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Banding would also benefit those students who under the current
arrangement are in the merged stream2
but have considerable difficulties coping with some subjects at
the Standard level. Some of these students are currently
transferred to the EM3 stream after Primary 5, to enable them to
consolidate their learning before the PSLE. Under the new
subject-based banding framework, students who are unable to cope
with the Standard curriculum can opt to take some subjects at
the Foundation level. Taking their weak subjects at the
Foundation level will allow these students to have a better
grasp of the fundamentals, and will prepare them for progression
to secondary school.
Schools will advise
students to offer Foundation subjects where they face
difficulties in two or more subjects. Students who are weak in
only one subject will be encouraged to offer all subjects at the
Standard level, and to work on improving their weak subject. At
the end of Primary 4, schools will advise their students on the
subject combinations that are best suited to their abilities.
Parents and students will choose the combinations they prefer.
Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) will put in place a
method of computing the PSLE aggregate for students who take a
mix of Standard and Foundation subjects. (This would build on
the current system for computing the PSLE aggregate for EM3
students who take MTL at the Standard level and other subjects
at the Foundation level.) The computation of subject scores will
be fair and equitable, commensurate with the different demands
of Standard and Foundation-level subjects. To allow sufficient
time to work out the detailed subject combinations and make the
necessary adjustments in schools, Subject-based Banding will be
implemented from the 2008 Primary 5 cohort.
(B) Enriching Learning Experiences for
Greater Integration of Students in the
Gifted Education Programme
Established in 1984,
the GEP caters to the top 1% of our students. The programme
provides an enriched curriculum to nurture these intellectually
gifted students. It develops their skills in critical and
creative thinking and allows them to work with specialists
through mentorship programmes.
remains an integral element of Singapore education, from the
primary to secondary levels. At the primary level, the GEP
students will continue to be placed in GEP Centres after Primary
3, as they are widely distributed in schools across Singapore
when they first enter primary schools. At the secondary level,
GEP students can opt for schools offering the Integrated
Programme (IP), which have developed their own distinct
programmes for gifted students.
MOE has therefore
devolved the secondary gifted programme to the IP schools, and
will be supporting them in these programmes. This approach
ensures greater diversity in our gifted programmes, and also
allows the IP schools to include other students with special
talents in their programmes to develop gifted students.
MOE and the Primary
GEP centres will make refinements to the Gifted Education
Programme to achieve the best balance between stretching the
potential of the students and integrating them with other
students so as to promote their all-round development.
Schools will create
more opportunities for GEP students to interact with their non-GEP
schoolmates, in both the non-academic and academic curriculum.
In the non-academic
curriculum, GEP and non-GEP students will henceforth participate
together in joint Community Involvement Programmes. Schools will
also encourage GEP students to join Co-Curricular Activities
that promote physical activity and teamwork, e.g. outdoor
programmes and sports, so as to enhance their all-round
We will also explore
possibilities for greater integration of students in their
academic curriculum so as to maximise opportunities for GEP
students to interact with others at a young age. Two schools
will be introducing their own innovations to the GEP, and will
be supported by MOE in their initiatives:
Nan Hua Primary
School will be piloting the integration of classes for its GEP
and high ability non-GEP students for about 50% of their
curriculum, starting from the Primary 4 cohort in 2007. The
GEP students will continue to take separate classes in
English, Maths and Science. (See Annex A
for write-up). The integrated classes will have about 30
students per class, while the GEP classes in the core academic
subjects will have 20 students per class (compared to 25
students per class currently).
Tao Nan School
will be introducing an integration model through a pilot
bicultural programme (BICEP) starting from the Primary 4
cohort in 2007. GEP students can chose to join high ability
non-GEP students in two BICEP classes for about 50% of their
curriculum. The GEP students will continue to have separate
classes in English, Maths and Science. (See
Annex B for write-up).
Developing Non-GEP Students with High
Ability in Specific Areas
Starting from the
Primary 4 students in 2007, students who are not in the GEP who
have demonstrated high ability in a specific area, e.g.
Mathematics, can benefit from more enriching lessons and
provisions beyond the curriculum in the specific academic area.
These high-ability students, while not in the GEP, will be given
the opportunity to achieve as high a level as possible in their
areas of talent.
Drawing from more
than 20 years¡¯ experience built up in Gifted Education, the
Ministry will extend gifted educational services to students who
show potential in specific academic areas. This new initiative
is expected to benefit an additional 1,500 students in each
MOE will assist
schools in the identification of these high-ability students,
who currently tend to be more widely distributed across schools
at the primary level. With appropriate guidance, many of these
high-ability students can aspire to levels of excellence beyond
what is expected in national examinations, e.g. participation in
Mathematics Olympiad, Language Arts Fests.
