More about SJI
Seniors' Answers

Brief description of St. Joseph's Institution

SJI is a Catholic school who places strong emphasis on internationalism, intercultural understanding and making a positive difference to the world. The education system and school experience is based on 3 main values- Faith, Service and Community. As a school with the IB programme, SJI’s learning is typically conducted in tutorial groups of about 20 students, which will facilitate a more engaging and intellectually-active experience, and offer strong personal attention for each student. Ultimately, SJI aims to empower their students to become men and women of integrity and men and women for others.

Describe Your School Culture/Spirit:

School spirit is quite strong, especially since there are a lot of IP boys who have been there for the last 4 years. The culture is quite chill because the IP students don’t have as great a mugging culture as compared to o level students" ---Senior B

" The SJI community is very small and my 2019 batch only had around 280+ students. Due to our small numbers, everyone was roughly acquainted with one another. The school spirit at SJI is unlike any other that I have experienced as everyone is very bonded to the school and the community. There have been several occasions on which I wear my school T shirts out and random strangers who are alumni of the school will say “ora et labora” or use it as a conversation starter. My cohort was pretty close that some of our batch mates organised a jam session for the entire level to attend the evening before our graduation at school." --- Senior N

Why did you choose jc/poly?

Haha no choice because I’m a scholar. But if I had the choice I would still choose JC. I’m still unsure of what I wanna do in the future and I’m afraid of committing too early on. Also, I want to finish my education as soon as possible and I don’t really see a point of spending an extra year, when the end goal is the same (to go university)" ---Senior B

" I chose JC because I wanted to study several different subjects instead of specialising in a particular field which I would have had to at Poly." --- Senior N

Why did you choose SJI specifically??

Uhh I chose IB because I wanted to experience something new. A levels will simply be in the same style as O levels but much more rigorous. I am very open to trying new things and IB gives you a very different experience. Mugging no longer saves you because the question styles are generally going to test more on skills and critical thinking, and IB also develops your independent research skills and report writing skills, which can give a headstart in university. I felt that o levels has made me lose the ability to understand and explore things on my own because I was so dependent on the school’s notes and on memory work (which worked well for me in O Levels but was not meaningful) . Overall, the IB program has been a lot more meaningful to me; I find myself questioning things more instead of simply accepting what is thrown to me. I chose SJI for the IB program. My o level grades were good enough for both acsi and sji but I chose sji as I found the school very welcoming during open house and acsi didnt have an open house during jae period so I was unfamiliar with the school. Also, sji is less competitive in the sense that the school does not revolve the curriculum around getting the best results. We’re given the independent freedom to explore and do what we want for our EEs and IAs, which is indeed the way it’s supposed to be" ---Senior B

" I chose IB because I had moved abroad in Secondary school and was studying at an International School where I did the IGCSE instead of O levels. I liked the curriculum in the sense that I am given more freedom in the way I learned. I loved presentations, discussions etc and I felt that IB was more catered towards this rather than A levels. Also as someone who is very interested in the Sciences, I was excited for the Extended Essay component of IB where I embarked on my independent Chemistry research paper.
I chose SJI because there are only two local schools that have IB and ACSI was quite a distance from home. I also fell in love with the culture when I attended SJI’s open house. " --- Senior N

Was the competition to get into a CCA tough?

In IB, CCAs are called Creativity, activity, service (CASes). You will need to fulfill 50h for each strand, so you will need multiple CCAs (CASes) I have 5 CASes, some people have up to 8-9. Some CASes like sports do have trials, along with some competitive clubs like debate. But there are a lot of CASes that don’t have trials at all. Not all CASes are regular meetings. For mine, only two out of my 5 are regular (every week 3h). The others are ad hoc which means they have events every now and then" ---Senior B

" CCA wise sports and arts clubs hold trials but because IB has the CAS aspect, you may have to take on 3 different CCA’s to fulfill the 50 hr requirement for Creativity, Action and Service. Hence, we don’t get to focus on an individual CCA and tend to not be of very competitive nature. However, because there are so many different groups and initiatives that you can come up with there are quite a lot of leadership opportunities." --- Senior N

How is the academic rigour? Is it competitive? Is everyone fixated on results?

Acad rigour might be tough especially for o level students because you will have to adapt to IB’s style of learning Eg report writing, and teachers will not wait for you. You will need to independently figure things out yourself and catch up with the IP students. It’s generally not so competitive, except for a few competitive people here and there who would ask for your grades, etc. " ---Senior B

" Academics wise it is not very competitive as everyone treats it as an individual marathon. But many of us are used to helping one another. In fact I learnt better by teaching my friends so I was always happy to help them with subjects that I understood better and they would do the same for me. During our free periods, you would usually find people studying together or going for consultations with teachers in groups." --- Senior N

What are some special traditions/activities your school has? Which is your favourite?

" A school tradition would be the campfire that marks the end of orientation week for JC1s. Many alumni would come back to school for that evening of school songs and cheers which most SJI students are quite passionate about. We also have the Mahalo fundraising carnival once every 2 years." --- Senior N

What is the class size and gender ratio?

" Each tutor group has around 15 people. In my batch it was around 5 girls to 10 boys but the ratio and class size changes at each subject lesson. Lessons usually have 25 students each. The nice thing about this homeroom curriculum is that you get to meet different people at different classes." --- Senior N

Is it easy to have consultations with teachers/tutors? Are they approachable?

" The tutors are all very friendly and you are able to book consultations with them during your free periods if you have any doubts or clarifications you need to make" --- Senior N

How difficult is it to get a leadership position in SJI?

" Most people usually get one leadership position one way or another at SJI as there are so many different CCA’s that you will be involved in." --- Senior N

What are some stereotypes you have heard about your school and what do you think about it?

" That most SJI students are the ACSI rejects which isn’t necessarily true because there is a totally different culture and way of teaching IB in both schools." --- Senior N