Blog Parents Key Decisions International Private Schools in Singapore – Top 10 List

International Private Schools in Singapore – Top 10 List

Editor’s note: This article is an updated and improved version of the previous article ‘Top 5 Private Schools in Singapore‘.

Even though Singapore’s Public Schools are famous for their world class education and competitiveness, there is also a thriving Private education system in the country.

This is because it is difficult for foreigners and expats to get their children enrolled in Public Schools. Waiting lists are long and priorities are naturally given to Singaporean nationals and permanent residents.

Singapore Private schools are regulated under the Private Education Act and need to be registered with the Committee for Private Education (CPE) which ensures that all regulations are followed and a high education standard is maintained.

The number of Private school in Singapore has grown considerably over the year and many of them provide the very highest quality of education in a competitive environment. Like myself, you can be confused with so many choices in front of you. (For a comparison guide between international vs local schools, click here)

I know as parents, you must be anxious about your child’s education. I  have compiled a list of the 10 Best Private Schools in Singapore (not in specific order) based on their performance, history, reputation and feedback from parents whose children are already studying in the school.

Nexusmarcom. [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

1. Nexus International School Singapore (NISS)

Established: 2011
What is the Curriculum? IB, IGCSE
Details: 201 Ulu Pandan Road, Singapore 596468, +6565366566, http://www.nexus.edu.sg

With over 470,000ft2, the Nexus International School, Singapore is one of the most renowned and famous schools in the country. With such impressive facilities such as modern science & computer laboratories, it is no wonder that NISS is popular among expatriate parents.

For students who wants to get into the IB stream, NISS is widely considered one of the top private schools in Singapore and is a dream to get into.

Admission Criteria

An online placement test will be given to students to determine their other skills and they may be interviewed by the head of the school. Placement will be considered based on their educational and linguistic background.

Tuition Fees

Once your child is accepted, be prepared to pay a registration fee of $2,354 and an annual development levy which is around $1,712.

Tuition fees vary depending on the grade level, starting from $21,660 for half-day nursery students to $38,584 for Years 12 to 13. Extra fees will be collected separately for examination fees, co-curricular activities, trips, and support fees.

In-depth look at its Curriculum

Like many international schools in Singapore, NISS has two semesters that begin in August and January respectively.

Curriculum wise, NISS adheres to the IB PYP curriculum for Nursery to Year 6 students. It covers languages, math, health, music and art classes.

Years 7 to 9 follow the English National Curriculum to prepare them for their IGCSE once they hit Year 10 to 11.

Year 12 to 13 students will then be taking up their studies in preparation for their IB-DP.

Facilities

With one of the best extra-curricular facilities in Singapore (a gymnasium, swimming pool and a sports field!), students are encouraged to take up sports from an early age.

A team of educators work to constantly improve teaching practices to maintain the quality of teaching and education, you can reassure that your child is an all-rounder.

Other extra-curricular activities are also inclusive such as arts, music and community service.

Uniqueness 

NISS will be moving to a larger campus in January 2020 and it is located in Aljunied.

The new campus will have a building that would cater to 1,200 students and have facilities such as an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a beautiful 2-storey library and an auditorium. Wow!

For parents who wants their children to focus on sports, this is the international school to enrol in.

Accreditation

It is accredited by the Council of International Schools, CIE and EduTrust.

2. One World International World School

Established: 2008
What is the Curriculum? IB, CIE, IGSCE
Details: 21 Jurong West Street 81, Singapore 649075, +6569146700, http://www.owis.org

One World International School is another highly reputable International Baccalaureate (IB) world school to offer primary years education. The school is also a CIE School with approval to offer Cambridge Education programmes and IGCSE qualifications – and is considered one of the premier private primary schools in Singapore. This will ensure that your child will fit in any other schools in the world when you relocate in future.

Admission Criteria

Aspiring students of One World will need to submit their applications online. As a tip, it is better to prepare and scan all the necessary documents before you start on the online application.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees start at $17,271 per year for Kindergarten students to $19,857 for Grades 7 to 10. The fees is inclusive of uniform, textbooks and field trips for students.

