FAQs about IP-DSA (Sec)
Admissions and Intake
- How many students has NJC admitted via DSA over the last few years?
NJC has admitted about 25-30% of the cohort via DSA over the last 5 years. The key principle here is to ensure that we afford DSA students the opportunities that will allow them to develop their gifts into talents.
- Is NJC affiliated with any Primary school for better chances of entry? No, NJC is not affiliated to any Primary or Secondary school.
School Structure and Processes
- How are incoming JH1 students allocated to classes?
We believe in mixing students as much as possible. This is fundamental to a rich learning experience. There is a good mix of students with different gifts/talents, interests, races, and backgrounds. It is important that NJCians value diversity and learn to harness the synergy this offers. There are usually between 26-29 students in a JH class. There are 7 JH1 classes.
- What time does school start and end for Junior High students?
Students report to school by 7:40 am; they report to school by 8:40 am on Thursdays only. Core curriculum usually ends by 2:00 pm. This affords students sufficient time to explore a range of other interests, which includes academic electives (e.g. 3rd Languages, Art Elective Programme, Music Programme, Advanced Inquiry in Mathematics, Advanced Sciences, Man & Ideas, etc.), CCAs, interest groups and participate in various seminars and competitions. Most crucially, this allows students to end their day in time to be with their families for dinner.
- Does NJC have a school bus option to ferry students from their homes to school? Where can we get the contact?
No, NJC does not have a school bus service. Our students’ parents make their own arrangements to ensure that their children arrive in school punctually and safely.
- What time does the school side gate near the bus stop open and close?
The gate adjacent to the bus stop along Dunearn Road allows students to enter the College via the Sports Complex. This gate is opened from 6:00 am to 7:40 am (and 8:40 am on Thursdays) each morning, and from 1:00 pm to 10:00 pm in the afternoons/evenings. The gate is accessible from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturdays. Access via this gate is done electronically using registered EZ-Link cards. (These timings may be adjusted according to the college calendar.)
- How much do I have to pay for my child’s school fees?
School Fees Payable (per month)
International Student (ASEAN)
The fees payable is dependent on your child’s nationality/citizenship.
Please note that the fees indicated above does not include fees for Boarding.
Please also note that there are financial aid schemes for Singapore Citizens.
- What are NJC students’ learning experiences like? Is there a lot of homework?
Junior High students generally learn in subject class groups, with very occasional mass lectures at the Upper JH levels. They are exposed to a variety of learning tools and resources, and are trained to use print and non-print media for information or knowledge processing. They also make presentations of their ideas to their classmates and embark on projects, both written and oral. There is room for them to grow their thinking skills, subject-specific content and skills, oral skills, people skills, time management skills, self-management and leadership competencies.
There will be more homework than what your children experienced in Primary school because Secondary level students have more subjects. There is also work (like projects) that spans a longer period of time when the deadline is a few days or a few weeks from the time the task is given.
- Are electives like Man & Ideas, Advanced Science, Advanced Inquiry in Mathematics, Advanced Language Arts, Advanced Humanities, etc. compulsory?
These are electives offered at JH3 (except for AIM which is offered in JH2 Sem 2). The IP curriculum, in and of itself, extends beyond base requirements of a core secondary or high school curriculum. Enrichment and deeper learning are therefore an integral part of the IP curriculum.
Students who show the interest and capacity will have the opportunity to enjoy these extensions in their areas of strength, to deepen their inquiry and interest in specific knowledge & skills domains.
- Is Higher Mother Tongue compulsory?
Higher Mother Tongue is not compulsory at NJC. A child can qualify for NJC without having to qualify to read Higher Mother Tongue. The child could read Express Mother Tongue at NJC. All students who have received a letter from MOE in recommendation to do Higher Mother Tongue should opt for it. This is to encourage the eligible ones to read the subject. In the case that the child decided to change to Express CL, they may be doing so at the end of JH2. Student has to obtain at least a C grade if he/she is to continue reading Higher Mother Tongue in JH3-JH4.
- Is Higher Mother Tongue O-level Examination to be taken in JH4?
