What are the top 4 curricula offered by secondary schools in Singapore?

Deepa Chandrasekaran
May 21, 2021
Education Tips

Globalisation has not only changed the face of business industries but it has also changed the education industry. What we learn is no longer limited to the borders of our nation. To succeed in the global market, learning has become a dynamic and continuous process. Disruptive innovation has created a demand for an education system that focuses on holistic development of the students and not just academic excellence. This is the reason why international curricula are taught across the borders.


 Education system in Singapore is considered as one of the best. There are a plethora of options available when it comes to choosing an international school in Singapore. Apart from some common factors like location, cost, facilities and language that parents usually weigh in while finalising a school, there is an extensive list of curricula that has to be considered too. These options might feel intimidating while choosing a school for your child. It is important to understand these curricula and their benefits before you make the final decision. 


Here is a list of curricula offered by top schools in Singapore 


International Baccalaureate

Overview: International Baccalaureate (IB) was founded in 1968, with an aim to provide international education to students across the globe. It is a challenging program which is focused on developing academic, personal, emotional, and social skills of the students.It is the most widely offered curriculum in Singapore. IB is highly recognised by high ranking universities, leading to better chances of students availing scholarships and admission in these prestigious universities. 


International schools in Singapore offer International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP). It runs for a duration of five years, teaching kids conceptualisation which helps them in understanding practical connections between theory and reality. Its main emphasis is on intellectual growth of students by encouraging them to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. The PYP consists of eight subjects: language acquisition, language and literature, individuals and societies, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical and health education, and design.


Unique Benefits

● Encourages students of all ages to consider both local and global context

● Develops multilingual students

● Incorporates best practices found in research from global community of schools



Overview: The  International General Certificate of Secondary Education,  based on british curriculum (IGCSE) was formed in 1988. It is an application and content based programme designed to prepare students for higher studies regardless of which country they are in. The curriculum offers nine subjects including English Language, Mathematics, Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics), History, Geography, Business Studies, German, English Literature and Information Technology. So in terms of content knowledge, the Cambridge IGCSE lays a strong foundation for higher studies including IB Diploma.


Unique Benefits

● Gives experience in taking examinations in a time tested setting

● IGCSE is recognised by many universities in the UK and Europe

● Assessment held at year end


Central Board Of Secondary Education (CBSE) 

Overview: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) was established in 1962, as a national level board by the Ministry of Education and is provided by many secondary schools in Singapore. The world famous pedagogy is based on a continuous and comprehensive evaluation system. It offers a holistic cbse curriculum which stresses on not only academic development of its students but also on extracurricular activities and sports, ensuring overall development of the students. Subjects offered by CBSE are language-1 English, language - 2 Hindi/Tamil /French, language - 3 Hindi/Sanskrit/Tamil, Mathematics, Science, Social Science, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Physical And Health Education and Information And Communication Technology.


Unique Benefits:

● Takes away undue pressure of exams as students appear only in one paper

● Makes a strong foundation for entrance exams

● Easy relocation specially across India


Montessori Program

Overview:  This program is based on findings of Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952). She designed a child centric curriculum which focuses on individual learning styles and needs of the students. This program advocates giving an optimal learning environment to the children while covering five imperative learning areas, which are; Culture, language, practical life, mathematics and sensorial. So, it aims to not only develop cognitive, expressive and motor skills but also to inculcate a sense of social responsibility, cultural awareness and environmental consciousness. It emphasises on gaining fluency in language by listening, speaking, reading and writing. It promotes thematic learning methodology and also recognises playing as an essential part of physical, social, emotional and cognitive development.


Unique Benefits:

● Helps create love for self learning

● Every student decides their learning pace

● Fosters independence

● Encourages empathy


Global Indian International School is amongst the top schools following more than one curriculum to provide our students freedom to choose their learning journey. Keeping in mind the future opportunities that will open up for the child after studying an international curriculum, parents can take the next step of visiting the schools. Afterall, there is nothing more reassuring than seeing for yourself the campus and facilities provided for students.


Deepa Chandrasekaran

Ms. Deepa Chandrasekaran is a highly-qualified and experienced teacher at GIIS Singapore since 2007. With more than 9 years of experience as the IBDP coordinator at GIIS, Ms. Deepa is well-versed with the IB Diploma curriculum, subject-selection counselling, examinations, teacher orientation and training. She teaches Higher Level and Standard Level Economics in the DP, and is passionate about creating a stimulating learning environment for DP students.

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