WINNER: Best Schools Award (Singapore) 2022 for Best New School

North London Collegiate School (Singapore) is awarded the WhichSchool Advisor (Singapore) Best Schools Award 2022 for Best New School (Opened 2020-21).
WINNER: Best Schools Award (Singapore) 2022 for Best New School
By Carli Allan
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Highly Commended: OWIS (Suntec)

OWIS (Suntec), which is currently open for Early Childhood through to Grade 5, stands out for its offering of an affordable (and bilingual) education in a central location. With total annual fees of $18,860-25,000, the school offers parents a low-cost option for studying the IB (it is an IB Primary Years Programme Candidate School). The school has recently launched a Chinese-English Bilingual Programme, which certainly broadens its appeal and meets the growing demand for bilingual education; fees for this are slightly higher than the standard tuition fees but still below many other bilingual programmes.

There is a 30% nationality cap for students from any one nationality (a policy in all OWIS schools), which keeps the student community very international. As a small, growing school, the student teacher ratio remains low. And, in line with other OWIS schools, there’s a strong culture of kindness here – Kindness Trees on corridor walls are made up of students’ handprints nominated by fellow students or teachers for demonstrating acts of kindness.

Parents comment on its “personalised approach," focus on “learning through play and imagination” and a “school culture that is one of acceptance and positivity”.

As the judges said, this is an affordable school “with a clear aim in a central part of town, good potential for growth, and good indoor facilities” ­– and we expect to see it go from strength to strength.

Read our full review of OWIS (Suntec) here.

Highly Commended: Brighton College (Singapore)

Brighton College Singapore

There’s no shortage of all-through, International Baccalaureate schools in Singapore. So, the opening by the Cognita group of a small standalone primary school offering the National Curriculum for England marks a refreshing change.

Parents feedback says the size of the school and it being a standalone primary is a strength, and having access to a larger school’s facilities (it is located on the vast campus of the Australian International School) is a huge bonus. Parents seems to be getting the best of both worlds – a village primary school experience that judges said had a very “UK feel” with access to all the facilities of an all-through school. 

Judges said it was a “refreshing change to see the opening of a small school by a big company”. The school is seen to offer quality over quantity and was praised for “keeping a village ethos in what sounds like a ‘big is better’ world.” The change of leadership is never ideal in a school’s opening years, but judges saw great potential in the new head’s international experience. One key concern was the question of where students go after Brighton College (Singapore)?

The brand Brighton College seems less important to parents; it’s more about the education it delivers within Singapore. Its annual tuition fees of $34,000 position it as one of the top 15 most expensive schools in Singapore, but there’s a full specialist curriculum in Years 5-6 (one justification for the high fees), dedicated specialist facilities within the Prep campus (science lab, art studio and a maker lab) as well as access to sports and arts facilities on the AIS campus.

Read our full review of Brighton College (Singapore) here.

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