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     FrontPage Edition: Tue 4 March 2008

New School of Science and Technology to open in 2010


New School of Science and Technology to Open in 2010
From January 2010, students will have a further pathway to choose from, when MOE’s new School of Science and Technology, Singapore (SST) takes in its first batch of students.
The SST will be established as a Specialised Independent School, complementing the NUS High School of Mathematics and Science, the Singapore Sports School and the School of the Arts in adding further diversity to our education landscape.
MOE will collaborate with Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) in setting up the school, and tap on its expertise to develop the SST’s programmes.
The SST will also partner the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in providing learning opportunities for its students. The SST will aim to provide capable students with a strong foundation in both academic and applied learning, giving them the option of progressing to either the junior colleges or polytechnics before going on to university.
The SST will offer a four-year programme leading to the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘O’ Level examination. It will teach regular academic subjects and offer students a range of options in applied areas related to technology, media and design. The school will implement innovative teaching methods that will help students better appreciate the real-world relevance of what they learn.
The SST will also be the sixth school in the FutureSchools@Singapore programme. It will leverage fully on ICT on a school-wide level to enhance the delivery of its specialised curriculum.
Establishing a School of Science and Technology
MOE has introduced greater diversity in the school system in recent years to cater to the different strengths and interests of our students. The specialised independent schools – the Sports School, the NUS High School of Mathematics and Science, and the School of the Arts – provide students with additional avenues to develop their talents and interests.
Schools are also developing their own niches of excellence and introducing new curricular options. For instance, some schools are partnering polytechnics to offer new Advanced Elective Modules (AEMs) and Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘O’ Level Applied Subjects to their students[1].
Our experience with AEMs and Applied Subjects has shown that there is demand among our students, including those who are likely to progress to university, for innovative, applied learning options while they are in secondary school.
The SST takes this a step further by providing richer opportunities in applied learning, especially in Secondary 3 and 4. The school will however retain a fundamental emphasis on the core academic subjects so that students are well prepared for either the junior colleges or polytechnics, and subsequently for university. The whole school will be geared towards providing an immersive experience aimed at nurturing inventive and innovative individuals who can make their mark in a range of high value industries in the future.
Curriculum and Pedagogies
The SST will offer a four-year programme that prepares students for the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘O’ Level examination.
In addition to the regular subjects in the O-Level curriculum, the SST will offer a wider range of new ‘O’ Level subjects and enrichment programmes in areas related to technology, media and design. It is expected that most of the students will choose to offer one to two of the new ‘O’ Level Applied Subjects.
In addition to the customised syllabus offerings, all students will benefit from immersion in learning related to the real world. As a FutureSchool, the SST will also adopt innovative teaching approaches and the use of learning spaces that fully leverage on ICT to bring about engaged learning for the students.
MOE will collaborate with NP in setting up the school. With its strong expertise in applied learning and established links with industry players, NP will be able to provide expert input on the SST’s design and operations, and add value to the students’ education experience. The SST will also partner NTU and leading companies such as IBM and Creative Technology to provide additional learning opportunities, attachments and enrichment programmes for its students.
Class sizes at the SST will be small, generally in the range of about 20 to 25 students per class. This is to support applied learning approaches, especially for workshop and laboratory-based work which relies on individualised attention, supervision and formative assessment of students’ progress.
Board of Directors and School Personnel
Dr Su Guaning, President of NTU, will be appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the SST. Dr Su’s wealth of experience and expertise will greatly benefit the school in growing its capabilities. The SST Board will also comprise individuals from the industry, academia and government.
Mr Chua Chor Huat, the current Principal of Ngee Ann Secondary School, will be appointed as Principal of the SST from June 2008. Mr Chua taught at Raffles Junior College and was Vice-Principal at Yishun Junior College, before his current appointment at Ngee Ann Secondary. He was originally an MOE undergraduate scholar, and was subsequently awarded an MOE post-graduate scholarship to do his Masters in Curriculum and Instruction at the Lynch School of Education, Boston College, Massachusetts.
The SST will recruit key personnel and teachers from 2008. It will have a mix of mainstream teachers with experience and expertise in teaching regular Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘O’ Level subjects, as well as those with specialised expertise in applied learning, such as polytechnic lecturers seconded from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, or individuals with industry experience.
The SST will select students under the Direct School Admission (DSA) exercise through interviews, portfolio assessment and selection tests. The school will admit up to 200 students for its first Secondary 1 intake in 2010. Interested students can apply for admission through DSA in June 2009.
In addition, from 2012, the school will admit up to 50 students at the Secondary 3 level each year.
For more information on the SST, please visit the school’s website.
[1] In 2007, 2000 students participated in more than 60 AEMs in 70 schools. From 2008, eight schools are offering three new Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘O’ Level Applied Subjects (Creative 3D Animation, Fundamentals of Electronics and Introduction to Enterprise Development) to 180 Sec 3 students.

Source: Press Release 3 Mar 2008

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