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How can Private Sports Coaching Help in Getting Entry to a Secondary School ?

SINGAPORE – Tiffany Yau, a student from Temasek Primary School celebrates her joyous victory as she claimed the first spot during the last National Primary Schools Track and Field Championship. Beating other contenders of the said sport, the young sprinter has truly brought pride not only to her school but also to her parents who have been there during the competition to witness her performance.

Besides that, what does that achievement mean for her ?

Even before the competition, talent scouts from Cedar Girl’s Secondary School and Singapore Sports School have approached Tiffany and her parents to offer the young athlete the opportunity to pursue education in their schools under Direct School Admissions (DSA) programme.

What is Direct School Admission (DSA)?

DSA opens the door for some selected P6 students to enrol into secondary schools based on their achievements and talents before the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). Under this programme, participating schools have the option to enroll students who are outstanding in their respective sports. The opportunity to be chosen as one of the students under DSA scheme pushes many parents to register their children into private coaching. Private coaching initiates direct focus on student’s sporting abilities so they excel accordingly.

Josephine Yau, mother of Tiffany gives her 100% support to the idea of private coaching. “All parents want their kids to do well, all go into good secondary schools. We are no different”, she expressed.

Leading schools in Singapore want to promote holistic education and provide students the chance to advance their achievements and talents. They begin to see that academics alone may not be enough to lead students into their full potential – they need to get involved in sports as well.

What Private Coaching Normally Does?

Simply put, private coaching works just like a tuition but in sports. When students are enrolled into private coaching, there will be special people to focus on their sporting skills and help them be better on their choice of sports. This will give them higher chances of being admitted into SG top secondary schools.

Private coaching has trained Tiffany to become better in her “Track and Field” sport, which earned her 2 gold medals for 200m, 4x300m and a bronze for 4x100m at the nationals. These achievements have placed Tiffany as one of the leading candidates for DSA.

With the time needed to train coupled with her commitments in school, Tiffany can’t help but feel a bit hectic at times but she considers juggling time with school and her sport as a big challenge, something that trains her to do well in time management.

What is DSA in Singapore?

Ministry of Education describes DSA as a program that aims to promote holistic education and provide students the opportunity to tap on their alternative potential and achievements in seeking admission to secondary school.
To explain more, DSA is an admission exercise that allows participating secondary schools to select deserving P6 students to enter their institution. DSA isn’t for all and only those who have performed excellently in both sports and academics can get in.

When is DSA Conducted?

MOE marked July 1, 2014 to late November, 2014 as the final dates to conduct the DSA.
Interested to apply? Visit this link: http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/admissions/dsa-sec

Which school has DSA scheme?
121 secondary schools participated in the 2013 Direct School Admission (DSA) Exercise, for admission to Secondary One in 2014.

Here is the list of the schools.

