For Naya Nandargi and her husband, Dover Court International School is the perfect school for their son. We spoke to her to find out why…
Naya Nandargi knows that she and her husband chose the right school for their son Arin by watching as he gets ready for school with glee in his eyes every day. Both she and her husband also noticed that their little one is growing more mindful and confident since attending Dover Court International School (DCIS). At the same time, Arin is also curious, keen to learn, and adopts a solutions-oriented approach to life. We spoke to them to find out what DCIS offers, why they love the school, and what makes it perfect for their family.
Hi Naya, can you share a little more about your family?
We’re a fun, friendly, and sociable family of three. Our son, Arin, is our sunshine. He’s currently in 1LM at DCIS and has been attending the school for nine months now.
What were some of the important factors for you when selecting a school for Arin?
There were a mix of factors that we considered when looking for the ideal school for him. Tuition fee was definitely a top consideration, given the cost of living in Singapore. We factored in the possibility of relocation, so a school with a globally recognised brand and presence that facilitates hassle-free school transfer was something on our list as well. School timing, as well as facilities and amenities – like free space for activities, canteen food options, and transportation – are things we considered too.
Besides these, we also wanted a warm and diverse school environment for Arin. We wanted him to be able to appreciate the world from a young age. So a school that has a global culture with local integration would be ideal. Curriculum-wise, we were looking for a school that offers a balanced and all-rounder approach to education.
Can we safely say that you found all these in DCIS?
Absolutely. The Nord Anglia group of schools came highly recommended by our friends who are in senior management in top tech firms. Its curriculum is academically rigorous, but also encourages creative expression, regulation of emotions, development of good manners, and growing confidence in children. Plus, DCIS is a safe campus. It strongly supports anti-bullying both online and offline, encourages healthy individual progress, and doesn’t practise class competition so that every child appreciates their own strengths and talents.
In terms of global culture and diversity, the school is filled with celebrations and positive vibes every month. The school also has students from different social and cultural backgrounds, as well as diverse needs and talents. One of the best things about DCIS is that students from all pathways, including those with Special Education Needs, have the chance to mingle during breaks at the canteen and other activities. We feel that this helps children to grow more empathetic and have daily opportunities to show kindness.
Another great thing about DCIS is that it focuses strongly on recycling, reusing, and repurposing. The school gives children enough resources to share between themselves, unlike some schools, which provide individual resources. This is a step towards cultivating sharing and caring, as well as saving the planet through optimising waste.
Last but not least, the school has ample free space for sports, play, and activities. The canteen has great food options, including vegan and vegetarian ones. DCIS is conveniently located. We also like that school starts at 8:30am, which allows Arin to have breakfast and prepare for school without any anxiety.
What kind of curriculum does the school offer?
DCIS offers a wholesome learning approach beginning within a Reggio-inspired framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) up through the International Baccalaureate curriculum. Arin learns through activities. For example, phonics in the English language is made fun through Fred the Froggy; focus on the literary world is done through celebration of World Book Day recently to the theme of “Fantasy Worlds of Literature”.
You mentioned about facilities being an important factor earlier. How has Arin benefitted from the facilities in school?
DCIS has huge football and running areas, dedicated toddlers and teenagers play areas, as well as music and computer labs that are fun for Arin. The school’s Cooper Hall is also excellent for stage performances, large scale workshops, and doubles up as an indoor play area in the event of bad weather.
And what does Arin like most about school?
He loves his time with his teachers – Miss Mallinson, Rebecca, and Miss Corn. Arin was more of an introverted, silent observer, but he has since learned to be braver and more confident in school. He was encouraged strongly by his teachers to read by himself and has mastered confidence through classroom presentations of our family vacations.
What about you as a parent – how has being a part of the school been?
It has been amazing! Teachers, staff, and principals are very approachable and fast to respond to queries within the same day. DCIS has been very proactive in terms of communication, be it about school schedules or delays in bus services. We receive updates regularly via emails, SeeSaw app, Parent Teacher Association meetings, and workshops for parents.
Parents are engaged regularly for workshops – we attended ones on phonics and emotional regulation for kids. The school also involves parents in festivals and celebrations. I was recently involved in the Deepavali celebrations, sharing the story and significance of the festival with the school community. We also made crafts, danced, and invoked goodness together with the kids. It was such fun, and Arin came home confident with happy hugs!
That sounds lovely! DCIS really sounds like the perfect school for you and your family.
It is. It’s a great school that drives the best education while striving for the best values. The teachers are like parents, too, caring for each child like their own.
Finally, who would recommend DCIS to?
If you’re a parent who believes that a child should enjoy learning and cultivate their own sense of their strengths, then this is the school for you. If you believe that every child should run their own marathon, enjoy and celebrate the way they are, then yes, DCIS is definitely for you and your child!
Thank you for sharing, Naya!
This post is in partnership with Dover Court International School.