Though it’s only been a few months since Andrea joined the school, the Chan family has loads of positive things to say about Australian International School!
Being the new kid in school can be nerve-racking, but Andrea Chan has had the best time at Australian International School (AIS) since she joined in August 2023. Her parents, Gordon and Salina, are also “extremely pleased” with the school. “It provides Andrea with a supportive and enriching educational experience that aligns perfectly with our expectations and aspirations for her future,” they shared.
We had a short chat with the Chan family, who recently moved from Hong Kong, to find out more about their experience with AIS, and what they appreciate about the school.
Hi Gordon and Salina, can you walk us through some of the important factors you considered when choosing a school for Andrea?
The most important factors for us were the flexibility of choosing curriculums, as well as the quality of educational standards at the school. We also wanted a school that would allow Andrea to explore different subjects and develop her personal interests.
We ultimately chose AIS as we found that the school has a moral commitment in making the world a better place. The school aims to develop individuals who are reflective, caring, knowledgeable, and principled people too. Personally, we believe this is crucial and hope our daughter will learn and develop this commitment over the years.
What curriculum does AIS offer?
AIS offers the Australian curriculum for Years 6-8, which Andrea is in now. Students in Years 9-10 follow the Cambridge IGCSE, and they’re allowed to choose between the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) or Australian High School Certificate (HSC) in Year 11. Our intention is for Andrea to pursue the IBDP in the future.
Andrea, do tell us about your first week at AIS! How did the school make you feel welcome?
Andrea: The first week at school flew by quickly, and I’ve met a lot of new friends in only a matter of two months! I immediately felt like I had become a part of the school when I was first assigned my locker. It’s a symbol of the trust and security fostered within AIS’ halls.
Gordon and Salina: Andrea was welcomed by the Head of Year at the main entrance on her first day. She was shown around the school, given her locker, and introduced to a student buddy. Like she said, the moment she was assigned her locker was the moment she felt part of the school. This sense of belonging made her feel comfortable in her new school environment, which also helped her transition smoothly.
What are some of the things you love about AIS, Andrea?
Andrea: My happiest moments arose from the gradual assimilation into AIS. Every day brought forth encounters with fellow students, teachers, and staff. I cherish each of these interactions, as they’re the perfect opportunities for me to understand more about my new school and the friends around me.
Gordon and Salina: She has been coming home beaming with joy ever since she started attending AIS. Andrea tells us about all the wonderful things that have been happening to her at school. Thanks to her classmates and teachers, she’s able to immerse herself in her classes within a week. We also notice that she’s growing daily, and readily prepares herself for the upcoming challenges as well as learning experiences.
What are your favourite facilities at AIS?
Andrea: I remember being captivated by the Art Room. I’ve always had a passion for art, and this Art Room allows me to take inspiration from the countless paintings made by my seniors. It felt like being immersed in a realm full of imagination and creativity. It was truly amazing!
Gordon and Salina: Yes, the Art Room, as well as the science laboratory, have greatly benefitted Andrea in pursuing her favourite subjects. The wide variety of sports facilities also allow her to explore new sports. Overall, AIS’ facilities have created a conducive environment for learning, which greatly enhances her learning experience.
How does the school communicate with parents?
AIS Parent Association (AISPA) sends regular updates through the Classlist platform. The weekly All School Newsletter keeps us updated on all school events and activities. We’re satisfied with the level of communication, and it helps newcomers like us integrate with the school community.
What are some of the initiatives carried out by AISPA to build a community for parents?
AISPA has country representatives who help new parents settle into the AIS community. Aside from that, the association hosts a range of activities to help us understand the school system and the different apps that students use. We found the Newcomer’s Morning Tea extremely informative, and we feel greatly supported as we’re able to keep in contact with our country representative and other parents. It really helps us settle in and make new friends in Singapore. AISPA also helps organise holds like Global Festival Day, reservoir walk, and bowling.
What do you value most about AIS?
We value the way in which AIS promotes courage, compassion, and critical thinking to students. It opens up their minds to new ways of thinking, something we consider to be extremely valuable. Furthermore, students are encouraged to be courageous when facing problems, and the school supports them in overcoming these challenges. This support in turn teaches them to be more compassionate with others. The school also has a positive atmosphere to help students thrive: teachers and staff truly care about the wellbeing of the students. AIS is really striving to create a better future generation.
Any tips for parents who are looking for a school for their child?
We highly recommend going on a campus tour in advance. We found this extremely beneficial as we were able to visit the different parts of the school and ask questions. It was also a great opportunity for Andrea to get a feel for the school and allow her to see if she would fit in. It’s important for a child to have an open mind and be self-motivated. AIS has many programmes that help children achieve just that.
The last question is for Andrea: what do you hope to achieve at AIS?
As I imagine my future at AIS, I’m filled with gratitude for the opportunities that lie ahead. With the skills and knowledge gained here, I hope to seek admission to universities that offer veterinary programmes. I’ve always had a huge, unwavering passion for animals since I was young. This draws me towards a future in veterinary science. I wish to hone my skills and knowledge through a degree in this, and work part-time at a veterinary clinic to gain valuable experience. Working part-time is one step towards me gaining financial independence too! As I have a deep love for art as well, I believe my determination will propel me, slowly but surely, towards a future where creativity and compassion intertwine.
Thank you for sharing with us, Gordon, Salina, and Andrea!
This post is in partnership with Australian International School.