Admissions FAQs

Below are some of the frequently asked questions we receive from families thinking of applying to Tanglin. If you cannot find the answer to your query, the Admissions Team is available to assist and advise. Please don't hesitate to get in touch.

School Information

What is your school's mission?

Tanglin Trust School Singapore has a long tradition of providing British-based learning with an international perspective. At Tanglin we strive to make every individual feel valued, happy and successful. Responsibility, enthusiasm and participation are actively encouraged and integrity is prized. Working together in a safe, caring yet stimulating environment, we set high expectations whilst offering strong support, resulting in a community of lifelong learners who can contribute with confidence to our world. See our Mission, Vision and Values here.

How is the school governed?
Administered by a Board of Governors, Tanglin Trust School is a non-profit company limited by guarantee and is registered as an educational charity. It is dependent on school-fee income and all revenue is devoted to the provision of education.

Under the School's Governing Instrument and Statutory Regulations, there shall be not less than 10 and not more than 15 governors. Board members are appointed by invitations, which is followed by a formal vote, and serve without remuneration. The Board of Governors elects its own Chair and governors are invited to serve based on the professional skills they can add and on their connection to the school.

In partnership with the school's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the board is responsible for finance, staffing, premises, enrolment, commissioning regular independent inspections and ensuring that the school operates in accordance with relevant regulations in Singapore. See Board Sub-Committee details for more information.

How is the school accredited?
British Schools Overseas (BSO), Edutrust (CPE), Infant School Accreditations, Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS). Click here for further information on inspections and awards.

Admissions

Do you have waitlists?
Waitlists do exist for most year groups and so parents are encouraged to apply early to secure a position on the waitlist. Please contact our Admissions Team for availability information for specific year groups.

Is there an order of priority for admission?
Tanglin groups applications according to the following priority categories:
  • Children of employees
  • Guaranteed Placement Rights
  • Standard Placement Rights
  • Other groups:
    • Siblings (who have been in school for at least one term)
    • Former Tanglin students
    • Children of former students
  • Normal waitlist.

Students are registered on our waitlists based on the date we receive the completed Application and Enrolment Fee, along with the Priority Category in which they fall.

Do you give priority to British Passport Holders?
No. Tanglin is a non-selective school that does not cherry pick students based on the nationality, gender or academic ability over and above our entry requirements.

What is the student demographic?
The students at our school are made up of 60+ different nationalities with an approximate 50/50 split on gender.

What are Placement Rights?
Tanglin has a programme of Placement Rights, designed to offer accelerated access to a small percentage of places in exchange for a significant contribution to the school. Two forms of Placement Rights are available: Guaranteed Placement Right offers a guaranteed place at the school; Standard Placement Right places the nominee at the top of the relevant waiting list.

In both cases, prospective applicants (corporate and individual) must meet with the school's normal admissions criteria. Placement Rights are sold on a first come first served basis. Please contact our Admissions Team to find out more.

What is the age requirement for students?
Students are placed in their age appropriate year groups according to their date of birth. We take account of students' age as of the 1 September, and it is our policy not to place students out of their age appropriate year groups. Nursery is the entry point for our school and students must be 3 years of age as of 1 September in the year of entry, turning 4 within the school year. Click here to see the age appropriate year group table.

What are the entry requirements to your school?
Tanglin is a non-selective school with a mixed ability cohort and caters for students who have the following attributes:

  • An age appropriate fluency in English language (speaking, reading, writing and comprehension)
  • A positive attitude to learning
  • The ability to thrive in a high achieving environment
  • Individual learning needs, which can be largely met within the mainstream classroom and without significant additional adult support.

Enrolment is not automatic and all applications must be approved by the Head of School before we are able to offer available spaces. The Admissions Policy is designed to ensure that the student who attends has the capacity to thrive within, and benefit from, all that Tanglin has to offer. Please refer to Entry Requirements for more details.

