We break down everything you need to know about the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme, what the IB results mean and where to find top IB schools in Singapore
You’ve probably heard your fellow mum friends drop the term “IB” in conversations, but if you’re confused about what it means, then we’ve got you covered. The International Baccalaureate (IB) is an educational programme that fosters creativity and imagination and is one of the most in-demand educational programmes around the world. But what does IB really mean for your child’s education? We discuss all the reasons that set the IB programme apart from others, its unique benefits, how to know if IB is a good fit for your child and even round up reputable IB schools in Singapore for you.
Keep scrolling for everything there is to know about the IB programme in Singapore!
What is the IB Programme?
Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate (IB) offers high-quality, challenging educational programmes at three different levels in Singapore: the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP), for students aged 16 to 19; the IB Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) for students aged 11 to 16; and the IB Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) for students aged 3 to 12. IB is renowned for its high academic standards and for helping to develop truly global, 21st-century citizens. The curriculum places great emphasis on creativity and imagination. Students are encouraged to take a global view in every sense: learning is about considering the nature of human thought and developing the skills not just to remember facts, but to analyse one’s own thinking and effort.
What sets IB apart?
At the heart of the curriculum are the principles of inquiry, action and reflection. All the while, students develop core skills for thinking, working with others, communicating, self-management and research. So basically, the skills you need not just to succeed in school, but in life!
To that end, the culminating IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) is academically challenging and balanced, with final exams that prepare students for success at university and beyond. Many schools in Singapore pride themselves on their outstanding IB results. Of course, it all starts with the PYP, which focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, not just in the classroom, but in the outside world as well. We all know kiddos ask lots of questions; the IB PYP plays to that strength with its powerful emphasis on inquiry.
Meanwhile, it’s in the Middle Years Programme (MYP) that the IB framework encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers, with a real emphasis on intellectual challenge. Kids at this stage start making really powerful connections between their studies and real-world subjects, all the while boosting their communication skills, intercultural understanding, and global engagement. In short, IB is a perfect fit for students in a globalist, multi-cultural environment like Singapore! It’s also very transferable if you make an international move, given its truly global reach.
What are IB’s unique benefits?
- IB encourages both personal and academic achievement
- In IB programmes, students learn how to learn (hint: it’s not with lots of memorisation!)
- IB programmes encourage students of all ages to consider both local and global contexts
- IB programmes develop multilingual students
- IB programmes are developed independently of government and national systems and incorporate best practices from research across a global community of schools
Finally, IB schools are particularly known for producing inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people. That’s not to say kids in other curricula can’t fit that bill, but there’s real care and emphasis placed on this outcome, to which we say, Bravo!
Understanding 2023 IB Results
The IB programme involves taking six subjects (three at a higher level and three at a standard level) over two years. Assessment is based on a combination of final examinations and coursework. Each subject is scored from 1-7, and up to 3 additional points may be awarded for TOK (Theory of Knowledge) essays and the Extended Essay. A minimum of 24 points is required to obtain the IB diploma while 45 points is the maximum.
The world average 2023 IB score is 30.24. The global 2023 IB pass rate is 79.35% (85.6% in May 2022). The global average IBDP grade is 4.84.
*In Singapore, the IBDP is taken at many international schools in May however some Singapore schools follow a January to December calendar and sit the IBDP exams in November (so they will receive their results in January of the following year). These include SJI International School, Australian International School, Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah, School of The Arts Singapore (SOTA), Singapore Sports School (SSP), St Joseph’s Institution and ACS (International) Singapore.Anglo Chinese School (ACS) International Singapore, and Hwa Chong International School.
IB Schools in Singapore
We round up the various international IB schools in Singapore at the early years, primary and secondary levels across Singapore. On the local school front, Anglo Chinese School (ACS) International Singapore, Hwa Chong International School and SJI International School all offer the IB Diploma at the secondary level.
St. Joseph’s Institution International
IB programmes on offer: IBDP
The mission of SJI International is to develop curious, independent and confident learners by giving students the opportunity to learn by doing. Students at every level will get to experience a wide range of age-appropriate activities that promote active learning such as research, role-play, simulations, critical thinking exercises, presentations and more. This stimulating educational environment continually challenges students intellectually both within and outside of the classroom so that every day is a new and exciting learning adventure. Beyond academics, teachers instil important character values through sports, adventure and creativity. They nurture children to feel empathy for the world around them through weekly service activities and overseas projects, so students can connect with and serve the local and global community. Through the outstanding IB curriculum at SJI International, many students have gone on to top universities around the world and are one step closer to becoming global changemakers.
