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Through-Train to the Singapore-Cambridge GCE "A" Levels.

What is this Integrated Programme and how do you get onto it?


There are to date 5 models of the through-train to the "A"Levels in the Singapore education system.  This route is called the Integrated Programme. The route is largely academic (compared to the polytechnic route) and leads to the GCE "A" levels.  Students do not sit for the "O" Levels, unlike their peers in the conventional secondary school to JC route.

What your portfolio should show: a Primary School record combining leadership, niche talent, communication skills and academic achievement.

Update In a few years' time, the PSLE T-score will be replaced by a mark banding system similar to that of the O levels and the A levels

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Route 1:
Premier School

This is the through-train you get onto if you join the Raffles family or Hwa Chong family of schools. 

Entry mode:

through PSLE results or DSA in the pupil's P6 year

No. of years:

6 years from Sec 1 to Sec 4, followed by JC1-2

Final Exams:

"A" Levels

Start-point:

a) Secondary 1 at Raffles Girls' School or Raffles Institution leading to 
Raffles Junior College;

b) Secondary 1 at Nanyang Girls' High Sch or Hwa Chong Institution previously Chinese High School) and leading to or continuing in Hwa Chong Institution (previously also Hwa Chong Junior College)

This model represents ...

a merger of affiliates, top independent secondary schools and their related Junior Colleges.

What has changed:

Entry for a sizeable number of students to these 2 top JCs is CURRENTLY determined by PSLE T-scores and success in securing a place through the DSA in P6.

Gone are the days when one would see a full spectrum of school uniforms on the first day of JC1 in Hwa Chong Junior College (my JC) with some students reeling from the culture shock of being welcomed by unabashedly loud lion-dancers. 

Fees:

Independent school fees, though by default Singaporeans who can get in may benefit from an Edusave Scholarship. Please consult the schools.

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Route 2
Alternative Exam Pathways

This is the through-train for exam pathways that are different from the "A" levels

2A: International Baccalaureate

Entry mode:

currently through PSLE T-scores or DSA in the pupil's P6 year

No. of years:

6 years (akin to Secondary 1 to Secondary 4, followed by Year 5-6)

Final Exams:

International Baccalaureate.

Start-point:

Secondary 1 at the following schools -

a) Anglo-Chinese School (Independent),

b) St Joseph's Institution (International)

This model represents...

an extension of study in what was previously a leading secondary school,  and in a few schools a completely different though internationally recognised pre-university exam at the end of 6 years. 

What has changed:

The introduction of new pre-university exams in Singapore's Education landscape such as the IB.  There is no merger with any existing Junior College.  Entry is CURRENTLY determined by PSLE T-scores and success in securing a place through the DSA as well as selection tests presently held from P6 Term 2 onwards.

Fees:

International, independent or autonomous sch fees.  Please refer to the schools.

2B: NUS High Diploma
Entry mode:

through PSLE results or DSA in the pupil's P6 year

No. of years:

6 years (akin to Secondary 1 to Secondary 4, followed by Yr 5-6)

Final Exams:

NUS High School Diploma

Start-point:

Sec 1 at the 
NUS High School of Mathematics and Science

This model represents specialisation in science and maths research and study.  NUS High was created to offer specialisation in science and maths and offer opportunities for early contact with NUS (National University of Singapore) academia.

What has changed:

The introduction of a new pre-university exam, the NUS High School Diploma.  There is no merger with any existing Junior College.  Entry is currently determined by PSLE T-scores and success in securing a place through the DSA as well as selection tests presently held from P6 Term 2 onwards.

Fees: Please check with the school.
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Route 3:
Bicultural (Chinese) Immersion School

This is the through-train leading SAP (Special Assistance Plan) schools offer.

Entry mode:

through PSLE results or DSA in the pupil's P6 year

No. of years:

6 years (akin to Secondary 1 to Secondary 4, followed by Year 5-6)

Final Exams:

"A" levels

Start-point:

Sec 1 at the following schools -

a) Dunman High School

b) River Valley High School

This model represents...

an extension of study in what was previously a leading secondary school known for its Chinese bicultural emphasis

What has changed:

The introduction of a post-secondary exam pathway for a secondary school. There is no merger with any existing Junior College and two post-secondary years were added to the secondary curriculum.  Entry is currently determined by PSLE T-scores and success in securing a place through the DSA as well as selection tests presently held from P6 Term 2 onwards.

