You are on page 1of 79

Report of the Committee on

Specialised Arts School

March 2004


Executive Summary

Part One The Context

Chapter One Creativity and the Arts in Remaking Singapore

Chapter Two Diversifying the Education Landscape

Chapter Three Desirability and Feasibility of an Arts School

Part Two - The Recommendations

Chapter Four Objectives and Guiding Principles

Chapter Five Curriculum Structure

Chapter Six School Structure

Chapter Seven Implementation and Budget


Annex A List of Committee Members ii
Annex B List of Organisations consulted iii
Annex C Creative Industries Development v
Annex D Tertiary Programmes in Arts, Media and
Annex E Focus Group Findings viii
Annex F Survey Findings xi
Annex G Overseas Arts Schools xvi
Annex H Considerations for Arts Curriculum xx
Annex I International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
Annex J Arts School and Map of Education Landscape xxiii

Executive Summary


1. In 2002 the Committee on Reviewing JC and Secondary School Education
recommended that independent schools specialising in sports, maths, science and the
arts would help diversify our education landscape. The Sports School has been
established, and NUS will establish a High School for Science and Maths. Subsequently,
the Remaking Singapore Committee also recommended the setting up of an arts school
at secondary level to harness a diversity of talents.

2. In this context, MITA appointed a Committee (Annex A) to study the desirability and
feasibility of establishing a pre-tertiary arts school and to make recommendations for the
setting up of such a school, if found feasible.

A Timely & Desirable Development for Singapore

3. As Singapore transits to an ideas-driven economy and seeks to compete in higher value-
added economic activities the creative industries will play a more significant role. The
Economic Review Committee had also identified the creative industries as a new growth
sector. To be globally competitive in the creative industries, Singapore needs a growing
pool of talents with both technical skills and creative thinking. This would include
Singaporeans talented in the performing and visual arts, design, creative media and IT.
To continue to build up our position as a distinctive Renaissance Arts City in Asia,
Singapore also needs to better nurture our own artistic talents. In addition to the world-
class infrastructure for the arts we have developed over the years, more local artistic
talents are necessary for the long-term sustainability of our arts and cultural
development. Last but not least, as our society matures, the need to recognise and
provide new opportunities to engage a greater diversity of talents, including their artistic
and other creative aspirations, has become more relevant.

Plugging the Gap at Pre-Tertiary Level

4. Higher education opportunities in the arts or arts-related disciplines are currently offered
in our tertiary institutions. These include degree programmes in theatre, music,
architecture and industrial design at NUS, mass communications at NTU, as well as
diploma programmes in arts, design or media at polytechnics and arts colleges. In
addition, NTU is planning for a new School of Design and Media with a visual art
component for 2005 onwards. NUS is also assessing the readiness of Nanyang
Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts to issue NUS
degrees in visual arts. These colleges already issue degrees of their foreign university

5. However, despite these higher education opportunities, there is currently no dedicated
development path at pre-tertiary level for those who have interest and show early talent
in the arts. Currently, while students with interest or talent in the arts can take art or
music at O and A-levels as part of their mainstream curriculum, or private arts lessons
outside the school curriculum, they often face conflicts between their arts and academic
commitments. The arts learning environment in mainstream schools is also limited in
terms of teaching resources, exposure and development opportunities. Moreover,
access to the existing Art and Music Elective Programmes is also limited to only students
at selected secondary schools and junior colleges. As a result, the arts development
path for talented students is often interrupted during this phase of their education.

6. A pre-tertiary school for the arts will address these limitations. It will serve to identify and
nurture the artistic and creative talents of young Singaporeans by providing a learning
environment where their artistic and academic potential can be best realised. Graduates
from the school would possess a strong foundation in the arts, and would be better
positioned to pursue higher education in the arts or arts-related fields, or apply their
artistic and creative capabilities in other fields.

Recommendations for an Independent Arts School

7. Looking ahead at Singapore's economic, cultural and social development, the
Committee's concluded that a pre-tertiary school for the arts is both desirable and
feasible for Singapore.

8. In making its recommendations for setting up an Arts School, the Committee studied the
examples of arts schools that have been successfully implemented overseas. It also
conducted comprehensive focus group discussions with students, parents, principals and
the arts community, and a survey of parents. Both the discussions and survey
highlighted the limitations of current pre-tertiary arts options and show strong support for
a pre-tertiary arts school.

9. The Committee therefore recommended that an independent Arts School under the
purview of MITA and aligned with the national education system. It recommended that
the school be managed by a Board of Directors appointed by MITA. In addition, the
Committee recommended that an implementation taskforce, comprising experts in the
fields of education and the arts, together with the principal, oversee the implementation
of the Arts School.

10. The implementation taskforce should be guided by the following key recommendations:

(a) Arts and Academic Curriculum providing Unique Development Opportunities:
The independent Arts School would provide an integrated 6-year arts and academic
programme for students aged 13-18. The curriculum would comprise languages
(including literature), sciences, humanities, mathematics, visual arts and performing
arts (music, dance, theatre). Students would be exposed to a wide range of the arts,
while developing at least one arts specialisation. The school would offer unique
development opportunities characterised by multi-disciplinary and IT-enabled
experimentation, a multicultural environment and learning opportunities beyond the

(b) Qualified and Experienced Teaching Faculty; The school's faculty would comprise
a pool of qualified and experienced teachers in the arts and other academic fields
from Singapore and overseas. The faculty would be capable of introducing the
integrated curriculum and other innovative practices in education.

(c) Strong Links with the Arts Community, Institutions, Industry and Public: The
school should be a committed and active partner within the community. The school
should also leverage on the arts community and practitioners from the creative sector
for teaching, mentoring and the necessary exposure to industry practices. The
Committee also felt strongly that it is important that the school engages and
collaborates closely with other relevant institutions.

(d) Graduating Qualifications and University Entrance: Students would complete the
6-year programme and graduate from the Arts School with an International
Baccalaureate (IB) diploma. The IB offers depth of study in the context of a broad
and coherent curriculum emphasising critical thinking, intercultural understanding and
exposure to a variety of points of view. The IB is also widely recognised by both local
and foreign institutions, qualifying graduates to apply for arts and arts-related degree
programmes in Singapore and overseas universities. At the same time, arts school
graduates who choose to pursue non-Arts degrees at university would also be able to
do so.

(e) "Permeability" with Mainstream Schools: The school should remain "permeable"
with the mainstream education system. This means that students who choose not to
pursue arts specialisation and opt to leave the Arts School should be able to re-enter
a mainstream secondary school to prepare for the 'O' levels. Likewise, secondary
students from the mainstream can apply to the arts school midstream and be
admitted if they fulfil academic and artistic requirements. Such permeability
currently exists in the Singapore Sports School.

(f) Student Intake and Smaller Class Sizes: The Committee proposed that the arts
school would have a total of 1200 students in its steady state, and provide for smaller
class sizes of no more than 25 students. Overseas arts school were found to operate
with such class sizes or smaller to allow for the degree of personal attention and
coaching required for talent grooming. The Committee also recognises that foreign
students will enrich the diversity of the school and enhance cross-cultural learning
opportunities. Assistance schemes could be made available to needy students who
meet the admission requirements.

(g) Development of a new School in a Central Location: The school building should
capitalise on the vibrancy and the arts infrastructure already available within URAs
designated Arts, Cultural, Learning and Entertainment District. The school can draw
synergy from sharing the facilities within the district with the arts community, and
wider public. The new Drama Centre co-located in the new NLB Building, the new
NAFA, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts and SMU campuses are among the many
facilities that will be built in the Arts District. In addition, the Singapore Art Museum
and other museums are in the vicinity, along with many arts groups currently housed
under NACs Arts Housing Scheme. By plugging itself into the Arts District, the
school will benefit from the rich human, artistic and physical resources available, and
will also enrich the District with its student population. The Committee projected that
the school to be operational at its premises by Year 2007.

(h) Government, Corporate and Community Funding Support: To implement the
proposed pre-tertiary Independent Arts School, the Committee estimated a total
development budget of $80m (excluding land cost) and an estimated annual
operating budget of $18m in its steady state. Over and above MOE's support granted
to the development and operations of Independent Schools and the estimated
revenue, the Committee proposed that Government provide additional funding
support to develop the new school and subsidise its operations. In the longer term,
the Committee expects the school to attract corporate sponsorship and community
support, and work towards reduced Government funding. The funding obtained
should be optimised towards providing students with the best quality of learning. In
allocating resources towards the school's development, the Committee believes that
high priority should be placed on putting in place the essential 'software' of the school
e.g. teaching faculty. The Committee also urged that scholarships be made available
to talented students in need of financial assistance.


11. The Committee is confident that the Arts School would be successfully established and
would have far-reaching impact on both the arts and education landscape in Singapore.
In developing and fulfilling a greater diversity of talents and aspirations, the Arts School
would be an important milestone for Singapore as it remakes itself for the future.


