Singapore: Two GCE O-Level syllabus to prepare students for future knowledge needs

Singapore school students (Representational Picture) NATIONAL SCHOOL GAMES/ Ministry of Education Singapore

Two GCE O-Level subjects, which include drama, and exercise and sports science have been restructured. This change in syllabus will help students learn critical thinking and provide a new opportunity for learning different aspects of the area.

Now 18 Singapore schools are offering exercise and sports science as O-Level subjects. According to the Ministry of Education(MOE), this new structure aims towards improvement of skills, which will make the students more prepared for the future needs.

Patricia Chan, the Principal of CHIJ Katong Convent said that earlier, the curriculum was not quite made for the Singapore students in the Singapore classroom. She mentioned that the new syllabus of drama has inputs from local theatre practitioners and teachers.

According to reports all lower secondary students are participating foundation classes, where they have an opportunity to adapt various body movements through play.

Yin Mei Lenden-Hitchcock, CHIJ Katong Convent's subject head and literature and drama coordinator said that they will now focus on plays written by Singaporean playwrights, as foundation texts to study the elements of drama, and students also perform an excerpt from a local play each year.

Currently, there are hardly 10 students out of 200, who select drama as an O-Level subject, as it covers more technical aspects, including different forms of acting.

A senior teacher for Physical Education (PE) from Bowen Secondary, Winston Chua said that they have noticed that one-third of their students usually opt for sports co-curricular activity.

In addition to that Chua said the school has been performing well in inter-school sports, which has made the school administration to offer exercise and sports science, which will help students to develop further.

The curriculum now has set a focus on the popular sports in Singapore, such as basketball, soccer, track and field.

Through each practical session, students are required to analyse their own performance on the ground, which will help to improve the techniques, speed and agility. Even the theoretical part will help the students to understand sports psychology, such as muscle movements and the skeletal system.

The preparation for creating a developed syllabus started five years ago with the teachers of Bowen Secondary undergoing special training.

As of now 35 students from Express and Normal (Academic) streams have signed up for the new structure of the curriculum. They found the new syllabus more suitable to receive at least a silver for the National Physical Fitness Award (NAPFA) test, including a B grade and above for physical education.

Chua said that they have started an overseas learning journey in RMIT in Australia. They have also looked for those schools which offered PE as an examinable subject and how they conduct the theory and practical sessions.

However, earlier many Singapore based schools acknowledged MOE's efforts to plan a new sports development programme for students by redesigning the National School Games Junior Division.

According to Singapore's Education Minister, Ng Chee Meng, the change of structure will reduce the perceived stakes in sports competition, as well as increase the playing opportunities.

This article was first published on February 11, 2018