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Subject-based Banding

What is Subject-based Banding?
Subject-based Banding provides greater flexibility for your child by offering him the option of a combination of standard and foundation subjects, depending on his strengths.
Such a choice will allow your child to focus on and stretch his potential in the subjects that he is strong in while building up the fundamentals in the subjects that he needs more support in.

Why introduce Subject-based Banding? 

  • To recognise the different abilities of students and give them greater flexibility to concentrate on the subjects they are good at.
  • To encourage more interaction among students with different strengths.      

Subject-based Banding and Secondary School admission: How are they related?
Progression to secondary level depends on your child's PSLE score. The different expectations of standard and foundation subjects will be taken into account when your child's PSLE score is calculated.
Previously, students from EM3 stream would mostly enter the Normal (Technical) course at secondary level.
With Subject-based Banding, some students with clear strengths in some areas are able to offer at least one subject at the standard level. If they excel in these subjects, they will then have the opportunity to pursue higher-level options at secondary school.
Offering subjects at the foundation level is not a disadvantage to your child. It enables him to focus on building up strong fundamentals in these subjects and better prepares him for progression to secondary school.

What are some choices available? 
If your child (at the end of P4)Your child may be recommended to take
 Passes all 4 subjects (English, Mathematics, Science and Mother Tongue Language), and performs very well in Mother Tongue Language 4 standard subjects + Higher Mother Tongue Language
 Passes all 4 subjects     4 standard subjects
 Passes 3 subjects 4 standard subjects
 Passes 2 subjects or fewer 4 standard subjects; or
 3 standard subjects + 1 foundation subject; or
 1 standard subject + 3 other foundation subjects; or
 4 foundation subjects 


How does Subject-based Banding Work?
At P4
Your child sits for school-based examinations at P4
School recommends a subject combination based on the student's results. Parents fill up an option form (given after the P4 final year exams) indicating preferred combination. 
At P5
Your chid takes subject combination chosen by parents
English, Mathematics, Science and Mother Tongue Language are available at standard and foundation levels. Mother Tongue is also available at the higher level.

At the end of P5
Takes 1 or more foundation subjects (s) and does very well in the subject(s)

Takes standard subjects and has difficulty copingAll other children
School may allow him to upgrade 1 or 2 subjects to standard level if school believes he can cope; or continue the same combination in P6School may allow him to take 1 or more subjects at foundation level in P6School will allow them to continue the same subject combination in P6

At P6
Your child takes subject combination decided by school
At the end of P6
Your child sits for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE)

Where can I find more information on secondary school courses?
More information on secondary school courses can be found at MOE website
https://www.moe.edu.sg/education/secondary/courses

Where can I find more information on SBB? 
Please refer to SBB factsheets distributed to Primary 4 pupils & information at MOE Internet website
https://www.moe.edu.sg/education/primary/files/subject-based-banding.pdf