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Kaffeman Family

(Japanese/German)

We are an international family with roots in Japan and Israel with two wonderful children, Maya (Grade 5) and Akira (Grade 2). They have been studying at GEMS World Academy (Singapore) for the past two years.


Moving abroad and joining an international school was a big change for our children. On the first day of school they were nervous and anxious, but at the same time they were very excited to enter a whole new environment and have a great opportunity to explore the world and meet students from different countries. This warm and friendly feeling is everywhere in GEMS (Singapore) and that's how we expected the school to be - a place, where my children can feel at home and will always be welcomed.


Maya and Akira were born and raised in Tokyo and their first language is Japanese. They also had a slight understanding of English and Hebrew prior to moving to Singapore. When school started, Maya and Akira experienced some language barriers.  Maya had some difficulties adapting to the changes and faced a few challenges while learning vocabulary and trying to master academic English. We were not alone in this and the school was very supportive and encouraging at all times. Our class teacher and EAL teacher are always there to provide necessary support to Maya and Akira and improve their writing and speaking English skills and always there for us with great advice on how to support our children with learning at home.


All non-native English speaking students join the mainstream class and attend a “pull-out” EAL class four times a week as part of Language Acquisition Programme. I believe this was the best way for Maya and Akira to get used to the school and make friendships with new classmates.


I am very proud that Akira has finished his EAL studies and already started learning Mandarin. Believe it or not, he speaks three languages now and Mandarin will be the fourth. On top of this he has been attending an after school Japanese Mother Tongue class once a week and it has been a great opportunity for the children to improve their native language, learn about Japanese culture and celebrate national events.


“GEMS (Singapore) is a great place for anyone joining an international school for the first time in Singapore. If you are an international family like us, then GEMS (Singapore) is an ideal environment for your child - a truly international school with a great diversity of students and teachers within the school community. For the teachers, “Children are always first”; this is a very powerful and beautiful value that appeals to all GEMS Parents.”


Mackie Family

Australia

“An engaging, warm and fun learning environment that offers different opportunities and develops real-life skills in the classroom and beyond”

We have four children enrolled: one in high school, one in middle school, one in primary and our youngest one has started at the Little GEMS Nursery in January 2019.

We wanted an academically strong school that was able to cater to the varied needs of our children. Had passionate educators and at the same time focused on developing a well-rounded student. We were impressed by the staff and facilities from the first visit to the school. Our children settled in surprisingly fast and enjoy the school very much.

GEMS (Singapore) is a truly international school with diverse student and teacher population, excellent facilities and a wide range of extracurricular activities available after school. The staff and students are warm, friendly and kind.

It is an engaging, warm and fun learning environment that offers different opportunities and develops real-life skills in the classroom and beyond. The school also organises educational workshops to assist parents in understanding and supporting their children further as well as social events where you can have fun and meet new friends.

With so many good schools in Singapore to choose from, it’s important that you feel confident in trusting the quality of education on offer. For our family, we wanted a truly international school that was able to deliver programs and opportunities unavailable in the country we were living in previously.

Lotus Mackie with kids Hugo (Grade 9), Benjamin (Grade 8), Chloe (Grade 4) & Luke (Nursery)

Anna & Dmitrii

Russia

We absolutely love GEMS (Singapore) for its creative approach to every little thing. We are happy to see inspiring teachers and smiling students every day. We have chosen GEMS (Singapore) for our son because the school gives plenty of opportunities to be creative and true freedom of expression. As parents, we appreciate play-based learning and Danil is happy to go to school every day!

Anna & Dmitrii with sons Daniil & Yaroslav

Erica & Trevor

USA

We’ve lived in Singapore since June 2016 and all three of our children are attending GEMS (Singapore). The school is a tremendous asset to the community and is always supportive of our family and our children’s goals and aspirations. This is our family’s first experience with the IB curriculum, and we’re pleased with the delivery of the programme and the smoothness with which our children transitioned.

