Schools offering Communication/English Domain under DSA scheme

On April 8, 2016 – MOE has announced, “The Direct School Admission (DSA) scheme will be reviewed to recognise achievements and talents in specific areas – which was its original objective – instead of general academic ability.”

Like many parents, I was worried that it could mean denying a large group of students from the DSA scheme. For the last 8 years, I have been coaching many students on their speaking and interviewing skills and the majority of students that pass through my centre opted for the Academic domain when applying for DSA to the schools of their choice. I was silently praying that the changes would not be implemented until next year.

On May 9, schools across Singapore posted information on DSA selection criteria on their school website and I have to say it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Some schools did take away the Academic domain but they replaced it with domains related to it. For example, River Valley High School introduced “Communication” as a new option. For schools retaining Academic domains, they were asking for talent and qualifications in specific academic related areas – such as participation in Speech, Storytelling, Debates and Writing competitions under the English domain.

I am happy  for the majority of students who have come through my doors over the years because their LAMDA Speaking in Public or Trinity Communications Skills International Certification in Graded Exams can now play an even bigger role in helping them succeed in Direct School Admissions.

For  parents with younger children who may consider opting for these domains in the future, my advice to you is to start investing time and effort improving your children’s skills in Public Speaking, Spoken English, Storytelling, Debating and Creative Writing in order to build their portfolio in these areas. To help you, I have compiled a chart listing all the secondary schools which offer domains related to communication skills. I have also created a list of certifications and competitions that your child can participate in so as to boost their abilities in these areas.

Do bear in mind that primary schools do not always offer these competition experiences to every student. As a parent you have to speak to your child’s form teacher and tell her that you want your child to be considered for these competitions. As I come across more competitions, I will update the information in my blog.


SCHOOLS OFFERING ACADEMIC (ENGLISH) / COMMUNICATIONS DOMAIN

SOTA
http://www.sota.edu.sg/
Domain – Literary Arts

  • Creative Writing Portfolio (4 to 10 original works completed in the last 12 months)
  • Personal Story of 500 words (describe an event or incident which has made an impact on them or someone close to them)
  • Published Works/Relevant Credentials (Optional)

RAFFLES GIRLS’ SECONDARY SCHOOL
http://www.rgs.edu.sg/
Domain – Academic (English)

  • Able to demonstrate interest and talent beyond the abilities of students in the same age group and/or have a history of consistent high academic achievements in English.

RAFFLES INSTITUTION
http://www.ri.edu.sg/
Domain – Academic (English)

  • Demonstrate interest and talent in English Language beyond the abilities of children in your age group, and/or have a history of consistently high academic achievement.

RIVER VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL
http://www.rivervalleyhigh.moe.edu.sg//
Domain – Communication / Literacy (English)

  • Candidates should possess strong communication skills with achievements in writing or speaking in English
  • Achievements at the national/international level would be an advantage. Applicants will need to attach evidence of achievement at an appropriate platform that illustrates a high level of competence.

DUNMAN HIGH SCHOOL
http://www.dunmanhigh.moe.edu.sg/
Domain – Academic (English)

  • 80% or higher score (or 70% or higher score for Gifted Education Programme students) for P5 Overall and P6 Mid-Year Examination or its equivalent,
  • Special Achievements in English Language

NATIONAL JUNIOR COLLEGE
http://www.nationaljc.moe.edu.sg/
Domain – NA

  • Academic excellence and potential
  • Leadership qualities
  • Active participation in CCAs
  • Effective communication skills
  • Ability to be both a team player and an independent learner
  • Sound character: has integrity and is responsible, resilient and compassionate

CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL
http://www.catholichigh.moe.edu.sg/
Domain – Academic (English)

  • Special achievements in English
  • Attained excellent outcomes for national and international competitions and proficiency assessments;
  • Demonstrated contributions to the advancement or spread of knowledge in English.

