GESS Middle School Students at the School Forum
GESS celebrates its 50th anniversary as a not-for-profit international school that has evolved alongside the 56-year-old city-state, Singapore, that it calls home.
Beginnings of a Not-for-Profit International School
The school started as a ground-up, community initiative in 1971 when a group of European expat parents established a school for their children. Its initial student count was 6.
Today, the school is home to 1,800 students, from 2 years to 18 years and of 65 nationalities. Its world-class campus boasts facilities such as state-of-the-art laboratories, design and technology studios, an Olympic-sized pool and more.
A School Where Community Comes First
In line with its origins as a community school, GESS continues to be headed by an elected Board-of-Governors, comprising entirely of parents. GESS parents get to vote on key strategic decisions such as school fees, through the School Association. Over these years, the school has also maintained its not-for-profit status, with every dollar being reinvested into creating more offerings for students.
A Contributor to the EU-Singapore Political Ties
GESS has been integral to the growing business and political ties between Singapore and Europe. The European community in Singapore has grown massively during this time – at present there are over 14,000 European companies operating here.
By offering the full (IB) International Baccaulaureate and the German curricula, coupled with the option for students to study their home languages such as German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Spanish, French and more, the school offers a robust education solution for expat families moving to Singapore.
Additionally, the school’s international diversity is further enhanced by its offerings of Japanese, Mandarin, Korean and Hindi mother tongue programmes.
A Commitment to Singapore and the Region
GESS has also been conscientious in forging bonds with the local community in Singapore. For decades, it has conducted exchange programmes, inviting local students, who are particularly keen on Europe and European languages to its classrooms. Similarly, GESS students have paid reciprocal visits. These exchanges have promoted greater cultural understanding, new connections and an opportunity for students to experience education in different classrooms.
GESS also partners with other schools and organisations in the APAC region. From sending its Grade 10 students to organisations in India and Cambodia annually for social projects to financially supporting the Blue Dragon Foundation in Vietnam and sending supplies to schools in East Timor, the school has used its resources to promote education and development across the region.