2023 IB results*: All 198 IB students achieved the full IB award with an average of 39.14 points. 52.3% of students achieved 40 points or more, a result achieved by only 19.8% of students worldwide in November 2021 (2022 data is still unavailable).
SJI International School, 490 Thomson Rd, Singapore 298191, Tel: (+65) 6353 9383, www.sji-international.com.sg
Tanglin Trust School
IB programmes on offer: IBDP
Tanglin provides British-based learning with an international perspective and is the only school in Singapore to offer students the choice to take either A Level or the IBDP programme at Sixth Form, both of which achieve consistently outstanding results. The choice provides each student with an educational pathway best suited to their needs and academic goals. Tanglin’s Centenary building exemplifies the school’s commitment to providing a holistic education. Each of the 11 floors contains an educational space that will enhance the experience of Tanglin students of all ages. Located on the top floor of the Centenary Building is the Institute@Tanglin, a unique new learning facility that promotes excellence, provides thought leadership, and encourages discourse to inspire challenge and prepare students to become the next generation of leaders. For the third year in a row, Tanglin was named one of the top 125 private schools globally in the Spear’s School Index by Carfax Education and is one of 15 schools selected from the China and Southeast Asia region. Tanglin was recognised for its unique ethos, global reputation and commitment to academic excellence preparing future-ready students for a globalised world.
2023 IB results*: The 2023 IB cohort achieved an average Diploma score of 38.7 points, more than 8.5 points above the world average of 30.2.
Tanglin Trust School, 95 Portsdown Road, Singapore 139299, Tel: (+65) 6778 0771, www.tts.edu.sg
Overseas Family School
IB programmes on offer: IB Middle Years Programme and IBDP
As one of the first schools in Singapore to offer the International Baccalaureate programme, Overseas Family School’s (OFS) highly acclaimed IBDP is well-established and supported by an experienced faculty. Teachers at this IB school in Singapore, many of whom hold prominent positions within the IB community serving as examiners, IB Workshop leaders and curriculum developers, are skilled in guiding students through the IB’s unique challenges. Passionate about giving all students the chance to succeed, OFS does not preselect candidates and allows every student to take the full IB Diploma and choose subjects as they wish, even at a Higher Level. Remarkably, the school’s inclusive policies and exceptional resources in areas such as language and literature studies have led not only to a more sizeable IB cohort than many other international schools, but also to increased student achievement and success. This year, OFS introduced DP Psychology and DP Sports Science, demonstrating its strong commitment to honouring student interests, while continually evaluating its program and course offerings.
2023 IB results*: In the May 2023 IB exam session, OFS achieved results well surpassing world averages. 32.8% of successful candidates were awarded prestigious IB Bilingual Diplomas as compared to the world average of 26.7%.
Australian International School (AIS)
IB programmes on offer: IB Primary Years Programme & International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
Australian International School is a non-selective school that enables their students to realise their potential through amazing opportunities to learn, explore and thrive in a nurturing community with over 50 nationalities. This diverse school offers a holistic Reggio-inspired and IB curriculum with over 300 co-curricular activities for students aged 2 months to 18 years. AIS also offers Higher School Certificate (HSC) for Years 11 and 12. Around 70% of students pursue the IBDP with the support of experienced faculty and achieve results well above the world average. With a love of learning that grows every day, students continually exceed expectations, as proven by their outstanding value add score of 0.93 points per subject (amount above the predicted score), which is a testament to the pastoral systems and approaches that allow students to achieve their best through this rigorous programme.
2022 IB results*: AIS accomplished a 98% pass rate with an average IB score of 34.7, surpassing the global average of 30.2. Moreover, 21% of the students achieved 40 or more IB points, and 30 obtained a Bilingual Diploma. Notably, two students reached the highest possible score of 45 points.
