Rationale for the SJI IP Offering IB Diploma
Admission of Girls into the SJI IP
IP Track vs O-level Track
Upgrading of SJI Campus
IB Diploma Programme
Rationale for the SJI IP Offering IB Diploma
1. Will the SJI IP offer the A-levels?
No, the SJI IP will offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma programme.
2. Why is the SJI IP offering the IB Diploma instead of the A-levels?
The mission of SJI is to help students to “learn how to learn” and to “learn how to live” so as to nurture “Persons of Integrity” and “Persons for Others”. We are well known for nurturing our students into leaders whose focus is on service to community and looking out for “the last, the lost and the least” amongst us.
The goals of the IB programme are in strong alignment with SJI’s brand of education as described. Like the A-levels, the IB curriculum is also broad-based in its academic offering and has a strong focus on learning how to learn, which will be the key to creating new knowledge, wealth and competitive advantage. It takes a multi-disciplinary, multicultural and humanistic perspective that will not merely be concerned with acquiring knowledge but also to learn how to live as the students will be helped to understand issues from varied perspectives and to assess the impact of new knowledge on human society. It has a built-in component on service where the students are expected to participate in “creativity, action, service”.
SJI is also encouraged by the highly positive experience of the IB Diploma Programme at SJI International which has produced graduates who are confident, articulate, and thinking young men and women who have gone to win places in highly competitive faculties like medicine, dentistry and law in local universities, and in top overseas universities such as Harvard University and Imperial College London. Hence, SJI is very confident of offering a successful IP track leading to IB as the school can leverage on the expertise and experience of SJI International.
3. Will the whole school go IP?
SJI will continue to seek a good balance between admitting students with different talents and aptitudes, as well as boys from both our affiliated and non-affiliated primary schools to provide a diversity of abilities for a rich learning environment, where every boy is inspired to develop to his fullest potential as a person, regardless of his academic abilities. Hence, SJI will continue to offer two tracks - the 6-year SJI IP track leading to the IBDP and the O-level track where the students will sit for the O-level examinations at the end of Secondary 4 and have a range of options for progression to post-secondary education. At Secondary 3, this dual track system will offer opportunities for suitable students to make lateral transfers.
4. What will be the intake into the SJI IP? How is it split between IP and O-Level tracks?
The intake at Secondary 1 is about 380 students. From 2013 onwards, the Secondary 1 intake will comprise about 125 students for the SJIIP track and about 255 students for the O-level track.
5. When will the SJI IP have its first intake?
The first Secondary 1 IP intake will be in 2013.
6. When will the SJIIP start taking in students at Secondary 3?
The first Secondary 3 IP intake will be in 2014.
7. When will SJI start taking in students at JC 1 for the IB Diploma Programme?
The first JC 1 intake will be in 2013.
8. Will there be an intake of students into SJI at Secondary 3 and JC 1?
Yes, there will be an intake at Secondary 3 and JC 1. At Secondary 3, the intake will be from SJI students on the O-level track transferring into the SJIIP track and students from other secondary schools. Admission into Secondary 3 IP track will be based on merit.
At JC 1, in addition to the SJI students on the IP track moving up into JC 1 from 2016 onwards, there will also be an intake of students (from SJI O-level track and other secondary schools) based on the merit of their O-level examination results.
9. What will be the intake for SJIIP at Secondary 3?
For the first IP intake at Secondary 3 in 2014, the intake will be about 60 students. The students admitted will be SJI students transferring from the O-level track and students from other secondary schools. For subsequent IP intakes at Secondary 3, the intake will be about 25 students from SJI O-level track and from other secondary schools.
10. Why is the IP intake at Secondary 3 from 2015 onwards much smaller than that in 2014?
The Secondary 3 IP intake in 2014 is larger, as it will be the first IP intake at Secondary 3. This pioneer IP batch of about 60 students will not be joined by any existing IP students who will be moving into Secondary 3 IP.
From 2015 onwards, about 25 Secondary 3 students will be admitted into the IP track, joining other IP students who were admitted at Secondary 1.
11. What will be the JC 1 intake?
From 2013 to 2016, there will be an initial intake of 80 students (from SJI O-level track and other secondary schools) at JC 1 based on the merit of their O-level examination results. For 2016, the 80 students will be joining the existing 60 IP students moving up into JC 1. From 2017 onwards, in addition to the about 150 existing IP students moving up into JC 1, there will be an intake of around 110 students (from SJI O-level track and other secondary schools) based on the merit of their O-level examination results.
