The Armstrongs love EtonHouse International School Sentosa’s nature-filled campus, its bilingual setting, and the well-rounded education it provides.
Ever wonder what an international school in Sentosa is like? As the island is known as Asia’s favourite playground, we’re expecting EtonHouse International School Sentosa’s campus will be equally as fun-filled! We got the chance to speak to Yuan Chen Armstrong, whose two children currently attend the school at Pre-Nursery and Year 1 levels, to find out more about this school.
Hi Yuan! Can you tell us more about your children who are attending EtonHouse Sentosa?
My daughter, Waverly, started attending EtonHouse Sentosa in the parent-accompanied playgroup once a week. She’s now in Year 1. Xavier, my son, is currently attending the school’s Pre-Nursery programme. What’s included in both their programmes are lessons like Physical Education, Visual Art and Performing Art specialist classes, Nature Education, as well as a range of carefully selected after-school activities that are based on students’ developmental needs and interests.
What’s the ultimate deciding factor that led you to choose this school?
The three most important factors for my husband and I relate to what the campus is like, what the teachers are like, and its bilingual programme. We love how EtonHouse Sentosa is designed and built with children in mind. It has rich sensory stimulation and is close to nature, which we feel provides the perfect foundation for early years education. The teachers here are professional, caring, and respect each child as an individual. They trust in a child’s innate ability to explore the world around them, and encourage them to express themselves in as many creative ways as possible. Last but not least, the bilingual setting the school provides really stood out for us. Mandarin-learning is very important for our family, and we really like the one English and one Mandarin teacher approach EtonHouse Sentosa has.
And what has their experience at EtonHouse Sentosa been like?
They absolutely love it. The warm and professional staff made Waverly and Xavier feel welcome from day one. EtonHouse Sentosa has such a safe and enriching environment, which is perfect for the kids as they love nature and self-paced exploring. They have the opportunity to connect to nature as well as engage in messy and sensory play on a daily basis. As a whole, the school is filled with natural, open-ended, and various sensory materials that encourage children to explore and experiment. Waverly used to love the school’s Kampong Hut, and she’s now a big fan of the weekly ‘the Island is my Garden’ programme. Xavier also loves the outdoors, where he can play in the sand and water. He also enjoys the outings on the push buggy with his teachers and friends. It’s the best form of nature therapy children can get!
Sounds fantastic! We’re guessing the school really lived up to your expectations?
Yes, it has – and exceeded them too! The fact that my daughter can have meaningful conversations in both languages not only with her class teachers, but with other members of the school community like the principal, as well as uncles and aunties working in the school, is really heartening. She can check in with the principal during break time; say hello to the uncles and aunties whenever she meets them. My kids really feel seen, heard, supported, and loved in school – and that’s very important for me as a parent.
That’s so lovely to hear! How about your experience with the school as parents – how has that been?
It has been equally great as well. The school is always open for communication, and always creating opportunities for parents to be part of school life. There are sharing circles, mystery bakers, coffee mornings, and sundowners, just to name a few. Parents are also invited and welcomed to share their experiences and knowledge on campus. Plus, there are events like the end-of-year Christmas party, Christmas market, UN Day celebrations, etc.
How would you describe EtonHouse Sentosa to other parents who are considering this school?
I’d say that EtonHouse Sentosa is a great school with a unique location that’s surrounded by nature. It’s a school where educators really spend time with each kid, with facilities that are designed with children in mind. This is a school that offers inquiry and play-based learning where children are encouraged to explore and express their ideas in as many ways as possible. It also has an excellent bilingual programme. Basically, a school that provides well-rounded education from Pre-Nursery onwards.
Any advice for parents who are still looking for the perfect school for their child?
The most important thing is to have a clear idea of what you would like your child to experience in the early years. With that in mind, you can do your homework and communicate with schools to understand their curriculum, types of programmes offered, and education philosophies. You should also meet the school’s educators and teachers to get a better sense of their educational beliefs and passion, if possible. My husband and I were very clear that we wanted an inquiry and play-based learning environment for our kids. We researched, visited schools, and spoke to teachers as well as administrative staff to find out how they teach young children. That’s how we found EtonHouse Sentosa, which we really believe is the best school for our kids.
Thank you for sharing with us, Yuan!
This post is in partnership with EtonHouse International School and Pre-School.