When it comes to an international school in Singapore that we wish we were still young enough to join ourselves, it’s got to be Nexus International School (Singapore).
We’re always impressed by the community feel and friendly vibes there and had great fun hanging out at their pool recently, as we picked up tips on how to encourage our own kiddos to learn to swim.
But the opinions that really matter are the ones from those on the inside, such as the parents of the students.
Aoife Orton has three ‘lil ones of her own at Nexus International School (Singapore) – ranging from the Nursery class to Year 3 – and has been part of the school for four years. She fills us in on why her daughters can’t wait to get to class every day and what she loves about the Nexus International School (Singapore) community.
Aoife, tell us about the children you have attending the school?
We have three girls attending Nexus International School (Singapore) – Alex is in Year 3, Sadie is in Year 1 and Philippa (Pippa) is in Nursery.
What were the most important factors for you in selecting a school?
When choosing schools to view, we were keen to look at smaller, boutique schools. My eldest was four years old when she started in Nexus International School (Singapore), and we really wanted a play-based learning environment that tailored its teaching to the child. Viewing our children as individuals and providing a supportive community for learning while allowing the kids to gain independence was important to us.
How has the school lived up to your expectations?
We had an excellent first impression of the school during a meeting with admissions. Instead of being bamboozled with the nitty gritty details of financial costings that we had been subjected to at other schools, Nexus International School (Singapore) were keen to get to know us and placed more emphasis on our children and their individual requirements.
What do you love most about the school?
The school has been a fantastic environment for the girls. The Nursery and Kindergarten pod is our favourite area of the school where the amazing team of teachers have built a creative, fun and safe environment by incorporating elements of the Reggio Emilia Approach into the programme. All of our girls loved the Nursery (and want to go back!).
We also love the genuine open-door policy that is encouraged in the early years classrooms. Knowing that parents are welcome to pop-in or volunteer in the classroom and help with the activities is very reassuring.
Another big plus is the parent community – it’s extremely supportive and friendly, and a great place to meet people. Perfect especially for new parents in Singapore! The Nexus International School (Singapore) Parent Group hold regular coffee mornings, workshops and social events, so there is always something going on for us to be a part of.
What do your girls like most about attending this school?
Alex, who’s in Year 3, loves the opportunities that she has been given to develop her confidence. The school encouraged her to develop her fundraising ideas and supported her in realising her goals. She also loves being a member of the swim team and choir.
Sadie, who is in Year 1, really enjoys the open plan classrooms. It makes for great explorations with its corners and dedicated areas focusing on themes, including mathematics and nature.
My smallest, Pippa, who is attending Nursery, adores her class teachers and especially loves music classes. (Check out the HoneyKids video to see for yourself just how much fun the music lessons at Nexus International School (Singapore) are. We didn’t want to leave!). Recently, she and her classmates got very excited about the arrival of chicks, which they are currently incubating!
What sort of curriculum does this school offer?
The school offers the IB programme which encourages children to become global- minded while learning in an inquisitive, forward-thinking, reflective and balanced way.
What advice would you give other parents trying to choose a school?
Go with your gut instinct on a school. Don’t choose a school because everyone else says that it is the best one. Make sure you plan your visit during school hours so you can watch a class in progress and get a real feel for the atmosphere of the school. Then go back to visit again with your children in tow.
What do you value most about the school?
The school provides the girls with opportunities to express themselves and grow their confidence. Because it’s a small school, the girls get to know students from different year groups through CCA programmes, the reading buddy programme and as playground buddies. This helps in fostering a lovely sense of comradery among the children.
Are you satisfied with the level of communication you receive from the school and how they engage parents?
The school has listened to feedback from the parents over the past few years and amended their communication strategy. This school year, they launched a centralised hub where information, including school calendars, school events, CCAs, swim meets, and homework can all be accessed. There is also a weekly newsletter which is packed with great info on upcoming events and activities that have been happening in school over the week.
How much homework is expected of your children?
I feel that young children exert so much learning energy in school, that really the evening should be about relaxing rather than homework, and Nexus International School (Singapore) has the balance just right. Alex and Sadie have reading to complete after school, and on a Friday Alex gets homework for maths, spelling and inquiry-based projects, which she has to hand in the following Thursday. Sadie has homework for one subject – usually maths – which needs to be completed each week. Pippa, who is only in Nursery, doesn’t get any homework.
This post is sponsored by Nexus International School (Singapore)