From having access to a wide range of facilities and extracurricular activities to identifying a hidden talent - here’s everything the Dutta family loves about Canadian International School.
Aside from a rigorous academic programme, parents want a school that can provide a positive and healthy environment for their children. This is exactly what Dr. Surajit and Sharbani Dutta found at Canadian International School (CIS). Not only is their son, Smyan, making great progress in his learning, he enjoys attending school and even discovered a hidden talent through it! We caught up with the family to find out why they think CIS is a great school.
Hello Dr. Surajit and Sharbani! Can you tell us more about your son, Smyan?
Smyan is nine this year and currently in Grade 4 at CIS. He’s been attending the school since 2018.
What sort of curriculum does CIS offer?
CIS offers the IB programme. The teachers here use meaningful and engaging instructional practices that help students develop the ability to manage their own learning journeys independently. There are also loads of extracurricular activities (ECAs) that students can explore based on their interests. For example, Smyan is part of Green Machine, a school-wide student club that runs sustainability initiatives. He was elected by his friends to be a representative of the club.
What were some of the most important factors for you when choosing a school for him, and what led you to choose CIS?
The most critical thing for us was to find a school with a positive and healthy environment for Smyan, and CIS definitely provides that. During our first visit, we saw that the atrium was adorned with flags of several countries. We immediately felt a sense of inclusiveness, which we still feel to this day, not to mention the warmth and openness of the whole school community.
Besides that, we chose CIS due to its student-centric curriculum that can help Smyan develop holistically and foster his curiosity through inquiry. Plus, the campus provides more facilities than we expected! There’s a huge gym, open field, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and a two-storey library that caters to all age groups (this really caught our eye). But the biggest impression was made by the classrooms and pods, which are decorated with student-made projects and art. These made the learning spaces look so refreshingly different and warm and created a sense of belonging for students.
And how did the school make Smyan feel welcome?
We were initially apprehensive about his first day in school, as he was the youngest in class, and this is his first time living overseas. But he warmed up to the school steadily! His homeroom teachers and staff go above and beyond to ensure he was able to adapt well.
We also observed that all the teachers and staff would welcome students with a smile. For parents, this is very reassuring as we’ll know that our child will have a great and safe day at school. The whole staff community would also come together and wave the kids goodbye on the last day of the academic year. I’d see kids tearing up with joy as they look back at a great year gone by, and they always look forward to returning to school after the break!
Sounds amazing! What’s Smyan’s favourite aspect about CIS?
He loves attending CIS – it’s welcoming, and it’s a school where he can be himself every day. Recently, he was elected by his class for a Citizenship Award that recognises good behaviour beyond academic progress. This really boosted his confidence and widened his smile! He always speaks fondly about the support he receives from his friends, as well as the sense of responsibility that they get to share as a class.
That’s so heartening to hear! You mentioned about the wide array of facilities available – how do these benefit your son?
Thanks to the ECAs and facilities, he has developed a passion for games we never had any exposure to, and even discovered a hidden talent! Smyan found a love for baseball through the ECAs held in the school gym and field. We now know he has a talent in drama and music too, thanks to the teachers who worked closely with him and provided him with performance opportunities in the school’s David Foster Theatre.
That’s great! And what about parents – how has your experience been with the school in terms of communication and community?
It’s been wonderful as well. The school builds a strong community for parents by organising learning activities, information sessions, fun family events, and volunteering initiatives where we get to help the larger community in Singapore and beyond. We’re also active Parent Teacher Association members and have seen how the school extends their support to us daily. It really makes us, as expats, feel at home within the community.
Smyan’s teachers also maintain regular communication with us via a one-on-one channel. We get to track his progress and raise any questions we may have. His homeroom teacher gives us weekly Friday updates, and there’s a weekly Week at a Glance newsletter from the school as well.
What do you value most about CIS?
CIS is a great school as it promotes a global curriculum that provides excellent knowledge through effective learning methods. The school also has an inclusive culture and environment, where students can grow into well-prepared, flexible, and future-ready thinkers. We’ve seen first-hand how learning here goes beyond the traditional route through Smyan’s progress too.
Lastly, do you have any advice for parents who are still trying to choose a school?
It really depends a lot on each family’s aspirations and expectations. For a holistic approach, we feel that it’s important to choose a school that can develop your child’s social, emotional, and academic competencies with the right habits, skills, and mindset.
Thank you so much, Dr. Surajit and Sharbani!
This post is in partnership with Canadian International School.