Frequently Asked Questions
How large is the new SMART campus?
The total built-up area will be 45,000 sq m of which 33,000 sq m has been developed in Phase 1. To put this into context, this is about 7 times the size of our current Balestier campus and 4 times the size of our Queenstown campus. This will also make us one of the world’s largest school offering the Indian curriculum.
What is long term strategy for GIIS in Singapore?
Any international school that has a short-term lease cannot guarantee continuity beyond the short to medium term. In view of this, we made a strategic decision to invest in the SMART campus which has a long term lease period of 30 years and which may be extended beyond. GIIS is committed to Singapore and securing the long-term interests of our students.
What was the basis on which GIIS was awarded the tender for school land at Punggol?
The global tender process was run by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and had attracted many reputable education institutions from around the world. GIIS won this tender based on the merits of our academic excellence, educational excellence practices, our award-winning 9GEMS pedagogy among other qualitative factors.
When will the new campus be operational? When will the students of Queenstown & Balestier campus move to the Punggol Campus? Do primary & secondary schools of Queenstown move at the same time?
Our current plan is to start at the GIIS SMART Campus in the third quarter of 2018 (tentatively July 2018 subject to all approvals by the regulatory authorities). We will confirm the exact date for the commencement of the classes in the due course of time. The Balestier Campus and both primary and secondary campuses of Queenstown Campus will move.
With such a large relocation, there are likely to be initial hiccups in the new campus. Will there be a common forum / person / platform to address parents issues?
We have created an exclusive Helpdesk http://helpdesk.globalindianschool.org for providing a one stop support platform to all existing parents. Parents are requested to submit their support queries to email@example.com. Our teams would be ready to respond to the parents through this new helpdesk facility.
What does “SMART” mean in the new campus?
The SMART campus is one-of-a-kind not just in Singapore but in the Asia Pacific region. This campus has been designed by a team of educationists, architects and technologists with special spaces that cater to our award-winning 9GEMS pedagogy.
In this way, our students will be able to learn smartly and get hands-on experience with the latest technologies. The students graduating from a school like this will be future-ready and be comfortable in any facility anywhere in the world.
A School with all these features under one roof has not been built yet !
Are there plans to provide shuttle from Punggol MRT to the school and back?
We intend to provide a free shuttle bus service to our students to and fro from Punggol MRT. The proposed timing for the Shuttle services are: 8:00am - 8:45 am and 3:45pm.
However the campus is accessible via LRT and the nearest station - Coral Edge LRT station, is less than 5-7 mins walk from the campus.
Will there be a direct school bus service from Queenstown area to Punggol campus?
The school will continue to have its regular bus service for students who wish to avail of school bus service.
Will there be any increase in travel time to the SMART Campus?
Our transport system comprising more than 200 buses will continue to fetch students from all corners of Singapore. For those staying in the North and East, the travel time will significantly reduce whilst for those living in the West, there is likely to be additional travel time. We will keep in line with our internal guidelines to keep school bus travel times under an hour.
Will there be healthy food options available in the cafeteria ? Will the cafeteria for primary and secondary campus will be together or separate?
The new cafeteria is planned to offer multiple cuisines and a range of healthy food choices to our students. We have completed a competitive tender process to select from professional F&B operators who will offer the best value for our students. The canteen area is divided into two different area to accommodate more than 1,000 students at the same time. We will have different timings for primary and secondary students who will use the same facility.
Will students be provided with clean washrooms?
Yes, utmost care has been taken for all details and adequate number of restrooms have been provided on each floor. These restrooms will be regularly cleaned and will also have an odour detection system to ensure that cleanliness is sustained. In addition to that, there will be a feedback system in place to allow us to monitor the facility and bring in improvements.
Any innovative idea to reduce the heavy weight of school bags students carry?
Yes, the SMART campus has Digital Lockers for all Grades. The lockers can be accessed by the same cashless payment card that students will use in the GCafe. Also we are providing custom made lockers of different sizes at strategic locations for students to keep their heavy bags, sports equipments and musical instruments in the lockers.
What is the strategy of School to ensure that adequate attention is given to each student and the quality of the education is not compromised?
The SMART campus has been designed with a concept of Small Learning Communities giving every 160 students a personalised space for common activities in the Learning Commons. The Small Learning Communities ensure that personalised attention is given to every child.
What are you doing about the quality of teaching you are providing?
Besides having a rigorous hiring process for teachers, we make sure that they also undergo continuous training through external domain experts. In addition to this, we are providing our teachers with access to the best technology and tools that will help them teach more efficiently and engage their students in a more collaborative way.
