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Why I Picked This School: Real Parent Testimonials

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Over 20 parents tell us their reasons for picking their chosen preschools and international schools!

Hunting for the perfect school for your kiddo, mama? If you can’t make up your mind even after several visits to multiple different schools, then turn to the next best decision-makers: other parents! Over 20 parents share with us the reasons that they chose the schools their little ones go to. Whether it be location, sense of community or classroom environment, read on for interesting insights into what ticked for parents.

Preschools
International Schools

Preschools

Blue House Nursery & International Preschool
2 Turf Club Road Singapore 287988, Tel: (+65) 6734 0824, [email protected]
“We chose Blue House for its unique approach and genuine respect for the children and their individual potential. At Blue House, there is a diverse and strong range of educators, a beautiful natural environment, and a heartwarming sense of community. We’ve been frequenting the school for the past 3.5 years, from its Atelier to Preschool, and it definitely feels like the right choice for our family.”
– Pedro and Giselle Cotait, parents of Maria, 3 and Felipe, 18 months, both of whom are at Blue House

little tykes preschool parent testimonial

Little Tykes 
41 Sunset Way, #01-01 Clementi Arcade, Singapore 597071, Tel: (+65) 64664475, 
[email protected]
We chose Little Tykes for Ivy because it has the perfect balance for a first school. The flexible programme takes a Reggio Emilia approach which is what we were looking for because we feel child-led play is important for a little one as curious and keen to learn as Ivy is. The classroom is bright and colourful, but not large and intimidating. There’s a relaxed and friendly vibe there, with the teachers going out of their way to keep parents updated on what our children have been up to day-to-day. We love that there is a big green outdoor space for the kids to run around in. And wow – their ocean-themed multi-sensory room with moving images, interactive colour panels, tactile fibre optics and bubble tubes is a huge bonus! We’ve never seen anything like it and goodness knows we’d never be able to replicate it at home, so it’s wonderful Ivy has the opportunity to explore such a unique offering at Little Tykes, alongside her little friends and lovely teachers!
– Tom and Anjali Anderson, parents of Ivy (seen above with her teacher, Miss Sophia)

Mahota Preschool (Managed by Prime Education Investments Holdings Pte Ltd.)
808 French Road, Kitchener Complex, #03-01, Singapore 200808, Tel: (+65) 6291 1915, [email protected]
“We chose Mahota Preschool because of 3 main factors: Proximity to home, the healthy meals and the weekly Nature walk. In addition, Samantha was very comfortable and at ease when we visited Mahota Preschool during the open house. She was a bit tense when we visited other preschools. That sealed our decision to enrol her here.”
– Madam Kristina Tirtawidjaja, mother of Samantha Soesanto, Nursery 1

maplebear preschool review

MapleBear
Multiple locations, Tel: (+65) 8648 8846, [email protected]
When we decided that we wanted Tristan to start going to school, we were very focused on ‘school’ being not only about grammar and arithmetic, and more about having fun and an opportunity to socialise with other kids his age. We wanted a place where he could play, explore new things, make mistakes, and if it ever happened, eat grass and it would be alright. We visited many schools in Singapore and had in fact decided on one before we came across MapleBear as a recommendation. We arranged a tour with the Principal and instantly felt that it was the right place. You know the saying “you know when she’s the one”? Well, same idea for the school! Since he started, we’ve had the chance to communicate regularly with the teachers and staff at the school, and we do not regret our decision at all. The school has been very transparent with their plans and in their communication, and we really appreciate the bond they have built with Tristan. A school is brick and mortar, but the MapleBear staff have made it play heaven for our kiddo. Thank you, MapleBear!
– Colin Ng, father of Tristan Ng