Extra charges will be billed separately and it includes any extra-curricular activities the students apply for each year. Get your chequebook ready!

In-depth look at its Curriculum

The academic calendar of One World starts every August and ends in July. The curriculum follows the IB PYP flow until students reach Grade 5. After that, they will take on their studies for the Cambridge IGCSE Program.

Each class is kept to a small size, which ensures that teachers give ample attention to all the students and help them flourish with their classes. As a parent, you can be assured that your child gets enough attention from teachers.

Facilities

Facilities are also one of a kind in One World, catering to the education of their students.

Each classroom is designed to encourage cooperation and teamwork. Classrooms are also well-equipped with the latest technology that students can use and control, like interactive white-boards, computer system and other learning resources.

That makes learning interesting indeed!

There is a comprehensive Library and a Learning centre, a Multi-purpose Auditorium, specialist classes for music, art and drama and designated outdoor for sports and play, including basketball courts and swimming pool facilities.

The school even has its own Nature Forest. What a wonderful way to allow your child to be close to nature and understand its importance!

Uniqueness

English as an Additional Language classes are available for students who wish to become proficient with the language.

Aside from its academic curriculum, One World also offers other programs that would help students develop their creative interests.

For creative students, they can take up the various arts and music classes starting in their early years in the school up to middle school.

For active students, they can enjoy the extensive sports programs. Language clubs are open for students who wish to learn other languages during their free time.

Accreditation

It is recognised by the CIE Board and the Global Schools Foundation.

3. San Yu Adventist School

Established: 1907 (as Seventh-Day Adventist School), 1958 (as San Yu High School), 1999 (merger)
What is the Curriculum? GCSE
Details: 299 Thomson Road 307652 Singapore, +6562566840, http://www.syas.edu.sg

The school opened in 1998 and is run by the Seventh-day Adventist Mission Singapore.

In this short period of time, the school has quickly gained a name for itself as an excellent educational institute. The school is completely self-supported and is a branch of the Seventh-day Adventist education system.

Admission Criteria

San Yu currently accepts applications for students taking Primary 1 to 5 and Preparatory Secondary 1 to Secondary 3. The school is a great choice private if you are looking for an international secondary school in Singapore.

However, your child must also meet the admission and age requirements of the school and will be required to take a placement test and interview. For a higher success rate, you may wish to consider hiring a coach for the interview part.

Tuition Fees

If accepted, tuition fees begin at $5,900 per year for local Primary 1 to 6 students to $7,010 for the older levels. Miscellaneous fees are collected when it is applicable.

One of the most affordable international schools around, no wonder it is so popular among parents!

In-depth look at its Curriculum

The curriculum San Yu follows when it starts every August is the Singapore curriculum, which involves students to take their PSLE exams after Primary 6 and their O Levels for Secondary school.

Very much like the local Singapore schools, your child will have the best mixture of local curriculum and foreign system in San Yu.

San Yu does have several co-curricular activities that your child can explore. In the primary school level, an adventure club is available. Your child definitely can’t wait to secondary school level as sports, languages, and other interests clubs will be open up for them to join.

Facilities

The facilities of San Yu EXTREMELY extensive. They have an up-to-date science lab, computer lab, herb garden, 450-seater SYAS Chapel, a EVEN library with 7,000 different book titles!

Imagine that!

Uniqueness

Apart from basic curriculum, the school teaches discipline, spiritual life and respect for the larger community which is exactly why it has attracted children from all faiths and backgrounds despite being a Christian school.

In this aspect, I think the school definitely stands out!

Accreditation

It is accredited by AAA and EduTrust.

Attributed to https://dreamofacity.com/2012/05/10/new-urban-precincts-vi-one-north-singapore/tanglin-trust-school/

4. Tanglin Trust School

Established: 1925
What is the Curriculum? English National Curriculum, IGSCE, IB
Details: 95 Portsdown Rd, Singapore 139299, +6567780771, http://tts.edu.sg

Established back in 1925, the Tanglin Trust School provides British learning with an international perspective. The school is inspected by the British Schools Overseas (BSO) framework, recognised by the Ofsted.

