OWIS Parent Partnership Series: Transitioning from Primary Grade 5 to Secondary Grade 6

OWIS Parent Partnership Series - Transition from Primary School to Secondary School

Recently, our Senior Coordinator for Pastoral Care for Secondary School, Ms Catherine Adler, hosted a session for parents whose children will be advancing from Primary Grade 5 to Secondary Grade 6 at our OWIS Nanyang Campus.

In this session, we discussed the changes the transition would bring, our continued focus on the welfare of the children, our values, the curricula we offer and our future plans.

Let’s go through some of the highlights from the session.

The Mission and Values at OWIS

The things that matter most to our community will not change. Our values of kindness, empathy, compassion and service to the world remain at the forefront of our educational approach. We build on these values throughout Secondary School, incorporating the IB Learner Profile attributes into our programmes.

We will continue to offer a wide range of CCAs, including The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Model United Nations. While the activities may shift slightly to accommodate different age groups, we remain committed to providing a well-rounded education that nurtures the interests and passions of all our students.

A Closer Look at Student Life in Secondary School at OWIS

Secondary School brings with it some changes from what students were used to in the Primary grades. 

Let’s take a look at the things that change. 

  1. Time-table: Students in Secondary School move from classroom to classroom for different subjects. This allows them to get some breathing space between lessons.

    Every class has a form tutor, who will act as a go-to person for the children. The day will begin and end with a 15-minute check-in with their tutor, who is not only their mentor but also a teacher of a particular subject. They will be monitoring the students’ well-being and academics to ensure that everything is on track and will be your first point of contact for any queries you may have.
  • Learning At Home: We have taken a staggered approach to learning at home to ensure students can balance their workload effectively. We assign a 20-minute block per week for every subject for Grades 6 to 8 to help students learn effectively at home. This 20-minute block will be assigned as per a schedule, giving students a full week to complete it. This approach helps students manage their workload without feeling burdened. It also ensures that students have time to play, get outside and have some fresh air.We have opted to use the Satchel app to organise learning-at-home tasks and assignments. This platform allows teachers to assign tasks and make them visible to students and parents. It is also a communication tool that ensures everyone is kept in the loop.


  • Academic Pathway: In Secondary School, Grades 6 to 8 follow a Modified Cambridge curriculum. From there, we progress to the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and, finally, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP).The Modified Cambridge curriculum provides a bit more structure than the PYP. This curriculum is designed to prepare students for the external assessments they will take in the IGCSE programme, which is renowned globally for its rigour and high standards.The curriculum in Grade 6 includes English, Maths, Science, Humanities, Computer Studies, PE, Art, Music and Drama. There’s a choice of multiple languages as well.

What Can We, and The Students, Expect? 

Preparing students for the real world is a crucial part of their education, and building independence and responsibility within them is vital. At One World International School, we believe in setting high expectations for our students to ensure they are ready for the challenges of the future.

Responsibility is also essential, and we encourage students to take ownership of their belongings. To help with this, each student is issued a locker to keep their valuables safe. Another expectation we have is for students to wear a uniform to identify themselves as part of our secondary school.

Finally, students are issued with school iPads, which is an exciting responsibility for many. When a student is given a device, the parents are required to sign a contract. We understand that children may not be “contractually ready” to sign something like this, but the contract serves as an overview of the expectations and guidelines for device usage.

Multiple Opportunities for Socio-Emotional Development

In Primary and Secondary School, we have a student council that allows our students to develop their leadership skills and have a voice in the school community. But what makes our Student Council unique is that it has been designed by past students who understand the importance of keeping the student voice at the forefront of decision-making.

Appointments for the Student Council are decided through a democratic election process so that the students who hold these positions genuinely represent the views of their fellow students.

We also have a house system that promotes healthy competition among students and encourages school spirit. Students from all grades, including Grade 6, can run for house positions and compete in a range of activities, from sports to arts.

We have a wide range of clubs that cater to various interests and abilities, creating an environment of learning and exploration that goes beyond the standard curriculum. Through these clubs, students have the opportunity to connect with like-minded students from different grades and engage in activities that are both fun and educational. Here are some examples:

  1. Our Eco Club provides students with the opportunity to learn about environmental conservation and take practical steps to make a difference in their local community.
  2. We also have a podcast club that teaches students how to create podcasts and helps them develop essential communication and media skills, such as public speaking, storytelling and editing. 
  3. We have an unbelievable student-led school magazine, which showcases the effort and care that goes into producing polished articles.
  4. One of our most exciting initiatives is the student-led TEDx talks. As part of the programme, students plan and present TEDx talks on a variety of topics. 
  5. Our Model United Nations (MUN) is another favourite among students. Here, students learn how to debate, negotiate and collaborate with their peers. This prepares them for real-world situations and helps them develop their critical thinking and communication skills.

Our extracurricular activities are about more than just having fun. They also provide students with opportunities to develop skills that will be useful throughout their lives. From leadership to public speaking, critical thinking to collaboration, our extracurricular activities are designed to help your child develop into a well-rounded, confident and capable individual.

An Exciting Transition Morning for Primary Students at OWIS Nanyang 

We recognise the importance of making the transition from Grade 5 to 6 as smooth and meaningful as possible for our students. That’s why we’re going to have a Transition Morning.

This event is designed to help our students get a sense of what’s on offer at Secondary School. We’re exploring different ways to make this transition meaningful, such as potentially having the students do a half day here and a half day there. This will allow them to experience the new environment and get a feel for the exciting opportunities that await them.

OWIS Provides a Well-Rounded Education System for Students Moving to Grade 6

As parents, we always want to ensure that our children are getting the best possible education. At One World International School Nanyang Campus, we are committed to providing an exceptional educational experience that prepares our students for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

As a leading international school in Singapore for Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary students, we are proud to nurture a diverse school community. We make sure we challenge and inspire students at every level, and our dedicated teachers work tirelessly to help each student reach their full potential.

For more information on our rigorous and holistic secondary school education for students at OWIS Nanyang, contact us today.