Preschool for Multiple Intelligences (PMI)
PMI @ Newton, 37 Newton Road Singapore 307965, Tel: (+65) 6259 9661
PMI @ East, 39 Lorong Melayu Singapore 416923, Tel: (+65) 6747 1343
“After visiting more than 30 preschools upon arriving in Singapore, we fell in love with Preschool for Multiple Intelligences (PMI) in the East (their other location is in Newton) for our son Duco. The small but amazing team of principal and teachers exuded this conviction that the early years are crucial for children’s holistic development. PMI really seeks to nurture all forms of intelligences whereby they incorporate modules of weekly programmes such as Urban Gardening, Cicada Tree Nature, Make A Difference, as well as Superhero Me workshops organised by experts. I love that this school is situated in a spacious house with a big garden full of magical things for our son to play with and discover. I also appreciate that PMI’s founder, Dr Khoo, is one of the most respected educators in Singapore’s early childhood space and is a constant presence at the two school campuses, personally setting the tone. I recommend this preschool to anyone who is looking for a warm, nurturing, loving, holistic and fun environment for their children to learn, play and discover both inside and outside the classroom!”
– Sassy Mama Partnerships Manager for Preschools in Singapore, Carlijn Kaptein-Linscheer and mother of 5-year-old Duco

Raintrees Kindergarten
60 Kheam Hock Road, Singapore 298824, Tel: (+65) 6474 6181, [email protected]
“One of the best decisions we made since moving to Singapore, is sending our 2.5 yr old daughter to Rain Trees Kindergarten! The teachers and all other staff are just wonderful! Together they have created a warm and nurturing environment. Every morning our daughter asks us if it is a school day, as she loves it so much. What more do you want as a parent 🙂 We especially love the daily class updates that are sent out to the parents, and the personal feedback we receive when we pick her up. Our daughter has only been there for 2 months but we can already see how much her confidence has grown since she joined Rain Trees. We would strongly recommend this lovely kindergarten to everyone!”
– Mandy Vullinghs and Willem Van Emden, parents of Mae Van Emden

Shaws Preschool
Multiple locations
“We had friends whose children were already at the school and they absolutely loved it. The kids were so happy and confident. When we went to visit the school everyone was really friendly and welcoming and there was a great atmosphere. Noah loved it from Day 1. There’s a great school portal which is updated daily with news and pictures. We love being able to log on and see what new things Noah and his friends are doing and learning. The progress reports are also available online. The teachers are always available for a quick chat or to answer any questions at pick up or drop off. Noah loves going on the day excursions with his Mum or Dad and exploring new things. The large play area at the school is also a big positive- although some days it is impossible to get him to leave it and go home.”
– Aileen O’Connel, mother of Noah

St. James’ Church Kindergarten (Harding)
29 Harding Rd, Singapore 249537, Tel: (+65) 6476 6026, [email protected]
“St. James’ Church Kindergarten is a wonderful community where children learn to care for each other under the watchful guidance of dedicated teachers. We were truly blessed that our children could attend such a wonderful school where they were taught such sound values, had their minds open, and creativity ignited. They have made some very good friends whom I believe they will keep for a very long time.”
– Jacinta Rowe, mother of Zoe & Stan

Swallows and Amazons
The Grandstand, South Carpark, 200 Turf Club Road, Singapore 287994, Tel: (+65) 6762 8158
“We had tried a couple of schools prior to finding SAA.  Without exaggeration, what a life changing choice for our family!  Our son doesn’t fit the classroom ‘mould’ of what some would consider ‘old-fashioned’ schooling and SAA see that and have helped our son flourish on areas of difficulty where he would have been called ‘naughty’ or ‘badly’ behaved.  We are delighted to have found a place for our son where he is happy and confident.”
– Michelle Lavergne, mother of Florian Lavergne-Moore

White Lodge
Multiple locations
“We chose to send Hillary to White Lodge because we wanted her to be in a caring and nurturing environment, a place to foster her creativity, exploration, and independence. We love the hands-on learning and low teacher-student ratio. From her first day, she has loved coming to play, learn, and grow as a learner.”
– Leslie Spitznagle, parent to Hillary from Nursery Class at Loewen Gardens

