Richard and I visited Schoolhouse by the Bay last month as I'd heard good things about it.  We came away with a good impression of the place so I thought I'd pen a report on it.
This pre-school is located in Katong Community Centre, which is a relatively short drive from the CBD.  It started as an experimental project set up by the Learning Society and its partners, in collaboration with some Canadian researchers. It is affiliated with the Canadian International School, Singapore.  The school’s Advisory Council consists of the ex-Principal of Raffles Girls’ Primary School (who is also the Chairperson of the Parents Advisory Group for the Internet), the President of the Association of Early Childhood Educators, Singapore, and the Head Principal of the Canadian International School, Singapore.

The first thing that struck me was how friendly and welcoming the staff were.  They were happy to have us drop in anytime for a visit.  When we got there, we were given a personal tour of the place.

The facilities are quite impressive.  It has a library, learning rooms, a dance studio, several playgrounds, a canteen, a huge gym and an auditorium. A relatively new school, the facilities and equipment are still in good shape, clean and well-maintained.  Most of the classrooms are located in a ring and in the heart of the ring there is an observation room with 2-way mirrors through which parents and educators can observe the children while they learn and play during class.  The children were allowed to be free-roaming in the classrooms and they looked happy and relaxed.

The curriculum is generally child-led, which is what I like.  They practice alternate English and Mandarin days, meaning everything is done in English the first day, then in Mandarin the next day, and then back to English the following day.  I found their programme to be well-rounded, with a good mix of reading, writing, dramatic play, music and movement, physical activities, creative art, mathematics, computers, etc.

The fees are quite affordable and I think it is great value for what you'd pay, something like getting an international school flavour at local school prices.


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