This mid-range priced all-through school offers the International Baccalaureate Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma Programmes while holding onto its small school ethos.
Here's a well-established international school that has plenty of charm and tradition; it has a strong academic record; and offers a well-rounded education with a strong focus on athletics and the arts. It's one of Singapore's smaller all-through schools, and its student body of 800 allows the school to hold onto the family, village-feel that it has a reputation for. Like many smaller schools, you can expect its ethos to foster a family atmosphere, good standards of behaviour, and close links with parents and the community.
For the start of the 2020-21 academic year, Chatsworth will consolidate its popular Orchard primary campus at Bukit Timah and it will also open a new Chatsworth Early Childhood Centre at the site. This means that Bukit Timah will become one large, all-through school that children can attend from 18 months through to 18 years.
Chatsworth had to close its Orchard campus after the government ended its lease; the building was included in a heritage project by the Urban Redevelopment Authority to conserve three buildings on the site of the former Singapore Chinese' Girls School (SCGS) in Emerald Hill.
The move was not welcomed by all Orchard families, who preferred the homely, traditional feel of being centrally located in the grounds of a former colonial mansion. The move to the Bukit Timah campus does offer students more space, modern facilities, proximity to a rainforest, and a through-train education though.
Teaching at the Bukit Timah campus follows the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). The curriculum includes core subjects, art, music, PE, Mandarin, and French. Chatsworth also offers 14 mother tongue languages, including Arabic, French, Hindi, Italian, and Korean.
Chatsworth is one of only seven international schools in Singapore to offer all three IB programmes, and it strongly believes the PYP and MYP is the best – and most rigorous – preparation for the diploma programme. Although each IB programme has a standalone framework and curriculum, students with an MYP and PYP background can find it easier to meet the varied demands of the DP. For example, the experience of the MYP can equip students with the research skills need for the DP’s Extended Essay.
The primary school delivers the PYP, which is based on six Units of Enquiry – Who we are, Where we are in place and time, How the world works, Sharing the planet, How we express ourselves, and How we organise ourselves. All subjects (mathematics, languages, science, social studies, personal, social and PE, technology, music, and art – are taught through integrated units. The final year of primary ends with the PYP Exhibition, which gives students the opportunity to showcase their learning.
Both Mandarin and French are taught as additional languages to all students from KG to Year 2; from Year 3 onwards, students choose to continue studying either French or Mandarin.
In the secondary school, Years 7 – 11 complete the MYP and the externally moderated MYP Personal Project. Unlike some other international schools, Chatsworth does not offer students the choice of taking IGCSEs. These exams can be seen as a valuable ‘add-on’ for parents who are concerned about the lack of measurement in the MYP.
The MYP prepares students for Years 12 to 13, when they study the internationally recognised IBDP. IBDP students can select courses from a decent offering of more than 20 different subjects, including Chinese, Spanish, French, psychology, business management, economics, and theatre.
In addition to the IB Diploma Programme, secondary school students are awarded with the WASC accredited high school diploma in their final year.
There’s a 1:1 MacBook programme for all students from Year 3 upwards.
The school has a strong focus on the arts, with its offering of timetabled activities, after-school clubs, concerts, and exhibitions. Students are encouraged to get involved with arts nights and participate in the IN Art Exhibition at the Australian High Commission, the IB Diploma Visual Arts Exhibition, various school productions, and dance competitions etc. Art gallery visits and music field-trips are also organised to further broaden students’ learning.
In sport, all students have the opportunity to compete in basketball, badminton, soccer, cross country running, swimming, ultimate frisbee, touch rugby, and netball. Chatsworth Bukit Timah is an active member of the Athletics Conference of Singapore International Schools (ACSIS), and it has more than 20 teams consisting of nearly 150 students playing close to 100 games.
The Class of 2019 celebrated a high average score of 36 in the IBDP, which is above the world average of 29.63 points by 6.37 points. The top score was 44 points, followed by 41 points, attained by Melody Song and Katherina Huynh respectively, and there was a 100% pass rate amongst students who sat for the Bilingual Diploma.
• Average score: 36
• Pass rate: 100%
• Top score: 44
• No. students scored 35 points and above: 33%
In the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), Chatsworth students obtained an average score of 41, compared to the world average of 32.65 points. The top scoring student obtained 54 points (out of a maximum 56), followed by the next highest scores of 53 and 51.
Opened in 2018, the modern Bukit Timah campus is located next to Singapore’s nature reserve, and is just a short ride on the school's shuttle bus from the nearby Sixth Avenue MRT station.
Facilities include a basketball court, football pitch, playground, sports complex, and swimming pool.
To accommodate the additional students joining the school from the Orchard campus, the school has built new facilities, including a primary playground. The new Chatsworth Early Childhood Centre is a purpose-built block of three classrooms located at the front of the school. Early years students will still access facilities on the main campus, including the canteen, play areas, and the library.
Chatsworth is a non-selective school with mid-range fees for Singapore. Fees range from $23,819 in KG up to $32,788 in Year 13. There's a very attractive sibling discount; families with two children concurrently enrolled in Chatsworth get a 25% discount.
Full scholarships are available for the two-year IBDP, with Chatsworth covering 100% of the fees; that's a saving of around $72,000.
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