NUS High School of Math and Science

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NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
Sekolah Tinggi NUS bagi Matematik dan Sains
NUSHS Logo.png
20 Clementi Avenue 1

Singapore 129957

Coordinates1°18′25″N 103°46′10″E / 1.306911°N 103.769356°E / 1.306911; 103.769356Coordinates: 1°18′25″N 103°46′10″E / 1.306911°N 103.769356°E / 1.306911; 103.769356
TypeSpecialized Independent
MottoExperiment. Explore. Excel.
Established1 January 2005
SessionSingle session
PrincipalMs Soh Lai Leng Magdalen
Age range13-18
Enrollment≈ 1000
Student to teacher ratio10:1
HousesFleming, Nobel, Fibonacci, Faraday
Colour(s) Pantone 3272   Pantone 432   White 
AffiliationNational University of Singapore

The NUS (National University of Singapore) High School of Math and Science (NUSH) is a specialized independent high school in Singapore offering a six-year Integrated Programme (IP) leading to the NUS High School Diploma.

The school offers a highly accelerated mathematics and science curriculum integrated with language, arts, humanities, sports, in a modular system. Over 70% of its graduates have pursued Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine-related courses in University.[1]


Academic curriculum[edit]

Though NUS High School is an Integrated Programme school, which allows students to bypass O-levels, it does not offer A-level or International Baccalaureate programmes, unlike other Integrated Programme schools in Singapore. Instead, it offers an NUS High School Diploma, which is recognized by all universities in Singapore, as well as top universities worldwide; its academic rigour is comparable to the above-mentioned qualifications. All students are accepted by DSA (Direct School Admission).

The diploma's curriculum is based on a modular system similar to NUS, where core modules are compulsory, elective modules help deepen the student's knowledge and may be compulsory for a major in a particular subject, and enrichment modules are purely for the student's interests. The school uses the cumulative average point (CAP) system, a 5-point system similar to the grade point average used in the United States. This is unlike most other schools in Singapore, where subjects are graded according to the British GSCE System.

Most notably, the school's mathematics and science curriculums are accelerated. Topics are usually covered earlier than normal; for example, the mole is introduced in Year 2 rather than in Year 3, some kinematics in Year 1 and Year 2 instead of Year 5, and molecular biology and genetics in Year 4 instead of Year 6. Examples of accelerated curriculum on mathematics include sections on solutions of equations in Year 1 rather than in Year 3, three-dimensional vectors and matrices in Years 2 and 4 instead of Year 5.

The school also offers honours courses in the Specialization Stage for mathematical and scientific disciplines, to further stretch the abilities of able students beyond the already-accelerated curriculum. The curriculum in these honours courses usually covers university material, such as linear algebra in mathematics, calculus-based electromagnetism in physics, organic synthesis and spectroscopy in chemistry, and proteomics in biology.

Students are also exposed to humanities and the arts, where the flexible modular system allows for sampling across this discipline. Mother tongue is compulsory in the school, and complies with the Ministry of Education's guidelines and curriculum, and the English curriculum teaches students practical skills such as reading, writing, and public speaking.

To graduate with the NUS High School diploma, students must take mathematics and at least two science subjects (which includes computing studies as well) at the major (basic) level in the Advancement Stage. Students may also choose to take a fourth subject from any subject group (sciences, humanities & the arts), and take any math/science subject at the honours level. In addition, students must complete an Advanced Research Project under the school's Da Vinci Research Programme. Finally, students must have a CAP above 2.5 (C+). Students are also encouraged to take Advanced Placement and Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) examinations in their senior years for credits for admission into foreign universities, though these are not necessary for graduation.

To further develop talented students, NUS High School offers the following special academic programmes:

  • Internationalisation Programme (exchange programmes with other math and science schools, Summer Academic Programmes)
  • Einstein+ Programme (academic mentorship by NUS Professors, Olympiad training programme)
  • Socrates Programme (for talented students in the humanities)
  • Aesthetic Appreciation Programme

Exceptionally talented students are allowed to accelerate in their curriculum after being assessed, giving them an opportunity to take higher-level modules at an earlier year.

The rate of exception is relatively low, but increasing over time. For example, in 2013, from year 1 only three students accelerated above their level in math. About a third of students finish the curriculum early and would go on to take NUS modules.

