What is the IB Programme?
The International Baccalaureate (IB) programme was first started in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1968 by a group of innovative educators. They sought to create an education system that was academically rigorous while nurturing critical thinking, problem-solving, and leadership skills. IB students at all levels are encouraged to adopt creative approaches in their learning, as well as critique their own thinking to achieve a more thorough understanding of the subject matter.
What is the IB like in Singapore?
There are 3 different levels of IB programme in Singapore:
- IB Diploma (Students aged 16-19)
- IB Middle Years Programme (Students aged 11-16)
- IB Primary Years Programme (Students aged 3-12)
The IB Diploma is an internationally recognised post-secondary qualification and is the most commonly available IB programme in Singapore. Students enrolled in the IB Diploma take 6 subjects; 3 at a higher level (HL), and 3 at a standard level (SL). Results are drawn from both final examinations and coursework.
How can your child benefit from IB?
High academic standards
The IB places a strong emphasis on high academic standards throughout all levels of the programme. At the post-secondary level, the IB Diploma dives into both the breadth and depth of subjects to ensure a strong foundation for students’ future academic pursuits. IB Diploma students take 3 required core subjects – Theory of Knowledge (TOK), the Extended Essay (EE), and Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) – as well as elective subjects across 6 subject groups.
The 6 subject groups are:
- Studies in language and literature
- Language acquisition
- Individuals and societies
- The arts
In total, there are over 30 courses across the 6 subject groups, with diverse offerings including Social and cultural anthropology, Visual arts, and Business management. While individual subject availability differs from school to school, enrolling in the IB programme at any age guarantees your child will receive a well-rounded education that will give them the capability to pursue further education at renowned universities worldwide. The unique courses also give them more breadth compared to other post-secondary qualifications, and HL classes enable students to pursue their academic passions at a deeper level.
One unique component of the IB programme is its inclusion of Language acquisition as a required subject. Having strengthened capabilities in a 2nd or 3rd language will be useful for any student planning to pursue a global education or career, and the IB programme provides this grounding to open more opportunities for its students.
Language acquisition classes are classified into Classical Languages, Language B, and Language ab initio. Language B classes are for students who have had previous experience with the language, whereas Language ab initio classes are for students with no experience in the language before. Most IB schools in Singapore offer Mandarin Chinese B, Malay B, or Tamil B in line with local curriculum standards. Some schools may offer Language ab initio classes for languages such as Spanish, French, or Mandarin Chinese (subject to availability).
H3. Nurturing skills beyond the classroom
Another strength of the IB programme is its focus on lifelong skills that go beyond the classroom. One way the IB Diploma, in particular, accomplishes this is through its compulsory subjects Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and the Extended Essay (EE).
TOK curriculum revolves around critical thinking and inquiry about the process of knowing itself. Students learn how to approach academic and non-academic subjects with a critical eye to develop an interest in the diversity and richness of perspectives around them. The TOK helps to develop students’ fascination with the process of knowledge creation itself, which prepares them for meaningful and lifelong engagement with global issues.
The EE is another core subject in the IB Diploma that differentiates it from other post-secondary level qualifications. The EE is a student-guided independent research project that promotes high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery, and creativity. IB Diploma students also develop skills such as time management, integrity, and independence as they have to manage and pursue their EE research on their own.
Both the TOK and EE provide students with lifelong skills and essential values that will help them pursue their future academic studies or career goals.
Strengthening interpersonal development
The core IB Diploma subject Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) strengthens students’ personal and interpersonal learning. CAS projects largely happen out of traditional classroom academic settings, and can include design, arts, or sports elements. Service elements are often incorporated to expose students to a range of environments and communities, and students can use their CAS project to raise awareness of community or global issues.
What are the Schools in Singapore Offering IB Programmes?
There are currently 30 schools in Singapore offering IB Programmes. Individual curriculum varies from school to school. We recommend visiting the individual school’s page to find out more.
Schools offering IB Diploma only:
- Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)
- Anglo-Chinese School (International)
- Dover Court International School
- Dulwich College Singapore
- Global Indian International School
- Hwa Chong International School
- Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah
- NPS International School
- School of the Arts
- Singapore Sports School
- St Francis Methodist School
- St. Joseph’s Institution
- Tanglin Trust School
- United World College of South East Asia
Schools offering IB Diploma and Primary OR Middle Years Programme:
- Australian International School: Primary Years Programme & IB Diploma
- EtonHouse International: Primary Years Programme & IB Diploma
- Nexus International School: Primary Years Programme & IB Diploma
- One World International School: Primary Years Programme & IB Diploma
- Overseas Family School: Middle Years Programme & IB Diploma
Schools offering IB Diploma, Primary Years Programme, AND Middle Years Programme:
- Canadian International School
- Chatsworth International School
- GEMS World Academy
- German European School Singapore
- Hillside World Academy
- ISS International School Singapore
- Stamford American International School
Schools offering Primary Years Programme only:
- Ascensia International School
- Barker Road Methodist Church Kindergarten
- Odyssey The Global Preschool
- The Little Skool-House
Where Can I Find the Best IB Tuition in Singapore?
If you would like to better prepare your child for the IB programme in Singapore, ChampionTutor is here to help. Over 1000 private home tutors are listed in our database, ensuring you will find the ideal tutor to help your child reach their academic goals. Make sure to check out our tips for helping your child succeed in the IB programme too!