Is the school perfect? No, of course not. To say it was would be unrealistic. So here are the pros and cons so far:
|Leaving for the 4th grade overnight camping trip|
I was also impressed with the amount of writing done in both grades, and was especially impressed with the public speaking exposure in Sophia's class. At one point, the kids were required to give a speech running for Class President, Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer, and the speeches were broadcast over the internet for the families to watch. The teacher even gave estimated times for parents so they could plan their day accordingly.
We are rapidly coming to the end of our time here, and while we were at home in the US last month, both kids had to be tested for entrance to a school upon our return. They had to take part of the Stanford Achievement Test (not to be confused with Stamford :-) and I can tell you that they were *well* prepared for it. The test administrator was extremely impressed, and I attribute much of that to the curriculum at Stamford.
I already praised their homeroom teachers, but I have to also give credit to all the other teachers I have met. I've gotten to know several of them pretty well, and I am confident that my kids are in great hands whether they are in math enrichment, PE, art class etc.
|They won the 10U Championship!|
As far as the after-school activities, they are trying hard and have done a decent job ironing out some glitches. It's not perfect yet, but they've improved the sign-up process each time and they have a good variety of activity choices. If you have a high school-aged child who is a sports star, I am not sure this is the school for you (yet). I implore the school (because I know they will read this) to spend more money and effort on improving the athletics...it really is the key to winning over a huge demographic of parents out there. The kids need better uniforms, access to outside coaching and more diversity of sports.
Note: There are many wonderful first-class coaches at SAIS, and we are lucky to have them. This is meant to suggest that not all coaches should be drawn from the pool of SAIS teachers. If parents have experience coaching, or it is smart to bring in outside coaches to make the teams competitive, then it should be done.
Coming to Stamford, I was admittedly nervous of the whole "expat mom" culture. I don't get dressed up to go to school (okay, maybe I'll try to look decent at orientation tomorrow, but you will frequently see me in my exercise clothes!) and I am not one of those "ladies who lunch". After meeting the other moms, I feel silly that I was ever worried. I have made some of the most wonderful friends in the last year, and look forward to visiting these friends all over the world for many years to come.
Other major events include a huge, elaborate Halloween party, Christmas party with silent auction baskets provided by each class, and a fancy charity gala in the Spring. The PTA at Stamford certainly works hard!
|Sophia's Friends at the International Fiesta|
Best of luck in your school decisions. There are many wonderful schools in Singapore, but for us, Stamford was hands down the right choice.
As much I want to help, please do not send us questions on the school, as we have already repatriated to the US (March 2014). Best of luck!