The Australian International School (AIS) in Singapore understands that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to children’s education.
As a world-reputed school, AIS makes a point of ensuring no student is left behind through the provision of a holistic education – recognising each child’s unique abilities and choosing to nurture the whole student, as AIS Principal, Andre Casson explains:
“AIS is a microcosm of Australian society, no matter who you are, no matter who you want to be; AIS has a place for you. Whether you’re strong academically, a sporting person, into creative arts, someone who’s quiet, someone who’s outgoing; we have a place for you here in our school. And that’s what I love about it, no matter who you are, you are important to us and you make our place special.”
The School’s creative ‘Aussie Rules’ values encapsulate the inclusive ethos of the AIS community. These are a set of 12 unique principles on which the School is centred and are at the heart of the AIS learning experience. They serve as the touchstones for the whole curriculum and ensure students develop into well-rounded, accomplished young adults.
Offering a dynamic learning environment, AIS makes sure each student has the chance to develop these crucial life skills. With open communication between the school, families, and students themselves; the teaching staff are able to identify individual learning styles and tailor the programme to each student’s needs.
This level of collaboration also includes the Learning Enrichment Department (LED), an expert team dedicated to making sure each student receives the best possible education.
In partnership with class teachers and specialist staff, the LED enable students to realise their potential by engaging in meaningful, challenging experiences. They aim to provide educational frameworks which honour and maximise the aspirations and achievements of students as part of their holistic development.
AIS’ inclusive approach and diverse curriculum means that students are free to explore their interests and discover their passions, as budding rock star, Tejo found.
“The Music Department at AIS has been really key in developing the passion that I have and growing it out of just an interest,” he says. “The opportunities that I’ve had to perform on so many different stages have been thanks to the Music Department, and it’s really shaped who I am today. Based on what AIS has given me, I can take it and develop it further based on the interests and passions that I have now.”
The School boasts 16 distinct music ensembles – including string, brass, ukulele, choir, rock band, and woodwind – so there’s something guaranteed to suit all curious learners.
If sport is more your passion then AIS won’t disappoint. The inclusive opportunities in 100 competitive teams means every student gets the chance to benefit from the character building of playing in a team.
Operating a ‘no-cut’ policy for major sports, the School tries to field as many teams as needed depending on the level of interest, so every student with a drive to compete will get the chance to play.
The School also encourages exceptional athletes to explore their full potential, offering the top one percent of AIS sportspeople an opportunity to train and be coached on a path to university scholarships and elite-level sport as part of the Athlete Development Programme (ADP). Participants – such as current student, Luke Berridge – find the training programme helps not only with their athletic ability, but also within many aspects of their character development.
“ADP is different from the other regular programmes because it pushes you and helps you build skills like leadership, teamwork, perseverance and many other skills and characteristics.”
ADP athlete Charles Perry was also happy for the support he received from the School towards achieving his dream of being a pro-athlete
“This School does a very good job in supporting me in achieving my athletic goals, the ADP is a perfect example of that. They give you the best opportunity possible to take a sporting career seriously and to the next level.”
The ADP is just one of over 60 co-curricular activities that enrich the student experience at AIS. With such a wealth of diverse opportunities, students can’t fail to find something that fits with their ambitions.
Community service is integral to the philosophy at AIS, honing each student’s social conscience and integrity through voluntary activities aimed at helping those around them. The programme reflects the School’s global perspective, often taking students to far flung places such as Nepal and Cambodia. These are invaluable skills that go on to serve them throughout their lives as valued members of society.
AIS’ global philosophy is also echoed in their comprehensive language programmes that recognise the importance of speaking a second language in today’s globalised world. AIS students start learning one of the region’s major languages from an early age, making them well-equipped to succeed in today’s competitive job market while gaining a deeper appreciation of the culture in which they live, as one Mandarin student found.
“Chinese is a great programme because the teachers really make an effort to apply it to practical situations so you can use it in everyday life,” she says. “You can use it when you go out shopping, you can use it when you go to the hawker centre. It’s not a normal school course, it’s really learning a language.”
AIS’ holistic and global philosophy to education is obviously paying off. With a 100 percent pass rate for final year International Baccalaureate students, it’s hard to argue with results as convincing as that.