The school caters to the expat community as approx. 65% of students are British passport holders. If you are coming from UK, this is the right environment for your child!

Admission Criteria

In order to enrol to the school, the student must have a good English proficiency that matches the curriculum for their level and meet student’s learning needs.

You may also be asked to provide your past work, pass a placement test and go to an interview to determine their skills. A lot of criteria to pass to get in!

Best to find a tutor brush up on your child’s English before attending the test.

Tuition Fees

When accepted, tuition fee starts from $7,616.26 to $12,649.54 per term. Be prepared to fork out a large sum throughout the education years!

In-depth look at its Curriculum

Students studying at Tanglin follows the English National Curriculum from Infant School to their senior years.

Infant school starts from ages 3 to 7 years old and the curriculum they use is the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.

Juniors, ages 7 to 11, follow Key Stage 2.

Students from ages 11 to 18 would take on Key Stages 3 to 5, before they are asked to select if they will pursue IGCSE, A Levels or IB.

Facilities

The world class facilities include separate modern buildings for infant, junior, senior and sixth form classes. The school is big enough for you to get lost in its premises!

If your child love music, you will be happy to know that the school is properly  equipped with multi-purpose assembly, music rooms, facilities for choirs and orchestras, and even a drama studio!

The school even has its own health centre with professional nurses on stand-by in every one of its buildings.

Apart from all these, the school has tennis courts, running tacks, playing fields, a swimming pool, fitness centre, outdoor chess corner, two cafes and a bakery shop.

Considering these facilities and offerings, the school simply stands out as one of the best educational institutes in the country. Very impressive indeed!

Uniqueness 

Outside the school, Tanglin offers a wide variety of opportunities for students to develop their interests and enrich their learning.

Outdoor education is always scheduled for students, bringing them overseas or in nearby areas depending on their interests.

Sports is also important in Tanglin’s curriculum, being a member of the Athletics Conference Singapore International Schools, the South East Asia Student Activity Conference and the Federation of British Schools in Asia.

In terms of the arts, students can even take part in International Schools Theatre Association’s events.

Accreditation

It is inspected and recognised by the Ofsted.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/crazyegg95/

5. Singapore American School

Established: 1956
What is the Curriculum? American
Details: 40 Woodlands Street 41, Singapore 738547, +6563633403, http://www.sas.edu.sg

Singapore American School in Woodlands is one of the country’s first international schools, starting out in 1956.  It is recognised by the Western Association of Schools, offering AP courses and the AP Capstone program for its high school students.

This recognition is important if you see your family moving to the States in the near future. With a solid history and recognition, it is no wonder their waitlist is pretty long!

Admission Criteria

Students who wish to apply for SAS can submit their application online and must meet the guidelines required for students to be considered.

Grade placement of students vary depending on the student’s educational background and their age, with a possible placement test required to determine their actual level.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees start at $21,334 for preschool students and go up to $34,050 for high school students. Additional costs are billed to parents for extra learning materials and examinations.

Parents will have to dig deep into their pockets for this school. Their school fees aren’t cheap!

In-depth look at its Curriculum

The curriculum of SAS is based on the recommendations of American associations and its standards-based. All the subjects are refined to ensure that students are regularly challenged and supported by their teachers.

Seven skills are also focused upon by this curriculum, which begins in the student’s knowledge, cultural awareness, character, communication, creativity and their capacity to work with others.

Facilities

SAS also boast a very large campus, spanning 36 acres. It has 3 cafeterias, libraries, swimming pools and auditoriums. Very extensive!

It also has a rock-climbing area for students who wish to learn rock climbing. There is also a 1,000-seater stadium for school events and gatherings.

Specialised art wings are also available for various visual arts. The school also has its own natural forest and a high ropes course to bring on the adventure spirit in your child.

Uniqueness

SAS also has extensive athletics and extra-curricular curriculum that ensures students are well-balanced with their studies. One of the uniqueness of SAS, American football is offered for those interested to take part in the sport.

