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Guide to the International Primary Curriculum & IPC Schools in Singapore

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Looking for a school that prioritises an inquiry-based approach to learning? We break down everything you need to know about the International Primary Curriculum, plus shortlist a list of IPC schools in Singapore

Want to know more about the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and its benefits? We explain the meaning of the IPC curriculum and how it can benefit your child! Plus keep reading for a list of several IPC schools in Singapore for your consideration. Keep scrolling to weigh all your options!

Read more: Lower Cost International Schools  with School Fees Under $28,000

What is the meaning of IPC?

The International Primary Curriculum is a comprehensive curriculum based on the English National Curriculum adapted for international schools, with reference to the IB inquiry-based approach to learning. The IPC is usually implemented for 5 to 11-year-olds, with a creative, thematic approach to teaching and encourages students to research and ask questions. Students are usually assessed in subjects such as Art, Geography, History, Computing, Music, Physical Education, Science, Technology and International.


What’s different about the IPC curriculum?

The thoughtfully designed IPC has many benefits, including comprehensive learning and parental involvement. The IPC curriculum is flexible, and can be adapted to your child’s level of understanding and interests. Additionally, it encourages collaboration and reflection and can be integrated with other curricula to ensure your child’s learning needs are met.


Where to find IPC schools in Singapore

Considering enrolling your child in an IPC school in Singapore? Keep scrolling to find out how the international schools below incorporate this curriculum for their students to get the best performance out of each child.

Holland International School

IPC Curriculum IPC schools - Holland International School
Image Credit: Holland International School

Established for over 100 years, Holland International School is more than just academics. The school’s holistic approach nurtures students to become well-rounded future leaders through shared ownership, critical thinking and cooperative learning. The IPC framework is introduced right from the preschool level. Activities follow the International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC), specifically developed for young children in an international setting. Through playful learning, the school helps children develop confidence to support their individual, social and cognitive development and prepare them for primary school. IPC learning activities at the primary school incorporate theme-based learning and crossovers between subjects such as Art, History, Geography, and Science. Students learn about themselves and explore the world around them which creates more open-minded, creative, and curious children. Holland International School offer both a Dutch and English Stream to ensure children can look forward to a rich and engaging learning environment. The Dutch Stream is based on the Dutch National Curriculum, allowing children to develop an international mindset while also maintaining their Dutch roots. The English Stream offers a rich international learning environment based on the British National Curriculum. Holland International School aligns the IPC curriculum with the school’s vision by focusing on specific assessment goals and the children are at the heart of everything they do. Teachers assess the children’s progress by observing their engagement during activities and then guide them in advancing to higher levels by using the IPC rubrics as a framework for growth.

Holland International School, 65 Bukit Tinggi Road, Singapore 289757, www.hollandinternationalschool.sg


SJI International Elementary School

IPC curriculum IPC School Singapore - SJI International Elementary School
Image Credit: SJI International Elementary School

At SJI International Elementary School, parents can choose between two distinctive routes—the Mainstream Programme and the Bilingual Programme—each tailored to meet their children’s diverse needs. Both programmes follow the same foundational curriculum. Students from Prep 1 follow the Early Years Programme and from Prep 2 to Grade 5 follow the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), which encourages young learners to challenge ideas, be reflective, and work collaboratively. Students in Grade 6 gradually transition from the IPC to the International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) introduced in 2023, which is designed for students aged 11 to 14. This curriculum delivers transformational knowledge, skills, and understanding through conceptual themes. The Mainstream Programme places a strong emphasis on English as the primary language of instruction, laying a robust foundation in the language. Mandarin lessons are incorporated into the weekly timetable, enriching students with valuable language skills. Launched in January 2024, the English-Chinese Bilingual Programme offers a unique dual-language experience for students in Prep 1, Prep 2, Grades 1, and 2 in its inaugural year. This programme delivers instruction in both English and Chinese, immersing students in a dynamic learning environment that nurtures bilingualism from the very beginning. Beyond academic excellence, SJI International Elementary School prioritises the holistic development of each student, fostering critical thinking, intercultural competence, and a love for learning that extends far beyond the classroom.