Research curriculum[edit]

All students must go through a research curriculum called the Da Vinci Programme, which is planned and managed by the Office of Research, Innovation, and Enterprise. The program is structured as follows:

In Years 1 and 2, students participate in activities that stimulate creative thinking. They undergo rigorous training, accompanied by continual assessment, to simulate the hectic work life where one must often face challenges and trials.[2]

In Years 3 and 4, students take part in Independent Research Studies, which are structured to give students flexibility in conducting research. Students are required to complete a Research Methodology module and are encouraged to work on a research project under the guidance of a teacher-mentor. Students are also able to participate in external research programmes at institutions of higher education.

In Years 5 and 6, students must embark on a capstone project, an Advanced Research Project in an area of Math or Science. Typically, a graduation research project will take nine to eighteen months to complete, depending on the research topic, and it usually comprises at least two weeks of full-time research. Research projects are generally mentored by full-time academics at leading research institutions, universities or polytechnics. All students showcase their research at the school's annual Research Congress held in March, where they receive grades of Distinction, Merit, Pass or Fail.

Co-Curricular Activities[edit]

There are a total of 24 CCAs currently offered in the school, in four categories, performing arts, Clubs and Societies, Sports & Games, and Uniformed Groups. It is compulsory for every student to take part in a CCA. They may take part in 2 CCAs.[3]

Name Group Notes
Astronomy Club Clubs and Societies Takes place after normal CCA hours, at around 8pm when the sky is dark enough for stargazing.

Sessions usually last 3 hours. Meals not provided.

Badminton Sports & Games Boys only
Basketball Sports & Games Boys only
Chess Club Clubs and Societies
Chinese Orchestra Performing Arts
Choir Performing Arts
Dance Club Performing Arts
Debate Club Clubs and Societies
Drama Club Performing Arts
Football Club Sports & Games Boys only
Journalism Club Clubs and Societies
Media Club Clubs and Societies
NCC Land Uniformed Groups
Netball Sports & Games Girls only
Outdoor Adventure Club Sports & Games Years 5 & 6 only
Robotics Club Clubs and Societies
School Orchestra Performing Arts
Scouts Uniformed Groups
St. John's Brigade Uniformed Groups
Table Tennis Sports & Games Boys only
Tennis Sports & Games Boys only
Track & Field Sports & Games
Water Sports Sports & Games Year 3 and above only
Youth Flying Club Clubs and Societies Affiliated to the SYFC

Notably, NUS High's Football Team made the news for their 22-0 defeat to Kranji Secondary School,[4][5] which attracted attention in a national debate on lopsided school scorelines.

Defunct CCAs[edit]

Name Group Notes
Art Club Clubs and Societies Dissolved in 2018 due to it being a subject-based CCA
Football Club (Girls' Team) Sports & Games Dissolved in 2018
Gamelan Ensemble Performing Arts Dissolved in 2017
Infocomm Club Clubs and Societies Dissolved in 2017 due to it being a subject-based CCA

Boarding Programme[edit]

Students are required to live in the NUS High Boarding School for the duration of their fifth year of study (Year 5). This arrangement is meant to train independence and, more pragmatically, facilitate work on the Advanced Research Project, which usually takes place in science laboratories close to school. This scheme also increases accessibility for students taking modules at the nearby National University of Singapore.


Campus facilities and features[edit]

Pi(π) Wall, Track, Field, Concourse

The NUS High campus sits on 4.67 hectares of land off Clementi Ave 1, a few minutes walk from the outskirts of the National University of Singapore. The school shifted operations there from its holding site at the former Raffles Junior College at Mount Sinai Road where it had held classes in 2005. NUS High received an Honour Award from US-based DesignShare Awards programme for the innovative design of its affiliated NUS High School. The award is given to projects that exemplify "best practice innovation from around the world in designing for the future of learning".

The campus comprises 15 science laboratories, over fifty classrooms, a 700-seat auditorium, a 150-seat theatrette, and the NUS High School Residence (Boarding School), in 6 levels. Sports facilities include tennis courts, a 400-meter track, Netball and Basketball court.

