Frequently Asked Questions (Secondary Section)
<Last updated 30 September 2021>
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 keywords (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?
- As CHS is a government-aided school, regardless of the track admitted to, a Singaporean citizen pays $28 per month, including miscellaneous and other fees.
- Permanent Residents, International Students (ASEAN) and other International Students pay $403, $803 and $1423 per month respectively, including the miscellaneous fees.
- For most updated information on school fees, please refer to MOE website: https://beta.moe.gov.sg/fees-assistance-awards-scholarships/fees/
(A2) What is 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 cohort will have about 150 IP and 150 OP students, making up 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.
(A4) Do I / does my son need to attend religious programmes?
- As a government-aided SAP and also mission school (under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore), our school emphasises 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, penitential services, Easter celebration, retreat, etc.
- Non-Catholic students are not required but are welcome to attend these Catholic programmes.
- Parents are welcome to attend the masses and join the CHS Prayer Parents and Catholic Parents Support Group.
(A5) What are the Cut-Off-Point (COP) for your O-Level and IP tracks?
- For 2021 Level 1 cohort, the COP for O-Level track was 251; the COP for the IP track was 254.
- The COP does not apply to the 2021 P6 cohort as they will be using the new PSLE scoring system. Under the new system, the 8 Achievement Levels (AL)s are designed to represent students’ achievements in a broader manner. The PSLE score is the sum of the four subject ALs.
- The indicative PSLE score range for CHS IP track is 5(M) – 8(M) and 6(M) – 9(M) for CHS O-Level track.
(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 interconnections in 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.
- No less rigorous, the O-Level track follows a more structured curriculum which specifically prepares the students for the GCE O-Level examinations at Secondary 4. With the GCE O-Level qualification, the students have access to diverse offerings in the post-secondary education landscape.
- 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 applied learning, e.g. in the middle of each year, Year 4 students embark on work attachment while Sec 4 students complete coverage of the curriculum and start preparations for the O-Level examinations.
(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 components of our IP curriculum are offered in 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 the 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 (WRP) and Bicultural Studies Programme (BSP) because of the differences in the objectives and curriculum design of OP and IP. With overall less allocated curriculum time due to the GCE O-Level examinations, OP students do not offer these programmes.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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?
- No. As with other SAP schools, we do not take in students who offer Mother Tongue Languages other than Chinese/ Higher Chinese.
- Students exempted from offering CL/ HCL for PSLE in Primary School cannot apply to SAP schools, including Catholic High.
(A11) Can I offer/don’t offer Higher Chinese (HCL)?
- CHS is a SAP school, and we aim to have students learn their mother tongue to the highest level possible for each individual student. 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 improving their cultural intelligence quotient and world readiness skill set, offering HCL will open opportunities and pathways for our students long after they have completed secondary education.
- 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 achieve at least a D7 in HCL will be exempted from offering H1 Chinese in JCs.
(A12) What are the available CCAs? Can 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 or Club/Societies.
- Students are discouraged from joining more than one CCA, as students are expected to have a balanced and holistic development portfolio.
- CHS offers the following CCAs for 2021 Level 1 students (of which all are core CCAs, i.e. students’ main CCA):
- Physical Sports: Basketball, Floorball, Softball, Table Tennis, Track & Field (Including Cross-Country), Volleyball and Wushu
- Uniformed Groups: National Cadet Corp (Air), National Cadet Corp (Land), National Police Cadet Corp, Scouts and St John Brigade
- Performing Arts: Modern Dance , Chinese Drama , English Drama, Edward Becheras Choir, Chinese Orchestra and Symphony Band
- Club/Society: I.O.N.(an IT club with various wings for Video/Photography, Programming and Robotics.
(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 my son bring his mobile phone to school?
- CHS allows students to bring their mobile phones to school as a means for contacting their family. However, lower level (Levels 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) Does my son need to buy a laptop/mobile devices as part of school programme when he joins CHS?
- From 2022, all our Levels 1 to 4 students will need to own a school-prescribed personal learning device (PLD) under the new national digital literacy programme (NDLP). They will use the device in tandem with the school’s learning environment and the Singapore Student Learning Space (SLS).
- The purchase of PLDs under the MOE Device Bulk Tender has to be made through the school in February 2022.
- The device of choice for CHS is the Lenovo 500e Chromebook.
