As the educational landscape continues to evolve, Singapore's secondary schools implemented an innovative approach called Subject-Based Banding (SBB) to enhance students' learning experiences.
Subject-Based Banding (SBB) was first started in 28 secondary schools from 2020. It was progressively rolled out and will come into full implementation from 2024 onwards.
In this post, we explore the key aspects of Subject-Based Banding and its implications for Secondary school students.
Understanding Subject-Based Banding:
Subject-Based Banding is a progressive educational framework that replaces the traditional streaming system in Singapore's secondary schools. It aims to provide a more personalized and flexible learning experience for students. Under SBB, students are grouped based on their subject proficiency levels, allowing them to take subjects at different academic levels according to their strengths and interests.
Key Features to Note:
1. Removal of Express, Normal(Academic) [N(A)] and Normal(Technical) [N(T)] streams
Starting 2024, the Express, NA and NT streams will cease to exist.
Nonetheless, all Secondary 1 students will still be posted to schools in three groups, Groups 1, 2, and 3, based on score ranges of the existing Express, NA and NT streams.
These posting groups are only used to facilitate secondary school admission, and guide the initial subject levels offered at Secondary 1.
Refer to the table for more information on posting groups:
Subject Level for most subjects
4 - 20
21 and 22
2 or 3
G2 or G3
23 and 24
1 or 2
G1 or G2
26 - 30
2. Mixed form classes in school
For schools that take in students from multiple posting groups, SBB allows for mixed form classes. These are classes made up of students from different posting groups and taking subjects at different levels.
This provides opportunities for greater diversity within the classrooms, and peer learning from different backgrounds, strengths and interest.
3. Opportunities to Advance in Subject Levels
Under the new SBB system, students have the flexibility to adjust their subject levels during their secondary school journey. This means that a student who enters Secondary school under Group 2 posting and take mainly G2 subjects, have the option to take some subjects at G3 level, if they do well later on.
At Ace Clinic Education, we will be holding Secondary English and Secondary Math classes that stretches students (who wish to advance) to the next subject level, and in so doing, fulfill their potential.
4. Changes in National Examination from 2027
The first graduating cohort will sit for the new Singapore-Cambridge Secondary Education Certificate (SEC) examinations in 2027. This comprises different papers for each subject level, in line with the nature of the SBB system.
The new SEC will replace the existing N-level and O-level examinations, and reflect the subject levels that each student is offered. This arrangement is similar to that of the A level examinations (where students take subjects at H1, H2 and H3 levels).
Subject-Based Banding in Secondary schools will revolutionize the educational landscape in Singapore. Its offering allows for personalized learning experiences, flexible subject choices, and enhanced engagement. Through the new system, SBB seeks to empower students to excel in certain areas (Eg. Secondary English) to take on a level scaled to their abilities.
You may read more about System-Based Banding at the Ministry of Education (MOE) website.