What do you do mamas, when you live in a globalised and metropolitan city with a myriad of international schools and enough island-wide extra-curricular activities to make your eyes water and wallets bleed? Whether you are confused or simply spoilt for choice, it is still logistically (and logically) ideal to have just one place that offers most of what you want with the flexibility of options. The Australian International School (AIS) might just be such a place, offering both the Australian syllabus and an International one for academics. It also has an outstanding and driven sports programme to encourage an active and outdoor lifestyle despite living in an air-conditioned nation. The two together ensure opportunities for a child’s personal development both in and outside the classroom and the aim is to create healthy and well-balanced individuals ready to lead into an international future.
So what really sets AIS apart? Well, It offers a unique combination of curriculums–carefully thought-through by the academic team. From pre-school to Grade 5, students are exposed to inquiry based learning beginning with IB Primary Years Program (PYP). They move on to the Australian Curriculum complemented by the IGCSEs in secondary school, giving them the opportunity to choose either the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) or the New South Wales Higher School Certificate (HSC) in Grade 11 and 12, programmes that encourage independent thinking.
Not just focusing on academics however, the school also emphasises social and emotional development important which studies show are just as important for a holistic educational experience. Stephen Covey in his acclaimed book ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ states that ‘although we are self-reliant, we still need other people to accomplish our goals…we embrace the idea of working together for better results’. Social skills and moral values are just as important as intellect and critical thinking. AIS recognises and supports the development of these values by providing happy and positive learning environments both in and outside the classroom.
But don’t sign on the dotted line yet mamas, its excellence in team co-operation and sporting values is another point to consider. This was recently displayed when the AIS Sharks took home the DeBrincat Cup in Singapore’s first U12 12-a-side Rugby Tournament amongst six International Schools in Singapore. The Sharks beat Tanglin Trust School by a landslide 30 – 0 and Dulwich College by 12-7. Mr. Justin Teaves, Head of Sports at AIS stated “We believe that the DeBrincat Cup is an excellent platform to promote teamwork, skill and passion for the rugby game.” This was the first year the tournament took place, and it was instituted by AIS named after the first Head of Sport, Mark DeBrincat. Swimming is another arena in which excellence was demonstrated. Last month, thirty AIS students were the biggest school contingent at the largest Swim Clinic for local and international students. This involved eight of the best swim stars from Australia and America (including four Australian Olympic swimmers) sharing tips on technique, competition and sporting values. A few of the best swimmers were part of the Swim Clinic showdown at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.
With an enhanced, flexible curriculum and a recognition of the importance of development both in and outside the classroom, AIS indeed appears to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for its students to obtain a well-rounded education.