You must have heard the letters “IB” thrown around when it comes to the overwhelming subject of choosing an education for your kid. They often appear with other mysterious combos of letters: PYP, MYP, DP, CP. One of the most important tasks we have here at Little Steps is keeping you in the know about the ever-expanding possibilities of modern education. So, as the IB ( International Baccalaureate) number of fully-formed, amazing human beings that leave IB World schools continues to increase, we are stepping in as the teacher who’s come to tell you about those abbreviations packed with significance for your little human’s future. Here come the basics and resources for further reading on the IB curriculum in Singapore and the best IB schools in Singapore too.
In a country where educational excellence is not scarce, choosing the right school for your child could be daunting. According to PISA (Programme for International School Assessment), Singapore has the highest performance in international education. And the IB scores of the country’s students support this claim.
Singapore’s IB Achievement
The country’s IBDP average score is higher than the global average at 37.69 points. Though only 59 students got a perfect score of 45, the passing rate is 97.9%, and 42.8% got at least 40 points. Truly not bad for the country that invented Singapore Math.
What are the Things to Consider When Choosing an IB School in Singapore?
Aside from proximity and location, another factor to consider in choosing an IB school for your child would be your child’s age. Not all IB schools in Singapore offer PYP (primary years, ages 3 to 12), some only start at MYP (middle school, ages 11 to 16), while others only have DP (Diploma Program) and CP (Career-related Program). Currently, there is only one school in Singapore that offers all four programs.
A Few Key Notes About IB Schools In Singapore:
So, let's get factual. The International Baccalaureate (IB) consists of 4 programs of international education covering learners aged 3-19. All levels are built on IB's core values of holism and sustainability, a winning combination when you are on a mission to change the world at large in the best way possible—through cherishing children's inherent curiosity and openness and turning it into the knowledge of how to navigate and embrace the life-long process of learning, appreciate and understand the beauty of the world's diversity and complexity, be proactively kind to others and our planet, form communities and grow as individuals. The organization develops its educational programmes and assessment systems in partnership with schools, obviously, but also governments and international organizations. Programmes are flexible in terms of catering to local differences and recognizing different contexts and circumstances into which their curriculum is employed, yet at the same time serve as the ultimate springboard for catapulting their learners into the possibilities of studying at prestigious universities abroad.
Across the world and across its 4 programmes, IB never puts kids in boxes, but shows them all the different kinds of boxes there are and lets them play, explore, think for themselves and maybe create their own, unique boxes too. They are informative, not definitive, and this is why they bring out the best in their learners of all ages—because authenticity is a necessary condition of true, sustainable, beneficial excellence and advocacy.
IB Curriculum, Click here for lots of great information.
The IB Primary Years Program is designed for kids 3-12. It views learners, teachers and parents as a community which between them share unique sets of knowledge and strengthens each others' motivation, enthusiasm for education and love for the world we live in. The curriculum is challenging and rigorous, but also singularly engaging and relative. Kids take responsibility for their own learning process, discover their personal values and learn ways to approach and navigate the unpredictability of the global world.
Primary Years IB Curriculum (PYP), Read more detailed info about the curriculum, teaching techniques and principles & practices of assessment of the IB PYP programme here.
The Middle Years Program is meant for students aged 11-16 and builds upon the skills and attitudes gained through the IB PYP, while preparing students for the rigorousness of the following stages of IB education. It transcends the classroom's 4 walls by pairing the students' informed knowledge with a chance to try it out in practice. You don't have to be an education expert to know that the conditions of the real world are the most challenging of teachers. As they learn by doing, they intensify their hunger for intellectual expansion and exploration, but also learn humbleness, responsibility, to reflect and to learn from their mistakes!
Middle Years IB Curriculum (MYP), Read more detailed info about the curriculum, teaching techniques and principles & practices of assessment of the IB PYP programme here.
The Diploma Program enables young, exceptional humans aged 16-19 to dig deeper and deeper into the knowledge the world has to offer, develop their being on all levels—physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically, study at least two languages and participate in the unique theory of knowledge course, which goes all meta on them and prepares them for further ventures into academic excellence by teaching them, implicitly and through practice, how to organize that slippery time and those bulky workloads. They also expand their capacity for awesomeness by completing independent research and undertaking a (community) project!
Diploma Program (DP), Read more detailed info about the curriculum, teaching techniques and principles & practices of assessment of the IB PYP programme here.
