The internationally recognized curricula are International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGSCE) curriculum, International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and National Curriculum. IB is a globally recognised certificate course that infuses a high academic standard for students. It places greater emphasis on critical thinking and is used for admission to most universities globally. The IB curriculum is also used in most of the international schools in Singapore. On the other hand, IGCSE is a certificate course for international students before they take on the A-Level or International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBP) certificate. It has been adapted from the O-Level and serves as a gauge of the student’s learning ability at the end of high school.

International schools in Singapore typically offer a mixture or one of these curricula. American or British students typically look into studying the IB or IGSCE curriculum for older students. The IPC is similar to the IB Primary Years Programme and it is catered for students up to 12-year old.

Some international schools adhere to the country of origin and only focused on the national curriculum. The main benefit is the ease in which students are able to assimilate into the schools. This is due to the similar culture and study environment to the ones back in their home country.

We highlight some of the National Curriculum below:

America curriculum

The American schools implement the American Education Reaches Out (AERO) Standards – an education framework for curriculum consistency from Kindergarten (age five) to Grade 12 (age 17). The curriculum focuses on helping students achieve an aptitude for reading, writing, and math centered on equity-based learning.

At the end of Grade 12, the students will receive the American High School Diploma, and this is recognizable by the US and Canadian schools globally.

The schools offering the American curriculum are Singapore American School and Stamford American International School.

Australia curriculum

The Australian schools offer a curriculum that lasts from Foundation to Year 10 (age 15-16). The Australian curriculum encompasses a three-dimensional curriculum that focuses on Disciplinary Knowledge, General Capabilities and Cross-Curriculum Priorities.

Disciplinary Knowledge comprises of eight learning areas: English, Mathematics, Science, Health and Physical Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Technologies and Languages. General Capabilities is found in the seven learning areas: Literacy; Numeracy, Information and Communication Technology Capability; Critical and Creative Thinking; Personal and Social Capability; Intercultural Understanding; and Ethical Understanding. Lastly, Cross-Curriculum Priorities developed students in three learning areas: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures; Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia; and Sustainability.

At the end of senior school, the students will receive the Higher School Certificate.

The Australia International School offers the Australian curriculum to students.

French curriculum

The French schools are split into several stages and organized according to their age-group.

At école maternelle (until age 6), the children learn the basics of literacy, numeracy, geography, history and a foreign language such as English. Emphasis is made in French and mathematics.

Between the ages of 11 and 15, students enter collège where the curriculum offers a general education consisting of French, mathematics, history/geography, civics, biology, physics, technology, art, music, and physical education.

Above the age of 15, the students are able to enter two education paths at lycée: vocational path or general and technological path. Typically, the less academically inclined students will take the technological path, and the more academically inclined will follow the general and technological path.

At the end of senior school, the students will receive the Baccalaureat Certificate.

Lycee Francais de Singapour offers the French curriculum to students.

German curriculum

The German schools offer a curriculum that lasts from Preschool to High School (Age 18).  In Preschool (until Age 5), it is the Kindergarten stage. After Preschool, the children enter Primary school (age 6 to 10). The following subjects are taught as part of the curriculum: German, English, Mathematics, Social Studies / Science, Art, Music, Religion / Ethics and Sports and Swimming. Additional skills such as Independent Work, Cooperative Learning and Methodological Skills are taught to the students.

In Middle School (age 11 to 15), the curriculum seeks to make the educational process as open and flexible as possible for the students. At the end of Grade 8, the students attend one of three pathways: Hauptschule, Realschule, and Gymnasium. The Hauptschule (grades 5-9) teaches the same subjects with some vocational-oriented courses as the Realschule and Gymnasium, but at a slower pace. In Realschule, the focus is on the vocational aspects of the studies. In Gymnasium, the emphasis is on the academic aspects and prepares students for university study or for a dual academic and vocational credential.

At the end of High School, the students receive the German International High School Certificate, which is recognized in universities globally.

The German European School Singapore offers the German curriculum to students.

UK curriculum

The UK curriculum is organized into stages 1 to 5 (Age 18). In key stage 1 and 2, the student studies a balanced curriculum including English, maths, and science. In key stage 3 and 4, the students prepare for the UK based General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE).

In key stage 5, the students sit for the A-levels, a pre-university certificate used for university admission.

The schools offering the UK curriculum are Tanglin Trust School and The Winstedt School.