Yes, all students who read Higher Mother Tongue will attempt the O-level Higher Mother Tongue Examination. They will meet the minimum requirement of the University admission once they pass the Examination with at least a D grade. For those who are reading Express Mother Tongue, they will offer H1 Mother Tongue in Senior High 1 ( JC1) and to obtain a S pass to fulfil the minimum requirement for University admission.
Does NJC conduct any MOE Third Language programme in-house?
No, NJC does not conduct any MOE Third Language programme in-house. All MOE Third Language programme students will travel to their respective language centres after school on specific days for their lessons, tests and examinations.
- How should my child schedule her Third Language lessons?
Third language lessons are conducted at the MOE Language Centres, usually from about 3:00 pm onwards. For logistical and operational reasons, we strongly encourage that your child schedules her Third Language lessons on either Tuesday or Thursday.
- Are Hindi classes conducted in-house at NJC?
Hindi classes, like all Non-Tamil Indian Languages (NTIL), are conducted at a language centre. NTIL classes are not conducted at NJC.
- Does NJC have a special class for students from the GEP stream?
No. However, NJC makes provisions for developing gifts in different academic areas. There are special programmes, such as Advanced Math, Advanced Science, Advanced Language Arts and Advanced Humanities, which cater for students who show aptitude in these areas and are ready to be stretched in terms of content and skills in the discipline. There are also Research opportunities, with mentoring done by field experts, beyond the core JH2-3 exploratory research module (i.e. the Special Programme in Inquiry and REsearch, or SPIRE). Those with artistic gifts can apply for the MOE Art Elective Programme at NJC or the NJC Music Programme at JH1.
- Are there GEP students in NJC, and what programmes are there for them?
Yes, there are GEP students in the NJC community and they are identified just like other students for further development in their areas of strength. The provisions may be organised by the subject teacher or may be part of the structured experiences stated above.
- What can my child do if he encounters difficulties in his academic learning?
Students in NJC should always feel able to seek help. NJC teachers support their students’ learning in class by giving them opportunities to ask questions and clarify doubts during lessons as well as outside of curriculum hours by organising appointments with students. They may also have additional online resources made available to their students. Furthermore, there are structured consolidation time slots allocated to each subject and level to help identified students learn well.
- What does assessment in NJC look like?
At NJC, we view assessment as a means to find out how much the child has learnt, and to garner feedback to know what to do next on the part of the teacher and the learner to improve learning. There are therefore multiple modes of assessment, including research projects, performance tasks, integrated assignments and of course, pen-and-paper tests.
In keeping with our philosophy and principles of assessment, your child would be introduced, and mentored, to demonstrating learning of knowledge and skills in a wide range of modes. This will be done progressively over the years. There will also be no mid-year examinations for JH1, 2 & 3 students as assessment of learning is continuous.
- What must my child achieve in order to be promoted or to progress to the next level?
We believe that so long as a child learns well, the child will be able to demonstrate being ready for the next phase of learning, be it for the next topic, theme/unit or level.
As a baseline, we expect JH1 & JH2 students to either pass Language Arts (the equivalent of English Language and Literature in English) and 6 other subjects, or 8 subjects.
- There is no O-Level cohort at NJC. What would happen to my child if he/she is not able to cope with the IP?
We will take care of every child that comes through our gates. We do not have an O-Level track or cohort for the simple reason that we know, and will ensure, that every child will succeed.
Learning is personalised and differentiated to ensure that all learners are able to optimise the learning experience. In a similar vein, every learner is supported to ensure that learning gaps are addressed in a timely manner and that the learner rebuilds confidence.
There have been instances where a child and his/her parents feel that another education track is more appropriate. We have facilitated the necessary and continued to monitor the growth and progress of the child. These children have done very well for themselves, and have even been forerunners in their respective fields.
- How does boarding benefit my child?
Boarding is an integrable, and in fact quintessential, part of the NJC IP experience. Boarding affords our young adult learners to develop independence and knowledge, skills & values that are fundamental to living in a community. The closer relationships that are forged during boarding lend themselves to memorable experiences that build strong character and would last a lifetime.
