Looking for a school that puts your child first? Find out why the Timchenkos are all for GESS's nurturing community and student-first ethos.
When a family puts both their kids through the same school, you know that they’re true fans. For Maxim and Anna Timchenko, they’ve been nothing but impressed with GESS International School. For the Timchenkos, GESS has stood out in every way, from its culture, the quality of education, facilities and reputation. Most of all, they value the fact that no GESS student ever feels left out — a desirable quality in every school, we think! Here’s what else we found out from the Timchenkos…
Hi Maxim and Anna, what made you decide on GESS?
While there are lots of excellent schools in Singapore, what won us over is the fact that every child is valued at GESS. It was the only school where we actually got to talk to the Head of Primary (Ms Sarah Thomas) while we were visiting. She took the time to learn about our children, talk about the school and answer all our questions and concerns. She never tried to hard-sell the school — in fact, she gave us advice on what to look for in a school and how to ensure it’s a good fit. When we bumped into her nine months later, she still remembered our children’s interests even though she only met us once.
We also love the school’s new campus, which is very convenient and safe. We think the facilities are on par with the best schools in Singapore. And the canteen is excellent!
How did the school make your kids feel welcome?
When a new child joins the school, they are allocated “buddies” who help them to navigate their way around and get accustomed to the school during the first few weeks. Very often these buddies then become the child’s best friends (which has happened in the case of our son!).
On top of that, the teachers are extremely supportive and take special care to support the newly-joined children in the first few weeks and months – until they see that the child has settled in well. They remain in close contact with parents to see how the child is doing at home as well to get a holistic picture.
Finally, the rest of the staff at school are kind and positive which helps children feel welcome throughout their school journey.
What’s the culture at GESS like?
It’s very friendly, almost family-like. It’s probably because GESS is one of the very few not-for-profit schools in Singapore and run by a board of parents, so you know it’s child-focused. You can feel this sentiment from the top management all the way to the security guards. When we visited the school, they greeted us and wished us farewell like we were friends for decades. This is not something you can fake or dictate by the rules, but a true reflection of the school’s culture.
We feel that every child is given an opportunity and the means to reach her/his full potential. GESS is a great school because it is a school “by the parents and the teachers, for the children”.
How has GESS lived up to your expectations?
We are very happy with the school. They are constantly trying to improve in order to offer the best possible education to the children and they take all issues seriously. Our children are happy to go to school every day and they did not even want to go on holidays as they would be missing school. We never thought such a thing would be possible! The children also appreciate the school’s innovative curriculum and its numerous playgrounds…
How have GESS’s facilities benefitted your children?
The school boasts great facilities, from the swimming pool, sports and football fields to an excellent canteen, science and technology labs as well as superb music facilities for individual and group lessons. A great number of CCAs to every taste are also on offer. The children are kept active and curious throughout the day.
Thank you, Maxim and Anna!
This post is in partnership with GESS.