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Founder Message

Jaspal Sidhu

Jaspal Sidhu

Founder

“SIS was established in 1996 with the support of respected individuals from the Singapore government and Raffles Institution. SIS subscribes to the Singapore education system because of its disciplined approach to educational pedagogy. It is also responsive to changes in the world. No wonder it ranks number one in the world, based on the latest PISA rankings. Today with our schools in almost all major cities in Indonesia and the region, we look to promote 21st century skills in this unpredictable world. My dream is to make all SIS schools accessible to as many people as possible in this lovely archipelago.”

Our Story

We live in times of unprecedented opportunity. It’s never been easier to make the world your playground. However, only prepared minds will seize opportunities and thrive. So are you giving your children their best possible shot at success?


With SIS, you can be sure you are. For us, education is more than teaching; it’s about inspiring kids to learn. We believe curiosity is the engine of achievement. Which is why we don’t only teach – we entor, stimulate, provoke and engage our students.


All kids are natural learners; they just need to be engaged in a manner that’s right for them. Therefore, through years of experience, we have designed an ecosystem that brings out the best in each student. Inspired by Indonesia’s potential and Singapore’s ever-evolving methodology, our network of schools offer the Singapore, Cambridge and IB curriculum in a family-like environment that prioritises personalised learning. With an unparalleled proficiency in English, Math, Science enriched by the humanities, regional languages and the Arts, we equip our students with the fundamentals to thrive on their own terms – now, and for the future.


At SIS, not only do we show children the path, we walk alongside them.

Click here for even more about Singapore Intercultural School’s story.

Our Start

In 1995, leading members of the Jakarta business community felt the need for a Singapore-style school in the bustling city to cater for expatriate children working in Indonesia. Several initial meetings with Singapore’s Ambassador to Indonesia H.E. Edward Lee fired the enthusiasm needed to start the project. This culminated in a meeting in early 1996 with H.E. Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Dr. Tony Tan who was also then the Education Minister. The inspiration drawn from that meeting set the wheels in motion.

 

The team moved quickly to secure the help of Raffles Institution, Singapore’s premier school. The expertise of one of Singapore’s most respected educationist Mr. Eugene Wijeyhsingha (former Principal of Raffles Institution) was utilized to give the school a good foundation. And soon afterwards the Board of Governors of SIS successfully lobbied the release of Mr. Magendiran also from Raffles Institution to be the first Principal of the Singapore International School in 1997. Mr. Magendiran is today the Vice-Principal of Raffles Institution, Singapore.

 

SIS began in its small and humble premises in North Jakarta with minimum facilities. Then the Asian financial crisis hit and potential sponsors and funders turned away. The riots in 1998 saw the school’s enrollment coming down. It was here that the decision was made to move the School to the south where the expatriate community mainly resides.

 

Move to South Jakarta

In 1999, with a small investment, SIS was able to build a modest one-story school building in yet another temporary site. After a year the School was able to afford to construct its first basketball court and a small playing field. Despite not having the facilities, the high standards of teaching under the principalship of another prominent educationist Ms. Nanda Bandara, former Principal of premier Singapore primary schools, Raffles Girls’ Primary School and Haig Girls’ School saw the enrollment steadily increase from 50 to the school’s maximum intake of 200. And the school soon had a long waiting list of foreign students. This pushed the Founders to expedite its search for a permanent premise with facilities matching the top international schools in Jakarta.

 

A Permanent Site for SIS International

With the help of international consultants, SIS was able to redesign, construct and eventually turn an “abandoned” clubhouse into a school that is the talk of the town, in a housing complex of Bona Vista, South Jakarta. Located in a quiet neighborhood bordering the elite Pondok Indah real estate, the School is only two minutes from the Outer Ring Road making it accessible from many parts of Jakarta. The SIS complex boasts of an open, airy concept amidst lush, contoured gardens. In Bona Vista, SIS is able to enjoy all the amenities in this complex and this includes a competition-sized pool, soccer field, basketball courts and tennis courts. After a busy construction schedule, SIS finally opened its doors in its new complex in January 2002 with bigger classrooms and better facilities. The enrollment today includes a student population coming from at least 25 different nationalities.