List of Schools Under DSA Scheme
Admiralty Sec SchGan Eng Seng SchRegent Sec Sch
Ahmad Ibrahim Sec SchGreendale Sec SchRiver Valley High Sch
Anderson Sec SchHai Sing Catholic SchRiverside Sec Sch
Ang Mo Kio Sec SchHenderson Sec SchSchool of Science and Technology, Singapore (SST)
Anglican High SchHoly Innocents’ High SchSchool of the Arts, Singapore (SOTA)
Anglo-Chines Sch (Independent)*Hong Kah Sec SchSeng Kang Sec Sch
Anglo-Chinese Sch (Barker Road)Hua Yi Sec SchSerangoon Garden Sec Sch
Balestier Hill Sec SchHwa Chong InstitutionShuqun Sec Sch
Beatty Sec SchJunyuan Sec SchSi Ling Sec Sch
Bedok North Sec SchJurong Sec SchSiglap Sec Sch
Bedok South Sec SchJurong West Sec SchSingapore Chinese Girls’ Sch*
Bedok View Sec SchJurongville Sec SchSpringfield Sec Sch
Bendemeer Sec SchManjusri Sec SchSt. Andrew’s Sec Sch
Bowen Sec SchMaris Stella High SchSt Anthony’s Canossian Sec Sch
Broadrick Sec SchMarsiling Sec SchSt Gabriel’s Sec Sch
Bukit Merah Sec SchMayflower Sec SchSt Hilda’s Sec Sch
Bukit Panjang Govt High SchMethodist Girls’ Sch (Sec)*St Joseph’s Institution*
Bukit View Sec SchMontfort Sec SchSt Margarets’ Sec Sch
Catholic High Sch*National Junior CollegeSt Patrick’s Sch
Cedar Girls’ Sec Sch*Nan Hua High SchSwiss Cottage Sec Sch
CHIJ Katong ConventNanyang Girls’ High SchTampines Sec Sch
CHIJ Sec (Toa Payoh)Naval Base Sec SchTanjong Katong Girls’ Sch
CHIJ St Joseph’s ConventNew Town Sec SchTanjong Katong Sec Sch
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ Sch*Ngee Ann Sec SchTeck Whye Sec Sch
CHIJ St Theresa’s ConventNorth Vista Sec SchTemasek Junior College
Chong Boon Sec SchNorthland Sec SchTemasek Sec Sch
Christ Church Sec SchNUS High SchoolUnity Sec Sch
Chung Cheng High Sch(Main)Orchid Park Sec SchVictoria Sch*
Chung Cheng High Sch (Yishun)Outram Sec SchWest Spring Sec Sch
Clementi Town Sec SchPasir Ris Crest Sec SchWestwood Sec Sch
Commonwealth Sec SchPasir Ris Sec SchWoodgrove Sec Sch
Coral Sec SchPaya Lebar Methodist Girls’ Sch (Sec)Woodlands Ring Sec Sch
Crescent Girls’ SchPei Hwa Sec SchWoodlands Sec Sch
Damai Sec SchPeirce Sec SchXinmin Sec Sch
Deyi Sec SchPing Yi Sec SchYio Chu Kang Sec Sch
Dunman High SchPresbyterian High SchYishun Town Sec Sch
Dunman Sec SchPunggol Sec SchYuhua Sec Sch
Evergreen Sec SchQueenstown Sec SchYusof Ishak Sec Sch
Fairfield Methodist Sch (Sec)Queensway Sec SchYuying Sec Sch
First Toa Payoh Sec SchRaffles Girls’ Sch (Sec)Zhenghua Sec Sch
Fuhua Sec SchRaffles InstitutionZhonghua Sec Sch

The size and type of sports in the scheme

According to MOE, in the last three years between 2009 and 2011, an average of 870 students was admitted to secondary school through sports via the DSA scheme. The sports for which the most students were admitted via the DSA scheme were basketball, badminton, table-tennis, track and field and volleyball.

How does sports performance relate to the enrolment into the school?

Although DSA is a really good opportunity for students to get admitted into top secondary schools, one thing is sure, not everyone can quality for the programme. Students who demonstrate strong intellectual potential, leadership potential, outstanding talent in sports and qualities like resilience, excellence and integrity are among the traits that could win a spot in the programme.

Should We Encourage Students to Excel in Sports to Be Able to Enrol to Top Secondary Schools?

As mentioned earlier, being academically competitive is no longer enough these days. Students must also explore their skills in sports for their holistic development. We would say that sports is healthy as long as students are in control of their time. It becomes detrimental when kids see sports as another area to excel in rather than as an enjoyment.

One must never sacrifice learning in exchange for being active in sports. Parents must advice their children to carefully manage time by making sure that hours are evenly distributed into things that really matters including getting high grades.


DSA programme is again another door of opportunity for students to be part of the best schools in Singapore through the use of both their intellectual and physical talents. While it’s true that only few selected students can benefit from the program, it has given students the hope to enjoy superior education even if they are not as academically endowed. On the same note, parents could only hope that MOE will establish more programmes that aim to admit deserving students into quality schools through their skills and achievements like how DSA does.

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