WINNER: Best Schools Award (Singapore) 2022 for the Best IB School

Chatsworth International School is awarded the WhichSchoolAdvisor (Singapore) Best Schools Award 2022 for Best IB School.
WINNER: Best Schools Award (Singapore) 2022 for the Best IB School
By Carli Allan
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Winner of the WhichSchoolAdvisor (Singapore) Best Schools Award 2022 for Best IB School is Chatsworth International School.

Highly Commended are Canadian International School (Lakeside) and GESS.

International schools offering the IB in Singapore
There are 30 international, private and local schools in Singapore offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), including seven that are full IB schools and also follow the IB Primary Years (PYP) and Middle Years Programmes (MYP).

Every one of the schools here are offering parents good results, but they vary greatly in terms of cost, facilities, curricula (some combine the IB with UK and other programmes), and student enrolment. A school’s position in an IB league table is only part of the picture, and a quality education needs to be measured on far more than that.

But what makes an international school offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme truly outstanding?
In this Award category, we were looking at how schools offer the depth and breadth of an IB education and deliver a high standard of inquiry-based learning across all age groups. We asked, does the school offer opportunities for IB students of all abilities, and with different interests and strengths, to achieve their full potential? Also, as well as academic achievement, is the school strong in language, sport and other programmes and pastoral care? In addition, does the school’s IB programme keep a strong international focus?

How are the Winners and Highly Commended schools decided?
Our panel of expert judges selected the Award winners based on their strengths; feedback from parents, teachers and students in WhichSchoolAdvisor surveys; information in the Award entries submitted by schools and parents; and reviews by WhichSchoolAdvisor (Singapore) editors.

Why did Chatsworth International School win?

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Strengths of the school include:

  • Well-established IB programme: It is IB all the way here. Chatsworth has a long-standing reputation as a full IB school; having offered the IBDP since 2004 it has proven experience and commitment to the programme.
  • The school keeps the IB fresh and relevant with lively and engaging ways to learn through inquiry and develop real world skills.
  • Results: Students achieve above global average results year on year. For the past three years, the average IBDP score has been 36 points, and 33% achieved the Bilingual Diploma; its scores are above global averages and puts the school in the mid-range for international schools in Singapore. The majority of students go on to universities in UK, Europe and Asia.
  • The school does not restrict access to the IB Diploma Programme to only the most able students. It is non-selective, and it still delivers strong IB results – an indication of the added value here.
  • A truly international school: The international style of the IB is an excellent fit with the school’s multicultural community and the IB Learner Profile is embedded in the school's culture. For example, its Mother Tongue Language Programme is supported by external mother tongue tutors who are fully trained in IB concepts and help students to develop language and literary skills needed for the MYP or DP; students have the choice of learning French or Mandarin from Year 3.
  • Affordable: The school is delivering a strong IB programme, from early years through to Grade 12 at a moderate fee of $24-33,000, which makes the IB a more affordable option compared to other schools.
  • Full scholarships are available for the two-year IBDP, with Chatsworth covering 100% of the fees and paying for a laptop; that's a saving of around $70,000. Since 2007, the school has awarded over 60 diploma scholarships.
  • PYP highlights: The school has a strong early years’ programme that follows the IB PYP play-based learning programme. Students start inquiring about different concepts from as young as K1 and are immersed in a play-based curriculum that equips students well for the PYP.
  • MYP highlights: Chatsworth is one of the few international schools in Singapore to offer the full IB MYP eAssessment examination, leading to the award of the IB MYP course results or the IB MYP Certificate. In 2021, 37% of the cohort scored 50 points or above out of the maximum 56 and three students achieved 54 points. 27% of the cohort earned a Bilingual MYP certificate.
  • Focus on service: Chatsworth is a big advocate of service learning, such as helping with a food bank or taking part in an outreach theatre. Students are encouraged to be independent thinkers; for example, implementing No Trash Tuesdays when students can use only reusable masks, food containers and utensils.

