Similar to how the starting age of compulsory schooling varies across countries, student ages and their corresponding grade level placements will also differ between different educational systems.
Why age-grade placements are important
At its core, age-grade placements are important because students are more likely to thrive when placed in a cohort of similarly-aged peers. The right grade placement provides students the opportunity to interact and collaborate with peers in a similar developmental stage, allowing fruitful academic and social learning both in and out of the classroom. Such discernment is especially important in an international school environment as children from diverse backgrounds and nationalities come together to learn.
While these are necessary boundaries, exceptional circumstances do occur, and international schools like the Canadian International School in Singapore (CIS) will - on a case-by-case basis - accept students up to one year older than their corresponding grade level age. All decisions will ultimately be subject to the approval of the school after thorough evaluation of the student’s academic history and background.
How age-grade placements are decided
Different factors influence grade placement decisions. These include a country’s start date for their academic year and the type of curricula taught.
For example, Singapore’s primary and secondary students start their school year in early January. On the other hand, the school year often starts in July or August in North American countries. International schools may choose to align their school year with the local system or follow specific term calendars. At CIS, children must be a minimum age by 31 August at their year of entry, to be placed in their age-appropriate grade. This, as well as equivalent grade placements across different national systems can be found on this page.