The Learning Lab

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The Learning Lab
Locations (Singapore) Mountbatten Square, Rochester Mall, United Square, UE Square, Tampines Point, Bedok Point, Westgate, HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok
Type Private Tuition
Average class size 10
Tagline Nurturing Future Leaders

The Learning Lab is a private school based in Singapore. It develops and runs academic enrichment programs in English, Chinese, Mathematics, and the Biological and Physical Sciences at the pre-primary, primary, secondary and pre-tertiary levels.


The Learning Lab runs academic enrichment and headstart tuition programs for primary, secondary and pre-tertiary students. The Straits Times Saturday Special Report "Cramming for an A" (28 August 2010) revealed that students needed to take a test to enroll.[1] The Straits Times stated as well that The Learning Lab's curriculum was pitched at a level 30 to 50 percent higher than that in Singapore schools. The average waiting time is said to be 3 months. But some parents report that for certain time slots, wait times are much longer.[2]

There are now preparatory classes as well for the Gifted Education Program screening test and selection test, in response to repeated pleas from parents and families[citation needed]. The Gifted Education Program caters to the top 1% of each academic year and represents the crème de la crème of Singapore’s education system.

Similarly, new preparatory classes for the Direct School Admission (DSA) program have been started in response to increasing demand from families[citation needed]. Along with the PSLE, the DSA program is a strategic gateway into top Integrated Programs sought after by the best secondary and junior college students.

The school has an unrivalled track record for producing the country’s top students[citation needed]. Mediacorp's Today in its article January 3, 2012 quoted that almost 300 students enrolled at The Learning Lab scored 260 and above in last year's Primary School Leaving Examination.[3] Students commonly gain admission thereafter into Raffles Institution, Raffles Girls' School, Hwa Chong Institution, Nanyang Girls' High School, NUS High, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and the other Integrated Program schools.[4]

Seven students from The Learning Lab have been awarded the President’s Scholarship by Singapore’s Public Service Commission (PSC) since 2005. Several dozen have been awarded the PSC’s Overseas Merit Scholarship (Open), the Singapore Government Scholarship (Open) and the Overseas Merit Scholarship (Legal Services), as well as a plethora of private sector scholarships.

The centre’s students have gained admission into the best universities globally. In the US, this includes the likes of Princeton, Harvard and Yale. In the UK, they include University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics and Political Science. In Singapore, the centre’s students have been selected for entry into the elite University Scholars Programs at the National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University and Nanyang Technological University. Many have been successfully admitted into the much sought-after medical, business and law schools.[citation needed]

The Learning Lab has eight centres. These are located at Mountbatten Square, Rochester Mall, HomeTeam NS Bukit Batok, United Square, UE Square, Tampines Point and Bedok Point. Each centre boasts bespoke learning facilities, libraries and IT systems.

The design themes have a futuristic, high-tech slant. Learning wings are named after global cities and hub centers, such as Silicon Valley, Stanford, London, New York City, Boston, Paris, Geneva, Stockholm, Cambridge and Tokyo.

As of October 2014, The Learning Lab has sold a significant stake to Advent International, an American global private equity firm, for an estimated $300 million.[5] Company filings obtained by The Straits Times indicate that Learning Lab founder Jonathan Choe likely no longer owned the firm as at Sept 30.[6] News of the buyout sparked concerns among parents who were worried that the new owners may increase tuition fees, which is already 50% more than other tuition centres[7]


Not much is revealed except that its curriculum is pitched at a level 30 to 50 percent higher than in Singapore schools, according to the Straits Times.[8]

Today's article "Glee, Warren Buffett, and much more" reported on 30 July 2011 that The Learning Lab's curriculum teaches children about Hungarian-American financier George Soros, as well as topics such as the United States Presidential Elections, the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix and the sub-prime mortgage crisis, as part of its curriculum for Primary 2 to Primary 6 students.[9]

Also covered are leadership case studies on Warren Buffett, Lionel Messi, September 11 attacks, China's and India's rise, the Glee phenomenon and the entire gamut of new social media - given that "these are must-know issues if our kids are to thrive in their complex new worlds". The Straits Times disclosed that Science experiments and projects included studies on rabbit traits and behavior.[10]

There is an inclination too towards entrepreneurship case studies, with recent coverage of Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson[citation needed].

Today quoted that the curriculum was well received, that "kids loved this special exposure as they found it fun to keep on top of global affairs ... and become world-ready".[11]

The curriculum management units are organized along subject and age-group lines. These curriculum management units generate its proprietary teaching materials and case studies.


