, jointly contract with the two private teachers (qualified, with MOE school experience), and voila, classes kick off in January! At the end of each academic year you rinse and repeat, and commence the next academic level in the new year.

A little about the curriculum
The Open Primary follows the Singapore primary school curriculum, which includes the core subject areas of English Language, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Students will also be engaged in Arts activities and partake in Physical Education sessions (all under the English-based program) and can learn a second language under the Mandarin program. It’s recommended that you opt for a combined program to increase your chances of finding a class that matches your needs.

What we like about The Open Primary:

Small class sizes
With a maximum of nine kids per class, and a 9:1 student to teacher ratio, what’s not to like? This could be the lowest ratio in Singapore!

As long as you’re matched with enough families (ie. Eight others in your area), your campus will be close to home. There are currently 15 campuses across Singapore, so you’re sure to find one that works.

Annual fees are only four digits per annum, which is a rare sight in this town. At around $8,700.00 for a standard fee, it really is one of the more affordable options. Think of the savings as the beginning of the university fund!

Decision-making visibility
Ever been placed on a waiting list only to discover that you have no clue where you sit in the queue, how quickly the queue is moving, or how many people are really inside that ‘exclusive’ night club (those were the days!)? There are no such hassles with The Open Primary, where you get full visibility of how the class formation is progressing for your child. Every two weeks, your update will tell you about the kids in your child’s possible class, their level of commitment, and the campus that would be used for the academic year if the class were to proceed. No surprises!

No mandatory external exams
Classes at The Open Primary are aimed at educating kids under the MOE’s primary school curriculum rather than preparing them for exams. The teachers provide regular feedback to parents on their child’s progress, including a written report each term. If you wish, you can opt to independently register your Primary 6 level child for the iPSLE, AEIS for Secondary 1, or any other external exam outside of their study activities with The Open Primary.

Registrations for 2017 are open throughout September, and remember, there’s no payment or obligation for the first month, so why not take a look?

This post is sponsored by The Open Primary.