Do students need to complete an entry test?
We do not have a standard entry test for all applicants, however assessment is often part of the application approval process in the following circumstances:

  • Where English is not the student's first language, in order to ascertain age appropriate fluency in English
  • Where there is a history of learning support or (currently reads of) special learning needs.
  • When students are moving from a different curriculum, in order to identify any 'gaps' within learning
  • Sixth Form applications.

Do you offer boarding?
Tanglin does not provide boarding facilities and students must be living in Singapore with at least one of their parents.

My child is currently in Year 10 and we will move to Singapore for my child to complete Year 11, is this possible?
No, we do not accept any new students into Year 11 as it is the second year of a two year (I)GCSE programme, where students write exams at the end of Year 11 based on studies and coursework completed over Years 10 and 11.

My child is currently in Year 12 and we will move to Singapore for my child to complete Year 13, is this possible?
No, we do not accept any new students into Year 13 as it is the second year of either a two year A Level or IB Diploma course, where students write exams at the end of Year 13 based on studies and coursework completed over Years 12 and 13.

Do I get a refund of the Enrolment Fee if I withdraw my child from the waitlist?
If you withdraw your child from our waitlist before we have made you a formal offer of a place, then as per our Terms Governing Enrolment and Admissions, $2,140 of the Enrolment Fee would be refunded. If you withdraw after we have made you a formal offer of a place, the Enrolment Fee is non-refundable. For further information on the refund of fees, click here.

How much notice is required if I wish to withdraw my child from school?
As outlined in the Terms and Conditions Governing Admissions, withdrawal notifications must be submitted by the stated withdrawal deadlines to the Admissions Team in order to avoid financial penalty. For further details, click here.

School Life

What are the school hours?
Information on school hours can be found here.

What are the class sizes and how many classes do you have in each year group?

  • Nursery: eight classes of 20 students
  • Reception to Year 9: eight classes of 24 students
  • Years 10 & 11: eight tutor groups of 24 students. Class size of 20 students in option subjects, and 24 students in set subjects
  • Years 12 & 13: 12 tutor groups of 15 students. Subject classes are a maximum of 15 students, but may run for as few as five students.

Please note that the maximum class size may be exceeded on occasion due to extenuating circumstances at the discretion of the Head of School with the support of the CEO.

Will my child have to wear uniform? Where can I buy the uniform?
Yes, all students from Nursery to Sixth Form wear a school uniform. The School Shop stocks the full range of school clothing including swimwear, bags, hats, sportswear and House shirts. School shoes are not sold in the shop. Click here for the opening times of the School Shop.

How do parents stay informed about what their children are doing at school?
Each school reports to parents and actively involves parents in their children’s learning. Parent Teacher Conferences/Parent Teacher Student Conferences are also held throughout the year and Infant parents can access their child's Interactive Learning Diary.

The school's Parent Portal includes useful documents and information on upcoming events. There are also two weekly newsletters - E-flyer and InTouch, plus a termly magazine, The Voice. ParentWise also runs a series of free workshops and presentations for parents.

Can parents volunteer to assist in the classroom?
Yes. Volunteering is one of the many ways parents can support the school and students' learning. Others include work experience, careers fairs, specialist speakers and through the Parent Teacher Association. For more information, click here.

Does the school have a canteen where my child can buy lunch, or are children expected to bring their own lunch?
There are several canteens throughout the school. Junior and Senior students can choose to buy lunch and snacks or bring in their own. Infant children bring in their own snacks and lunch.

For more information on food and catering, including the types of food available, click here.

How do students get to and from school?
Our students travel to and from school in a number of different ways; some are dropped off by parents, some travel by MRT (One-North is the nearest station a five minute walk away), and many use the popular door-to-door school bus service. Click here for bus information, including routes, arrival and departure times.

Do you have a school nurse on campus?
Each school has its own health centre with fully qualified registered nurses. The nurses are onsite in case of accidents and they also accompany students on school trips.