12. Why is the intake into JC 1 from 2013 – 2016 kept at only 80 students?
The quality of the IB Diploma programme offered by SJI would be dependent on the quality of the teachers teaching the programme and the availability of adequate infrastructure and facilities to support the effective delivery of the programme. By keeping the intake into JC 1 at 80 for the initial years, SJI will be able to achieve a good balance between existing teachers developing the expertise to teach the IB subjects and the recruitment of experienced IB teachers. SJI will be able to phase in the necessary professional development of existing teachers to teach the IB subjects effectively and to recruit a smaller number of highly experienced IB teachers over a number of years to maintain the quality of experienced IB teachers recruited. The current SJI campus will be upgraded to accommodate the larger enrolment due to our new JC section. The upgraded campus is expected to be ready only in 2016. In the interim, SJI has only sufficient infrastructure and facilities to support an additional increase of about 160 students for the IB Diploma programme.
13. Will students with PSLE T-score of 250 and above who have enrolled in SJI for Secondary 1 in 2012 be automatically emplaced on the IP track when they move up to Secondary 3 in 2014?
No. The admission of students into Secondary 3 for the SJIIP will be based on the merit of their school-based assessment, which will include, among others, strong academic performance at Secondary 1 and 2 and strong achievements in co-curricular activities.
14.What are the school fees for the SJI IP?
As the first Secondary 1 IP intake is in 2013, SJI is still in discussion with MOE on the actual fees to be charged.
15. Will the schools fees charged be the same for the IP track and the O-level track?
The school fees for the SJI IP track will be higher. SJI is still in discussion with MOE on the actual fees to be charged for the SJI IP. The school fees for the O-level track will not be affected.
16. How will the SJI IP curriculum be different from the other IPs?
The SJI IP will be differentiated from the other IPs by adopting an inter-disciplinary approach in Science, Technology and Business. It will have a strong emphasis on communication skills, character and leadership development to prepare the students to take on leadership roles in the new economy, especially in areas where a strong science foundation and business skills and dispositions will command a premium. The SJI IP will enable SJI to continue nurturing top students into leaders whose focus is on service to the community and looking out for “the last, the lost and the least” amongst us.
The IP curriculum will be balanced and holistic, with specific strands in (a) Science & Technology, (b) Business, (c) Humanities, Social Sciences & Communication and (d) Leadership & Character Development. In particular, the SJI IP will emphasise collaboration and partnership with top institutions.
For the Science & Technology Strand, SJI has the Harvard Art-Science programme which integrates Art and Science in the development of innovative products and services.
For the Business strand, SJI has developed a Business Design Thinking programme in collaboration with University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and Singapore Polytechnic’s DesignWorks Singapore, which nurtures business dispositions such as creative re-framing of issues, thinking out-of-the-box and risk-taking.
For the Humanities, Social Sciences & Communication strand, SJI has developed a special programme called "World and Me" with the help of Dr Derek da Cunha, former Senior Fellow at the Institute of South East Asian Studies, to give the students a good understanding of the world that they live in from the perspectives of philosophy, politics and economics.
SJI has also formed a SJI IP Track Leadership Panel to provide guidance and advice on the implementation of the SJI IP track. The Panel will be chaired by Mr Philip Yeo, Chairman of SPRING Singapore and will comprise distinguished Old Boys such as Mr Lim Chee Onn (Senior International Adviser, SingBridge), Mr Davinder Singh (Senior Counsel), Professor Tan Chorh Chuan (President, NUS), Professor Leo Tan (Former Director of NIE), and Associate Professor Kwok Kian Woon (Associate Chair (Academic) & Head of Division of Sociology, NTU). The panel will comprise a good balance of academicians (with representatives from NUS, NTU and SMU) and business/public sector leaders.
17. How will the students be admitted into the SJI IP?
The selection will be based on merit, using PSLE results for those who enter via the S1 posting, as well as through school-based criteria under the Direct School Admission (DSA) exercise.
18. What are the criteria for admission into the SJI IP via DSA?
Admission into Secondary 1 for the SJI IP stream will be based on the following criteria:
(a) Strong track record of achievement in academic or sports pursuits.
(b) Outstanding overall academic performance in Primary School.
(c) Good achievements in co-curricular activities in Primary School.
(d) A personal statement by the candidate on why SJI should admit him into the programme, how he would benefit from the programme and his contributions to the school and community.
(e) An interview to determine the student’s interests, inclinations, maturity, drive and team spirit to complete the IP successfully.
19. Will students from affiliated primary schools be admitted into SJI based on the affiliate PSLE Cut-off Points (COP)?
Students from the affiliated primary schools will continue to be admitted into SJI O-level track based on the affiliate COP. There will be no priority admission into the IP track for affiliated schools.
20. Will the affiliate COP for admission into the O-level track be raised as a result of the SJI IP track?
Currently, SJI has no plans to raise the affiliate COP further.
21. Will there be an admission of students at Secondary 3 for the SJI IP?
The admission into the IP track at Secondary 3 will be for students from the SJI O-level track and students from other secondary schools. Selection will be based on merit.
22. What are the criteria for admission into Secondary 3 for the SJI IP?
The admission of students into Secondary 3 for the SJI IP will be based on the merit of their school-based assessment, which will include, among others, strong academic performance at Secondary 1 and 2 and strong achievements in co-curricular activities.
