How is SST different from secondary schools offering Applied Subjects and Advanced Elective Modules?
SST offers a range of Applied Subjects to all students. The Applied Subjects are reflected in the GCE O-Level Examination Certificate and are recognised for admission into local Junior Colleges and Polytechnics. Applied subjects include Biotechnology, Computing+, Design Studies and Electronics. Biotechnology and Electronics are exclusive to SST. Students can also opt to take up two Applied Subjects, Computing + and Electronics, under the Engineering + programme.
SST is also a forerunner in championing applied learning. In fact, the entire educational context and philosophy of the school including vision, mission, teaching, facilities, and student programmes are designed to provide an environment conducive to skills and knowledge application, thus making learning relevant and active. In the process, students are equipped with higher order thinking and problem solving skills crucial to creative and innovative production.
The collaboration with SST partners such as the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and leading companies such as 3M and Apple Inc. provide additional learning opportunities, attachments, and enrichment programmes in applied areas for the students.
How is applied learning done differently in SST?
The SST applied learning approach takes a more integrated approach, one that is based on research, best practice in curriculum and instructional design and delivery. It is still based on the simple concept of ‘learning by doing’, but with a difference. The active learning involves the students’ development of higher order thinking and problem solving skills whilst retaining the rigour of subject disciplines that will prepare them well for higher education. Learning in SST is multi-faceted as students gain a strong foundation of key academic concepts in Science, Technology, Aesthetics, Engineering and Mathematics (STEAM). The school-wide leverage on Information Communication Technology (ICT) greatly enhances the learning environment and provides the extended learning resources and networks that the digital natives have come to expect.
Recognising the effectiveness of applied learning, the Ministry of Education, Singapore (MOE) announced that it will support all secondary schools to develop an applied learning programme and a Learning for Life programme by 2017.
SST is the first one-stop school where students can choose from various Applied Subjects such as Computing+, Design Studies, Electronics and Biotechnology. The Applied Subjects will be reflected in the Singapore-Cambridge O-level certificate and recognised in the computation of the L1R5 and ELR2B2 scores for admission to Junior Colleges (JCs) and polytechnics.
The success of SST’s pioneer cohort was reported widely in the media, underscoring the rigour of the school’s programme. SST’s students have since gone on to make an impact in their post-secondary education in junior colleges, international baccalaureate programmes and polytechnics.
What is the ethos/culture of SST?
At SST, we believe that every student has the capacity for imagination and innovation. It is our task to fan the flames of curiosity, so our students will develop an entrepreneurial mindset ready to challenge and change the world of tomorrow. We believe in helping our students reach across disciplines so they can apply what they have learnt to serve Singapore and the world in the 21st century. Read more here.
We believe that ‘No child should be left behind’. We value pastoral and supportive learning environment, high academic achievement, balanced and wholesome socio-emotional physical and leadership development; and instil a culture of continuous and independent/collaborative learning, the culture of excellence in all that we do.
Which is the target group of students? What is the selection process like?
SST aims to cater to students with a strong interest in applied areas related to STEAM. During the selection process, the school takes into consideration the potential and ability of students who will be able to do well in and benefit from the programme. SST then selects students based on their cognitive ability, aptitude for applied learning, interests and motivation. The selection is done through a written test and selection camp.
Click here for more information on SST’s selection criteria.
How many students does SST accept each year?
SST accepts an annual intake of about 200 Secondary 1 students each year. The school also has a second insertion point at Secondary 3.
What is the selection criteria for entry into SST?
Applicants are assessed on both academic achievements and cognitive abilities based on academic track records and other accomplishments. We aim to engage our students through applied learning approaches. Shortlisted candidates will have to participate in a selection camp and be assessed for their suitability to work and learn in the fast-paced and rigorous environment of the school. Lastly, candidates’ proclivity and passion for areas related to mathematics, science and technology may be gauged through their CCA involvement, student portfolios, teachers’ recommendations and personal statements. Students who have done well in Science, Technology, Engineering, Aesthetics and Mathematics (STEAM) competitions may be considered favourably for admission.
Click here for more information on SST’s selection criteria.
What are the entry points for SST?
SST admits all our students through the Direct School Admission (DSA-Sec) exercise, which means that we do not participate in the Secondary 1 Posting Exercise during the Post-PSLE period.
Students who apply through DSA-Sec must qualify for Express Stream for entry into SST.
Direct School Admission
How can my child apply to SST?
Interested applicants are required to complete the online application form at the SST website via the Centralised DSA-Sec Portal from MOE*, which will be made available during the DSA selection period. More details will be available soon.
How is the selection process like?