Meanwhile, the school also has a wide variety of special interest clubs and organisations: from arts, languages, technology, culture to politics. Community service is also open for students

Accreditation

It is recognised by the Western Association of Schools.

6. Australian International School

Established: 1993
What is the Curriculum? IGSCE, IB, HSC
Details: 1 Lorong Chuan Singapore 556 818, +6565170247,
http://www.ais.com.sg

Established in 1993, the Australian International School offers IGCSE, IB and HSC programs whilst introducing Australian values to its students.

Admission Criteria

Students as young as 2 months old (for their Infant School) to 18 years old can apply at AIS. They can submit their applications online and pay the non-refundable application fee. Be warned, the waiting list is long.

Aside from their educational history and other records, they may be asked to fill in examinations and be interviewed.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees begin at $14,832 per year for Nursery students to $42,432 for Secondary School. An additional fee will be charged for English and Intensive Language courses.

Additional fees will be charged separately depending on the activities set by the student, and the number of exams they sit in once they reach Year 10 and 12.

In-depth look at its Curriculum

Afraid to be be stressed out? Their curriculum varies per year level to ensure students that they are educated without feeling overwhelm by their school work.

Students from 2 months to 6 years old would follow the Early Years Program that enables them to explore the world around them and discover their interests. If your family is bilingual or trilingual, you will be pleased to find out that other choice languages is also taught to students ages 2 to 11 years old.

All students are required to take the NAPLAN examinations once they reach Elementary level.

Years 9 and 10 students will be scheduled to take the Cambridge IGCSE exams while Year 12 students can either study for an Australian Higher School Certificate or the IB Diploma.

Facilities

To assist students to learn more about their subjects and help them apply their skills, AIS has world-class facilities and perks available. That includes an extensive library, an outdoor field and play areas. Overall, well thought out facilities for your child’s well being!

Uniqueness

AIS students participate in the 1:1 iPad and laptop program to keep up with their school work.

For co-curricular activities, students from Year 2 to 12 can select the programs they wish to study on and it includes sports, languages, arts, music and technology. Students can even take part in various community service programs in the country.

Students who wish to apply for boarding, ACS Oldham Hall is open for AIS students. If you are unable to come to Singapore with your child at the same time, ACS boarding hostel is a wonderful environment to have your child grow up in.

Accreditation

It is recognised as an IB World School and by organisations such as the Association of International School, EduTrust, NSW Board of Studies and Cambridge.

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20737773

7. United World College of South East Asia

Established: 1971
What is the Curriculum? IGSCE, IB
Details: (Dover) 1207 Dover Road, Singapore 139654, +6567755344
(East Campus) 1 Tampines Street 73, Singapore 528704, +6563055344
http://www.uwcsea.edu.sg

United World College of South East Asia can be considered one of Singapore’s oldest international schools as it was opened in 1971. It is both a day and boarding school offering IGCSE and IB Diploma.

Admission Criteria

UWCSEA accepts students from the age of 4 to 19. Reviewed based on their personality, interests, experience, age and potential, your child will be required to take an eligibility examination or be scheduled for an interview.

It is better to be well prepared for their exams as it is known that UWCSEA has strict requirements.

Tuition Fees

If your child is considered, be prepared to pay a one-time payment of $4,900 to secure a place. Tuition fees are collected for all three terms and are often collected a term in advance so don’t get caught off-guard.

Tuition fee also varies depending on the grade level of the student. Additional fees such as field trips, and course materials are billed separately.

In-depth look at its Curriculum

UWCSEA has three terms, which begins every August, January and April respectively.

Primary students until Grade 8 will adhere to the UWCSEA curriculum, which the students can get a holistic and values-based education that would not just focus on academics, but also in community service and personal development.

Once they reach Grade 9 to 10, they will follow the IGCSE curriculum and a Foundation IB programme.

Grades 11 and 12 will be following the IB Diploma curriculum.

Facilities

Both the Dover and East Campus have a spacious campus that adheres to sustainability and universal designs. It is also purpose-built to fit the needs of its students.

Uniqueness

Several non-academic activities are offered for UWCSEA students and they are offered starting Grade 2 and up. These activities include arts, leadership, sports, and other interest clubs.

