Frequently Asked Questions (Secondary Section)
<Last updated 7 May 2018; valid until 17 November 2018>
This page documents frequently asked questions from prospective parents and students about our school, admission and DSA.
You can scroll through the page or search for questions by typing “Ctrl-F” (search function of your browser) and searching by key words (e.g. “fees”).
Click on the links below to jump to the relevant section:
- (A) General Questions about Admission and School
- (B) Questions about DSA-Sec Categories and Criteria
- (C) Questions about DSA-Sec Application Process
- (D) Frequently Asked Questions about DSA-Sec Confirmed Offer (CO)
(A) General Questions about Admission and School
(A1) What are the school fees?
- CHS is a government-aided school; we are not an independent school.
- Singaporean citizen pays $28 per month, including miscellaneous and other fees. This is regardless of the track (O-level Programme or IP).
- PR, IS (ASEAN) and IS pays $283, $683 and $1123 respectively, including the miscellaneous and other fees. (Information accurate as of 7 May 2018; these fees will increase from 2019 to 2020. Please check MOE website for updates)
(A2) What are the start-time for regular school days?
- Morning assembly starts at 7.40am on regular school days.
(A3) What is the cohort intake?
- In general, each level of our cohort will have about 150 IP and 150 OP students, for a total of around 300 students per cohort.
- CHS accepts students from a broad range of schools for both OP and IP, with students coming from more than 80 different primary schools for 2017 Level 1 alone.
(A4) Do I / does my son need to attend religious programmes?
- As a government-aided SAP and also mission school (under the auspice of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore), our school empahsizes universal values such as love, compassion, integrity and humility in our curriculum and programmes.
- There are spirituality development programmes for Catholic students. These include Religious and Moral Education sessions, Young Christian Student Movement sessions, fortnightly masses, holy days of obligation masses, penetential services, Easter celebration, retreat, etc.
- Non-Catholic students are not required to attend these Catholic programmes.
- Parents are welcome to attend the masses.
(A5) What is the Cut-Off-Point (COP) for your O-Level and IP tracks?
- For 2018 Level 1 cohort, the COP for O-Level track was 250; the COP for the IP track was 253.
- For 2018 P6 students applying for admission into Catholic High School in 2019, the COP may differ and would depend on the pool of students who apply.
- The affiliation COP for OP is 240; there is no affiliation COP for IP.
(A6) How do I know which track (IP or OP) is more suitable for me?
- The IP track caters to students who prefer to forgo GCE O-Level to have more time to explore more deeply and widely the curriculum content and concepts through projects and various independent-learning activities.
- The IP curriculum is designed to dovetail into the A-Level curriculum of Eunoia Junior College, not just for core academic subjects but also for talent development such as the MOE Special Programmes.
- The O-Level track follows a more structured but equally rigorous curriculum which specifically prepares the students for the GCE O-Levels at Secondary 4.
- In both tracks, rich and diverse student development and enrichment opportunities offered by CHS will complete our students’ education experience, e.g. Passion Pursuit (Elective) modules are offered to both IP and OP students.
- The more significant differentiation is that IP students have more time than OP students for learning new skills and knowledge or participating in experiential learning, e.g. going on immersion trips in Year 4. OP students have to prepare and sit for the O-Level examinations in Sec 4.
(A7) Are students in OP and IP given the same opportunities, e.g. for talent development, participation in Olympiad etc.?
- Our school-based programmes, e.g. Passion Pursuit (Elective), are generally offered to both IP and OP students. There is no segregation or exclusion for CCAs, character development and leadership development programmes. Some aspects of our IP are offered to the OP as well, e.g. World Readiness Reading Programme.
- Our talent development programmes (e.g. CΩERGY) and Music Elective Programme are offered to both IP and OP students who meet the criteria. For example, Maths and Science Olympiads are open to both IP and OP students: criteria is based on students’ aptitude and interest for talent area. Students in our talent development programmes will be involved in the relevant Olympiad.
