When the doors were flung open at the beginning of January 2018 on a new lower-cost international school option, there was a collective sigh of relief from parents looking for top quality education with an affordable price tag in Singapore.
One World International School (OWIS) is one of the unicorns of the schooling world. It not only welcomes students from teeny tots in preschool to bigger kids in middle school (currently through to Grade 8, with Grade 9 opening in August 2018), but it also offers all the facilities kids and parents look for in a modern campus.
A nature kindergarten for outdoor learning? Check. Classrooms brimming with technology? Check. Playgrounds and football fields? Check and check.
We’ve been speaking to dad-of-three, Piyush Gupta, about why his family chose OWIS, how the kids are settling in, plus getting some valuable advice on what to look for when making that all-important school decision.
Piyush, tell us about your children who attend OWIS?
I have three kids aged between five and nine years who are all in the primary years at One World International School, Nanyang campus. Afia is in Grade 4, Vanya is in Grade 2 and Kian is in EC3.
What were the most important factors for you in selecting a school?
I love that Singapore is such a multi-racial and multi-cultural place to live, and I wanted to expose the children to a school environment that embraced this too. OWIS ticked the boxes when it came to a school with an international outlook and a great mix of racial diversity in the student and teacher population. I was also impressed with the good teacher to student ratio, which was another prominent factor for us choosing OWIS.
How has the school lived up to your expectations?
OWIS has lived up to all our expectations! It has delivered above and beyond in our hopes for racial diversity (there is a cap of 30% per classroom of any one nationality to ensure a good balance of global citizens), and I am also hugely impressed with the highly motivated and diverse teaching staff. It’s such a melting pot of different backgrounds and cultures!
Another thumbs up for the way my daughter, who is in Grade 4, begins each day reading the news. Exposing her to this kind of learning is not only practical, but also gives her an important understanding of what is going on in the world.
What do your children like most about attending this school?
The fact that my children are thrilled to go to school makes my life much easier! Afia, who is in Grade 4, is particularly enjoying taking part in music classes, especially playing the drums.
Vanya (Grade 2) has a real passion for reading, and she loves that she can bring home a great selection of books tailored to her reading abilities and interests.
My youngest, Kian, is in grade EC3, and has discovered an enthusiasm for creativity and drawing. He is also becoming quite the little singer in both English and Mandarin and is often warbling a song or rhyme he has learnt in class.
What sort of curriculum does this school offer?
The school follows the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) which encourages students to become active, caring lifelong learners who participate in the world around them.
What advice would you give other parents trying to choose a school?
If you are looking for a school that offers world class teaching staff, an affordable fee structure and high educational goals, then OWIS should definitely be on your list. My advice would be to attend the school tour, where you can meet the friendly admissions staff and get a real feel for how the school operates. You won’t be disappointed.
What do you value most about the school?
The teachers for sure! I feel that is by far the most important aspect of the school as good teachers are the key to encouraging students to be happy. And happy kids learn more.
What has your experience of the school bus service been like?
The bus service is prompt, reliable and friendly. The driver is very amiable and pleasant with kids, and I am confident that my children are in good hands.
Are you satisfied with the level of communication you receive from the school and how they engage parents?
The community feel of the school is another plus factor for us. I always feel like I am kept in the loop, and I particularly like that the Grade 4 teacher shares videos of the kids learning and having fun in school. It makes for lovely watching!
How much homework is expected of your children?
They are expected to read for 25 minutes a day, and each day they bring home a new book. The librarian and teachers put in considerable effort when it comes to assigning the right reading materials to the kids, and this in turn generates their interest and keeps them motivated.
This post is sponsored by One World International School, Nanyang Campus