THE AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL SINGAPORE
INFORMATION FOR NEW STAFF for 2010
Visit our website: www.ais.com.sg
The Australian International School Singapore is a co-educational school for students
from Preschool (age 3) to Pre University – HSC (age 18+). There are over 40
nationalities represented at the School. Currently, 67% of students are Australian citizens.
The school is organised in a five sub school model comprising Preschool, Junior School
(P-2), Primary School (3-5), Middle School (6-9) and Senior School (10-12). The
anticipated enrolment for the beginning of 2010 is 2250 students: 250 in Preschool, 580
in Junior School (P-2), 530 in Primary School (3-5), 610 in Middle School (6-9) and 280 in
Senior School (10-12).
In July 2008 the School opened new facilities with a dedicated lower school for Preschool
and Junior School (Prep to Year 2). Years 3 to 12 occupy the current facilities which are
very modern having been completed in 2003. The School anticipates growth in enrolment
in the years ahead. Further growth will occur over a number of years, particularly in
Middle School and Senior School. Construction of a Senior School wing will be completed
by April 2010.
Approximately 10% of students at AISS are learning English as an additional language –
with a higher percentage in Secondary than Primary. Whilst the majority of students are
children of expatriates in Singapore, the enrolment of regional students is encouraged.
We are an authorised school for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program
(PYP) and Middle Years Program (MYP) (taught in conjunction with NSW BOS
syllabuses). All staff undertake training in IBO programs for the PYP and MYP. Currently
we are in the planning stages for the introduction of IB Diploma as an option for senior
years students. Training of staff for IB Diploma has commenced in 2009 and will continue
in 2010 and into the future.
The curriculum also meets NSW Board of Studies guidelines. Secondary students are
prepared for the NSW School and Higher School Certificates. Primary students sit for the
Basic Skills tests. Results in literacy and numeracy tests for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are
excellent with more than twice the NSW state average in the highest categories. Students
also compete in competitions run by the universities and other institutions. Chinese is
taught across all sub schools (except preschool). Indonesian and French are also offered
in Middle School and Senior School.
The School is a privately owned company (Ausmore) registered in Singapore. The parent
company, Cognita, is based in the UK and is the largest private provider in the UK.
Cognita also has international schools in London and Spain. The School receives no
funding other than fees paid by parents and the equity investment of shareholders.
The School is well resourced and is committed to the highest standards of ICT with a
continuing program of development and upgrading.
Further information about the School can be viewed on our website www.ais.com.sg
For 2010 there will be 185 academic staff supported by 72 teaching support staff and 49
administration staff. The staff profile is varied with a mix of experienced and younger
teachers who come from public and private schools from all states of Australia, as well as
teachers from other countries (New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, Phillipines, South
Africa, England, USA). The staff are hardworking and committed. The average length of
stay for expatriate teachers is more than five years.
The Executive comprises: Principal, Deputy Principal, Director of Preschool, Head of
Junior School (P-2), Head of Primary School (3-5), Head of Middle School (6-9), Head of
Senior School (10-12), General Manager Finance & Administration, Director of School
Operations, Director of Marketing and Enrolments, and the Director of ICT. Positions of
leadership include Assistant Head of Junior School, Assistant Head of Primary School,
Assistant Head of Middle School, Assistant Head of Senior School, Curriculum Leaders,
Year Co-ordinators, Head of Sport, International Student Coordinator, Community and
Service Coordinator, IBDP Coordinator, MYP Coordinator, PYP Coordinators, Primary
Curriculum Coordinators (Literacy, Numeracy & Specialist), and the Head of Individual
All teachers are expected to take at least one Co-Curricular Activity (a sporting team or
cultural activity), for at least 1 hr after school or two x 30 min lunch sessions. There is a
broad CCA program for primary and secondary. Teachers involved in major sporting or
cultural activities requiring significant time commitments receive a special allowance.
The School follows approximately Australian school holidays, but starts earlier in January
and take a four-week break mid-year. Singaporean rather than Australian public holidays
are celebrated. (2010 calendar dates can be viewed on our website.)
Location and Facilities
The School is centrally located to the North-East of the CBD in the prime residential area
of Braddell Heights, 5 minutes from MacRitchie Reservoir park.
The School is well-serviced by SBS buses and by the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) system.
A new MRT line is to open in mid 2009 with a very convenient station at Lorong Chuan
only a few minutes walk to the school. The Lorong Chuan MRT will connect to other lines
at Bishan and Serangoon stations. School buses collect and deliver students door-to-
door. Taxis are quite cheap compared to Australia and for most people a car is not
usually an option, nor is it needed. Some staff families have cars and will be happy to
provide information to those who may wish to consider the car option.