It’s an honour and pleasure to be part of this school community. Moving to another country and changing schools is always challenging and families must be ready for the unexpected. The campus, faculty and facilities are amazing, and we’re grateful we joined an environment of respect, transparency and engagement.

The teachers continually impress upon the students to engage and appreciate diversity and community. The student body is rich with culture and the school provides well-rounded lessons and assignments that encourage the children to think independently. We’re especially pleased with the at-home assignments, which are relevant and in line with the children’s exploration topic for the quarter. The students are given the opportunity to personally choose the projects they complete; this increases the desire to research and complete the task because of the ownership instilled.

Erica & Trevor with children Gavin, Grant and Tegan

Serine Labaume

France

My daughters Amarina & Aria loved the school from day one. Both were immediately integrated into their new classes even though we joined mid-year. The school’s ‘buddy’ system ensures newcomers like my children are looked after by their peers. I have no idea if it’s something that exists at other schools, but it worked brilliantly for us. My daughters love their teachers, they love most of their classes, and they have made some really good friends.

The school offers The IB PYP (Primary Years Programme) which is known for its ‘inquiry-driven’ learning. Compared to the traditional learning method where students are ‘fed’ with information to ‘memorise’ and are expected to give the ‘right’ answers, it is quite different. Students are encouraged to reflect, search, inquire, and be creative. They are not scrutinised for giving ‘wrong’ answers, as any reflective answer would open doors to developing the thought process.

Visit the school to check out the culture and environment for yourself. If you are unable to do it in person, try to find a way to speak to the parents of current students or alumni. Alternatively, you can call the school for a chat with someone working there as it helps to learn how the school is run. You can get a rough idea of what to expect from your experience with the school, from how your requests are being handled.

Serine with daughters Amarina & Aria

Emma and Alan Mathew

Emma and Alan Mathew, Australian and Indian; Lushington (5), Lakerson (3) and Lexton (1)

Lushington has been attending GEMS (Singapore) for two years, and Lakerson for about six months. We discovered the school online following fairly arduous research; we then arranged a visit and it sealed the deal for us. We’ve had the warmest, most encouraging and positive experience there. The school places community as a very high priority – you’ll have many opportunities to forge friendships with existing and new families. It’s very warm and welcoming.

Being a mixed race family, we wanted our children to be enrolled in a multicultural school that was engaging and creative while also offering academic prowess. The classroom and specialist teachers have actively and lovingly invested in our children. They’ve gone out of their way to connect, support and encourage both Lushington and Lakerson on a personal level. As parents, we are extremely grateful for these impactful touches. The school has a strong emphasis on daily Mandarin and speciality swimming, library and music programmes, creating a well-balanced educational experience. We are looking forward to seeing our children grow, discover, investigate and create alongside their peers and teachers. Our children love going to school every day and are disappointed when the weekend comes around!

As GEMS (Singapore) is a full-scale international school, the preschoolers interact with the older children. It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to communicate with these bigger kids – it’ll make the transition to Primary School less daunting!

Akira Kaffeman

Grade 2 Student

I made a lot of friends at school and they come from different parts of the world! I love playing soccer with them during break time on our big school field. I enjoy using the iPAD while learning Mandarin, recording our work, uploading it to SEESAW and sharing it with my parents. This is fun! All the teachers are nice, I like them so much!

Alicia Ann Soosai

Grade 10 (Scholarship Student and Athlete)

I joined GEMS World Academy (Singapore) in 2015 as a 7th grader.

The school’s holistic approach to learning and emphasis on sports, academics and the arts has allowed me to pursue each individual area that I aspire to excel in. Being an elite swimmer who has been representing my country for competitions, a pianist, and a student who strives for high-achieving academic results, I truly grow and fit in with the school.

“With my demanding weekly 25-hour swim schedule, my teachers have always been understanding and support me in managing between studies and my commitment to swimming.”

