Our Curricula

Singapore is an economic success and often described as one of the most advanced cities in the world. With the best hospitals in the region, efficient transportation system, the busiest port and the best airport in the world, Singapore’s success undoubtedly came from good leadership and a foresight to invest in an education system second to none. Research, innovation and enterprise is a national priority.  And the education system is aimed at creating talent.

Every year world rankings by different international bodies put Singapore as amongst the top in the world. In 2016 PISA (Programme for Interactional Student Assessment) conducted by OECD put Singapore as the top in the world in Maths, Science and Reading & Comprehension.  

Research has shown that a child learns at an astounding rate from birth to age twelve. What parents do and expose their children to in their early and primary school years will have a big impact on the physical, intellectual, emotional and social development of the child.

It is with purpose that our Early and Primary years look to Singapore for the core curricula as used in top schools in the island. The Secondary School looks to the Cambridge Curriculum while the High School (Junior College) adopts the International Baccalaureate.




In our pre-schools our young learn how to express their feelings and create ideas through arts, crafts, music and movement using experimentation and imagination. They learn how things work through investigations, experimenting and observations. They will use drawings, symbols, writing and conventional spelling to communicate ideas and information, while enhancing fine and gross motor skills. Students learn to develop an awareness of personal identity. They learn to manage their own emotions and behaviors, as well as showing respect and open-mindedness for the diversity and cultures of others.





Our Primary Program looks to building the foundations of Maths, Science and English. It promotes reading and writing and exposes the student to regional languages like Mandarin. It demands digital literacy and provides exposure to Sports, Physical Education (PE), Health Education, the Creative Arts as well as a host of other after-school activities. In their Learning Journeys which will take our students to other communities and countries, they will have first hand experiences working with different cultures, nationalities and projects.

An essential part of the Primary Program is the Inter-Disciplinary Project (IDP). The IDP is a project-based learning activity which provides an opportunity for our students to learn outside of their subjects, take responsibility for their learning and collaborate with others to achieve a common goal.








Our Secondary School Program adopts the challenging and inspiring Cambridge international curriculum which is a global standard for education and recognized by universities and employers all over the world. The Program builds on the foundation of Maths, Information Technology and Science. It enhances the knowledge and encourages interest in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Students will see their foundation in the English Language improve vastly. Students will also be exposed to complex relationships between communities and the physical environment as well as gain knowledge of the failures and success of the past through our Geography and History Programs. They will also learn about the fundamentals of the business world. The Secondary School Program looks to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through a variety of sports and creative arts activities. The Program will help hone their research, writing and presentation skills.

The students will sit for the Cambridge *ICE/IGCSE, an internationally recognized benchmark examination.


When it was time for Mr Magendiran to head back to Raffles Institution, the leadership baton was then passed on to another prominent educationist Ms. Nanda Bandara, former Principal of  two premier Singapore Primary Schools, Raffles Girls’ Primary School and Haig Girls’ School.

The popularity of the School pushed the Founders to expedite its search for a permanent premise with facilities matching other international schools in Jakarta.

A Permanent site

Looking for a permanent site, the Founders were able to carefully design and eventually turn an “unused” clubhouse into a school that is the talk of the town, in a housing complex of Bona Vista, South Jakarta.  The architecture of the School is in harmony with the green environment and has been often described by many as a “unique learning environment.”

Located in a safe and quiet neighborhood bordering the elite Pondok Indah real estate, the School is only two minutes from major toll roads making it accessible from many parts of Jakarta.  The School boasts of an open, airy concept amidst lush, contoured gardens. Students are able to enjoy all the amenities within the complex and this includes a competition-sized pool, soccer fields, basketball courts and tennis courts.  

The enrollment today includes a student population coming from at least 25 different nationalities.

An Independent Appraisal

After popular start, the Board felt that an independent appraisal was needed to confirm the course set for the school before any further plans for expansion were considered.   In June 2002, the Board commissioned two distinguished academics from the National Institute of Education (NIE is an institute of the Nanyang Technological University), Associate Professor Agnes Chang and Dr. Ang Wai Hoong to appraise the school.  A simultaneous appraisal was also done by another distinguished academic Dr. Soh Kay Cheng (also of NIE) to assess the standards of our examinations. NIE is the exclusive Singapore government body that looks after teacher training and the development of the Singapore curriculum for all Singapore schools.

This independent appraisal not only confirmed the high standards in both the academic and non-academic areas, it also puts SIS amongst the top schools in Singapore.  To quote the all encompassing line from the executive summary of the appraisers:

“The school is indeed comparable to a good school in Singapore in terms of teaching and pupil’s performance.”

A new Secondary School wing

The results of the independent appraisal, the out-standing teamwork, sense of community service and a call for continuity in education inspired the Founders to start the first class in its secondary school in January 2003.

A secondary school in SIS meant that the students would be able to progress easily from the primary level without having to move elsewhere. It meant that pupils will benefit from having teachers who can   nurture them in a way that new teachers cannot, especially having seen them grow and develop from the Primary levels.

SIS’ reputation for excellence in education and nearly a decade of experience in adapting the Singapore educational curriculum to the needs of the primary school children allowed the new secondary school to have an excellent start.

