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Age and grade guidelines

At CIS, the holistic nature of our programme sees our students busy learning and interacting with their peers in and out of the classroom.


When students are placed in a grade that aligns with our age and grade boundaries, they are more likely to thrive, as significant differences in age and developmental stages can be challenging for the child and their peers.


Grade placement at CIS is according to age. Children must be the age indicated by 31 August in the year of entry. Our minimum age requirements for entry into each grade level are outlined in the table below.

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Primary school Secondary school
Age Grade level Age Grade level
18 months /
2 years old
Nursery1 Age 12 Grade 7
Age 3 Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K)2 Age 13 Grade 8
Age 4 Junior Kindergarten (JK)2 Age 14 Grade 9
Age 5 Senior Kindergarten (SK)2 Age 15 Grade 10
Age 6 Grade 1 Age 16 Grade 113
Age 7 Grade 2 Age 17 Grade 123
Age 8 Grade 3    
Age 9 Grade 4    
Age 10 Grade 5    
Age 11 Grade 6    
  1. Children who are 18 months old can join the nursery programme, however, they will remain/continue in the nursery programme again the following school year. 
  2. With the exception of Nursery (where toilet training is included in the programme), children joining our Kindergarten programme must be completely toilet trained.
  3. The Diploma Programme is for students aged 16 to 19. Any age exceptions will be subject to the approval of the Secondary School Principal.

While these guidelines are an indication of the required age for each grade level, CIS will in exceptional circumstances accept students who are up to one year older than the grade level age. This is subject to approval of the School.

Rolling admission

We accept students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 throughout the year, although places are subject to vacancy. Entry into grades 9 and 10 is open until the last Monday in February each school year, while entry into grades 11 and 12 (the IB Diploma Programme) is only open to grade 11 students during the first two weeks of the school year.

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Global grade level comparisons

The following table provides a guide to CIS grade placement and how it corresponds to the equivalent grade in a range of national systems across the US, UK, Oceania and Singapore.


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CIS grade Equivalent grade placement in national systems*
North America United Kingdom Australia Singapore
Nursery       Nursery 1
Pre-Kindergarten Preschool Nursery Nursery Nursery 2
Junior Kindergarten Pre-Kindergarten Reception Preschool K1
Senior Kindergarten Kindergarten Year 1 Prep K2
Grade 1 Grade 1 Year 2 Year/Grade 1 PRI 1
Grade 2 Grade 2 Year 3 Year/Grade 2 PRI 2
Grade 3 Grade 3 Year 4 Year/Grade 3 PRI 3
Grade 4 Grade 4 Year 5 Year/Grade 4 PRI 4
Grade 5 Grade 5 Year 6 Year/Grade 5 PRI 5
Grade 6 Grade 6 Year 7 Year/Grade 6 PRI 6
Grade 7 Grade 7 Year 8 Year/Grade 7 SEC 1
Grade 8 Grade 8 Year 9 Year/Grade 8 SEC 2
Grade 8 Grade 8 Year 10 Year/Grade 9 SEC 3
Grade 10 Grade 10 Year 11 Year/Grade 10 SEC 4
Grade 11 Grade 11 Year 12 Year/Grade 11 JC/Poly
Grade 12 Grade 12 Year 13 Year/Grade 12 JC/Poly
*While information may be different in some countries, this table serves as a guide to grades in some national systems/countries.
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