(A18) How will my son pay for this laptop/mobile device?
- The Ministry of Education bulk tender has lowered the cost of these devices for the students. Singaporean students can use their Edusave Account to pay for the device selected by the school. A one-off Edusave top-up of $200 was provided in April 2020 to all eligible Singaporean students. With this one-off top-up and annual Edusave contributions, your son should have sufficient funds in their Edusave Account to pay for the device.
(A19) What will my son be using this laptop/mobile device for?
- This device will be used to support the implementation of Blended Learning. As part of Blended Learning, your son will learn what is prescribed by the curriculum through a mix of home-based and in-school activities, whilst leveraging both online and offline approaches to learning.
- Your son will be able to learn at his own pace and to be empowered to take charge of his own learning. There will also be an emphasis on student-initiated learning, whereby dedicated time and space will be provided to allow him to pursue his own interests and learn outside of the curriculum.
You can read some of the frequently asked questions for the Personalised Digital Learning Programme in the following downloadable PDF.
(A20) Why is Catholic High going into the Blended Learning model now?
- The Ministry of Education has recognised that Blended Learning will enrich the educational experience of students by enabling them to benefit from multiple modes of learning. In the current digital era, it is important for your son to be equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and dispositions to thrive in an interconnected, diverse and rapidly-changing world. Making Blended Learning a key feature of the schooling experience will further develop his ability to be a self-directed, passionate and life-long learner.
(B) Questions about DSA-Sec Categories and Criteria
(B1) Are there GAT and general academic selection tests (as in the past) for the 2021 CHS DSA?
- No. There is no GAT or general academic selection tests for CHS’ 2021 DSA process. This has been 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 my son accept(s) CHS’ offer for DSA-Sec (IP/OP-Performing Arts) / (IP/OP-Sports) based on my / his e-audition for “X” CCA, does he need to join this CCA?
- Yes. All students who have accepted our DSA-Sec (IP) offers in Performing Arts, Sports or MEP are committed to the development of their specified talents in the respective CCAs or MEP throughout their years at CHS. E.g., a trumpet player who accepts our DSA-Sec (IP-Performing Arts), with an audition for the Symphony Band, must join the Band for his CCA at CHS.
- DSA-Sec (IP) academic talent students, however, can apply to join any CCA (Uniformed Groups, Sports, Performing Arts, ION), 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 talents for 4 years, from Sec 1 to Sec 4 at CHS. E.g., a dancer who accepts our DSA-Sec (OP-Performing Arts), with an audition for the Modern Dance CCA, must join Modern Dance for his CCA.
(B3) Can my son who enters CHS via DSA join more than one CCA?
- All successful DSA applicants are committed to the CCA that they have applied for, e.g., if he has trialled successfully 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 not encouraged.
(B4) Does my son need to have been offered Higher Chinese in PSLE (as a prerequisite) to apply for any of the DSA-Sec (IP) categories?
- To be shortlisted for any CHS’ DSA-Sec (IP) categories, your son must be assessed to qualify to offer HCL in IP Years 1 and 2, even though he may not be offering HCL in PSLE. For example, he should have consistently good P5 and P6 CL results that indicate he has a strong language foundation to offer HCL in Years 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/certificates other than those issued by ABRSM?
- Students are expected to have 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. In the absence of the formal qualifications mentioned, students must pass a selection test and practical audition on an instrument (e.g., piano, erhu etc.) conducted by the school.
(B7) What is this “Joseph Wallace Family Music Scholarship” that I read about on your website?
- This is a scholarship for one outstanding CHS MEP student at each level. It carries a 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 Symphony Band, whose family sponsored this award.
(B8) For DSA-Sec (IP) for academic talent areas, what should the student ecommit/contribute to the school should he successfully gain entry by DSA?
- A successful DSA-Sec (IP) applicant in an academic talent area will be expected to participate and contribute in that academic area in Year 1. Continued participation is subject to good attitude and performance. E.g., he may be invited to join Math Olympiad, English Debate, depending on his passion or talent.
(B9) 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
(C) Where can I get information about the process?
- Please refer to https://beta.moe.gov.sg/secondary/dsa/
(D) Questions about DSA-Sec Confirmed Offer (CO)
You can read some of the frequently asked questions in the following downloadable PDF.