Press Releases

April 1, 2009

From Robotics to Rope-Skipping: More than a Third of Schools now have Niche Areas to Cater to Students’ Varied Interests

This year, fourteen primary schools and eight secondary schools have been awarded the Programme for School-Based Excellence and Niche Programme status respectively. These awards, introduced in 2005, encourage greater diversity in primary and secondary schools, and provide more opportunities for students to develop different areas of excellence.

To nurture the varied interests of our students and to help them excel where their strengths are, the Ministry of Education had targeted for half of our schools (around 180 schools) to develop areas of excellence by 2012. Currently, more than one third, or 155 schools1 are already being recognised for their niches of excellence.

Including this year’s recipients, there are now a total of 61 primary schools that are Programme for School-Based Excellence schools and 35 secondary schools that are Niche Programme schools (refer to Annex for schools awarded from 2005 to 2008).

The recipient schools receive additional funding support to further raise the quality and reach of their school-based programmes in different niche areas.

Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Home Affairs, announced the recipients for both awards on 1 April 2009 at a visit to South View Primary School. The school has been awarded the Programme for School-Based Excellence in Dance.

Programme for School-based Excellence for Primary Schools 2009

The following are the 14 primary schools that have been awarded the Programme for School-Based Excellence in 2009.

School Niche
Anderson Primary School Guzheng
CHIJ Toa Payoh (Primary) School Tennis
Compassvale Primary School Brass Band
Gan Eng Seng Primary School Band and Choir
Lianhua Primary School Robotics
Marymount Convent School Rhythmic Gymnastics
North Spring Primary School National Education
Poi Ching School Dance
Red Swastika School Ten-Pin Bowling
Rulang Primary School Rope-Skipping
South View Primary School Dance
St Hilda’s Primary School Language Arts
Xishan Primary School Floorball
Yu Neng Primary School Table Tennis

Niche Programme Schools for 2009

The following 8 secondary schools are awarded Niche Programme status in 2009.

School Niche
Bukit Merah Secondary School Floorball
Chong Boon Secondary School Environmental Education
Evergreen Secondary School National Education
Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School Fencing
Peirce Secondary School Uniformed Groups
Riverside Secondary School National Education
Seng Kang Secondary School Hockey
Unity Secondary School Basketball

School Visit to South View Primary School

South View Primary School is well-established in the area of Dance. The school’s Dance programme contributes to the holistic development of its pupils by building resilience, self-discipline and a spirit of excellence. Its pupil development programme also provides a structured approach to incorporate elements of dance into its curriculum. Pupils are given opportunities to build their confidence and hone their performing skills through competitions, as well as school and public performances. The school is currently exploring the possibility of collaborating with a Beijing-based Dance Academy through advanced dance courses that will be assessed by renowned external examiners. In the Singapore Youth Festival Competitions from 2004 to 2008, the school has achieved 2 Golds with Honours and 1 Gold for Chinese Dance, 1 Gold and 2 Silvers for Malay Dance as well as 3 Silvers for Indian Dance.


Programme for School-Based Excellence

The Programme for School-Based Excellence helps to develop strong primary schools with distinctive character to give more opportunities for our students to develop different areas of excellence. Successful applicant schools would receive MOE funding to further raise the quality and reach of their school-based programmes and initiatives.

Applications for the award were evaluated based on the strength of the niche, sustainability, educational value of the programme, the reach of the programme in the school and involvement of stakeholders in the programme.

Niche Programme Schools

The Niche Programme supports mainstream secondary schools with good talent development programmes and proven track records of achievements in their declared niches. These schools receive MOE funding, and can admit up to 5% of their Secondary One intake on a discretionary basis through the Direct School Admissions exercise, so that a more diverse range of student achievement and talents can be recognised.

Applications for the award were evaluated based on the strength of the niche, sustainability, the educational value and reach of the programme.