Shortlisted DSA applicants who sat for the SST Phase 1 test will be evaluated and selected participants will be invited for the SST Phase 2 test, where they will be assessed based on their aptitudes for applied learning. The session normally consists of activities which provide opportunities for in-depth evaluation of each candidate’s aptitudes and capabilities.
Is there a fee for the DSA Application/Test? What about the Phase 2 test?
The application is free-of-charge. For more details, please refer to MOE website – https://www.moe.gov.sg/secondary/dsa/
What are the selection criteria for the Phase 2 test?
Read about the selection criteria here.
How can my child apply for admission to SST through DSA if he/she is currently not studying in any national primary school in Singapore?
Students who are not studying in MOE schools have to approach MOE CSC to get a unique registration number for Direct School Admission – Secondary applications. This is required for them to complete their applications to all DSA-Sec schools through the online DSA Portal.
Please note the age requirement for Secondary 1 (S1) admission. Non-SC/SPR students must be between 12 and 14+ years old as at 1st January of the year of S1 admission.
What are the Applied Subjects being offered? How many Applied Subjects will students be reading in relation to the existing regular subjects?
SST offers a range of new O-Level Applied Subjects; Biotechnology, Computing, Electronics and Design Studies. Students can also opt to take up two Applied Subjects, Computing + and Electronics, under the Engineering + programme. At the upper secondary level, every student will choose to read 1 O-Level Applied Subject, in addition to the regular O-Level subjects in EL, Mathematics, MTL, Humanities, and the Sciences. The students’ choice of subject combinations will depend on their preferred post-secondary articulation pathway to either Junior Colleges or Polytechnic. In total, students would be reading 8 O-Level subjects.
Click here to learn more.
Will the applied learning approach cause my child to spend too much time on hands-on project work instead of concentrating on core O-level subjects?
SST students will be well prepared for the O-levels as they will be equipped with strong foundations in the core subjects of the languages, Mathematics, Humanities and Sciences. Rigour in academic content will not be compromised as we engage students in challenging school activities.
Taught using applied learning methodologies, students will be able to grasp concepts better and see how these are relevant and applicable in a real-world context. SST believes that applied learning will facilitate students’ deep understanding and hence application of theories and concepts.
The school is cognizant of the demands of project work and disciplinary academic work and is continuously monitoring and keeping the balance between the two. Our belief is that the work given to students should be worth doing.
Does my child have to give up any O-level subjects to take Applied Subjects?
Applied Subjects are O-level examinable subjects. Students taking Applied Subjects will then take fewer of the other O-level subjects. SST students will still offer E and A Mathematics, and pure science subjects at O-levels.
What are the key features of the curriculum?
SST’s 4-year curriculum is an exciting journey of discovery. There are so many programmes spanned over the years that are available for the entire cohort leading to the Singapore-Cambridge GCE O-Levels. The school also adopts the use of applied learning pedagogies, which help students build strong foundations in key academic areas, as well as competencies for real-world problem solving.
For example, in Secondary 2, students go through the Investigative Skills in Science (ISS) programme, where they spend a term researching and developing a science project of their choice in place of regular classes. In Secondary 3, they can opt for the Industrial Research and Attachment Programme, where they are able to utilise their research skills depending on their projects. There, they can utilise skills that were built upon from earlier programme such as the ISS. Programmes are integrated and pervasive in SST.
Another programme that SST offers in lower secondary will be the SST ChangeMakers Programme. As one of our multidisciplinary approach, the programme aims to provide students with an integrated learning experience towards developing the attitudes and attributes of an innovator with an entrepreneurial mind. Students learn principles, knowledge and skills from Art, Design, Media and Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Information and Communication Technology before putting their skills to the test in the culminating challenge at the end of the year known as the SST-3M InnoScience Challenge.
At the upper secondary level, all students are able to choose from a range of new O-Level Applied Subjects, a huge part of the entire SST Experience. The Applied Subjects are Biotechnology, Computing, Design Studies and Electronics. These subjects are reflected in the GCE O-Level Examination and are recognised for admission in post-secondary institutions. Biotechnology and Design Studies are exclusive to SST.
Through SST’s cohort wide experiences, students gain foundational skills and competencies. If they wish to investigate or delve deeper into specific areas of interest or talents, we also have the Talent Development Programme (TDP) in place. Examples of TDPs are ADMT TDP, Science TDP, SST Inc., Robotics @APEX, Student Leadership Programmes and more!
Click here to find out more about our curriculum.
What are the mother tongue languages offered in SST? Are third languages offered as well?
SST offers these Mother Tongue subjects: Chinese, Higher Chinese, Malay, Higher Malay, Tamil, Higher Tamil.
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How are NTU, SUTD, NP and industry partners involved?
The school works closely with partners from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and leading companies such as 3M, Apple Inc., ESCO Aster and Google to provide additional learning opportunities to students through attachments, internships, and special enrichment programmes.