- IP students are offered additional programmes such as the Passion Pursuit (Independent), World Readiness Programme and Bicultural Studies Programme primarily because of the differences in the objectives and curriculum design of OP and IP. OP students would have less time and would need to prepare for the GCEO O-level examinations in Sec 4.
- You can learn more about the similarities and differences of our IP and OP at: /overview-of-the-dual-track/
(A8) Can a student transfer from the O-Level to the IP track? Vice versa?
- Secondary 2 students in our O-Level track may apply to the IP at the end of Sec 2 and join IP Year 3 if he meets the school-based criteria.
- Likewise, Year 2 students in our IP track may transfer to the OP track at the end of Year 2 and join OP Sec 3 with school approval.
- Students who transfer track will retain their CCA.
- Change of track for DSA student is subject to his performance and availability of places.
(A9) What is the promotion criteria for IP, including Higher Chinese, for Year 1 to 4 within CHS?
- IP students are expected to obtain the following to promote from Year 1 to 4 within CHS: (1) Overall minimum average of 60%, (2) minimum of 50% for both English and Higher Chinese, and (3) meeting requirements for World Readiness Programme and Passion Pursuit.
(A10) I am / my son is exempted from CL/HCL in Primary school. Can I / he apply to CHS?
- Students exempted from offering CL/HCL in primary school and PSLE cannot apply to SAP schools, including CHS.
- All CHS IP students (including DSA students) must offer Higher Chinese Language (HCL) in Years 1 and 2.
- All CHS O-level Programme students (including DSA students) must offer at least Chinese Language (CL).
- CHS does not offer other Mother Tongue Languages such as Malay or Tamil.
(A11) Can I offer/don’t offer Higher Chinese (HCL)?
- CHS is an SAP school, and we aim to have students learn their mother tongue to the highest level possible for each individual student. Thus, all our students must offer CL or HCL as one of their subjects.
- Our Integrated Programme (IP) students offer HCL in their first two years (Years 1 and 2), and they typically go on to offer HCL in Years 3 and 4. We encourage all our students to offer HCL as far as they could and if they qualify. On top of deepening their cultural quotient, world readiness skill set and language ability, offering HCL will open opportunities and pathways for our students.
- O-level Programme (OP) students can offer both CL or HCL throughout their 4 years with CHS, so long as they qualify, i.e. they are offered HCL or CL by MOE upon receiving their PSLE results for Sec 1 registration.
- In addition, for OP students, a pass in HCL will provide 2 bonus points for admission to JCs; both OP and IP students who pass HCL will be exempted from offering H1 Chinese in JCs.
(A12) What are the available CCAs? Can I / my son join more than one CCA?
- CHS requires all students to choose a main CCA from either the Physical Sports, Uniformed Groups, Performing Arts CCAs or Club/Societies.
- Students are discouraged from joining more than one CCAs, as students are expected to have a balanced and holistic development portfolio.
- CHS offers the following CCAs for 2019 Level 1 students (of which all are core CCAs, i.e. students’ main CCA):
- Physical Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Floorball, Softball, Table Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball and Wushu
- Uniformed Groups: National Cadet Corp (Air), National Cadet Corp (Land), National Police Cadet Corp, Scouts and St John Brigade
- Performing Arts: Dance – Modern, Drama – Chinese, Drama – English, Edward Becheras Choir, Orchestra – Chinese and Symphony Band
- Club/Society: i.O.N.(an IT club with various wings for video/photography, programming and robotics. This is a core CCA from 2018 onward for the lower levels, including 2018 Level 1 students)
(A13) How do I travel to CHS via public transport?
- Situated in the heart of Bishan, our school is accessible via buses and the MRT. Bishan MRT station, with its North-South and Circle Lines, is only several minutes’ walk from CHS.
- Bishan Street 22 runs alongside the CHS campus, and it is plied by buses 13, 52, 54, 88, 162, 162M and 410.
(A14) How do I learn more about Eunoia Junior College (EJC)?