Outdoor education is also offered to students from Grade 1 to 12 to help them work with others, supported by the campus facilities installed in Dover and Tampines.

Compulsory trips are also included for these students. The school even offers special programmes like the Global Concerns Project, Initiative for Peace and Gap Year Programme.

Accreditation

It is accredited by the Committee for Private Education, Edexcel, Cambridge, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and CIS.

By Angilkait – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56700716

8. Chatsworth International School

Established: 1995
What is the Curriculum? IB
Details: Bukit Timah Campus – 72 Bukit Tinggi Road Singapore 289760, +6564633201
Orchard Campus – 37 Emerald Hill Road Singapore 229313, +6567375955
http://www.chatsworth.com.sg

Chatsworth International School was first opened in January 1995 in Upper Serangoon, and later at Orchard Road and Bukit Timah as the population of the school grew.

It is considered an International Baccalaureate World School and offers IBPYP, IBMYP and IBDP for students.

Their prime locations near the central of Singapore make their schools attractive to expatriate parents who are working in the CBD area.

Admission Criteria

For students interested to enrol to the school, (parents take note!) applications can be sent at any time online and will be reviewed by the administration. The student’s age and previous school record will be considered when deciding for placement.

For students with special needs, the school must be informed immediately and their ongoing placement will depend on the student’s performance and behaviour.

Tuition Fees

If the student passes the review, parents will receive an email from school that offers a placement for their children. Make sure you check your email regularly especially in your spam folder.

They will need to pay a confirmation fee of $2,400. Tuition fee starts at $23,463 for Kindergarten 1 and 2 students to $32,303.72 for Grades 12 and 13 students per year.

In-depth look at its Curriculum

Chatsworth has two school semesters, which begin every August and January respectively. The curriculum for each grade level varies.

Students starting K1 to Grade 5 will follow the IBPYP program to help them think deeply and also become independent.

Once they move on to Grade 6 to 10, they will use the MYP curriculum to help them connect with the subjects they study and the things around them. The final two years will follow the DP curriculum, aiding them with their college years.

Facilities

To aid students in their academic and non-academic growth, both campuses of Chatsworth in Orchard Road and Bukit Timah have world-class facilities installed such as libraries, sports fields, and specialised classrooms.

Uniqueness

Aside from its academic curriculum, Chatsworth is well-known for promoting well-being of their students. As a parent, you can be rest assured that your child is being groomed in all aspects.

A part of the Athletics Conferences of Singapore International Schools, the school allow its students to compete with other students from Singapore’s international schools in the field of sports. Their team matches are a sight to behold!

Students who love the arts can even take part in events launched by the International Schools Theatre Association.

The school also schedule excursions and camps to help students become more independent and open more opportunities for learning and discovery.

Accreditation

It is fully accredited by several institutions, including the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, EduTrust, Committee for Private Education, and the East Asia Regional Council of Schools.

Hendryc ong [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

9. Overseas Family School

Established: 1991
What is the Curriculum? IB, IGCSE
Details: Pasir Ris Heights 81, 519292 Singapore, +6567380211, http://www.ofs.edu.sg

Overseas Family School is accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organization to offer the full IB program to their students. A school that truly invested in grooming her students, their teachers are highly qualified and professional.

Admission Criteria

OFS does not have an entrance exam for anyone interested to enrol in the school thanks to its open entry admission policy.

They can enrol any time throughout the year. What a relief to expatriate parents who can opt to enrol their child in the middle of the school year!

Tuition Fees

The tuition fees are pro-rated, with a one-time Registration fee. Tuition fees start at $8,000 for Pre-K1 students to $20,500 for senior high school students per year. OFS is one of the affordable international school that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to put your child through education.

In-depth look at its Curriculum

OFS has two semesters, which begin every August and January respectively. The curriculum varies per year, but it focuses on using the International Primary Curriculum for its elementary school students.

It is hard starting a new school with no friends. Under the curriculum, students are taught how to slowly adapt to an international perspective both academically and emotionally.

