The school year in the Singaporean state system is arranged into semesters. Singapore has a huge range of international schools, teaching in English and other major world languages. The two remaining secondary GEP schools are Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), a school which provides both Cambridge 'O' Levels and the Integrated Programme, and is one of the top school globally in the International Baccalaureate, and Dunman High School, a mixed autonomous government school; the autonomous all-boys Victoria School had to suspend GEP classes due to low enrolment, as GEP students preferred IP schools. First introduced in 2004, the programme allows for more time to be allocated to enrichment activities. However, whichever education route you decide is best for your family, there will be costs involved, and you don’t want to pay more than you have to. Such programmes are more project-based and students are expected to be independent learners. The main aim of the primary years is to grasp English language, the local mother tongue, and maths. This is to prepare male students for National Service (NS) when they reach the age of 18. Pupils entered the programme through a series of tests at Primary 3, which identified the top 1 per cent of the student population. Students scoring 20 points and below may be admitted for either a Science or Arts Course. As of 2005, the schools participating consisted of 9 primary schools — Anglo-Chinese School (Primary), Catholic High School (Primary), Henry Park Primary School, Nan Hua Primary School, Nanyang Primary School, Rosyth School, Tao Nan School, St. Hilda's Primary School, and Raffles Girls' Primary School. To give an example, the monthly fee for the government run MOE kindergarten is SGD 320 for a Singapore Permanent Resident. Most students in Singapore are educated at public schools. Seven secondary schools originally started the programme, but with the introduction of the Integrated Programme, most have folded the GEP programmes into their IP curriculum. It’s worth noting that this calendar applies to state schools only - in private and international schools the western standard calendar, with a long summer break and several weeks vacation at Christmas, is far more likely to be adopted. Secondary education in Singapore is largely public, and is compulsory until a child has reached 15 years of age. There are ongoing debates about the effectiveness of streaming, with some arguing that it should be abolished for its detrimental psychological effects, streaming will be abolished by 2025. For example, in the L1R5 scoring system, the student's L1 or first language (either English or Higher Mother Tongue Language) and R5 or relevant 5 subjects (which must include at least one from the Science & Mathematics group, one from the Humanities group, and excluding subjects such as Religious Studies, Mother Tongue "B" and CCA). The alternative is to continue with ‘post-secondary’ education at a technical institute or polytechnic, which is aimed at developing more vocational skills.There’s a wide range of institution types, which students can choose, all handily described on the Ministry of Education website. Singaporeans are forbidden to attend international schools on the island without Ministry of Education permission. During the 2 year orientation phase that follows though, pupils are streamed per subject according to their learning abilities, or difficulties. The first 4 years of primary education form a foundation stage with a common curriculum. The first batch of IP students sat for the revised GCE "A" Level or International Baccalaureate Diploma examinations in 2007. There are three main public secondary education streams: Express, Normal (Academic) (N(A)), and Normal (Technical) (N(T)), with special and private education courses also being available. There is a broad range of clubs and societies, ranging from Singapore Youth Flying Club to Robotics, Media and Infocomm Clubs and martial arts. Pre-university centres that are particularly associated with academic excellence, however, usually expect students to attain points in the single digits, to be admitted.  At the end of public primary education, Singapore students take the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) and are placed into the different streams and secondary schools based on their results. Bonus points can be deducted from a student's aggregate score, thus lowering it.  N(T) students take the N(T) examinations, which allows students to apply to the ITEs. The main objective of the programme is to preserve schools with strong cultural backgrounds and create bi-cultural environment, to allow capable students to master both these languages. The compulsory stage of secondary education lasts for four or five years. Competitions and performances are regularly organized. This guide aims to help answer most of your questions. Secondary Education The 2-year IB programme is usually completed in the final two years of secondary school education, from students aged 16 to 19 years. The Integrated Programme, also known as the "Through-Train Programme" (直通车), is a scheme which allows the most able secondary students in Singapore to bypass "O" levels and take "A" levels, International Baccalaureate or an equivalent examination directly at the age of 18 after six years of secondary education. Combined And Gross Enrolment Ratio For Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Education Ministry of Education / 09 Nov 2020 Percentages of children in school - the number of pupils enrolled in a given level of education regardless of age expressed as a percentage of population in the theoretical age group for that level of education Refers to resident population, i.e. Although education in Singapore is free, all families must pay small ‘miscellaneous’ fees, which are explained by the Ministry of Education. If you’re a... Singapore is notorious for its high cost of living, so be prepared to pay upfront for many expenses and services when settling in. Primary school lasts for sixth grades, split into a four year foundation period, and two years of ‘orientation’ to prepare children for secondary education. This will ensure that the main body of the students pursue their secondary education at their own pace by first completing a 4-year "O" level course before going on to a 2-year "A" level education (as opposed to a 2-year "O" level and 4-year "A" level education). Besides military drills, they also learn skills such as team-bonding and first-aid. Independent schools, even if part government funded, can charge fees beyond the small amounts seen in the public school system. Students may opt for any of the science, arts or commerce streams when pursuing a three-year pre-university course. Students applying for courses in the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) Colleges will also have an independent scoring system, depending on the course they are applying for. Generally, only the top performers (usually from Special, and sometimes Express, stream) are eligible to be part of the IP programme. School Education is a priority in well regulated Singapore and follows the core western model. The cost of pre-school varies enormously, and the best schools are oversubscribed.  The Ministry of Education prohibits students who are Singapore citizens from being educated in private schools without prior permission. If you’re funding your child’s education from your account back home, use Transferwise to get the real exchange rate and cut out expensive international bank transfer fees. For non-major examinations, several schools use the Mean Subject Grade (MSG) scoring system, while schools running the Integrated Programme (IP) also use the Grade Point Average (GPA) scoring system. For students seeking admission to diploma courses in polytechnics, the L1R2B2 (first language + 2 relevant subjects + 2 best subjects of any kind) scoring system is used. This is because it is perceived as having moved away from the usually heavy emphasis on the sciences, a phenomenon resulting from the post-independence need for quick and basic technical and industrial education; to subjects in the arts and humanities. Fees of anything from USD 15,000 to USD 30,000 a year aren't uncommon, with extras such as registration fees, deposits and technology costs added on top. Places are awarded on merit and are fiercely competitive in the best institutions. There are currently four specialised schools in Singapore.. From 2021, students will be divided into G1, G2 and G3, according to the Subject-Based Banding scheme. Pre-university centres include Junior Colleges for a two-year course leading up to GCE 'A' Level, or the Millennia Institute for a three-year course leading up to GCE 'A' Level. After primary school, children move onto secondary school, which runs for students aged from around 12, to 16 or 17. Schooling in Singapore is structured in a fairly complex way, with many different school types, although the Ministry of Education does provide a handy road map to explain your options. The level of achievement in each subject is indicated by the grade obtained, with A1 being the highest achievable grade and F9 being the lowest: For Normal Academic,these are the grades that are being graded according to students taking the N(A) level stream seating for the Singapore-Cambridge GCE N-Level examnination: At the end of secondary education, only candidates that have attained C6 grade and above for at least 5 academic subjects will receive a School Graduation Certificate (SGC), whereas those above E8 will receive 'O' Level certificates.