Is your little one ready for ‘big school’? Check out our comprehensive guide to Singapore International Schools with great secondary programmes, mama!
We’ve told you about the best preschools in Singapore, and have also done in-depth guides to Singapore’s best bilingual programmes. We’ve told you which schools offer the popular International Baccalaureate (IB) framework. Now we’re taking things to the next level with our comprehensive guide to international secondary schools.
While many families will be drawn to a school that offers the same language and/or curriculum as schools in their home country, Singapore’s multicultural, multi-national atmosphere means a lot of schools offer programmes with a more global context that’s not restricted to a single nationality. Read on to find out what makes each and every school special, mama!
An IB World School, GWA (Singapore) teaches the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) for Grades 6 through 10, culminating with the Cambridge IGCSE exams at the end of Grade 10. At GWA 11th and 12th graders pursue the prestigious IB Diploma Programme (DP). This well-rounded framework prepares each and every student not only for university, but for 21st century careers. Every GWA student undertakes study across eight different subject groups, with a real focus on understanding concepts, building skills and developing a positive attitude. The curriculum aims not just to transmit knowledge, but to encourage higher thinking that leads to new ideas, conclusions and connections.
GEMS World Academy (Singapore), 2 Yishun Street 42, Singapore 768039, For Admissions Enquiries: (+65) 6808 7300, www.gwa.edu.sg
AIS is the only school in Singapore to offer both the IBDP (International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme) and the HSC (New South Wales Higher School Certificate) curricula. AIS students achieved an impressive 100% pass rate on the IBDP in 2016 (compared to a global average of 70%!), and HSC results were also the strongest in five years. While AIS takes a “non-selective education approach” – meaning it offers opportunities for all students regardless of their academic abilities – in actuality this helps uncover students’ innate skills and characteristics that support their growth and development as global citizens. From the first-of-its-kind Athlete Development Programme (which identifies and trains the top 1% of AIS athletes in pursuit of university scholarships), to a strong Music, Drama and Visual Arts programme (16 different music ensembles on campus!), AIS helps its students discover their unique pathway in life.
Australian International School, 1 Lorong Chuan Singapore 556 818, Tel: (+65) 6653 2958, www.ais.com.sg
Parents rave about CIS’s holistic approach that ensures students don’t just achieve academic success, but also develop important leadership, community service, artistic and sporting skills to prepare them for life after school. This syncs perfectly with the school’s stimulating, creative curriculum delivered in Grades 7-10 through the Middle Years Programme (MYP) framework, and sees students in Grades 11 and 12 pursue the IB Diploma Programme. CIS’s performance on the IB DP exam has consistently been above the world average, with students accepted to over 200 leading universities worldwide since 2011.
An IB World School catering to students aged 3 to 18, Chatsworth strives to create a holistic environment that cultivates character development and personal learning. Secondary classes are kept small (around 20 students) to ensure every student is truly heard, and receives plenty of support and attention from teachers. Secondary students also participate in Curriculum Enhancement Week, which includes overseas travel to countries like Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand to experience different cultures and living environments. With a new campus opening in Bukit Timah in 2018, Chatsworth students can also look forward to expanded facilities to better suit their academic and extra-curricular needs.
Dulwich is an IB-authorised school that will offer a Sixth Form and the full IB Diploma in 2018. The school currently offers the 3-year IGCSE Programme to students in Years 9 through 11; spreading this curriculum over three years instead of the traditional two allows for the development of core skills while also integrating important enrichment activities into the learning experience. Having opened its brand new Singapore campus in 2015, Dulwich has state-of-the-art facilities including two black blox theatres, music studios, a 700+ professional theatre, science labs, a pottery kiln, and out of this world sports facilities like a gym, rooftop tennis courts, and a dance studio. Dulwich is a big school that feels like a small one; no class has more than 22 students.
Building on its popular IB Primary Years Programme, EtonHouse offers a Middle Years framework that fuses a proactive use of information technology with inquiry-based learning. Students develop essential skills to complete the prestigious Cambridge IGCSE programme, undertaken in Years 10 and 11. The school’s boutique size and feel give it a low teacher-student ratio and make for a particularly student-centred experience with lots of community support. Other highlights include sports, visual arts, music and performing arts, and a strong second language programme.
