From its super cool flexible learning spaces to its amazing Chinese immersion programme, there’s no doubt that Singapore American School is top-notch when it comes to giving students (and their parents) the school of their dreams. But don’t just take our word for it – get the full lowdown from the people who know it best – the parents of the students. The perfect way to truly understand what makes a school so special. HoneyKids recently had a chat with Tom and Valerie Gan Garry about their experiences with Singapore American School, and why they believe it’s a great choice for their daughter Natasha…
Tell us about the child you have attending the school
Natasha is a very bright and sociable three-year-old girl in Preschool Hub 2. She absolutely loves her teachers and is very excited to go to school each day. That being said, her favourite day of the week is when mummy picks her up on Friday for ice cream. On alternate days, Natasha also attends ballet and swimming lessons after school. She is amazingly confident and kind to people and animals. Her daddy loves reading Natasha bedtime stories and taking her on Saturday night pizza dates.
What were the most important factors for you in selecting a school?
For us, reputation, skill, experience and the passion of the teachers and staff, plus the overall learning environment; school values and the ‘feel’ of the campus itself were the most important factors.
How has the school lived up to your expectations?
SAS has exceeded our expectations in many ways. One very early example was on her first day of school the deputy principal Ms. Jo, greeted Natasha by name, even though they’d never met. Just a small act such as that showed us the school’s commitment and dedication to its students.
Natasha’s teachers and assistants have carefully listened, observed and provided thoughtful recognition and feedback on her learning interests, needs and achievements. All of the staff have been patient yet persistent in supporting Natasha’s development.
Early on we shared with the school that Natasha had suffered from febrile seizures. An emergency health plan was put together for her that certainly came in handy. One way the school exceeded our expectations is how it dealt with one of Natasha’s unfortunate episodes. The school was amazingly professional, thorough, and empathetic from beginning to end.
What does your child like most about attending this school?
We believe Natasha most likes the social learning experience and interacting with the other children and building relationships (with just about anyone!) including with those in other classes.
What sort of curriculum does this school offer?
The school offers a self-guided “Reggio Emilia-inspired approach” to exploration and learning. The curriculum includes Chinese, literacy, math, science, social studies, music and daily perceptual motor skills development in their “Move and Groove Room.”
What advice would you give other parents trying to choose a school?
We would advise parents to visit each and every school, read up as much as possible, and to speak directly with as many teachers, staff, and parents as they’re able to when making decisions on which school to choose.
What do you value most about the school?
We most value the school’s culture, strategic focus, and values; compassion, honesty, fairness, responsibility and respect. At its cultural core are its learning ideals of communication, collaboration, content knowledge, creativity, character, critical thinking and cultural competence. We also share these values and core beliefs, one of which is manifested in our shared responsibility and respect for the environment.
What has your experience of the school bus service been like?
Great! No issues at all and Natasha loves riding the bus to school in the morning.
Are you satisfied with the level of communication you receive from the school and how they engage parents?
Absolutely. It’s thoughtful, timely and always appropriate.
How much homework is expected of your child?
None at this time, except to remember to return her library books before they’re due!