It’s difficult not to be impressed by the facilities at Middleton International School by EtonHouse‘s new Tampines campus.
The expansive space boasts a 77,500-square-foot sports field, nearly 7,000-square-foot multi-purpose hall and 3,229-square-foot library.
But, “it’s not the facility, it’s the people who make the community,” notes Middleton’s Principal Atima Joshi.
So, it’s not surprising to find that the community at Middleton exemplifies EtonHouse‘s 23 years of excellence and commitment to “developing confident and capable global citizens”. However, MIS has one big point of difference: Its school fees are nearly half that of other international schools in Singapore.
Watch this video The Finder shot at the new Tampines campus, then check out the gallery below to learn more about Middleton International School by EtonHouse. Like what you see? Email or call to book a school tour today!
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“We don’t talk about the ‘school’, we talk about the ‘community’ at Middleton,” explains Principal Atima (shown here) of the close connection between the students and parents with the teachers and staff.
Having been with EtonHouse since 2003, and helping to found the original Middleton International School by EtonHouse at Bukit Timah in January 2017, she speaks from experience.
“All learning has to have a purpose,” shares the principal, noting how the educators at Middleton gently guide the students’ inquiry, rather than directing it entirely. “The children keep coming up with ideas. We don’t give them the answers. They have to figure out what they need to do. Part of our pedagogy is to ask them, ‘Why do you want to do this? How do you do it?’”
At Middleton, there is a large Makerspace Lab, where the children can try their hand at innovation – everything from designing toys to building birdhouses – and the school recently held an entrepreneurship competition. “The students raised $249 in pure profit!” Principal Atima enthuses. “It always has to be fun.”
The finishing touches are being put onto the spacious new campus right now, and all construction will be completed by the end of January 2019. Once finished, the children will dine in a large, yet cosy canteen. Already, they enjoy a nutritious, delicious lunch and tea break each day… in the library!
But, no one seems fazed. Nursery children happily hold their “buddy’s hand” as they head to the huge courtyard’s play gym after lunch, while 5th graders talk animatedly during a snack break.
“One of our values is ‘resilience’”, explains Parent Liaison Manager Jasmine Chai. “For instance, even though we don’t have a pool at our campus, we’re right next door to SAFRA Tampines, and plan to offer swimming lessons for our students there. They also have a bowling lane! We think it’s good to teach children that they don’t have to own all of the resources – they can share them.”
That said, Middleton’s Extra-Curricular Activities (ECA) have recently kicked off, and take place on campus (some on the enormous outdoor field, shown here!) after school Mondays through Thursdays, from 3:40 to 4:30 p.m. “There is a variety of ECAs on offer, which aim to develop the students’ interests and overall growth, including cricket, LEGO robotics, neuroceramics, speech and drama and football, to name a few,” says Jasmine.
Currently, Middleton enrolls children aged 3 to 12, from Nursery 2 to Primary Grade 5 as well as Middle Years Grade 6. Next year, it will expand its Middle Years offerings to Grade 7 and 8, eventually becoming a “through train school” by 2024 – going all the way up to Grade 12.
The Middleton Primary curriculum is based on the high standards of the Singapore MOE-inspired Mathematics, as well as Key Stages (UK Curriculum) for English, Science and Humanities. Physical Education and Art lessons are built in to the weekly schedule. For an additional fee, the school also offers Chinese and Hindi language instruction plus English Additional Language (EAL) classes, if needed.
It follows the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), which is the “curriculum choice of international and national schools in over 730 schools in over 90 countries around the world”, notes Jasmine.
Meanwhile, the Middle School curriculum for grades 6 to 8 is specifically designed as a gateway, linking the in-depth knowledge, skills and understanding developed in the Middleton Primary Years curriculum to those in the intensive Cambridge IGCSE programme undertaken in grades 9 and 10.
At Middleton International School, the student population is just as diverse as the staff, which hails from the UK, China, India, Singapore, Australia, the US and other spots around the globe. And, all of the teachers and teaching assistants are qualified and competent, despite the fact Middleton’s school fees are nearly half that of other international schools – starting at less than $4,000 per term!
“We often get asked about our staff profile, and we have to emphasise that our teachers are exceptional, and there is no compromise where their qualifications and experiences are concerned,” shares Bipasha Chanda Minocha, who is Group Brand and Marketing Director for EtonHouse International Education Group.
On a recent visit to the school, The Finder team got to observe a Chinese teacher helping 2nd graders to practice calligraphy, a Maths teacher leading 3rd graders in a lesson on fractions (explaining the problems in terms of pizza slices!) and Nursery 2 children taking care of a turtle to gain empathy and respect for small creatures. The level of energy and positivity shared between the teachers and students was palpable.
“When I talk to prospective parents, I focus on the relationship – about being honest and transparent,” shares Parent Liaison Jasmine, who concurs with Principal Atima: “It’s more than a school, it’s a community.”
As such, the staff encourages collaboration and compassion – two of Middleton’s six core values, in addition to confidence, excellence, enthusiasm and resilience, as already noted.
“We teach service right from the beginning,” says Principal Atima, who says the staff intentionally lets the children take the lead in figuring out what causes to support. Some recent examples of service: Last December, the students lifted the spirits of residents at a Singapore hospice facility by performing a joyous Christmas concert. And, this year, they wrote to an author of a book about water scarcity in Africa to find out how they could raise money to help.
“Our children learn compassion for self, others and the wider community,” says Principal Atima. “We raise good people.”
By Sara Lyle Bow, September 2018