The most notable of the school's facilities include a scanning electron microscope, which is housed in a science research lab called the "SEM room". Considering its high cost, it is rare for an institution of this size and level to have such a piece of equipment and as such it can only be accessed by teachers and students who are doing their research experiments. The school also has an observatory located on the roof of its Boarding School building that is often used by astronomy enthusiasts.

The school also has a Science Research Complex on the top floor. Six specialised research laboratories are located there (a life sciences lab, an analytical chemistry lab, a synthetic chemistry lab, an applied technology lab, a clean energy development lab and an infocomm technology lab). This is in addition to an IP video conferencing room, seminar rooms, and additional classrooms. The advanced facilities and scientific equipment, which are comparable to those available in universities, complement the 9 basic science laboratories located on the third floor (concourse) of the school.

In addition, the campus has many publicised facades like the DNA nucleotides, the Nano-Tube, pi wall, Math Walk, and the Periodic-Table. Other facilities include a field with a 400 m running track, one basketball court, two tennis courts, a netball court, a badminton court, a multi-purpose hall, environmental and eco-garden features, an exhibition concourse, a student lounge, five computer laboratories, a media resource room, and a library and canteen running alongside each other under the running track. The campus also has art and music studios and co-curricular activity rooms, as well as facilities for the disabled.

NUS High School Residence (Boarding School)[edit]

NUS High School Residence Twin-Building (January 2009)

The campus includes a boarding school (NUS High School Residence) consisting of two blocks that can accommodate some 500 residents. Facilities include studying areas/rooms, library, gym, pantries, media rooms (TV and relaxation), multi-purpose function rooms and laundry rooms. The Residence is also open to scholars studying within or outside of the school and serves as the site for the school's boarding programme.

Affiliations to the National University of Singapore (NUS)[edit]

NUS Non-Graduating Programme[edit]

Only NUS High School students are eligible for the NUS Non-Graduating Programme. Under this programme, NUS High School students are allowed to read any NUS modules and courses from Faculty of Science (including Office of Life Sciences), Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (Literature, History, Geography and Economics), and School of Computing, provided that students meet the minimum academic competency level as endorsed by a teacher.

Completed NUS modules are reflected in the student's transcript but are not included in the computation of their CAP. Should these students be admitted to NUS after graduation from the NUS High School, the module grade and module credit associated with the completed NUS modules can then be included in the computation of their NUS graduation degree/certification requirements and components. Students may also claim course credit for these modules at American universities.

NUS Libraries[edit]

The library at NUS High School is part of the NUS Library system. This avails the considerable loaning, catalog and transaction resources of NUS Libraries to NUS High School affiliates; NUS Teaching staff can request books located in any other NUS Library and have them transferred to the Library in NUS High School. All NUS High School students are able to obtain and have full electronic access to all journals available at NUSH Libraries.

Key partners[edit]

Parent institution[edit]

Strategic partners[edit]

Research/education partners[edit]


  • 2005 – 2007: Associate Professor Lai Yee Hing
  • 2007 – 2015: Dr Hang Kim Hoo
  • 2016 – 2019: Mrs Lee Bee Yann
  • 2020 – Present: Ms Soh Lai Leng Magdalen[6]

Deputy Principals[edit]

  • 2005 – 2007: Mrs Jennifer Phang
  • 2005 – 2006: Mr Lim Ee Tuo
  • 2006 – 2011: Mr Suresh s/o Balakrishnan
  • 2008 – 2018: Ms Lim Hui Wen
  • 2010 – 2018: Mr Chang Weng Fatt
  • 2011 – Present: Mr Goh Hock Leong[6]
  • 2018 – Present: Mr Clifton Koh Siew Boon[6]
  • 2019 – Present: Mrs Doreen Gan[6]

School organised events[edit]

National Mathematical Olympiad of Singapore (NMOΣ)[edit]

The National Mathematical Olympiad of Singapore is a national mathematical olympiad competition organized by the school in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Singapore Mathematical Society. Through this competition, the school aims to test the pupils attending the test's interest for maths.

Singapore Primary Science Olympiad (SPSO)[edit]

The Singapore Primary Science Olympiad (SPSO) is an annual national competition which has been organized by the NUS High School of Mathematics and Science since 2009. This competition, which is open to Primary 5 pupils in Singapore, comprises the Theory round and the Practical round. Selected participants from the Theory round will be invited to the Practical round held on a later date.

