GIIS SMART promises to be a school of future, where lessons are held in virtual classrooms, sports lessons are analysed using digital technology, and robots move around campus.
A new school dedicated to SMART learning opened in Singapore’s Punggol Digital District (PDD) in late 2018. The not-for-profit Global Schools Foundation (GSF) opened GIIS SMART school for up to 5,000 students aged three through to 18 years. Describing itself as a “school of the future”, GIIS SMART has a virtual approach to learning and a strong focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, robotics and artificial intelligence, and design technology. It also has the latest NBA-standard sports technology and smart safety features like facial recognition.
Global Indian International School (GIIS) was Singapore's first international school for Indian expats. From a single campus in 2002, it has expanded to four locations within Singapore and a network of more than 20 campuses across seven countries. Students from the GIIS Queenstown and Balestier campuses have relocated to the new GIIS SMART campus; the group's two other Singapore campuses, East Coast and Mountbatten, continue to operate at their existing locations.
In line with other GIIS schools in Singapore, it offers Global Montessori Plus (GMP) at nursery levels; CBSE from Grades 1-7; IGCSEs or CBSE from Grades 8-10; and CBSE or the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) from Grades 11-12.
The school embraces GSF's education methodology, which it calls Nine Gems. According to GSF, this holistic learning programme "meets the changing needs of a growing child and his/her evolving personality". But that’s where the similarities end. GIIS SMART promises to be a unique school, where the emphasis is very much on delivering a 21st century, NextGen education. In the school’s own words,
“…teaching and learning is not confined to classroom walls or limited to student-teacher relationships.”
It has virtual classrooms where students can ‘attend’ lectures held globally, digital classrooms equipped with iPads and SMART boards, and tools such as Augmented Reality (AR) to make “learning an interactive and fun experience”. GIIS is one of the first schools in the world to use the SPEDAS (Sports Performance Enhancing Data Analytics System), which captures students’ on-field performance through digital technology and provides analytics to help them improve. State of the art technology runs throughout the school, from cashless payment to a facial recognition ID system. There’s even talk of robots on campus to “assist teachers in carrying out minor administrative tasks like carrying books”.
There is a focus on teaching students about nature and environmental sustainability, and as well as having environment labs, the school will adopt green initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint such as using rain water for utilities and emergencies.
Class sizes are on the larger size, with around 30-35 students per class.
Located in the north-east region of Singapore, GIIS SMART has a green and sustainable, seven-storey building with more than 130 classrooms powered by 'virtual classroom' e-learning technology. Other facilities include a student radio studio, speech and drama studio, student group rooms for collaborative learning, a student lounge for studying and socialising, special interest zones, and small learning communities. There is also an indoor area dedicated to indoor games such as table tennis, karate, taekwondo, and rock climbing.
The SMART campus is the first school in the world to have a Gandhi Museum, which is used to teach students “the importance of service, peaceful existence and being caring global citizens.”
The school has a G-Cafe serving Western, continental and Asian cuisines, which seats 1,000 primary and secondary level students. Parents can customise meals by pre-ordering food from a cafe app.
There is a visitor centre where parents and visitors can meet with school teachers and staff.
The school is one of the first buildings in the government's Punggol Digital District, which will be a centre for digital and cyber-security industries.
Admission and fees
Tuition fees at all GIIS campuses in Singapore are standard, and they are considerably lower than most international schools in Singapore. There is no increase of fee at the new SMART campus.
The academic year for students enrolling in Nursery - Grade 11 starts in April. For CBSE Grade 12 students, the term starts in February, while for the IBDP the term starts in July.
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