Part One The Context

To support Singapore's rapid industrialisation in the early phase of our development,
emphasis was placed on developing an efficient and skilled workforce. Looking ahead,
amidst a fast changing global landscape, this is no longer enough. For Singapore to
successfully transit into a global knowledge economy while maturing as a cohesive and
dynamic society, Singapore would need to nurture the creative enterprise of her people and
allow for the pursuit of a greater diversity of talents and aspirations in Singapore.

In this respect, significant positive developments in Singapore's arts scene and creative
industries have resulted in new opportunities for Singaporeans to pursue higher education
and careers in the arts and the related fields of design and media. However, the traditional
areas of strength and emphases in our national schools are in the sciences and
mathematics. The arts are an integral part of education in our schools, but not core.

To add to the diversity in the education landscape and better cater to the abilities and
aspirations of Singaporeans talented in the arts, an independent school offering greater
specialisation in the arts could be set up. Such a school can be similar to the Singapore
Sports School or the NUS School for Science and Mathematics

The following chapters will examine the broader context for the Committee's deliberations
and present the reasons behind the Committee's conclusion that setting up an independent
school for the arts is a desirable development for Singapore. It will also provide an overview
of the issues the Committee considered, including the experiences of other countries in this
area, that led to the conclusion that such a school would also be feasible in Singapore.


Chapter One



Developing Singapore as a Global Arts City

Cultural development is less amenable than economic development
to 'short cuts' such as knowledge transfer and direct foreign
investment; it could be argued that a country's cultural milieu needs
more time to brew. [However] It is helpful for us to be more
conscious about developing this aspect of our country.
Renaissance City Report, Mar 2000

1. Since the 1989 Report of the Advisory Committee on Culture and the Arts, Singapore
has developed a broad range of institutions and infrastructure to support our arts and
cultural growth. Most recently, the opening of world-class performance facilities at the
Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, as well as the unique Asian Civilisations Museum at
Empress Place have helped to further raise Singapore's visibility and reputation as a
destination for the arts. However, while institutions and infrastructure are important
aspects of our arts and cultural development, the 2000 Renaissance City Report
recognised that the "software" aspects of our arts and cultural development are equally,
if not more critical.

2. The Renaissance City Report articulated the vision of Singapore as a Global Arts City,
where a vibrant and distinctive arts and cultural scene is central to creating a compelling
city in the world to work, live and play in. At the same time, the report recognised that
investing in promoting and developing the arts, culture and heritage is critical to the long-
term process of nation building. The arts and culture helps strengthen Singaporeans'
sense of belonging, resilience and community, and also opens up more avenues for
Singaporeans with diverse talents to contribute to their community.

3. The Report therefore set the framework for greater emphasis on the development of
Singapore's arts and cultural capabilities, particularly the nurturing of arts and cultural
talents, appreciation and vibrancy, in the following ways:

(a) Growing arts audiences
Efforts to bring the arts to a wider audience and to deepen Singaporeans'
appreciation of and participation in the arts have raised arts attendance to a record
1.1million in 2002. Today, more than 1 in 4 Singaporeans attended an arts
performance or visited an art exhibition, compared to about 1 in 10 Singaporeans in
1996. With the arts education and outreach programme in the community and
schools, this growing interest in the arts has been most significant among the young.
Students comprise some 44% of arts audiences in 2002, as compared to 25% in

(b) Grooming arts talents
Support in the form of annual, project and training grants to groom our arts talents
has helped to raise the level of professionalism of our arts groups, as well as the
standard of arts practice. More Singaporeans are therefore able to pursue a formal
arts education, professional training and a career in the arts. Today, there are some
550 arts companies and societies, compared to 346 in 1993. The number of arts
performances and visual arts exhibitions has also more than doubled over the last
decade, creating a more lively arts and cultural scene.

(c) Promoting Singapore arts overseas
There has been increased international recognition of Singapore arts and artists in
recent years. The Singapore Dance Theatre, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, the
Singapore Symphony Orchestra, theatre companies such as Theatre Works and the
Singapore Repertory Theatre, as well as Singapore's visual artists have received
acclaim for their works performed or exhibited at overseas festivals and shows.

(d) Developing an arts economy
To position Singapore as an international hub for the arts, arts activities and
programmes were initiated and efforts were made to better integrate the arts into the
life of the city. Today, the Singapore Arts Festival is one of the region's leading arts
events, and events like WOMAD as well as other concerts and cultural performances
organised by commercial arts impresarios have also helped strengthen cultural

4. Moving forward, with the increasing sophistication of the international arts scene and the
rising competition from regional cities such as Hong Kong and Shanghai in the arts and
cultural sphere, Singapore needs to further distinguish itself and nurture a more
distinctive arts scene. While we continue to attract leading international artists and arts
groups to present their works in Singapore, it is important to develop a strong pool of
local artistic talents who are able create our own unique works and artistic identity. This
would ensure Singapore's continued cultural relevance on the global stage.

Growing the Creative Industries

The Creative industries can be defined as "industries which have
their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a
potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and
exploitation of intellectual property."
UK Creative Industries Taskforce, Mapping Document, Nov 1998

5. Ideas and intellectual property are key drivers of growth today. Creative industries,
commonly understood as comprising the design, media and arts and cultural industries,
are at the centre of this shift from industrial to an ideas-driven economy. Today, by
bringing together the creativity in the fields of arts, business and technology and imbuing
products and services with "socio-cultural" meaning, the Creative Industries generate
new ideas and intellectual property and cater to a growing global demand for information,
cultural, lifestyle and entertainment products and services.
The number of people
employed in these sectors has also grown tremendously in recent years.

6. With increasing interest in and demand for unique Asian content and cultural products,
our Asian neighbours such as Hong Kong, China, Thailand and South Korea are
similarly positioned to tap the huge global opportunity space. While Singapore has

In 1999, creative industries were estimated to be worth US$2.2 trillion worldwide, with an annual growth rate of 5%. The
Creative Economy How People Make Money from Ideas, John Hawkins, Penguin Books (London, 2001).
The creative industries in the UK accounted for 7.9% of GDP in 2000, growing by an average 9%p.a. between 1997 and
2001, as compared to 2.8% for the overall economy. (Source: Creative Industries Fact File. UK Dept of Culture, Media and
Sport, 2002). In the US, the annual growth rate of 7% for similar industries was more than double the growth rate of the US
economy over the past 24 years, contributing some 7.75% of GDP in 2001. (Source: Copyright Industries in the US Economy
the 2002 Report. Stephen E. Siwek, Economist Incorporated for International Intellectual Property Alliance, 2002). Cultural
employment in France increased 36.9% between 1982 and 1990, 10 times the increase in the total working population during
the same period (Source: European Commission, 1998). For Japan, its cultural exports have tripled over the past 10 years to
traditionally thrived in engineering and manufacturing-based industries, we have several
unique and important advantages that will stand us in good stead to leapfrog competitors
in growing the creative industries. Our multicultural heritage and bilingual capabilities
open up access to multiple language markets. Our cosmopolitan and east-meets-west
culture enables us to more intuitively understand the needs and preferences of different
markets. The strong arts base Singapore is building also helps provide a stimulating and
distinctive cultural environment for creative talents and enterprises to thrive.

7. The Creative Industries Development Strategy (CIDS) was therefore formulated in 2003
to help further grow the creative cluster of arts, design and media industries in
Singapore. The CIDS targets to double the %GDP contribution of creative industries
from 3.2% to some 6% in 2012 and to create some 20,000 new jobs by 2012. The CIDS
comprises three sectoral-specific initiatives Renaissance City 2.0, DesignSingapore
and Media 21 (Annex C). As these industries depend on individual creativity and cultural
content for their growth, a key component in all three initiatives is talent development.
Attracting and grooming a strong pool of world-class talents for the creative cluster is a
long-term strategy.

8. Currently, employment in the creative cluster is some 42,000 (Table 1.1)
. This includes
jobs for creative professionals and artists, such as musicians, dancers, television or film
directors or producers, animators, software and games designers, architects, graphic
and product designers, writers, editors, creative directors in advertising and so on. The
remuneration per capita for those employed in this cluster has doubled during a 10-year
period from 1990-2000. With the new plans to grow the Creative Cluster, some 20,000
new jobs are expected to be created in the fields of arts, culture, design and media over
the next 10 years.

US$12.5billion while manufacturing exports have increased by only 20.7%. (Source: "What's Right with Japan", Time, 11
August 2003)
This figure does not include those involved as arts educators in schools, designers or media specialists working in other
industries (e.g. product and industrial design employed in the manufacturing sector; fashion merchandiser working in the retail
industry). The figure also does not include freelance professionals who work in the creative sector, where freelancing and self-
employment are highly viable options.

9. Over the years, Singapore has also attracted many creative professionals from around
the world and the region, many of whom lead international creative teams in industries
such as advertising in Singapore. Their experience and expertise are central to the
richness and diversity of Singapore's creative community and our position as a leading
creative centre in Asia. While we continue to attract talented individuals with the creative
capabilities from other countries to Singapore, it is also important that we invest in
developing our local talent pool in these fields.


