One of Hong Kong’s best known and respected schools, Singapore International School Hong Kong was first established in September 1991 in Kennedy Town with an enrolment of 200 pupils in the Primary School. It is owned by the government of Singapore and follows the Singaporean curriculum until Secondary year 3 with Cambridge IGCSE at S4 and 5 and the IB Diploma programme offered at IB1 and IB2. The school celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016.
Singapore International School Hong Kong (SISHK) moved from its current premises in Aberdeen in 1995, to a new purpose-built Primary school constructed on land granted by the Hong Kong government with the cost of the building borne by the Singapore Government. In 2012, the secondary campus, which is connected by a bridge to the original Preparatory and Primary School, was officially opened. The school is supervised by a Board of Governors.
From its small beginnings, the school has now grown to an enrolment of approximately 1320 pupils (spread between the two campuses) of more than 20 nationalities, with Singaporeans and Hong Kong citizens forming the majority. Whilst the Primary School is essentially full in the lower years, remaining year groups throughout Primary and Secondary do usually have places available across some grades.
The futuristically-designed secondary school building occupies an area of approximately 4,552 square metres and a gross floor area of 22,861 square meters. Key features include the specially-designed 13-storey building, a State-of-the-art auditorium for performances and assemblies, a multi-functional sports hall for different sports and games to be held concurrently, a plaza for school or house assemblies, six highly equipped science laboratories, the ICT Lab, Music suites, dance studio and art studios, a roof-top tennis court and a School library with self check-in/ check-out facility.
The Secondary School curriculum is designed to be future-oriented, holistic and rigorous. It emphasises the development of an international outlook amongst students, cultivation of sound values and character and acquisition of 21st Century skills and knowledge in a bilingual environment. The curriculum is complemented by a comprehensive co-curricular programme, leadership opportunities, sports, and social events.
SISHK is recognised as a premier educational institution with a strong academic focus. The first two cohorts of students at IGCSE included winners of the Outstanding Cambridge Learners, including Top in the World (Additional Mathematics, Global Perspectives and Mathematics) and Top in Hong Kong (Biology, Global Perspectives, Music and Physics).
In 2017, 66% of IGCSE results were at Distinction level. SISHK routinely publishes its results:
|Percentage of all subjects taken by IGCSE students in SIS(HK)|
|Year||Awarded A*||Awarded A* and A||Awarded A* to C|
The first cohort of IBDP students graduated in 2012/13. In 2019, students also performed well in their Diploma examinations, with an average of 35.9 points and more than 25% achieved 40 points and above.
• Average score: 35.9
• Pass rate: 94%
• No. students scored 40 points and above: 27%
The small cohort of 36 students have received offers for universities including Imperial College London (UK), Warwick University (UK), King’s College London (UK), Duke University (USA), University of Michigan (USA), Yale-NUS (Singapore), Singapore University of Social Sciences, Hong Kong University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Principal Kelvin Tay said: "Among this small and yet diverse cohort, I am very pleased to see our students form a tight-knit and supportive SISHK Family in the process. We are also thankful for the strong support our students received from their families and teachers.”
Read our roundup of Hong Kong's 2019 IB results here.
SISHK students have gone on to study at prestigious universities such as Oxford (UK), Cambridge (UK), Northeastern (USA), Berklee (USA) and British Columbia (Canada). Approximately 20% of students attend Hong Kong universities whilst some Singaporean students have returned to Singapore to pursue their degree studies. Courses they study range from Media Studies, Music, Law, Medicine, Physics, English, Chemical Engineering, Business to Accountancy and a range of other subjects.
The focus is not purely on the academic outcomes. Students also develop important study skills and habits in addition to language skills. The curriculum is aligned to the IB learning outcomes to ensure that students become not just knowledgeable and reflective thinkers, but also principled, caring and responsible global citizens ready to take on the world.
The Secondary 1 and 2 curriculum is aligned to the Singapore Lower Secondary curriculum providing a seamless progression from the primary school education. Subjects at this level include English Language Arts, First Language Chinese/Chinese as a Second Language, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Art, Music, Information and Communication Technology, Physical Education, Pastoral Care, Education and Career Guidance.
