Parent Yang Xu shares with us how GESS – International School was attentive and supportive in helping the family settle into their new home and school.
Relocating to a new country with the family can be exhausting. For Yang Xu, what really made the transition smoother was the attentive support her family received from her son’s chosen school. According to Yang Xu, GESS – International School made a significant difference in helping her family settle into their new home and new school in Singapore.
Hi Yang Xu, can you tell us more about your child who’s attending GESS?
I have a 14-year-old son attending Middle School at GESS. He’s now learning through the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP).
What were some of the important factors for you when selecting a school for your son?
We were looking for an international school that provides an academically supportive environment for our son. This is especially important to us as we want to ensure a smooth transition for our family, having recently moved to Singapore from Finland. Additionally, we wanted a school that offers the IB curriculum. We believe this curriculum can better prepare our child for university studies. Aside from these, it would be an added value if the school had European cultural aspects in its overall schooling experience.
And what led you to choose GESS eventually?
The ultimate deciding factor was the school’s prompt response and efficient communication. We contacted the school and presented our needs while still in our home country. GESS’ representative replied promptly, addressing each of our concerns. We knew at that point that we met each other’s expectations. The school quickly arranged for a screening of reports and interviews, and provided us with an offer shortly after.
As international moving can be exhausting, having a school that was attentive and supportive made a significant difference. GESS has helped us in various aspects of our relocation. From choosing a place to live to establishing daily routines for all our family members – it has really made our transition process much smoother.
That’s good to hear! What does your son enjoy most about the school?
He enjoys many aspects of GESS. He appreciates the variety of tasty food options available in the canteen, thanks to Singapore’s rich cultural diversity.
He also loves the numerous facilities the school offers for teaching subjects and hosting co-curricular activities. There are sports facilities, cooking lab, technology labs, and a great library. We find that the labs are very well-equipped to provide students with the necessary resources to conduct experiments and explore scientific concepts in greater depth.
Does GESS have a community for parents?
GESS’ community building for parents is primarily organised through the Parents’ Association and the Buddies Committee. Each class has a Parent Representative and Deputy, and there’s a Section Head for Parent Reps. The Parent Reps have been very active in discussing school-related issues with us, as well as finding possible solutions.
The Buddies Committee also provides opportunities for parents to connect and build relationships with one another through social events and activities – one example is the regular coffee mornings. It also helps that GESS encourages parental involvement in school life. Parents are regularly invited to participate in school committees and events.
How would you rate the level of communication from the school?
We receive updates and news from the school through various channels: the School Communication Portal, Parents’ Association, and direct interaction with school management. When we notice some information is lacking or needs clarification, we can raise it with the school directly. We find the school management attentive and open to feedback.
Sounds great. Can we say that GESS has lived up to your family’s expectations?
Definitely. In some respects, GESS has even exceeded our expectations. For instance, the school has made an exception to waive all special support fees this academic year, which was a pleasant surprise to us. We feel that this further demonstrates its commitment to providing a supportive environment for our child’s development. It’s a great school that continuously discovers and implements the best ways to support its students in their learning and development.
Any advice for parents who are looking for the perfect school for their child?
First and foremost, understand your child’s strengths, needs, and preferences. Knowing your child well is key to finding the best environment that supports their learning and development. You can consider factors such as the school’s curriculum, teaching methods, extracurricular activities, and overall atmosphere. Ensure all these align with your child’s unique qualities and needs.
If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend you to visit your shortlisted schools, ask questions, and observe the learning environment to get a true sense of the school’s culture and values. Trust your instincts and choose a school that aligns with your family’s values and education goals.
Thank you for sharing, Yang Xu!
This post is in partnership with GESS – International School.