10. Given these developments in our economic and cultural landscape, it is timely for
Singapore to consider setting up an arts school. An arts school for our young can play an
important part in the long-term development of Singapore's distinctive arts scene and
talent pool. An arts school can also play an important role in providing a strong
foundation in the arts for our young artistic talents. Such a foundation will be crucial not
only for students interested in pursuing careers in the arts, but also for those who wish to
pursue careers as creative professionals in the fields of design and media.

Table 1.1 Creative Industries Employment (2000)
Creative Industries Sector Employment
Media 11,048
Printing & Publishing 4829
Broadcast Media Services 5460
Film & Video Services 759
Design 26,542
Architecture 7206
Advertising 5555
Graphic, Interior, Fashion, Industrial
Software Development & Design 14368
Arts & Culture 4,735
Photography 725
Arts & Antiques Trade 1859
Performing Arts 1570
Museums & heritage activities 581
TOTAL 42,325
(Source: Dept of Statistics, Ministry of Trade & Industry, 2003)

Jobs in the Creative Cluster

Arts & Cultural Industries: e.g. Musicians, actors,
dancers, directors, writers, visual artists,
photographers, songwriters & composers, stage
& lighting designers, sound & lighting engineers,
arts impresarios and managers, arts educators,
curators and researchers

Design Industries: e.g. Architects, interior
designers, fashion designers, multimedia &
interactive designers, graphic designers,
illustrators, landscape architects, industrial &
product designers, creative directors,
copywriters, games and software designers

Media Industries: e.g. film/tv producers &
directors, actors, animators, multimedia &
interactive designers, writers, editors, sound and
lighting engineers

Chapter Two



Opportunities in Higher Education for the Arts

1. Given the vision to grow Singapore's arts landscape and creative industries, it is no
longer sufficient for education provisions in the arts and related disciplines of design and
media to focus solely on technical competency. This view is also confirmed by industry
feedback (Annex E) that, if Singapore is to aim to grow our creative enterprises to reach
the global stage and market, we need creative professionals to possess the ability to
communicate ideas, passion for creative breakthroughs and critical capacity. These
individuals need to be exposed to and possess a deeper understanding of history,
culture and global trends. Without these capabilities, it would be difficult to raise the
standards of creativity and excellence, and to realise distinctive and new ideas, concepts
and products by Singapore for the world.

2. In countries like Finland, USA, UK and Japan, world-class arts, media and design
programmes and institutions at the university level play a key role as centres of research
and innovation for the creative arts. As centres of excellence, these institutions are able
to attract students of high calibre in the creative arts. Developments are also being
made to offer more opportunities for our talented students to pursue higher education in
the arts, media or design disciplines, particularly undergraduate and postgraduate
degrees in Singapore (Table 2.1, and Annex D for details).

3. Enhancing our provisions for arts, media and design education at tertiary level would
play an important role in:

(i) Facilitating the shift from training for technical competency to also nurturing the
intellectual and critical thinking and creative capabilities of our arts and creative
talents in a broader academic environment;
(ii) Providing a more compelling higher education landscape for the arts, media and
design to inspire and attract more talented young Singaporeans to pursue their
aspirations in Singapore; and
(iii) Establishing leading centres for research and innovation in the arts, media and
design which would set new standards of excellence in these fields.

4. In 2003, there are close to some 3000 diploma and degree places offered in the arts,
design and media programmes (Table 2.2) of arts schools, polytechnics and universities
in Singapore. These tertiary programmes are fast gaining popularity among Singaporean
students, given the opportunities in the creative industries, and as more Singaporeans
pursue their own passions and talents. These programmes are also attracting a high
number of students from the region. In recent years, there has also been an increase in
students pursuing their interests in arts, media and design at degree level.

Table 2.1 Existing & New Tertiary Education Options in Singapore for Arts, Media and Design

Existing Options New Options
Arts: Theatre,

Diploma and Degree programmes at
LASALLE-SIA and NAFA (degrees
currently awarded by a foreign

Diploma and Degree programmes at

Degree Programme in Theatre
Studies at NUS

Degree Programme (Music) at the
Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of
Music at NUS since August 2003
Visual Arts:

Diploma and Degree programmes at
LASALLE-SIA and NAFA (degrees
currently awarded by a foreign

Diploma and Degree Programmes at

NUS is assessing the readiness of
NAFA and LASALLE-SIA to issue
NUS degrees in fine arts

Industrial &
product design,
interior design,
Diploma programme at the
Polytechnics, LASALLE-SIA and

Degree programme at NTU School
of Design and Media in 2005
onwards. The school would also
offer minors in drama and

The Conservatory of Music at NUS was established following the recommendations of the Committee to Upgrade LASALLE
and NAFA (1998) for Singapore to set up an Institute for the Arts at NUS, to offer the first local degrees in the visual and
performing arts. The Conservatory of Music represents the first phase of such a development. The Conservatory is established
in collaboration with the Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University. The Conservatory offers the 4-year undergraduate
programme leading to a Bachelor of Music (Honours) degree. The Conservatory will provide aspiring professional musicians
with the musical skills and perceptions necessary to sustain a career in music, whether as solo or ensemble performers,
composers, teachers, recording engineers, critics or scholars. Of its inaugural intake of 72 students, Singaporeans constitute
the 3
largest group, behind China and Vietnam.
fashion design,
graphic & visual

Degree programme at LASALLE-SIA
and NAFA (awarded by a foreign

Degree programme (Architecture &
Industrial Design) at NUS

performance, music and visual arts.
Media: film &
video, digital
interactive media)
Diploma programme at the
Polytechnics, LASALLE-SIA, NAFA

Degree programmes (Mass
Communications) at NTU

Degree programme at NTU School
of Design and Media in (2005/2006).
The school would also offer minors
in drama and performance, music
and visual arts.

* The Economic Development Board (EDB) is also working towards attracting internationally renowned art
and design colleges to establish independent campuses in Singapore offering undergraduate and
postgraduate degree programmes in art, media and design

The Arts in Pre-Tertiary Education Today

5. While these developments take place at the tertiary level, the Remaking Singapore
Committee (2003) and the Committee on Review of Secondary School/Junior College
Education (2002) had also concluded that a more diverse education landscape would
better cater to the aspirations of Singaporeans. The latter had recommended setting up
independent schools specialising in arts, sports, mathematics and science. These
schools would provide alternatives to the mainstream schools, recognise and groom a
broader diversity of Singaporean talents. The former had recommended the setting up
of an arts school. It observed that development opportunities for young artistic talent at
the pre-tertiary were lacking, in comparison to the tertiary arts, media and design

Table 2.2 Enrolment in Tertiary Arts, Media and Design Programmes in Singapore
PROGRAMME 2002 2003
Diploma Degree Diploma Degree
Media 1136 1159
Mass Communications, including Film/Video, Recording
and Digital Media
826 310 787 372
Design 1276 1288
Visual Communication Design
383 67 368 51
Interior Design
331 21 348 20
- 150 - 150
Industrial & Product Design
106 30 96 30
Fashion Design & Merchandising
175 13 215 10
Arts 467 610
Visual Arts
144 51 168 53
Performing Arts
224 48 271 118
TOTAL 2189 690 2253 804


6. Moreover, the arts are recognised and upheld by education professionals as integral to
an individual's holistic development and education. Arts education, as compared to the
study of subjects such as mathematics and science in schools, achieve the following in a
unique fashion:

(a) Develops Critical Thought and Creative Expression:
The visual and performing arts are unique in developing one's ability to perceive,
conceptualise and express ideas through physical movement, space, emotions,
image and language. Whether as sensitivities, general awareness or as discrete
skills, these are fundamental capabilities for critical thought and creative expression.

(b) Nurtures Self-Development, Teamwork & Leadership Qualities:
The arts also best develop and encourage these valuable qualities in our young,
such as confidence and the ability for self-expression, critical in developing a young
person's sense of self, as well as teamwork and leadership qualities. The arts are
highly interactive and are often dependent on team effort.

(c) Enriches the Study of other subjects:
The arts provide a rich and inspiring learning environment. The arts also have close
synergy with the study of the sciences, languages, mathematics and humanities.
Owing to the multidisciplinary and creative nature of the arts, artists draw widely from
ideas, concepts and developments in these areas, and vice versa. Last but not least,
the sensitivities and skills developed through the arts, e.g. visual literacy and
drawing, performance techniques and so on, provide the important foundation in the
study and practice of the applied arts, such as craft, design and media.

7. For these reasons, schools and students participate in arts activities at various levels
as general or elective programmes in the main academic curriculum, as co-curricular
activities, or as private activities via courses offered by private commercial schools.

General and Elective Programmes

8. Currently, art and music are compulsory non-examination subjects taught at the primary
level. At the lower secondary level, art is an examination subject and music is a
compulsory but non-examination subject. At these levels, students are given a broad
exposure to the fundamentals of visual arts, craft and music appreciation, composition
and performance. Students may choose to take art and music as examination subjects
at O or A-levels as part of their academic curriculum. Students can also enrol in the
Arts Elective and Music Elective Programme, offered in selected Secondary Schools and
Junior Colleges only (Table 2.3).