During the times where I need to travel overseas for competitions, they accommodate schoolwork deadlines accordingly, keep me updated on class activity, and willingly provide me with extra learning support when I return to school.

In addition, I certainly feel comfortable in the friendly and united school community of GEMS (Singapore). The small population of the school has enabled me to establish positive relationships with many of my fellow schoolmates and teachers. It is a culturally diverse school, and I always enjoy attending school among my schoolmates who come from all around the globe.

I believe that GEMS (Singapore)’s approach to empowering students to develop their individual potential will continue to benefit me in fulfilling my student-athlete ambitions.

Avaana Harvey

Grade 10 Student - Artist

How long have you attended the school and what year are you in currently?

I have attended GEMS World Academy in Singapore, since it’s opening in August 2014. I am a Grade 10 student. Choosing GEMS (Singapore) has been one of the best decisions because of the amazing opportunities and the incredible support I have had through the years.

What are some of the things you like best about the school?

“What I value the most at school are the teachers, who are always available to guide and challenge me both academically and in the field of Performance Arts. At GEMS I have been deeply influenced by the people I’ve met and enjoyed learning about new cultures. GEMS has taught me to push boundaries, take risks, innovate and create. Most importantly, I have learnt the importance of collaboration and teamwork.”

What’s your favorite subject and why?

While every subject is taught in an engaging and holistic manner, the one subject that stands out for me, is Drama. The way it is taught and the range of performance techniques we explore in each lesson, makes it extremely impactful and inspiring.

What has been the major highlight of your time at the school?

One of the highlights for me this year has been the Concert for Kerala Flood Relief Fundraiser. It was so heartwarming to see students and teachers from diverse backgrounds, come together to support a common cause.

What do you want to do when you graduate?

I will graduate from the school in 2021 and hope to study Theatre Arts and Applied Drama in university.

Dhafin Rizaldi

Grade 10 - Scholarship Student and Musician

There are many things that I like about GEMS (Singapore). The facilities are great, my favorites are the auditorium and the music room. As a musician, it’s very necessary for me to practice as much as possible. I spend my time arranging music sessions with my schoolmates or by myself before school, at break and during lunch. The music room is filled with a wide range of instruments as well as music charts, which is amazing when having jam sessions with the school band.

These facilities help me achieve my goals and encourage myself to be out of my comfort zone by performing in the Auditorium. “When I joined the school, I found it very difficult to perform in front of a large audience. As I become more comfortable with the school community, many teachers have given me numerous opportunities to further expand my musicianship. Additionally, I’ve joined different extra curricular activities (ECAs) that made me improve in this area, such as GEMS Voices and the Jazz band.”

I’ve contributed to many events in the school and a few of the major highlights were the Open Mic, my solo piano performance during the Awards Ceremony and my personal artwork exhibition during Arts Week. These achievements wouldn’t be possible without the support of the amazing teachers in the Arts department. They have given me the time and effort to help me improve as an Artist and Musician. I look forward to contribute more in future events that the school have arranged.

Jan Borowski

Grade 6 - (Scholarship Student)

Learning at GEMS World Academy (Singapore) is one of the best experiences I had so far in my education. I really enjoy coming to school every day. The school offers various extracurricular activities, which helped me gain confidence and improve my skills. I have been able to participate in The Technopreneurs Challenge with my friends, where I learnt important lesson about entrepreneurship, teamwork and how to research effectively.

For the past two years, I have been granted a scholarship at GEMS (Singapore). Thanks to the “Stretch” program, which involved meetings with a mentor teacher, I was able to deepen my knowledge about the topics I am really interested in, Science in particular. Math and Science are my favourite subjects as they require a lot of thinking.