The School is a purpose built, modern, new complex, with the main wing completed in
General teaching classrooms are clustered to provide for a team approach to learning. A
large, centrally located well-stocked library with print and electronic resources serves the
Computer laboratories at AISS are well-equipped and ICT facilities provide network and
internet access throughout the School. Specialist rooms for Science, Visual Art, Design
and Technology, Music and Drama are modern and spacious.
Small group teaching spaces provide for instrumental music, English as an Additional
Language (EAL) and Learning Support lessons. A multi-purpose theatre seating 450 is
acoustically designed to provide for assemblies, drama productions, musical
performances, speech and vocal presentations.
Outstanding sport facilities include 2 large gymnasiums, a 25-metre 8-lane swimming
pool, tennis and netball courts, cricket nets and a multi-purpose playing field.
The new wing for Preschool and Junior Primary (P-2) is a world class facility for early
childhood with large teaching and cluster spaces, specialist classrooms, library, canteen,
gymnasium and staff areas. A central atrium is the centrepiece of this outstanding
Construction is to commence in December 2008 for a purpose built Senior School to
cater for years 10 to 12. The senior school wing comprises classrooms, science facilities
and a large open study space for year 12 students. This project will be completed by April
2010 and will be followed by a refit of an existing space to provide for a large Drama
studio and Technology teaching spaces.
The School is fully air-conditioned using a clean, efficient and environmentally friendly
system. An overview with pictures can be viewed on our website.
The school canteen serves a variety of Asian and Western food and includes meat pies,
sandwiches, salads and fruit platters.
Staff enjoy interacting in the School’s large common room, especially on Fridays which
end with a staff briefing and opportunity for gathering socially.
Students at AISS are the children of expatriates from Australia, New Zealand as well as
many other countries, working in Singapore. A number of regional students living in
homestay accommodation, or with relatives, also attend the School.
Every student at the School experiences, and is affected by living in a different culture
and has the opportunity to mix with other students of many nationalities and backgrounds.
AISS students are caring and supportive of each other, but initially may feel displaced
and unsure of their environment. A strong pastoral care program exists with Year
Coordinators and class/home group teachers for each group. Two School Counsellors
support the students, staff and school community.
Transience and change is a feature with a turnover of around 600 students each year.
The students have high levels of literacy and numeracy, but there are challenges for
teachers in creating a strong learning environment for students in transition. Teacher
surveys have confirmed that AISS students are highly regarded and a pleasure to teach.
The Australian International School – Ethos and Values
The Ethos and Values of the School were reviewed in 2004 and have been adopted by
the Board as the basis for ongoing review and development of school ethos, programs
and policies. All staff are expected to support and promote the values of the School.
At AISS we value the pursuit of excellence in all endeavours, celebrate the diversity in our
community and encourage positive attitudes to learning. Respect for self, others and the
environment is central to broadening our perspectives and horizons. Together we achieve
a better understanding of the wider world and its vast opportunities.
At AISS we
• regard the pursuit of excellence as central to the ethos of the School
• strive for an environment in which every individual is given opportunities to excel
• encourage members of our community to achieve excellence in all endeavours
• recognise that achievement impacts positively on all aspects of a person’s
At AISS we
• celebrate our unique community of learners
• appreciate that similarities and differences shape and enrich our lives
• promote intercultural awareness and understanding through authentic
experiences both within our school and broader community.
At AISS we
• encourage and support all learners in the development of their creative capacities
and personal insights
• recognise individual learning styles
• promote a positive attitude towards life-long learning through inquiry, application
• equip students to participate in dynamic, global communities.
At AISS we
• provide a caring community based on openness, fairness and friendship
• recognise that with rights come responsibilities to ourselves, our neighbours and
• expect that our attitudes and actions are consistent with the principles of social
At AISS we
• foster a community of learners where membership is based on trust and
• seek to engage students, staff and parents in a culture of understanding
• encourage attitudes that promote success through open communication and
Details of remuneration and contract provisions are contained in the document “Salary
Package 2009”. An update for 2010 will be available in July. This information will be
provided to shortlisted applicants.
The following sections will be relevant to successful applicants
Living in Singapore
Singapore is an equatorial country with relatively uniform temperature, high humidity and
Average daily temperature:
26.8ºC - 31ºC
2,345 mm with increased rainfall from Nov to Jan
An informative website to visit is www.sg
Singapore is relatively safe with a low crime rate – good transport system and most things
work well, such as phones, electrical appliances, transport and communications. It is
clean and arguably the easiest place in Asia to live. Being a transport hub, there are
excellent opportunities to travel, and lots of places to explore nearby, whether for a resort
holiday or an adventurous cultural experience.
