With its low tuition fees and Indian curriculum, Yuvabharathi International School has become a top choice for Indian expats living in Singapore's Western region.
An education at YBIS is inquiry-based, involves field trips and environmental activities, and includes the option to study Hindi, Tamil and French. It’s a school with basic facilities – although it does have a butterfly garden – a small choice of co-curricular activities held during school hours only, and a high teacher to student ratio of 1:23. Located in Jurong, the school also collaborates with ‘buddy’ local schools Jurong Secondary and Yishun Town Secondary for various educational activities.
For children aged three to five years, teaching begins with the Montessori programme, where students follow a self-paced curriculum within a free, less rigid learning environment; teachers use UK teaching resources such as Jolly Phonics and the Oxford Reading schemes, and focus on learning through play as you’d expect in an early years’ environment.
Students then follow the CBSE programme throughout their primary and secondary education, which includes Board exams in Grades 10 and 12. Subjects covered include English, languages (Hindi, French or Tamil), maths, science, and social science. The CBSE is an academically rigorous pathway, and is normally the ideal option for Indian nationals who want to continue their children’s education internationally but expect to settle back in India. CBSE students benefit from courses that are identical across schools (with standardized text books), and the choice of a significantly greater number of schools following it; in Singapore, for example, there are three CBSE schools and only one ICSE school.
As part of the CBSE programme, students sit two examinations in secondary school - The All India Secondary School Examination (AISSE) for students up to Grade 10, and the All India Senior School Certificate (AISSCE), a curriculum and exam which is sat at the end of Grade 12. These exams are held between March to mid-April. In Grade 12, there are three streams under which the students are assessed in CBSE – science, commerce and humanities; the results for these are significant as they are school leaving exam scores and university admissions are based on them.
Lessons are taught by a predominantly Indian faculty. As with any CBSE school, the focus throughout secondary is mainly on maths and science and less on language; this makes it a popular choice for students who want to go into the traditional routes of engineering/medical. In Grades 11 and 12, students select a stream such as Science, Commerce, Arts rather individual subjects, which can also appeal to students wishing to focus on one area of education.
While YBIS has a strong academic focus, it also encourages students to explore other interests through its extra curricular programme for Classes 1-8. ECA activities include sports, drama, art and music. The school also runs clubs such as the Eco Club, Health and Wellness Club, Integrity Club and Heritage Club.
Unlike other CBSE schools in Singapore, YBIS has not published its most recent results in full. The 2019-20 cohort did achieve a 100% pass rate, and the school topper scored 97.4%. The top scoring subjects were maths, social science, Tamil, English language and literature, science, and Hindi. Without more detailed results, however, it is hard to assess the overall academic performance of this school compared to others.
Surrounded by the high rises of Jurong, YBIS has an older and basic but well maintained campus with four-storey classroom blocks surrounded by plenty of green open space. Facilities including a multi purpose hall, science labs, computer lab, vegetarian cafeteria. play area, soccer and cricket fields, and basketball and badminton courts.
Admission is open to students of all nationalities, although the majority of students here are Indian. In line with all Indian schools, the academic year runs from April to March. Tuition fees at YBIS make the school one of the most affordable options for international schooling in Singapore; they range from $8,700 in Class 1-5 to $12,600 in Class 11-12.
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