 

 

An Independent Appraisal

The Board felt that an independent appraisal was needed to confirm the course set for the school before any further plans for expansion were considered. In June 2002 SIS commissioned two distinguished academics from the National Institute of Education (NIE is an institute of the Nanyang Technological University), Associate Professor Agnes Chang and Dr. Ang Wai Hoong to appraise the school. A simultaneous appraisal was also done by another distinguished academic Dr. Soh Kay Cheng (also of NIE) to assess the standards of our examinations. NIE is the exclusive Singapore government body that looks after teacher training and the development of the Singapore curriculum for all Singapore schools.

 

This independent appraisal not only confirmed the high standards in both the academic and non-academic areas, it also puts SIS amongst the top schools in Singapore. To quote the all encompassing line from the executive summary of the appraisers:

 

The school is indeed comparable to a good school in Singapore in terms of teaching and pupil’s performance.

 

A New Secondary School wing in SIS International

The results of the independent appraisal, the teamwork, sense of community service and a call for continuity in education has inspired the Founders to start the first class in its secondary school in January 2003.

 

A secondary school in SIS means that our pupils would be able to forgo adapting to a new educational system and culture. It means that there is an automatic progression from the primary level. It means that pupils will benefit from having teachers who can nurture them in a way that new teachers can not, having seen them grow and knowing their individual weakness and strengths.

 

SIS’ reputation for excellence in education and nearly a decade of experience in adapting the Singapore educational curriculum to the needs of the children overseas will stand it in good stead when establishing the new secondary school.

 

International Examination Boards

Pupils will be prepared for the internationally recognized educational qualification, the International General School Certificate of Education (IGSCE). This qualification is accredited by the University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate and is a prerequisite for entry into tertiary institutions in America, Europe and Australasia. Pupils will sit for both the basic and advanced level examinations that are equivalent to the old GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ level scheme. The University of Cambridge local examinations Syndicate is the same Examination Board that administers the GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ level scheme in all schools in Singapore. SIS is now studying into the possibilities of conducting the IB exams following closely developments in Singapore.

 

In recent Cambridge check-point examinations at Primary 6 and Secondary 2 levels, SIS students performed extremely well, prompting Cambridge to make a special remark on the high academic standards of SIS.

 

The Start of SIS schools for Indonesians. National Plus schools

The Board of Governors and senior management of the Singapore International School has established a credible track record in the development and operation of schools in Indonesia.

 

The success of the Singapore International School set up in 1997, allowed the Founders of the school and the educationists involved to deeply appreciate the complexities of subjecting Indonesian students to a curriculum modeled after the Singapore education system that demands high standards. The lack of proficiency in English and Mandarin and inconsistencies in the foundations of core subjects like Maths and Science observed in the pioneer batch of Indonesian students pushed for an immediate need for yet another carefully designed curriculum from that used in the Singapore International School for the Indonesian learner.

 

SIS started two pilot National Plus schools in Kelapa Gading (North east Jakarta) and Kebon Jeruk (West Jakarta) in 2002. The aim was to monitor the performance of the students in a “controlled environment” with the new designed SIS curriculum especially for the National Plus schools. After 2 years, SIS noted remarkable results of its students and decided it was ready to roll out the schools for the upper and middle income population in Indonesia.

 

The primary objective is to focus on the growing upper and middle income class frustrated with the country’s public and private education of poor standards. The SIS Schools planned for different parts of Indonesia would also ensure that there was no need for families to migrate from the provinces to Jakarta, or from Jakarta to another country in their quest for good quality education.

 

SIS then invited the International Finance Corporation (member of the Word Bank Group) to examine the results in these two pilot schools and sought a partnership with the IFC to expand its operations. After a thorough due diligence that saw curriculum, systems and financials under scrutiny, IFC decided to partner with SIS, its first formal education project in Indonesia.

 

In an IFC press release in 2004, IFC East Asia Regional Director Javed Hamid described the project as:

one that will extend access to high quality primary and secondary education in Indonesia.

 

The IFC press release also mentioned SIS:

providing high quality education modeled after the Singapore curriculum.

Vision

Inspiring Learners Toward Greater Heights

Mission

To spark curiosity and inquiry while developing values and 21st century skills. We prioritise learners and personalise learning to make a better world.

Our Academic Programme

At SIS we believe that all children are natural learners. They just need to be engaged in a manner that’s right for them. Through years of experience, we have hence designed an ecosystem that brings out the best in each student.

