Singapore / Singapore North East / Serangoon / Brighton College (Singapore)

Brighton College (Singapore) Review

Brighton College opened a nursery and primary school for students aged 18 months through to 11 years in Singapore in August 2020.
At a glance
School type
International
School phase
Primary
Inspection rating
No rating
Curricula taught
Availability 2020/21
No data
Availability 2021/22
No data
Annual fee average
SGD 32,000
Annual fees
SGD 21,750 - 35,010
Price band help
Premium
Status
Open
Opening year
2020
School year
Aug to Jun
Principal
Mr Andrew Noakes
Owner
Cognita
Main teacher nationality
United Kingdom

Nearby nurseries

0.6km • IB PYP curriculum
0.7km • IB PYP curriculum
Does your child attend this school? Take our survey and help other parents.
WhichSchoolAdvisor's annual school survey.
LET'S GO
favorite favorite_border Save
Brighton College (Singapore)
School type
International
School phase
Primary
Inspection rating
No rating
Curricula taught
Availability 2020/21
No data
Availability 2021/22
No data
Annual fee average
SGD 32,000
Annual fees
SGD 21,750 - 35,010
Price band help
Premium
Status
Open
Opening year
2020
School year
Aug to Jun
Principal
Mr Andrew Noakes
Owner
Cognita
Main teacher nationality
United Kingdom
MORE arrow_drop_down

Brighton College opened a nursery and primary school for students aged 18 months through to 11 years in Singapore in August 2020.

There’s no shortage of all-through, International Baccalaureate schools in Singapore. So, the opening of a small standalone primary school offering the National Curriculum for England marks a refreshing change. Brighton College (Singapore) opened in August 2020 to deliver a very British pre-prep and prep (18 months to 11 years) education to a maximum 550 students.


An artist's impression of the new Brighton College (Singapore)

This British public-school export, which we have seen thrive in locations across the UAE and in Bangkok,  retains major elements of Brighton College UK’s DNA; it limits classes to three per year group with maximum of 22 students per class; and it delivers a strong Mandarin programme. This all comes at price, and the school’s annual tuition fees of $34,000 position it as one of the top 15 most expensive schools in Singapore.

Brighton College (Singapore) is something of a contradiction. While it promises to offer a “nurturing, village-school environment”, the school is located on one of Singapore’s largest campuses. Brighton College’s pre-prep (pre-nursery to Year 1) is spread across a dedicated floor of the Early Learning Village (ELV) currently shared between the Australian International School (AIS) and Stamford American International School (SAIS). The prep school (Years 2 – 6) are in a newly renovated building next to the Early Learning Village and AIS, both located in Serangoon.

This is made possible as all three schools – AIS, SAIS, and Brighton College (Singapore) – are 100% owned by the Cognita global schools group. Brighton College leads the educational philosophy, school ethos, and National Curriculum of England of the new school, which replicates the authentic Brighton College experience from the academic rigour of its British curriculum through to the traditional house system. Cognita, which operates schools across eight countries – including Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and the UK – will manage the day-to-day operation of the campus.

At the moment, Brighton College feels a bit shoe-horned into a site that is dominated by the vast AIS school and its 3,000 students. However, a huge benefit of this location is that Brighton College can – and does – share the facilities on the AIS campus, including playing fields, an indoor sports hall, and swimming pool. Does this mean that Brighton College can offer the best of both worlds? A village primary school experience with access to all the facilities of an all-through school? Only time will tell…

Read more: Our Experience tour of Brighton College (Singapore)


A classroom in the pre-prep school

A very British education

Teaching at Brighton College follows the UK’s Early Years Foundation Stages (EYFS) and the National Curriculum for England. It opened in the same year as two other British public-school experts – NLCS (Singapore) and The Perse School, Singapore – and there are already three existing British curriculum schools in Singapore. So what makes Brighton College different?

Founding headmaster Paul Wilson, who moved across from Brighton College UK, described the school as, “an outward-looking school that prioritises emotional well-being and fosters a lifelong love of learning.” 

He adds: “When you think of primary education, you think of a nurturing school. We can offer a really nurturing primary school environment where children will feel really well-known and well-loved, and they will have a great ability to flourish both academically and socially. That’s where I think we really stand out in Singapore.”

Mr Wilson left the school in July 2021 and is replaced by Andrew Noakes, formerly the Head of Prep at Brighton College (Abu Dhabi).

Historically, there have always been long waitlists at Singapore’s top tier British schools – Tanglin Trust, Dulwich College (Singapore), and Dover Court 2020 could start to change that. Whereas before parents looking for a British curriculum school here didn’t have the luxury of choice, they now do. For such a small school, Brighton College could make a huge impact.

The curriculum

Children in pre-prep follow the EYFS from pre-nursery through to reception, before starting their first year of the National Curriculum for England in Year 1. Throughout these years, PE, swimming, music, and art are taught by specialist teachers. Moving up to the prep school, the curriculum covers the core subjects of maths, English, and science, as well as geography, computing, history, PE, swimming, music, and art.

One of the key differences to the curriculum offered by its UK school is Mandarin, which Paul Wilson says is “front and centre” of the curriculum. Brighton College offers a dual language Mandarin programme from pre-nursery through to Year 1, where native Mandarin-speaking teaching assistants will work alongside the classroom teacher to teach the curriculum in two languages.

From Year 1 upwards, daily Mandarin classes are streamed by ability; from Year 3, all children have twice-weekly French classes taught by a native speaker. Brighton College joins a substantial number of international schools offering dual language programmes, where both languages are taught in the same classroom.

Parents looking for a more immersive Mandarin education for their child should consider a school offering a bilingual programme, such as Canadian International School or Singapore American School.