SJI International Elementary School, 490 Thomson Road, Singapore 298191, www.sji-international.com.sg


Middleton International School

IPC curriculum IPC school singapore - middleton international school
Image Credit: Middleton International School

Middleton International School offers the International Primary Curriculum (IPC Curriculum) for Grades 1 to 5 (ages 7 to 11). This inquiry-based curriculum is aligned with the UK National Curriculum and the globally recognised Singapore Maths. Fostering enthusiasm and a love for learning, students and teachers co-construct units of inquiry that cater to their interests, spark motivation and eagerness to learn. A recent Grade 1 unit on famous people began with students collaborating with parents to identify important historical figures from their home countries, then sharing their discoveries with their classmates. As they delved into the lives of these figures, they developed their reading, writing, and research skills. Through comparison, they discovered common threads in the figures’ actions, values and impact on the world. The unit culminated in a vibrant parade, where students dressed up as notable figures and presented short speeches to highlight their figures’ contributions and lasting impact on the world. The teachers also use formative assessments to scaffold learning and employ observations, documentation and analyses of learning journeys through discussions, projects, classroom work and standardised tests, ensuring a deep understanding across various curriculum areas. As students transition to Secondary, they continue with the Cambridge International Curriculum, leading to Cambridge IGCSE and International A-Levels qualifications.

Middleton International School2 Tampines Street 92, Singapore 528889 and 20 Harbour Dr, #02-02, Singapore 117612, Tel: (+65) 6636 1155 (Tampines) and 6916 0740 (West Coast), www.middleton.edu.sg


Astor International School

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Astor International School offers a low teacher-to-student ratio (1:20) which allows individual attention and a more hands-on experience. The IPC curriculum at Astor International School covers subjects such as Science, History, Geography, Music, Drama and more with IPC units of learning. Through enquiry-based teaching methods and approaches, students aged 5 to 12 have the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge while becoming lifelong learners with open-mindedness towards the perspectives of others. Each unit starts with an Entry point aimed to get students excited about the topic and find out what students already know about it. Then, students will build their knowledge with the help of interactive hands-on activities, research, recording and reflection. Each unit ends with an Exit point where students will present their project or go on a field trip to deepen their knowledge about the topic. Astor implements a range of enquiry-based activities into their curriculum that cater to all types of learners and give all students an opportunity to go deep into a topic. Exciting topics make learning engaging and relevant to students. Astor International School complements the IPC curriculum with Singapore Maths and British English, which allows it to support high academic standards while making learning fun and enjoyable. The school practices formative and summative assessments, which means assessments are done regularly to help teachers understand the level of skills and knowledge of the students to make teaching more relevant.

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Astor International School, 1 Kay Siang Road, #05-01/02, Singapore 248922, Tel: (+65) 69745700, www.astor.edu.sg


Sir Manasseh Meyer International School (SMMIS)

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Image Credit: Sir Manasseh Meyer International School

SMMIS is committed to providing the highest quality curriculum to its students. Inspired by the principles of Reggio Emilia, child-led learning and discovery, the preschool offers open-ended resources and plenty of opportunities for exploration and discovery. From Kindergarten 1 to Grade 5, SMMIS teaches through the International Primary Curriculum and continues with the International Middle Years Programme (IMYC) before offering the Cambridge IGCSE qualifications in Grades 9 and 10. The IPC and IMYC are both incredibly versatile and adaptable curricula, which SMMIS blends with British National Curriculum Literacy and Singapore Mathematics. IPC covers the sciences, social studies, history and geography, while centred on an engaging overall theme so that students learn these subjects and related skills through building strong connections between disciplines. SMMIS connects and integrates literacy, numeracy, art, music, technology and PE within each IPC unit. Students develop not only academic knowledge and understanding but also develop their character through the eight integrated IPC personal goals: Enquiry, Resilience, Morality, Communication, Thoughtfulness, Cooperation, Respect and Adaptability. Each grade covers four themed IPC units per academic year, such as ‘Saving the World’ in which they explore the world’s rainforests and deforestation. At SMMIS, students also enjoy state-of-the-art facilities, a range of after-school co-curricular activities and competitive sports.

Sir Manasseh Meyer International School, 3 Jalan Ulu Sembawang, Singapore 758932, Tel: (+65) 6331 4633, www.smmis.edu.sg


Other IPC schools in Singapore that offer the International Primary Curriculum

– The Winstedt School
– Dynamic International School
– Overseas Family School
– Middleton International School
– St. Joseph’s Institution International Elementary School


Want to know more about education in Singapore? We’ve got you covered with these informative reads: 

This article contains paid partnership content. Information References: Which School Advisor, Calgary Preschools Lead image: Getty Images

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