Razum International School Singapore (RISS) is enrolling students for Grades 1 – 3 at its campus in central Singapore, where fees have been set at under $15,000 per year.
Currently open for Grades 1 – 3, as the school grows it will open Grades 4, 5, and 6. Parents can expect “a close, nurturing, family environment”, within a boutique-style school in a small, purpose-built campus in Kay Siang Road.
Located in the central Tanglin district, this 'affordable' primary school has a shorter four-hour school day that runs from 8.45am to 1pm, and claims to follow the example set by the Finnish education system, where less is more. According to co-founders Elena Berezhnaya and Marina Dotsenko, this shorter day will give students the time to focus on extra-curricular activities and “external coaches, training, and programmes”.
RISS says: “We pride ourselves on our four-hour school day which sets us apart from other learning institutions. The shorter hours allow students to be more focused on their core subjects of mathematics, literacy, humanities and science. At the same time, we encourage our students to develop a love for art, music, dance and drama which are instrumental in their cognitive development.
“Students finish at 1pm, allowing them the time needed for external coaches, training, and programmes, that have otherwise not been accommodated for in extended school days.”
RISS opened in 2019, but was only registered with Singapore’s Committee for Private Education (CPE), which regulates the private education sector, in November 2020. In order to be registered, a Private Education Institution (PEI) must meet CPE’s requirements for school premises, quality of academic programmes, teaching staff, and a fee protection scheme. As the school is yet to qualify for the CPE’s Edutrust certification, it can only enrol students with a Dependent Pass, Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP), or PR; foreign students with a Student Pass cannot apply.
Teaching at RISS follows the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and the Singaporean MOE curriculum for maths. The school promises to run regular trips, weekly assemblies, sports and arts days, and ‘learning share’ days for parents and students. The daily timetable starts with a 10-minute fitness session and includes a 30-minute mid-morning break.
RISS also offers a Gateway programme for pre-schoolers at a local MOE kindergarten; this bridges the gap between a local K2 school year (ending in December) and the start of Grade 1 in August. The programme runs from January to June.
The school says: “We aim to bridge the gap so that students can seamlessly enter Grade 1 at any international school for an August start.”
Singapore has a small choice of lower-cost international schools, which range from the small boutique style of Invictus International School to the large, all-through model of Middleton International School (Tampines) and OWIS. RISS is certainly the former.
RISS says: “Flexibility and affordability are important to us. Keeping our school small, we are open to listen to every parent and to meet every child’s needs in terms of learning as well as scheduling.”
Fees are $14,900 per year, which are nearly half of that charged by other international schools in Singapore, plus an admission fee of $1,300.
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