Brighton College’s academic credentials are impressive. Its GCSE and A Level results are consistently high; it was ranked as the Top Co-educational School in England in 2019 and named Independent School of the Year by The Sunday Times. This isn’t enough to guarantee the strength of the primary education offered by Brighton College (Singapore), but it does help to set a high standard for the school to follow.

Will the quality of education be comparable with the original UK ‘brand’ is a question that needs to be asked of any UK school opening internationally. Founding headmaster Paul Wilson was committed to replicating an authentic Brighton College experience, and not only in terms of its academic excellence.

Wilson said: “As well as being known as an academic school, Brighton College is famous for its cultural kindness. We will deliver a consistent culture of kindness, curiosity and confidence.” And having spent the past 15 years at the UK school, Wilson says that these values are “in his blood”.

One of Brighton College’s strengths is that it is purely focused on primary education, which means that all resources, teaching, and facilities within the school are geared towards the 5 – 10 year age group. There are no immediate plans to open a secondary school, but it is a possibility.

In the meantime, Brighton College is confident that it can prepare every student for the secondary school that is right for them. “You have the opportunity here to have a fantastic academic experience in a really nurturing environment that will open up the door to a secondary school that will suit your child after Year 6.”

The school day runs from 9am to 3.30pm, with an option to do extra-curricular activities until 4.30pm, and the academic year is August to June with three terms.

Leadership

Brighton College is the latest addition to the Cognita-run family of schools in Singapore, and it adds a British curriculum choice to Cognita’s existing portfolio of Stamford American International School and the Australian International School (AIS).

We’ve seen the Brighton College model work well internationally. Brighton College Abu Dhabi is a WhichSchoolAdvisor.com Top School, and it has been rated Very Good by the Abu Dhabi Education Council; its sister school in Al Ain is rated Outstanding. We’ve also seen Cognita manage two competing schools in the city-state, and we will be watching to see how a third school will fare.

The school plans to take full advantage of its links with Cognita by taking part in the group’s global initiatives, such as Be Well Day. However, it will also remain true to its Brighton College roots and the links between the two will be upheld through termly visits from the UK school, as “they are really invested in making this something that they are proud of.”

The new principal for Brighton College (Singapore) is Andrew Noakes, who joins the school from Brighton College in Abu Dhabi, where he was head of the Prep School.

 Deputy head Lois Pugh moves over from NLCS Jeju, bringing with her the experience of an international school that Wilson does not yet have, as well as the knowledge of integrating a dual-language programme in NLCS’ infant and junior schools.


One of many play areas at the new school

School community

Brighton College is promising a nurturing primary school environment that will certainly appeal to British families looking to replicate that village school experience. We are looking for the school to create that intimacy and feel that you do not get in all-through schools, and we would expect there to be a strong and active parent community. How Brighton College creates that warmth and a ‘village school’ feel amidst the busy university-style campus of AIS can only be seen once the school opens.

Brighton College, a very British school, is moving into a space that has a dominant Australian culture. There are kangaroo sculptures, messages of Distinctly Australia on the wall, and an earthy decor of browns and greens across a campus that is well-established and immensely proud of its Aussie heritage. This is changing to a degree as Brighton College puts its own stamp on the site with its logo, school values, and maybe even the Union Jack. But what are the advantages of having a school with such a strong British identity being located next to schools that are so proudly American and Australian?



Admissions and fees

Brighton College is currently open from pre-nursery (18 months) through to Year 4, with around 150 students.  It’s a selective school, meaning that from from Year 1, children “undertake basic testing in English and maths to ensure that they will be able to thrive in our academic environment”.

As Brighton College (Singapore) has not yet received EduTrust certification, it cannot yet accept applications from students who require a Student Pass to attend school in Singapore (those with parents do not yet have a Work Pass).

Fees start at $34,050 for Reception through to Year 2, and rise to $35,010 for Years 3 – 6. There’s an application fee of $1,000, enrolment fee of $3,500, one-time development fee of $3,000, as well as an annual facility fee of $3,250. So, for a child joining in 2020 for Year 1, the starting cost would be $44,800.

If you are the owner or the principal of the school and note any inaccuracies, or would like to update data, you can now open an account with us. You will also be able to add admissions availability per year group, and advertise current job vacancies. This is a free service. Please help us keep prospective parents up to date with your latest information.

Are you looking for a place for your child, and want help from our school consultants? If so, click on the link below, and we will forward your request for information to the school or schools of the same type that we are confident have availability. This is a free service for our readers. Request Information

Comments
Latest Singapore articles
Which Curriculum

In-Depth: Outdoor Education in Singapore

“Let Nature be your teacher,” said William Wordsworth. Outdoor education…

New Schools

New! American School Opening August 2022

A new American international school for students aged two to 14 years will open in Singap…

Society

MOE Primary Schools Return to HBL

Students at all local primary schools in Singapore will return to full home-based learnin…

New Schools

First Look: New Schools Opening From 2021!

There’s good news for parents as more primary and secondary places are now availabl…

School Performance

LIVE: I/GCSE Results Day 2021, Singapore

Hundreds of students at international schools in Singapore have received their I/GCSE res…

School Performance

Tanglin Leads Singapore's 2021 A Level Results

Students at one of Singapore's oldest international schools have received their A Level r…

School Performance

A Levels: Grade Inflation Stokes Uni Fears

With A Level results due to be issued to UAE students on Tuesday, and after a second year…

Interviews

Tanglin's Transformational Leader: Craig Considine

Craig Considine stepped into the role of CEO at Tanglin Trust School in August 2018, taki…

0 Schools Selected
keyboard_arrow_down keyboard_arrow_up
Your selection Clear All