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GIIS SMART Campus Review

GIIS SMART Campus is the first international school to open in the Punggol Digital District (PDD). In keeping with its location, it is a technology-driven school that caters to Kindergarten to Grade 12. The school has a NextGen infrastructure and uses cutting-edge facilities to deliver multiple curricula including the International Baccalaureate, IGCSE and CBSE.
At a glance
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
No rating
Availability 2021/22
No data
Availability 2022/23
No data
Annual fee average
SGD 11,500
Annual fees
SGD 9,576–13,779
Price band help
Value
Status
Open
Opening year
2018
School year
Apr to Mar
Principal
Melissa Maria
Owner
Global Schools Foundation
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GIIS SMART Campus
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
No rating
Availability 2021/22
No data
Availability 2022/23
No data
Annual fee average
SGD 11,500
Annual fees
SGD 9,576–13,779
Price band help
Value
Status
Open
Opening year
2018
School year
Apr to Mar
Principal
Melissa Maria
Owner
Global Schools Foundation
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GIIS SMART Campus is the first international school to open in the Punggol Digital District (PDD). In keeping with its location, it is a technology-driven school that caters to Kindergarten to Grade 12. The school has a NextGen infrastructure and uses cutting-edge facilities to deliver multiple curricula including the International Baccalaureate, IGCSE and CBSE.

The GIIS SMART Campus opened in the up-and-coming digital district of Punggol in 2018. Owned by the well-established, not-for-profit Global Schools Foundation (GSF), SMART is an all-through school for children aged 3 through to 18 years that offers a choice of an Indian or IB education under one (very large) roof.

As this new school slowly grows into its sprawling campus in the North East, it is becoming one of Singapore's most technology-driven schools. SMART is the top-performing CBSE school in Singapore (although students only studied here for the last year of their CBSE), has capacity for 5,000 students, low tuition fees, and dual pathways that follow the CBSE or IGCSEs and the IBDP. However, the real talking point of this school is its technology-focused facilities. Here's a purpose-built campus that dazzles with its bells and whistles – and has everything from virtual classrooms and facial recognition machines through to digital lockers and even Smart toilets that are equipped with ammonia sensors.

SMART promises to be a school of future, where lessons are held in virtual classrooms, sports lessons are analysed using digital technology, and robots will move around campus. The school is dedicated to learning through technology, using facilities including skills labs, Smart classrooms, and innovation rooms.

It has had the opportunity to put its technology-driven campus to the test during the recent campus closures in Singapore, made due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During the closures, SMART continued to deliver all lessons according to the timetable via live teaching sessions. It has also launched a Virtual School Scheme; enrolment is open for all grades from kindergarten through to Grade 12 for the school’s Indian and international (IB) streams.

Owned by the Singapore-based Global Schools Foundation (GSF), 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 SMART Campus; the group's two other Singapore campuses, East Coast and Mountbatten, continue to operate at their existing locations.

What does the school feel like? Get the GIIS SMART Campus Experience here.


A typical classroom at the GIIS SMART Campus

The curriculum
In line with other GIIS schools in Singapore, SMART offers the most widespread Indian curriculum in Singapore, the CBSE Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). 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. There are also plans to introduce the IB's Primary Years Programme as an alternative to the CBSE in Grades 1 – 7.

CBSE subjects include Tamil, visual and performing arts, economics, and accountancy. IGCSE subjects include Hindi, French, Tamil, economics, and accountancy. IBDP subjects include business and management, French, Hindi, Spanish, and Tamil.

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”.

Specifically, these nine ‘gems’ are Academic Excellence, Collaborative & Project-Based Learning; Sports, Health & Fitness Excellence; Digital and Visual Arts; Personality Development, Speech & Drama; Creativity, Innovation and Problem solving; Entrepreneurship & Leadership Development; Universal Values, Ethics & Discipline; Community Connection, Care and Conserve and Life Skills, Career and Vocational Competencies. Reading between the lines, the Nine Gems model equips students with skills such as problem solving, critical, analytical, and creative thinking, and teamwork. GIIS claims to be fusing the best of Eastern and Western education models, and its schools are certainly moving away from India’s traditional academic approach to education.

But that’s where the similarities end. SMART Campus 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”. State of the art technology runs throughout the school, from cashless payment to a facial recognition ID system. GIIS is also 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. There’s even talk of having 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 is adopting green initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint, such as using rainwater for utilities and emergencies. 

Class sizes are on the larger side, with around 30 – 35 students per class.


GIIS SMART Campus uses many Smart features

Beyond the classroom
SMART hosts various masterclasses, covering everything from leadership through to sport and music, as well as entrepreneurial boot camps. Co-curricular activities (CCAs) range from bhangra, needlework, and folk painting to a Bill Gates IT club, robotics, and creative writing. These activities seem to be taken very seriously by the school, and students are strongly encouraged to take part. Like all GIIS schools, there’s a house system here that encourages healthy competition in music, dance, cultural activities, and sport.

All class groups are taken on educational trips, local and international, and students have the opportunity to get involved with some impressive leadership initiatives.

2022 academic results
GIIS is one of the biggest school groups offering the CBSE outside India. 

Average score Pass rate Highest score Top scorers 40 points plus 35 points plus
38.6   45 6 52% 78%

In 2022, it celebrated an average IB score of 38.6 (last year’s average score was 38.82); 52% of students scored 40-plus and 78% achieved 35-plus points.

There were six students with the top score of 45 and 15 students receiving near-perfect scores of 44/45.

In the CBSE Grade 12, the school average was 85.8% and 12 students scored 99%. Nearly half the cohort scored above 90% marks, and more than 25% scored above 95% marks. 11 students scored 100/100 in various subjects.

In the Science Stream, the average was 88% and in the Commerce Stream the average was 80%.

In CBSE Grade 10, the school average was 86.3%, with one fourth of the cohort scoring 95% and above and nearly 50% scoring an overall 90% and above. Abhineet Kumar was the school topper with 98.2% marks, followed closely by Niranjan Kalaiselvan with 98%. Manan Ranjan and Mihika Yadav scored an overall of 97.4%.

 


Students can work in groups in the learning pods

2019 IGCSE students also celebrated on results day with 71% of students securing an A* – A. 10.5% students achieved a full set of A* and 100% of students were awarded A* in mathematics without coursework. 13 students achieved A* in all exams that they sat, and Aryan Sharma was the World Topper for Hindi.

The campus
Located in the north-east region of Singapore, GIIS SMART Campus has two green and sustainable seven-storey buildings, 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; there is also a visitor centre where parents and visitors can meet with school teachers and staff.

Admission and fees
Tuition fees at all GIIS campuses in Singapore are standard, and they are considerably lower than most international schools in Singapore. Fees have not increased 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 cohort the term starts in July.

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