A High School (Junior College) wing

When the secondary school enrollment hit its peak, it was only natural that the Founders look to the next phase of education for SIS students. Soon afterwards, the Junior College opened.

It is the intention of the Board to keep SIS as a small, but elite school with education standards second to none.

The start of SIS schools for Indonesians

The first Singapore International School was situated in the Bona Vista complex (South Jakarta), where most expatriates live. Given this School’s high education standards and affordability, it was by now a popular school for expatriates and Indonesians living in the South.

The success of the School soon saw calls from different communities to set up more SIS Schools in other geographies. The Founders of the school and the educationists involved by now had a deep appreciation and understanding of the complexities of a curriculum modeled after the Singapore education system in a different social and cultural environment.  Systems were in place and there was a sense that Southgate was ready to scale and replicate the SIS model.

There was indeed a need for SIS Schools for Indonesians and expatriates priced differently in other parts of the Indonesian archipelago which saw a growing economy and more foreign investments.

After involving more consultants (from overseas and from within the local scene), the Founders started two pilot SIS Schools for Indonesians.

One was in Kelapa Gading (North East Jakarta) and the other in Kebun Jeruk (West Jakarta) in 2002. The aim was to monitor the performance of the students in a “controlled environment” with the newly designed SIS curriculum especially for the local student population. After 2 years, data collected pointed to excellent results. SIS noted remarkable improvement of its students in both academic and non-academic performances, and decided it was ready to roll out SIS schools. These will be in different geographies, priced differently for communities where the schools will be located.

The primary objective was to give an alternative to the local community frustrated with the country’s public and private education. The SIS Schools, in different parts of Indonesia,  would also ensure that there was no need for families to migrate from the provinces to Jakarta, or from Jakarta to another country in their quest for good quality education.

SIS then invited the International Finance Corporation (member of the Word Bank Group) to examine the results in these two pilot schools and sought a partnership with the IFC to expand its operations. After a thorough due diligence that saw curriculum, systems, governance standards  and financials under scrutiny, IFC decided to partner with SIS, its first formal education project in Indonesia.

SIS then invited local investors, real estate developers, philanthropists and individuals passionate in the education arena to participate in SIS’ journey to expand within Indonesia and beyond.

Current Expansion of SIS Schools

Southgate’s growth strategy will be through acquisitions and green fields (new schools) in Indonesia. Outside Indonesia but within ASEAN, Southgate will expand through acquisitions. Beyond ASEAN, Southgate’s expansion strategy will be through the management of private schools.

“International” to “Intercultural”

The Indonesian Government currently does not allow private schools to use the term “International” in their brand name. Looking at options, SIS opted for “Intercultural” given the rich diversity of its faculty and student population.

Junior College

Our Junior College students will experience the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP). The IBDP has earned its reputation as being among the most challenging and broadest in focus. The program is designed to provide students of different linguistic, cultural and educational backgrounds with the intellectual, social and critical perspectives necessary for the adult world that lies ahead. An essay component, reflections on knowledge and perception, and service in the surrounding community link the subjects together, encouraging students to reflect on their values and recognize those of others. Through its interconnected approach the IBDP challenges, enriches and empowers. Students emerge from the program as global citizens: articulate, compassionate and insightful individuals who strive to impact their communities and the world in a positive way.

Each student will also be taking a component of CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service) to graduate. Here our students are offered a vast array of activities that allow for physical, aesthetic and emotional maturity. Our programme entails a balance of academics, access to a myriad of Activities, and a well-structured Community Service programme that allows students to develop awareness of, and take action on behalf of, local and global issues they feel passionate about.

At all levels of the school, we provide exceptional opportunity for students to develop independence and leadership skills.


There is no doubt that our leaners will graduate into a world that will present to them a challenging job market, and a world of tremendously accelerating change. Employers are saying they do not see the required skills in today’s young job-hunters who come to them. Employers blame the universities and colleges. These institutions in turn point an accusing finger at high schools saying they are not preparing students for the real world.

We understand these issues. We understand that schools need to change the way education is imparted.

To prepare our learners for the 21st century, the Founders and faculty had many exchanges with colleges, universities, successful businessmen and women, alumni and major industry players. These conversations gave rise to our initiative; PACE


Things will often look difficult and the young may question their own abilities. In SIS we help our learners to understand adversity and persevere. We work with them very closely in their journey towards their own goals. We celebrate effort.

Analytical Thinking

Activities around subject content look at real life situations and problems. Students are taught to analyze before solving problem. They test predictions and generate solutions. They learn to plan, prioritize and act. Note taking is an important area of focus here.

Communication / Collaboration

Our learners are guided to communicate in a manner where others can understand their viewpoints. They learn to listen and appreciate other views. Students are also taught to communicate their ideas through diagrams, graphs, charts, and other digital tools widely used today. Students are given ample opportunities to work in teams that are often randomly put together. They learn about collaboration and leadership.


The many Inter-Disciplinary Projects (IBDP) in SIS require our learners to be creative and innovative.  They will apply their knowledge across many disciplines, testing and communicating their ideas. In the senior years, through our Business Studies and Enterprise program, students undertake projects to explore entrepreneurship through their creative and innovative skills.