In Singapore, primary school is the term used to refer to the first stage of formal education for children between the ages of 7 and 12. It is also known as “primary education” or “elementary school” in other countries. Primary education in Singapore typically comprises six years of schooling, starting from Primary 1 (P1) to Primary 6 (P6).
What is the Best Age to Start Primary School in Singapore?
It is compulsory for students to be enrolled in primary schools in Singapore from the age of seven until 12. Primary school education in Singapore lasts for six years (Primary 1 to 6). For international schools in Singapore, primary school enrolment depends on the type of curriculum offered by the school. For example, schools that follow the British Curriculum will accept children aged four or five to enter Reception, which marks the first year of primary education. They will then progress to Year 1 as part of Key Stage 1 at age five or six. For the American Curriculum, children begin their primary education at elementary school at age four until 11.
Singapore Primary School Curriculum
The Singapore primary school syllabus focuses on three aspects — subject-based learning, knowledge skills and character development. Students will learn the following subjects during their primary school years — English Language, Mother Tongue Language (MTL), Mathematics, Science, Art, Music, Physical Education, Social Studies and Character and Citizenship Education. Based on students’ examination results in Primary 4, the school will offer suitable subject combinations for them to take in Primary 5 and 6. Students will sit for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) during Primary 6. In addition, all primary school students in Singapore need to participate in Project Work, Co-curricular Activities and Programmes for Active Learning.
Types of Primary Schools in Singapore
In Singapore, there are several types of primary schools including:
- Government primary schools: These are public schools that are founded and operated by the government. They follow the Singaporean national curriculum and are open to all Singaporean citizens and permanent residents.
- Government-aided primary schools: these schools are also publicly funded but may receive additional support from private organizations or religious groups. They follow the Singaporean national curriculum and are open to all Singaporean citizens and permanent residents.
- Independent schools: These are private schools that are not government-funded but are registered with the Singaporean government and follow the Singaporean national curriculum. They are open to both Singaporean citizens and non-citizens.
- International schools: These are private schools that offer a curriculum based on the educational system of another country. They are open to both Singaporeans and non-citizens.