Our teachers are very kind and extremely supportive. Their attitude towards students helps develop a love for learning and inquiring into different topics. Not to mention “the amazing facilities that we have at school allows as to learn through personal experiences and develop life skills we may need to apply in the future. Our new Design Center is just out of this world; we can go wild with creativity there. We can use music rooms to practice with our School Rock Band and also get to perform on stage in the Auditorium. “

The student community at GEMS is caring, providing encouragement to each other and bringing a fantastic atmosphere every day. Because GEMS is an international school we get to work with different types of people who come from various backgrounds. This allowed me to learn a lot about my friends’ culture and traditions, which made me more internationally minded.

Luke Vongsakoun

KG2 Student

Where are you from Luke?
I am from the USA, but I moved to Singapore when I was 1 year old.

When did you start attending GEMS (Singapore)?
I started last year in Kindergarten KG1.

What do you like most about the school?
I like my teacher.

What do you like about your teacher, Ms. Mostert?
She is good at teaching, she speaks clearly and she is kind and funny. She thinks that I am funny too. She is a fair teacher.

What is your favorite subject?
I love swimming classes.

Why?
I love swimming and learning new strokes.

What swim strokes can you do?
I can already do breaststroke and freestyle.

What is your favorite space at school?
Cafeteria, I love to eat my sushi there and I also like our Playground where I can play football with my friends during the recess time.

Why do you have two IB (International Baccalaureate) Learner Profile stickers on your T-shirt?
Ms. Mostert gave them to me during our circle time today in the morning. The first sticker is “IB Inquirer - I was an Inquirer today ask me why?”

Why?
Because I ask grown up questions. The second sticker says “IB Communicator: I was open minded today ask me why?”

Why did you get this sticker?
I got both stickers, because first I asked the grown up question and after I listened to the answer carefully and thought about the response.

Was the response what you wanted to hear?
Not really, but I had to accept the answer and that’s why I got the second sticker.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?
I don’t know yet. I am still thinking, but I know I have to be a Risk-taker.”

Maahin Bose

Grade 11 - Scholarship Student and Athlete

Being a student at GEMS World Academy (Singapore) means being part of a community, one that supports you and helps set the foundation in the road to success. Whether it's in academics, sports or the arts every student plays their role in creating a positive school environment.

As a sports driven student, with access to world class facilities, GEMS provide me with multiple opportunities to grow, learn and develop the skills to pursue my goals as a professional athlete. Whilst I launch into sporting activities both for the school and for club teams I understand that keeping a balance is also important. With the constant support from the staff and peers I am able to train hard, work hard and be the best well rounded student-athlete I can possibly be.

I also strongly believe that culture and originality is a key aspect in school life. In a largely diverse country such as Singapore, we must be able to freely display our own uniqueness and backgrounds, which at GEMS, each and every student is encouraged to do. In various celebrations and talent shows we’re all given multiple opportunities to showcase what we’re passionate about, in a comfortable and supportive environment.

In classrooms, on the field or even in the Auditorium GEMS students are being supported, acknowledged and encouraged to pursue excellence in what we love.

Maya Kaffeman

Grade 5 Student

GEMS (Singapore) gives me the opportunity to learn more about different cultures from around the world and experience it through many amazing events that are organized here on campus. I have learned a lot from this events; Cultural day was just an amazing showcase of our diverse community.

“Here at GEMS (Singapore), we learn “real-life skills” and not just studying what is written in the textbooks. For example, during my home learning I did a lot of research on topics that I can relate to in my real-life. Also, during the swimming classes, we’ve learnt not only how to swim fast and in the right form, but we’ve also learnt survival skills in the water.”

I have realized that the teachers are supporting students in a lot of ways; we always have great communication and it makes me feel like at home.

Rebecca Samuel

Alumni of Class 2018

The IB Diploma Programme was an extremely challenging experience that I was privileged to undergo at GEMS World Academy (Singapore).

“The variety of subjects offered at GEMS (Singapore) allowed me to focus on particular areas of interest and passion such as Psychology, Biology and Literature - all of which I continue to pursue at university.”