An interesting milestone at the end of the year for Secondary 1 would be the SST-3M InnoScience Challenge, part of our ChangeMakers Programme for lower secondary. Students are given a task to develop prototypes for solutions that are based on real-world applications. Since 2015, SST’s collaboration with 3M has enabled all of our secondary 1 students to have an engaging and authentic induction to the world of Science Applied to Life. 3M has been working in tandem with SST for 4 years on evolving the programme.
Our Education and Career Guidance programmes such as the Discover Camp for Secondary 4 students aids to help students gain an insight into what the future holds for them in terms of career pathways, as the students head to learning journeys and universities such as NTU and SUTD. To read more about the Discover Programme, click here.
These are not the only programmes with partners involved. Visit our Facebook page to find out more!
What are the CCAs offered in SST?
The SST Co-curricular Programme is an integral part of our curriculum as it complements formal education and contributes to the holistic development of our students.
SST offers a range of CCAs, varying from sports and games to performing arts as well as clubs and societies. Here is the full list of CCAs that we are currently offering:
Sports and Games
- Athletics (Track)
- English Drama Club
- Guitar Ensemble
- Show Choir and Dance
Clubs and Societies
- Astronomy Club
- Media Club
- Robotics @APEX
- Singapore Youth Flying Club
- Scout (Air)
Click here to find out more about the CCAs that we offer.
Is SST a school just for students who want to go to a Poly?
SST prepares its students well for post-secondary education, whether in the Junior Colleges (JCs) or polytechnics. Students will have the flexibility to choose an appropriate combination of regular O-Level subjects and Applied Subjects, depending on their preferred post-secondary options. In addition, the applied teaching pedagogies adopted by the school will allow students to build a strong foundation in key academic concepts as well as strong competence in real-world problem solving, which will serve the students well in their post-secondary education, whether in a JC or in a Polytechnic.
SST’s students have done well in their post-secondary education in junior colleges, international baccalaureate programmes and polytechnics. Among those who have matriculated or are embarking on their tertiary education, 1 in 5 have received prestigious scholarships for their excellent performance in various areas.
Can the Applied Subjects be recognised for Junior College admission?
Similar to the regular O-Level subjects, the Applied Subjects will be reflected in the Singapore-Cambridge O-Level Certificate and recognised in the computation of the L1R5 and ELR2B2 scores for admission to junior colleges and polytechnics.
What is the benefit of offering Applied Subjects at the O-Levels for students who wish to progress to Junior Colleges (JCs)?
At the upper secondary level, students will choose to read one O-Level Applied Subject, which is specially designed to cater to their interest and aptitude in applied learning, regardless of whether they intend to proceed to the JCs or polytechnics.
Students who intend to progress to the JCs will also benefit from taking the Applied Subjects as these will expose them to an applied approach to learning, and help expand their interests and learning experiences. In addition, the Applied Subjects will deepen students’ understanding of core academic concepts, which will serve them well as they progress to post-secondary education. For instance, the subject Electronics builds upon and reinforces the theories and concepts taught in Physics.
In fact, many JCs have already been working with universities to offer a wide range of additional programmes, subjects and modules which are applied in nature, for their students. These programmes, offered at H3 level, include NTU Molecular Biology and NUS-MOE Science Research.
Will SST students’ exposure in applied learning be considered when they apply to the polytechnics? Will students who read Applied Subjects be awarded credit exemption by the polytechnics?
SST students who wish to continue their post-secondary education in the polytechnics can apply for direct admission to the Polytechnics through the Early Admissions Exercise (Poly EAE). The Polytechnics will take into account the students’ exposure in applied learning areas when assessing their suitability for the Polytechnic diploma courses. Students who have taken Applied Subjects may also be exempted from certain relevant polytechnic courses or modules.
At the macro level, all students who sat for any Applied Subjects at the O-level will enjoy module exemptions for specific diploma programmes at the five polytechnics. Under each admission exercise, the polytechnic will publicise the module exemptions on their website.
For more information on the admission to the institutions, click here: https://eae.polytechnic.edu.sg/eaeStudIns/menu.jsp
How does a student in SST determine what post-secondary path is the most suitable for him?
SST will provide career guidance and counselling to students based on their interests and strengths, to allow students to better understand the various post-secondary options available to them.
SST also holds a yearly School-Parent Meeting that serves as a platform for SST teachers and parents to discuss the progress in the holistic development of their children and ways to support their learning needs. As part of our Education and Career Guidance, Career Day @ SST is an annual event which includes the Post-Secondary and Tertiary Education Fair and Information Talks on the GCE A-Level, International Baccalaureate and the Polytechnic Diploma.
