Nurturing holistic excellence through academics and extracurriculars

Shubhdarshani Mitra
May 3, 2024
Learning, School

Holistic excellence among students involves nurturing of varied skill sets that will benefit them in different spheres of life, at present and in future. To be able to thrive in today’s ever-changing world, one needs to have deep knowledge rooted in key 21st century skills, like critical thinking along with soft skills like effective communication. Moreover, a passion beyond academics, such as sports, helps students develop resilience and leadership skills. 

Academic excellence involves not just subject matter knowledge but a learning environment that focusses on developing important skills like critical thinking, creativity, innovation skills, and problem solving. Extracurricular excellence is more than about following a passion outside the classroom – it’s about good leadership, team skills and building resilience in the face of challenges.

At Global Indian International School (GIIS), Singapore the commitment to fostering excellence is ingrained in its curriculum offerings and the wide array of extracurricular opportunities available to students. Our 9GEMS educational framework focuses on various aspects of student learning, which includes academic excellence, sports, visual and performing arts, personality development, innovation and creativity, entrepreneurship and leadership, universal values and ethics, community and care, and skills development.

Here we talk about how GIIS drives holistic excellence through its curriculum, and enriching student experiences through extracurricular activities.

Diverse range of curricula choices

As an all-through school, GIIS offers a complete international curriculum, catering to students from preschool to secondary school levels, from ages 3 to 18. From the globally-recognised IB programmes, such as IB PYP - Early Years (EY), Primary Years Programme (PYP), and the IB Diploma Programme] to the esteemed Cambridge curriculum, and the popular Indian CBSE curriculum — our students have access to high-quality education that aligns with international standards.

For our youngest learners, aged 3 to 5, the Global Montessori Plus (GMP) preschool programme provides a nurturing and caring environment. Rooted in Montessori principles and supplemented with modern pedagogical approaches, the programme  focuses on listening, speaking, reading and writing, numeracy skills, thematic learning, play, community care and STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, arts and math) activities. 

Our IB PYP - Early Years (EY), to be launched from July 2024 for ages 3 to 6 is a play-based curriculum that aims to build curiosity, creativity and confidence among students. As students transition through the primary years, the IB Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) – the curriculum framework and outcomes — empowers them to become active participants in their own learning journey. Through transdisciplinary, inquiry-based learning and critical thinking, our PYP students develop a solid understanding of concepts and cultivate essential skills required in the modern world.

“PYP teachers encourage their students to practise self-learning, and also do research. It’s not a one-way communication, rather it’s a two-way communication between the teachers and students. And that’s what as parents, my wife and I liked about PYP,” said Norito Yonezawa, parent of Rihito.

For students in grades 6 to 10, GIIS offers the Cambridge Lower Secondary Programme (CLSP) followed by the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). Cambridge curriculum not only provides a rigorous academic foundation but also emphasises practical skills and global perspectives, preparing students for success in an increasingly interconnected world.


Also read: IBDP: Advantage as a pre-university programme for secondary school students

Outstanding results and university placements

At the secondary level, the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) offers a comprehensive curriculum that fosters intellectual, social and emotional growth. As a pre-university programme known for its rigour and strong emphasis on research, IBDP helps students develop diverse thinking skills, communication, social skills, and more.

GIIS has offered IBDP for over 18 years now, and our students have consistently excelled  academically with placements in top global universities. With 104 IBDP World Toppers and Near-Perfect Scorers till date, 250 of our graduates have been placed in Top 20 universities, globally, including Oxford, Imperial, UCL, NUS, and more.

In 2024, GIIS students have received 121 offers from prestigious global universities in the top 50 universities worldwide till date, including 4 conditional offers from the University of Oxford

The CBSE curriculum advantage 

Apart from the international curricula choices, GIIS students have access to the Indian central board curriculum, CBSE. A standardised curriculum offered from Grades 1 through 12, CBSE gives students the opportunity to maintain a seamless academic experience as opposed to adapting to a new curriculum with every move. The CBSE has striven to improve and update the curriculum, since its inception. An exceptionally well-developed curriculum, it is consistently examined and revised to remain pertinent with the times. Over the years, our CBSE graduates have done well in exams with placements in top global universities.

The school's career counselling department provides personalised support to students, guiding them through university applications and preparing them for future endeavours.

GIIS students at the sports field

Leadership roles and opportunities

Beyond academics, GIIS offers a wide range of extracurricular activities, including sports, community service initiatives, and leadership opportunities, enriching students' overall educational experience. 

At GIIS, secondary school fosters robust leadership development through various avenues such as student council roles, head boy/girl positions, and leadership in student-led clubs. These experiences emphasise empathy, kindness, and active authority, preparing students for positive impact in their communities. 

“For the Ignite International Inter-School Entrepreneurship Challenge, I worked with a team to introduce an app named Unic to connect university students and make them feel more comfortable living abroad. I had the opportunity to design our presentation and worked with a great team who put in a lot of effort at each step of the competition. I was also able to improve my marketing and public speaking skills during this time,” said Akshaya Singh, IBDP 2023 graduate.

Student-led clubs cover diverse topics and encourage sustainability initiatives, while school events like the Leadership Lecture Series and Model United Nations offer platforms for engagement. 

Through rigorous academic programmes, workshops and extracurricular activities, GIIS students are empowered for success in a dynamic world. With a focus on holistic development and lifelong learning, GIIS empowers students to become global citizens and leaders of tomorrow. If you are keen to know more about GIIS and its various curricula offerings, please contact our admissions team.

Shubhdarshani Mitra

Shubhdarshani has over 10 years of experience in content creation, curation and editing. She has worked for Indian newspapers, school magazines and international news websites where she worked closely with the leadership on the execution and communication of the content strategy. Aside from work, she’s a passionate B&W photographer and storyteller.

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