Table 2.3 "O" Level Candidature and AEP/MEP Intake
Year "O" Level Art
(includes AEP
"O" Level Music (Includes
MEP students)
AEP intake MEP Intake
1997 6322 189 91 134
1998 5170 163 74 164
1999 4321 171 69 143
2000 4041 205 104 190
2001 2156 327 93 196
2002 3048 304 87 205
Source: Ministry of Education, 2003

9. The 4-year AEP/MEP at selected Secondary Schools
, prepare students for the GCE O
level art/music examinations, with Higher Art/Music certification . The 2-year AEP/MEP
at selected Junior Colleges (JC)
prepare students for the GCE A level art/music
examinations, with Higher Art/Music. The AEP and MEP were started in 1984 and 1982
respectively with the objective of providing a challenging art/music programme that will
attract academically able students with strong motivation and aptitude. The intention is
to develop well-rounded individuals, in all fields, who would exercise leadership
favourable to the arts. These selected schools for the AEP/MEP are equipped with the
relevant facilities, such as art studios, kiln room, darkroom, music studios, as well as
library and other resources. The programmes are taught by graduate teachers with at
least university qualifications in art/music.

10. Students who are not enrolled in the AEP and MEP programme can also opt to take art
or music as an O or A level subject if their schools have the necessary resources. In
the case of O level music, students may apply to take their music classes at O level

Art Elective centres (4): Chinese High School (Independent); Nanyang Girls High School (Independent); CHIJ Toa Payoh
(Autonomous) and Victoria School (Autonomous). Music Elective centres (5): Anglo Chinese School (Independent); CHIJ St
Nicholas Girls School; Dunman High School; Methodist Girls' School; Tanjong Katong Girls' School
Art Elective centres (2): Nanyang Junior College, National Junior College. Music Elective centres (3): Anglo Chinese
Junior College, Raffles Junior College, Temasek Junior College
music centres. At the junior college level, there is also a 2-year Theatre Studies
Programme at Victoria Junior College.

Co-Curricular Activities

11. Outside the academic curriculum, students may also be exposed to the arts through
extra-curricular enrichment programmes. For instance, the National Arts Council's Arts
Education Programme facilitates local arts groups in creating special performances or
workshops for students in schools, or for students to make excursions to arts venues and
performances. The arts are also part of the co-curricular programmes in schools where
students may choose to participate in school orchestras or bands, dance groups, choirs,
art clubs, photography clubs and the like. Over the years, the number of students who
have shown interest in these arts-related activities have grown tremendously at all levels,
and is especially so at the Primary level (Table 2.4).

Table 2.4 Participation in selected Arts-related Co-curricular Activities (1997, 2002)
Xing Yao

Drama Art &
Number of Students, 1997
Pri 2,661 1,131 6,994 5,308 8,264 2,225 5,073 1001
Sec 2,955 3,362 426
10,952 3,412 7,600 2,873 6,415
836 241 119
Total 13,613 4,543 14,594 8,181 14,679 6,016 8,676 1,546
Number of Students, 2002
Pri 3,417 3,058 9,335 5,852 13,183 3,449 7,977 1,403
Sec 13689 4,696 9,052 2,930 5,831 2,748 2,614 360
JC/CI 917 857 854 1,412 821 837 297 131
Total 18023 8,611 19,241 10,194 19,835 7,034 10,888 1,894
+32.4% (+89.5%) (+31.8%) (+24.6%) (+35.1%) (+16.9%) (+25.5%) (+22.5%)
( ) percentage change in total student participation from 1997 to 2002
*CI refers to Centralised Institutes offering a 3-year programme, leading to A-level qualifications
** Includes students in Western Orchestra
*** Refers to ballet, western & modern dance as well as ethnic dances
Source: Ministry of Education, 2003

Private/Commercial Schools

12. Many young people are also enrolled in private arts schools. The majority take up
dance, especially ballet, as well as music outside their school activities. Between 1990
and 2003, there were more than 30,000 students pursuing arts related courses at these
private schools, and the number of such schools also increased by 20% between 1995
and 2003. Many of these students attain private qualifications or certifications in music
or dance at these schools.

Gap for Arts Specialisation at Pre-Tertiary Level

13. Whilst young artistic and creative talents have been recognised and groomed through
these channels, their key objective is to expose students to the arts to broaden their
learning experiences as part of their holistic development, and to cultivate greater arts
awareness and appreciation. Given the centrality of the arts to an individual's education
and holistic development, it is important that we continue to develop these existing
offerings. However, it is also important that we pursue, in parallel, the option of providing
a more specialised development path, integrated with the core curriculum, for students
who show special interest and potential in the arts.

14. The current option offered to secondary and pre-university students to take art or music
at O or A level as subjects in their academic curriculum offers students with interest in
the arts the opportunity to pursue a stronger focus in it. The AEP and MEP, in particular,
offer a focused 4-year and 2-year programme at secondary and pre-university levels
respectively, for students to be exposed to both the theoretical and practical aspects of
visual arts and music. The continuing demand for both AEP and MEP over the years
(Table 3) show that these programmes fulfil a special need in these selected schools to
stretch the abilities of a group of academically able students.

15. However, the current options do not provide our young talents with a dedicated learning
environment that offers an academic programme that has meaningfully integrated the
arts with the study of other subjects, with the objective of nurturing their creative potential
to the fullest:
(i) Students who take art or music as an examination subject study it as only 1 out of
a total of 6-10 subjects in the mainstream, broad-based academic programme.
However, the time commitment required to excel in art/music, including practice
and studio time, far exceeds the classroom time of other subjects. As a result of
these competing demands, students are often unable to achieve their full
potential in the arts.
(ii) Students often constitute a small select group amongst the general student
population, hence schools are unable to offer an integrated programme for the
arts and academic curriculum, where the arts and academic learning can
complement each other meaningfully. A dedicated learning environment for the
arts will allow for better cross-disciplinary learning and experimentation and a
more integrated arts and academic curriculum. This is especially so as the arts
draw greatly from and also influence the study of humanities, sciences and
(iii) Again, because such students often constitute a small select group amongst the
general student population, they do not benefit from a strong community of young
people actively engaged in a broad range of art forms, who can inspire and
support each other. The arts are multidisciplinary in nature and often require a
full range of capabilities to come into play. For example, in learning about
theatre, a variety of performing and visual arts skills are required acting,
directing, scriptwriting, stage and lighting design, costume design, music
composition and performance, dance and movement choreography, etc.
Multidisciplinary experimentation is also at the heart of artistic breakthroughs.

16. The second key limitation is that currently, students may only opt to study visual arts or
music. With the exception of a select class for theatre studies at Victoria Junior College,
there is no pre-tertiary provision for students who wish to pursue greater specialisation in
the other forms of performing arts such as theatre, the dramatic arts and dance, and the
applied arts. Therefore, students with talent in these art forms are often limited in their
development as they can only pursue these interests and talents during co-curricular
activities, at private or commercial schools outside their school hours, or at tertiary level.
In the case of art forms where early development and training is important, such as
dance where early development of a student's kinaesthetic skills is critical, specialisation
only at tertiary level is often too late to develop the student's full potential.

17. The third limitation is the lack of a seamless and viable development path for students
with interest and talent in the arts. Students who fail to enrol in the selected AEP/MEP
schools can opt to continue their study of art or music as part of their academic
curriculum at Secondary Three and Four only if their school has the necessarily-qualified
teacher(s) to offer the subject. Conversely, arrangements could also be made for
students to take art or music lessons at an AEP/MEP school. In addition, students who
wish to continue pursuing art or music as part of their academic curriculum after
Secondary School would need to enrol in the 5 selected AEP/MEP junior colleges, where
successful entry is based on their academic results.
Students who wish to continue
their arts development beyond the junior college framework can only do so at an art

This is with the exception of Jurong Junior College and Yishun Junior College which offers A-level Art even though they are
not an AEP centre.
college or polytechnic. However, as the art colleges and polytechnics do not provide a
broad-based academic curriculum, greater specialisation in the arts or applied arts is
often pursued at the expense of developing other skills/learning in languages, the
humanities or sciences. Upon graduation from art schools or polytechnic, these students
have limited access to local universities. Often, talented students are under pressure to
choose between a more academic path at junior college, which prepares them for
university, or a development path that is perceived today as preparing students for
industry employment.


18. Whilst there are opportunities for young Singaporean to be exposed to the arts in our
schools, there is no dedicated development path for Singaporeans who show special
interest in the arts to develop their talents fully in an integral fashion with their pre-tertiary
education. This gap at pre-tertiary is especially significant given the latest developments
to enhance higher education or tertiary provisions for arts and arts-related programmes.
In plugging this gap, the Committee deliberated on the desirability and feasibility of an
arts school. Its conclusions are outlined in Chapter Three.