SST will also offer a range of different subject combinations which students can choose from, depending on whether they intend to progress to the JCs or to the polytechnics.
Read more about SST’s Education and Career Guidance here.
Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Education in SST
How does SST hone STEAM skills in students?
SST aims to develop students who are curious and passionate practitioners in improving society through the application of STEAM skills through the following programmes:
- ChangeMakers Programme
- SST-3M InnoScience Challenge
- ChangeMakers InnoFest
- Discover Programme
- SUTD-SST Big-D Camp
- NTU Applied Sciences Camp
- NP Accelerator Camp
- Bioprocessing Workshop with ESCO Aster
- Applied Subjects
- Design Studies
- Engineering+ Programme (Opting of up to two Applied Subjects: Computing+ and Electronics)
- Investigative Skills in Science (ISS)
- Talent Development Programme (TDP) (Eg. ADMT, English, ICT, leadership, Mathematics, Robotics, Science)
Read more here.
How does 1:1 (1 student to 1 learning device) learning look like in SST?
“Technology as a way of life” is a dictum at SST as we believe that the 1:1 ICT-enabled learning environment elevates student engagement in learning and stretches each student’s potential. The use of simulation tools, geometrical software and applets, as well as online collaborative platforms and tools, all contribute to the creation of a dynamic and interactive classroom. Beyond software application and computational thinking, SST provides the differentiated opportunities for students to develop the skills and attributes of designers, coders, makers and innovators. As a forerunner in transforming learning, the school believes in helping to build an empowered community. Click here to ﬁnd out more about our ICT initiatives.
SST also strives to build empowered communities through transforming learning and in this regard we will be anchoring more initiatives for both educators and students under the SST Lab School brand. Click here to learn more about the programmes under SST Lab School.
Will financial aid be given to students?
MOE has in place financial assistance schemes to help needy students, and will specifically take into account the needs of students in SST.
Students (Singapore Citizens) who successfully gain admission into Secondary One at SST may apply for the MOE Independent School Bursary (ISB) as well as the UPLIFT Scholarship that recognises the achievements of students in Independent Schools who have performed well academically or in specific talents areas and are from lower-income families.
From 2021, all Secondary 1 students who are Singapore citizens will be able to utilise the funds in their Edusave account to offset the cost for their Personal Learning Device. Students who are Singapore citizens from lower-income families will enjoy further subsidies for the purchase. Click here to find out more.
Has SST done any research into how useful is the pedagogy that you are using, to students? What kind of results have you received? Have any mainstream schools start to apply what they have learnt from you?
Two of the research initiatives, Mobile Learning in Humanities and CN-ECT for Languages, have yielded preliminary findings. On the whole, students responded positively, indicating their appreciation of collaborative work fostered during the learning sessions, as being strong contributors to their learning of key concepts and topics.
SST has also administered surveys to gauge the effectiveness of its 1-to-1 ICT enabled programme, in which more than 95% of the students indicated that the use of the learning device has helped them to learn better in terms of understanding concepts and working more independently.
Visiting educators from China, Japan, Korea and the Middle East, just to name a few, have also provided positive feedback from their observations of the school.
Read more about our visitors here.
How does SST ensure that students use their Learning Device in a balanced and healthy way? How can parents play a part?
SST takes a two-pronged approach in educating students and empowering parents.
1) Educating students
Cyber Wellness (CW) is integrated into our Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) Programme. Teachers refer to the laptop as a “Learning Device” to emphasise the purpose of the laptops. The Digital Citizenship Committee works closely with the Student Development Committee to deliver the programme in several ways. Apart from Character and Citizenship Education, professionals are also invited to engage the students to help them understand current trends and issues. Students are taught to uphold overarching principles of ‘Respect for Self and Others’ and ‘Safe and Responsible Use’ that act as a moral compass in guiding students’ moral character and actions in cyberspace. As independent and self-directed learners, they learn to evaluate the consequences of their online behaviour, so that they make responsible choices and protect themselves. In building an empowered community, students spearhead several initiatives on CW among parents, peers and students in various primary schools.
Students also learn to care for their Learning Devices and troubleshoot simple problems. They are able to housekeep their Learning Devices and remove programmes that are irrelevant to their learning.
2) Empowering parents
SST conducts ICT engagement sessions for parents every term. Some of the topics covered are proper safekeeping of the Learning Device and use of parental access controls. Parents are also engaged through a G+ Community where teachers share regular and useful updates on trends and advisory.
How much are the school fees?
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Scholarships and Financial Assistance
Similar to the other Independent Schools, the Government will provide heavy subsidies and financial assistance to ensure that the fees payable by Singaporean students are affordable. For instance, eligible students will be awarded the MOE Edusave Scholarships for Independent Schools (ESIS).
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