Secondary Years - Grade 6 to 10 (Ages 11 - 16)

Forming students into creative, critical and reflective thinkers

GEMS World Academy (Singapore) is an authorised International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for the Middle Years Programme (MYP). As such, GEMS (Singapore) has a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that we believe is important for the future of our students.

The IB MYP is an educational framework that encourages students aged 11 to 16 to make practical connections between their studies and the real world. At a time when students are establishing their identity and building self-esteem, the MYP is uniquely designed to offer a well-rounded education and help students achieve success in school and in life.

GEMS (Singapore) Middle School curriculum ensures breadth and depth of understanding through study in eight subject groups: language acquisition, language and literature, individuals and societies, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical and health education, and design with all subject groups meeting an equal number of periods in the timetable.

Through the IB MYP framework, Grades 9 & 10 complete the internationally recognised IGCSE course and examinations while also completing the MYP and the externally moderated MYP Personal Project.

The MYP provides the ‘how we teach and how we learn’, and the IGCSE provides the ‘what’ giving the content to underpin the MYP units of study, ensuring a holistic learning experience for students throughout the two years. From Grade 10 individualised career and university guidance is also provided by our experienced university guidance counselor. To learn more about University Planning and Graduation & University Destinations at GEMS World Academy (Singapore) visit our pages.


In addition, there is a set period for a Homeroom programme which focuses on pastoral care, health and social education, community and service initiatives, and other important elements in adolescents’ lives.



Cambridge International School

The IB MYP is a purpose-built five-year programme (Grades 6-10) which provides a framework and assessment model for connecting pedagogical practices and content to the world beyond the classroom through the contextualisation of subject content and development of individual traits.

The IB MYP offers a broad balance of subjects, allowing students to see knowledge as an interconnected whole and it places the student directly at the centre of the learning process.

The programme also engages students with the community around them through involvement in Service as Action activities and in Grade 10 all students undertake the MYP Personal Project in which they undertake a sustained, self-directed independent piece of work.

Framework of study

The Secondary Years curriculum goes beyond simply transmitting a specific body of knowledge. There is a concurrent focus placed on understanding concepts, building skills and developing student attitudes.

This is essential to encourage higher thinking, which is invaluable to generate new ideas, conclusions and connections.

A concept is a big idea—something that is enduring. Concepts represent ways for students’ inquiry into issues and ideas of personal, local and global significance, providing the mechanism by which a subject can be explored. The MYP identifies prescribed key concepts and related concepts.

A concept-based model is used in the MYP to encourage students to process factual knowledge at a deeper intellectual level, create personal relevance and achieve higher levels of critical, creative and conceptual thinking.

The MYP is organised around six themes or perspectives called Global Contexts which are designed to encourage students to make connections between the real world and classroom learning. The Global Contexts inspire explorations of our common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet and they invite reflection on local, national and global communities that are relevant to our students.

Throughout the MYP all students participate in service-based activities which provide benefits for the communities they work with. GEMS World Academy (Singapore) provides opportunities to be involved in a range of service activities both within and outside of the school, but students are also encouraged to initiate their own Service as Action opportunities to develop their individual interests.

Students keep a portfolio of evidence and write reflections on their progress through the year.

The MYP Personal Project is a student-driven, independent piece of work completed over an extended period of time by every student in Grade 10. Project topics should reflect a student’s personal interests and use a Global Context to direct the investigation.

Students work to complete the Personal project through the making of a ‘product’, (for example a model, demonstration, or website) and also complete a report in which they detail how they engaged with the task of completing the project and reflect on the process, the outcome, and themselves as learners.

Approach to the MYP 

Through the implementation of the Middle Years programme, we are working to deliver units of study that provide a well-rounded framework for our students to develop the 21st-century skills needed to be college and career ready. The focus of our instruction includes:

Holistic Learning Student Inquiry

The IB MYP at GEMS World Academy (Singapore) exposes students to a balanced curriculum where many different subjects, skills and experiences allow our students to see knowledge as an integrated whole. Our students develop the ability to make links between and beyond subjects and nurture transferable skills.


Our curriculum in the IB MYP seeks to shift the emphasis from teacher-led instruction to student-led learning where students develop an innate awareness of their own learning process and the skills required to foster life-long learning.


Student Collaboration Real-world Application

The ability to work effectively with others, whether face-to-face or through the multitude of technological platforms is a skill vital for our students. GEMS World Academy (Singapore) students will engage with a wide range of formats to develop skills of effective collaboration.


In a complex and rapidly changing world, we are faced with an expansive and often bewildering array of choices. Curriculum content is framed in contexts which give our students the opportunity to explore real-world issues and develop a growing awareness of their place in the world.

A focus on higher-order thinking skills engages students in critical analysis and evaluation to develop a deeper appreciation of the opportunities and challenges of the present and future.

Intercultural Awareness Communication

Within an international setting, an essential aspect of our curriculum is that it is responsive to the differing perspectives and backgrounds of each of our individual students.

Through an appreciation of, and empathy towards others, our students also form their own international outlook and understanding of the world around them.

Our curriculum engages students in a wide variety of activities to develop effective communication skills.

From effective public speaking and debating to written and visual communication, students at GEMS World Academy (Singapore) develop the communication skills vital for their continuing success now and into the future.

Teaching Methods

We believe the most effective teaching and learning for this age group occurs when the course matter is:

  • Engaging, challenging, rigorous, relevant and significant
  • Collaborative
  • Appropriately supported with feedback
  • Understood and accommodated for students with diverse needs
  • Structured so students feel secure that their ideas are valued and respected
  • Supportive of the development of new thoughts, ideas and connections between other disciplines – the interdisciplinary approach

MYP assessment

Click here to find out more about MYP assessment.

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Cambridge International School

In Grade 9 & 10 students study subject content under the MYP framework and are able to undertake Cambridge IGCSE examinations at the end of Grade 10.

The IGCSE is the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16-year-olds. It is recognised by leading universities and employers worldwide and is an international passport to progression and success.

The MYP provides the ‘how we teach and how we learn’, and the IGCSE provides the ‘what’; giving the content to underpin the MYP units of study, ensuring a holistic learning experience for students throughout the two years.

At the end of Grade 10 students may choose to take IGCSE examinations in the subjects that they have studied over the two years.

IGCSE Subjects 

  • English (First Language)
  • English Literature
  • Science (Combined)
  • Mathematics
  • History (MYP Individuals and societies)

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Grade Level Subject Areas Method of Delivery Maximum Teacher:
Student Ratio
Annual Contact Hours Course Duration (months)
Grade 6 to 10
  • Language and Literature (English)
  • Language Acquisition: Spanish, Mandarin, French or English as an Additional Language (EAL)
  • Individuals and Societies
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Arts: Drama, Visual Art, Music
  • Design
  • Physical and Health Education
  • Face-to-face
  • 8.45am to 3.30pm
  • Full-time
1:24 925 9.3 months

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Copyright © 2013 - 2018 GEMS Education. All Rights Reserved.
CPE registration number: 200803726H, 19 March 2017 to 18 March 2021
EduTrust certificate number: EDU-2-2082, 27 July 2016 to 26 July 2020
CEEB Code: 687248