Chapter Three



The Need for an Arts School

1. Given the importance of creativity and the arts in Singapore's economic and cultural
development, and the existing pre-tertiary gap for specialised arts education, the
Committee concluded that an arts school would be both a timely and desirable
development for Singapore in meeting these needs.

(a) Identify, attract and groom young Singaporeans with interests and talents in the arts.
While there are tertiary options for specialisation in arts, design and media, there is
no such dedicated development path at the pre-tertiary level where young people
with an interest in the arts can acquire both a strong foundation in the arts as well as
an academic development. The artistic and creative potential of many of our young
is often not fully developed as a result. Doing so will therefore help to attract and
identify those talented in the arts at a younger age, and provide them with a learning
environment that can best support their interest and develop their talents. In the
case of art forms such as dance and music, the early identification and development
of their capabilities is especially critical to the students achieving their full potential.

(b) Raise the quality of entrants to tertiary arts, media and design programmes.
Existing entrants to tertiary programmes in the arts and the related fields of design
and media often lack the requisite foundation in the arts. They often lack basic skills
of an art form (e.g. drawing or certain performance techniques) and a strong
foundation in the arts, such as a broad exposure to and understanding of art history
and the study of the humanities, which provide a critical, conceptual, theoretical and
historical basis to many arts practices. Raising the quality of entrants to our tertiary
programmes will ensure that our tertiary arts, media and design programmes can
more meaningfully take the students' potential to the next level. With enhancements
to our tertiary programmes currently being developed, it is even more critical that an
adequate level of pre-tertiary education in the arts and other creative fields be
established. Doing so will also better prepare students in choosing their fields of
further study and specialisation at the tertiary level.

(c) Serve as a model of excellence for the arts and arts education
As we broaden the measures for success in Singapore and encourage our people to
pursue their passions and aspirations in Singapore, an alternative development path
to the mainstream will help signal greater acceptance of and set the standards of
excellence in new areas such as the arts. The option for greater specialisation in
the arts will serve as an inspiration to the young, as well as educate parents on the
value and significance of the arts, hence also raising the demand for arts education.
Ultimately, the achievements and resources developed through this alternative pre-
tertiary path will contribute to bringing up the overall place and standard of arts
education in the mainstream education system.

Overseas Models of Arts Schools

2. The Committee noted that such alternative pre-tertiary development tracks for the arts
are widely available in many culturally vibrant countries that have also leveraged on their
creative industries for their economic competitiveness. In the USA, countries in Europe,
and our Asia-Pacific neighbours like Australia, Thailand, Korea and Japan, there are
special high schools that are focused on students interested and talented in the arts
(Annex G). This is over and above the strong provisions for students to study the arts
and humanities in their broad-based education system. In the case of Hong Kong, which
is also targeting its creative cluster to be a new driver for its economic competitiveness, a
new High School for Art, Media and Design will be established in 2004.

3. The two most common models for such schools were (a) public/government-funded or
private high schools, and (b) university-affiliated high schools. In the case of public and
private high schools, they are highly regarded for both their academic and arts
achievements within the national education system. Examples of such schools are the
La Guardia High School in New York, the San Francisco School of the Arts, as well as a
new specialist school scheme recently established in the UK.
Graduates of these
schools proceed to enrol in arts or arts-related courses at universities or arts colleges. A
smaller percentage of graduates go on to do study the humanities, social sciences or
professional courses such as law at universities, or enter leading arts companies. In the
case of university-affiliated schools, they are usually co-located with the universities' arts
departments or arts institutes. The Victoria College for the Arts Secondary School in
Australia is one such example. The proposed NUS school for mathematics and science
in Singapore is another example of such a school.

4. The Committee observed that these successful schools have the following features in
(a) High standards for entry, based often on academic performance and competitive
(b) Balance between a broad-based academic programme and studio-based arts
component and qualifications, and a focus on inter-disciplinary learning between
academic and artistic endeavours.
(c) Graduating qualifications are pegged to entrance requirements for music
conservatories, art institutes and universities (for both fine arts and other non-fine
arts degrees).

Feasibility factors for an Arts School

5. While a school for arts would be a desirable addition to Singapore's education landscape
and has proven to be successful overseas, its feasibility in Singapore was a separate
issue. The Committee held comprehensive focus group discussions with students,
parents, principals and teachers, as well as arts and creative industry professionals
(Annex E). The Committee also conducted a survey of parents whose child is currently
enrolled in a Primary School and has interest in the arts (Annex F). The Committee
studied the following issues and, with the public feedback gathered, was confident that
an independent Arts School was feasible in Singapore.

In the UK, a new specialist school scheme has recently been set up to also allow existing schools to convert to specialist
schools in 8 broad areas, including the arts, sciences, business, technology, sports etc. The intention of this programme is to
raise standards of achievement and teaching in the specialised area for the school, while benefiting the "family of schools" to
which the specialist school belong. This is similar to the cluster concept in Singapore, where certain schools in the cluster
develop distinctive identities around an area of specialisation.
Higher Education and Career Path for Arts School Graduates

6. With the developments in Singapore's arts and cultural landscape, the growth of the
creative industries, and the development of relevant tertiary programmes, adequate and
attractive higher education and career opportunities for graduates of such a school are
available. The feasibility and attractiveness for the school would be further enhanced if it
offers qualifications that allow its graduates to proceed to such tertiary programmes in
Singapore and overseas. In the case of academic qualifications, they should be similar,
if not equivalent to what their peers in the mainstream education system acquire, i.e. O
levels at age 16, or A levels or the International Baccalaureate at age 18 or 19.

Status of the School and "Permeability" with Mainstream Education System

7. The proposed school for the arts would be similar in status as other independent schools
(e.g. Nanyang Girls School, Raffles Institution, Singapore Sports School) and is therefore
slated to receive the same level of support from the Ministry of Education
. As the
independent school model is familiar to parents and students, it could be readily

8. Feedback from parents and students also suggest to the Committee that such a school
would be feasible especially if students can have the option of re-entering the
mainstream education system. The Singapore Sports School had also ensured such
"permeability" with the mainstream education system in the initial years. Students who
are unable to continue with their sports specialisation could return to the mainstream
secondary school that they had earlier qualified for entry based on their PSLE results.
This "permeability" for the Arts School would also be available to students who are
unable or opt not to continue with their arts specialisation.

Report of the Committee on Secondary School/Junior College Review, Ministry of Education (October 2002).
Development Opportunities offered by an Arts School

9. Amongst the characteristics that would draw students and parents to such a school, the
quality of teachers, the class sizes and the opportunity to better balance both academic
and arts learning were cited as the most important. There was a common sentiment

that the current education system did not adequately provide a foundation for students to
fully develop their talent in the arts or pursue a career in the arts. Students also provided
the feedback that they currently face competing demands between their academic
studies and pursuing their arts interest.

10. Therefore, it was important that an arts school provides a unique learning environment
that allowed students to develop their creative and artistic potential to the fullest, whilst
meeting the needs of their academic studies. For the arts school to be attractive to
students and parents, it is also important to ensure a high quality of the teaching
resources and learning environment. The survey indicated that highly qualified teachers
with experiences in both teaching and industry would be the most important factor for
parents in deciding to send their child to an arts school.

Demand for such a School

11. The Committee was also pleased to note the existing popularity of arts and arts-related
activities in schools and in private/commercial schools. In particular, the fast-growing
popularity of these arts and arts-related activities at the primary school level, where art
and music are not examinable subjects in the core curriculum, demonstrates a potentially
healthy interest in such a school. The popularity of arts, media and design programmes
at the tertiary level is also an indication of the potential demand for such a school. This
demand for arts education was confirmed by the survey, where 44% of the parents
surveyed were receptive to sending their child to an arts school. Specifically, 12% of
parents responded that they would "definitely" send their child to such a school. To
enhance the feasibility of the school in the longer term, there was also a need to
establish a framework for identifying talented students at the primary school level.

More than 50% of the parents surveyed.
Links with the community and industry

12. In the Committee's consultation with other stakeholders in the arts community, the
industry players in the creative cluster and tertiary institutions (Annex E), it was felt that
both the feasibility and desirability of the proposed school would also be enhanced if it
maintained close relations and a strong collaborative network with its various
stakeholders. Unlike a mainstream school, an independent arts school would require
dedicated resources for arts learning. Drawing upon such resources from the Singapore
and international arts and creative communities would ensure that the school remains
relevant to the fast-paced developments in these fields.


13. In studying the desirability and feasibility of setting up an independent school for the arts,
the conclusion is that such a facility and platform would best serve the needs of
Singapore in nurturing future artistic talents and recognising creative achievements.
Such a school would play an important role in the broader framework for the arts and
creativity to contribute to remaking Singapore.