An initial developmental grant of up to $150,000 over 3 years will be provided for the schools to build up one to two niches. A recurrent grant of up to $50,000 per niche per year will also be given for schools to sustain and maintain their niches if their status are renewed after 3 years.


  1. The 155 schools include Specialised Independent Schools, Independent Schools, Autonomous Schools and Junior Colleges.


Primary Schools Awarded PSE from 2005 to 2008

School Niche
Admiralty Primary School National Education
Ai Tong School Sports
Anglo-Chinese School (Primary) Swimming; Bowling
Bukit View Primary School Aesthetics
CHIJ (Kellock) Netball and Mini-Tennis
CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh) Music, Dance and Art
CHIJ St Nicholas School (Primary) Leadership
Chongfu Primary School Table Tennis
Chua Chu Kang Primary School Robotics
Evergreen Primary School Performing Arts
Fuhua Primary School IT
Gongshang Primary School Sports
Greenridge Primary School National Education and Character Development
Haig Girls’ School Performing and Visual Arts
Henry Park Primary School Gymnastics
Hong Kah Primary School Volleyball
Hong Wen School Rope-Skipping
Hougang Primary School Outdoor and Adventure Education
Kong Hwa School Chinese Culture
Kranji Primary School Basketball
MacPherson Primary School Choral and Instrumental Ensemble;Softball
Maha Bodhi School Visual and Performing Arts
Maris Stella High School (Primary) Badminton
Mayflower Primary School Dance
Montfort Junior School Badminton
Nan Chiau Primary School ICT
Nanyang Primary School Chess
Ngee Ann Primary School Art, Dance and Chinese Orchestra
North View Primary School Guzheng
Northland Primary School Chess
Park View Primary School Sports
Pasir Ris Primary School Floorball
Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Primary) Rope-Skipping; Handbell
Pei Chun Public School Sports
Punggol Primary School Hockey
Raffles Girls’ Primary School Choir
Rosyth School Chinese Orchestra; Choir
Rulang Primary School Robotics
Singapore Chinese Girls’ Primary School Arts
St Andrew’s Junior School Rugby
St Hilda’s Primary School Aesthetics
St Margaret’s Primary School Netball
St Stephen’s School Track and Field; Band
Tanjong Katong Primary School Netball
Tao Nan School Mathematics; Badminton
Telok Kurau Primary School National Education
West View Primary School Brass Band
Yio Chu Kang Primary School Soccer
Yishun Primary School Band
Zhenghua Primary School Cultural Dances

* CHIJ Toa Payoh (Primary), Rulang Primary and St Hilda’s Primary have been awarded PSE for their second niche areas this year.

Secondary Schools Awarded NS from 2005 to 2008

School Niche
Admiralty Secondary School Robotics Enterprise
Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School Shooting
Ang Mo Kio Secondary School Symphonic Band
Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) Drama; Water Polo
Bowen Secondary School Band
CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent Hockey
Clementi Town Secondary School Uniformed Groups
Deyi Secondary School Performing Arts
Fuhua Secondary School Robotics
Gan Eng Seng School Uniformed Groups
Jurong Secondary School Basketball
Jurong West Secondary School Uniformed Groups
Manjusri Secondary School Wushu
Montfort Secondary School Badminton
Northland Secondary School Hockey
Outram Secondary School Rock-Climbing
Pasir Ris Secondary School Chinese Orchestra
Presbyterian High School Uniformed Groups; Volleyball (Girls)
Riverside Secondary School Dance
Springfield Secondary School Rock-Climbing
St Andrew’s Secondary School Rugby
St Hilda’s Secondary School Volleyball
St Patrick’s School Military Band
Woodlands Ring Secondary School Robotics
Yio Chu Kang Secondary School Performing Arts
Yishun Town Secondary School Uniformed Groups
Yuhua Secondary School Concert Band
Zhenghua Secondary School Uniformed Groups

* Riverside Secondary has been awarded NS for their second niche area this year.