International school syllabus available in Singapore

Singapore, with its reputation as one of the world’s easiest places to do business, has attracted many professionals from all over the world to move here and establish or advance their careers. To cater to the educational needs of these professionals’ children, many international schools have been set up in Singapore.

International school curricula in Singapore

If you’ve recently moved to Singapore and are looking for an international school in Singapore for your child, then you will be pleased to know that you have over 50 schools to choose from. In addition, these schools also feature a wide range of curricula, so you can always find something that will best suit your child.As a broad overview and to help you narrow down your options, here are some of the main types of curricula on offer in Singapore’s international schools:

International Baccalaureate (IB)

One of the most established educational syllabuses worldwide, the IB programme is standardised and administered by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) in Geneva, Switzerland. 

All IB programmes are tailored to the IB learner profile, which represents 10 attributes valued by IB World Schools.

The IB programme is divided into four programmes, namely:

  • Primary Year Programme (PYP): designed for students aged 3-12, the PYP is based on six transdisciplinary themes such as ‘who we are’, ‘how the world works’ and ‘where we are in place and time’. The PYP is highly customisable to local contexts and aims to encourage inquiry-based learning within individual subjects.
  • Middle Year Programme (MYP): offered to students aged 11-16, the MYP has eight subject groups thought over a minimum of 50 hours each. The focus of the MYP is to encourage students to learn by doing, and to make connections between their studies and the real world. 
  • IB Diploma (DP): meant for students aged 16-19, the DP is made up of six subject groups as well as five core subjects: theory of knowledge, creativity, activity, service and extended essays. There are also independent research and community service projects within the curriculum. DP results are used for university admissions.
  • IB Career Programme (CP): the more vocational counterpart to the IB Diploma which includes career-related studies in addition to DP and core components. At the moment, only School of the Arts offers the CP in Singapore.

Singapore was one of the earliest adopters of the IB syllabus worldwide: the first IB school in Singapore, the United World College of South East Asia, adopted the IB Diploma in 1977. Today, there are 33 international schools in Singapore that offer one or more of the four IB programmes.

Here’s a full list of accredited schools that offer IB programmes in Singapore. 

Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)

Developed by the Cambridge Assessment International Education board, the Cambridge IGCSE is one of the most recognised qualifications for students aged 14-16 years old. 

The curriculum is one of the most flexible ones out there, offering a choice of over 70 subjects – 30 of which are languages - in various combinations. The subjects are also divided into core and extended subjects, which are designed for students with different academic abilities in mind.

Students can personalise the subjects they want to take to match individual education and career goals. Different schools in Singapore tend to offer different subject combinations, so you could probably consider choosing the school that provides the most options for your child.

As a widely-used curriculum, IGCSE is offered in 24 international schools in Singapore. Besides official material from Cambridge, study resources for IGCSE subjects, such as tuition and reference materials, are also widely available in Singapore. 

Here's' a full list of accredited schools offering Cambridge IGCSE in Singapore.

GCE Advanced Level (A-Level)

Hailing from the United Kingdom, the GCE A-Level curriculum is an established school leaving qualification, which grants students entry into universities in the UK and worldwide. 

A-Level examinations are taken during the final 2 years of high school (typically Years 11 and 12, which are equivalent to the UK sixth form). The assessments taken over each year are given different names: assessments in the first year are known as Advanced Subsidiary (AS) papers, whereas second-year assessments are known as A2 papers. In the UK version of A-Levels, AS level results don’t count towards overall A Level results.

There are over 30 subjects offered in GCE A-Level in Singapore schools, and students usually take a combination of 3-5 subjects for their final exams. Typically, students are encouraged to take the subjects closest to their choice of degree.

Some of the more well-known international schools in Singapore offering A-Levels are:

  • DPS International School
  • Insworld Institute
  • Middleton International School
  • Tanglin Trust School
  • United World College of South East Asia

International Primary Curriculum (IPC)

Designed for students aged 3-12 years old, the IPC was formulated by UK-based Fieldwork Education, which is part of the Nord Anglia Education Group. The IPC can be seen as a flexible version of the IB PYP, which enables students to adapt the curriculum into the national curriculum of different countries (especially if they move between countries often, as is the case for many expats in Singapore). 

The IPC has a skills-based approach, where specific learning, personal and international goals are set for individual subjects. Elements of research and interpersonal development are also incorporated into the IPC, which help students adapt them to different educational environments in their secondary years.

Not many schools offer the IPC in Singapore. The international schools currently offering them are:

  • Hollandse School
  • Invictus International School
  • Middleton International School
  • Overseas Family School
  • Sir Manasseh Meyer International School
  • St Joseph’s Institution International School
  • The Windstedt School

Find out more about the IPC.

National home curricula

For expats who prefer to have their children keep to their home country curriculum, there are also several international schools in Singapore that offer this option. 

American (SAT, AP, US High School Diploma)

  • International Community School
  • Singapore American School
  • Stamford American International School


  • Australian International School
  • Avondale Grammar School
  • Integrated International School
  • St Francis Methodist School

British (UK National Curriculum)

  • Dover Court International School
  • Dulwich College
  • Tanglin Trust School
  • Windstedt School

Indian (Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), CISCE)

  • Global Indian International School
  • NPS International School
  • Yuvabharathi International School


  • Singapore Korean School


  • Singapore Japanese School
  • Waseda Shibuya Senior High School


  • German European School Singapore


  • Hollandse School


  • Lycée Français de Singapour


  • Swiss School of Singapore
Disclaimer: All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about Hawksford, our services and related matters.  The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, may not be current and is subject to change without notice.   

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