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Here's what you need to know

Students must meet CIS’s entry requirements in order to be eligible for admission. Our Admissions Executives will happily answer any questions you might have about your child's eligibility.

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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*.


*Any exceptions will be addressed by Admissions, and discussed with the Secondary School Principal.

Singapore residency requirements

Students joining CIS must possess one of the following documents/passes before they can commence school:

a) A valid dependant pass, or Singapore permanent resident status;

b) Student pass; or

c) Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) approval letter (Singapore citizens) to study at CIS.

Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) approval for Singapore citizens

Children aged 2 to 5 (Nursery to Senior Kindergarten) do not require MOE approval. However, in accordance with Singapore law, students aged 6 or older who are Singapore citizens (by either birth or registration) must be granted approval by the Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) to study at CIS.

Our Admissions Team will submit the necessary applications to the MOE before a place at CIS has been formally offered.

Student passes

Students will require a student pass if:

  • Their parents are Singapore permanent residents, but they are not

  • They are currently staying in Singapore on a Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP)

  • Neither parent has an employment pass

Students who require a student pass from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will be assisted by the CIS admissions team. Assistance provided includes:

  • initiating the ICA application

  • providing advice on pass application

  • verifying a student’s enrolment and immigration status

The student pass application process will be initiated after your child has been formally accepted at CIS. Please note that as student passes are not transferable, passes will be cancelled when a student ceases to be enrolled at CIS. Read additional requirements for Student Pass holders.


Vaccination requirements

In Singapore, immunisation against both measles and diphtheria is mandatory under the Infectious Diseases Act. Immunisation against these two diseases is also a CIS condition of enrolment. This Singapore National Childhood Immunisation Schedule outlines what vaccines are needed and when.

With effect from 1 February 2019, it is mandatory that all children aged 12 and below, who were not born in Singapore, must provide evidence of diphtheria and measles vaccinations when applying for long-term residency passes. This page outlines the process that you will need to follow, while this page outlines some frequently asked questions.

Age requirements

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 on this page.

English language requirements (for the 20/21 school year only)

CIS English language proficiency requirements vary depending on a student’s grade. The English Language Learner (ELL) programme is mandatory for students in Grades 1 through 10, if, after English proficiency assessment, CIS determines that the student requires this support programme. Both students and parents, by enrolling their child before or after assessment, agree to participate in the ELL programme as directed by the School.

ELL grade level requirements

Kindergarten

Students entering nursery, pre-kindergarten, junior kindergarten, or senior kindergarten programme are not formally assessed for English proficiency prior to admission. They are immersed in an English-speaking environment inside the regular classroom. Homeroom teachers are oriented to the needs of young children who are not speakers of English and can consult with a member of the English Language Learner (ELL) Team on a case-by-case basis for assistance.

Grades 1 to 4

Students entering Grades 1 through Grade 4 whose first language is not English are formally assessed at CIS for English proficiency either prior to admission or during the initial weeks of school. Assessment procedures vary by grade level so that they are appropriate to the age of the student.

Grades 5 to 10

Students entering grades 5 through 10 whose first language is not English, or who are coming from a school where the language of instruction is not English, will be required to sit for an English proficiency test determined by CIS.

Aptis Teen (used for grades 6-10) is an innovative English assessment tool designed by the British Council that assesses students’ English proficiency in four areas: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The cost for the test is S$95 inclusive of GST (for tests conducted in Singapore).

Students are placed into one of six phases of language acquisition (where 1 is a beginner and 6 is proficient) after they have been tested. Since the application fee is non-refundable, applications should only be submitted when it is clear that your child meets the English entry requirement level.

English proficiency guidelines

Grade Level Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Phase 5 & 6
Grade 5 Eligible for August entry Eligible for January entry
Eligible Eligible Eligible
Grade 6 Not eligible Eligible for August entry /
Eligible for January entry if high phase 2
Eligible Eligible Eligible
Grade 7 Not eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible
Grade 8 Not eligible Eligible for August entry / Eligible for
January entry if high phase 3 in Aptis test
Eligible Eligible
Grade 9 Not eligible Eligible for August entry / Eligible for
January entry if high phase 4 in Aptis test
Eligible
Grade 10 Not eligible Eligible

Grades 11 and 12

Students entering Grade 11 must be proficient in academic English, as there is no ELL programme or support for students in Grades 11 or 12. Applicants whose first language is not English, should only apply if they have exited from an English language support programme by the end of Grade 10.

English language requirements (effective from 21/22 onwards)

CIS English language proficiency requirements vary depending on a student’s grade. The English Language Learner (ELL) programme is mandatory for students in senior kindergarten through grade 10, if, after English proficiency assessment, CIS determines that the student requires this support programme. Both students and parents, by enrolling their child before or after assessment, agree to participate in the ELL programme as directed by the School.

ELL grade level requirements

Nursery to junior kindergarten

Students entering our nursery, pre-kindergarten, junior kindergarten programmes are not formally assessed for English proficiency prior to admission. They are immersed in an English-speaking environment inside the regular classroom. Homeroom teachers are oriented to the needs of young children who are not speakers of English and can consult with a member of the English Language Learner (ELL) Team on a case-by-case basis for assistance.

