Hill­side World Academy

Expat Living (Singapore) - - Schools - 11 Hill­side Drive 6254 0200 | hwa.edu.sg

“Our son Jasper has been at­tend­ing pri­mary school at Hill­side World Academy ( HWA) since Jan­uary 2016. Win­nie at­tends a dif­fer­ent kinder­garten. Our ex­pe­ri­ence has been lovely so far. Ev­ery year, there are sev­eral cel­e­bra­tions for both Western and Chi­nese hol­i­days and fes­ti­vals. As it’s a small school, the kids have many op­por­tu­ni­ties to per­form and show­case their skills. In the last year or so, ef­forts have been made to pro­mote Chi­nese cul­ture through co-cur­ric­u­lar activities.

I con­tinue to be im­pressed with the HWA kids’ flu­ency in the Chi­nese lan­guage. Through ex­ten­sive ef­fort, we have man­aged to raise our kids in a largely Man­darin en­vi­ron­ment in Sin­ga­pore. Our four-year-old, for ex­am­ple, can re­cite the en­tire San Zi Jing (“The Three Char­ac­ter Clas­sic”), a clas­sic Chi­nese text. The main thing that we looked for in an in­ter­na­tional school was a strong Man­darin pro­gramme and en­vi­ron­ment, and HWA of­fered that. Many schools of­fer bilin­gual pro­grammes, but of­ten they lack that cul­tural el­e­ment.

HWA is the only fully bilin­gual Man­darin-english in­ter­na­tional school in Sin­ga­pore, and when I vis­ited I heard Man­darin be­ing spo­ken not only in class­rooms, but in the play­ground and along the hall­ways. The school also has a rel­a­tively large pro­por­tion of na­tive Chi­nese speak­ers. We also liked that it was a small school with a lovely com­mu­nity feel. The par­ents here are very like-minded – they’re all look­ing for the best Man­darin ed­u­ca­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence for their kids. I would rec­om­mend the school to any fam­ily that is seek­ing ex­po­sure and im­mer­sion in both Western and Chi­nese lan­guage and cul­ture for their chil­dren.”

When I vis­ited, I heard Man­darin be­ing spo­ken not only in class­rooms, but in the play­ground and along the hall­ways.

Nor­man and Ruth Li, Amer­i­can; Jasper (8) and Win­nie (4)

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