Little Village
41 Grange Road, Singapore 239704, Tel: (+65) 6735 7356
“I had A LOT of criteria when choosing a preschool (most of my friends think I’m crazy), but somehow Little Village ticks all the boxes: TONS of outdoor play, fabulously caring and attentive teachers, diverse students from both local and international backgrounds, fantastic Mandarin immersion (the only drawback is we can’t always tell what Maggie’s saying when she starts babbling in Chinese) — even the food is lovingly prepared and by all accounts delicious! So many parents talk about having a ‘gut’ feeling about a place, and I had that moment as well; on the day I visited I arrived early and was sitting in the car when a teacher tiptoed by, followed by a line of adorable toddlers, and started reciting lines from We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (which happened to be Maggie’s #1 obsession at the time). Watching that teacher bring the book to life for her students was my ‘AHA!’ moment, because I knew my daughter would be thrilled to be part of such a class. Fortunately we got lucky with the crazy waiting list, and sure enough Maggie has thrived.”
– Sassy Mama Senior Editor Kate McFarlane

International Schools

Australian International School
1 Lorong Chuan, Singapore 556818, Tel: (+65) 6653 2958 (Admissions) / 6664 8127 (General Enquiries)
“We chose AIS for our three children (British and American who grew up in Switzerland) as the entire AIS community has the genuine drive and commitment to identify and unlock a childs’ individual potential. AIS ultimately supports your child along their chosen path to develop as responsible global citizens and be the best person they can be. The vibrant spirit of AIS permeates throughout every aspect and opportunity within the school community at all levels and every age group.”
– Nicole Rice, mother to Eden (Year 4), Brook (Year 5) and Willow (Year 8)

Canadian International School
Lakeside Campus, 7 Jurong West Street 41 Singapore 649414, Tel: (+65) 6467 1732, [email protected]
Tanjong Katong Campus, 371 Tanjong Katong Road Singapore 437128, Tel: (+65) 6345 1573, [email protected]
“We were initially looking for a school with some more space (in and outdoors), even though our son was still quite young (only 3yrs old) when we decided to move from his smaller school in Newton. We found the Lakeside campus had been recently renovated and were impressed by the facilities. It also felt very warm and inviting, there were lots of the students creative work pinned up around the classrooms. We also noticed the really nice breakout areas for the children where they could play and learn – it felt like an inspiring environment for kids. Being an IB school was also something that was attractive. For the past three years our son has been in the bi-lingual programme and we are very happy. The approach to learning Chinese is done in a way that is simple, yet efficient for the children to learn effectively and at their level/ pace. The language program has become one of our sons’ favorite areas of study and has enjoyed participating in the national Chinese language competitions with the school, which they have gone on to win multiple times over the last few years.”
– Chris and Masae Gurney, parents of Senan Gurney

Chatsworth International School
Multiple locations
“We chose Chatsworth for our children for two reasons. First, it is a very personal school. We love it that everyone from the maintenance staff to the principal greets our kids by name and takes the time to chat with them. Because of the school’s smaller size, the children all know each other quite well and they interact among all age groups. We are particularly happy about the way Chatsworth encourages the Year 6 students to plan and take part in activities with their K1 “buddies”. Another advantage of the school’s size is inclusiveness – be it assemblies, the musical, Arts Night, sports or other extracurricular activities, the children are all able to participate. Second, we like the fact that the school is truly international. The range of nations from which our families come is very wide, and this acquaints the children with a broad spectrum of cultures: religion, food, languages, attitudes – these are the benefits that we hoped to gain from living abroad.”
– Claudia Issel, Chatsworth Parent

Dulwich College (Singapore)
71 Bukit Batok West Avenue 8, Singapore 658966, [email protected], Tel: (+65) 6890 1003
“Finding the right education for your child is challenging and we feel that Dulwich College (Singapore) is the perfect fit for our son Thomas. On visiting the school last year we liked the connections to the other Dulwich Colleges in the region with strong connections back to Dulwich College in London, with all aspects of the presentation linking back to the core values of the College. We were particularly attracted to the focus on individual learning and mentoring and felt that they would ensure Thomas would achieve his potential. The first class teaching staff are there for our children’s education and the IGCSE provides a well rounded and challenging academic programme. Sport was another important factor for choosing Dulwich. The staff are all experienced and provide quality coaching with fantastic opportunities to travel to other countries to represent Dulwich. We couldn’t be happier with our choice and our son is thriving in an international environment.”
– Oliver and Jo Baughan, parents of Thomas Baughan

