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Programme Overview

Academic: The SJI Approach

The IB Curriculum

SJI is an IB World School and is committed to quality education in the spirit of the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP). Recognized as the leader in international education, the IBDP cultivates the knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable students to excel in university. Through the SJI IBDP, students gain rigorous and balanced academic preparation, an ability to draw on knowledge and understanding of various cultures and histories, and the experience of learning how to think critically and apply what they have learned in different contexts and across disciplines.


The challenging curriculum educates the whole student aiming to develop their capacity for inquiry, research and problem-solving, as well as essential skills for communication and collaboration. Over the course of the two-year IBDP, students will:

  • Study six subjects chosen from six subject groups*
  • Complete an Extended Essay
  • Follow a Theory of Knowledge course
  • Participate in Creativity, Activity, Service

The IB Academic Subject Groups

Group 1: Studies in Language & Literature Group 2: Language Acquisition ^ Group 3: Individuals & Societies Group 4: Experimental Science Group 5: Mathematics

Group 6:
The Arts
(or Elective)

  • English: Literature
  • English: Language and Literature
  • Chinese: Literature

  • Chinese B
  • Malay B
  • Tamil B #
  • Mandarin Ab Initio
  • Spanish Ab Initio

  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

  • MAA Mathematics HL
  • MAA Mathematics SL

  • Music
  • Visual Arts

(Elective: Instead of an Arts subject, students can choose a subject from Group 3 or 4)
* subject to staffing resources
^ Group 2 -
  1. MOE Bilingual Policy requires students taking NTIL or any MTL-in-lieu to do this in addition to the IBDP requirements.
  2. WEF 2019, SJI will replace the O-Level MTL & HMTL (Higher Mother Tongue Language) examinations with school-based examinations for SJI's IP students.
# Tamil B will continue till 2026; pending updates from IBO for 2027 onward.

The IB Core:
  • Extended Essay (EE)

    The Extended Essay promotes high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity, and acquaints students with the independent research and writing skills expected at university. The 14-month EE journey culminates in a piece of formally presented and structured writing (3500-4000 words), in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject chosen.
  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

    Part of the IBDP core that encourages critical thinking about knowledge itself and aims to help young people make sense of what they encounter. It focuses on questions such as: What counts as knowledge?; How does it grow?; What are its limits?; Who owns knowledge? For the IB Diploma assessment, students complete a 1,600-word essay over a period of time, and make a presentation on a TOK topic of their choice.
  • Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)

    Students are offered a wide range of co-curricular activities that gives students the opportunity to experience new challenges in sports, the arts and community service. Students can also choose to continue with their CCA from secondary school. SJI offers a rich and varied selection of activities and programmes, including the Global Education Programme (GEP) where students take responsibility to plan and implement a trip overseas as part of their service component. This is to develop the leadership skills and fuel the student’s sense of idealism and help them to become true global citizens and to see that they too can become a catalyst for change.

Holistic Development: The SJI Way of Life

SJI places holistic development at the heart of its approach to learning, and the CAS programme plays a key part in this. The following quote from the IB organisation (IBO) expresses our aspirations.

Holistic Education focuses on the fullest possible development of the person, encouraging individuals to become the very best or finest that they can be and enabling them to experience all they can from life and reach their goals. There is an emphasis on life experience and learning beyond the confines of the classroom and the formal educational environment towards education as growth, discovery and a broadening of horizons. It encourages a desire to elicit meaning and understanding and to engage with the world.”

Creativity, Action and Service (CAS)

This programme develops students beyond the classroom and counterbalances the academic studies. Students are encouraged to lead and participate fully in the range of CAS activities offered.

With its holistic approach, CAS is designed to strengthen and extend students’ personal and interpersonal learning. The three strands: creativity, activity and service are defined as follows:

• Creativity - exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance.
• Activity - physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle.
• Service - collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need.

Global Education Programme (GEP)

The Global Education Programme is an extension of the CAS programme. It is designed to provide opportunities for physical challenges, cultural engagement and community service during a 7-day trip outside Singapore. The aim is for students to acquire the knowledge base and understanding of global issues and develop skills to take action towards creating a better world. The programme embraces both SJI and IB’s vision of developing caring global citizens who will be a catalyst for change and make a difference to the world.

Character: The SJI Difference

In SJI we aspire to educate and graduate young people who have integrity and a desire to serve others. Ethics, values and character development are hallmarks of an SJI education. Thus, character education and faith formation are integral parts of the holistic education offered at SJI. Through CAS and SJI’s own Josephian Formation Journey, programme, our students are nurtured into becoming ‘Men and Women of Integrity’ and ‘Men and Women for Others’.

Through the Josephian Formation Journey, our students learn to direct personal growth and develop a principled life, making socially responsible decisions for the good of society and establishing respectful friendships. They also understand society better and prepare to enter society as active participants and contributors.