Cars are expensive – but you don’t need one! Some couples have a car and can help you
work out affordability if you are interested.
Imported foods are more expensive than Australia – dairy foods, lamb and beef, breakfast
Local food is excellent, relatively cheap and many cuisine styles available. (Singaporeans
generally love to eat, be it Chinese, Indian or Malay food. (And yes, McDonalds is
You will be supplied with forms to complete for your employment pass. You will need to
ensure that your passport is up to date and get a number of extra passport photos. You
will need your certificates – degree, Dip Ed. birth and marriage certificates, or certified
copies of these, and we will be asking you about flight preferences. You will be contacted
concerning your baggage pick up. You will be required to undertake a medical
examination (including blood test and X-Ray) when you arrive. Immunisation for Hepatitis
A and B is recommended before you come to Singapore but it is at your at your own
expense. Your airline ticket will be sent to you via email as an e-ticket.
On arrival you will have details of your temporary accommodation for the first ten to
fourteen days (usually hotel). Meals and personal expenses are at your expense. Then
you begin the process of finding your own accommodation with our guidance. The school
provides a rental assistance allowance for you, but you will have to make a contribution to
the cost of rental. Rents are generally higher than Australia and there have been
increases during the past two years. The cost of hotel accommodation is offset against
the January rental assistance allowance, but hotel stay beyond fourteen days will be at
Health services are excellent and most medicines you can purchase at home you will get
here. There are Australian doctors and dentists available, however Singaporean health
professionals are excellent and the hospitals are world-class.
The expatriate medical scheme has a deductible of AUD$500 for singles and AUD$1000
for couples/families. After the deductible, Hospital cover is 100% for private cover and the
outpatient services are 70% covered. The scheme includes dental and ancillary services.
Airport Pick Up
We will arrange for a member of the Executive to meet you at the airport and arrange
taxis to bring you to your accommodation.
What to bring in your luggage
You may be sending some of your clothes, linen, towels etc in boxes, so ensure that what
you need for the first few weeks is carried in your checked luggage.
Apart from clothes for work and leisure, basic requirements for school, you should make
sure you have toiletries, bath towel, tea towel and a basic cutlery set.
Your first pay will be at the end of January and thereafter at the end of each month. To
open a bank account in Singapore you need $500 SGD. You can withdraw money at
ATMs from your Australian bank accounts if you have an appropriate debit card that can
be used internationally. Once you bank the $500 you can then use those funds.
If you bring cash you can exchange for SGD prior to opening bank account. Money
exchangers in SG usually give better rates than banks in Australia. The airport is not a
good place to exchange money. We will arrange for you to open a bank account on first
day to get started.
At the stage when you are required to pay a bond/first month’s rent for accommodation
we can provide a loan from the School repayable within 12 months. The bond is usually 2
months rent for a 2 year lease, so an apartment renting at $3000 SGD pm requires an
upfront payment of $6000 SGD.
Deciding what to pack or leave at home can be a difficult decision. The baggage
allowance caters for basic personal items and is not intended to cater for furniture as
many apartments come fully furnished and provide TV, refrigerator, video and washer. If
you want to bring baggage above the allowance it can prove to be very expensive inward
and outward, so think carefully before deciding what to bring. Leave bulky items at home
in storage is a good guideline.
The following suggestions from new staff in previous years may prove helpful
Things to bring:
Iron, kettle, toaster, dinner sets, sheets, towels, Tupperware containers (flour, sugar),
cutlery, pictures (small, average size), knick knacks, pots, pans, utensils, clothes (cotton),
Display items eg word banks, weather charts, theme posters
Containers for teacher’s desk, children’s desk
Teacher reference – units of work, resources (handouts), books (activities, art), software
The following advice from new staff in previous years may also prove helpful
• Bring all your teaching resources with you.
• Have access to $ for bonds (apartment, phone, electricity), key cards, credit cards
from Australia. You will need cash to open a bank account.
• Bring cotton / professional clothes.
• Bring all favourite products – hair / feminine hygiene.
A member of Executive will keep in contact with you and answer any queries
Keeping in Touch
You will also be contacted by your Faculty Head or Year Coordinator re programs for
Term 1, text books and your allocation of classes.
Please check our website on a regular basis – the weekly newsletter is added each
An induction program for week one will be provided.
New expatriate staff will arrive in Singapore no later than 13th January for an
induction program beginning on Thursday 14th January 2010.