A standalone primary school will open in the north east, offering the Cambridge primary curriculum, a focus on creativity and outdoor learning, and fees of less than $16,000 per year.
Anyone looking for a cheaper primary education for their child now has another school to choose from. The latest to join the growing trend for affordable schools in Singapore is the new Grange Institution, which opens in August 2018. Located in the north east, this standalone single form entry primary school will offer Years 1 to 6 (aged five to 11 years).
Describing itself as a “small school with big aspirations”, The Grange promises to offer “a broadly-British style of education for children of primary school age”. Its fees are nearly half of that charged by other international schools in Singapore.
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While you shouldn’t expect state-of-the art facilities – there’s no swimming pool, makerspace, or 1:1 iPad programme for example – you can look forward to a school that focuses on developing creative talent. Here’s a school that also promises to take full advantage of its natural surroundings and focus on outdoor education. It also has a very international outlook, and the school talks a lot about focusing on UN Sustainable Development Goals to raise "globally aware" students.
The Grange is owned by Crestar Education Group, the parent company of Kinderland, which has a large network of pre-schools in Singapore; this will be the group's first international primary school. Crestar explained the decision to open a new school, saying:
"We have had countless enquiries from parents over the years about pathways beyond our pre-school service. Many of them have expressed a desire to see the culture and creative philosophy in Kinderland continue into the next learning phase of their children.”
The Grange will follow the Cambridge international primary curriculum. The school’s international team of teachers, predominantly recruited from the UK and Australia, will focus on three learning frameworks. These include proficiency in the core subjects of English, maths and science; thematic, inquiry-based learning; and a creative approach to the visual arts and music. The school will also work in partnership with external sports group JACPA to teach health and PE.
Two standout features of the curriculum are the Creators in Residence, which focuses on creating works of art in the studio, and the Garden to Table project, which “teaches essential life skills in a fun, engaging and hands-on way”. The school will have a team of ‘Creators’ working alongside specialist teachers in music, the visual arts, PE and languages.
The academic year runs from August to June; the school day is slightly different to the norm as it runs from 10am to 4.30pm. There is one class per year group, and the teacher to student ratio is 1:24.
At the helm of the school is director Ronald Stones, a British educator with more than 30 years' teaching experience in South East Asia; previous roles include principal at Tanglin Trust School. The founding head teacher will be Jenifer Worthington, an Australian with past leadership roles in schools across Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Philippines and Switzerland.
The Grange has a three-acre campus along Yio Chu Kang Road, between Serangoon and Ang Mo Kio. Located away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, the school is in a quieter, residential corner of Singapore – and close to other international schools including AIS and SAIS.
The school shares its campus with the existing Kinderland pre-school. Facilities at the low-rise campus include six classrooms, a library, multipurpose hall, sustainable garden, and two music and art studios.
This small campus may feel understated compared to some other larger international schools, but it promises to be cosy, welcoming and authentic. Also, with its vegetable plots, butterfly garden and natural wildlife, the school is able to offer plenty of rich outdoor experiences. There is no school nurse on site.
Admission and fees
Annual tuition fees are among the lowest in Singapore at $15,840. There are no hidden extras, apart from an enrolment fee of $3,080, but students do have to bring in their own packed lunch.
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