Singapore Education: School Types and Curriculums for Your Child

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The education system in Singapore is widely regarded as one of the best and is known for its strong emphasis on academic excellence, discipline and rigorous curriculum. The country has spent its resources wisely building a comprehensive and well-established education system that includes pre-primary, primary, secondary and post-secondary education. Most educational institutes in Singapore follow a meritocratic approach helping students achieve their academic goals with regular assessments. One of the key strengths of Singapore’s education system is its strong focus on research and innovation. The country’s government has undoubtedly invested heavily in research and educational developments for the betterment of students.

In Singapore international schools have contributed significantly to the field of education with their commitment to academic excellence, research-based curriculum and innovative teaching methods. Singapore has ultimately emerged as a globally cutting-edge and sought-after educational destination for students. 

School Types in Singapore

The country houses several educational institutes and offers various boards per your child’s academic needs.

  • Government Schools: These are publicly funded schools and are the country’s most common type of schools. They follow the national curriculum and often provide free education to citizens and permanent residents.
  • Independent or Private Schools: These schools are privately funded by the ex-pats of the country, offering more flexibility in terms of curriculum and teaching methods. They are famous for their diverse curricula that include arts, music and sports, equally maintaining the standards of academic subjects.
  • International Schools: These schools generally cater to the expatriate community residing in Singapore, providing international curricula such as IB or Cambridge International Examination.
  • Special Education Schools are well known to cater to students with special needs requiring personal attention to their learning abilities. These educational institutes have special educators trained to comprehensively approach the educational needs of these differently abled students.
  • Religious schools: These schools are generally affiliated with a specific religion and provide education based on the teachings of that particular religion.
  • Home-based Schools: There are provisions for private tutors or teachers to help students learn from home. Parents often tutor their children and provide for their educational needs at home with all the amenities that make it look like a school. 

Curriculums for your Child

In Singapore, the Ministry of Education (MOE) sets the national curriculum for primary and secondary schools. For primary schools, the curriculum is based or focused on English, Mathematics, Science, and the mother tongue, which is Mandarin, Malay or Tamil. Social studies, Art, Music, PE and value education.

For secondary schools, the curriculum builds upon the foundation laid by the primary school and includes additional subjects per the students’ interests. Topics based on your child’s professional future are provided in most educational institutes, along with Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History and Geography. 

In addition to the academic curriculum, the Ministry of Education places a strong emphasis on Character and Citizenship Education, intending to help students develop a strong sense of responsibility and be active citizens contributing to the welfare of society. In recent years several changes have been implemented to keep up with the rapidly changing world preparing students for the future. These changes include integrating technology into the learning experience and increasing critical thinking, collaborative working, and communication competencies.

Education in Singapore, including the primary and secondary school fees, seems affordable, with the government constantly working towards the betterment of the students in the country. Very often, some additional tuition fees can be charged by certain institutions. You need to get detailed information about the costs while providing your kids with the best education.  


Singapore has a world-renowned education system, and the schools here consistently rank among the best worldwide. Since it has a culturally diverse atmosphere, most reflect the same diversity providing students with a valuable perspective towards various communities and life on the whole. 

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