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

Brighton College (Singapore) Experience

Brighton College's nursery and primary school offers a very British pre-prep and prep education, and is well placed to compete against top tier schools such as Tanglin, Dulwich College (Singapore) and Dover Court.
At a glance
School type
School phase
Inspection rating
No rating
Curricula taught
Availability 2021/22
No data
Availability 2022/23
No data
Annual fee average
SGD 32,000
Annual fees
SGD 21,750–35,010
Price band help
Mr Andrew Noakes
Main teacher nationality
United Kingdom

Nearby nurseries

0.6km • IB PYP curriculum
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Brighton College is a small standalone primary school that is moving onto a site that is dominated by the vast Australian International School (AIS) school and its 3,000 students. Does this mean that Brighton College can offer a village primary school experience with all the advantages of using the facilities of an all-through school? We visited the school six months ahead of its opening date to get an early impression...

Read our review of Brighton College (Singapore) here.

The pre-prep campus

Brighton College Singapore
A classroom in the prep-prep school 

The pre-prep school will be located on a dedicated floor of The Early Learning Village, in the Stamford American International School (SAIS) side of the building. Designed exclusively for little people, The Village is a 50,000 sq m campus with the capacity for 2,100 children aged two months to six years. Until now, AIS and SAIS have shared the building, but they operate independently and offer different curriculums and academic calendars.

Brighton College will become the third school to move in. Each school has its own dedicated entrance, uniform, teachers, classrooms, play areas and resources. The only facilities shared between the three schools are the swimming pool and The Hive, an indoor sports hall.

Inspired by Reggio Emilia’s philosophy that “the environment becomes the third teacher”, The Village features natural materials, living walls, multi-sensory resources and plenty of greenery. The Village has been designed as a series of pods with plenty of greenery and windows in between, and classrooms are grouped in clusters of four.

Play areas, an indoor sports hall and a swimming pool will be shared with AIS and SAIS

Brighton College’s pre-prep will be child-friendly in every sense: classrooms are arranged in small clusters, the shared swimming pool is designed for wading and learning to swim, outdoor spaces encourage discovery and play, there are toddler-sized work benches in the teaching kitchens and science labs, and in every classroom children can venture through pint-sized doors to a dedicated outdoor learning space.

There are also huge outdoor playgrounds with UV cover, including climbing equipment, sandpits, bike track and nature areas. Nursery classes include nappy changing, sensory rooms and sleeping areas.

Can such a large campus really be that child-friendly – or does it look too large and intimidating through a three-year-old’s pair of eyes? While some parents may prefer the intimacy of a smaller pre-school that has a genuine village feel rather than one that is the size of a village, others will be drawn to the large-scale opportunities that Brighton College can offer.

By moving into The Village, Brighton College inherits a variety of modern facilities that you won’t find in smaller pre-schools – a swimming pool, a flexible multi-purpose hall, specialist classrooms, plenty of outdoor play decks, a fully-staffed medical centre and parent café. Other standout design features include the large round windows at child height that look into each class, the green living walls, and the way in which classrooms were divided into different zones for learning.

Founding headmaster Paul Wilson took WSA on a tour of the campus while still under renovation

The prep school campus

Remove any images in your mind of the Brighton College you see in the UK. Instead of heritage buildings and tree-lined avenues, this standalone primary school is located alongside the Australian International School (AIS) campus and within the Early Learning Village in Serangoon.

A modern two-storey-building is currently being renovated to house the prep school; the branding is yet to go up, classrooms are currently empty, and resources are being delivered weekly. If you visit the campus at the moment, as we did, you really need to use your imagination to picture the school that Brighton College promises to be when it opens in five months.

The school building is currently being renovated ahead of its opening in August 2020

The prep school for six to 11-year-olds (Years 2 to 6) will have classrooms, a digital lab and iMac suite for coding and robotics, a music studio, music practice rooms, quiet room, presentation space, makerspace, art rooms and science labs. For a three-form entry school, with a maximum of 330 students in this part of the school, there is plenty of space. The rooms are well-lit, modern and starting to be furnished with contemporary, age-appropriate furniture that can be configured for different lessons.

As mentioned in our review, the school will use the sporting facilities and outdoor play areas on the AIS campus. While it sounds like a strange set-up, it needs to be seen on a tour to be fully understood and appreciated.

Careful planning using a shared Google calendar will ensure that the two schools can operate side-by-side. For example, AIS starts at 8.30am and Brighton starts at 9am, so both schools get an exclusive 30 minutes before school for their students to use the shared playing fields. Break and lunch times are staggered for the same reason, and Brighton builds its PE lessons around “when the sports hall is not timetabled for AIS”.

Headmaster Paul Wilson reassures us:

“The facilities are designed to accommodate a certain number of students, so we are not putting stress on that.” It also helps that AIS has a January to December academic year while Brighton’s calendar runs from August to June."

Sharing facilities does raise some concerns. Does it restrict the spontaneity of a teacher taking her class to the play area for an untimetabled lesson or break? Will classes in one school be distracted by children from another school playing during break?

The AIS sports hall and playing fields are among several facilities that will be shared with Brighton College (Singapore)

However, skilful sharing can be beneficial for both students and teachers. Brighton College gets increased access to facilities in a country where space is limited; it can encourage a spirit of cooperation between students at joint swim meets and fun events such as a mini Ashes tournament; and teachers can share best practice.

“There’s a lot of good pedagogy coming out of Australia, so there’ll be a lot of sharing best teaching practice with AIS,” adds Wilson, who admits that his job has been considerably easier because AIS have been “so very accommodating”.

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