Boutique school The Grange Institution opened in 2018 with a goal of doing things differently than many of Singapore’s large international schools.
One big way: Its students from Years 1 to 6 are learning to care for Mother Earth in truly innovative ways.
How so? Its Cambridge International Primary Curriculum incorporates the United Nations’ 17 lofty Sustainable Development Goals, which include no poverty, affordable and clean energy, clean water and sanitation and more.
When the children go to school each day at its leafy Yio Chu Kang campus, they get to be eco-authors and -illustrators through reading, storytelling, story-writing and visual arts incorporated into the curriculum. Additionally, students get hands-on experience in nurturing plants and maintaining natural spaces around the campus.
Find out more about The Grange Institution’s unique educational offerings in the gallery, below, then go to its site to book a school tour!
The school’s six Thematic Units of Inquiry include UN Sustainable Development Goals in its curriculum. For example, its current unit – “Our Global Village” – covers important topics like ocean pollution and the negative effects it has on the environment. Students are asked write their own stories, adapted from real-life problems, to raise awareness about sustainability.
For the last few weeks, Year 1 and 2 students have been working on a script for a play about a sea turtle who got sick due to ingesting plastic from the ocean. They’ve included their knowledge of pollution and environmental issues as part of the story.
To help the students turn their scripts into plays – eventually showcased to parents – the school also brings in professional drama teachers as part of its Creators in Residence Project. Spoiler alert: The sea turtle story does have a happy ending!
After the creation of their stories, the students have a chance to use visual arts to bring their new characters to life as well. One recent example: Through the school’s Visual Arts Programme, students from Years 1 and 2 created The Grange’s first-ever picture book, Bamberina, the Turtle.
Over four sessions, students focused on writing and doing small collaborative group work, with a staff member guiding them along the way. In planned art sessions, students then focused on colours and textures in 2D illustrations. Teachers made sure to include students’ original artworks in the book.
Intentionally boutique in size, The Grange does boast a lot of outdoor space. And, the entire community – its students, teachers and staff members – plays a part in managing the school garden.
Students use elements of math and science by calculating plot-to-plant ratios and considering weather patterns like sun and shade before planting various types of seeds. If you visited the school garden now, you’d see a healthy collection of plants, including mint, potatoes, passion fruit and sunflowers. The students are experimenting with other herbs and watermelons, too!
In addition, projects like a Garden-to-Table experiment give children a fun, safe space to explore what it takes to maintain an environmentally sustainable garden. They learn about food and eco-practices and lifestyles as well.
What is The Grange Advantage? It’s simple: With a strong nurturing and innovative curriculum, students are able to equip themselves to be ready for the real world.
None of its learning spaces are subject-specific. A classroom space can be configured into a science experiment lab, while the library can turn into a performance space for play-acting. The Grange believes in a trans-disciplinary approach to teaching and learning – building skills and knowledge that are transferable.
Teachers build on to this strong foundation of learning using an inquiry-approach based on the Thematic Units of Inquiry (see slide 1). The school’s focus is on building soft-skills and critical-thinking abilities so that its students will be adaptable and future-ready.
The Grange Institution
449 Yio Chu Kang Rd, 805946
Tel: 6817 3630
By Mizah Salik, April 2019
More on The Finder:
The Finder Kids’ DEFINITIVE Guide To Top International Schools In Singapore
Here’s Why This International School With A Mix Of Cambridge and Australian Curriculum Is A Top Fave Among Parents
Meet The Grange Institution – Singapore’s NEWEST International School!
Don’t miss out! Like our Facebook page for event updates and more.