VICTORIA SCHOOL
http://vs.moe.edu.sg/
Domain – Academic (Languages)

  • Excellent academic results for P5 overall and P6 Mid-Year Examination or its equivalent, and
  • Participation and achievements (e.g. competitions) in the talent areas applying for:
    – Languages
  • Shortlisted students will be requested to bring their portfolio of work for the interview

CHIJ ST NICHOLAS GIRLS’ SCHOOL
http://www.chijstnicholasgirls.moe.edu.sg/
Domain – Creative Expression Talent

  • Students who are accomplished in the creative / literary / oratorical arts such as bilingual orator, published writer, music composer, etc.
  • Portfolio and/or published works (in PDF) / awards / other credentials

CEDAR GIRLS’ SECONDARY
http://www.cedargirlssec.moe.edu.sg/
Domain – Academic (English)

  • Special Achievement in English Language
  • Excellent results in national/or international competitions in English Language such as the University of New South Wales Competitions
  • Any other academic competitions/achievements

ANGLO-CHINESE SCHOOL (BARKER RD)
http://acsbr.moe.edu.sg/
Domain – Applied Learning Programme (ALP) in Language and Humanities (Debates and Public Speaking)

  • Students will be required to come to auditions with a prepared speech (1 minute) on one of the following topics:
    -Social Media: Good or Bad?
    -Respect should be earned.
  • Students will also be given an impromptu topic to speak on during the auditions. They may also be required to discuss any points of interest with the auditioner/s.
  • They will be assessed on Style, which will include voice projection, articulation, clarity and expression.
  • They will also be assessed on Content, which will include their knowledge of current affairs, the nature of their arguments and how they express their opinions.
  • We will personally call all applicants who meet the requirements to attend the audition.

CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent
http://www.chijstjosephsconvent.moe.edu.sg/
Domain – Applied Learning Programme (ALP)
The Art of Communication through Theatre and Debates.

  • A high level of confidence when conversing about social issues. Interested applicants would demonstrate a genuine interest in current affairs or national, community issues and are able to articulate their thoughts in a clear and organized manner,
  • Experiences in either debates and/or theatre. This means that candidates have had experience related to debating and acting in productions, especially in the presence of an unfamiliar audience,
  • Possess a strong command of the English Language as reflected in candidates’ written and oral communication,
  • Applicants will perform a short dramatic monologue as part of the audition process (dramatization). The choice of monologues will be provided to applicants.
  • Oral presentation during the interview process.
  • Achievements at national competitions/ internationally recognized certification (Drama and Debates)/ Participation and level of representation in school/public performances.

CHIJ Katong Convent
http://www.chijkatongconvent.moe.edu.sg/
Domain – Communicative Arts

  • Strong oracy skills and a flair for public speaking
  • Top honours or awards won at Inter-school Oratorical or Debate competitions
  • Carried out master of ceremony duties for school-wide/community events e.g. Speech Day

Tanjong Katong Girls’ Sch
http://www.tkgs.moe.edu.sg/
Domain – Debating

Students will be eligible if they have excellent performance (with commendations) in one of the following:

  •  National oratorical, public speaking, storytelling or debating competitions (e.g. Wits & Words, organized by MOE) or
  • Other oratorical, public speaking, storytelling or debating competitions

Greenridge Secondary
http://www.greenridgesec.moe.edu.sg/
Domain – Learning for Life Programme (Literary Arts)

Interested applicants must produce a portfolio to show evidence of ability. The portfolio could include:

  • Records of participation (for CCA, competitions etc.) and achievements
  • Records of any involvement in school wide projects or community level programmes or projects
  • Records of any other achievements which are relevant to support your application
  • Testimonials or recommendation letters by primary school teachers or aesthetic coaches/instructors
  • Letter of reference from external coaches/instructors (if any)
  • Interview
  • Auditions or trials (where applicable) – Recite a poem, story-telling etc.

