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Author Topic: Kindergarten - local or Intl ?  (Read 23423 times)
2kids
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« on: 20 November 2009, 19:12:54 PM »
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Hi all,

Planning a move to Singapore and have not decided yet if we will send our 2 kids (1,5y and 4y) to Intl School/Kindergarten or local ones (cost issue).

Our main concern is that our kids do not speak any English (only German). We also have the impression (false or not ?) that local kindergartens are more focused on learning/preparing for school as opposed to a more playful athmosphere we are used to in kindergartens at home. We want our kids to be kids while they can - they will grow up too soon anyway Smiley

We could see that having our kids at an Intl kindergarten would enable them to get more attention / understanding / care for their situation as new to Singapore and the English language. Would you say this holds true?

- Anyone having experience in sending your kids to local kindergarten ?
Good and bad.

- What is your experience in how quick your kids learn English after moving?
E.g. enough langauge skill to interact with other kids / teachers in English.
Our 4y old is already very verbal while our 1,5y is just picking up his mother tongue.

- Any recommendations for Montessori kindergartens (local or intl) ?

- Read a post from Jan this year that even for local kindergartens, as a foreigner you would need to pay a one time fee of 5,000 Sing dollar. Is this correct ?

Love to get your feedback.
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Happy Mum
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« Reply #1 on: 21 November 2009, 11:37:48 AM »
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i would say international school. My children go to a great school UWC. Great teachers, curriculum too.

But I would also advice that you be careful to choose a good international school because there are some schools which may look good but not really if you know what i mean.

feedback- avoid White lodge and pat school (They call themselves international school but nothing about them or the way they run the school or class is international.)
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briefly local
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« Reply #2 on: 21 November 2009, 13:19:51 PM »
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The best thing to do is to have a look at some when you get here - there are local kindies which are good but they do like to get the reading and writing in early and they're obsessed with phonics.  The trouble with half the local schools (kindie and above) is that half of the teachers don't speak particularly good English either so that's not really going to help your children learn it well unless you don't mind them coming out with phrases like 'can you off the light'!

So you'll have to go and see what you think and listen to how the kids at the schools are speaking.  Local is much cheaper than international that's for sure, but you would get a more play based early education at most international schools if that's what you're after.  I personally prefer international but the cost is a big issue and after having had my kids in a local kindie for a while, we were all happier once they went international (apart from having to pay the fees!).  However, having said that, not all local are going to be the same, some must be more play based - definitely have a look at some of the Montessoris and see what they're like and avoid any which can't spell their own names - like the one near me which calls itself PlaySkool (call me old fashioned, but I would seriously avoid a school where they think it's trendy to spell their own name wrong  Undecided )
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teacher/parent
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« Reply #3 on: 21 November 2009, 13:22:12 PM »
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UWC, Tanglin and SAS won't take non-English speakers so you can rule them out.  I'm a teacher at an international school and we gets lots of children that have done kindergarten at other international schools in order for them to learn English.  Those that come from OFS and ISS seem to have a good grounding in English.  Local Kindergartens seem ok but there is a high risk of learning Singlish.  You would not want this to be your child's first experience of English.
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2kids2
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« Reply #4 on: 21 November 2009, 18:47:31 PM »
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Hi  Smiley

International all the way! Especially since you won't be speaking English with them at home.

Don't know how long you'll be staying in Singapore. It might be worth it to send your 4 year old to an international school (ie. not just a kindergarten, a school where he can stay longer), so that he doesn't have to change schools after a year or two.

I know you want your kids to have an international experience but check out the international section of the German school. They're pretty good :-)

In my experience, it took the kids about 4-6 months to speak really fluently. I haven't heard about the 5000 $ fee before  Huh

Hdh?
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Cheese
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« Reply #5 on: 21 November 2009, 19:14:13 PM »
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Swiss School
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barb1
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« Reply #6 on: 21 November 2009, 22:28:02 PM »
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You can try Global Indian International School. They have an advert in the day's STimes broadsheet. Look it up.

From the picture in the advert, only one kid looks South Asian, others look East Asian or White. I don't know if that is representative of the ethnic mix, or it could be a stock photo picked by creative artists. But that's the impression it gives.

