Affordable private school for expat kids
Invictus International School charges its students just $15,000 a year - about half of what some others charge
In a country ranked among the most expensive in the world for international educationin a survey by ExpatFinder.com, some schools here are bucking the trend by providing a no-frills education, cutting down on facilities such as libraries and swimming pools that are in other international school campuses.
Among them is Invictus International School, which was set up last year to provide affordable education for expatriates' children.
"Invictus was started by a group of entrepreneurs who realised that the cost of private education in Singapore was astronomical," said Ms Mary Ann Davies, 47, the principal.
"What they wanted for their children was a good teacher in front of a class of 25 pupils, teaching a great curriculum."
The school, which is moving from its Bukit Merah Central campus to Dempsey Hill next month, has, in its first year, had 75 pupils completing one year of education last month.
The pupils are between five and seven years old. The school plans to take in older children.
Instead of building its own facilities, public facilities are used when needed, with teachers taking the pupils to the nearby Bukit Merah Public Library to read, or the Sports Lifestyle Centre for swimming lessons.
The private school charges its students a fee capped at $15,000 a year, about half the price of other international schools here. (See report, below right.)
As the size of each class is small, teachers know the pupils individually, said Ms Davies.
The school adopts the International Primary Curriculum, which was developed by Fieldwork Education and oil and gas company Shell for its international schools around the world.
What they wanted for their children was a good teacher in front of a class of 25 pupils, teaching a great curriculum.Ms Mary Ann Davies, invictus international School principal
In addition, the school uses tools such as the ClassDojo app and learning logs to get parents involved in the children's learning process. Through ClassDojo, parents are able to monitor their children's performance in class.
The app allows teachers to reward points to pupils for participation, and it also lets them upload photos and videos of pupils so that parents get live updates on classroom activities.
Said Mr Ruel Alfonso, 42, whose six-year-old son attends Invictus: "We get constant updates from the teachers, so we know how our child is doing in school. The app is useful as we can connect with the teachers, and understand better our child's emotional and intellectual progress."
The learning log encourages parents to engage themselves in the children's learning process, as tasks are assigned on a weekly basis for parents to complete with the young ones at home.
Having 21 nationalities represented in its first batch of pupils added to the uniqueness of the school, said Ms Davies.
"We delight in our students having different backgrounds and nationalities," she said.
"They just don't see race."