MOE will work with
National Institute of Education (NIE) to train new and existing
teachers in developing innovative teaching strategies and
various ways to develop students¡¯ potential and talents. MOE
will also support trained teachers with consultancy services and
of the school-based initiatives to nurture high-ability students
will depend on individual schools¡¯ readiness. Schools that are
ready can begin doing so in 2007. Support will also be provided
for ground-up initiatives at school cluster level. Such
initiatives could include enrichment classes that take place
outside of school curriculum time.
In addition, MOE¡¯s
Gifted Education Branch will run common programmes, such as a
Language Arts Fest and a Math Carnival that can cater to a large
number of high ability students. (See Annex C
for write-up) These platforms, to be run from 2007, will provide
opportunities for these students to interact with others who
share similar passions and allow them to showcase their talents.
Since 2005, schools
have allowed some students to take MTL at the Standard level.
With Subject-based Banding, this will allow any subject to be
taken at the Standard level.
between EM1 and EM2 was removed in 2004, to form the merged
Nan Hua Primary School¡¯s pilot
Nan Hua Primary
School, a primary GEP Centre, will be introducing a pilot twinning
model for its GEP students starting from the Primary 4 cohort in
As an alternative to
full-time, self-contained classes for GEP students, each class
will be ¡®topped up¡¯ with high-ability mainstream students. Instead
of being placed in two to three GEP-only classes, GEP students
would be placed in four mixed classes of GEP and non-GEP students,
of about 30 students each.
GEP students would be
pulled out during curriculum time for English, Maths and Science.
These pull-out classes will comprise 20 students each. They could
also include some non-GEP students who have exceptional abilities
in those specific subject areas. For other classes, the GEP
students would remain in their combined form class for PE, Music,
Art & Crafts, Civics and Moral Education, Individualized Research
Study, Social Studies and Higher Chinese.
This would mean that
GEP students would spend about half the curriculum time with their
non-GEP peers on a daily basis.
Tao Nan School¡¯s pilot bicultural
Tao Nan School, a
primary GEP centre, will be introducing an integration model for
GEP and non-GEP students through a pilot bicultural programme
(BICEP) starting from the Primary 4 cohort in 2007.
GEP students will be
invited to apply for the pilot bicultural programme. Instead of
being placed in typical GEP-only classes, the 25 selected GEP
students will be placed in two GEP-BICEP classes, together with
high-ability mainstream students who are interested in the BICEP.
The two mixed classes will have a class size of 25. The rest of
the GEP students will be placed in GEP-only classes.
GEP students in the
two GEP-BICEP classes will be pulled out during curriculum time
for English, Mathematics and Science, in a class of 25. For other
classes, the GEP students would remain in their combined GEP-BICEP
This would mean that
the 25 GEP students in the GEP-BICEP classes would spend about
half of the curriculum time with their non-GEP peers on a daily
Language Arts Fest (May 2007)
MOE¡¯s Gifted Education
Branch will organise a Language Arts Fest in the first half of
2007 for about 1,000 Primary 4 students. This one-day event will
feature language-related games, an exhibition of students¡¯ works,
mini-workshops, and performances. It will allow students to find
out more about their interest in the verbal arts, and enhance
their language learning.
As a follow-up to the
Language Arts Fest, relevant workshops and activities can be
organised for teachers and students to develop their knowledge and
skills in their interest areas. MOE¡¯s Gifted Education Branch
hopes to engage IP schools, the polytechnics, as well as other
agencies such as the National Library Board and Singapore Press
Holdings as collaborators.
Math Carnival (Nov 2007)
MOE¡¯s Gifted Education
Branch plans to hold a Math Carnival in the 4 school zones, each
catering to about 400 top Primary 4 mathematics students. This is
aimed to introduce students to mathematics beyond the classroom,
and to excite them about how beautiful, fun, dynamic and relevant
mathematics is. The NUS High School will be co-hosting the
inaugural carnival. In subsequent years, other IP schools could be
invited as collaborators.
There are also plans
to hold a Math Trail in 2008 for 1,000 top Primary 5 Mathematics
students, as well as to help interested schools set up Math Clubs.
This year, the NUS High School, Singapore Mathematical Society and
MOE¡¯s Gifted Education Branch have organised the National Math
Olympiad for Primary Schools (for students age 11 and below).
www.moe.gov.sg Press Release
28 Sep 2006