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Piloting Full Subject-Based Banding starting 2020

In March 2019, Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung announced that Streaming would be replaced by Full Subject Based Banding (SBB). He said, “The school system will become far more flexible than today, so that we can customise learning to the student, to give them time to blossom at different points in their lives.”  

Bowen Secondary is one of the 28 secondary schools selected by MOE to start piloting aspects of Full Subject-Based Banding (Full SBB) from 2020 onwards.

Two aspects of the Full SBB Pilot in Bowen

The Full SBB pilot in Bowen will involve two aspects:

First, Secondary 1 students joining Bowen will get a richer student experience as they will get to be part of two classes:

  • The Form Class, where they will build their socio-emotional skills and take hands-on subjects like Art, D&T and F&N. Students will also do CCE, Music and PE in their form class. The Form Class will comprise students from all 3 streams.

  • The Teaching Group, where they will take subjects like EL, MTL, Maths, Science, etc. pitched at the level which will suit their learning ability. 
    • NA and NT students who are strong at EL, MTL, Maths and/or Science and who meet MOE-criteria, can study these subjects at NA / Exp levels1
    • Express students will offer these subjects at Express level.

A richer student experience:
  • This two-class arrangement will give them both the opportunity to socialise and build a strong sense of community, as well as the opportunity to study EL, MTL etc. with peers who can spur them on. 

  • In the form classes, we will implement ‘buddy groups’ comprising 2-4 students, for students to provide mutual support. We will have ‘Class Bonding Time’ every Friday for the classes to do something fun together (eg, play a game) regularly. 

  • Students will attend enrichment programmes in both their form class (E.g. Leadership programmes) and teaching group (Learning Journey to Science Centre) so that the students will be able to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Second, Sec 2N(A) students who are eligible can offer Geography and/or History at Sec 2Exp level, to help them further their strengths and interests2

Students in Sec 1N(A) in 2019 can offer Geography and/or History at Sec 2Exp level in 2020 if they meet the following criteria for the overall average and the specific subject(s): 
  • Overall Average of 60% and above 
  • Geography 75% and above 
  • History 75% and above

If they do well in these subjects at Sec 2Exp level, they may be offered the subject at O level in Sec 3N(A) and Sec 4N(A). 

For More Information

A briefing will be conducted for the Sec 1N(A) students and relevant information sent to Sec 1N(A) parents on Wed 4 Sep. After the Overall Sec 1 results are released (early Nov), eligible students and parents will be informed and given 3 working days to reply. Thereafter, bridging assignments will be given to prepare them for the Exp level subject in 2020.

We will share more information about the Full SBB pilot at our Open House on Sat 16 Nov 19.  Besides the various subject and programme booths, there will be 3 Principal’s talks, at 9am, 10.30 am and 11.30am.  Meanwhile, if you have queries, please contact us at bowen_ss@moe.edu.sg.

School Executive Committee

Tue 3 Sep 2019

Note 1:

  • NA and NT students, who do not meet MOE criteria to offer these subjects at Exp / NA level from Jan 2020, can aspire to do well and study hard.  If they meet the criteria at mid-year / year-end of 2020, they will be offered these subjects at E/NA levels. 
  • Currently, NA and NT students, who meet the relevant criteria to transfer streams to Exp / NA at the end of Sec 1 or Sec 2, are offered the chance to transfer.  With Full SBB, this will continue to be the case.


Note 2:

  • Geography and/or History at Sec 2N(A) level will be made available for Sec 2N(T) students starting from 2021.  More details will be announced in due course.