Globevisa Singapore GM Hannah Ma interview with Australia International School Principal
For most families who decide to immigrate to a new country, education always comes up as one of the most important pull factors. There is a range of questions in the parents’ mind, where should we live for the best education resources we can get as new immigrants? What are the different criteria for school admission? Can my children adapt to the new school both academically and psychologically? Hannah Ma, Globevisa Singapore General Manager, has interviewed Mr. Adam, Principal of Australia International (AIS) in Singapore, to answer the most popular questions for newly arrived immigrant families.
As a well-established school in Singapore, Australian International School is 30 years old now. AIS has a population of 2350 students, ranging from 2-month pre-school level to 18-year-old high school graduates, and they are of over 45 different nationalities.
Globevisa: How do students who cannot speak fluent English study in AIS?
Many families are concerned about whether should there be a problem if their children do not speak English as their first language. To answer this, Principal Mr. Adam points out that AIS is a non-selective school, and always strives to meet every single student’s needs. They offer students English tutorials from different levels. Caring teachers will closely monitor the student’s learning process to make sure they are able to follow through with the class. Throughout Elementary school and Secondary school, AIS has different programs with different levels of support, depending on the needs of the students. While AIS offers both an IB diploma and New South Wales High School Certificate, both of these qualifications will guarantee students a feasible route into the university anywhere in the world. Besides, students can get a bilingual diploma in their first language and English, if they start off in the EAL class in AIS.
Globevisa: How do you balance students’ well-being in AIS?
A good advantage to study abroad is to cultivate students’ well-being. On one hand, students will not have much homework and academic pressure, compared with the situation in most parts of Asia. On the other hand, richer school curricula in international schools will be the soil for students’ well growth. AIS has a real focus on student well-being. Each week we have 130 different CCA’s going on, it could be sports like table tennis, swimming, and basketball or it could also be arts like the choir, jazz band and rock band. The digital photography CCA is very popular. Over 85% of our students do at least one CCA every single week.
Globevisa: How’s the performance of the students in AIS, like applying for top universities?
It’s every family’s concern, also one of the outcomes for each school that if the graduates can go to top universities. In the interview, Principal says every single one of the AIS students who applied to university last year has got their first choice university. So we have students who went to universities in the UK, America, and also Australia, as shown in the graph. A lot of students go to Australian universities. Outside of Australia, AIS is the school that puts the most children into Australian Universities. Students who study here, have a pathway through to the University in Australia. To conclude, there are various post-graduation for students to choose from, resourceful and independent.
Globevisa: Why AIS?
At the end of the interview, Madam. Ma has asked the most meaningful and challenging question for our parents. Mr. Adam replies it is about how you feel in school. From the way the children interact with each other, how they handle such relationships, and the way AIS students make the adults when talking to each other, they have a sense of respect. They saw real enjoyment in each other’s companion which is really important. We know our students as they go through school years, they can do anything they want in life and such a wonderful relationship is the true beauty of AIS. AIS also maintains a real focus on the academic outcome, which gives students the most opportunities to achieve whatever they wish when they leave school.