The not-for-profit SMMIS offers a wide range of specialist provision (including teachers) and facilities. Though a small school in terms of numbers, it has the facilities of a big school including specialist science labs, a 450-seat auditorium, 25 metre outdoor swimming pool, and Astro-turf football pitch; it’s certainly impressive for a school with tuition fees of around $25,000 for primary and secondary ($24,760-25,124)
There’s a 15% sibling discount for the second and subsequent children (many schools offer this for the third child); the school only charges a one-off capital levy; and its annual tuition fees include a daily hot meal, which is representative of the strong family, community spirit here.
SMMIS combines all the familiarity and community feel of a small school with a creative and inquiry-led curriculum, and Jewish values, tradition and culture. Principal Elaine Robinson has fostered a positive school climate that can be seen and felt. She is very popular with parents; “excellent” teachers are frequently described as a strength of the school, as is its friendly and positive environment.
The general feedback from parents is that SMMIS is a very welcoming, community school that provides the nurturing learning environment they are looking for. Parents make frequent references to small class sizes, excellent facilities, outstanding parent communication, and strong leadership.
Judges were impressed by the school’s highly regarded curriculum, which draws from several international curricula at different levels of the school “essentially offering a more bespoke approach”. The small class sizes allow for individualised learning pathway, and the strong focus on values, tradition and culture provides a strong sense of community.
Lyn Soppelsa, Reviews & Community Editor, Which Media said:
“The focus on charity and social action through volunteering comes not only from the school’s religious context but also the broader range of 24 nationalities and faiths among students. Also, the support for students as a result of the smaller numbers on roll enables staff to know each child by name, and to provide a supportive and attentive focus for each child.”
Anita Simpson, Principal at American International School, Hong Kong added:
“Sir Manasseh Meyer International School has a high sense of belonging, as reported by parents (63%), and 96% of parents would recommend their children's school to other parents. Certainly the small school size of 275 pupils would promote a strong sense of community, something the school has fostered and is proud of. This school also offers facilities that rival a big school, and the school community is diverse.”
Read our full review of SMMIS here.
With total annual fees of $17,970-20,661 (Grades 1-12), the school offers parents a low-cost option for studying the IB (it is authorised to offer the IB PYP and IBDP). Its fees also include two sets of school uniforms, technological devices like iPads, and academic field trips, so there are no hidden extras. OWIS has recently launched a Chinese-English Bilingual Programme, which certainly broadens its appeal and meets a growing demand for bilingual education, although fees for this are slightly higher than the standard tuition fees.
OWIS may be a cheaper school in terms of fees, but is that at the cost of a quality education? We think not. Yes, the campus does not have the glitzy shiny facilities of some other international schools, but it does have huge amounts of outdoor space, large well-lit classrooms, a self-contained area for early years, and specialist areas for sport, music, art and science. It also offers a solid academic curriculum that gives students the popular option of taking IGCSEs and then the IB Diploma Programme; there's a small but broad enough choice of IGCSE subjects.
The school has a diverse cohort of students (its 30% cap on nationalities maintains this) which is championed through annual events and classroom activities. There's also a strong focus on the individual and kindness as part of OWIS' approach to student wellbeing. From kindness trees on the walls to students sitting on a Kindness Council, the school promise and teaches positive values across all age groups.
Parent feedback focuses on the school’s “kindness-led” culture and “warm-hearted environment”, with one parent saying that OWIS offers “a good balance of student nationalities, affordable school fees and an international curriculum”.
Judges said the school deserved a mention for its clear vision to deliver an “accessible education to a diverse range of expat families”, which offers parents a more ‘affordable’ IB option, the choice of a bilingual programme, and some good indoor facilities.
Read our full review of OWIS (Nanyang) here.