IB decided to be even more specific and offered a separate programme for those focusing on career-related education. The CP is a bit less meta, even more, practical and prepares students perfectly for apprenticeships, employment and higher education too. The programme offers chances for meaningful, practical achievements, invaluable collaborations, self-direction and infinitely more. It combines courses from the Diploma Programme with a CP core, which provides them with a special entrepreneurial twist!
Career-Related Programme (CP), Read more detailed info about the curriculum, teaching techniques and principles & practices of assessment of the IB PYP programme here.
Formerly called GEMS World Academy (Singapore), this is the only IB school in Singapore that offers PYP, MYP, DP, and CP. The words 'World Academy' says it all - the school has a personalized and well-rounded international education. They achieved an average IB score of 35 points, with 20% of the test takers getting a score of 40 and above. A bilingual program for non-Mandarin speakers is available and is done in conjunction with the IB curriculum. To aid this, they also have small classes and a low student-to-teacher ratio. The students' well-being is looked after through pastoral care, learning support, and counseling. They have a performance athlete academy where they develop the rising talents of students who have shown exemplary skills in a particular sport. Facilities include a 50-meter Olympic size swimming pool, an all-weather football/rugby pitch, a 15-meter high rock climbing wall, a 750-seat state-of-the-art auditorium, to name a few.
XCL World Academy, 2 Yishun Street 42, Singapore 768039, +65 6871 8809, https://www.xwa.edu.sg
Canadian International School has two campuses in Singapore. The Lakeside campus hosts students aged 2 to 18, and their Tanjong Katong campus caters to students aged 3 to 12. They offer PYP, MYP, and DP. Their IB pass rate is 100%, with an average score of 38. Adjusting to the school's curriculum is possible with their CIS Foundation program. If your child is a beginning English speaker and is entering the school within grades 5 to 8, they will enter a one-year program to get them up to speed. There are also two language pathways to choose from, English or bilingual (with the option of Chinese or French). Outdoor learning is also emphasized, and the campus has its dedicated STEAM makerspaces, a digital recording studio, and a multi-story library. The school is also a member of the Athletic Conference of Singapore International Schools (ACSIS).
Canadian International School, Lakeside Campus, 7 Jurong West Street 41 Singapore 649414, +65 6467 1732, https://www.cis.edu.sg/
Offering PYP, MYP, and DP, Chatsworth's arts program has been recognized as one of the best in the country. But they don’t just excel in arts. They have a service-learning program, which coincides with their goal of community-based, yet internationally-minded learning. There are five language pathways for MYP, which can include Japanese, French, or Chinese, a Mother Tongue program, and three pathways for DP. They have a full 1:1 laptop program from Year 3 to 13, utilizing an award-winning ePortfolio. Beyond-the-classroom trips are also a highlight for the students. In the primary years, they have residential trips or camps, while secondary students have Curriculum Enhancement Week (CEW).
Chatsworth International School, Singapore, 72 Bukit Tinggi Road, Singapore 289760, +65 6463 3201, https://www.chatsworth.com.sg/
Not only is the German European School offering IB programs (PYP, MYP, and DP), they are also accredited to offer a German curriculum (from ages 2 to 18). This is why German is offered as a language pathway from grades 1 to 12, French and Spanish from grades 6 to 12, Latin from grades 6 to 10, and other mother tongue languages from grades 1 to 5. The backdrop of the campus is the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and sets the tone of the student's journey. Their GESS Center for Excellence works in partnership with teachers and parents in identifying high-potential students. Under this, they have STEM, Humanities and Social Sciences, Sports, and Languages. Weekend clubs and holiday camps are a part of producing well-rounded students.
German European School Singapore, 2 Dairy Farm Lane, Singapore 677621, +65 6461 0801, https://www.gess.sg/
Another school that offers PYP, MYP, and DP, ISS prides in bespoke education through the delivery of their programs. They offer a boarding school program, and houses their students (aged 12 and up) in Oldham Hall, around 20 minutes away from campus. The boarding house has a gym and swimming pool, study rooms, and everything else that you might need. This is also helpful in case parents need to leave the country for a short period. The school offers various extra-curricular and after-school activities, and their arts program includes outdoor concerts, jungle sketching sessions - to name a few. Another great thing about them is their ISS Discovery School Program. This is done outside of the campus and is geared towards learning more about Language, STEM, Arts, and Sports. Not that the campus is lacking, it's located within Southern Ridges Park.
