direct school admission

5 things parents should know about the Direct School Admission (DSA) programme

Are you so over your child preparing for PSLE?

Is there another option besides PSLE that determines your child’s admission into secondary school? There is, and here are some factors to consider in acing that option, called Direct School Admission – Secondary, or DSA-Sec.

direct school admission

What is DSA?   

A DSA-Sec participating school is one that offers your child the opportunity to secure a place in secondary school prior to Secondary One posting, after the release of the PSLE results, through the following considerations.

Getting onto the DSA route has several advantages. Firstly, by looking at past results, you can determine how well your child would fare in the PSLE. This has the effect of quelling some nerves. Secondly, DSA goes beyond academic results to consider your child’s chances in the areas of sports, music and drama, for example.

As with all important milestones in life, DSA is a programme that is supposed to work for you, but in cases of insufficient or ineffective planning, the situation could wreak havoc or be reduced to nothing instead.

Thus, we provide you with the following tips so you have a better idea of DSA and how it works:

Ensure you are not barking up the wrong tree

You can find out a with distinctive programmes participating in DSA-Sec Exercise. If your child has an interest or has already cultivated Community and Youth Leadership, Admiralty Secondary School might just be the school you want to target. Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) lists Speech and Drama, as well as Sports & Outdoor Education. East Spring Secondary School is into Environmental Science & Sustainable Living and Community & Youth Leadership, while there are several schools that list “English Language” as pivotal for applicants.

It’s prudent to have a school of choice in mind, with two alternative options when planning for your child’s DSA-Sec application. This may prove to be a piece of wise advice indeed.

 Start Planning Early

Most agree that Primary 4 is a good time to start planning. Planning can begin by ascertaining your child’s potential for what’s to come. Say your child is a genius for debating on a wide range of subjects, but if he/she still feels uncomfortable with public speaking, then it’s something that he/she can work on.

DSA is not a haphazard accumulation of result slips, but rather, a compilation of proper documentation provided by the school, such as examination results or certificates to show your child’s persistent participation in the non-academic area of choice.

Academic wise, based on results beginning from primary 3, you can determine if your child is apt academically or otherwise, so that you can begin your efforts to encourage him/her to tread in the right direction. Do note that children who get into the DSA scheme are usually children from the top or second top classes in their schools.

What are the procedures?

Some schools require applicants to do a piece of writing, like “Why You Chose Our School”, while other schools get the hopefuls to sit through a test. Some schools will have the candidates undergo a selection process, like organising debates to determine the best speakers and winning teams.

There will likely be an interview with your child. This is the part that can be quite challenging for him/her.

The Interview

Another major way to overcome this is to seek help through specialised programmes such as the MindChamps Thinking Cap Programme. Apart from helping your child build self-esteem, confidence and motivation to study, the programme also leads to learning outcomes like improved ability in oral communication, increased ability to understand and express written English, synthesis and expression skills, and more.

To find out more, click here to book seats to our next complimentary workshop!


This article was first published on the MindChamps blog


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