Boarding is something every child and parent looks forward to. There are, of course, extenuating circumstances that prohibit a child from boarding. A request to defer boarding may be placed, and can only be granted by the Principal of NJC.
- How much does the boarding programme cost?
Each child nominally pays a substantially subsidised rate of $600-800 per year for Boarding (i.e. to board for about 1 term or 6-7 weeks). We, just like students and their parents, know the value of the Boarding Programme, and will ensure that there is sufficient support (e.g. financial aid) for all children to board. Will there be any boarding programme given the covid situation?Special boarding programmes (or Self Mastery Plus Programmes) which are non-residential have been mounted for our students to support their personal development and enrich their learning experiences.
- What CCAs can a JH1 student join?
All JH1 students experience the unique Co-curricular Activities for Exposure (CAFÉ) programme in their first year, where they will undergo the experiences of both Sports & Games and Performing Arts CCAs. This will help them make an informed decision in their choice of CCA for their remaining JH years.
DSA (Sec) students must commit to their CCA of choice for four years, and to NJC for six years.
We note that there are no Uniformed Groups at NJC.
- How many CCAs can and do regular students take up?
Most students from JH will follow MOE guidelines to take up one core CCA activity, often a sport or one of the performing arts. There are some students, with the consent of their parents and teachers, who also join a second CCA, often a club or society where they pursue other non-sports or performing arts interests. On top of their CCAs, JH students with a passion to lead also serve the student community as members of the Student Council or as Peer Support Leaders.
- What research opportunities does NJC provide?
All JH students will read the Special Programme in Inquiry and REsearch (SPIRE). SPIRE starts in the second half of Junior High 2. Your child will be introduced to the basics of research, specifically to learn how to read academic papers, understand the knowledge creation process, develop capacity in asking and framing research questions and write up a research proposal. Your child is free to explore any academic field (Sciences, Mathematics, Sport Science, Humanities or Language Arts) and will be mentored by a teacher who has expertise in that field. In Junior High 3, your child will continue with what he/she had previously proposed, e.g. conduct experiments, develop models and simulations, administer investigative surveys, etc. The SPIRE experience culminates with a Symposium at the end of Junior High 3.
Your child could choose to further his/her research experience by participating in the College’s Science Training & Research (STaR) Programme. This programme affords your child the opportunity to work with research scientists at various academic (e.g. NUS, NTU, SUTD), research (e.g. A*STAR) institutes and industry partners under the guidance of professional academics or principal investigators. Further to this, your child would also have the opportunity to participate in research exchange programmes with various high schools from Singapore and around the world (e.g. Australia, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, United Kingdom) in various fields (Sciences, Mathematics, Sport Science, Humanities or Language Arts).
All research students have the opportunity to present their work at various platforms, ranging from local & international fairs to academic conferences. Research exchange programmes are available for JH3-SH1 students. Finally, students may choose to read research as a Higher 3 (H3) subject when in Senior High.
DSA (Sec) Specific Questions
- How do I apply for DSA? How many choices can I make? Is there an application fee?
All applications must be submitted through the online DSA-Sec Portal.
Applicants only need to fill in one online form to apply to multiple schools. Applicants may indicate up to 3 choices and 3 talent areas. You may indicate up to 2 talent areas for the same school. If you want to apply for 2 talent areas at the same school, you must indicate both as separate choices.
Applications are free-of-charge.
Please refer to the MOE website: www.moe.gov.sg/secondary/dsa for more details.
- What are the areas that NJC is admitting students for through DSA?
Applicants can choose to be considered for DSA to NJC under one of the following categories:
Sports and Games: Basketball, Canoeing/Dragon Boat, Shooting, Squash, Track and Field, Cross-Country, Softball (Girls only)
Visual, Literary and Performing Arts: Choir, Chinese Dance, Indian Dance, Western Dance, Malay Dance, String Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Chinese Orchestra, Guzheng Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Art Elective Programme*, Music Programme*
Science, Mathematics and Engineering (not a CCA – students still have to be in a CCA)
- How is the DSA selection process in NJC conducted ?
