Ever since it opened its doors 60 years ago, Singapore American School (SAS) has grown to become an established international school known for future-proofing its students and helping them discover their best selves.
SAS graduates are ready to transition into university life and beyond, as the school takes great pride in developing students in all aspects so they become well-rounded individuals.
Through personalized learning, new course offerings, and “passion pathways”, students at SAS are given opportunities to flourish as individuals instead of fitting into a certain mold or societal demands.
This includes teaching students certain values that will prepare them for a future rife with new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics – where human-centered approaches will become more important in workplaces.
Ask Colleen Steigerwald, dean of student life for elementary school, for the school’s secret to success, and she’ll tell you the answer can be seen all around campus. Dedicated educators are teaching rigorous curriculums. Strong social-emotional learning is encouraged. There are facilities designed to boost creative thinking.
“SAS is highly committed to teaching the whole child,” she said.
SAS uses its core values – respect, responsibility, honesty, fairness and compassion – as its “moral compass”. Known as “The Eagle Way,” these are widely encouraged and reinforced on campus.
Its Desired Student Learning Outcomes (creativity, character, content knowledge, collaboration, cultural competence, and communication) are taught, practiced and lived too.
“SAS is providing more personalized learning and our commitment to teaching the DSLOs truly does equip our students to be ‘exceptional thinkers, prepared for the future.’“
Supporting students in a welcoming and global community
SAS takes great care in ensuring every student is well-adjusted and able to transition well so they can thoroughly enjoy their experience at the school.
Steigerwald explains, “Our PTA has a welcome committee to partner new families with SAS families as another layer of support. New students are assigned buddies that help them navigate their way through the school day.”
Strategically located in Singapore – one of the world’s leading financial hubs, home to a large community of expats – this offers students an enriching international experience so that students can develop a global mindset and cultural competence.
Parent Ritu Kapoor is one of the many parents who have benefited greatly from this welcoming and global community:
Ritu said, “The emphasis at SAS is both on academic and extracurricular activities, at a pace that is tailored for the students, within a culture that promotes possibilities.
“The open communication with the teachers, easy access to the support of the counselors, backed by the vision of the administration and programs offered, has allowed our boys to flourish in an environment that fosters making choices to match their interests.”
“All this provides a solid foundation for the future and we are very proud to see how both our boys are developing into well-rounded and caring individuals.”
Range of activities where students discover their passions
As the school is focused on holistic education, there is a blend of rigorous academic curriculum and opportunities for students to discover new interests or hone existing ones.
From middle school, students can take electives such as music, drama, art, media, and dance.
Service learning is also a major component of the school, integrated into kindergarten up to eighth-grade curriculum. They take part in initiatives or student-led clubs where they are empowered to make a difference in their communities and become responsible global citizens.
The School also offers special programs that prepare students for the future of work and support students in developing skills such as creativity, innovation, and agility. Programs such as TRi-Time and Catalyst are designed to help students work through the design process and focus on a passion area. Meanwhile, the Center for Innovation provides a dedicated space for them to embrace new ways of thinking and pursue new interests.
Alumnus Shungo Najima, who is now studying at the University of California San Diego, credits SAS’s comprehensive range of activities for shaping him to be the confident and versatile person he is today. With a strong background in both academics and sports, he’s ready to take on any challenge that comes his way.
He said, “With courses in a multitude of subjects and flexible courses like Catalyst, I was able to foster my interests and develop new ones. I am also proud of my versatility outside of academics, as I play baseball regularly and am a self-taught pianist.
“Whether it be academics or sports, I am very excited to be part of everything at a higher level.”
Through developing the whole person and offering students opportunities to discover themselves, SAS is preparing students to become independent individuals and global citizens.