The Judges’ View

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The judges were impressed by Chatsworth’s “delivery of excellent results against moderate fee levels and its scholarship programme”, as well as the “internationality of the curriculum including the mother-tongue programme, the choice of two Modern Foreign Languages and the number of students achieving the bilingual diploma”.

The school is praised for its “innovative, creative and broad approach to the curriculum including the Curriculum Enhancement Week, sports and arts, and a rich co-curricular programme”. The judges were also impressed by the school’s non-selective admission to the IBDP and its commitment to the e-MYP.

David Flint, Principal, South View School in Dubai, said:

"Chatsworth is a well-established IB school that offers strong academics and demonstrates clear links with both parents and the community. The school has a strong IB GPA of 36, which makes Russell Group universities accessible; this is particularly impressive as the school's track record of high achievement was maintained throughout the pandemic restrictions.”

Anita Simpson, Head of School, American International School in Hong Kong, added:

“I appreciate the school's long-standing history, and track record, as well as the very positive survey data from parents. The fact that it's ranked on WhichSchoolAdvisor as Best IB school in Singapore is testament to its accomplishments and reputation. I like the fact that the school offers full scholarships and doesn't restrict access to the IBDP.

"There is a significant service learning element for students, and the school size offers a range of programming while still maintaining a small school feel. The broad mother tongue programme is impressive and further supports an inclusive school community.”

The Parents’ View

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Chatsworth is currently ranked the Best IB School in Singapore by parents (WhichSchoolAdvisor Parent Survey).

The general feedback from parents is that Chatsworth’s strengths are its small size, inclusive community and family spirit. Parents frequently refer to happy children who are thriving because of excellent teaching within a nurturing environment – and are developing into independent learners (which is what we’re looking for from an IB school) because of it.

Testimonials include:

The school’s strengths are its community and inclusive ethos. It is a warm, welcoming place which enthusiastically encourages children to be independent thinkers and the best version of themselves.”

"Chatsworth's sense of community and how it nurtures happy kids are the biggest strengths of the school as this instills a sense of drive, inquiry and confidence in the children."

The WhichSchoolAdvisor Review

Chatsworth BT

“It's one of Singapore's smaller all-through schools, and its student body of 800 allows the school to hold onto the family, village-feel that it has a reputation for. Like many smaller schools, you can expect its ethos to foster a family atmosphere, good standards of behaviour, and close links with parents and the community.

“The school believes that it is essential for students to have a strong foundation in their own mother tongue language. It encourages this development through an ethos that celebrates linguistic diversity within its international community and supports multiple languages through a very broad mother tongue language programme that is aligned with the IB from Years 7 to 13. There is a significant number of students completing the bilingual diploma at the end of the MYP (27%) and IBDP (33%).

“The school is responsive to change. For example, after the IB updated the Diploma music course to include a new component on experimentation and music technology from 2022, Chatsworth has looked at ways to realign its MYP curriculum with this. It plans to teach music production skills from Years 7-11 in the future.”

Read our full review of Chatsworth International School here.

The School’s View

Chatsworth BT

In its nomination for this Award, Chatsworth said:

“Through our inquiry based curriculum, students independently explore deep conceptual questions and drive their understandings and skills development forward. Teaching and learning is not a passive, top down process. The child is at the centre of their learning, developing and using a range of broad transdisciplinary skills to equip them for a successful and confident transition into secondary school and adult life.

“An example of how Chatsworth encourages student agency is how our K1s came up with their own ideas of how they can help others in the community based on the Unit of Inquiry 'How we Organise Ourselves'. They suggested a day of shopping for real food at the supermarket for members of the Chatsworth maintenance team. The idea was brought to fruition when our maintenance staff were given coupons to shop for groceries at the Sunshine and Berries Supermarket set up within the classroom by the K1 team.”

Read more about the IB in Singapore's international schools

2021 Singapore IB Results. Click here.
Where Can I Study The IB in Singapore? Click here.

Next: Highly Commended

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