- You can learn more about EJC at their website http://eunoiajc.moe.edu.sg/.
- While students from our IP track will articulate to EJC in Year 5, EJC will also accept students offering the O-Levels who meet the entry criteria.
(A15) Is CHS affiliated to Eunoia Junior College (EJC)?
- CHS OP students do not have affiliation bonus points when applying to EJC, but have 2 affiliation bonus points when applying to Catholic Junior College (CJC is affiliated to Catholic schools).
- Eunoia JC is a partner school for our IP. IP students do not need the bonus points: so long as they meet the JIP promotion criteria, they will join EJC in their JC1 (Year 5).
(A16) Can I / can my son bring his mobile phone to school?
- CHS allows students to bring their mobile phone to school as a mean for contacting their family. However, lower levels (Level 1 and 2) students must lock away their phones (through a structured process) until the end of the timetabled lessons, so as to ensure they stay focused on lessons and make good use of their time during breaks.
- Upper level students are not required to lock away their phones, but are expected to be disciplined and keep their phones during lessons.
(A17) Do I / does my son need to buy a laptop/mobile devices as part of school programme when he joins CHS?
- CHS does not require students to buy laptop or mobile devices.
- We do not have one-to-one mobile computing programme, although we have ICT programmes and ICT-supported curriculum.
- We provide devices for students when required. Students can loan devices from our ICT staff or use laptops in our library.
- Our school has a Wi-Fi network for students to bring-their-own-device to connect to the internet for learning purposes.
(B) Questions about DSA-Sec Categories and Criteria
(B1) Are there GAT and general academic selection tests (as in the past) for the 2018 CHS DSA?
- No. There is no GAT or general academic selection tests for CHS’ 2018 DSA process. This has being the case since 2017. However, specific DSA category may have its own selection test for talent area, e.g. Leadership Interview Rounds, sports trial, music audition.
(B2) If I / my son accept(s) CHS’ offer for DSA-Sec (IP/OP-Performing Arts) / (IP/OP-Sports) based on my / his audition for “X” CCA, do I/ does he need to join this CCA?
- Yes. All students who have accepted our DSA-Sec (IP) offer are committed to the development of their specified talent for 6 years: Years 1 to 4 at CHS, and Years 5 and 6 at Eunoia Junior College (EJC), e.g. trumpet player who accepts our DSA-Sec (IP-Performing Arts), with audition for the Symphony Band, must join the Band for his CCA.
- DSA-Sec (IP) academic talent students, however, can apply to join any CCA (Uniformed Groups, Sports, Performing Arts), pending selection and trials conducted by the various CCAs. DSA-Sec (IP – Leadership) students may be admitted on condition of joining certain CCAs, e.g. Scout.
- All students who have accepted our DSA-Sec (OP) offer are committed to the development of their specified talent for 4 years, from Sec 1 to Sec 4 at CHS, e.g. dancer who accepts our DSA-Sec (OP-Performing Arts), with audition for the Modern Dance CCA, must join Modern Dance for his CCA.
(B3) Can I / my son who enters CHS via DSA join more than one CCA?
- All successful DSA applicant is committed to the CCA that he has applied for, e.g. if he has trialled for Wushu, then he is expected to join our Wushu CCA.
- For DSA students, their expected commitment to their DSA CCA is high, and joining a 2nd CCA is strongly discouraged.
(B4) Does I / my son need to have offered Higher Chinese in PSLE (as a prerequisite) to apply for any of the DSA-Sec (IP) categories?
- To apply to any of CHS’ DSA-Sec (IP) categories, your son must qualify for offering HCL in IP Year 1 and 2, although he may not be offering HCL in PSLE, e.g. he has consistently good P5 and P6 CL results that indicate he has strong language foundation to offer HCL in Year 1 and 2.
(B5) Is the Music Elective Programme (MEP) open to students only through DSA, and only to IP students?