GEMS World Academy (Singapore)
2 Yishun Street 42, Singapore 768039, [email protected]
“GEMS World Academy (Singapore) is the dream school for my teenage daughters. I can see every day they are becoming mature, well balanced global citizens that care for others and the world around them. They love being at school, even though the IB Diploma Programme can be challenging for my oldest daughter. They have access to advanced technologies they can use every day in a beautiful and modern environment. Most of all, they are surrounded by supportive, friendly and wise educators that make this school truly unique. I feel so lucky I can be a part of the GEMS community.”
– Malgosia Broda, mother of 2 daughters (Grade 7 and Grade 11)

GESS
Main Campus, 72 Bukit Tinggi Road, Singapore 289760, Tel: (+65) 6469 1131
Junior School Campus, 300 Jalan Jurong Kechil, Singapore 598668, Tel: (+65) 6461 0802
“Having lived in several countries before, we wanted to stick to an IB school with the MYP program and being Dutch I thought it would be great if they could take Dutch lessons at school too. The first school we visited was GESS. We all liked the atmosphere, the teachers and the way children behave there. Apart from the German section, there is a European section with children from different cultures. Eventually, the kids decided to go to GESS. There might be no fancy classrooms, a climbing wall or a MacBook for everyone but there is good education, a special needs department, a good atmosphere and the feeling that you are welcome. And the bonus factor is that next year there will be a new school building with beautiful facilities.”
– Myrthe Hardeman, mother of three children enrolled in GESS

best schools in singapore integrated international school parent testimonial son

Integrated International School (IIS)
41 Sunset Way, #01-01 Clementi Arcade, Singapore 597071, Tel: (+65) 6466 4475
“Our son, Joseph, was diagnosed with moderate Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder in 2017. He’d been having difficulty adjusting to his elementary school, experiencing huge amounts of anxiety daily. He was prone to throwing tantrums and frequently tried to run out of the school premises. Neither his teachers nor the school therapists quite knew how to handle him. He spent a lot of time in the principal’s office and was sent home on a regular basis. To our dismay, we were asked to withdraw him from the school. We were at a loss as to what to do next. His therapist had told us that he was perfectly capable of coping with a mainstream education, with learning support. We looked at other international schools that offer learning support, but felt the huge premises and large class sizes would prove too overwhelming for our son.

A friend suggested the Integrated International School (IIS). In June, we met with the Dean of Students and Dr Vanessa von Auer, IIS founder and principal. They assured us they were well-equipped to manage his behaviour and anxiety.

Joseph started with IIS in August 2017 and we have not looked back since! We have seen so many positive changes in our son. He is better able to control his temper and very rarely throws tantrums these days. The school gave him tools to help with self-regulation and he is now better able to stop his anger from escalating. His anxiety levels have decreased significantly in the last eight months and this has really helped with his academic learning. Previously, he could not sit still long enough to complete one written assignment; today, he’s happy to sit and read for an hour. The school is great with staying in contact with parents and is prompt to communicate any incidents. We get updates on his behaviour and academic progress each week – and on the day itself if I happen to pop by! Students and families are greeted each morning with smiles, hugs and high-fives. This loving and non-judgemental environment has helped our son develop better self-esteem, which has had a positive impact on his socialisation. It is such a treat to see him willingly join in playtime with other children now, where previously he would shy away from them. He has “great”, “awesome” and “excellent” days in school now! We are absolutely thrilled with his progress and are so grateful to IIS for all the work, and heart, they put into helping our son.”
Professor Wernmai Yong Ade, mother of Joseph (7)

Invictus International School
73 Loewen Road Singapore 248843, [email protected], Tel: (+65) 8338 6008
“We started at Invictus last year when it first opened because it was a practical approach to international schooling both from a cost perspective and learning philosophy. We have stayed because our two boys really enjoy themselves, which speaks volumes. They are challenged academically, encouraged to think for themselves and genuinely have fun at school. As a parent, I like that it is a small school where you feel like you are seen and your opinion is welcomed by the staff.  It helps you to really feel like a part of the school community.”
– Emily