Fees:

Please refer to the schools.

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Route 4:
Single-Gender Partner School

Entry mode:

Application using one's PSLE results, P5 year-end academic results, record of CCA involvement and student leadership since P4, referrals from teachers. Please check with the school websites.

No. of years:

6 years with Secondary 1-4 in the secondary Integrated Programme and JC1-2 in the affiliated JC

Final Exams:

"A" Levels or International Baccalaureate

Start-point:

Secondary 1; for a select group in these single-gender secondary schools

 

a) a Cedar Girls' Secondary (girls) & Victoria School (boys) to join 
Victoria Junior College
 in J1 ("A" levels) 


b) Singapore Chinese Girls' School, St Nicholas Girls' School (girls) & Catholic High School (boys) to join a newly set-up junior college in 2017 ("A" levels) 

c) Methodist Girls' School (girls) to join Anglo-Chinese Independent (International Baccalaureate pathway)

This model represents....

single-gender schools with shared school culture providing a Secondary 1-4 Integrated Programme leading on to a top junior college (all Junior colleges in Singapore are co-ed).  The affiliation between Cedar Girls', Victoria School and Victoria Junior College is clearly spelled out.  Here, the Integrated Programme is delivered in the affiliated secondary school.

What has changed:

While not all schools linked together are "sibling" schools, the "facilitated matchmaking" has allowed these well-established single-gender schools to offer the IP route to draw in top pupils.

Your P3-P4 record of co-curricular involvement and community service may come in useful.  You may need to count on supportive primary school references. Please check with the school websites.

Fees:

Government sponsored fees typically but do check with the JC websites.
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Route 5:
JC-Driven Curriculum

Entry mode:

through PSLE results or DSA in the pupil's P6 year

No. of years:

6 years from Year 1 to Year 6

Final Exams: 

"A" Levels

Start-point:

Secondary 1 at

a) National Junior College (in the NJC Integrated Programme)

b) Temasek Junior College (in the Temasek Academy)

Secondary 3 at 

c) Temasek Junior College (in the Temasek Academy)

This model represents....

top junior colleges admitting pupils in what would have been their Secondary 1 year (and for TJC, the Secondary 3 year in 2014 as well) and preparing them for the "A" Levels.  National Junior College and Temasek Junior College have no affiliated secondary schools and both junior colleges have not merged with any secondary school.

What has changed:

Secondary 1 students who are successful make only one transition - from primary school to a junior college institution for a junior-college driven Integrated Programme.  
Secondary 3 students who are successful are transferred from their secondary schools to these JCS.
This is unlike the Raffles and Hwa Chong routes where the student essentially goes through 2 merged institutions to complete the A level route.  

Fees:

Government sponsored fees typically but do check with the JC websites.
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Route 6:
Special Talent Development

Entry mode: primarily through DSA and special selection tests in the pupil's P6 year

No. of years: 4 years currently (akin to Secondary 1 to Secondary 4, with possible extension to a six-yr programme leading to a diploma)

Final Exams: 

O Levels for School of Science and Technology, 
IB Diploma for both School of the Arts and Singapore Sports School with options for 

a Republic Polytechnic diploma leading to a NTU (Nanyang Technological University) degree prog 

or

an AUT (Auckland University of Technology) diploma leading to a sports related degree.

Start-point: 

Secondary 1 at School of Science and Technology (SST), School of the Arts (SOTA), Singapore Sports School (SSS)

This model represents specialisation in specific talents: technology and entrepreneurship (SST), fine arts and performing arts (SOTA), and competitive physical sports (SSS). 

What has changed:  Entry is determined by success in securing a place through the DSA as well as trials, auditions, interviews, review of both student portfolios and co-curricular record.

Fees: Please check with the schools.

Updated 25 May 2017