Friday, December 12, 2008

Schools in Shanghai.

There are a number of international schools in shanghai. Which one you want to choose will depend upon your budget, the age of your children, where you will be staying - and where you will be going after your stint here is over.

Disclaimer : I have not gone to most of the schools listed here, and opinions given by friends of mine in those schools, are the basis. I don't support any school. I don't feel any school is less than the other - the decision is yours to make, go to all the schools, take a tour ( all of them will give you a tour of the school.. just call and make an appointment). See how far the school is from your home, how long it takes from your home to the school.

Local schools - unless your children are fluent in Chinese it will be difficult for them to go to local schools - subjects will be taught in chinese.

For all these schools, just google the names and you will get the websites, you will get a up to date information on fees, age for class to be enrolled, etc. If your company does not provide school fees - you might want to think about bringing your children along.. the fee are pretty high.

Academic year : The academic year here starts in August every year, and ends in mid June.

Syllabus : There is no particular syllabus like the Indian CBSC or ICSE in Shanghai.
No hindi is taught, if you want your child to learn Hindi, or your mother tongue, get your own books, and tutor your children. They will learn chinese in school any way, and if your child is older you will need to have a tutor for your child to supplement the teaching at school.

The school that comes closest to Indian method of teaching, with continuous tests, exams, and grades is Shanghai Singapore International School. Its fee is also among one of the lowest - these two reasons are why many Indian children study there. If you are in Pudong, it might not be convenient - both the school's campuses are in Puxi. The school provides lunch, at no extra charge, and the chilren can carry lunch boxes too.

There is also the British International School - there are Indians who have admitted their kids there thinking that the british system is like the Indian system - but it is not. It's a good school, but if you want something which is exactly like Indian schools - it will not be - there are no text books, no tests ( though they do have assessments ). If you are relocating from the UK may be its a good option, though I am not sure - my friends whose kids are studying there .. this information is through them. But they do have two campuses, Puxi and Pudong. They also have good sports facilities.The minus point, according to my friend, was the lunch - the lunch is provided by the school, which costs 26 yuan per day. The student has no option of taking a lunch box, unless he/ she provides a medical certificate that the lunch provided by the school does not suit his/her health !
It sounds strange but she had taken her child out from the school, as they were vegetarians and the kid could not eat most of the lunch. It was a while ago, though, so you might want to check with the school before you join.

Shanghai American School : If you want an American style education - this is the one for you. No uniforms, more free style of education, with emphasis being on creative thinking rather than exam oriented method of education. If you want to go back to India after this, then it might be a problem. The school has good sports facilities too. They also have two campuses, Puxi and Pudong. I think the lunch system is the same as British International School - you might check. The school also has a waiting list most of the time.

Yew Chung International School : This school is one of the few international schools which is located in the centre of Puxi. It will mean the kids do not have to commute a long distance. The Singapore, British, and American schools in Puxi are in Minhang, which is fine if you live there, but if you live in center of Puxi - it will mean the children have to commute 45 minutes to 1 hour everyday, that is one way - meaning total time would be around 1 and half to 2 hrs everyday.
The school follows Hong Kong method I think, and I heard that the chinese language levels expected are high as well. Its fees also on the higher end. You need to pay extra if you go in for school provided lunch, but students can carry their own lunches, if you live near you can even send hot lunch at lunch time !

Kindergartens :
Thankfully there are good Kindergartens for younger children within the center of the city. They take children from 18 months old and above, but some of them might have a waiting list. Most of the International schools have a kindergarten too.
Some of them :
Stars and Stripes Kindergarten
Rainbow Bridge International School (has up to primary school)
Soong Ching Ling kindergarten

Other schools :
Shanghai Community International School
Shanghai United International School
Concordia International School
Dulwich College
Shanghai Rego International school
I might have missed a few, but I think I covered most. There is no one school that is suitable to all, you will have to choose depending on budget, commute time and the age of your children.


Sula said...

what about IB curriculum schools? We dont want to put him In Indian type school..fee is not at all a issue ...I wanted to know about truly International my son goes to International school in Tokyo..No plans to go back to India bus is also everything will be taken care by company..can you guide me.can you suggest me top 4 schools..

tks. regards.

Mrs .Aastha.

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