The GIIS Academy, which will be based at the GIIS SMART campus, will provide for over 100 hours of individual training for every teacher, conducted within the premises as well as at external locations. It offers a combination of face to face training programs as well as self-paced online learning programs.
What is the student teacher ratio in the new campus with all school campuses combined?
The current Teacher:Student* ratio is 1:15 and is expected to remain the same in the new campus.
(* as per CPE guidelines, the teacher-student ratio is calculated by dividing the number of students in a campus with the number of teachers in that campus).
With so many CCA and ECA options, will you have sufficient trained teachers in the new campus?
We have professionally trained coaches for the ECA & CCA programmes, and having great facilities at the SMART campus, our CCA and ECA programmes will be taken to the next level. For example, our basketball court has been designed to NBA standards and uses SPEDAS which is a state-of-the-art real-time positioning technology to improve individual performance, game tactics and team dynamics.
Can you please show the campus as we are interested in looking at the infrastructure?
Yes ! We plan to do campus tours after we have the regulatory approvals in place. In the meanwhile, we have posted images throughout our microsite which can be viewed by clicking here.
Are there any operational changes like school hours?
There are no changes to school hours. We intend to make this shift to ensure student and teacher convenience and we intend to avoid any dramatic changes to the school operational activities like the timing and the class time table.
How are you going to manage such large volume of students moving into campus at once?
We have a multi-disciplinary transition team that will be leading the relocation, and we will endeavour to make sure that the relocation will be done with minimum disruption.
In what way do the TV & Radio Stations benefit the children?
The ability to communicate has persistently remained a critical skillset in leadership, and so it remains one of the cornerstones of our 9GEMS pedagogy. To that extent, media such as video and radio have become powerful channels through which people can communicate and express their ideas and hence our students need to become confident in these domains.
Will there be lifts in the school ? Will students be allowed to use them?
Yes, there are total 11 lifts and 4 sets of escalators in the school which the students will be allowed to use to move within the campus.
With iPads coming in, what about writing, grammar, etc. in books?
iPads and other smart technologies are supplementary tools and will be used to complement the ongoing teaching as required by the CBSE, IGCSE and IBDP curriculum.
Are the classrooms and other activity rooms air-conditioned?
Yes, all classrooms and activity rooms are air-conditioned. The SMART Campus has technology to automatically control the ambient temperature and provide a pleasant learning environment to our students.
Is the SMART Campus partially funded by parents through the fee structure ? Will you continue to charge the ‘building fee’ even after the new campus operations have commenced?
Investments for the SMART campus have been funded by the school’s internal reserves and supported by borrowing from the banks. The building fee component is required to support the school’s near and long term infrastructure costs and will continue.
Will there be substantial fee raise for the SMART Campus students?
No. The fees for the current academic year (2018/19) remain the same and there is no difference in the fees structure for the SMART campus.
Will you be increasing the fees next year?
Fee increase decisions are based on many factors such as increases in operating costs, manpower cost (due to the tightening of employment visas), infrastructure costs, maintenance, etc. The decision for any fee changes will be taken and communicated prior to the beginning of the next academic session in 2019/20.
In case of relocating students, do you accept admissions in higher grades?
Yes. The school accepts enrolments in higher grades. The student is required to appear for an aptitude test and submit his/her report card for the past two years.
How is wi-fi and other technology helpful in educating students?
Technology and wi-fi are pervasive facts of the 21st century. We want to facilitate the best possible access to enable seamless connectivity between teachers & students across classrooms and even across campuses for better collaborative learning and exchange of ideas.
Interactive learning in the classroom will be supported by an ultra-high-speed network infrastructure and iPad devices opening up opportunities for new modes of learning.
Is there a playground in the new campus ? What are the sports facilities offered at the new campus (badminton, swimming pool, etc. )?
In our SMART campus, we have made ample provisions for kids play area like indoor and outdoor play areas, sports such as basketball, tennis, badminton, table tennis, cricket, soccer, Taekwondo, karate, will be available in campus in addition to new sports such as rock climbing. There is also a running track with a 100 meter sprint track for athletics events.
When is the phase 2 of the campus likely to be developed?
Phase 2 is still under design development and pending government approvals. Once these approvals are obtained and we decide to launch Phase 2, we will share plans with everyone.
Is there way you work to reduce the fees as it is quite taxing?
We have put in place various means-based scholarships to support our community. If you feel that you qualify for this, please send your requests along with the supporting documents to firstname.lastname@example.org for review & consideration by the scholarship committee.