Inspired by Indonesia’s potential and Singapore’s ever-evolving methodology, our network of schools offer the Singapore, Cambridge and IB curriculum in a family-like environment that prioritises personalised learning.

With an unparalleled proficiency in English, Math, Science enriched by the humanities, regional languages and the Arts, we equip our students with the fundamentals to thrive on their own terms – now, and for the future.

Our Values

In SIS, learning is all about inspiring the student. We just don’t teach here. Instead we mentor, stimulate, provoke and engage, in a holistic nurturing environment. All kids are natural learners; they just need to be engaged in a manner that’s right for them to discover their talents and interests.

We offer a family like environment with emphasis on academic proficiency but also enriched by languages and the Arts in an ecosystem that brings out the best in each student. At SIS, not only do we show children the path, we walk alongside them.

5 Core Values

Respect Icon

Respect

Integrity Icon

Integrity

Innovation Icon

Innovation

Perseverance Icon

Perseverance

Collaboration Icon

Collaboration

Accreditation and Partnerships

icon-IB
New logo cambridge
Logo International Corporation
Ministry of Education Logo

Parent Support Group

Our parents believe great communication is at the heart of active, fully engaged school life and our PSG play an active role in this daily engagement.  Our teachers prioritise personalised learning techniques and our parents see their role as to support the teaching and learning process in the school and at home.  Our progressive, passionate parents and family members are committed to empowering our children to step into the future with confidence.

Our Teachers

Catherine Norsworthy

Catherine Norsworthy

Teacher

John Torr

John Torr

Teacher

Margie Soemakno

Margie Soemakno

Preschool Head Teacher

Tim Maitland

Tim Maitland

Primary Head Teacher

School Leadership Team

Highly qualified and experienced, our leadership team is part of the diversity of cultures within the school – an important aspect at SIS. Communicative, warm and collaborative, they lead our students to achieve extraordinary goals and towards an inspiring future.

“Hi, I became fascinated by the art of teaching young children seventeen years ago when I volunteered at my daughter’s playgroup in the Netherlands. This is when I started to develop a passion for Early Childhood Education. I find it an honor to be part of children’s intellectual, physical, and social development. Serving as an advocate for young children, I strive to provide holistic education in a positive, safe and educationally rich environment. An environment in which children can inquire, explore, engage and most of all have fun”  Margie Soemakno – Preschool Head Teacher

Our Students

In SIS, learning is all about inspiring the student. We just don’t teach here. Instead we mentor, stimulate, provoke and engage, in a holistic nurturing environment. All kids are natural learners; they just need to be engaged in a manner that’s right for them to discover their talents and interests. We offer a family like environment with emphasis on academic proficiency but also enriched by languages and the Arts in an ecosystem that brings out the best in each student. At SIS, not only do we show children the path, we walk alongside them.

Bernard

Bernard

Thank you for your guidance, friendship and discipline. I learned that I am strongest when I recognize what yet is weak and how I might best develop those parts of my character. Thank you for creating an environment of enthusiasm for learning, appreciation for growing and room for making mistakes along the way. I am grateful to have such a good teacher like you, by my side all the time and throughout my life in SIS BV. Thank you, my excellent and fun teachers; for all the extra efforts you make to help us grow and the challenges you encourage us to face to help us become who we are.

Myung

Myung

I am one of the Korean students at SIS Bona Vista. I have been in my School since 2013. When I was a new student, the first month was challenging for me as I had to speak English with my classmates whose nationalities are different from mine. Today I am familiar with studying at SIS and able to speak English just like Korean – I made a “buddy” whose favorite team is Manchester United. I always think that moving to SIS BV was an inspiration from God in my student career. Moreover, if I didn’t have any support from my teachers in the School, my School life wouldn’t be what it is today. Lastly, I hope I can make my School proud as a student of the first IB batch in SIS BV – my aim is 45!

Azuraa

Azuraa

When I first enrolled at SIS Bona Vista in January 2003, I had never expected my experience as a SIS student to be such a memorable one. However, it did turn out to be the best nine years of my life, not only in terms of its high-quality education, which allowed me to secure a place at The University" of Melbourne, Australia but also in terms of the friendships I have made, most of which are still going strongly, be it among fellow classmates, juniors and/or seniors - SIS students have always been united.