Putting greens for golf, a canteen serving food created by a celebrity chef, and iPads for all kindergarten pupils are among the unique features of Stamford American International School's new campus. The school in Upper Serangoon which bills itself as "the most advanced school in the region" moved to its new $300 million campus last month. This is the largest investment in an educational facility in the kindergarten to pre-university category anywhere in the Asia-Pacific region.
"It's certainly a project that looked very, very carefully at students' needs. "The design of this campus meets the needs of the 21st century, said the school's superintendent, Mr. Malcolm Kay, during a media tour of the campus yesterday. There are interactive learning classrooms, where guest lecturers and teachers from around the world can interact with students through video conferencing. The school also has top-level sporting facilities. These include two swimming pools, a multi-purpose field for American football, rugby and football, as well as a golfing excellence center with putting greens and computer swing analysis.
Celebrity chef Emmanuel Stroobant, who owns fine-dining French restaurant Saint Pierre, created the menu for the school's canteen. Students will be able to pay with a "cashless wristband" that has been pre-loaded with money by their parents, and which also contains their identification and allergy information. Tapping the wristband on a sensor in the tafeteria deducts the relevant amount for each meal. A cafe for parents - also by chef Stroobant - is located beside the students' cafeteria. The school offers the International Baccalaureate program as well as the American Advanced Placement diploma course. Tuition fees are about $30,000 a year. One satisfied parent is Mrs Marla Erickson, 45. Her two children - aged four and six - are enrolled at the school in kindergarten and first grade respectively. She said she was "thoroughly amazed" when she saw the campus. "The students have everything at their disposal. I like that even in a traditional classroom environment, they still have space to grow and move around," she said.