The Winstedt School
1208 Upper Boon Keng Road, Singapore 387312, [email protected], Tel: (+65) 6715 5373
“Due to the very low student teacher ratio, we decided on The Winstedt School (TWS) for our three boys. This ensured a very tailored approach for their individual learning requirements. The school facilities are constantly growing now that TWS has a dedicated campus. The boys have an extensive weekly timetable.  Apart from the core school subjects, they are also offered (and love) Coding, Art Therapy and STEAM (this is also offered to the youngest students). The robotic and design elements of STEAM really captures their interest. One of the children has even quoted ‘STEAM makes my brain tingle’. When you hear this as a parent, you realise they are in an amazing school doing amazing things. As a family, we feel The Winstedt School has a warm, welcoming feeling, vastly different to the large international schools we’ve experienced previously. Attending school is no longer a chore!”
– Colin and Rebecca Albert

Stamford American International School
1 Woodleigh Lane (off Upper Serangoon Road), Singapore 357684, Admissions: (+65) 6602 7247
“We chose Stamford American International School after careful review of Stamford American and other American curriculum schools. We selected Stamford due to its focus on the overall child’s development, which combines breadth of the curriculum, but also personal development like impact on community, team-work and social skills. The school has lived beyond our expectations. My children feel valued, important and encouraged in all aspects of school life. My daughters have grown in confidence and empathy and these are the skills we valued the most. Thank you to the amazing staff at Stamford, who make it all happen. Everyone is eager to welcome and help you. Our girls love the classmates, teachers and activities.”
– Dorota Garett

Singapore American School
40 Woodlands Street 41, Singapore 738547, Tel: (+65) 6363 3403
Moving to Singapore from Boston where the public schools are considered one of best education systems in the United States we wanted that same level of education for our son. We chose SAS not just because of the “American education”, but truly SAS has the whole package; robust academics and providing students endless opportunities to develop deep intellectual and personal exploration like any other school system I have been a part of. SAS continues to amaze and exceed my expectations. From day one SAS is considered “home” where the administration, teachers, and parents welcome you with open arms to ride the journey with you. Our children are tomorrows leaders and SAS is definitely a school where my son continues to flourish with the advantage of a world-class education, becoming an exceptional thinker, and preparing him for the future.”
– Juliette Krovi, parent of Arya Krovi, 8th Grade

Swiss School in Singapore
38 Swiss Club Road, Singapore 288140, Tel: (+65) 6468 2117
“With international schools, it is like going on a date – the first impression determines whether you believe the environment and curriculum of the school will suit your kids’ needs. When we saw the lovely and green surroundings with the cosy round building, I knew: This is the right place for my kids. In addition, we were happy to hear about the language mix of English and German, with Playgroup being taught entirely in English and Kindergarten/Primary in both languages. I believe a second language is a real advantage for the kids in the future. The ECAs make the school also very convenient for both kids and parents. They can stay at school in the afternoon for their additional lessons so parents do not need to drive them around Singapore constantly.”
– Christina & Marco Kundert Reuther with Til (5) and Mia (7), Swiss and German

Tanglin Trust School
95 Portsdown Road, Singapore 139299, Tel: (+65) 6778 0771
“We could not have asked for a better start for my daughter in school – other than a bottom lip wobble on the first day, she hasn’t looked back and comes bouncing home every day telling us how she has done “everything” at school. She constantly surprises us with her knowledge – but more than that, we are just delighted by her thoughtfulness and affectionate and joyful exuberance, and the values that are clearly being modelled and demonstrated in the classroom. We are just so grateful for the supportive environment and guidance that she (and we) have. This is why we chose Tanglin.”
– Nicola Davies, Tanglin Trust School

Lead image courtesy of Blue House Nursery & International Preschool. St. James’ Church Kindergarten (Harding) image courtesy of The Straits Times, 23 November 2015. Brought to you in partnership with Blue House Nursery & International Preschool, Mahota Preschool (Managed by Prime Education Investments Holdings Pte Ltd.), Preschool for Multiple Intelligences (PMI), Raintrees Kindergarten, Shaws Preschool, St. James’ Church Kindergarten (Harding), Swallows and Amazons, White Lodge, Australian International School, Canadian International School, Chatsworth International School, Dulwich College (Singapore), GEMS World Academy (Singapore), GESS, Invictus International School, The Winstedt School, Stamford American International School, Singapore American School, The Swiss School and Tanglin Trust School.

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