Find out why these parents love GEMS World Academy (Singapore)!
Parents Names: Michelle and Matthew Dabbs
Child(ren) Name: Chloe Dabbs, Penelope Dabbs, Taylor Dabbs
Child(ren) Age: 14, 13, and 6 years old
How did you first hear about GEMS World Academy (Singapore)?
We heard about GWA from our friends who lived in the Middle East before. The school has great a reputation there. And when we moved back to Singapore, we found out that GWA was setting up a new school here. And then our teacher friend referred the school to us as well. The teacher, Mrs.O’Rourke, is The Head of Drama at GWA. She has an excellent reputation from her previous school. And our daughters love performing, so we knew they would be in good hands at GWA.
What factors played into your decision to send your child to GEMS World Academy (Singapore)?
The amazing campus. Plus our children preferred this school!
Why did the children prefer it? Was it a favourite part of the campus? Did they attend campus tours with you to a selection of schools?
The children attended two other international schools here before we moved to the UK three years ago. When we decided to move back to Singapore, they were pretty unhappy as they loved the UK countryside. So they were less than excited when we toured two international schools here. GWA was the third school that we visited. And that was it! They were sold!
They were very impressed with the school facilities, like the amazing auditorium and swimming pool with the roof above it. There’s an indoor swimming school for early year grades. And the school provides a Macbook air and iPad for every student into middle school.
Mr. White (the school Principal) took them for the school tour, and he was very welcoming to the girls and answered all their questions patiently. Moving to a new school is always hard for children, especially for teenagers. Mr. White made them feel confident about joining the GWA community.
What were your first impressions of the school when you took a tour?
Yes we did take a tour. Our impressions were excellent; there was a great presentation from the Head of Education, Mr. David Edwards. He answered all our questions and made us feel confident about joining the school.
Upon first walking in to the school we were so impressed with the beautiful main lobby and the little cafe that provides healthy food and drinks and great coffee! The early years lobby is beautiful with a nice indoor playground. All the staffs was very helpful and friendly.
How did your child adjust to the school? Did the school take any special measures to help with the settling in process?
The girls adjusted quickly and happily.
There were a few other new students arriving at the same time when my daughters joined the school, so they made friends straight away on their first day.
My eldest, Chloe is in grade 9 and my second one, Penny, is in grade 8. And we love the fact that students in grades 7, 8 and 9 interact nicely both inside and outside school. It never happened in their previous schools before.
What in your opinion are the three greatest strengths of the school?
The campus, the teachers and the children! The school has some really amazing teachers! The drama, music, art departments are all excellent.
And coming from a British school, my eldest Chloe was very fascinated with English literature and history, as she’d had an excellent English teacher in UK. So when we moved back here, she was quite worried. But when she met Mrs. Cox the Grade 9 English teach for the first time, she was so happy . Mrs. Cox was very supportive from day one. Chloe loves reading, and Mrs.Cox even encourages her to read some of her own books. I can say she’s simply amazing teacher!
My youngest one, Taylor in the early years class at GWA. And her teacher Ms. Jamaludin and the teacher’s assistant Ms. Djuliana are amazing with the children. We can see how happy Taylor is since she joined GWA. She’s become very confident in joining any activities at school.
How does the school include parents in the community?
As parents, we love the school’s open policy for parents which means they are welcome to visit anytime during school. It’s great, especially for the younger years. I often stayed for lunch with my girls at school. And they love it! Plus the Head of Education, Mr.Edwards, is very approachable and helpful.
The GEMS World Academy Parents Association (GWAPA) organises lots of events for parents, including a charity project. And the school has appointed a Parent Relations Executive who is always there to help the families, especially the new ones. And there is a monthly coffee morning for the parents where the school always updates the parents about everything.
How does the school keep you informed about your child’s progress?
Via ManageBac (Parent intranet), which is great because parents are able to log in to see what the children are doing at school daily, even homework and exams. Basically, we parents are well informed about everything. And on top of that, homeroom teachers are always sending weekly emails. And of course there are parent-teacher meetings.
What is the number one thing you’d miss if you transferred your child to another school?
The atmosphere. It’s a very welcoming environment.
What kind of child (or family) would you say would be the best fit for this school?
Everyone! The support and ongoing feedback benefits the whole family.
What extra-curricular activities or out of school programmes does the school offer that your children have taken part in?
My eldest daughter is taking drama and rock band, which she really enjoys. The drama teacher is excellent! And my second daughter joined the football and track and field teams, which she really loves! It’s a new school but I know that the school is working hard to accommodate all the students’ needs for ECA, and we will have even more choices next year.