Two of the largest international schools in the Orchard Road area due to close in 2020 – ISS International School (Paterson) and Chatsworth International School (Orchard). Both schools are relocating their students to existing campuses in Bukit Merah and Bukit Timah (read the full story here).
So, from next year, what choice of international and local schools do expat parents have in this central part of Singapore?
Rather than dazzling parents with a glitzy campus and state-of-the-art facilities, Invictus promotes itself as one of Singapore’s most affordable international schools. And with annual fees of $17,000, it is certainly a cheaper alternative to rival schools charging $30,000 and upwards.
As well as remaining one of Singapore’s smallest schools, Invictus is also one of only a few schools to offer the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), which is known for its creative and thematic approach to teaching maths, science, maths, geography, PE, creative arts, IT and social studies. This is supplemented by what Invictus describes as its “rigorous” English and Mandarin courses and an MOE Singaporean maths curriculum.
Open from Grades 1-6, with plans to open Grades 7-8 from November, Invictus is located within a charming black and white heritage building in Dempsey Hill.
Read our review of Invictus here.
Opened in May 2018, EtonHouse International School (Orchard) delivers the IB’s Primary Years Programme in the primary years, a middle years’ curriculum that is based on the IB’s approach to learning, IGCSEs in Years 9-11, and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in Years 12-13.
EtonHouse's first all-through school, it offers a very hands-on, inquiry-based learning path, with standout features including a focus on project time, enterprise and social responsibility, and STEAM. The school is also teaching IGCSEs over three years rather than two.
EtonHouse Orchard describes itself as a "boutique campus", one that makes creative use of a small two-storey building at the heart of the bustling Tanglin Road. Here's a school with innovative areas such as The Campfire with beanbags arranged in a circle on the floor, a workshop-style Makerspace, and an open-plan Piazza equipped with musical instruments, a small black box theatre and 'designer' seating and desks.
Read our review of EtonHouse Orchard here.
School of the Arts (Singapore) is one of a kind in Singapore. Here’s a specialist arts school that encourages secondary students to achieve both their artistic and academic potential. Managed by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, SOTA offers a six-year integrated arts and academic curriculum that leads to the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP) or Career-related Programme (IBCP).
Founded in 2009, SOTA boasts a modern campus with several public performance venues and exhibition spaces including a concert hall, theatre, studio and art gallery. Students apply for a place at SOTA through a Talent Academy, which includes a portfolio review, entrance tests, audition and interview. While the majority of students here are Singaporean, foreign students can apply and scholarships are available.
Read our review of SOTA Singapore here.
Ascensia International School offers students a choice of UK, IB and Singapore curricula. Programmes range from preparatory courses for Singapore MOE government schools to O Level, IGCSEs and A Levels. Alternatively, Ascensia offers the IB Primary Years and Middle Years Programmes in Years 1-5.
Read our review of Ascensia here.