Curriculum

Which curriculum do you follow?
Tanglin's academic traditions and approach to teaching are firmly grounded in an enhanced and rigorous English National Curriculum, however, there are many aspects of school life that have a global focus and are contextualised to our location in South East Asia. We are proud to be the only school in Singapore offering both A Levels and the IB Diploma in the Sixth Form, giving our students the opportunity to choose the best pathway for them. For further information, click here.

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)?
The acquisition of skills and knowledge in a vibrant learning environment is at the heart of the EYFS (Nursery and Reception) curriculum in the Infant School.

What is Key Stage 1?
In Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2), we aim to provide exciting opportunities which will stimulate the children's desire to be independent learners and internationally minded individuals.

What is Key Stage 2?
At Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6), we have created a 21st Century bespoke skills-based curriculum which not only enthuses, engages and challenges the thinking of young and inquiring minds, but also promotes high levels of attainment and outstanding progress.

What is Key Stage 3?
At Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9), the curriculum encompasses core, foundation and additional subjects such as Drama, Classics and PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education).

What is Key Stage 4?
At Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) students follow a two year (I)GCSE course of compulsory subjects, comprising examination courses in English Language, English Literature, Maths and either Double or Triple Science, complemented by non-examination courses in Physical Education and Lifeskills. They are also given the opportunity to select courses according to their preferences and interests. Please click here for further information on (I)GCSE options.

What is Key Stage 5?
At Key Stage 5 (Years 12 and 13), the Sixth Form offers a dual pathway allowing students to select either an A Level or IB Diploma programme of study. For specific information on each pathway, click here.

Teaching and Learning

Do you offer English as an Additional Language (EAL) Programme?
No, Tanglin does not provide any special programmes to teach students for whom English is an additional language and who are at an early stage of acquiring English. Students wishing to enrol in the school must have an age appropriate fluency in English, and one parent is required to be fluent in English to ensure effective communication between school and home.

Do you offer Learning Support?
At Tanglin, we are an inclusive learning environment and believe that each child is entitled to a curriculum that facilitates their individual development and support which allows them to achieve their full academic potential. Most of the time, the learning needs of our students can be met by class teachers. However, at certain stages along their learning journey some students may need curriculum modification or specific intervention. Please see the following links for school specific information: Infant, Junior, Senior.

What foreign languages can my child learn at school?
Our aim is to develop languages through carefully planned programmes for all students from Nursery to Year 11, with options to continue through to Year 13.

Chinese (Mandarin) is the core MFL studied in the Infant and Junior Schools. Chinese, French and Spanish are offered in the Senior School, with the vast majority of students studying two of these languages in Year 7 and 8, before specialising in one MFL to study for GCSE. Many of our students live in bilingual (or multilingual) households and we encourage those students to continue to develop their mother tongue languages alongside English; support for a number of languages is available through after school activities and private tuition on site.

Are students required to bring in their own laptop or other personal computing device to school?
All students from Year 5 to Year 13 are required to have a personal device which they bring to school every day. In Years 5 & 6 children are required to have their own iPad which they use at home and at school, but students will still require access to a computer at home. From Year 7 onwards students may continue with their iPad or iPad Pro (not Mini) but will also need a keyboard case and a good stylus. Alternatively if students are new to the school, or when the iPad needs replacing, students must bring in a Windows 10 pen-enabled device with touchscreen and camera like the Microsoft Surface Pro. From Years 7 to 11 regular laptops that do not have a touchscreen, pen input and outward-facing camera (ie. MacBooks) are NOT allowed. Although students in the Sixth Form currently have free choice of device, we recommend a Window 10 pen-enabled device such as the Microsoft Surface Pro.

Where do your staff come from?
Our community is a diverse mix of professionals from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures. Of the staff, 260 are teachers and 350 are from administration, operations and business support. Teachers are British or Commonwealth trained and experienced.

Where do most of your students go to university?
Many students secure places, including scholarships, at top universities around the world. Tanglin students have gone on to follow their passions, studying in the UK, USA, Canada, Europe, Japan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. For a list of university destinations and courses, click here.