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3. Understanding Curriculum Matters

i. Curriculum Structure 2023

CHIJ Katong Convent is one of 30+ secondary schools which will implement Full Subject-Based Banding (Full SBB) from 2023. 

# Academic Programme for identified students will commence in Term 2 for Secondary 1.

ii. Subject-Based Banding

Subject-Based Banding (Secondary) [SBB (Sec)] is one of many pathways for students to nurture their aptitudes and enhance their access to opportunities throughout their educational journey. SBB (Sec) allows one to take specific subjects at a higher academic level starting from Secondary 1 if she is found suitable to do so. If she is in the N(A) or (T) course, she may be able to take some subjects at Express or N(A) Level to allow her to stretch herself and acquire deeper competencies in her area(s) of strengths.

How does SBB (Secondary) work?

    Lower Secondary N(A) and N(T) students are eligible to take some subjects (English Language, Mathematics, Science and Mother Tongue Languages) at a higher academic level starting from Secondary 1 if they have performed well in these subjects at the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), or at their Secondary 1 mid-year / end-of-year examinations:
      Based on PSLE results

      • Students posted to the N(A) or N(T) course who scored AL 5 or better for a PSLE Standard subject can take the subject at the Express level.
      • Students posted to the N(T) course who scored at least AL 6 for a PSLE Standard subject or A in a PSLE Foundation subject can take it at N(A) level

      Based on Secondary 1 First Combined results at mid-year, or Overall results at the end of the year

      • N(A) students who attained 75% or higher in one of the above SBB subjects, and an average of 60% or higher across all subjects, can take the subject at the Express Level;
      • N(T) students who attained 75% or higher in one of the above SBB subjects, and an average of 60% or higher across all subjects, can take the subject at the N(A) Level

      A student can take a maximum of three subjects at a higher level.

      What are the benefits of the SBB programme?

      The programme provides eligible students the opportunity to be stretched in subjects which they are strong at. In addition to deepening their mastery in these subjects, the programme will help enable students to become more confident learners.

      The programme would also better prepare students to offer subjects at a higher level in upper secondary. This may lead to more options when choosing the subject combination for upper secondary, and post-secondary courses.

      The programme is not meant to increase the chances of a student attaining lateral transfer. In fact, students will have to manage the increased rigour of the SBB subject.

      What support will the school be providing to the SBB students?

      Our teachers and the student development team will closely monitor students’ progress in their higher-level subjects, and their overall progress too.

      Students themselves need to learn to be self-directed in their learning. This means that they have to consistently revisit and revise what they have learned in the lessons, and approach teachers for consultation whenever doubts arise.

      Teachers may conduct additional lessons after school to help students catch up.

      The various departments will also be conducting bridging programmes.

      Can my child drop out of SBB programme if she is not coping well in the rest of the subjects?

      We will consider this on a case-by-case basis, taking into account not only the grades but teachers’ recommendations as well. However, we encourage students who embark on the programme to remain committed to the programme. This means that if a student is not coping well, she should work with her teachers to improve. Students will also need some time to adjust to the demands of the programme. Leaving the SBB programme should not be the immediate consideration.

      Since my child would be sitting for the higher-stream tests and examinations, how would her scores be computed?

      We recognise that the higher-level assessments would be more demanding for the student. When computing the overall score at the end of the year, there would be a score conversion for the SBB subject. The exact conversion will depend on the difference in difficulty between the higher-level assessments, and the ones taken by her non-SBB peers. Please note that the score conversion does not increase the chances of a lateral transfer.

      Can students embark on the SBB programme at other times of the year?

      Students who perform well in specific subjects may still be offered SBB in Secondary 1. The offer would be made at the middle, or end, of academic year.

      Students have to demonstrate a clear strength in the subject, and the ability to cope with all her subjects (in particular, 75% for the subject and 60% overall).

      We will also take into account teachers’ observations and recommendations when deciding whether to extend the SBB offer to a student. The student should demonstrate a positive learning attitude to cope with the higher academic demand of the SBB programme.

      How will I know if my child is eligible for SBB?

      Students who are eligible to study a subject at more demanding level in Sec 1 will receive the MOE letter of offer via Parents Gateway (PG) on Registration Day from the school. Parents are to submit the consent via PG.

      For those who do not have access to PG, please notify the school via this form. The letter will be emailed to you. Please submit your acceptance form found in your letter of offer either by hand or email to the General Office before the stated deadline.

      iii. Mother Tongue Languages (MTL) - Higher MTL, TL, Third Language

      a) Higher Mother Tongue (HMTL)

      Students who have been offered to study HMTL will receive an eligibility Form A via Parents Gateway (PG) from the school.

      For those who do not have access to PG, please notify the school via this form. Form A will be emailed to you.

      Please download and complete Form A. You are to submit the hardcopy Form A to the form teacher on Monday, 4 January 2022.

      HMTL Lesson Venues
      Higher Chinese Language (HCL) is conducted in our school. Higher Malay Language (HML) and Higher Tamil Language (HTL) are conducted at the respective venues:
          • HML - Tanjong Katong Sec School
          • HTL - Umar Pulavar Tamil Language Centre

      For students who have not been offered HMTL by MOE but wish to apply for HMTL, please note that the school will make recommendations only at the end of Secondary One to students who have met the following eligibility criteria:
          • overall Sec 1 MTL result is 75% and above;
          • consistent performance in both WAs and Semestral Examinations throughout the academic year;
          • respective MTL teacher’s recommendation.

      HML centre does not accept any recommendations at the end of Sec 1. HTL centre has its own selection criteria. For more information, please check directly with the centre.

      b) Tamil Language (TL) / Basic Tamil (BTL) / Tamil Language B (TLB) & Higher Tamil Language (HTL)

      All TL / BTL/ TLB/ HTL students are to register for lessons at their respective designated TL centres (see below) between 2.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. from Tuesday, 4 January 2022 to Wednesday, 5 January 2022.

      • TL (Express/ Normal Academic) - Bedok View Sec Sch or Umar Pulavar Tamil Language Centre
      • TL (Normal Technical/ TL-B/ HTL) -  Umar Pulavar Tamil Language Centre

      Tamil classes will be conducted at designated Tamil Language centres from Thursday, 6 January 2022.

      Tamil lessons will be on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. They are usually held once a week, starting promptly at 3 p.m. and ending at 6 p.m. with a 10 minutes break. Please check with the respective Tamil centre regarding the Tamil Language timetable.

      c) Third Language

      You will be informed of the Third Language application outcome via Parents Gateway.

      For those who do not have access to PG, please notify the school via this form. The outcome will be emailed to you.

      Successful candidates posted to:
          • Malay (Special Programme) and Chinese (Special Programme) Zonal Centers are to refer to the respective school website for instructions on registration. Please refer to your Choosing your Secondary Schools 2021 booklet,pages C-1 and C-2 for a list of these zonal centres.
          • MOE Language Centres (Bishan and Newton) are to confirm the acceptance of the offer and complete the online registration at https://www.moelc.moe.edu.sg/ from Wednesday, 22 December 2021 to Thursday, 6 January 2022.

      For students who are eligible for the Third Language but did not apply online previously upon receipt of PSLE result and now wish to apply in December, please collect a form from MOE Language Centre (MOELC). MOELC will only issue application forms to students who are eligible. Any late application will be subjected to availability of vacancy.