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KCPS Affiliation Policy
In 2010, MOE gave its approval of the proposal on the affiliation policy. This policy has since been implemented for our pupils who sat for their PSLE examinations in 2012; they were the first batch of pupils who had to score at or above the T-score of 200 to be considered for the Express Stream in KCPSS.
INFORMATION ON THE REBALANCING AFFILIATION POLICY
The affiliation policy, meant to provide a 10-year education for our pupils, has fostered a strong culture of camaraderie and belonging between the two Kuo Chuan schools. Pupils from Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Primary School (KCPPS) were eligible for priority posting to Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School (KCPSS) if they indicated the secondary school as their first choice school. Before 2010, no minimum cut-off score was imposed on KCPPS pupils opting to offer the Express stream. Pupils posted to the Express Stream had T-scores as low as 187 even though MOE’s benchmark for qualification into Express stream was set at 200. Through the years, this had engendered two unintended consequences;
a) Students below the minimum recommended cut-off of 200 struggled with the rigour and demands of the Express stream and do not perform well at the GCE ‘O’ levels,
b) Pupils at the Primary school adopted a complacent attitude towards their academic work and PSLE thinking that at worst, there was an easy option in KCPSS
These consequences were contradictory to our vision of educational excellence, and would not serve our students well in the long run.
In rethinking this, the two schools together with our School Management Committee deliberated over the need to rebalance this affiliation policy so as to ensure that the schools maintain a healthy competitive environment to help our pupils achieve their potential. This was pertinent so that our pupils would not adopt a crutch mentality towards their academic progression but to strive hard towards academic excellence for a place in KCPSS. The rebalancing of the affiliation policy would also ensure that the KCPPS pupils enrolled in KCPSS were placed in a stream that was appropriate to their abilities so that they would have the best possible chance of success at the ‘O’ levels. It would also help KCPSS accept deserving non-affiliated students into their cohort. In this way, the standard of both schools would, in time, be levelled up.
In rebalancing the affiliation policy, the two schools proposed the introduction of a T score cut-off point of 200 for KCPPS pupils opting to do the Express course in KCPSS. This cut-off was introduced to the first batch of Sec 1 students entering KCPSS in 2013. The reasons for setting the cut-off at 200 are as follows:
1 The T-score of 200 is the benchmark set by MOE for pupils to qualify for the Express Stream and ensures that pupils can cope with the demands of the course
2) A T-score of 200 will still give KCPPS pupils an advantage over pupils from non-affiliated schools* and not undermine the mission of the Kuo Chuan Presbyterian schools and its intent of offering 10-year education to our pupils
3) T-score of 200 is an achievable target for most of our pupils
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q1: I transferred my child to KCPPS so as to enable him/her to experience 10 years of Kuo Chuan education. I am concerned that he/she may not get this chance with the review of the affiliation policy.
A1: The Kuo Chuan Schools remain committed to the intent of the affiliation policy to provide a 10-year education in the Kuo Chuan family. A KCPPS child who scores the MOE benchmark of PSLE aggregate T-score of 200 for Express stream and who chooses KCPSS as first choice school will continue to have priority for placement into the Express classes in KCPSS. Those who do not meet the minimum cut-off can still opt to pursue Normal (Academic) studies in KCPSS. Priority of posting will also be accorded to these pupils who choose KCPSS as their first choice school.
Q2: What would be the projected attrition rate? How many KCPPS pupils will qualify to be posted to KCPSS Express stream with this affiliation review?
A2: Every year about 50 – 60% of our pupils are posted to KCPSS. Based on the school’s data for the last 5 years, the implementation of a minimum cut-off of 200, the displacement rate would be between 11 – 19%. For a cohort of say 140 pupils, the number of pupils displaced will be between 15 to 26. There are also second chances for Secondary 1 Normal (Academic) pupils to move to the Express classes at the end of Secondary 1 when they do well enough at the year-end exams.
Q3: Will KCPSS open up more Normal (Academic) classes to receive KCPPS pupils?
A3: Depending on the overall number of pupils who opt for the Normal (Academic) stream, KCPSS can put up a request to MOE to open up more classes.
Q4: Is there a quota of KCPPS pupils who will be posted to KCPSS?
A4: There is no quota. The principle of meritocracy will apply. KCPPS pupils who qualify for KCPSS Express & Normal (Academic) will be given priority over other non-affiliated pupils when they choose KCPSS as first choice.
Q5: One of the reasons cited for the affiliation policy review is the complacent attitude of KCPPS pupils. What can KCPPS do to motivate the pupils better to overcome this? What support does KCPPS provide to pupils who will not make the 200 cut-off point?
A5: The school makes it a point to always motivate our pupils to do their best through platforms such as talks by the Principal and other speakers, sharing of stories, camps, analysis and sharing of results as well as awards and recognition. Through the years, however, the school senses that for a handful of pupils, the mindset is such that there is no need to work hard because at worst they can opt for KCPSS due to the affiliation policy. This has become a mental crutch for these pupils and prevented them from performing to their full potential. The cut-off point sends a clear signal to these pupils, not to expect easy passage to the next level and that in life, it is important to learn that one has to work hard to meet the competition and expectations.
Q6: What does the 200 T-score translate to in raw scores?
A6: The formula for calculating PSLE aggregate T-scores as determined by the SingaporeExaminations and Assessment Branch (SEAB) will continue to be in use. In essence, T-scores compare pupils against their cohort. Mean scores and standard deviation are used. These scores show how the pupils perform in relation to their peers in the same cohort. A briefing will be held for P4 and P5 pupils’ parents to explain the calculation of T-scores. Different examples will be used to illustrate how different raw marks will be translated to T-scores.