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Explainer: How subject-based banding works for Sec 1 students from 2024

SINGAPORE — Secondary school streaming will be replaced by subject-based banding in 2024, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung announced on Tuesday (March 5). Here’s how subject-based banding works.

Explainer: How subject-based banding works for Sec 1 students from 2024

Subject-based banding will replace streaming in secondary schools in 2024.

SINGAPORE — Secondary school streaming will be replaced by subject-based banding in 2024, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung announced on Tuesday (March 5).

Previously, students were channelled into Express, Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical) streams.

Here's how subject-based banding works:

PSLE SCORING BANDS

Students taking the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) will be graded with Achievement Levels (AL) 1 to 8 for each subject, with AL1 the highest score a student can attain and A8 the lowest.

The new PSLE scoring bands. Graphic: Raymond Limantara/TODAY

The 2024 Secondary 1 cohort will be posted to secondary schools based on their cumulative AL score.

Their cumulative ALs will also determine what subjects they can take.

THREE SUITES OF SUBJECTS: G1, G2 AND G3

Students with a cumulative AL score of four to 20 will be able to take the G3 (General 3) suite of subjects — the highest level and which corresponds to the current Express stream.

Students with a score of 23 to 24 will take the G2 suite of subjects, while those with a score of 26 to 30 will take the G1 suite.

Those whose scores fall in between will be able to take a mix of subjects from G1 to G3.

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FOR STUDENTS WHO EXCEL IN CERTAIN SUBJECTS

Regardless of their total score, students who excel in certain PSLE subjects can take them at a high level from the start of Sec 1.

For example, a student with a PSLE score of AL23 who did very well for English can take this subject at the G3 level and other subjects at the G2 level, when he enters Sec 1.

OFFERING OF SUBJECTS: HOW WILL SCHOOLS DECIDE?

Secondary schools are provided with a set of guidelines pertaining to the offering of subjects to students at a more demanding level, said the Ministry of Education.

The guidelines take into account the student’s academic performance, his ability to cope with the subject and whether it is in the “best interest of the student”.

This allows students to progressively take subjects at more demanding levels over the course of their secondary school years, and this option will be provided at “suitable junctures”.

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