Singapore / Singapore Central / Bukit Timah / Hwa Chong International School (HCIS)

Hwa Chong International School (HCIS) Review

This all-through school in Bukit Timah is a popular choice for its international curriculum, its excellent teaching of Mandarin, and its high-scoring IBDP results.
At a glance
School type
International
School phase
Secondary
Inspection rating
No rating
Curricula taught
Availability 2020/21
No data
Availability 2021/22
No data
Annual fee average
SGD 26,000
Annual fees
SGD 24,610 - 28,890
Price band help
Mid-range
Status
Open
Opening year
2005
School year
Jan to Dec
Principal
John Ong
Main student nationality
Singapore
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Hwa Chong International School (HCIS)
School type
International
School phase
Secondary
Inspection rating
No rating
Curricula taught
Availability 2020/21
No data
Availability 2021/22
No data
Annual fee average
SGD 26,000
Annual fees
SGD 24,610 - 28,890
Price band help
Mid-range
Status
Open
Opening year
2005
School year
Jan to Dec
Principal
John Ong
Main student nationality
Singapore
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This all-through school in Bukit Timah is a popular choice for its international curriculum, its excellent teaching of Mandarin, and its high-scoring IBDP results.

Hwa Chong International School (HCIS) is one of three local international schools in Singapore (the other two are the Anglo-Chinese (International) School and SJI International School). These three local international schools are managed by the MOE, but they are privately funded and have the freedom to set their own curricula and fees. While at least half of the students must be Singaporean, these schools tend to have a very international student community.

A local international school like HCIS appeals to expat students for many reasons: it is easier to get a place than at a local school; teaching combines the MOE and international curricula such as the IB programme and A Levels; fees are lower than many international schools; and academic standards are high.

Read more: Local vs international schools in Singapore

HCIS is a top-performing all-through school with impressive IGCSE and IBDP results. A member of the Hwa Chong family of schools, this Singapore outpost has a reputation for its teaching of Mandarin and long list of academic accolades. Learning extends beyond the classroom with a wide choice of extra-curricular activities, community service, and outdoor adventure and field trips.

In its own words,

"Hwa Chong International School has established itself within a very short time as an attractive alternative to the successful national school system for both local and international students."

Hwa Chong has more than 800 students in Grades 7 to 12. As a local international school, at least half of the students must be Singaporean; the remaining student population includes international students from over 20 countries.

Teaching here follows a very international programme. In middle school (Grades 7 – 9), students study a foundation curriculum, with some taking the option of IGCSEs; in senior school (Grades 10 – 12), students follow the IBDP. In 2017, the average IBDP score was well above the global average at 37, and 50% of the cohort score more than 38 points.

The school plans to expand with a new four-storey teaching wing that will include a performing arts centre and a student activities hub. 

Admission and fees
Admission is based on the school's own entrance exam (and not the MOE’s AEIS). Fees range from $24,610 to $28,890, which is average in terms of international tuition fees and considerably cheaper than other high performing international schools.

A full review will be posted shortly.

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