International School Singapore, 21 Preston Road, Singapore 109355, +65 6475 4188, http://www.iss.edu.sg/
Also offering PYP, MYP, and DP, the school integrates these IB programs with US Standards, plus College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) courses. They are a part of the global Cognita family of schools, of which only two are located in Singapore. Offering three different curricula for High School students - the AP, the IB DP, and the Business and Technical Education Council (BTEC) Diploma makes them unique in the country. The students also have the option to get a US-accredited High School Diploma (if certain subjects were taken). They also offer a boarding school program in Oldham Hall and a rigorous athletics program. The early year program is in a separate campus, called the Early Learning Village, which is shared with the Australian International School, the other member of the Cognita family of schools. Facilities include a golf arena, an innovation center (that serves as a maker space), a parent cafe, to name a few.
Stamford American International School, +65 6602 7247, email@example.com, https://www.sais.edu.sg/
Woodleigh Campus, 1 Woodleigh Lane (Off Upper Serangoon Road), Singapore 357684
Early Learning Village, 3 Chuan Lane, Gate 4, Singapore 554350
EtonHouse has a great presence with over 120 schools in 11 countries in Asia, they revolutionized early years teaching with their inquiry-based pedagogy, inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. They offer PYP and DP, plus the Cambridge-approved International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) qualification. Utilizing the environment is an important aspect of their inquiry-based approach. The Orchard campus was designed by the students, with areas like a boardroom for presentations and a campfire for brainstorming, a pizza, a treetop, to name a few. Mandarin is offered from preschool to high school and also EAL (English as an Additional Language), Japanese (primary), and Spanish (secondary).
EtonHouse International School Orchard, 10 Tanglin Road, S247908, +65 6513 1155, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.etonhouse.edu.sg/school/orchard/
With a DP and CP offering, students aged 13 to 18, who chose to pursue their studies in SOTA, will undergo a six-year integrated art and academic curriculum. Though it is an art school, students are developed holistically, ensuring that the academic curriculum runs parallel to the arts specializations. Their specializations are Dance, Film, Literary Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts. The integrated arts program is unique to this school, and the institution is under the wing of the Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth (MCCY). The campus is also a work of art, it is located at the gateway of the arts and heritage district of Singapore. And you will find all the necessary art facilities, from an electronic music library to sculpture rooms, an orchestral rehearsal studio to science laboratories.
School of the Arts Singapore, 1 Zubir Said Drive, Administration Office #05-01, Singapore 227968, +65 6338 9663, https://www.sota.edu.sg/
Sharing the early years village with Stamford American International School, both institutions are members of the Cognita family of schools. Offering PYP and DP, they accept children from as young as infants (in their infant care pod) to 18 years. If your child loves the outdoors, or perhaps, you would like them to do so, the AIS Outdoor Education Program is for you. Starting from age 3, your child is exposed to the woodlands surrounding the school. And by Year 4, they will be exploring other countries like Malaysia and Thailand. Positive education is another concept that is unique to the school that they describe as schooling for the mind and the heart.
Australian International School, 1 Lorong Chuan Singapore 556 818, +65 6517 0247, https://www.ais.com.sg/
Early Learning Village, 3 Chuan Lane, Gate 4, Singapore 554350
With the MYP and DP program available under their IB program, the Overseas Family School offers the International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC) for Pre-K1 (2 years old) and K2 and the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) from Grades 1 to 5. Their Mother Tongue program allows children to continuously study in their native language for four sessions per week, from Pre-K2 to Middle School. Languages available in this program are the following: Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. The Model United Nations (MUN) is a part of the curriculum from Grades 4 - 8, and the MUN ECA for Grades 9 -12. Their Intellectual Development Program is comprised of intense chess training for K2 to Grade 5 and math coding for kindergarteners to 8th grade.
Overseas Family School, 81 Pasir Ris Heights, Singapore 519292, +65 6738 0211, https://www.ofs.edu.sg/
Australian International School Pte Ltd - PYP, DP
Canadian International School, Lakeside Campus - PYP, MYP, DP
Chatsworth International School, Singapore - PYP, MYP, DP
EtonHouse International School Orchard - PYP, DP
XCL World Academy - PYP, MYP, DP
German European School Singapore - PYP, MYP, DP
Hillside World Academy - PYP, MYP, DP
ISS International School Singapore - PYP, MYP, DP
Nexus International School (Singapore) - PYP, DP
One World International School - PYP, DP
Overseas Family School - MYP, DP
School of the Arts, Singapore - PYP, DP
Stamford American International School - PYP, MYP, DP
Tanglin Trust School - DP