I find looking for schools tough. As a parent, I have my ideas about how I want to raise my children, so I like the concept of holistic education. I like the idea of setting kids up for personal rather than academic success. That’s why, during the search for my child’s school, I would ask the following questions:“What is the school about?” and “What personal qualities do they foster in their students?”I was pretty impressed with the response of The Grange Institution to these questions because they’re all about creating thoughtful individuals. They have created an avatar – The Grange Kid – and they use this as their focus in designing their curriculum. The Grange Kids are archetypes of the children that the school wishes to develop for the future world.Who is The Grange Kid?According to the school, The Grange Kids are truly global citizens. “As a result, they see the Earth as their home and recognise that they have an active role to play in the community where they live. Being internationally-minded, they embrace similarities and differences between cultures. The Grange Kids have genuine respect for other people, plants and animals, and the environment. They are passionate individuals who understand the meaning in relationships they have with others.”It takes eight to createIn addition to adopting the avatar, the school has connected a philosophy to The Grange Kids notion that ties in with the number eight. “We believe The Grange Kids can be ‘Cre8tors’. We create a learning ecosystem where conditions exist to support the development of The Grange Kid through a unique Cre8tors-in-Action philosophy that focuses on developing eight key competencies and eight key personal attributes” The Grange Kid Cre8tes!Let’s take a look firstly at the eight key competencies that The Grange Kid is expected to develop. What I like about these is that none of them are academic. Instead, they are transferrable skills that are foundational for creating other successes in life:Construction and design: The ability to conceptualise an idea and take it from design to the final product.Respecting the environment: The ability to implement sustainable practices to respect, care for and protect the environment.Entrepreneurial spirit: The ability to identify a niche, then market and deliver an idea for a product or a cause to a target audience.Active citizenship: The ability to take personal, localised or far-reaching action for causes they are passionate about.Teamwork and partnership: The ability to collaborate with different partners and to adopt different roles in a group to achieve a common goal.Original ideas: The ability to challenge their thinking to come up with new and original ideas.Recognising issues: The ability to research and be aware of issues affecting humanity on a personal, community or global basis.Service leadership: The ability and passion to devote time and energy to community causes that they are passionate about. The Grange Kid is curious!Personal goalsThese are eight personal goals that the school wants The Grange Kid to aspire to:Adaptability: “I can cope with unfamiliar situations and approach tasks from different perspectives and explore different strategies.”Communication: “I can use a variety of tools and technologies to communicate my ideas and thoughts in different contexts and for different audiences.”Collaboration: “I can work with different people and adopt different roles depending on the needs of the group and the tasks at hand.”Critical Thinking: “I can identify and think through issues by considering different perspectives and developing my reasoned point of view.”Inquiry: “I can ask and consider searching questions related to my learning and to carry out research and investigations related to those questions.”Integrity: “I am honest. I act appropriately according to my moral standpoint and can explain the reasons for my actions.”Resilience: “I can stick with a task from beginning to end. I can cope with disappointment when I fail. I aim to keep trying and not give up easily.”Respect: “I can maintain self-discipline and show empathy and care for other people, living things and the environment.”These blueprints have children in mind. But it’s worth remembering that these are characteristics that we could all use as a compass, even as adults. These are the ingredients for a truly engaged citizen of the 21st century.Find out moreIf you would like your child to experience this approach that embraces holistic education, The Grange Institution is taking enrolments for Semester 2 of the 2020-2021 academic year. Click here to learn more about the team there!The Grange Institution is at 449 Yio Chu Kang Roadthegrange.edu.sg | 6817 3630Interested in reading more about schools in Singapore? Check out our Schools section, and then read on for more: Keep the kids busy over the holidays at these holiday campsNeed some fresh air? Check out these outdoor gems!
We all want the best education for our kids, right? Depending on the academic programmes available in your home country, the IB Diploma (aka the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme!) might be a new option on the table for you. This globally recognised course has become increasingly popular with schools and students in Singapore for its well-rounded scope of study, interlinked subject curriculum, independent research and self-directed learning. To help you and your child make the best decision, we take a look at the nitty-gritty of the different stages of the course. Before you start…Before opting for IB diploma studies, you need to choose your subjects. As a first step, it’s best for you and your child to consider how the IB diploma will work for their interests, skill set and future ambitions. To help decide, sit down together and identify their future study plans, career desires and any subjects they currently enjoy or excel in. It’s also worth chatting about which subjects work well together and which might stretch them – this will help when it comes to decide on Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL) sections. You should also consider the differences, if any, between the IB diploma and the type of curriculum your child has studied before. And it helps to be clear on the kind of knowledge they’re expected to have on board before commencing the IB diploma course. One major difference is CAS, the IB’s unique compulsory extra-curricular requirement. Students must undertake Creativity, Action and Service throughout the diploma. These are activities that can involve arts and creative subjects, something physical, or a voluntary, unpaid placement. IB diploma students also have to take a broad range of subjects, so it’s important to understand the requirements and what your child needs in order to pass. (The IB’s failing conditions are infamous for catching a small number of students each year!) IB diploma: The first yearThere’s lots of learning to be done in Year One! Mastering the required knowledge across all six major academic subjects, as well as planning for the Extended Essay (EE), getting to grips with Theory of Knowledge (TOK), and managing time with CAS combine to make it a very busy year. Students will also need to begin thinking a bit harder about their future study and work plans, as well as their key areas of interest as they prepare to go into the second year of the IB diploma. Although the first year IB diploma exams are internal and don’t contribute to your child’s final scores, they’re still very important as schools use them to set predicted grades. What’s more, they help students to assess their progress and make the best use of the break between the first and second year to consolidate their learning. IB diploma: The second yearThroughout the second year, students work towards their final exams, which contribute heavily towards the final points score. Your child will need to finalise any internally assessed work, their EE and any other course demands efficiently to give them as much time as possible to focus on finishing learning their course material and beginning to revise. There’s lots of time-juggling involved again, as students will also start applying to their chosen universities! Again, narrowing down key areas of interest for further study will be needed here. Help is at hand!As you can see, the IB diploma is a demanding yet rewarding course with many requirements. Time management and organisation will be important for your child, as will their ability to prioritise and navigate all the new responsibilities. If you have some doubt, or you feel your child will need additional support, there are professional Singapore-based IB diploma tutors that can help. This assistance can range from pre-IB prep, to one-on-one bespoke support with subject selection and combinations through to a fuller pre-IB preparatory course.Discover Elite IBElite IB is one company that comes well recommended. Their tutoring team is made up of exceptional International Baccalaureate diploma graduates and experienced International Baccalaureate diploma teachers who can support students throughout the whole IB programme. During the first year, Elite IB’s team can help with your child’s subjects, internal assessments, coursework or the EE. Their Easter IB1 course preps ambitious students for the first round of internal exams, while the mid-IB course is perfectly timed to consolidate and firm up the first year’s learning, preparing you and your child for the challenges of the second year. For those all-important final exams, Elite IB’s flagship Easter IB2 revision course has successfully prepared hundreds of students annually to sit their final tests.Elite IB also assists with university choices – from application advice to ongoing career guidance. Their specialist areas are the UK (UCAS, Medicine, Oxbridge), the US and the Netherlands, although they can provide solid advice for those wishing to apply to universities elsewhere, too. They even run a mock interview course to prepare students for Oxbridge interviews! Above all, when it comes to the International Baccalaureate, don’t be afraid to ask for help so that you and your child can make the most of this exciting, challenging programme.Written in collaboration with: Elite IB9099 1775 | eliteib.sgRead more in our Schools section:Best school facilities and programmes Top international schools in Singapore