When you’re school searching, it’s got to tick all the boxes on your checklist – especially if you’ve just moved. Getting your child adjusted to the school as well as the new country they now call home is a lot to take in. That’s why for Pieter and Liesbeth Goudriaan, one of their major deciding factors for settling on Integrated International School was its dedication to building a close-knit community between the parents and students. HoneyKids recently had a chat with Pieter and Liesbeth to get the full lowdown on why they appreciate the way IIS handled her daughter’s transition into the school, and why they’re such big fans of IIS…
Tell us about the child you have attending the school.
Our daughter Isabelle (age seven) joined IIS (Kindergarten) when we moved from the Netherlands to Singapore in January 2019. Isabelle is a very sweet, caring, open and social girl. Although she still has to improve her English, she has adapted well.
What were the most important factors for you in selecting a school?
The most important factor for us was an environment where we and Isabelle felt “at home”. And also a school where they are able to support her to achieve the most within her own abilities. This selection process was the most important factor in our move to Singapore. After a few weeks, we could see from Isabelle’s behaviour and attitude that we made the right choice.
What was the ultimate deciding factor that led you to choosing the school?
IIS is a small and inclusive school with a genuine personal approach. They don’t only have a high teacher-to-student ratio (1:4) but also provide dedicated support services like Speech and Occupational Therapy within school hours.
How has the school lived up to your expectations?
All changes come with challenges and given the fact that everyday Isabelle goes and comes back with a big smile makes us as parents proud and very happy with IIS. They’ve exceeded our expectations. In addition, the Communication Booklets, class journal digital platform and parent/teacher meetings are a great way for us to receive regular feedback and tips on Isabelle’s development.
What does your child like most about attending the school?
She tells us how much fun she has at school, playing with her classmates and the creative learning approaches IIS uses. Isabelle often mentions how much she loves to go to the Ocean Snoezelen room, a relaxing space filled with soft music, colourful lights and calming bubble tubes. It’s a great reward for the children and a unique feature we didn’t see at other schools.
What sort of curriculum does this school offer?
The school follows the Australian Curriculum, but they offer individualised lesson plans.
What advice would you give other parents trying to choose a school?
Prepare and visit your shortlisted schools well in advance. Make a list of the things that are important for you and your child. For us it included extra support, small class sizes and our first impressions when going on a tour.
What do you value most about the school?
They provide personal attention to both student and parents. The staff and teachers are always available and quickly respond to emails and calls. IIS is a great school because they truly care about their families.
Are you satisfied with the level of communication you receive from the school and how they engage parents?
Every week, her teachers provide an update of the learning subjects and personal feedback on Isabelle’s development in the Communication Booklet. The school also has a digital platform, where you can find weekly highlights of the class activities. Her teachers are always happy to chat if we have any questions.
What does the school do in terms of building a community for parents?
IIS organises great school events that focus on bringing the entire community together. Each term event is different and it’s very nice to have a moment to interact with Isabelle and meet the teachers and other parents. There is a WhatsApp group for parents, and helpful parenting workshops. The most recent one held provided strategies for parents to better understand their child’s brain and emotions. In class, there is the Parent Partnership Programme, which invites parents to enjoy an activity together. It’s another lovely opportunity for parents to integrate into the IIS community.
How did the school make your child feel welcome?
A good first impression for Isabelle was very important. We are happy if she is happy and right from her first day, they invited the parents to join in and help with the settling in process.The warm and friendly welcome by the staff and teachers contributed to us all feeling at ease and knowing this was the right school for our family.
For more information about IIS and the programmes it offers, book a school tour to speak to a friendly admissions representative.
This post is sponsored by IIS