Canadian International School
IB programmes on offer: IB Primary Years Programme, IB Middle Years Programme & IBDP
Home to students aged 2 to 18, Canadian International School (CIS) uses a concept-based curriculum that’s drawn from the best global curricula. It promotes in-depth thinking, understanding, and the application of knowledge. Through an inquiry-based approach, students develop essential 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity and communication. In addition to Chinese-English and French-English bilingual programmes that are fully aligned with the IB Primary Years Programme, as well as daily language acquisition classes in French or Chinese (and Spanish in secondary), CIS uses a STEAM-based approach that integrates science, technology, environment, arts and math across the curriculum, allowing students to make real-world connections between disciplines. This IB school in Singapore also provides students with a wide range of sporting, artistic, leadership and service opportunities – all of which encourage them to find balance between thriving academically and exploring new endeavours. Facilities and programmes like Open Minds and the kindergarten wing’s purpose-built Outdoor Discovery Centre give students opportunities to investigate topics in real-world contexts.
2023 IB results*: With a 95% IB pass rate, an average score of 33.78 and two students attaining a high score of 44, CIS graduates go on to leading universities around the world to study various disciplines.
Canadian International School, 7 Jurong West Street 41, Singapore 649414, Tel: (+65) 6734 8088, www.cis.edu.sg
Chatsworth International School
IB programmes on offer: IB Primary Years Programme, IB Middle Years Programme & IB Diploma Programme
A diverse and internationally-minded IB school in Singapore, Chatsworth International School caters to students from kindergarten up to Year 13 (Grade 12). Established in 1995, Chatsworth’s community of over 50 nationalities is an integral part of the school’s identity; service learning is a big part of holistic education, and the school places a great deal of emphasis on service action through all year levels. The team believes that every child should have an opportunity and encouragement to shine. Nestled in greenery, Chatsworth provides a diverse and nurturing learning environment as educators strive to provide an individualised approach that recognises and celebrates every individual. Chatsworth is a non-selective school and its graduates receive a wide range of university offers from all over the world. The school also offers a broad range of languages in its Mother Tongue Language programme.
2023 IB results*: The Class of 2023 achieved an average score of 36 points which well exceeded the global average. 27% of their graduating cohort earned the prestigious Bilingual Diploma with a 100% pass rate. For the past 5 years, Chatsworth’s average score has been 36 points with a high of 39 in 2021.
Chatsworth International School, 72 Bukit Tinggi Road, Singapore 289760, Tel: (+65) 64633201, www.chatsworth.com.sg
Dover Court International School
IB programmes on offer: IBDP
This IB World School in Singapore has established a reputation for outstanding teaching and a nurturing environment that champions inclusivity. Catering to students aged 3 to 18 from more than 60 nationalities, the school offers diverse academic pathways built upon the National Curriculum for England framework – curricula on offer at Dover Court International School also include the International Primary Curriculum, IGCSE, International Baccalaureate, the careers-focused BTEC and ASDAN. The IB Diploma Programme offered in Years 12 and 13 supports student learning, exploration and personal development through small class sizes and a healthy student-teacher ratio. The DCIS academic experience is further enriched through curriculum collaborations with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for world-leading STEAM instruction and The Juilliard School for integrated expressive arts that foster creativity and build confidence. Students have access to one-of-a-kind learning activities and experiences with their peers across the other 80 Nord Anglia Education (NAE) schools around the world through its virtual Global Campus and international expeditions.
2023 IB results*: The 2023 cohort earned an average score of 35 and a high score of 43, with a 100% pass rate.
Dover Court International School, 301 Dover Road, Singapore 139644, Tel: (+65) 6775 7664, www.dovercourt.edu.sg
Dulwich College (Singapore)
IB programmes on offer: IBDP for students in Year 12 and 13 + IB Career Related Programme (IBCP)
This fully authorised IB Diploma Programme school in Singapore is known for its academic excellence and is committed to delivering the International Baccalaureate programme as its pre-university qualification. All students at the College develop a personalised pathway that reflects individual choice, ability, and personality. In Senior School, these pathways are enriched by more than 300 CCAs, industry partnerships, leadership opportunities, mentoring programmes and more. The College also offers the IB Career-related Programme (IBCP). Designed for pre-university students aged 16 to 19, this unique programme addresses the needs of students who wish to follow a targeted career pathway and develop professional skills in an academic context. Students have a choice of career pathways, including business and sustainability, performance and production arts and sports. In October 2023, Dulwich also opened a brand new, state-of-the-art, seven-storey building to support the unique learning requirements of its IB students.
2023 IB results*: A total of 118 students sat for the full IBDP exams and averaged 36.8 points, with 33% scoring 40 points or higher and a 100% pass rate. Three students received perfect scores, and 12 received prestigious Bilingual Diplomas. 96% of their graduating students secured their first choice offer for university.
