Frequently Asked Questions
Our School Administration has put together a list of frequently asked questions in this section. We hope that prospective parents will find this useful. Should you have any other queries which you wish to know more about our school curriculum, program or any other information, please feel free to contact our Admission Office by clicking here.
Why Australian Curriculum?
An Australian school is a great stepping stone to further study. Australian education is one of the most-acclaimed in the world, Its curriculum framework used in our school achieves comparability with the highest Australian and international standards. The framework provides a strong focus for teaching and learning and clear statements of what students are expected to achieve in each educational level that students undertake. Over the past decades, the Australian education system has been proven to be very successful and is becoming a model for many countries to follow. Independent global tests including Program for International Students Assessment (PISA) by the Organisation for Economic and Cultural Development has ranked Australia as one of the top countries to achieve success in the area of primary and secondary education. The Australian education system focuses on the overall development of a student - spiritual, physical, mental, physical, cultural, so emphasis is placed on both the students' academic and personal development.
Why Learn Many Languages at a Young Age?
Recent neuroscience research suggests that children’s learning capacity is developed during the earliest years. Interactions with the environment during these critical years help lay the foundation for behavioural and developmental outcomes. In recent years, researchers have made tremendous progress in learning about the human brain and the critical influence of the early years for brain development and learning, including learning a foreign language. Children have the ability to learn languages faster and better than adults. The pathways for dendrites in a child’s brain cells are still developing. Exposure to external stimuli, which includes exposure to new languages, will cause these dendrites to grow and connect between the brain cells, forming a complex network of neuron connection. Most of these dendrites peak in their growth at about the age of six. Hence, there exists a window of opportunity to learn a new language, ideally before the age of six. To take advantage of this window of opportunity, we provide opportunities for students to learn English, Mandarin and Thai simultaneously from a very young age.
The main language used as the medium of instruction is English. Second and third language programs are taught to our students in Mandarin and Thai, starting from the age of about 3 years old by qualified native teachers. Students take these language classes daily, and emphasis is placed in areas of speaking, reading, spelling and writing. Mandarin curriculum is adopted from Singapore’s National Curriculum and Thai curriculum is adopted from the Thai National Curriculum. For Mandarin, students are taught Hanyu Pinyin to aid with Chinese pronunciation and taught the simplified characters in Chinese writing. Our Thai language curriculum is unique in a sense that we teach Thai daily, using the same textbooks and methods as those in Thai schools. This enables our students to be as proficient in Thai as their peers in Thai schools. Students become competent speakers, readers and writers of these languages by the time they completes primary levels.
Why Singapore Mathematics and Science Program?
Our school delivers the Singapore’s Mathematics and Science program to complement the Australian curriculum due to the renowned success of Singapore’s program, specifically in the area of Mathematics and Science. Singapore holds top position in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Studies research organised by IEA (International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement) and this successful performance has made Singapore mathematics curriculum appealing to many other countries. Singapore mathematics curriculum is currently being used in a number of public schools in the United States. Australian curricula on the subjects of Mathematics and Science are of similar standards and topics of studies are fully supportive of each other in providing a solid mathematics and science foundation for our students.
What Time Does the School Begins and Ends?
- Nursery and Kindergarten: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm (After-school care option finishes at 3:10 pm)
- Pre-Prep and Preparatory: 8:00 am - 3:10 pm
- Primary (Year 1-6): 8:00 am - 3:10 pm
- Middle Years (Year 7-8): 8:00 am - 3:10 pm
- High School (Year 10-12): 8:00 am - 3:10 pm
Does our School Provide Lunch and Snack?
St. Mark’s International School’s canteen offers healthy snacks and lunch. The meal plan is rotated periodically to provide nutritiously balanced meals.
Can My Child be Involved in Extra-Curricular Activities?
At St. Mark’s International School, we offer a wide range of Extra-Curricular Activities (ECA) for students in Primary and High School levels. Information on our ECAs can be found on this website under "Learning Opportunities" and "Extra-Curricular Activities".
These ECAs usually take place immediately after school running from 3:15 pm. to 4:00 pm. Some ECA’s takes place outside of the School campus. Additionally some ECAs, most often those provided by external groups, will require an additional fee.