With so many great international schools in Singapore, we know how difficult it is to choose the right one for your child. Choosing the right school becomes a little easier, however, when you know more about what your child will be learning. Find out more about the international school curriculums on offer at these eight schools in Singapore. We hope it helps with your decision-making!
Singapore American School
Singapore American School (SAS) is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and delivers an American education to around 4,000 students from preschool to twelfth grade. STEVE MEADE, Executive Director of Curriculum and Assessment, explains the school’s commitment to a culture of excellence, extraordinary care and possibilities.
“Firstly, excellence: our standards-based curriculum furthers our mission to cultivate exceptional thinkers prepared for the future. SAS students consistently outperform their peers around the world in Advanced Placement (AP), SAT, MAP and ACT (American College Test) tests. Extraordinary care is the second factor that sets us apart. Social and emotional learning opportunities are built into the SAS curriculum from preschool to twelfth grade, because students perform best when they feel known, heard and understood.
“Lastly, SAS offers a world of possibilities for students to explore. We offer one of the largest AP programs outside of the United States and have now moved into more personalised pathways. For example, High School students are able to go beyond simply taking college-level courses. They are constructing experiments that have been sent to the International Space Station, writing peer-reviewed essays published in professional collections, creating and running sustainable businesses, and more.”
Canadian International School
CIS offers the International Bacclaureate (IB) to students aged from Nursery (2.5 years) up to Grade 12 through the Primary Years Program (PYP), Middle Years Program (MYP) and IB Diploma Programme. KEITH BLAND, Deputy Head of School (Curriculum) outlines three important aspects of the curriculum offering.
“CIS’s pioneering Chinese-English bilingual programme is often cited as one of the key features that make our school so special. It’s fully aligned with the IB PYP and available to students in junior kindergarten to Grade 6, and considered by many language experts to be one of the best in the region.
“Another special feature is our STEAM (science, technology, entrepreneurship, arts and mathematics) programme. Delivered in purposely designed spaces such as our STEAM Makerspace and Outdoor Discovery Centres, it’s designed to teach students to make connections between each STEAM discipline and develop essential skills, including critical thinking and creativity, crucial for success in the 21st century.
“Finally, at the very heart of all our teaching is our fundamental commitment to ensure all learning experiences, no matter the subject, are exciting, relevant and engaging. This motivates our students to strive, question, excel and achieve their full potential as well as develop an active interest in wanting to explore and learn more.”
GEMS World Academy (Singapore)
GEMS World Academy (Singapore) is an authorised IB World School for the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and IB Diploma (DP). It’s also a candidate school for the IB Career-related Programme (CP) and offers the Cambridge IGCSE at Grade 10.
Head of School, RICHARD HENRY, says GEMS(Singapore) offers holistic, inquiry-driven learning that develops students’ academic outcomes, nurtures core human values and builds real-life skills.
“We are one of the few truly international schools authorised to offer the full IB continuum of education. It’s my aspiration that our students are enabled to have the capacity to design the future
“We’re driven to create an environment in which creative, entrepreneurial and innovative skills are the foundations of the taught curriculum. To do this, we are developing programmes that focus on key elements that underpin much of the spirit of being an innovator, artist or an entrepreneur.
“We have embarked on strategic partnerships with organisations like the Create Lab Research team at Carnegie-Melon University based in Pittsburgh, USA, and an EduTech Accelerator organisation from xEdu, Finland. These collaborations help us to design our curriculum and utilise the latest technologies in a way that best meets the future needs of our students.”
2 Yishun Street 42 | 6808 7300 | gwa.edu.sg
Tanglin Trust School
Tanglin Trust School offers a British-based curriculum with an international perspective. MICHAEL ROBERTS, Assistant Headteacher of the Senior School, explains what sets the school apart.
“At Tanglin, our curriculum continually evolves in response to a changing world and we offer choices that reflect our desire to produce ‘international citizens’ who will thrive anywhere.
“One example is the opportunity to study either A Levels or the IB Diploma in the Sixth Form. Another is the ‘mother tongue’ programme, where students with a home language in addition to English are able to enhance their communication skills in partnership with specialist first-language teachers.
“The most recent curriculum initiative is the exciting introduction of Design and Technology, where students get the chance to use facilities comparable to those in the workplace. With a design suite, workshop, CAD area and a CAM ‘maker space’ they can design, create and solve problems through manual or digital means, or a combination of both. These are all part of our overall aim to provide learning opportunities that develop the ‘whole person’ as effective preparation for the responsibilities, experiences and opportunities of life ahead.”