Dulwich College (Singapore), 71 Bukit Batok West Ave 8, Singapore 658966, Tel: (+65) 6890 1000, singapore.dulwich.org
GESS – International School
IB programmes on offer: IB Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme & IBDP
GESS embraces a 360-degree approach to education by paving the way for students to attain personal and academic excellence, nurturing essential life skills such as communication, problem-solving and teamwork, and shaping them into confident, global citizens who can contribute positively to tomorrow’s world. To ensure that students are well prepared for personal success in a rapidly changing world, GESS has embarked on a series of investments in high-quality teaching and learning, student wellbeing as well as programme and campus developments, over the next five years. In addition to the existing IBDP and German Abitur, students can consider the IB Careers-related Programme (CP) from academic year 2024/2025. Even before students graduate, an award-winning BeyondClassrooms programme – launched in 2022 – creates almost 300 internship placements and at least 50 industry activities annually, made possible with partners and affiliates.
GESS – International School, 2 Dairy Farm Lane, Singapore 677621, Tel: (+65) 6461 0881, www.gess.edu.sg
Global Indian International School (GIIS)
IB programmes on offer: IB PYP, Cambridge Lower Secondary Programme, IGCSE & IBDP and more.
An IB school in Singapore that caters to students aged between 2.5 and 18 years, your child’s IB journey at Global Indian International School (GIIS) begins with the IBPYP which is inquiry-based and sparks curiosity and independent thinking in children. For secondary school students, GIIS offers the Cambridge curriculum with a wide range of subjects that develop students’ critical thinking and analytical skills and prepares them for the challenges of the IB Diploma Programme in Grades 11 and 12. The school employs a unique performance-measuring system called 7S, which monitors each student’s academic and all-around progress. This enables teachers to roll out a systematic improvement plan for each student. At GIIS, students have access to digital classrooms, collaborative learning spaces and skill-based studios to help them explore their interests, develop various skills and be better prepared for the challenges of the future. Almost 250 students graduate each year from GIIS and are placed at prestigious universities like the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, Cornell University, and Imperial College London.
2023 IB results*: GIIS had an average of 35.6. A total of 38 students obtained scores above 40, while three students distinguished themselves by achieving a perfect score of 45, and five students obtained 44, showing their commitment to academic excellence.
Global Indian International School, Tel: (+65) 6914 7100, singapore.globalindianschool.org
SMART campus: 27 Punggol Field Walk, Singapore 828649 | GIIS East Coast campus: 82 Cheviot Hill, Singapore 459663
Nexus International School (Singapore)
IB Programmes on offer: IB Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme & IBDP
By instilling core values of innovation, open-mindedness and empathy for the community, Nexus International School nurtures students who not only excel in academics but also discover their purpose beyond the four walls of the classroom. To equip students with future-ready skills, technology is integrated into every lesson to give Nexus learners real-life applications of what they learn and help them become resilient critical thinkers and problem-solvers. They also offer flexibility within the IB curriculum, which encourages learners to pursue topics of interest and reinforces that all learners can make an impact. The teachers at Nexus are dedicated to providing holistic support so that every student can thrive and look forward to going to school every day. Beyond academics, teachers check in on their students’ well-being and personal development and lead them to relevant resources for additional support where necessary. As a truly international school, the Nexus community prides itself in no nationality making up more than 15% of the total student population, which enriches the students’ learning and multicultural community experience.
2023 IB results*: IBDP graduates achieved a 98% pass rate. Two graduates received high scores of 43 and their peers had an average score of 32. The average value added was 3.68 points.
Nexus International School (Singapore), 1 Aljunied Walk, Singapore 387293, Tel: (+65) 6536 6566, www.nexus.edu.sg
North London Collegiate School (Singapore)
IB programmes on offer: IBDP
Established in the UK in 1850, the North London Collegiate School has upheld a legacy of academic excellence, ambition and aspiration ever since. NLCS (Singapore) draws on that rich history and tradition to provide students with an inspirational and life-changing education to ensure they develop into accomplished, well-rounded, compassionate individuals. The hallmark of an NLCS education is the recognition that excellence is attainable and the school’s role is to provide “floors, not ceilings.” This philosophy empowers teachers to nurture individual talents and bolster confidence and self-worth, allowing students to carve their distinct paths. North London Collegiate School (Singapore) is an academically selective school, offering a curriculum aligned with NLCS UK and the inquiry-based IB programme for up to 16 years, followed by the IB Diploma Programme in Grades 11-12.