Part Two The Recommendations

Taking into account the needs the proposed Arts School should meet, as well as the inputs it
gathered from consultations with the arts and education communities, parents, students and
other stakeholders, the Committee set out to establish the following

Objectives and Guiding Principles for the proposed School
Arts and Academic Curriculum
Graduating Qualifications
Student Intake
Teaching Faculty and Staff Requirements
School Management Model
Infrastructure Needs
Capital and Operating Costs
Implementation Steps

Its recommendations and the rationale are elaborated in Chapters 4 to 7 of this Report.


Chapter Four



1. As outlined in Chapter Three, an independent arts school is desirable as it would help
identify and groom our young artistic talents, raise the quality of entrants to our tertiary
arts-media-design programmes, and establish itself as a model of excellence in the arts
and arts education. In the broader picture of Singapore's development, such a school
would also play a role in providing more Singaporeans an avenue to pursue their diverse

2. To address the feasibility of such a school as well as the concerns of potential students,
parents and other stakeholders, the school would need to build up its relationship with
the arts community and related institutions. The school would also need to establish a
level of "permeability" with the national education system, and consider the higher
education and career development paths of its graduates.

3. Taking into account these considerations, the Committee set out the following objectives
of the proposed School:

(a) To provide a holistic academic and arts education for young artistic talents so as to
develop their potential to the fullest; thereby nurturing future generations of artists,
creative professionals, and patrons for the arts in all fields.

(b) To establish strong links with the arts community, public and private companies and
institutions, including educational institutions of excellent reputation, and have a
positive impact on the arts and education communities in Singapore.

Guiding Principles

4. The detailed recommendations on the curriculum, learning environment, faculty and
management structure, as well as the enrolment and graduation requirements for the
proposed school are in Chapters Five and Six of this report. In setting out these
recommendations, the Committee was guided by the following principles.

(a) Alignment with the National Education System
The school would remain relevant and be aligned to the existing national education
system. It would emphasise the pursuit of artistic and academic excellence in providing
for learning and development. "Permeability" with mainstream schools should be
maintained to allow students the option of re-entering a mainstream school if they

(b) Offer compelling and unique development opportunities beyond the scope and
expertise of mainstream schools
The school would provide a unique learning environment for its students to develop their
artistic and creative potentials to the fullest. These development opportunities would be
grounded in:
Multidisciplinary learning and innovation students would be exposed to arts
practices and art forms beyond their area of specialisation to promote cross-
disciplinary experimentation.
Cross-cultural exposure and learning students would be exposed to arts practices,
traditions and histories of various cultures.
Technology for the arts technology as a tool and media would be integrated in the
teaching of the arts and other subjects.
Experiences outside the classroom students' capabilities and knowledge would
also be developed through performances, exhibitions and competitions. The school
would also source for opportunities for interaction and work attachments with eminent
artists and professionals.

(c) Leverage on Singapore's strengths and unique cultural context
The school would build on Singapore's unique strengths, including its multicultural Asian
heritage and openness to local and foreign artistic talents. Specifically, the schools
training would draw from practices of eastern and western art forms, reflecting the
strengths of tradition and modernity within Singapore and Asia.

(d) Involve the Arts Community as a committed stakeholder
The school would forge strong linkages with the arts community to immerse its students
in the vibrancy of contemporary arts practices. Strong linkages would also enable the
school to tap into the rich resource of artistic expertise, networks, facilities and exposure
opportunities for its students. The exposure will better equip students to fulfil their artistic
aspirations in Singapore and on the global stage.


Chapter Five



Summary of Recommendations

1. The school would provide a holistic and flexible curriculum that aims to fully develop its
students unique abilities, aspirations and ambitions. The school would adopt the
International Baccalaureates Diploma Programme as well as provide a well-rounded
specialised arts education.

Curriculums Defining Features

2. Based on the objectives and guiding principles established in Chapter Three, the
Committee recommends that the schools curriculum incorporates the following features:

(a) Academic and Artistic Excellence
The school would be committed to delivering a curriculum that will provide the requisite
skills and knowledge to future generations of artists, creative industry workers and arts
advocates. The provision of strong academic education would allow students to
continue with tertiary education in other fields, if they wish. The arts curriculum would
concentrate on specialised arts training while fostering confidence in self-expression,
creativity and professional expertise.

(b) Integrated and holistic curriculum
In helping young minds think critically across diverse areas, a
desirable curriculum would be one that embraces a holistic
approach to learning. This would integrate the arts across the
curriculum and enrich arts training with the study of
humanities, languages, sciences and mathematics. Such an
integrated curriculum would adopt a multi-disciplinary
approach that capitalises on the arts unique ability to
communicate ideas and emotions, and would appreciate the
academic underpinnings of the arts. Learning would be best
accomplished by introducing innovative methods of curriculum
delivery which recognise the importance of presenting
information across disciplines in a coherent and meaningful
context. Students would be encouraged to develop skills and knowledge applicable in
more than one area of study. The ability to make connections and solve problems
through multiple perspectives and the capability to assimilate and analyse information
from different fields are essential skills in a knowledge-based economy.

(c) Flexibility
The curriculum would recognise and cater to the students unique academic and artistic
abilities. Both the academic and arts curricula would be delivered in a modular system
that allows flexibility in arts specialisation as well as focus in academic subjects.
Exceptionally talented students would progress on the fast-track and at a higher level in
their core specialisation while students desiring a more broad-based education would be
able to opt for breadth. These students of distinctive abilities, sensibilities and
aspirations would benefit from a flexible learning environment where they can inspire and
learn from each other. The flexibility of the modular system would also allow artistically
talented students to tailor their curriculum time to meet the training needs of international
competitions and performances.

(d) Balance between artistic pursuits and academic studies
The school is for young artistic talents who often face conflicts between their artistic
pursuits and academic requirements. The design of the schools curriculum would
optimise scheduling of arts training and academic education to allow for efficient time
management. This would be achieved through the integrated approach to curriculum
education that is
organised in such a way that
it cuts across subject-matter
lines, bringing together
various aspects of the
curriculum, into meaningful
association to focus upon
broad areas of study. It
views learning and teaching
in a holistic way and reflects
the real world, which is
interactive. Shoemaker, B.
Integrative Education: A
Curriculum for the Twenty-
First Century.
Definition of Integrated
Curriculum, Oregon School
Study Council
delivery and a modular curriculum structure. The curriculum would promote a holistic
arts learning environment that supports and is sensitive towards the various demands on
the students such as competitions, performances and exhibitions.

(e) Permeability
The schools curriculum should remain relevant to the national education system to allow
lateral transfer of students at defined points. Students would be able to return to
mainstream schools should they choose not to pursue a specialised arts education.
Similarly, the schools curriculum structure should allow students from the mainstream
schools to enter midstream.

Academic Curriculum

3. In view of the desire for an integrated curriculum that is relevant to the existing national
education system in Singapore, the Committee recommends that the school adopts
a curriculum which allows its students to pursue the International Baccalaureate
(IB) Diploma. The IB Diploma Programme is recommended for its flexibility and
breadth of education, which does not compromise on academic rigour. Moreover, the
objectives of the IB programme, which are to provide students with a balanced
education, to facilitate geographic and cultural mobility and to promote international
understanding, fit well with the guiding principles of the school. See Annex I for details
on the IB.

4. The IB curriculum possesses the following features which are desirable given the
schools guiding principles and ethos:

(a) Flexibility and breadth
With a curriculum which provides flexibility and breadth of education, students would be
able to select the level of their courses, either at the higher level or standard level.
Flexibility in choosing higher-level concentrations allows the curriculum to be tailored to
suit the distinct abilities and personal interests of the students while fulfilling the
requirements for university entrance.


(b) Depth of thinking and inquiry
Under the IB Diploma Programme, students are required to fulfil the Theory of
Knowledge (TOK) requirement. TOK is an interdisciplinary feature that is designed to
stimulate critical reflection on knowledge and experience gained by transcending and
linking academic subjects. The aim of TOK is to promote a more philosophical and
perceptive frame of mind that promotes a greater depth of thinking and inquiry. Hence,
students are able to apply their knowledge with greater awareness and intellectual

IB Diploma students are also required to carry out original research and write an
extended essay of 4,000 words. This essay allows students to pursue their areas of
interest and become acquainted with independent research and extended essay writing

(c) Sense of identity and cultural sensitivities
The IB programme emphasises intercultural understanding and exposure to a variety of
points of views. This, coupled with features of the programme that promote personal
growth, will enrich the learning experience of the students.

Scope of Academic Curriculum

5. The IB Diploma Programme concentrates on offering a complete, broad-based
curriculum with emphasis on learning instead of just preparing for exams. Under this
programme, the following subjects could be offered:
Languages (including literature).
Individuals and societies: e.g. history, geography, economics, philosophy.
Experimental sciences: e.g. biology, chemistry, physics.
Mathematics and computer science: e.g. mathematics, mathematical studies,
computer science (elective).
The arts: visual arts, music, theatre arts.