Only shortlisted students will be invited to attend the e-interviews, auditions and trials via video conferencing.
Students will attend the video conference from their respective primary schools between early July to mid-September.
Without the selection trials and the cancellation of the National School Games and Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentations, more weight will be attributed to the student’s talent, potential, passion and character through the student’s track record and information provided in the students’ online applications. We may also obtain brief inputs on the child from the current school.
The video conference may include a performance or audition task. Trials or auditions will not be conducted prior to the e-interview or video conference.
During the e-interview, shortlisted students are assessed through a series of questions to determine the following:
– Passion for and commitment to the area of interest
– Potential to cope with the rigour of the Integrated Programme, which includes both academic and co-curricular demands
– Commitment to contribute to the school, through the area of interest as well as other opportunities to serve
– Sound character in line with NJC’s values of Civility, Altruism, Resilience and Enterprise, and the ability to be both a team player and an independent learner.
- What happens if my child is shortlisted for the e-interview stage? When will the video conferences be conducted? Can it be done from home? Who will be on the panel?
All shortlisted candidates will be notified via email to attend an e-interview via video conferencing with the Principal, Vice-Principals, HODs and/or the CCA teachers. More details on the performance task, where applicable, will be provided in the email notification. The e-interviews will be conducted between early July and mid-September. Students must attend the video conference from their respective primary or secondary schools. We will liaise with the child’s current primary school to ensure that arrangements can be made for him/her to attend the interview at a suitable time and venue, as well as to ensure that the necessary video conferencing tools and support are available for your child.
- Is there a quota or fixed number of places for any specific talent area?
There is no quota for the number of DSA places set aside for any one talent area.
- What is the PSLE score requirement for a student accepted via DSA?
As long as the student meets the PSLE cut-off for Express stream as set by MOE, the student can be admitted to NJC if a confirmed offer has been given.
- If my child is unable to cope with or loses interest in the talent area, can he/she stop participating in that area and/or opt to pursue another area of interest instead?
Students who are successfully admitted via DSA are expected to honour their commitment to and participate in the activities related to the talent they are selected for throughout Junior High (i.e. Years 1 – 4).
However, in Senior High (i.e. Years 5 – 6), all students — irrespective of their DSA status — are allowed to opt to either continue with participation in the same CCAs or special programmes, or to explore other areas of interest.
- If I am successful under the DSA, can I opt for a school transfer after the release of the PSLE results, or in subsequent years?
Students who are successfully admitted via DSA are expected to honour their commitment to the school for the duration of the six-year Integrated Programme. Please note that your child will not be allowed to:
Submit school choices during the Secondary 1 (S1) posting process.
Transfer to another school. They must commit to their chosen school for the duration of the programme. When will the results of the DSA application be announced?
All successful applicants will be informed of the outcome — Confirmed Offer, Waiting List, or Unsuccessful — by 13 Sep 2021.
Students given a Confirmed Offer are guaranteed a place in the school, provided that they accept the offer via the DSA-Sec Portal between 25 – 29 Oct 2021, and qualify for the Express stream based on their PSLE results.
- If I am unsuccessful under the DSA, how else can I gain admission to NJC?
Primary 6 students can apply through the Secondary One Posting Exercise conducted by MOE after the release of the PSLE results, provided that they have not already accepted a DSA offer from another secondary school.
Music & AEP
- If my child is admitted to Music or AEP DSA can he/she not have a CCA?
We believe that CCA is an important aspect of your child’s holistic development, hence it is important that your child is exposed to other areas of development and interaction with other students from other backgrounds and interests. All Music and AEP DSA students are expected to take up a CCA offered to Junior High students.
- If my child is admitted to Music DSA, must he/she be in a music-related CCA?
As your child’s commitment is to the academic programme, he/she is free to choose to join any CCA that is offered to all Junior High students, be it from Sports & Games or the Performing Arts
- What does Music or AEP talent programme mean?
Music or AEP is offered as an academic programme where students who are admitted to either of these programmes are required to read Music and Art as part of their academic curriculum. It is mandatory for students who are in AEP or Music to attend the curriculum lessons which take place in the weekday afternoons.