2023 IB results*: The summer of 2023 saw the graduation of the inaugural Grade 12 cohort, who achieved an impressive average IB Diploma points of 38.64 with a remarkable 47% scoring 40 points or more. Graduates went on to prestigious institutions such as University College London, Imperial College London and the University of California, Berkeley.
North London Collegiate School (Singapore), 130 Depot Road, Singapore 109708, Tel: (+65) 6989 3000, nlcssingapore.sg
Stamford American International School
IB programmes on offer: IBDP
Because every student has different academic goals, Stamford American International School offers multiple graduating pathways including IBDP, AP and BTEC. This diverse and inclusive school that caters to students aged two months to 18 years features a multicultural community that represents over 75 nationalities. This not only exposes students to different cultures but also gives them the opportunity to learn how to connect and empathise with people from many backgrounds. Student well-being is one of the top priorities at Stamford American International School, so the teachers and staff go the extra mile to support students and their families, providing a deep sense of belonging to the SAIS community. In addition to a stellar curriculum and innovative teaching methods, students can choose from 96 competitive sports teams to nurture the importance of living a balanced life that will help young athletes reach their fullest potential. Book a personalised tour here.
2023 IB results*: The SAIS Class of 2023 had a remarkable 95% passing rate. Three students achieved an impressive score of 43 out of 45. 2023 graduates have been accepted into universities such as King’s College London, Nanyang Technological University, University of Toronto, and Berkeley College of Music amongst others.
Stamford American International School, 1 Woodleigh Lane, Singapore 357684, Tel: (+65) 6653 2949, www.sais.edu.sg
Westbourne College Singapore
IB programmes on offer: IBDP and IGCSE
Westbourne College Singapore is a co-educational Pre-IB and IB senior school, part of a leading UK/AUS IB school group. This school launched its IB Diploma and IGCSE courses in 2023 and welcomed their first IB cohort in August 2023. Their UK and AUS students frequently rank in the top 1% of global IB scores and boast a 90% admission rate to Russell Group or equivalent international universities. With a clear mission to fully prepare students for dynamic leadership roles in the future, the teachers at Westbourne College Singapore give students the freedom to craft their personalised pathways and pursue their academic goals. As part of an elite global IB network and a remarkable 127-year history, students are sure to be equipped with essential future-ready skills so they can move on to top universities around the world.
2023 IB results*: Their first cohort distinguished themselves for having the highest proportion of students who achieved 44+ IB points in Australia. The average was 39 points (ATAR 96.7) and 25% of the cohort achieved 43+ IB points, while 19% achieved 44+ IB points.
Westbourne College Singapore, 491 River Valley Road, #16/03 Singapore 248371, Tel: (+65) 6235 1538, www.westbournecollege.com.sg
XCL World Academy
IB Programmes on offer: IB PYP, IB MYP and IBDP
Offering a rigorous yet balanced education to students aged 2 to 18 from almost 50 different nationalities, XCL World Academy is dedicated to ensuring your child’s readiness for an ever-evolving future by offering a world-class curriculum that emphasises the concept of ‘Learning by Design,’ the cultivation of problem-solving skills and development of a solid academic foundation. At this IB World School in Singapore, students are exposed to a continuum of IB programmes and are given personalised learning plans to help them realise their full potential. The teaching staff comprises more than 20 nationalities, and each educator brings their global expertise to the table, successfully empowering students so they can reach their goals.
2023 IB results*: The Class of 2023 has achieved an outstanding graduation milestone, boasting a Diploma pass rate of 97% where the highest score attained was 42 out of 45.
XCL World Academy, 2 Yishun Street 42, Singapore 768039, Tel: (+65) 6230 4230, www.xwa.edu.sg
Other schools in Singapore that offer the International Baccalaureate curriculum include:
– Anglo Chinese School (ACS) International Singapore
– Australian International School
– EtonHouse International School
– Hillside World Academy
– Hwa Chong International School
– ISS International School Singapore
– North London Collegiate School (Singapore)
– Odyssey Wilkinson
For more info, you can also visit the International Baccalaureate Office in Singapore; check out their website for lots of handy resources!
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