Holy Innocents’ High School
http://www.holyinnocentshigh.moe.edu.sg/
Domain – Journalism & Broadcasting

  • Portfolio: Comprising achievements in journalism and broadcasting related performances, competitions, publications, etc.;
  • Audition: Quality of voice / writing and confidence in presentation;
    Demonstrate commitment and passion in Journalism and Broadcasting and participate actively in the related programmes throughout their 4 years in the school;
  • Take up Journalism and Broadcasting as the core CCA throughout their 4 years in the school.

Mayflower Sec School
http://www.mayflowersec.moe.edu.sg/
Domain – Public Speaking & Debate

  • Participation in Oratorical/Public Speaking /Debating competitions
    Equivalent certification in area of participation
  • For Public Speaking requirements:
    Present a 3 minute speech on a given topic
    Be fluent in spoken English Language
  • For Debate requirements:
    Present a 5 minute argument on a given topic
    Be fluent in spoken English Language

Pasir Ris Crest Sec School
http://www.prcss.moe.edu.sg/
Domain – Effective Communication

  • Applicants must demonstrate a passion for communication related programmes /competitions and be committed to contribute to PRCS in the area for which they have been given DSA.
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited to go through a selection test as well as an interview.
  • Demonstrates strong communication skills (e.g. public speaking, debates or drama)
  • Achievement in competitions and performance experience are preferred.
  • Do well in the selection test. The selection test involves an audition that serve to assess the applicant’s mastery of the following: Confidence, Vocal Projection,  Clarity, Fluency, Stage Presence

Westwood Sec School
http://www.westwoodsec.moe.edu.sg/
Domain – LEARNING FOR LIFE PROGRAMME: Arts for Life! (Speech and Presentation)

  • Display project management and good interpersonal skills
  • Excellent past performance in debate/story telling competitions or qualifications in the respective disciplines

Interested applicants must produce a portfolio to show evidence of the above. The portfolio could include:

  • Evidence of participation and achievements in a particular art form (can be in the form of an official certificate, photographs, drawings, video etc)
  • Testimonials or recommendation letters by primary school teachers or aesthetics coaches/instructors outlining qualities of creativity, resilience and
  • Letters of reference from private coaches/instructors (if any)

Selection Process

  • Stage 1: All applicants will be expected to go through a selection interview conducted by a panel chaired by Principal, Vice-Principal and Dean. Applicants who successfully clear the interview will move on to Stage 2.
  • Stage 2: Shortlisted applicants from Stage 1 are required to attend a selection test / audition.

Methodist Girls’ School
http://www.mgs.sch.edu.sg/
Domain – NA

  • I have added MGS IP as an option because they will consider students base on academic ability only.
  • The feedback from the DSA talks is that more emphasis will be placed on English in the areas of writing and communication.

Areas of Achievements which you can use for DSA consideration

  • Trinity Graded Exams in Communications Skills.
  • Top scorer for TRINITY College London Graded examinations in Communication Skills.
  • LAMDA Speaking in Public
  • SPAF – Singapore Performing Arts Festival – (Public Speaking, Impromptu Speaking and Creative Writing)
  • International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) – English and Writing – Distinction/High Distinction
  • University of New South Wales (UNSW) Medals – English or Writing
  • YMCA Plain English Speaking Awards (PESA)
  • Babble & Speak Competition
  • The Moo-O Awards (Story-telling)
  • National Story Challenge (Story-telling)
  • Wits & Words: Inter-school Debate Championship
  • Primary School Debate Open
  • SOTA Creative Writing Competition
  • Young Authors Award
  • International Scenario Writing Competition
  • Commonwealth Essay Competition (Junior Under 14)
  • Budding Writers Competition
  • Odyssey of the mind (An international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for primary students. Team members apply their creativity to present their own interpretation of literary classics)
  • School Base competitions
  • Zonal/Inter-school competitions

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Heema Zainudin – LAMDA Grade 5 Distinction – Top Student November 2015