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'O' Level Programme

The academic curriculum is comprehensive and demanding, and designed to prepare express-stream students for the GCE ‘O’ Level examinations and, more importantly, for post-secondary education and beyond. Hence, our goal is for every Josephian to offer a combination of 'O' Level subjects that will give him as much choice as possible for his post-secondary education and to face future challenges.

At the lower secondary level, all boys do the following examinable subjects: English Language, Mother Tongue Languages (MTL), Mathematics, Science and Humanities. Higher Mother Tongue Languages (HMTL) offers students the chance to study Chinese, Malay or Tamil at a more advanced level. In order to study HMTL, students must have obtained either:
  • An overall PSLE Score of 8 or better
  • An overall PSLE Score of 9 to 14 and get AL1 or AL2 in MTL, or Distinction or Merit in HMTL.

At the upper secondary level, boys in the ‘O’ Level Programme can choose from a variety of subject combinations:
  • 8 Subject Combination: 2 Languages + 1-2 Humanities + 2 Mathematics + 2-3 Sciences
  • 7 Subject Combination: 2 Languages + 1 Humanities + 2 Mathematics + 2 Sciences

The specific GEC ‘O’ Level subjects offered include:
  • Languages: English Language, Chinese/Malay/Tamil Language or Higher Chinese/Malay/Tamil Language
  • Mathematics: Mathematics, Additional Mathematics
  • Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Physics
  • Humanities: Humanities (Social Studies + Geography or Social Studies + History), English Literature, Geography, History
  • Others: Art, Higher Art, Music

All Upper Secondary Boys are required to offer Humanities as one of their Humanities subjects. Humanities consist of Social Studies and one Humanities subject which includes English Literature, Geography or History. For Humanities, SJI only offers Social Studies with either History or Geography. Boys who intend to offer English Literature as an 'O' Level subject will have to offer the subject as a full Humanities subject at 'O' Level.

Levels of Learning at SJI (Year 1 - 4)


The Levels of Learning is the core framework behind the Cognitive Development component of an SJI education. It describes the Josephian student as moving from foundational subject-based knowledge, to extending learning by adopting an inquiry-mindset motivated by interest and passion, and eventually making use of this knowledge in service to the community in authentic settings.

While the Levels of Learning are designed with the IBDP in mind, all SJI students at the Lower Secondary years will have a chance to participate in all 3 Levels of Learning.

Level 1 Learning: Academic Foundation

A broad-based curriculum comprising languages, humanities, sciences, mathematics and arts which provides a strong foundation for exploring interests and talent, and for further studies in the IBDP for the IP boys, and flexibility for IBDP or ‘A’ Level for the ‘O’ Level Programme boys. At the upper secondary level, most students offer an 8-subject combination.

  • Josephian Arts Programme (Visual Arts)
    JAP Visual Arts is a four-year academic programme designed for Josephians in Years 1 – 4 to encourage and enable them to develop specific skills to create art, make purposeful connections between investigation and practice, communicate and express artistic thoughts, respond to and reflect on art to be socially aware and relevant. JAP is compulsory for DSA Visual Arts students.

    Level 2 Learning: Academic Extension (Years 1 & 2 Programmes)

    Building Understanding of the World Through Inquiry & Nurturing a Sense of Wonder and Curiosity

    • Academic Discovery Modules (ADM)
    CS ADM - Programming a Lego Mindstorm 1.jpg

    To inquire about the world or the self through a process guided by teachers. This process will get students to adopt lenses of the discipline in order to answer essential questions. As an example, this will give them opportunities to think and act like a scientist or historian.

    • Independent Study Modules (ISM)
    EL ADM Battlemania - visit to Changi Prison.jpg

    To inquire about a topic of great interest through an independent research. Students get to pose any inquiry questions (E.g. What kind of lives do celebrities lead? Why do frogs croak after rain?) which may arise in their daily lives, and go through an independent research process to answer these questions. They will then do an oral presentation in order to communicate their learning.

    • Josephian Innomakers Programme

    The Josephian Innomakers Programme aims to provide students with the opportunities and platforms to learn through play, and through this playful learning, learn to be agents of change by innovating in service to the community. Creative Problem Solving framework and Design Thinking will be integrated into the curriculum to encourage students to Think, Make, Do and Share. Students will be introduced to the 21st-century workplace as they learn skills like coding, building robots, 3D printing, video-making and cardboard modelling. Skills and dispositions aligned with the IBDP Approaches to Learning (AtL) will be developed as the learning experiences challenge students to communicate, collaborate, self-manage, research, and think creatively as well as critically.

    Find out more

    Level 3 Learning: Academic Application (Years 3 & 4 Programmes)

    Systematic Inquiry to Address Issues or Problems in Service to Community

    • Curriculum+ (OP 3 & 4)

    Curriculum+ aims to develop and to prepare our students to be ready for a dynamic and complex world through living the Josephian mission. The three main broad components are:

    1. Self Development: Strengthening social-emotional competencies of resilience, self-regulation and confidence.
    2. Skills Focus: Honing future-ready skills of problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity.
    3. Making Connections: Enhancing community-mindedness through collaboration and service orientation.