While Tanglin is a huge all-through campus with around 2,300 students, it does attempt to create that ‘small school feel’ for all students. The early years has its own community within the campus, its own uniform and Harry Potter-style house system, and dedicated facilities such as a library, sports hall and play areas. We really liked the library’s Creation Station, where children can develop STEAM skills, and outdoor facilities such as mud kitchen and music shed.
Tanglin has adopted The Curiosity Approach to learning in the nursery alongside the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to transform its youngest classes into “an even calmer and more tranquil learning environment”. It is the first international school in Asia to offer this unique child-led early years’ approach. It takes parts from the Reggio Emilia, Steiner, Te Whariki and Montessori programmes and focuses on a child’s natural curiosity.
Click here to read our review of Tanglin.
The curriculum is based on the IB PYP, and follows Singapore standards for maths, UK and New Zealand standards for English, and the Australian Science curriculum. All children have the opportunity to learn French or Mandarin through intensive and immersive daily language lessons from specialist teachers. The key focus at Nexus, though, is play-based learning – and this is made possible in a dedicated nursery and kindergarten pod that is separate from the rest of the school.
In 2020, Nexus moved to a new campus where facilities include a double storey treehouse.
Click here to read our review of Nexus.
All early years’ children (18 months to five years) enter the same pre-school curriculum, which is built on the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), at this dual-stream European school; instruction is in both English and German. The pre-school is a self-contained centre within a new, green campus that’s next to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Children then have the option of joining the European IB stream or the German stream from Grade 1.
Click here to read our review of GESS.
This well-established British all-through school is home to a self-contained early years section with its own outdoor canteen, play area, and outside learning spaces. Set within 12 acres of grass fields, Dover Court is a cosy and intimate campus where all facilities are shared and well-used by its 1,400 students.
A standout feature here is music, which is delivered through the Juilliard Nord Anglia Performing Arts Programme by specialist teachers. Dover Court is also well-known for its support for children with special needs, and offers provision for pupils that require small class size instruction.
Click here to read our review of Dover Court.
NLCS (Singapore) plans to be an International Baccalaureate continuum school, which will offer the Primary Years Programme (PYP) to children as young as three. With its central location in Queenstown, purpose-built campus, strong links to its UK mother school, and a very experienced and convincing founding head, there is no doubt NLCS has entered the competitive Singapore schools market with a unique offering. Another one of NLCS' strengths is keeping class sizes small; the teacher to student ratio is 1:20 in Pre-KG to Grade.
The school has a modern campus with a small footprint but a big wow factor. This includes a kindergarten block with dedicated library, art room, music room and multipurpose hall, as well as a separate drop-off area.
Click here to read our review of NLCS Singapore.
Popular with the Swiss and German speaking expat community, this small primary school is located in the grounds of the Swiss Club. Its youngest students begin their school education in Little Tots, and up to age five (Playgroup II) they are primarily instructed in English with German being introduced gradually. There is also a French-speaking Kindergarten class.
Click here to read our review of Swiss School in Singapore.
The Bukit Timah campus has recently been renovated to include new play structures, an early years space for a Perceptual Motor Programme (PMP), and a dedicated Discovery Centre that is equipped with stoves, ovens, workbenches, tools and a laboratory. The Bukit Timah campus has capacity for 850 students from Kindergarten through to Year 13.
Click here to read our reviews of Chatsworth (Bukit Timah)
Popular with Dutch expats in Singapore, Hollandse School is a small but well-established, centrally located primary school that balances a truly Dutch education with an international curriculum where English is taught as a second language. Children in the early years Jip & Janneke classes have both a Dutch and English-speaking teacher for the full school day.
Click here to read our review of Hollandse School.
While the large Dover campus may not be for families who prefer a cosy, close-knit atmosphere, it does offer specialist classrooms, play areas and sports facilities for its youngest students, as well as access to whole-school facilities including a swimming pool, theatres and sports halls. As a school that’s 40 years old, UWCSEA has a lived-in, familiar feel and well-established gardens where children can climb ropes, explore, see birds nesting or simply dig in the dirt with sticks.
Click here to read our review of UWCSEA (Dover).