While plans for many new schools were shelved or postponed worldwide due to Covid-19, three British public schools opened campuses in Singapore in 2021-22: The Perse School (Singapore), NLCS (Singapore), and Brighton College (Singapore).
One of Singapore'e newest schools, Brighton College Singapore opened in August 2020 to deliver a very British pre-prep and prep (18 months to 11 years) education. The Singapore campus is a small standalone primary school for a maximum 550 students.
This British public-school export, which we have seen thrive in locations across the UAE and in Bangkok, retains major elements of Brighton College UK’s DNA; it limits classes to three per year group with maximum of 22 students per class, wellbeing is at the centre of its education, and it delivers a strong Mandarin programme. This all comes at price, and the school’s annual tuition fees of $34,000 position it as one of the top 15 most expensive schools in Singapore.
This well regarded British independent school opened a primary campus in Bukit Timah in 2020 for up to 480 students aged five to 11 years. It has the ‘feel’ of The Perse UK school – there's the Pelican logo everywhere and students wear the uniform (complete with Velcro ties but minus the jumpers and blazers!). However, The Perse (Singapore) offers quite a different learning experience to the all-through UK school with its rigorous academic curriculum and progressive outdoor programme.
It’s a school that may deter some with its lack of outdoor space and state-of-the-art arts facilities (it opened in a former furniture store), and use of the IPC – but is also one that will appeal to families searching for a standalone primary school with centuries-long Cambridge roots, a strong maths curriculum, and low fees.
The academically highly regarded British independent school, North London Collegiate School (NLCS), opened a campus in Singapore in August 2020. The all-through school enters the Singapore market as one of the few British schools to use the IB curriculum, believing that there is room for a high performing IB school founded on British traditions. NLCS (Singapore) says it is "for the academically ambitious”.
Clearly the school is niche. For many, it will be the high annual tuition fees of up to $45,885 that will rule the school out as an option. For others, it will be the strict selection process (although how enforced its criteria will be has yet to be tested by commercial realities).
Built on the foundations of a highly respected and academically selective British independent school, Dulwich College (Singapore) offers an enhanced UK curriculum with a dual language approach to Mandarin, the IBDP, an exciting STEAM initiative, and a global creative arts programme. But, as one of Singapore’s most expensive schools, it all comes at a very high price.
While its links to Dulwich College will appeal to many looking for a high-achieving school, this is international school that also offers more than just a brand name. It offers collaborations with a global network of sister schools offer students opportunities in academia, sport, and the creative arts that go above and beyond the curriculum.
Next: British day and boarding schools in Thailand