The university application process can be stressful and overwhelming, to say the least, but the endless support and advice provided by the Academic Advisor Mr Jonathan Cox enabled all of the graduates to tackle and accomplish the requirements needed to get into our desired universities.

With great certainty, I can say that the skills I've learnt and practised while studying at GEMS (Singapore) such as perseverance, discipline and independence have been crucial towards embarking on this new challenging journey.

Shaquille Aranas

Grade 10 - House Leader and Athlete

GEMS World Academy (Singapore) is an amazing school that presents many opportunities for its students. As a student athlete and house captain of the red tigers, I have been exposed to many things that have helped shape me into the person I am. I love the school because it accommodates everyone: you will meet new peers, friendly teachers, and enjoy the learning experience.

As an athlete in the GEMS Performance Athletes Program and Rugby 7’s Academy, the school provides top class facilities to train hard and get better. This school also provides great coaching to get athletes ready for their future, whether it is to go profesional or to help them learn important values and life skills.

Apart from sports, academics is very important. The classroom environment is great here because of the drive from the teachers as well as other students. The learning experience is very flexible and tailors to each individual student. With the countless number of athletes at the school, it’s hard to fit in academics which is why I love how the school has a flexible learning environment. I also love the classrooms because they give space to help students innovate and collaborate together, especially in the new Design Center.

“I have gotten many opportunities to learn, experience, and grow through GEMS World Academy Singapore. I have seen the New Zealand All Blacks practice on our field as well as the Samoa 7’s team. I have met olympians and world class athletes to help me learn more about myself and what it takes to be an athlete.”

As a new school with a developing rugby team, we were able to place 4th as a guest team in the SEASAC rugby tournament against older, experienced players. I have also participated in World Scholars Cup where my team and I competed against hundreds of schools across the whole world. We placed 150 overall, met new people and did many exciting things.

GEMS (Singapore) has helped me become more open minded about different nationalities and cultures. The school allows this through many events such as culture week, assemblies, and most importantly the students. There are students from all over the world, including myself. I love the diversity in the school and how it allows its students to connect. I am very happy to be at GEMS World Academy in Singapore and look forward to the many years of experiences and opportunities ahead.

Annika Nair

Grade 9.3

Hey everyone! I am Annika Nair, a student who joined GEMS World Academy (Singapore) 18 months back from Dubai.

This school has made a major impact on my personality. In the past I was more of a reserved girl occasionally lacking in self-confidence. However, after spending time here at GEMS, I was able to come out of my shell and be the person I always wanted to be!

One thing that I personally like about this school is that there are always various opportunities provided to all students. For example, If you are shy/geeky, the technology suite might be the right place for you. If you enjoy being in the spotlight, we have drama, music and all kinds of clubs to join. And in case you are an athlete, consider yourself lucky as you can explore several sports.

The facilities here are breathtaking! This was one of the many reasons I decided this was the right school for me.

I have been able to achieve what I always dreamt of! I was part of a musical production, represented the basketball team, won Spelling Bee twice, sang in the Senior Years choir, represented my culture in the Language Week by choreographing a Bollywood dance, became a student editor for the school newspaper and many more.

GEMS (Singapore) has definitely taught me real-life skills that I will be using in the foreseeable future.

The variety of ECA’s ignites your passion & creativity to keep exploring! Drama practice in the gigantic auditorium excites me a lot now unlike previously when I used to have stage fright.

Overall, the enthusiasm of the students, teachers as well as loyal parents to the GEMS community is contagious and immeasurable. I couldn’t be more gratified.

Thank you to GEMS (Singapore), I cherish some of the most unforgettable experiences in my life so far.

Aurora Corbellini

Grade 8.1

GEMS World Academy (Singapore) has provided me with countless opportunities to enhance my learning.

I am thankful for the great support from the GEMS Languages Educators which has helped me to push my limits in learning Chinese Language and improve my grades significantly.

I am a proud member of Model United Nations and Debate Club. The participation in these after school activities helps me to develop speaking, debating, social, research and persuasion skills, and also prepares me for the international relations pathway after high school.