6. The IB Diploma Programme would be conducted in the last two years of the six-year
education. Prior to the IB Diploma Programme, the Committee recommends that the
implementation committee and the school management decide on the academic
programme to adopt for the first four years that would best prepare students to attain the
IB diploma. The pre-IB diploma options identified by the Committee are the Singapore-
Cambridge General Certificate of Education (GCE) O Level programme, the IB Middle
Years programme or the schools own pre-IB programme. This could be developed in
consultation with the IBO (Asia-Pacific Office). The school is to ensure that the chosen
academic programme in the first four years is aligned with the principles of the IB
Diploma Programme.

Arts Curriculum

7. As a school where the future generations of creative talents and arts advocates are
nurtured, the curriculum of the proposed school must recognise the unique artistic
potential of the students. Comprehensive specialised arts training enabling
grounding in high technical competency and the development of self-identity and
innovation will be fundamental elements of the arts curriculum.

8. Over and above specialised arts training, all students would receive basic training
across various art disciplines as foundation courses. These courses would allow the
school to impart a breadth of artistic awareness that would help the students overall
development. They would also provide basic training in the following areas:
Movement skills Students will learn to communicate through movement by
developing body discipline and basic dance techniques.
Music skills Students will learn music notation and be able to demonstrate basic
keyboard skills on the piano.
Presentation skills Students will learn basic presentation skills including the proper
use of the voice for effective communication.
Basic drawing skills Students will learn to develop and express their own
perceptions of the environment through increased visual awareness and sensitivity to
the forms and colours of their surroundings.

9. Education in history, conceptual and theoretical knowledge would allow for a more
well-balanced and complete arts curriculum. Students would acquire a more in-depth
appreciation and understanding of the arts. Subjects which provide grounding in the
history and critical theory of the arts would be incorporated into the curriculum.

10. Elective courses across arts disciplines including courses in traditional/ethnic arts
would be incorporated within the arts curriculum to enhance students creativity and
sensibilities to arts and cultural practices beyond their area of specialisation. Courses
emphasising integration and synthesis of multiple arts disciplines towards the creation of
a collaborative production would encourage inter-disciplinary experimentation. The
school would tap into the rich cultural resources in Singapore and around the region to
conduct courses in traditional/ethnic arts disciplines.

11. The arts curriculum would also feature industry exposure to professions within the
creative industries (e.g. media or design professions). The arts curriculum would
provide development opportunities beyond classroom education. Students would
acquire practical knowledge and learn about the business underpinnings of the
arts/creative industries through first-hand experience. Such exposure would include
performances, exhibitions, master classes and internships with arts companies and the
creative industries.

12. The use and application of technology would be a key feature in the arts curriculum.
Students would learn to exploit leading technologies both as a tool and a medium for
innovation through integrating technology and the arts. Students could be tasked with a
project that involves the use of technology in a chosen arts discipline. These could
allow students to further explore areas which might impact on their future career path,
for example if they choose to pursue technical production and management for the

Scope of Arts Curriculum

13. The Committee has recommended that the school will offer training in four arts
disciplines Music, Theatre, Dance and Visual Arts. The detailed strands under each of
the core art disciplines will be decided at the implementation stage by the appointed
School Principal and the Heads of Arts Department. Students would opt for at least one
area of specialisation in the four arts disciplines offered in the school. Please refer to
Annex H for the basis for selection of arts forms.

14. The following are the key elements of the kind of specialised arts training that would be
offered in the school.

(a) Music
(i) The music curriculum would focus on developing technical facility on a chosen
instrument. Students would be further developed through training for solo
performance, ensemble and orchestra.
(ii) In addition, music students would be schooled in the theory and history of
music. This course of study would impart the necessary musical skills such as
composition, harmony and counterpoint so as to develop the ability to critically
analyse and evaluate music. With technology becoming integral to the music
profession, training in music technology would also enable students to use
computers and the like to better achieve their musical goals.

(b) Theatre
(i) The theatre curriculum would equip the students with the requisite foundational
skills and knowledge in the theatrical arts. The curriculum would emphasise the
acquisition of practical skills in acting, production, movement and voice. These
would be achieved together with the knowledge imparted in theatrical histories,
forms, methods and theories.
(ii) At the end of the course, students should be able to develop artistic
independence and critical skills. Important professional skills such as dealing
with auditions would be taught to students to ensure an awareness of the
requirements of a career in professional theatre.

(c) Dance
(i) The dance curriculum would provide students with comprehensive training in
classical ballet while embracing the experiences of other dance forms to
promote wider understanding and discovery. Classes in areas such as dance
technique, history, notation and basic choreography would allow emphasis on
developing strong technical and practical skills necessary for the demands of a
career in dance.
(ii) Dance students would also be encouraged to hone their creative expression
through the study of related arts such as music. Other courses such as pilates
and body control will help students develop physical mastery and build a strong,
versatile physique. Nutrition and anatomical awareness will help dancers avoid
injury in their future careers.

(d) Visual Arts
(i) The visual arts curriculum would emphasise aesthetic, intellectual and personal
development which are key in the nurturing of a visual artist. Perception,
communication and critical thinking skills would be developed through
cultivating visual awareness and sensitivity to surroundings, creativity and
appreciation of art history and culture. Visual arts students would be trained to
develop competencies in traditional skills such as drawing. They would work
traditionally and experimentally with a range of organic medium such as clay
and paint. They would also be able to apply basic design skills using
technological applications.
(ii) Besides training in technique, students would be encouraged to develop their
individual style and would be guided to develop their own portfolios.

Graduating Requirements

15. The graduating requirements of the school should be set to ensure that options for
future progression (to pursue tertiary arts education, tertiary education in non-arts
related fields or to pursue a career in the arts) are as varied and wide-ranging as

16. At the end of the six-year pre-tertiary education, students would need to fulfil the
requirements of the IB Diploma Programme to graduate with an International
Baccalaureate Diploma. The IB programme is an internationally recognised pre-
university qualification for direct admission in prestigious institutions worldwide.
Good IB Diploma scores will allow for advanced placement in universities such as the
Harvard University. All Singapore universities accept the IB diploma as an entrance

17. In addition to the IB requirements, students would be required to undergo continuous
assessment of their learning outcomes in the arts. These assessments would
include students portfolios, performance / exhibition assignments, internships and
project work. The school would assess the feasibility of adopting external certification
systems (e.g. ABRSM) to provide an external dimension to its assessment system.


Chapter Six



School Model

1. The Committee recommends that the school adopts the independent school model.
The recommendation is made based on the key implications in funding structure,
relevant expertise and networks, and status of the school vis--vis the national
education system.

(a) An independent school, compared to an adjunct school, provides greater
autonomy in areas of school management, curriculum design, recruitment of
faculty and pedagogy. Such autonomy is clearly desirable as it allows the school
to fully commit its resources and expertise to fulfil its vision. Also, given that the
vision of the school and its ethos as set out by the Committee is fundamentally
distinct from existing schools in the mainstream education system, it would be
more desirable to adopt a school model that would allow greater leeway in
introducing new curriculum and innovative practices in education.

(b) The school would be recognised as an independent school by MOE and would be
aligned to the national education system. This would help ensure the permeability
between the school and mainstream schools to allow students to enter and exit at
designated points. The school would work with MOE to facilitate the lateral
permeability of students through formal arrangements with the mainstream
schools. The concept of an independent school model is relatively familiar to the
public and would be more easily accepted by parents.

(c) What is key in a vibrant arts learning culture is its ability to bring together students
with diverse artistic talents to create a sense of community enriched with cultural
interactions. The dichotomy of specialised arts students and non-specialised arts
students in the adjunct school model or the location of arts facilities in separate
venues may not be able to provide the interactive learning environment needed to
groom the young arts talents. A full-fledged arts school would best provide for a
total arts learning environment.

2. A diagram showing the map of Independent School viz. the existing education
landscape is at Annex J.

School Management

3. It is proposed that MITA assumes the responsibility as the overseeing Ministry
and would appoint a Board of Directors to manage the school. MITA has been
identified as the overseeing organisation to ensure that the direction taken by the
school is aligned with the overall arts and creative industries development initiative.
Moreover, MITA possesses relevant expertise and networks in the arts community and
creative industries to help the school forge linkages with the arts and related

4. As with other Independent Schools, the Committee notes that MOE would provide the
necessary teaching and administrative support which includes manpower support in
the secondment of teachers, development in the necessary administrative network and
relevant educational support.

School Facilities

5. The independent school can either construct a new building designed according to the
schools specifications or transform an existing building to meet its needs. Essentially,
the school building should be a physical reflection of the schools guiding principles
and resources should support the enhanced curriculum focus. It should be designed
to facilitate interactions among students and provide venues to exhibit artistic
achievements and innovations of the students. The school should be structured for
efficient and effective use of resources.

