- What are the unique features of the VCA IP? How is it different from the IP offered in other schools?
The VCA IP draws on the outstanding academic track records of VS and Cedar Girls’ Secondary School (CGSS) and builds on the very successful Victoria Integrated Programme (VIP) in VJC which was launched since 2005. It will be a programme that stretches students’ potential, demands their full participation and develops their individual voice and identity.
Besides the core curriculum, a signature programme of the VCA is the Imagineering Programme, which aims to inspire students to become social innovators with the passion, attributes and ability to imagine and engineer innovative solutions to social problems. Other key programmes include the Helmsman programme for character development and life skills; the Beyond Borders programme for overseas exposure; and the Electives, consisting of a wide range of subject interests which students can choose from to further develop their creativity, communication and thinking skills which are all important 21st century competencies.
In the co-curricular arena, students in VS and CGSS will experience the ethos and privilege of an all-boys and an all-girls education respectively and at the same time, they will also participate in joint programmes to broaden their social outlook. In addition, the students will enjoy the full range of co-curricular activities such as sports, performing arts, uniformed groups and experience the schools’ leadership development programme.
- For VS, how is the IP curriculum different from the ‘O’ Level curriculum?
The vision of VS is to nurture every Victorian as a Gentleman, a Professional and a Sportsman. To grow the potential of each and every student towards this vision, the total curriculum in VS will comprise 5 main domains, that is, character, cognitive, community, aesthetics and physical. Each student develops and matures in his exposure through carefully planned programmes in each domain.
Adolescence is both an exciting yet uncertain time of discovery, exploration and growth. While we are keenly aware that each student is different and develops at his own unique pace, ultimately, our purpose is to create the best array of options to secure each student’s future. To this end, the IP and the ‘O’ Level curriculum in VS will each serve to deliver a holistic educational experience that will provide the maximal exposure and post-secondary options for our students, in a manner best suited for their pace of learning and developmental needs.
The IP curriculum in VS will be tailored for students who are clearly JC-bound. The curriculum puts emphasis on applying intellectual abilities to engage and solve societal issues, both present and future, through the Imagineering, Helmsman, Beyond Borders and Elective Programmes. The ‘O’ Level curriculum in VS on the other hand seeks to further raise the overall potential of students who, although having demonstrated significantly above average results at PSLE, would benefit from a structured environment that not only puts focus on knowledge acquisition and developing deep understanding, but also balances the time in academic learning with co-curricular activities. In other words, learning in the IP curriculum has greater flexibility and less defined boundaries between disciplines and programmes, while learning in the ‘O’ Level curriculum has greater structure and teacher facilitation.
- What are the respective Cut-off Points (COP) for VCA IP and VS O Level?
The COP for VCA IP and VS O Level are respectively around 252 (AL 5-8) and 248 (AL 6-9).
- How will pupils in the VCA IP be assessed? Will there be examinations or are they expected to do more project work?
A variety of assessment modes will be used to assess the learning progress and understanding of the pupils so as to cater to different learning styles and multiple intelligences. On top of traditional pen-and-paper assessments to consolidate students’ learning, alternative assessment modes like projects, oral presentations and portfolio assessment will also be used.
- What is the set of promotion criteria for IP?
IP students need to attain a Year Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3 in order to be promoted [with a subject grade value of at least 2.5 (more than 55% in marks) for English language and Mathematics].
- How will the school prepare each pupil for the transition to VJC for Year 5 and 6 of the VCA IP?
There will be multiple opportunities for every student to participate in programmes and activities organised by all three schools throughout the 6 years. These include the Electives and Imagineering Programme. Through these platforms, students from all three schools will have the chance to interact and learn from one another.
In terms of the academics, the VCA IP is essentially a 6-year programme and the curriculum in Year 1 to 4 will be closely linked to what they will be learning for Year 5 to 6. Therefore it will be a seamless transition to Year 5 and 6 at VJC.
- If, after attending the Integrated Programme for some time, I find that I am more suited for the ‘O’ Level curriculum, can I opt to make a switch?
There are various programmes in place to help students level up their performance if additional help is needed. You are advised to talk to your teacher if you encounter any difficulties during the course of your studies.
The school has clear promotion criteria for the Integrated Programme. Students who fail to meet the promotion criteria might be advised to switch to the ‘O’ Level programme. Otherwise, the school generally does not encourage students in the Integrated Programme to switch to the ‘O’ Level programme and will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis. You can approach your teachers to discuss the options available should you consider to do so.
- If I am admitted to the ‘O’ Level Programme, can I opt to switch to the Integrated Programme?
The school will accept a number of eligible students into the Integrated Programme in Secondary 3. If you are identified to be suitable for the IP at Secondary 2, and are interested in the IP, you will have the opportunity to apply to be switched over to the IP. If your application is successful, you will join Year 3 of the IP in the following year.