There are teacher incubation units and quality management systems, placing teaching standards among the best countrywide[citation needed].

Teacher salaries are among the highest industry wide and there is keen competition among top graduates and ex-teachers for entry into its teaching corps[citation needed].

Leadership Programs[edit]

"Nurturing future leaders" is the school's tagline. It encourages students to dream big dreams and set concrete plans to achieve individual aspirations.

Leadership development programs include space camps with ex-NASA engineers and motivational seminars with co-leaders of the Singapore Women's Everest team.

The school sent student contingents to several high profile conferences:

  • Global Young Leaders Conference in Washington DC and NYC [12]
  • National Youth Leadership Forum on Business and Innovation at Stanford [13]
  • Global Young Innovators Initiative at Harvard Law School [14]

The curriculum research units interweave leadership components into the teaching materials. Students develop their leadership, critical thinking and presentation skills as critical success factors for excellence in the real world. Premium is placed on creativity and perseverance as well.

In 2011, The Learning Lab's top three students scored 283, 282 and 281 respectively in the PSLE. They were also the top 3 students nationwide.[15]

In 2010, the school's top 3 students scored 282, 279 and 278 respectively nationwide. They were ranked first, second and seventh respectively nationwide.[16]

The Learning Lab has a clearly unparalleled track record for producing the country’s top students[citation needed]. In the preceding years to 2010, the center produced Singapore’s top PSLE students, achieving multiple scores of near 290, with a bumper crop each year achieving above 280. This has reinforced market leadership[citation needed].

The Ministry of Education declined to name the top PSLE students from 2012[17] and there has correspondingly been no data release since from The Learning Lab, although it did share that it had produced the top students again in 2012 and yet again in 2013.

The centre takes pride in developing the complete leader. It has little interest in mere grades[citation needed].

The Learning Lab Junior[edit]

The Learning Lab Junior is the flagship brand for its advanced enrichment classes in English and mathematics for the nursery 1-2 and kindergarten 1-2 age groups. It aims to be a “springboard for rising stars” [18]

Like its parent brand, The Learning Lab Junior is “best in class” [19] and offers a “compelling competitive edge in school and in life”.

Chinese Lab[edit]

Chinese Lab is the group’s new flagship brand for premier Chinese enrichment and “China-readiness”. In line with its stated aim of grooming bicultural global citizens from young, it began with programs for nursery, kindergarten and primary 1 to 2 students.

The curriculum emphasizes an appreciation of Chinese contemporary and classical culture, besides an early introduction into China’s business and political landscape, via innovative micro-case studies. Like its parent brand, Chinese Lab has a highly interactive student-centered teaching as well as a rich and stimulating linguistic environment.[20]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ THE STRAITS TIMES, 28 August 2010, Radha Basu, Daryl Lim and Sumita Sami, “Cramming for an A”, Singapore
  2. ^ THE STRAITS TIMES, 28 August 2010, Radha Basu, Daryl Lim and Sumita Sami, “Cramming for an A”, Singapore
  3. ^ Tan Weizhen and Ng Jing Yng (30 July 2011). "Glee, Warren Buffett, and much more" (PDF). TODAY. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  4. ^ Sandra Davie (Dec 2, 2011). "Tuition boom as kids prep for Integrated Programme". The Straits Times. Retrieved Dec 2, 2011. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ THE STRAITS TIMES, 28 August 2010, Radha Basu, Daryl Lim and Sumita Sami, “Cramming for an A”, Singapore
  9. ^ Tan Weizhen and Ng Jing Yng (30 July 2011). "Glee, Warren Buffett, and much more" (PDF). TODAY. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  10. ^ Tan Weizhen and Ng Jing Yng (30 July 2011). "Glee, Warren Buffett, and much more" (PDF). TODAY. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  11. ^ Tan Weizhen and Ng Jing Yng (30 July 2011). "Glee, Warren Buffett, and much more" (PDF). TODAY. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Global Young Leaders Conference". 
  13. ^ "National Youth Leadership Forum". 
  14. ^ "Global Young Innovators Initiative". 
  15. ^ Amelia Tan (26 November 2010). "97.4% PSLE passes, top student from Rulang Primary". THE STRAITS TIMES. Retrieved 26 November 2010. 
  16. ^ THE STRAITS TIMES, 26 November 2010, Amelia Tan, “Rosyth boy tops PSLE”, Singapore
  17. ^ "MOE, SEAB to stop listing top—scoring students in all national exams". Channel NewsAsia. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  18. ^ "The Learning Lab". 
  19. ^ "The Learning Lab". 
  20. ^ "The Learning Lab".