The Difference Between Primary School and Best Secondary School in Singapore

Education is a crucial aspect of a child’s life, and it sets the foundation for their future. Primary and secondary schools are two significant stages in a child’s educational journey. While both schools aim to provide a good education, there are differences in the curriculum, teaching styles, and overall experience. In this article, we will explore the difference between primary school and secondary school, highlighting the unique features of each stage to help parents and students understand what to expect as they progress through their educational journey.

What is Primary School and Its Role?

Primary school, also known as elementary school, is the first formal stage of education for children. In most countries, primary education starts at age 5 or 6 and lasts for six to eight years, depending on the education system. The primary school curriculum is designed to provide a solid foundation in literacy, numeracy, and other core subjects such as science, social studies, and languages.

The primary school’s role is to provide children with a supportive and nurturing environment where they can develop their social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Primary school teachers use a variety of teaching methods to engage students and cater to their individual needs. Besides academic learning, primary schools also focus on developing children’s character and social skills, such as teamwork, empathy, and communication, to prepare them for the challenges of the future. Overall, primary school plays a crucial role in shaping a child’s attitude towards learning and setting the foundation for their academic and personal success.

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What is Secondary School and Its Role?

Secondary school, also known as high school, is the second stage of formal education for students following primary school. In most countries, secondary education starts at age 12 or 13 and lasts for four to six years, depending on the education system. The secondary school curriculum is designed to build on the knowledge and skills gained in primary school and prepare students for higher education or the workforce.

The role of the Best Secondary School in Singapore is to provide students with a more specialised education that caters to their interests and career aspirations. Students take a wide range of subjects, including core subjects like mathematics, science, language arts, and social studies, as well as elective subjects that allow them to explore their passions and interests. The curriculum is more challenging than primary school and emphasises critical thinking, problem-solving, and independent learning.

Secondary schools also provide students with opportunities to develop their social and emotional skills through extracurricular activities, sports, and community service programs. They also help students prepare for their future careers by providing career guidance, vocational training, and work-based learning opportunities. Overall, secondary school plays a crucial role in preparing students for higher education or the workforce, developing their personal and social skills, and helping them become responsible and engaged members of society.

Key Differences between Primary School and Best Secondary School in Singapore

Feature Primary School Secondary School
Age 7-12 years old 13-17 years old
Duration 6 years 4-5 years
Curriculum Broad-based, covers all core subjects More specialized, with elective subjects and streams
Emphasis Building foundational knowledge and skills.

Focus on developing social and emotional skills, such as teamwork, empathy, and communication

Developing critical thinking, independent learning, and career-readiness.Provides students with opportunities to develop leadership, collaboration, and other soft skills through extracurricular activities and community service programs
Teachers Students usually have one teacher who teaches most subjects Students have multiple teachers who specialise in specific subjects
Challenges Curriculum is less challenging than secondary school Curriculum is more challenging and emphasises problem-solving, analysis, and synthesis
Grading Grading is often based on effort and improvement Grading is more rigorous and based on a combination of exams, essays, projects, and other assessments
Extracurricular Activities Schools usually offer fewer extracurricular activities and sports teams Schools offer a wider range of extracurricular activities and sports teams, allowing students to explore their interests and passions
Class Size Smaller classes with one main teacher Larger classes with multiple subject teachers
Assessment Continuous assessment with occasional exams More frequent exams and major national exams at the end of each level
Co-Curricular Activities Compulsory for all students Wide range of options available, including sports, performing arts, clubs, and societies
Uniform Uniforms are mandatory Uniforms are mandatory


How Parents can support children in the smooth Transition

The transition from primary school to secondary school can be a significant milestone in a student’s life. It marks the end of one phase of their education and the beginning of another, more challenging one. This transition can be both exciting and daunting, as students must adjust to new routines, expectations, and academic demands. Students may also have to make new friends and adapt to new social dynamics in a larger and more diverse environment. To make this transition smoother, schools often offer orientation programs, transition days, and other support services to help students prepare for the changes ahead. Parents and care givers can also play a vital role in supporting their children by encouraging open communication, helping them to build organisational and study skills, and providing emotional support throughout the transition process.


Education plays a crucial role in shaping individuals and societies, starting with primary and secondary schools. It provides a foundation for lifelong learning, personal development, and career opportunities. In Singapore, the government has prioritised education and invested heavily in building a world-class education system. However, the high cost of education can be a challenge for some families. 

When searching for schools in Singapore, parents should consider the school’s fees as well as their child’s needs and interests. It is important to look for a school that provides quality education at an affordable price while also offering a supportive and nurturing learning environment. Parents should also consider the school’s location, extracurricular activities, and reputation within the community.

It is important for parents searching for schools and Class 3 fees in 2023 to consider their budget and look for options that provide good value for money. Looking for financial assistance programs like scholarships or others can be helpful, and you should compare tuition fees and get in-depth details on fees across different schools.

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