Changes Affecting Normal Course

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Developments in the N(A) Course

Key changes

From 2013
  • To provide more progression pathways for N(A) students, MOE will expand progression to the polytechnics through two new “through-train” pathways for students who do well in their Singapore-Cambridge GCE N-level examinations.
  • Students who have performed very well in the Singapore-Cambridge GCE N-level examinations (expected to be the top 10% of the Secondary 4 N(A) cohort) can opt for a one-year Foundation Programme (FP) at the polytechnics, instead of taking their O-levels in Secondary 5.
  • The next 20% of the Secondary 4 N(A) cohort can opt for the ITE Direct Entry Scheme to Higher Nitec, instead of taking their O-levels in Secondary 5. These students will also be assured of either a first- or second-year place in a related polytechnic course, provided they achieve the qualifying GPA scores in their Higher Nitec programme.
Why are we doing this?
  • To provide more pathways for N(A) students to cater to their different learning paces and styles.
  • To help strengthen N(A) students’ progression into post-secondary education and enhance their employability.
  • To better prepare polytechnic-bound N(A) students for entry into relevant diploma courses.
  • To make the Secondary 5 year more productive for N(A) students who are poly-bound.
From 2006
  • Selected N(A) students may offer GCE ‘O’ Level examination subjects at Secondary 4 from an expanded range of subjects (see table below), subject to their schools’ approval. Schools will assess their students and identify those who qualify to offer these ‘O’ Level subjects
  • Schools may introduce elective modules together with post-secondary educational institutions or external agencies to develop N(A)) students’ interests and strengths in specific areas.
  • Based on their school-based performance at the end of Secondary 2 or Secondary 3, schools may allow their top N(A) students to progress to Secondary 5 N(A)) without taking the ‘N’ Level examinations.
Why are we doing this?
  • To give N(A) students more choices in the range of subjects they may offer, according to their interests and abilities.
  • To provide a more seamless transition from the ‘N’ to the ‘O’ Level curriculum for top students so that they can better pace their learning over five years and take part in broader learning experiences.
‘O’ Level Subjects
  • English Language
  • Chinese / Malay / Tamil
  • Higher Chinese / Higher Malay / Higher Tamil
  • Mathematics
  • Additional Mathematics
  • Combined Sciences
  • Combined Humanities
  • Literature in English
  • History
  • Geography
  • Literature in Chinese
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Principles of Accounts
  • Design & Technology
  • Art
  • Music
  • Chinese (Special Programme) / Malay (Special Programme)

    *Applied subjects & ‘O’ Level School-Initiated Electives (OSIEs) are also offered to N(A)  students, provided their schools offer these subjects.

Developments in the N(T) Course

Key changes

  • N(T) students may offer N(A) subjects from 2006
    • Selected N(T) students who are able to offer subjects at a higher level will be allowed to take one to two N(A) subjects from the full range of N(A) subjects.
    • Schools assess students and offer N(A) subject(s) to those who qualify.
  • Revised N(T) curriculum from 2007
    • Will focus more on practice-oriented learning
    • Teaching approaches could focus on group work, oral presentations, creativity and hands-on activities.
  • Elective Modules (EMs)
    • Aimed at enriching the curriculum for upper secondary N(T) students.
    • 20- to 30-hour elective modules to develop N(T) students’ interests and strengths in specific areas.
    • Schools may develop EMs together with post-secondary educational institutions or external agencies.
  • Lateral transfers from N(T) course to N(A) course for top N(T) students
    • Additional pathways for transfers to the N(A) course on a lateral basis, e.g. Secondary 2 N(T) to Secondary 2 N(A).
    • Schools assess and offer a lateral transfer to the N(A) course for N(T) students who qualify.
    • Current transfer from Secondary 1 N(T) to Secondary 2 N(A) will continue.
  • Two new specialised secondary schools for N(T) students will start admission from 2013.
    • A whole-school approach will enhance the quality of learning experience.
    • In addition to N(T) subjects, students will also be able to take industry-focused modules developed in conjunction with ITE and the industry.
    • The new schools will have a higher teacher-to-student ratio to better support the teaching of industry-focused modules.

The N(T) course serves the needs of students who are more technically inclined. It provides them with an opportunity to complete 10 years of basic education and prepares them for post-secondary education in ITE.

Why are we doing this?

  • To provide our N(T) students with greater choice, to help them find their interests and develop their talents, and for those who are able to do so, the flexibility to advance their learning in that particular subject.
  • To focus the N(T) curriculum more on practice-oriented learning, so as to better match N(T) students’ approaches to learning.
  • To allow greater movement from N(T) to N(A) by opening up the possibility for lateral transfers between the courses.
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