NUS High School Annual Research Congress[edit]

The annual research congress organised by NUS High School Office of Research, Innovation and Enterprise is held in collaboration with the research programme (Da Vinci Programme). Every year, parents and guests from research organisations (Such as A*STAR, DSTA, DSO, NIE, NUS, etc.) are invited to this event where students' research works are showcased. The school also invites outstanding research projects from other Integrated Programme schools to be showcased alongside those of its own students, to promote collaboration and networking.

Singapore International Mathematics Challenge (SIMC)[edit]

SIMC is a mathematical modelling competition co-organised by the NUS High and the Ministry of Education (Singapore), held every two years. In addition to the competition for students, symposiums and workshops are held for participating teachers and principals. Mathematical talents from around the world visit NUS High School for one week in May to sit for a mathematical competition paper, and to showcase their results to a panel of judges.

Singapore Amazing Machine Competition[edit]

SAMC is a science competition jointly organised by the school, DSO National Laboratories, and the Science Centre Singapore. Teams construct a complex machine (the Amazing Machine) that performs a seemingly simple task in as many steps as possible. Teams will be judged on their creativity and the incorporation of scientific concepts in the machines.[7]

Sustainable Development Youth Convention (SDYC)[edit]

The SDYC is a student-initiated event, running since 2009, which aims to raise awareness of social, economic, political and environmental issues revolving around the central theme of sustainable development. The three day convention brings together Secondary 2 to JC2 students across Singapore, providing a platform for students to raise their concerns and share their insights, as well as to foster cooperation among teams in reaching a resolution on these global issues. In 2019, SDYC committees included UNFPA, UNWTO, AU, USS, UNSC, UNCOPUOS and a Joint Cabinet Crisis Committee. This was complemented by a novel intra-conference press system where delegates role played as journalists from international news agencies. Participants will be exposed to and encouraged to ponder about the interplay between scientific developments and public policy. In 2019, an eminent diplomat, Mr Bilahari Kausikan, was invited as the Guest of Honor.[8]

National Primary 4 Mathematics Carnival[edit]

In collaboration with MOE Gifted Education Programme Branch, the school organizes the annual Primary 4 Math Carnival. It aims to generate interest in mathematics amongst Primary school students. Around 2000 Primary 4 students from all primary schools around Singapore participate. The theme of the Carnival is “Math Alive!” where the use of mathematics in science and everyday life is highlighted. A Mathematics Project Competition is given to all schools who participate.

School demographic[edit]

There are many foreign students, mostly from Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea or China from Year 3 as the school aims to have a 20% foreign enrollment.


Students are admitted to the school at Year 1 or Year 3 after a selection process comprising tests and group activities in which they are assessed for their understanding and passion in mathematics and the sciences. The school attracts the top 10% of Singapore's national cohort of primary school students. Annually, it receives around 2000 applications for 170 places from both local and international students for its Year 1 admissions. Competition for the 20 Year 3 places is equally strong with an acceptance rate of about 6%.

Pupils are assessed by one or more of the following indicators:

  • Academic performance in school, particularly in Mathematics and Science
  • Teachers’ recommendations on pupil's learning aptitude and academic potential
  • Performance in activities during the Mathematics and Science Camp organized by the NUS High School
  • Performance in admission test or interview
  • Performance in Mathematics and Science competitions

The Supplementary Intake Exercise (SIE) will also be held after the DSA-Sec1 Exercise for Primary 6 students to have another go at getting admission to NUSH, provided that there are seats left. In average, there are about 3-7 seats left for the SIE.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "NUS High School celebrates 10 years of math and science education". TODAYonline. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  2. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  3. ^ "CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES". NUS HIGH. Nus High School of Math and Science. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Kranji Secondary School football team beats NUS High 22-0. This is not a typo". Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  5. ^ azizy (2020-02-10). "Forum: When my team lost by double digits". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  6. ^ a b c d "Management". Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  7. ^ "Science Centre hosts inaugural S'pore Amazing Machine Competition" (PDF). 4 July 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Conference | SDYC | Sustainable Development Youth Convention | Model UN Conference". SDYC. Retrieved 2019-09-01.

External links[edit]