23. Will there be an admission of students at JC 1 for the IB Diploma Programme at SJI?
The admission of non-SJI IP students into JC 1 for the IB Diploma programme will be open to all students, including those from other schools, and based on their O-level results.
24. Will SJI students from the O-level track using the O-level results for admission be given bonus points for admission into JC 1 for the SJI IP?
Admission of Girls into the SJI IP
25. Will girls be admitted into the SJI IP?
SJI will remain an all-boy school from Secondary 1 to Secondary 4. Girls will only be admitted into SJI at JC 1 for the IB Diploma programme.
26. Will the Old Boys express concerns about the admission of girls into SJI?
In our history, when SJI used to have pre-university classes, the school did have girls in these pre-university classes especially between about 1954 and 1964. Our well-known Old Girls in the community include Mrs Joan Fong, daughter of the late Minister Hon Sui Sen, and former Associate Professor Agnes Chang at the National Institute of Education. Therefore, given that the enrolment of girls at all JCs is the norm, it is not likely that the Old Boys would express strong concerns about the admission of girls into SJI.
IP Track vs O-level Track
27. Will the SJI O-level track students be viewed as second class?
Because of SJI’s mission and charter, we consider students from both the IP and O-level tracks as being equally important. We see the IP and O-level tracks as serving students with different abilities and talents. SJI is committed to offering a balanced, broad-based and holistic education to both IP and O-level students in line with their respective abilities and talents.
28. Will O-level track students be able to transfer into the SJI IP track?
O-level track students who meet the school-based criteria will be able to gain admission into the SJI IP track at Secondary 3.
29. Will IP students be able to transfer into the O-level track?
Yes. Students on the SJI IP track are able to request for a transfer into the O-level track either at the end of Secondary 2 or Secondary 3.
30. Once enrolled into the SJI IP track at Secondary 1, are the IP students assured of continuing on to JC level to do the IB Diploma Programme?
No. SJI wants all the students on the SJI IP track to be able to fully benefit from the IP education without compromising their post-secondary education options. Hence, IP students who fail to meet the school-based criteria to remain in the SJI IP track will be transferred into the O-level track at the end of Secondary 2 or Secondary 3. These students will then sit for the O-level.
31. Will there be opportunities for IP and O-level students to interact with one another?
There will be many opportunities for IP and O-level students to interact with one another. There will be some academic programmes that would be open to both IP and O-level students. There will not be any differentiation between IP and O-level students for co-curricular activities.
32. Will SJI campus be upgraded as a result of the SJI IP?
SJI will be upgrading its Malcolm Road campus to accommodate the extra requirements arising from the delivery of the SJI IP.
33. Is SJI likely to move to another bigger site as a result of the SJI IP?
SJI has no plan to move to another site. SJI will be upgrading the Malcolm Road campus.
34. Will SJI remain on site during the upgrading?
In order to minimise disruptions and to provide a learning environment that remains conducive, SJI plans to move to a holding site during the upgrading of the campus. SJI is still in discussion with MOE on the possible holding sites during the upgrading of the Malcolm Road campus.
35. How long will SJI be on the holding site?
SJI anticipates that the school will be on the holding site for about 2 years.
36. When is SJI likely to move to the holding site?
SJI is still in discussion with MOE on the schedule for moving into the holding site. SJI will be most likely be at the holding site from 2014 to 2015.
37. Will the educational programmes be affected when SJI moves to a holding site?
No. SJI will ensure that the holding site has all the necessary facilities, at the required standards, to conduct both academic and non-academic programmes well.
38. When will SJI start the upgrading of the Malcolm Road campus?
The upgrading of the Malcolm Road campus is expected to start in 2014.
39. Will SJI be getting the help of SJI International to help start its IB Diploma programme?
SJI has engaged Mr Andrew Bennett, founding Head of School for SJI International, as a consultant to help start the IB Diploma programme for the SJI IP. Mr Bennett has extensive experience and expertise in the IB Diploma programme as he was the former Head of College of the United World College of South East Asia for 11 years before he became the founding Head of School of SJI International.
40. Will SJI be recruiting more teachers for the SJI IP?
As SJI will be extending upwards by 2 levels for JC 1 and 2 for the IB Diploma programme, SJI will be recruiting more teachers.
41. Will there be dedicated teachers teaching the SJI IP track?
Both IP teachers and teachers teaching the O-level will have opportunities to be involved in teaching in each other’s programmes to facilitate cross-fertilisation of pedagogical innovations and better integration of the SJI IP track with the SJI O-level track.
42. Will only the SJI IP track get the best teachers?
Because of SJI’s mission and charter, we consider students from both the IP and O-level tracks as being equally important. Hence, the school will ensure that both tracks have qualified, highly competent, innovative and dedicated teachers to teach the students so that each student is inspired to develop to his fullest potential as a person.
43. Where can I find more information about the IB Diploma programme?
Further information can be found at the website of the International Baccalaureate Organization at http://www.ibo.org.