Google for it.

P.S. Somewhere on Google it says everyone is taught Sanskrit !  Would it be a smaller leap from German to Sanskrit than onto English ? ( Tongue Don't you kid me back ok! You said English's gonna be too hard for them Kinders Wink )
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2kids
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« Reply #7 on: 22 November 2009, 3:35:59 AM »
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Thanks for all replies so far! Yes, have also heard good things about OFS and ISS as one poster mentioned - and they are an option. Will keep on reading your posts...
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mineinlocal
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« Reply #8 on: 22 November 2009, 10:38:51 AM »
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Hi there and welcome to singapore.
I am german too and my kid is joining a local kindergarden. also most of my friends kids, german and others, are in local kindergardens. mainly because:
-its closer by (my kid would have to travel far to international school, esp. the german school)
-the time slots are much more convenient (kids can stay from 7 to noon, could sleep there too and stay late in the afternoon, of course we and most other kids dont but its always helpful in emergency cases or on special days were kids can stay longer, also for working parents its good) - in international schools the time slots are usually from 9 to 12 am. thats all.
- We have no issue with "singlish". My kids speaks fluent english now, of course not like a brit, but still very good.(I didnt speak english when I was four) We are in singapore here so it will be hard to stick to one "perfekt" english anyway because everybody speaks a little bit different.
- The curriculum is very play based but they do learn aswell (through play). I know in germany its kind of a sin to learn early. but the fun and creative way of learning that they do in our school is so great for my kids, I feel they are very well taken care of, very well looked after and still a kid playing and learning together with others....
You see, there are plenty of choices and there are definately not only the international school. I suggest you take a good look around, especially in the area you are going to live in. I am sure you will find a good school (international or not) that suits your child.

Viel Gl├╝ck!
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International
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« Reply #9 on: 22 November 2009, 13:14:46 PM »
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International school please!!1

i believe that spoken English is bad in the local schools(maybe not all) and in some international schools too (I remember walking into a classroom @ white lodge, the children and worst of all the teachers were speaking in bad English!!) poor children

So choose carefully!
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non-indian
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« Reply #10 on: 22 November 2009, 14:42:05 PM »
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It's interesting someone suggested Global Indian.  We are not indian but as NPS (an Indian International school) is closed to our apartment, I went to take a look.

When I correspond to the admission officer over email, it is clear that the school os open to non-indian.  However, when I visited the school, I was told that all kids are indians, the difference is where they come from (e.g. Indian, US, Australia etc.)  So even though NPS seems to have great facility, a non-indian kid may have trouble fitting in.  I guess the same goes for other Indian international schools.
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Agree!
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« Reply #11 on: 22 November 2009, 19:48:37 PM »
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International school please!!1

i believe that spoken English is bad in the local schools(maybe not all) and in some international schools too (I remember walking into a classroom @ white lodge, the children and worst of all the teachers were speaking in bad English!!) poor children

So choose carefully!

Yes i agree. went to white lodge spoken language was not good by some teachers.
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Singlish
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« Reply #12 on: 22 November 2009, 20:25:30 PM »
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Don't get the problem with kids getting a singlish touch of English... really.

- If you're an English speaking family, guess hearing English at home would offset any singlish you hear in school.
- If you're planning on moving back to a non-English country, no big deal speaking singlish while in Singapore, or is it? And when your kids are back, guess they would only be speaking English at English class at school.
- If you plan on staying, no big deal, right ? 4 million Singaporeans can't be wrong Wink

Am I missing something ?
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I get it
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« Reply #13 on: 23 November 2009, 3:45:32 AM »
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Of course it's a problem if the children's only exposure to english is really singlish. Singlish is fine if you know it's a dialect and can code-switch to standard english when necessary or appropriate. I wouldn't want my child's only exposure to english to be scouse or brummie or glaswegian any more than singlish.
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have you tried
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« Reply #14 on: 23 November 2009, 7:57:14 AM »
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GESS - the German European School - they have 2 curriculums in pure german and PYP english. WOrth looking at if you are german speaking!
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