This curriculum also helps children become more independent and understanding about the world around them.

Once they move on to their middle school years, the curriculum shifts to the IB MYP programme and take on new languages.

Once they go to senior high school, they will take their IB studies and earn the credits for their high school diploma that is recognized by the WASC.

Facilities

With 5 shaded basketball courts and 4 multipurpose gymnasiums, two football pitches and 2 swimming pools, this school has world-class facilities to develop young minds and bodies. Impressive!

Uniqueness

Managing multiple languages can be very daunting for your child, as such it is a relief for both parents and your child that the school offer a special Study Preparation Program curriculum, for students whose second language is English.

Under this curriculum, the students will be able to understand and learn English better without having problems with their current school work. Your child can take advantage of this program to brush up his English.

For extracurricular and non-academic activities, OFS allow their students to select one activity every quarter. Some of the extracurricular activities OFS students can try out are football, aerobics, jewelry making, choral, Scouts, Student Voice and community service.

How exciting!

If your child choose to go for athletic activities, the school has its very own sports program; but, they do not join interschool events. Instead, sports events are held in the school’s world-class facilities.

OFS is also known for having its own Model United Nations Conference. The event first took place in the school in 2009 after it sent its first representatives to the event. Other schools are welcome to take part in the event.

It is a highly anticipated event!

Accreditation

It is accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organization, Western Association of Schools and IGCSE Cambridge.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Exterior_shot_of_GEMS_World_Academy_(Singapore).jpg#filelinks

10. GEMS World Academy

Established: 2014
What is the Curriculum? IGCSE, IB
Details: 2 Yishun Street 42 Singapore 768039, +6568087300,http://www.gwa.edu.sg

GEMS World Academy Singapore in Yishun is a private international school established in 2014. It is considered one of the few schools in the country that offers all four levels of the International Baccalaureate program: Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme, Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme.

Admission Criteria

Students interested in applying to the school can enrol at any time and they accept students from ages 2 to 17. Aspiring students need to be at the right grade age by September 1st before they are considered.

Grade placement will be determined with a special exam and the previous academic record of the student.

Tuition Fees

School fees vary depending on their grade and age, but it starts from $9,000 to $33,000 per year. If you don’t have deep pockets, good news – the school offers scholarships.

In-depth look at its Curriculum

I recall my very own dreaded first day of school when I was 7, it was so intimidating as I saw so many unfamiliar faces. At The GEMS, there won’t be such an issue.

The GEMS Calendar starts every August, with new students getting orientations and Grade 6 and 11 students are inducted.

School holidays are scheduled every October, December and April while the last day of the school year on June.

Once students reach Grade 6, they will begin their IB studies for MYP and DP. Grade 9 and 10 students will sit for their CIE IGCSE examinations. Grade 11 and 12 students will then take on their IB Diploma classes and examinations.

Facilities

To ensure that students get to practice and train for these non-academic programmes, the campus has several top-notch facilities such as a 750-seater auditorium, a 50-meter Olympic swimming pool, sports hall, covered indoor playgrounds, main library, and even a Parents’ café for you to sip coffee while waiting for your child to finish their classes!

Uniqueness

Besides being the only few schools that offer a full range of International Baccalaureate programs, GEMS also offer a very extensive Arts, Sports and Language programmes which is mandatory for all levels.

This ensures that students can also discover their hobbies or passions, develop important life skills such as swimming and languages, and stay active.

Accreditation

It is a certified IB World School and CIE School and accredited by EduTrust Singapore.

Conclusion

As an expatriate parent, it can be rather confusing to find the perfect school for your child. There are many considerations besides academic paths as well as financial constraints. I hope that the above list will provide a peace of mind and an overview of the schools that you can choose from.

Which school do you think stands out the most? Let us know in the comments below!

Editor’s Note: These days, competition within international schools is increasing. Thousands of IB and IGCSE students have benefited from SmileTutor’s 1-to-1 private tuition services for international students. Click here to enquire about IB tuition and here for IGCSE tuition.

Rum Tan

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors.

You may try out his free home tutoring services via smiletutor.sg or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.