Looking for an international school that has a lot to offer every child no matter what their strengths are? Here’s why this family chose International Baccalaureate strong GEMS (Singapore)!
Diane and Steve Hall from the UK chose GEMS (Singapore) for their children Brandon (Grade 5) and Chloe (Grade 2). Here’s why they decided on this school for both their kids, plus advice on what you should look out for when choosing a school yourself.
GEMS (Singapore) is a family-oriented international school in Singapore for students aged 2 to 18, fully committed to a well rounded personalised education encompassing the academic (arts, design, innovative technologies and sport), emotional and social development of its students. They are immensely proud to be the first and only international school in Singapore authorised to offer all four International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes. Read on for this family’s happy experience with the school!
Parent Testimonial from Diane and Steve Hall with children Brandon and Chloe (UK):
My husband and I moved to Singapore for our second posting in 2004, and this year is our 16th year in the Little Red Dot. Singapore is an incredible place, and it has a lot to offer. Both our children Brandon and Chloe are studying at GEMS (Singapore). This year Brandon is finishing his Primary Years, and Chloe will be moving to Grade 2. We started looking for an international school when Brandon turned three. At this time he was attending a local Montessori kindergarten and we wanted a small international school with a balanced curriculum and a strong focus on developing creative skills. We visited a couple of schools and then heard that GEMS (Singapore) would be opening a brand new campus in Singapore in 2014. Although the school building wasn’t finished yet, we had the chance to meet the Head of School and teachers and learn everything about their curriculum and teaching philosophy.
Both Steve and I had a mainstream British education. So you can imagine that the information about the International Baccalaureate (IB), Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the IB Learner Profile was new to us. It was interesting to find out that the programme is focused on nurturing compassionate and open-minded global citizens, with a lifelong love for learning. Inquiry-based learning was also new to us; we loved the idea that children have an opportunity to learn in a supportive environment, explore, ask questions and make connections with real life.
The style of learning appealed to us, and we knew that it would help Brandon reach his full potential and thrive at school. Over the years, he has gained a lot of confidence, become more social, and developed creative and critical thinking skills. We trusted the Education Leadership team and chose the school when it was not even open; six years later, we could not be happier with our choice and the experience we have had with GEMS (Singapore)!
During the first couple of years we lived on the East Coast, and later on, we decided to move closer to the school. That move has been the most interesting chapter in our Singapore life. We have settled down in Sembawang; the northern part of Singapore. Living on this side of the island is just as easy as anywhere else and interestingly can give you larger spaces, less packed community areas, waterfront living and the joy of bicycle tracks! We have plenty of parks, large malls, sports facilities and a direct MRT line to Orchard.
When our youngest daughter Chloe turned three in 2016, we also enrolled her at GEMS (Singapore). It was her first-ever schooling experience, but it didn’t take her long to settle down and find friends. I think small class sizes and a low student: teacher ratio are key to building a close-knit bond particularly in the initial years of schooling.
Both of our children are thriving at GEMS (Singapore)! The facilities are stunning and make way for a range of activities, clubs, field trips and community projects most of which are offered at no cost. The school has a great parent engagement programme and offers various activities for the parents’ community from cooking team building sessions to bowling and movie trivia nights.
My advice to all parents looking for a new school is to follow your heart on what you feel suits your child best and how uniquely the school meets your needs as a family. The location should not be a big issue as Singapore is a tiny island, and it is extremely easy to get around.
Keen to check out GEMS (Singapore) yourself and see if it’s the right fit for your family? Schedule your virtual tour today!