Cedar Girls’ Secondary School (CGSS) is a local secondary school in Toa Payoh that offers the Express stream and Integrated Programme (IP), talent academies, and an education that’s strongly focused on innovation.
Cedar Girls’ Secondary School (CGSS) is a government-run local secondary school that follows Singapore’s MOE curriculum. As well as being considerably cheaper than an international school, CGSS offers all the advantages of a local school: it immerses your child in the local culture, offers a world-class curriculum with an excellent reputation for maths and science, and embraces an English-based bilingual system where Mandarin is taught as a second language to international students.
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Founded in 1957, CGSS focuses on developing academic talent and inspiring social innovators. This all-girls' secondary school offers both the Integrated Programme (IP), which allows top-performing students to take A Levels or the IBDP, and the Express stream, which works towards GCEs; students are allocated to a stream according to their performance in the PSLE. Students in the IP spend four years at CGSS and their last two years at Victoria Junior College.
The curriculum includes English, maths, science, humanities, PE, and the arts, as well as the MOE’s Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) programme, which focuses on leadership; the mother tongue programme includes Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. CGSS has three academies for developing academically talented students in Literature, Arts, & Language, Humanities, and Science & Maths. Another standout feature here is the school’s Centre for Social Innovation, which runs an Imagineering Programme and Design Thinking Academy. It is one of Singapore’s first schools to launch a social innovation initiative, which encourages students to design innovative solutions to social challenges in both core subjects and co-curricular activities.
Beyond the classroom, students can sign up to a wide variety of co-curricular activities, uniformed groups such as Girl Guides, and performing arts’ societies. The school fields teams in badminton, netball, table tennis, basketball, and volleyball, and it has a reputation for sporting excellence in track and field.
Admission and fees
All secondary students must apply for a place through the annual S1 Posting Exercise, which takes places from June to September every year. Also, all expats entering Secondary 1 – 3 have to pass the Admissions Exercise for International Students (AEIS), which assesses English literacy, numeracy, and reasoning abilities. Students are posted to secondary schools based their PSLE results, choice of school, and the places available.
CGSS offers up to 20% of its places through the Direct Schools Admission (DSA) exercise.
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Annual tuition fees (2018-19) for international students from non-ASEAN countries are $13,200 for all local secondary schools; additional costs include a miscellaneous fee, which the MOE says is “a contribution towards the cost of materials used by students”.
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