- MEP is offered to both IP and OP students. Students can apply to MEP when they have been posted to CHS via Sec 1 registration after PSLE. DSA via MEP is available to both IP and OP students.
(B6) Can my son apply for the MEP using qualifications/certificate other than those issued by ABRSM?
- For general application (not DSA) to MEP, students are expected to have a strong foundation in Music, and the usual minimum requirements for the MEP are at least a pass in the Grade 3 Practical AND Theory of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), or the equivalent standard from other examination boards.
- However, for application to DSA-Sec MEP, please refer to our school’s DSA webpage for the criteria which differ from the general entry requirement for MEP.
(B7) What is this “Joseph Wallace Family Music Scholarship” that I read about on your website?
- This is a scholarship for outstanding CHS Level 1 MEP student enrolled in 2019. It has an attached monetary award to support the musical journey of the awarded MEP student. This is a non-renewable 1-year scholarship. It is named after the first music director of CHS’ band, whose family sponsor this award.
(B8) For DSA-Sec (IP) for academic areas (e.g. science), what are the minimum overall results from P5 to P6 that your school is looking for?
- We will look at an applicant’s Personal Statement, P5/6 results and portfolio (e.g. achievements, CCAs, leadership roles, as indicated in online form) before we decide on whether to offer him an interview and relevant auditions/tests for DSA-Sec (IP). The decision is not based solely upon P5/6 results.
(B9) For DSA-Sec (IP) for academic talent areas, what should the student commit/contribute to the school should he successfully gain entry by DSA?
- Successful DSA-Sec (IP) applicant in academic talents will be expected to contribute to CHS in academic and/or leadership areas, e.g. Math Olympiad, English Debate. The contributions should be in the area of his passion, talent or giftedness.
(B10) Must my son join Eunoia JC, should he enter CHS through DSA-Sec (IP)?
- All successful DSA-Sec (IP) applicants are required to commit to a 6-year programme with CHS and EJC.
(C) Questions about DSA-Sec Application Process
(C1) I need to edit my submitted application form, e.g. I gave wrong figures for my academic results.
- All applicants will receive an email upon submission of online form: this email contains a link that allows applicants to edit their submitted form, if necessary, before 4.00pm, 6 July 2018.
(C2) I have submitted the online form. However, I have not received any email confirmation from the school.
- It is highly likely that you have filled in the wrong email address for ‘Applicant’s Email Address’ and the system is not able to send email to you. Please write to us directly (@ firstname.lastname@example.org) to look into this matter.
- Please check your email account’s SPAM or JUNK box, in case our email is accidentally diverted there.
(C3) I do not / my son does not have academic results for “X” subject, because he was (e.g. “ill” / “on Leave of Absence” / “overseas competitions”), and we can’t complete the Academic Records section in the online application form.
- In the event that an applicant does not have complete P5/P6 academic results, he can fill in “VR” in whichever Academic Records box where he does not have any results due to valid reasons approved by his school or MOE (e.g. certified medical leave).
(C4) My son’s / my school doesn’t provide “%” for subject results, only grades. What should we fill in for the P5/P6 subject results section of the online application form?
- Please fill in what your son’s school prints in his report book for academic results.
(C5) I have not received my NAPFA results. How should I apply online?
- You can select “NIL” in the online application form’s question on “P6 Physical Fitness Test Award Attained”. We will follow up with you later.
(C6) Can I / my son apply online before your Open House on X date?
- Yes, applicants can submit their online form before our Open House (e.g. 26 May for 2018). You can also apply after our Open House, so long as you meet the deadline of 4.00pm, 6 July 2018.
(C7) Can I / my son apply at your Open House or submit a hard copy form?
- We do not accept hard copy form, nor do we register applicants at our Open House. Our DSA application is strictly done online.
(D) Questions about DSA-Sec Confirmed Offer (CO)
You can read some of the frequently asked questions in the following downloadable PDF, e.g. “As a successful CO applicant, what is the PSLE T-score required of me to be “eligible to attend the Express course based on PSLE results”?