Senior kindergarten to grade 4

Students entering senior kindergarten through grade 4 whose first language is not English are formally assessed at CIS for English proficiency either prior to admission or during the initial weeks of school. Assessment procedures vary by grade level so that they are appropriate to the age of the student.

Grades 5 to 10

Students entering grades 5 through 10 whose first language is not English, or who are coming from a school where the language of instruction is not English, will be required to sit for an English proficiency test determined by CIS.

Aptis Teen (used for grades 6-10) is an innovative English assessment tool designed by the British Council that assesses students’ English proficiency in four areas: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The cost for the test is S$95 inclusive of GST (for tests conducted in Singapore).

Students are placed into one of six phases of language acquisition (where 1 is a beginner and 6 is proficient) after they have been tested. Since the application fee is non-refundable, applications should only be submitted when it is clear that your child meets the English entry requirement level.

English proficiency guidelines

Grade LevelPhase 1Phase 2Phase 3Phase 4Phase 5 & 6
Grade 5Eligible for August entryEligible for January entry EligibleEligibleEligible
Grade 6Not eligibleEligible for August entry / Eligible for January entry if high phase 2EligibleEligibleEligible
Grade 7Not eligibleEligibleEligibleEligible
Grade 8Not eligibleEligible for August entry / Eligible for January entry if high phase 3 in Aptis testEligibleEligible
Grade 9Not eligibleEligible for August entry / Eligible for January entry if high phase 4 in Aptis testEligible
Grade 10Not eligibleEligible

Grades 11 and 12

Students entering Grade 11 must be proficient in academic English, as there is no ELL programme or support for students in Grades 11 or 12. Applicants whose first language is not English, should only apply if they have exited from an English language support programme by the end of Grade 10.

Chinese-English bilingual entry requirements

Chinese-English bilingual entry requirements

Places in CIS’s Chinese-English bilingual programme are subject to availability. Entry requirements are outlined in the grid below. So that we can determine programme eligibility, students applying for grades 2 to 6 may be required to sit English and/or Chinese proficiency assessments.

Grades Requirements
Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) No language requirements
Junior Kindergarten No language requirements
Senior Kindergarten (SK) and Grade 1 Native speaker of either language*
Grade 2
Grade 3
  • Native or near native speakers of English and/or Chinese
  • Phase 3 - English
  • Stage 3 - Chinese
Grade 4
Grade 5
Grade 6 Students must be native or near-native in both languages
French-English Bilingual entry requirements

French-English Bilingual entry requirements

Places in CIS’s French-English bilingual programme are subject to availability. Entry requirements are outlined in the grid below. So that we can determine programme eligibility, students applying for grades 2 to 5 may be required to sit English and/or French proficiency assessments.

Grades Requirements
Grade 1 Native speaker of either language
Grade 2
  • Native or near native speakers of English and/or French
  • High phase 2 - English
  • High stage 2 - French
Grade 3
  • Native or near native speakers of English and/or French
  • Phase 3 - English
  • Stage 3 - French
Grade 4
  • Native or near native speakers of English and/or French
  • High phase 3 - English
  • High stage 3 - French
Grade 5
  • Native or near native speakers of English and/or French
  • High phase 4 - English
  • High stage 4 - French
  1. Grades 1-5 will be offered in 21/22.

  2. Fees for the French bilingual programme are subject to change in 22/23.

  3. Grades 1 & 2 are offered each school year subject to the enrolment of 28 students per grade. This enrolment number must be met by 31 January. Should we not meet these numbers, classes in grades 1 & 2 will not be offered the following August, and parents who have applied will have the application fee refunded if they decide not to enrol at CIS.

CIS Foundation programme

Students entering the CIS Foundation* programme will be required to submit past transcripts, school reports, testimonials and recommendations (3 years’ worth of records are typically required).

* the primary foundation programme is for students in grades 5-6, and the secondary foundation programme is for students in grades 7-8.

Students are also required to demonstrate a basic required level of English proficiency to enter the Foundation programme and to determine level placement. Student language proficiency is determined by their measurement on a language proficiency test and achievements reports. These must meet CIS entry requirements. Additional assessments may be required for eligibility.

English requirements, or equivalent, which are outlined below:

Target entry grade
(age-eligible level)
WIDA levels Common European Framework (CEFR) grade
Grade 5 1-2 A1-A2
Grade 6 2 High A2
Grade 7 3-4 High A2 - Mid B1
Grade 8 3-4 Mid-High B1 / Low B2
Grade 9 4 Mid-High B2 / C1
Learning support

Although CIS provides limited assistance for students with learning challenges (from Grade 1 onwards) who meet our admissions criteria, it is expected that all students are able to function and enjoy learning in our regular classes and programmes with minimal assistance or accommodation. If your child is currently receiving special services such as remedial teaching, speech/language therapy or an enrichment programme, please inform us at the beginning of the application process.

Compulsory nature of support programmes

Applications are reviewed, and whenever possible, any support services that will be required by a student are communicated before a decision regarding acceptance is made.

CIS support programmes (Learning Support and English Language Learning) are compulsory if the outcome of an assessment determines it is necessary. Graduation from support programmes is determined by the School.

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