The Grange Institution and International Preschool: Enabling Creativity to Flourish in a Child’s Growing Years

The Grange Institution and International Preschool

Creativity is not just about finger painting and splashing paint on a blank canvas; it’s also about learning critical social skills that will serve children well throughout their lives. At The Grange Institution (TGI), other than academic excellence, students learn to navigate relationships, negotiate, compromise, and resolve conflicts—all vital skills that will help them succeed in school and beyond.

At TGI, learning goes beyond just academic excellence; the school strives to create an environment where creativity can thrive. With a diverse learning community of over 20 nationalities, students have the opportunity to develop their social skills in a global context. The school’s focus on creativity encourages children to express themselves and collaborate with others, building their communication skills and preparing them for success in an increasingly interconnected world.

As part of Crestar Education Group, TGI joins a family of over 20,000 students and a network of more than 120 schools across eight countries in the region. While most might imagine The Grange, being a ‘small school,’ would typically be housed in a small building on a tiny plot – The Grange, on the contrary, lies on a lush 3-acre land. Utilizing the natural environment, The Grange has incorporated nature-inspired learning into part of its learning.

In just a few short years since its inception, The Grange has won the Best Environmental Initiative award two years in a row, global accolades at the inaugural Chinese Language Festival, and most recently, it became the first school in Singapore to join The Alliance for Sustainable Schools as a founding member. The Grange constantly pushes the boundaries of the level of quality education a family-centric school can offer.

Developing Happy Members of the Society

The mission of the school is to provide a dynamic and creative environment, inspire excellence, and develop happy, confident and responsible members of society. Its vision is to be recognized as a leading school in which creativity flourishes. Its values include: Respect, Responsibility; Creativity.

According to Ronald Stones OBE, Founding Director, “There is never a “one person” ideology at The Grange. Any idea that one person forms the success of the school is a fallacy. While there may be key figures behind the articulation and championing of success, it is very much the collective thoughts and actions that have led to the school’s success.”

Relieving Academic Stress

In Asia, the education system is known for its rigidity and emphasis on academic excellence. This focus on academic performance has often led to high levels of stress and pressure on students. The Grange’s difference is a renewed focus on creating a more holistic education system that considers students’ mental, emotional, and social development.

In 2019, The Grange became the first school in Singapore to combine the Cambridge Primary Curriculum and the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). This brings together a cohesive balance of a rigorous and comprehensive programme through the widely-recognized Cambridge curriculum and the thematic, inquiry-based curriculum of the IPC.

In addition, The Grange is also one of the few schools to include specialist subjects of Music, Art, Technology, Languages and Physical Education as part of its fees and timetable, making learning a truly holistic experience. This enabled The Grange to deliver the skills and knowledge students need to become successful and responsible global citizens.

One of the key principles is the use of innovative and engaging teaching methods. This approach moves away from the traditional teacher-led teaching style and incorporates occasional student-led learning experiences that stimulate the love for learning among students. Another important aspect is the focus on character development.

Educators in Asia are realizing the importance of developing well-rounded individuals who, other than simply Academics, need to possess a strong sense of social responsibility and moral values. The Grange aims to nurture their students to achieve future-focused Cre8tors-in-Action© learning outcomes.

As ‘Cre8tors-in-Action©’, students are challenged and exposed to situations which require them to think creatively, experiment, be innovative, and find solutions. They learn to develop resilience and adaptability to thrive in the changing world, ready for the future.

Keeping up with the Competition

Singapore is a very competitive arena for international education. There are 60+ international schools, so making a mark for the school has been its greatest challenge. Covid posed a huge challenge to its operations. Being a school where the majority of customers come from overseas, the closing of borders impacted the school in ways it did not imagine.

However, the team rallied and continued to focus and develop competencies during the two years. The school pressed on, believing and enhancing the fundamental key difference in the curriculum. Not only did it survive the pandemic, but school numbers also grew by over 50% during the period. The school expanded from just Primary School offerings to a Preschool in late-2021.

Maintaining a Strong Student-School Communication

The school responds to the interests of students. It conducts bi-yearly surveys to understand what co-curricular activities students are interested in. It recently introduced Chess and Table Tennis as part of its offerings.

The Grange is also taking an important step towards sustainability by involving students in the redesign of school uniforms. We believe that students have a valuable perspective on what makes a comfortable and functional uniform. By involving students in this process, we hope to create a uniform that not only meets their needs but also aligns with our school’s commitment to sustainability.

Providing Holistic Education

STEM is included as an integral aspect of the International Primary Curriculum. STEM education is no longer a novelty and has been around for over 20 years. The Grange includes specialist subjects of Music, Art, Technology, Languages and Physical Education as part of its fees and programme.

It is the school’s aim to provide a holistic education that integrates these specialized subjects into every aspect of its curriculum. This approach not only helps students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, but it also prepares them for the future.

Preparing Them for Fast-changing World

The school has a truly international enrolment, but its core education program is based on what it believes is best for students to be prepared for the requirements of a fast-changing world. Being the first international school in Singapore to offer a combination of both the Cambridge Primary and International Primary Curriculum (IPC), this novel approach helps The Grange Institution effectively equip students with the right aptitude for academic and personal success in their learning journey. The renowned Cambridge Primary Curriculum builds strong academic foundations in English, Mathematics and Science.

IPC engage students in different thematic Units of Learning designed to appeal to their interests and help them to learn more about the world around them. Students learn to see the big picture of their learning, make connections across different subjects, and understand topics and issues in the world from multiple perspectives.

In addition, it is one of the very few schools in Singapore that incorporates all specialist subjects of Personal, Social & Physical Education (PSPE), Music, Art and Technology and Languages as part of the curriculum at no additional costs. The Grange’s award-winning Green Granger is a nature-inspired initiative that seeks to champion education for sustainable development.

Building on its strong, sustainable efforts, The Grange has recently become the first school in Singapore to join The Alliance of Sustainable Schools as a founding member – joining a growing global network of schools working towards accelerating the transition towards a sustainable future.

The Green Granger initiative complements the curriculum in achieving the school’s ‘Cre8tors-in-Action’ learning outcomes, including Respecting the Environment and Active Citizenship, with the aim of helping students develop a strong awareness of sustainability and current global issues such as climate change.

Staying True to the Vision and Mission

The Grange, in the context of Singapore, is not intending to move away from being a boutique international school. Its vision is to continually develop a model that delivers educational quality that is comparable to or even better than any large-scale international school while keeping to a family-centric learning community.

In terms of sustainability, it aims to become the best it can be to develop students who can make a difference in the world through understanding that sustainability does not just revolve around the environment but also the sustainability of society and the economy. With its quickly developing overseas project, The Grange has the opportunity to develop a mix of the boutique to large-scale international school projects with its partners around the region.

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