Which Pre-school is Best For Your Child?

What are the advantages of sending your child to a nursery or pre-school attached to an international school in Singapore – and where can you find one?
Which Pre-school is Best For Your Child?
By Carli Allan
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Singapore East

Canadian International School (Tanjong Katong)

Play facilities at CIS Tanjong Katong
  • Age range: 2-5 years (KG)
  • Curriculum: IB PYP
  • Specialist subjects: Chinese, French, PE, art, music, drama, STEAM, library
  • Early years facilities: Outdoor discovery centre, library, amphitheatre, and STEAM makerspace 
  • Length of day: Full week, 8.30am-3.30pm; half day options for nursery and Pre-K
  • 2019-20 tuition fees: $16,500-32,100 ($32,000-plus for bilingual programme)
  • Meal plans: Lunch can be pre-ordered
  • Dedicated entrance: Yes
  • Location: Marine Parade

For CIS’ youngest learners (aged two to five), the focus is very much on imagination, creativity and self-discovery. At Tanjong Katong’s dedicated kindergarten wings, you’ll find a kitchen, black box theatre, STEAM makerspace, and a kindergarten aquatics complex. While there are all the facilities you’d expect from a nursery environment – colourful classrooms, a junior library and a swimming pool – the kindergarten’s headline attraction is the Outdoor Discovery Centre, which is used for plenty of play-based learning. Facilities include a play fort, sound and herb garden, mud kitchen, natural tunnels and bike track.

The school’s bilingual Chinese-English programme encourages all children to be fluent in both languages. In Pre-K, morning classes are conducted entirely in either English or Chinese, while afternoon classes are conducted in English only. From the age of four, students can choose to enter a bilingual programme and learn equally in both Chinese and English.

Click here to read our review of CIS Tanjong Katong.

UWC South East Asia (East)

Outdoor play facilities at UWCSEA's East campus
  • Age range: 4-6 years (KG1-2)
  • Curriculum: UWCSEA concept-based curriculum
  • Specialist subjects: Music, Mandarin, art and PE
  • Early years facilities: Learner swimming pool, playground, music room, and gym for Perceptual Motor Programme
  • Length of day: Five full days
  • 2019-20 tuition fees: $31,500
  • Sibling discount: No
  • Meal plans: Students can bring their own snacks and lunches, or lunches can be ordered from the canteen
  • Dedicated entrance: No
  • Location: Tampines

Smaller and newer than the UWCSEA Dover campus, the East campus, which still has a large student body of 2,400, has a dedicated kindergarten block. There are also specialist teaching rooms for Chinese language, music, learning support and cooking, as well as an outdoor play, learn to swim pool, indoor playground, and separate entrance.

Click here to read our review of UWCSEA (East).

Next: Which international schools offer a pre-school education in Singapore West?

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