My favourite subject is Individuals and Society. This subject incorporates political aspect into geographical and historical events and encourages to respect and understand the world around us. The most interesting part of the lessons is to answer challenging higher-level “exam like” questions which prepare us for the future scholastic careers.

All students at GEMS (Singapore) are provided with a great opportunity to plan a performance and perform in front of an audience (Language Week Assembly, CNY Assembly etc). I really appreciate this opportunity as it allows us not only to interact with other students from various grade levels, but also become more confident in front of the audience and build presenting/performance skills. These skills are extremely valuable and you can only perfect them by practicing. And GEMS provides an excellent opportunity to do so!

The school’s spirit is constantly growing. With the new addition of school houses the feeling of belonging and engagement between the students has grown tremendously. These houses keep every student engaged in friendly competition throughout the year  providing opportunities to develop leadership, communication and social skills.

One thing which I really like about the school’s environment is the level of acceptance that you will find here. The students and teachers are from all around the world, creating a feeling of belonging no matter where you are from or the experiences you have had in the past. You are never alone here!

Marilena Kolokotsa

Grade 10

GEMS World Academy (Singapore) is a great school with very supportive teachers, modern facilities and several performing opportunities for students across all grades.

The one thing that particularly stood out for me since I joined GEMS in Grade 6 was the support that teachers and school leadership have given me.

They have taught me to learn from mistakes and push my boundaries to grow as a performer. Their continuous trust and support have helped me to feel far more confident while taking risks in performing.

Our teachers believe in us and constructively challenge us everyday. At the beginning it was quite tough, but later on I have realised that they are encouraging us to take ownership of our learning and guiding us to explore and develop our capabilities.

We are performing in different formats, such as solos, team performance or school performance. Thankfully we have great facilities to help make this happen! We have drama, music and practice rooms to do the rehearsals and build a comfort level before performing. We have a wide range of musical instruments allowing us to explore and practice. The school also provides two art rooms, a creative suite and a fully-furnished design centre that enables us to work with clay, wood, metal and plastic.

The school gives us numerous opportunities to showcase our creativity through the arts during the lessons and extracurricular activities, which we can create ourselves to engage with other students and the broader GEMS community.

The school encourages us to actively participate in major productions and performances such as the Wizard of Oz and the Addams Family.

On top of that, GEMS (Singapore) offers various scholarships to acknowledge our dedication to our fields of interest. These provide us mentoring opportunities which develop us further as role-models in the school environment.

George Shery Ponodath

Grade 10

GEMS in Singapore has always fostered my growth holistically. Be it academics, arts or sports I have had consistent support to push myself further.  I have had the privilege of, being the President of the Student Council, participating in multiple Model United Nations conferences and immerse myself into the multicultural environment. To me, GEMS is all about opportunity.

Being the President of the Student Council has embedded in me the skills of a responsible leader as well as an effective team player. Model United Nations has been invaluable in enhancing my communication and oratory skills and developing techniques for debating and dispute resolution. The skills I am learning go beyond the classroom and will serve me throughout my life.

One of my favourite spaces at GEMS is the Design Centre. In the ‘Makerspace’ ECA, I am allowed carte blanche to create whatever I want. I have used this opportunity to salvage a working scanner from an old printer, make a soldering fume extractor from found parts and even make myself an ergonomic laptop stand. Through this process I have learnt a great deal about materials, designing techniques and even how to think creatively when making designs.

I have greatly enjoyed engaging in endeavors for the betterment of the school community. I have been involved in setting up and testing of new equipment in the innovation lab and design suite. Through the student council I facilitated community events such as an open mic and students vs teachers basketball game. I even had the unique opportunity of composing the constitution of the Student Council.

The rich cultural backgrounds of my peers have helped me grow into a global citizen. Celebrating our differences and learning about our unique experiences has broadened my understanding of the world!

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