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Canadian International School, Singapore

The mint new second campus of the island republics top international school constructed at a cost of Rs.630 crore completes one year of operations this month
A live example of the transformative power of high quality education to develop human capital into national prosperity, the Republic of Singapore (per capita income: $49,700 or Rs.22.36 lakh) has been endowed a newly constructed second campus of the IBO (International Baccalaureate Organisation), Geneva-affiliated Canadian International School (CIS, estb.1990).

On October 31, CIS will celebrate the first anniversary of its new $140 million (Rs.630 crore) Lakeside campus, adja-cent to Jurong Lake in Jurong West, which houses 2,050 students and 184 teachers. CIS new seven-floor schools-within-school building with a built-up area of 463,000 sq. ft designed by the highly-reputed transnational archit-ecture firm Strategic Design Intern-ational, Singapore, features thoroughly contemporary academic and extra-curricular facilities including ICT-enabled classrooms, spacious sports infrastructure, a performing and fine arts auditorium and media centre.

The ground-up construction of the Lakeside campus of the K-12 CIS, rated among the island nations top inter-national schools, has been facilitated and funded by the Singapore-based Knowledge Universe (KU) — the worlds largest private K-12 education corporate with over 350,000 students enroled in its preschools, schools and other education institutions worldwide — which acquired a majority stake in CIS in 2010. Under the terms and conditions of the partnership agreement between Knowledge Universe and CIS, three of the schools four campuses and communities have been consolidated into the new Jurong West campus, while the East Coast campus at Tanjog Katong continues to host 800 students. CIS represents Knowledge Universes first major foray in K-12 education in Asia. Therefore weve taken great pains and spared no expense to transform it into a truly world-class institution comparable with the best IB schools worldwide,” says Peter Maslen, chief executive of KU, which inter alia owns and runs 1,740 private preschools in the US, 216 in the UK and 41 in Singapore, to which it moved its global headquarters in 2007.

Although restricted to admitting children of expatriates, i.e foreign nationals resident in Singapore, CIS has an aggregate enrolment of 2,850 students from 68 countries tutored by 225 highly qualified faculty. A full IB school offering the primary, middle years and higher secondary diploma progra-mmes of IBO, CIS graduates are welcomed into the worlds top univ-ersities such as Rutgers, Boston, British Columbia and Waterloo.

Founded by serial entrepreneur Thomas Tang as a university prep school (Canadian Overseas College) with six higher secondary students in 1990, over the past two decades CIS has built an enviable reputation for providing excellent K-12 academic and extra-curricular education.

The distinguishing feature of CIS education is that we thoroughly prepare our students for the future by developing their comprehension, analysis and self-learning skills in a technologically enabled environment. Our partnership with Knowledge Universe has trans-formed CIS into a contemporary technology-intensive school with ICT (information communications techno-logies) fully integrated into our student learning and teacher training systems. Currently we are on the threshold of launching a school wide initiative named ‘Visible Thinking based on the work of Dr. Ron Ritchhart from Harvards Project Zero. This is one example of the type of programmes which support our mandate to develop our students into thinking learners based upon best practices from all over the world,” says Dr. Glenn Odland, an alumnus of Calgary (Canada), Gonzaga (USA) and Seton Hall (USA) universities who was principal of the Strathcona Tweedsmuir School, Canada prior to taking charge as head of school at CIS in 2006.

Campus facilities: CIS 2,850 students are spread over two campuses — Tanjong Katong, a ten-minute drive from the city centre, and the mint new Lakeside campus, sited in Jurong West, a suburb fronted by Jurong Lake, surrounded by parkland. This picturesque new suburb also hosts the Singapore Discovery Centre, Jurong Bird Park, and Nanyang Technological University.

Spread over 11 acres the centrepiece of the Lakeside campus is the newly-constructed, seven storeys vertical layered schools-within-school building housing the elementary, middle and high schools. The elementary school is spread over two floors, the middle school is sited on the fourth and the high school on the fifth floor. Each school boasts technology-enabled classrooms fitted with interactive whiteboards and a central open space known as the pod, the forum for co-curricular performances, exhibitions and showcasing students work. Common facilities spread over three floors include a 22,000 sq. ft library with 45,600 print and audio volumes; language labs; three health centres; a students cafeteria and eco-garden; performing and fine arts centre with a 500-seat auditorium equipped with a professional orchestra pit; drama studios, sound proof music rooms, spacious art studios for painting, ceramics, sculpture, and photography.

Sports facilities include an Olympic-size swimming pool, roof top tennis and basketball courts, elevated junior competition sized astro-turf soccer pitch as well as a multipurpose natural grass sports ground. Indoor sports options include basketball, badminton and volleyball courts housed within a 40 x 50 metre gymnasium which doubles as a sporting arena with a seating capacity for 700 spectators. CIS is a day school and does not offer any residential facilities.

Admission: Under the terms of its licence, CIS is obliged to admit only the children of foreign nationals, with exceptions requiring the ministry of educations specific approval. Admis-sion is open throughout the year for early childhood education through to class X. Applicants must be proficient in the English language, submit school reports and transcripts (classes III-X) together with a prescribed application form and fee of S$1,284 (Rs.57,780) and a confirmation fee of $3,000 (Rs.135,000) per child, to be considered for admission. For further information contact the Canadian International School, Lakeside Campus, 7 Jurong West Street 41. Singapore 649414; Phone: +(65) 6467 1732; fax: +(65) 6467 1729; email: [email protected]; website: www. cis.edu.sg.

Academics: CIS is a full-fledged IB school affiliated with IBO, Geneva offering its primary, middle and diploma programmes (see box). The schools highly qualified teachers also infuse the curriculum with ‘beyond the classroom experiential learning opportunities such as leadership programmes, community service projects, cultural activities, skills development workshops and outdoor excursions. All students are also obliged to learn a second language which may be either French or Mandarin.

Scholastic options at CIS, Singapore

Canadian International School is a K-12 day school offering the primary years (ECE-class VI), middle years (class VII-X) and the IB diploma programme (class XI-XII) of the International Baccalaureate Organisation, Geneva. Three core requirements of the IB programme are the theory of knowledge, extended essay, and creativity, action and service.

Courses offered in the middle years programme include humanities, two languages, mathematics, physical education, sciences, technology and the arts, and a conclusionary personal project at the end of class X. In the Plus Two IB diploma programme the following courses are offered: two languages, individuals and societies, experimental sciences, mathematics, arts and optional subjects.

Tuition fees (per year, S$): ECE: 10,620; Junior kindergarten-class III: 21,230; classes IV-VI; 24,770; classes VII-X: 27,890: classes XI-XII: 28,570

Bharati Thakore (Singapore)

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