The school prepares Secondary 3 and 4 students for the IGCSE examinations and the International Certificate of Education (ICE) developed by the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). To qualify for the ICE, candidates must achieve at least a pass in at least 7 subjects including two languages and at least one subject from each of the other (Humanities, Science or Arts) subject groups.
All Secondary 3 and 4 students take English First Language, World Literature, Chinese First Language or Chinese as a Second Language, Mathematics, Chemistry or Biology or Physics, and Global Perspectives or Geography or History. In addition they also take one elective subject from among Art & Design, Information & Communication Technology, Computer Science or Music. Physical Education and Pastoral Care are also part of the core curriculum.
For the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) students at SISHK study three subjects at higher level and three at standard level. These include Chinese for both native and non-native speakers. At this point, the school moves away slightly from its emphasis on the inclusion of a broad range of Arts subjects and students may choose to substitute an additional Humanities (Individuals and Societies) or Science subject in place of Visual Arts (Higher Level), Music (Higher Level) or Music (Standard Level). For students who are strong in languages, they can opt for two language and literature courses – namely English and Chinese. In this case, they would qualify for the additional bilingual diploma certificate from IB.
The school also makes additional provision for students who are native language speakers in Mandarin. They can opt to study four subjects at higher level, with the fourth higher level subject being Chinese. However, one of the higher level courses is treated as a standard level course when the IB points are computed.
In addition to the six subjects comprising their academic programme, all DP students fulfill the requirements of Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS), study Theory of Knowledge (TOK), and write a 4000 word individual Extended Essay (EE) on a subject of their choice.
SISHK Diploma programme students have received a total of 150 conditional offers from 54 universities from numerous different countries including the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, Canada and United States. Notable offers have been received from Canada: McGill University, University of British Columbia and University of Toronto, Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and University of Hong Kong, Singapore: Yale-NUS College, United Kingdom: Durham University, King’s College London, London School of Economics and Political Science, Royal Veterinary College, University College London, University of Warwick and University of York and United States: Duke University and Yale University.
In line with the school’s approach at Primary and Secondary level, students are encouraged to participate in inter-school, regional and international competitions. These have included for Chinese, HK Schools Speech Festival; for Economics, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) Economics Short Film Competition; for ICT, Hong Kong First Lego League (FLL) Robotics Tournament Merit; for ICT, IET/MATE Hong Kong Underwater Robot Challenge 2016; for Mathematics, Highfour Competitions; and for Science, International Junior Science Olympiad, Science - Light Pollution Competition, HKU.
SISHK Secondary School has also developed a strong sporting culture over the years and various sports teams participate in numerous inter-school competitions – Badminton, Basketball, Individual Fencing, Swimming, Volleyball, Table Tennis, Netball and Football are among the top sports.
In alignment with the IB CAS aims, SISHK is active in providing opportunities for students to understand more about the world. Annually, students participate in Windows of the World (WOW) trips overseas, visiting countries such as China, India, Spain and Cambodia and participating in Community service activities.
There is no question that SISHK is a school with a very clear direction and focus. Whilst much of this has been driven by its very strong curriculum and direct links to Singapore, there is a clear and substantial effort to take into account its Hong Kong location and the strong relationship with mainland China, but also the international environment to which it has been transplanted and the internationalism which the school strongly encourages its students to adopt.
This is a school that places great emphasis on the academic, and despite claims that it does not put pressure on students, our sense is that the parents of students attending SISHK almost certainly do. No doubt, this will continue to make SISHK a popular choice for parents seeking a strong, academic and international education for their children, underpinned by a firm sense of discipline and moral values.
All students joining SISHK require a Debenture. Personal Debentures (valid for one student only) are charged at HK$200,000 (Singaporean passport holders pay a reduced fee of HK$120,000). An Entrance Fee of HK$ is also payable on entry to the school. Corporate debentures are charged at HK$500,000 and is valid for eight (8) years. Additionally, Personal Debenture Holders are required to pay an annual Capital Levy of HK$10,000.
Corporate Debenture Holders make a one-time payment of HK$80,000.
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