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What Parents Say: opinions and reviews on international schools in Singapore

During a school search, it’s important to visit multiple schools, and explore different learning environments - but more importantly to check with other parents about their choices and personal experiences.

Read on for interesting insights about parents’ school choices.

Tanglin Trust School

By Hannah Richardson | Parent to Ella, Reception)

Tanglin Trust School

We are from England and moved to Singapore in October 2011. Some of the things we love best about Singapore are all the amazing family activities at our doorsteps; from beaches, parks, museums, theatre and more!

We knew Tanglin by its fantastic reputation as one of top schools here in Singapore, even before we became parents. We wanted a school that would give our daughters the best opportunities to become the best version of themselves. Being British, we were looking for a school that not only provided the British curriculum and coincide with UK school holidays but also a school that embraced all cultures and festive celebrations so our children would grow up connected to their cosmopolitan community.

Our elder daughter’s first day of school was when she started Nursery. The bus Aunty and Uncle were extremely welcoming and reassuring and helped her to get safely seated. Her teacher, Mr Pyatt, met her from the school bus to take her to class. At each step she was reassured and felt welcomed.

Meeting every child in her class at once could have been more than a little daunting, however Tanglin split the class into two groups, and each class did alternative days for the first two weeks. This really helped Ella meet and make friends with a few regular faces before having all 20 classmates together.

To help familiarise her with all her new friends, Mr Pyatt created a print-out of the whole class and their names, which each child brought home. This helped us to engage her about the members of her class, recognise their faces and practice saying their names, giving her more confidence to make friends in school.

What we love most about Tanglin are the incredible playground, water and sand activities, the Forest School, and most of all, the sense of community within and outside of the school. It is very special.


By Chris and Masae Gurney

Canadian International School

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

“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


By Jackie Wen

GEMS World Academy

What attracts us to SJI was their values, and how students were taught to respect the different cultures and religions

Prior to our move to Singapore, we looked at a couple of different international schools for our boys. We found out about St. Joseph’s Institution International (SJII) through a friend who had lived in Singapore for a long time. Upon meeting with the admissions people at SJII, we felt this school would be the right fit for our family. The school was very new and did not have any track record at the time. However, it felt right to us and we have been with the school ever since. What attracted us to SJII was their values, and how students were taught to respect the different cultures and religions. Although a Lasallian Catholic school, SJII was respectful that other families attending the school were not Christians. Families were always welcome to attend Friday morning mass service with the Catholic families, and staff from SJII. When we first started with SJII, the Elementary School Principal Ms. Grant, impressed us with her ability to remember each student’s name, their parent’s name, and what the family had been doing over their school break. These little instances, left an impact on the way our children were cared for at the school. As the school is small, it felt very intimate and nurturing for the children. Lots of friendly parents creating a warm community for the children and parents alike. We found SJII to be a very international school with children from all over the world ie: Singapore, Canada, USA, Australia, UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, India etc. It was great for our children to learn about the different cultures from all around the world and share in their friends’ experiences. Now both my boys are in the high school, we are happy they are in the same school with friends from primary. They have also made new friends with local Singaporean students that have joined the high school which has a mix of local and expat students. We have met many parents of local children who joined SJII at high school whom shared similar values with the expat parents and active with the school community which has enriched our SJII experience. Overall, our family has been very happy with our children’s holistic learning at SJII and we look forward to our boys graduating from the school!


By Elena Wolf

Elena Wolf

GESS brings many nations together under the same roof

"GESS brings many nations together under the same roof. It is a contemporary school that is open to new methods and approaches, successfully integrating technological means in daily studies. Its sense of social duty is rather high and there are a number of social projects throughout the academic year that widely involve GESS students, thereby sensitising pupils to social topics around the world. Both of my children have also become more self-confident. They are motivated to learn English. And of the special highlights for them is the wind instrument class, which has sensitised my daughter to the importance of team work." - Elena Wolf, Parent of 2 Children in GESS


By Leah & Kyle Aldous

Singapore American School

Our experience at SAS has been beyond our expectations

Amelia started in her second year of preschool at SAS and is now in kindergarten. Kyle is the Director of Communications at the school and he attended SAS his senior year of high school, graduating class of 2002. Our experience at SAS has been beyond our expectations. We were somewhat prepared with Kyle’s previous experience, but as a parent, seeing the resources and support Amelia has received is incredible. The early learning center was renovated in the Reggio Emilia style of learning: floor-to-ceiling glass walls, open concept spaces, student mobiles, indoor and outdoor exploration tables. Amelia’s teachers are inspired by the Reggio Emilia method and their classrooms reflect that. Amelia often came home singing Mandarin songs, talking about the latest visiting artist puppeteer and demonstrating techniques from her Move-and-Groove classes. The best part of SAS is definitely the teachers. We may only have a child in kindergarten, but the level of personal care and interaction from Amelia’s teachers has been above and beyond. The teachers are amazing across the board. Even though Amelia is the youngest in her class, she is thriving as a leader and learner. It’s because she is surrounded by incredible teachers who are invested in her and nurture her daily. A school like SAS is hard to find. The teachers and staff truly know and care about my child personally, and have set her up with the tools to succeed.


By Daisy Bird

Singapore American School

Both girls are extremely happy and they continue to develop through the relevant and inspirational teaching

Our two children, who are in Secondary and Upper Primary, have been students at Dover Court International School for 7 years now. Both girls are extremely happy and they continue to develop through the relevant and inspirational teaching. Originally from the UK, we appreciate the smaller class sizes and the wonderful feeling of community within the school, something that adds to the children’s confidence and security. We have always been very impressed with the teachers, not only are they wonderful role models but they also show the children what it is to have fun whilst illustrating respect and integrity at all times.

The school has grown significantly during our years there, but manages to keep that small school feel that first attracted us. Being part of the Nord Anglia Education family of schools and having various accreditations brings some amazing opportunities. The school regularly receives visits from inspiring speakers, my girls have particularly enjoyed participating in workshops with both Juilliard alumni and world leading athletes. The school has an extensive trip programme, with opportunities spanning from STEAM festivals, music festivals, to debating, maths and big sports events. Both our girls have had the privilege to take part in the FOBISIA games, where they competed against students from other British schools in Asia, a fantastic experience for them.

The Perse School, Singapore

By Emma & Peter Vorley

Singapore American School

We feel very lucky to have found The Perse, Singapore

We could not be happier with our choice to send our son, Max, to The Perse school, Singapore. As we have moved from the U.K. we wanted the continuity of staying within the U.K. curriculum. The Perse provides this and more, with the added benefit of Chinese and Singapore style maths.The excellent academic standards and the dedication of the staff at The Perse are clear to see. However it is the warmth and the community feel to the school which really sets it apart. All the staff know my son by name and the nurturing environment provides an excellent platform for learning and development.

My son is so happy at school and is thriving both academically and socially. We feel very lucky to have found The Perse, Singapore.

Tanglin Trust School
Little GEMS Nursery

Canadian International School

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