Many of Singapore’s most popular international schools offer nursery and kindergarten classes in a self-contained early-years’ centre with its own community of classrooms, learning pods and recreational areas. Here is our round-up of more than 20 international schools in Singapore with a pre-school on campus...
A day at Little GEMS starts with temperature checks for all children and continues with a programme of play-based learning in a Reggio Emilia-inspired environment. As children move up through Kindergarten, they follow the IB Primary Years Programme. In addition to offering flexible timings and a dedicated entrance, GEMS has small class sizes capped at 16 and modern early years’ facilities.
Click here to read our review of GEMS World Academy (Singapore)
There are several advantages to sending your child to one of the largest American international schools in the world, which has nearly 4,000 students. SAS' youngest learners join the self-contained early learning centre, which uses a Reggio Emilia-inspired approach to learning. The curriculum includes daily Chinese language classes, literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, music, and daily perceptual motor skills development in the 'move and groove room'. To understand the true scale of this school, children often “take field trips throughout the wider campus”, exploring its impressive indoor and outdoor facilities.
Click here to read our review of Singapore American School (SAS).
Stamford American Early Learning Village
Age range: 2 months to 6 years (Pre-Nursery to KG2)
Specialist lessons: Daily Mandarin or Spanish from 18 months, bilingual Mandarin/English from age 3, specialist Suzuki violin from age 3, and cello from KG2, SMART Steps and Perceptual Motor Programme. CCAs are available for students from Pre-K to KG2 and children from the age of 3 can sign up for 1:1 tuition in the Instrumental Music Programme
Facilities: Learners swimming pool, library and inquiry centre, medical centre and parent cafe, and gym
Length of day: Half and full day options, 3-5 days per week; 9am-12.10pm or 9am-3.30pm
2020-21 tuition fees: $15,866-37,594
Sibling discount: 10% discount on tuition fee is available for a third child, and 20% discount for a fourth child
From storytelling hills to sandpits, climbing facilities to miniature gardens, this dedicated early years campus is designed for the very youngest of learners. Starting in pre-nursery, the school offers daily Mandarin or Spanish lessons taught by native speaking specialists; from pre-kindergarten, parents can sign up for the Mandarin/English bilingual programme programme from the age of five. SAIS is also the only school in Singapore to offer the Suzuki Violin Programme from the age of 3, with the option to progress to cello from KG2.
Click here to read our review of SAIS Early Learning Village.
Australian International School Early Learning Village
Early years facilities: The Infant Care Pod, which is specifically designed for babies and toddlers, includes a sensory room and outdoor area. Reggio Emilia-inspired classrooms, outdoor play areas, swimming pool, sports hall, teaching kitchens and mini libraries, SmartSteps room, and parent cafe
Length of day: Three, four and five half or full day options; full day is 8.30am-2.55pm
2020 tuition fees: $15,576-32,424
Meal plans: Pre-ordered meals can be delivered to the classroom
This early years’ campus is child-friendly in every sense: classrooms are arranged in small clusters, a swimming pool is designed for wading and learning to swim, outdoor spaces encourage discovery and play, there are toddler-sized work benches in the teaching kitchens and science labs, and in every classroom children can venture through pint-sized doors to a dedicated outdoor learning space.
While many pre-schools will end the day around lunchtime, the AIS Early Learning Village gives young learners the opportunity to take part in a broad programme of co-curricular activities (CCAs) until 4.30pm; classes include ballet, soccer, tennis, creative drama, circus skills, basketball, swimming, gymnastics and mini maestros.
Click here to read our review of AIS Early Learning Village.
Brighton College (Singapore)
Opening August 2020
Age range: 18 months to five years (Pre-nursery to reception)
Brighton College’s pre-prep (pre-nursery to Year 1) will be spread across a dedicated floor of the Early Learning Village (ELV) currently shared between the Australian International School (AIS) and Stamford American International School (SAIS). A huge benefit of this location is that Brighton College can – and will – share the facilities in The Village including an indoor swimming pool and sports hall.
As well as promising to deliver a strong UK early years education, the school will offer a dual language Mandarin programme from pre-nursery through to Year 1, where native Mandarin-speaking teaching assistants will work alongside the classroom teacher to teach the curriculum in two languages.
Click here to read our review of Brighton College (Singapore).
Located in the far north, Singapore’s only Jewish international school enrols just 500 students at its new $40m campus. From pre-school upwards, teaching is deeply rooted in the values and ethics of Judaism and includes Jewish Studies and Modern Hebrew. There’s a low teacher to student ratio, a close-knit school community, and some of the lowest annual tuition fees in Singapore.
Click here to read our review of Sir Manasseh Meyer International School.
International French School (IFS) enrols students as young as two into IFS Maternelle. There are two pathways, which continue throughout this bilingual European school. The IFS Maternelle Main Stream is best suited for children who are learning both French and English; shared between two teachers, individual topics are taught in both languages. For children who are already becoming fluent in both French and English, IFS offers the Maternelle Anglais+ stream in grades Moyenne Section (K1) and Grand Section (K2); this stream is taught both in French and in English on a parity basis.
As well as having a low teacher to student ratio (1:15), IFS Maternelle also provides a dedicated bilingual (French – English) library and teacher-librarian. Students have access to sports facilities on the main school campus, including a 25m swimming pool, drama and amphitheatre.
Click here to read our review of International French School.
GIIS SMART Campus
Age range: 2.5 years (Nursery) to 5 years (Kindergarten 2)
Specialist subjects: Environmental awareness, music and movement, practical life and sensorial exercises
Teacher-student ratio: 1:12
Class size: 24
Early years facilities: Indoor play area equipped with age-appropriate toys, outdoor play area equipped with mist area, sand pit and water play, child-friendly classrooms with reading corner and built-in restrooms, dedicated play area
Length of day: 9am -12.15pm
2020-21 tuition fees: $15,150
Sibling discount: 25% sibling discount on tuition fee for the younger sibling of an existing GIIS student
GIIS SMART Campus is the only Indian international school in Singapore that offers an all-through education from nursery through to college level on one campus. The pre-school curriculum follows the Global Montessori Plus Programme, which "encourages learning through free play, spirit of inquiry, social intelligence, sensitivity towards environment and mastery in reading, writing and mathematical skills". Children then have the option of joining the CBSE or IB Primary Years Programme from Grade 1 at the same campus.