Offering both a traditional, accredited German school curriculum and a European IB curriculum, GESS ensures that all secondary students receive university and career counselling (from Grade 9 in the German curriculum, and in Grades 11 and 12 with the IB Diploma). GESS also has a 100% IB pass rate and students had an average score of 33.35 during the 2015/16 academic year – that’s well above the global average of 30.07! Along the way students get to experience intensive 3-week “taster courses” while visiting European universities, and receive plenty of guidance for navigating the varied application processes in the UK, US, the Netherlands, Germany and elsewhere. With over 50 nationalities represented and an extremely strong Mother Tongue language programme, GESS students are well prepared when they leave school, no matter where in the world they end up!
German European School Singapore Main Campus, 72 Bukit Tinggi Road, Singapore 289760, Tel: (+65) 6469 1131, [email protected]
German European School Singapore Junior School Campus, 300 Jalan Jurong Kechil, Singapore 598668, Tel: (+65) 6461 0802, [email protected]
SAS is a big school but from the start it’s very much about personalized learning: students collect, create and curate digital content throughout the school experience as they explore and develop their interests. The faculty and curriculum are very much dedicated to encouraging inquiring minds to collaborate, experiment, reflect and engage in the pursuit of individual passions and interests. This starts with “Tri-Time” in middle school, when students take 30 minutes each day to pursue a project of their choice, and culminates at the high school level with year-long projects in 11th and 12th grade that encourage students to ask hard questions, investigate solutions, and then publicize and present their findings. SAS offers 29 AP Courses and students average in the 96th percentile for worldwide results.
Stamford American employs the popular IB framework, but incorporates US-centric Advanced Placement (AP) credits (20 AP courses to choose from!) alongside American Education Reaches Out (AERO) standards. In fact, students can choose from three different graduation pathways: the full IB Diploma, an American High School Diploma with AP credits, or a blended program. The school also carries out pre-university testing from 10th grade onwards, allowing academic teams to provide students with tailored support and ensuring a smooth transition to the university system of their choice. Stamford American is also the only school in Singapore to have EducationUSA on campus, providing students with access to the best information and advice about university education in the United States.
An international school with a British background, Dover is a candidate school* for the IB Diploma and is pursuing authorisation as an IB World School. At the Secondary School level (ages 11 to 17), Dover’s combined curriculum draws on elements from the English National Curriculum to suit the needs of international students from a range of countries. Students aged 14 to 16 work toward IGCSE certification.
With a 15-year presences in Singapore, GIIS offers both Indian and international curricula, including the Cambridge IGCSE for Classes 8 through 10, and the IB Diploma Programme for Classes 11 and 12. With a focus on holistic education that also includes and impressive sports programme, GIIS has placed its students at top universities in the US, UK, Australia and India.
GIIS Queenstown Campus, 1 Mei Chin Road, Singapore 149253, Tel: (+65) 6508 3700
GIIS East Coast Campus, 82 Cheviot Hill, Singapore 459663, Tel: (+65) 6442 6670
GIIS Balestier Campus, 51 Jalan Rajah, Singapore 329154, Tel: (+65) 6254 3258
Formerly known as the Chinese International School, HWA strives to integrate the “discipline and rigour” of Eastern pedagogy with the inquiring, creative and collaborative values of Western pedagogy. This is delivered via the IB framework: students in grades 11-12 pursue the prestigious IB Diploma, while those in grades 6-10 are taught via the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) framework. While instruction is about 50/50 English/Chinese in the Early and Primary Years Programmes, English is the primary language of instruction during Middle Years and High School (though all Middle Years students study both English and Chinese).
Hillside World Academy, 11 Hillside Drive Singapore 548926, Tel: (+65) 6254 0200, www.hwa.edu.sg
Touting its “American curriculum, credentials and diploma”, ICS is a religious school in Clementi with a “Biblical worldview” that offers a tight-knit community of 450+ students spanning Pre-K through 12th grade. The average teacher:student ratio is just 7:1, and the school offers a solid range of Advanced Placement (AP) courses, with an impressive pass rate.
International Community School (Singapore), 27A Jubilee Road, Singapore 128575, Tel: (+65) 6776 7435, www.ics.edu.sg
For over three decades ISS has offered all three IB Programmes (Primary Years, Middle Years, and the IB Diploma). Students come from a diverse population of over 50 nationalities, and go on to attend top universities around the world. ISS has two campuses, with grades 9-10 at the lush high school campus on Preston Road near Alexandra.