95 Portsdown Road | 6770 3480 | tts.edu.sg
Marlborough College Malaysia
Students from Reception to Year 13 at Marlborough experience the British curriculum and benefit from 175 years of educational experience. CLAIRE BRIDGMAN, IB Co-ordinator at MCM explains three highlights of the Sixth Form experience; something to keep in mind if your child is entering Senior School in coming years.
“Our results speak for themselves. Excellent IB Diploma Programme results in 2016 and 2017, from a non-selective cohort averaging 35 points compared to the world average of 29 points and the Asia average of 33 points, meant our students gained places at many great universities. What’s more, our IB Diploma programme is designed to prepare students for the demands of higher education and the increasingly competitive world of work.”
“Marlborough’s boarding expertise helps pupils prepare for life in university, to acquire soft skills and independent study habits, and engage in the extra-curricular activities that help with university applications. Students gain experience at formal dinners organised by each boarding house and take part in conversations with teachers outside of formal academic lessons – this helps strengthen skills that assist with Oxbridge interviews. The College has a uniquely close-knit community which is also diverse and where each student is known well and benefits from the small student to teacher ratio.
“The wider curriculum offers many opportunities for leadership roles for Sixth Form students such as house captains, school prefects and committee members. There are weekly Sixth Form-only assemblies that offer guidance and support tailored to pupils’ specific needs, while a programme of extra-curricular activities ensures pupils leave the College with a broad and balanced experience.”
Jalan Marlborough, Iskandar Puteri, Johor, Malaysia | +60 7 560 2200 | marlboroughcollegemalaysia.org
GESS offers Preschool education, the full IB curriculum and German curriculum for students from 18 months to 18 years. Head of the school’s European Section, EVA NOORDUJIN, explains the schools three distinct strengths.
“GESS has a strong focus on languages through support of mother tongue and family languages. For example, Danish and Dutch classes are integrated into the school day in both the primary and secondary schools. All students in the IB section get to learn German from Preschool to Grade 10, with the option to continue and attain the Deutsches Sprachdiplom (German Language Diploma), which opens doors to world-class German universities. All students are also required to study three languages from ages 11 to 16.
“The choice and breadth of curriculum offerings means families can choose to educate their children in German or English and pick from a wide range of subjects in the secondary school – for example, Religion, Ethics, Business Management, Sports Education and Health Science, and Design Technology at the IB Diploma Programme level in the European section.
“Finally, GESS is regularly inspected by the IB, the Council of International Schools and the German Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA), thus guaranteeing quality learning for your child.”
72 Bukit Tinggi Road (Kindergarten and Secondary School) | 6461 0881 | gess.sg
300 Jalan Jurong Kechil (Pre-Primary and Primary School) | 6461 0881 | gess.sg
Stamford American International School
MARIA ROXAS, Middle School Language and Literature teacher, brings the Stamford curriculum to life each day for her students. As a bilingual, caring global citizen she is also role model to students who pursues her own learning through a Master of Arts in Education, Language and Literacy while supporting high quality learning for her multicultural students. Stamford grows people through embracing diversity, inquiry and joy in learning.
“At Stamford, we know that learning begins by making connections to students’ backgrounds and interests within a caring community of learners. It is within this space that learners are engaged and empowered to explore and develop the skills and mindset that undergird success at Stamford and beyond. Stamford provides a rich academic curriculum rooted in American standards within the International Baccalaureate (IB) framework. As an IB World school, we offer the full IB Programme, which is aligned to U.S. AERO (American Education Reaches Out) standards. Students have the choice of multiple pathways to graduation aligned to their capabilities, interests and ambitions and have the opportunity to choose from 20 AP Courses and over 40 IB courses.”
Australian International School
AIS is the only international school in Singapore to offer both the IB curriculum and the Australian HSC. This means students can choose the pathway that best suits their learning style and future ambitions. Head of School ANDRE CASSON explains more. “Academic excellence, endowing global citizenship and the ability to make choices are central to the curriculum structure at AIS. True to its ‘globally focused, distinctly Australian’ ethos, all students from 18 months to 18 years enjoy a global education that is underpinned by the standards and content of the Australian Curriculum and benchmarked against Australian national results.
“The Australian curriculum begins at Nursery through to Year 8. The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IB PYP) is also introduced from Early Years to Year 5. Years 9 and 10 see all students take the Cambridge IGCSE. Internally and externally set and assessed, the IGCSE provides excellent preparation for the senior years of schooling.
“Year 11 and 12 students can choose between the Australian Higher School Certificate (HSC) or the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP). Success in either enables a seamless progression to leading universities around the world. We also offer Vocational Education and Training (VET) for those students who wish to pursue a pathway outside of University.”
Want to know more about international schools? Read on to find out the financial nitty-gritty of sending your child to an international school.