What are the types of Secondary Schools in Singapore?

By: Daniel    

There are many different secondary schools to choose from. While some have unique programmes and others may offer different educational paths, they all seek to maximise the potential of every child.

Varied courses to develop the abilities of the students are offered in schools. MOE believes in providing a range of options so that each child has the opportunity to realise his talent and develop a core and holistic set of skills.

All schools will take into account your concerns and those of your child. Singapore schools aim to offer a conducive environment for progressive development and challenging education programmes for more advanced students.

When choosing a school, consider the strengths of each school and place your child in an environment that can best motivate him and broaden his horizons.

Types of Secondary Schools

  • Autonomous Schools
  • Independent Schools
  • Schools with Distinctive Programmes
  • Special Assistance Plan (SAP) Schools
  • Specialised Independent Schools
  • Specialised Schools

Autonomous Schools

• These schools provide a wider range of innovative courses and enrichment programmes that enhance your child’s learning experience and develop his talents.

• They may charge an additional fee of between $3 and $18 a month to cover the costs of enhanced educational programmes (as compared to other Government or Government-aided Schools).

Independent Schools

• These schools enjoy greater autonomy in curricular innovations, implementation of school programmes, administration, student admissions and the setting of fee structures.

• Scholarships, both from the MOE and the schools, are available to students who have done well and wish to join the Independent Schools.

Schools with Distinctive Programmes

• By 2017, all schools including those currently offering at least one distinctive programme will offer two such programmes – Applied Learning and Learning for Life.

• These distinctive programmes develop students’ specific skills and build character. Those with relevant talents and interests will be offered opportunities to deepen their learning. Every student will be provided with authentic contexts to apply their learning, develop 21st century competencies and connect with the community.

• There will be a geographical spread of schools with varied distinctive programmes.

• Where relevant, the schools may offer direct admission for students with outstanding talents related to their distinctive programmes.

Special Assistance Plan (SAP) Schools

• SAP Schools offer enriched programmes and a learning environment that nurtures students to be biliterate and bicultural in English and Chinese.

• These schools offer flagship programmes to help students develop stronger understanding of Chinese values and culture.

Specialised Independent Schools

If your child has an aptitude for mathematics and scientific inquiry, an inclination for applied learning and creativity, excels in sports or has a creative flair for the arts, you may wish to enrol him in one of the Specialised Independent Schools. These schools offer courses that are specially designed to help your child reach his potential in these areas.

The Specialised Independent Schools are:

a. National University of Singapore High School of Mathematics and Science
b. School of Science and Technology
c. School of the Arts
d. Singapore Sports School

Please visit the schools' website for more information.

Specialised Schools

Specialised Schools such as NorthLight School and Assumption Pathway School offer customised programmes for students who are inclined towards hands-on and practical learning.

Two Specialised Schools catering to Normal (Technical) course students are Crest Secondary School and Spectra Secondary School. Crest began admitting students from January 2013 and Spectra began in January 2014.

Both adopt a whole-school approach in providing a customised learning environment to develop its students. They also work closely with the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and industry partners to develop vocational programmes and provide attachment opportunities for its students.

All these schools work within national educational policies and guidelines set by the MOE.

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