ISS International School (Singapore) High School, 21 Preston Rd, Singapore 109355, Tel: (+65) 6475 4188, www.iss.edu.sg
If you’re keen for your little one to learn French (regardless of your nationality), the French School combines French teaching methods with a multi-national worldview and focus on Asian culture. The International Section offers a bilingual, bicultural approach to the French curriculum that also incorporates British national standards and culminates with the Cambridge IGCSE.
Lycee Francais de Singapour, 2900/3000 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, Singapore 569928, Tel: (+65) 6805 0000, www.lfs.edu.sg
With a culture emphasising personalised, digital, inclusive education, the curriculum at the Secondary level (Years 7-9) is based on a modified English National Curriculum taught around “Big Ideas”. In Years 10 and 11 students prepare for the IGCSE exams, and they pursue the IB Diploma in Years 12 and 13.
Nexus International School Singapore, 201 Ulu Pandan Rd, Tel: (+65) 6536 6566, www.nexus.edu.sg
This small, close-knit school on the East Coast offers the IB Primary Years Programme followed by the English National Curriculum. OWIS is an approved Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) school with approval to offer IGCSE qualifications.
With a beautiful, brand new campus in Pasir Ris, OFS has about 1,000 multi-national students at its high school, where students can earn semester credits towards a U.S. High School Diploma. At the same time, the curriculum follows the IB MYP – allowing students to take the Cambridge IGCSE exams – and students can also pursue the IB Diploma to prepare for universities around the world.
Overseas Family School, 81 Pasir Ris Heights Singapore 519292, Tel: (+65) 6738 0211, www.ofs.edu.sg
With over 1,000 students at the secondary level comprising 38 nationalities, SJI is a Lasallian Catholic school with a strong emphasis on values, community and relationships. Grades 7 and 8 provide a “Foundation” curriculum leading into the IGCSE exams in Grades 9 and 10 (Grade 8 is seen as a “pre-IGCSE course”). In Grades 11-12, students pursue the IB Diploma.
St Joseph’s Institution International, 490 Thomson Rd, Singapore 298191, Tel: (+65) 6353 9383, www.sji-international.com.sg
In a unique arrangement, instruction for Grades 7 through 10 takes place at UWCSEA (see below), where a Swiss teacher instructs students in German, French and Swiss Civics according to the Curriculum of the Canton of Zug. Studens can follow UWCSEA’s German language programme – allowing them to re-enter a Swiss or German school system anytime in their schooling – while also following the renowned IB curriculum.
Swiss School in Singapore, 38 Swiss Club Road, Singapore 288140, www.swiss-school.edu.sg
There are over 1,000 students in the Senior School (Years 7 through 13) at Tanglin Trust, the only school in Singapore to offer both the IB Diploma and A Level exams at the Sixth Form Level. The school’s academic approach is grounded in an “enhanced and rigorous” English National Curriculum, and while it’s been offering British-based education in Singapore for over 90 years, over 40% of the population is non-British, with a student population drawing on kids from 58 different nationalities. Students take the IGCSE at the end of Year 11.
Tanglin Trust School, 95 Portsdown Rd, Singapore 139299, Tel: (+65) 6778 0771, www.tts.edu.sg
UWCSEA is a non-profit school with a very multicultural population (students from over 90 countries!) and a strong background in IB education at the high school level. Students who enter in Grade 9 prepare for IGCSE exams at the end of Grade 10, while students who join in Grade 10 undertake the Foundation IB preparation course. Almost all students in Grades 11 and 12 pursue the prestigious IB Diploma; in 2016 UWCSEA students averaged an IB score of 36.4 (vs. the global average of 30.1), with students admitted to top universities in the U.K., U.S., Europe, Australia and Asia.
UWCSEA Dover Campus, 1207 Dover Road, Singapore 139654, Tel: (+65) 6775 5344
UWCSEA East Campus, 1 Tampines Street 73, Singapore 528704, Tel: (+65) 6305 5344
Brought to you in partnership with GEMS World Academy (Singapore), Australian International School, Canadian International School, Chatsworth International, Dulwich College Singapore, EtonHouse International School at Broadrick, German European School Singapore, Singapore American School and Stamford American International School