6. The school building should capitalise on the vibrancy and the arts infrastructure
already available within URAs designated Arts, Cultural, Learning and
Entertainment District. The school can draw synergy from sharing the facilities and
specialist teaching staff within the district with the arts community, and wider public.
The new Drama Centre co-located in the new NLB Building, the new NAFA, LASALLE-
SIA College of the Arts and SMU campuses are among the many facilities that will be
built in the Arts District. In addition, the Singapore Art Museum and other museums
are in the vicinity, along with many arts groups currently housed under NACs Arts
Housing Scheme. By plugging itself into the Arts District, the school will benefit from
the rich human, artistic and physical resources available, and will also enrich the
District with its student population. The Committee projected that the school to be
operational at its premises by Year 2007.

7. The schools academic infrastructure should meet the requirements of the IB diploma
programme. The key academic facilities include classrooms, science laboratories,
library and computer laboratories.

8. The schools arts infrastructure should provide the necessary support for the arts
curriculum. The arts facilities are to be purpose-built to the specifications required for
specialised arts training. The key arts facilities include theatre / auditorium, black box,
gallery, group and individual music studios, visual arts studios, photography dark
studios, dance studios with sprung floors, multi-disciplinary practical spaces and
recording studios.

9. Given the significance of technology in enhancing the academic and arts curriculum,
the school would invest in acquiring cutting-edge technologies for IT-enabled learning
and experimentation. However, investing in equipment and software is insufficient.
The school will have to ensure maximum exploitation of the technology available by
ensuring staff expertise and proper integration of technology throughout the

10. Where possible, the school should also have sports facilities to be utilised for the
students physical education (PE) lessons, co-curricular or recreational activities.

Student Enrolment

11. The estimated annual intake in the steady state would reach 200 and would
achieve a total enrolment of 1200 for the 6 years. The estimated breakdown of
students by art disciplines are 70 for Music, 70 for Visual Arts, 30 for Theatre and 30
for Dance for each year of enrolment.

12. The school would also admit foreign students to broaden the base of young
talents in the school. This mix of talents in the student population would provide a
stimulating environment where students challenge and inspire each other. Interactions
with students from different cultural backgrounds and nationalities would also enrich
the learning experience.

Class Size

13. The academic class size would be intentionally kept small to cater to the different
subject concentrations selected by the students. This would also facilitate teachers in
adopting new teaching styles that encourage integrated delivery and cross-disciplinary
studies. Small class size would also promote independent and exploratory learning.
Each class would be capped at a maximum of 25 students.

14. The arts class size would optimise the training experience of the students and would
be determined by the objectives of the course and the requirements of the arts
discipline. The arts class size would also factor in the degree of personal attention and
coaching required for talent grooming.

Admission Requirements

15. Admission into the school will be merit-based and emphasis will be given to the
artistic potential of the applicants. The school will determine the selection criteria
and the most appropriate selection process for each art discipline. A jury would
assess the applicants by auditions, portfolio assessments or entrance exams (e.g. art
studio entrance exam).

16. Recognising that the young students may not possess the experience and training
required for auditions or portfolio assessments, the school will develop its feeder
network and preparation programmes in collaboration with primary schools and private
arts education providers.

17. In addition to artistic potential, students are required to demonstrate basic academic
achievements based on PSLE examination results. The school will determine the
minimum academic qualification requirements for admission to ensure that the
students are able to cope with arts training and academic studies. The school will
consider setting up assistance schemes for needy students who meet the admission

18. The school will designate application periods to allow applicants to plan and prepare
for auditions. The school will have variable points of entry and exit that are appropriate
to both the schools and the mainstream curriculum structure. Students who choose
not to pursue a specialised arts education can opt to leave the school and re-enter a
mainstream school. Likewise, secondary students from mainstream schools can apply
and be admitted midstream if they fulfil entry requirements.

Teaching Staff

19. The single most important resource in the school would be its teaching staff. The
school would pay particular attention to the recruitment and retention of high
quality teachers both in the academic and arts faculties. The teaching staff would
be supported by MOE. Due to the integrative feature of the curriculum, the teaching
staff from the academic and arts faculties would have to work closely to support each
other in the delivery of this unique curricular programme.

Academic Faculty

20. Academic teachers must be experienced and qualified to teach but they should also
appreciate the unique transferability of arts skills and are able to integrate arts across
the curriculum with or without the assistance of the arts teachers.

21. Teachers involved in the IB diploma programme would have to attend the IBOs
teachers training workshops if they have no prior experience in teaching the IB
curriculum. In the initial years of establishment, leading up to IB authorisation, the
school may wish to hire an experienced IB diploma teacher to co-ordinate and manage
the development of the IB programme in the school.

Arts Faculty

22. The school is committed to acquire the expertise required for specialised arts training.
The arts faculty would comprise full-time qualified arts teachers complemented by an
adjunct part-time faculty of arts practitioners. The full-time arts faculty would be
encouraged to remain professionally active as this would help facilitate linkages to the
stakeholder communities and promote professional practices among its students.

23. Having practitioners teaching alongside would provide valuable insights to the leading
contemporary arts practices while introducing arts as a career to the students.
Practitioners would benefit from such employment opportunities without being tied
down to full-time employment in the school and the school may provide training
opportunities for practitioners who want to enter the arts education field. The arts
faculty would also welcome the development opportunities derived from working with
arts professionals.

24. The use of technical support professionals such as arts technicians, sound engineers
and lighting technicians would help support the schools productions and at the time,
provide insights into the backend process of productions.

Sustainability (Linkages with Community)

25. To ensure its sustainability in demand, financial resources and expertise in specialised
arts education, the school would need to develop sustainable and meaningful
partnerships with its key stakeholders. The school aims to be a committed and active
partner within its community. It will do so by sharing its resources and expertise with
mainstream schools and other stakeholders in the community such as arts
practitioners and arts groups, higher arts education institutions and business
organisations. The school would also have to establish an international network to
sustain and enhance its role. The school can tap into the international community for
advisors in arts and education. Hence, it must constantly look out for international
talent for its teachers, students, and governing board. As arts and culture are
dynamic and evolving, international networking will help ensure the school keeps at
the forefront of trends in arts and education.

26. The following are broad recommendations on the kind of linkages the school could
develop with its key stakeholders, while details of the partnerships will be left to the
implementing taskforce and the schools management.

Linkages with the education community

27. The school would develop the following linkages with the education community:

(a) Develop feeder schools network: The school would link up with primary schools
and private arts schools/teachers to help identify young arts talents and groom
them to enter the school. The school could assist by developing arts education
programmes with primary schools. Special courses could be conducted to prepare
interested students for auditions or portfolio assessments for application into the

(b) Establish formal links with higher arts institutions and IB schools: A possible
progression of the schools graduates is to enrol in tertiary arts institutes. The
school could help identify clear paths of progression by establishing formal links
with reputable local and foreign higher arts institutions. Such formal links could be
in the form of advanced placement in tertiary arts institutes which would allow
graduates of the school to bypass the foundation year and commence certain arts
courses at a higher level. Other examples of formal links which could be
established are collaborative performance/exhibition platforms, professional
development opportunities for the schools arts faculty or sharing of resources and
expertise. This network of schools could be extended to include IB schools. The
school could establish student exchange programmes in the area of arts and
academics with foreign IB schools.

(c) Promote arts education in mainstream schools: The school recognises that the
benefits of the dedicated arts facilities and the expertise of the arts faculty should
be extended to the external student community. The school could work with
interested schools on their arts education programmes or provide training
opportunities to external arts teachers. To further integrate into the fabric of the
local community, the school could also collaborate with mainstream schools on
community projects such as joint performances or exhibitions. A school
partnership system could be established to facilitate the linkages with mainstream
schools. Such a partnership programme between the arts school and the
mainstream schools is beneficial to participating schools. At the same time, the
arts school could play a role in developing educated and discerning future arts

(d) Leverage on existing platforms: The school would identify existing platforms and
collaborate with local organisations that are already involved in developing future
artists so as to prevent the duplication of resources. One example of such
organisation is the Singapore National Youth Orchestra with which the school
could explore the possibility of forming mutually benefiting partnership.

Linkages with the arts community

28. Establishing close relations with the arts community will provide access to a network of
arts expertise and resources while facilitating interaction between students and the
arts community.

(a) Professionals as part of the arts faculty: The use of arts professionals as adjunct
faculty members of the arts faculty would help the school manage breadth and
diversity in the arts curriculum without over-extending resources. Short-term artists
in residence and master classes could further enrich and intensify the specialised
arts training.

(b) Affiliation to arts companies: Another progression path of the schools graduates is
to enter the arts profession. By being associated with arts companies, the school
could provide career guidance with the assistance of arts companies. Arts
companies could also extend performance or attachments opportunities to the
students. Such platforms would allow the arts companies to identify and help
groom potential young artists.

29. The school would work with arts companies to formalise working arrangements on
sharing resources such as facilities usage, adjunct arts teachers and organisation of
master classes with visiting artists. The school could also explore the sharing of
facilities with existing arts schools and arts groups/companies within the school
premises for efficient use of resources and for promoting synergies among the
different key stakeholders.

Linkages with the private sector (e.g. creative industry)

30. Partnership relations with the private sector are usually on the basis of philanthropy
and public relations. The school should look at developing meaningful partnerships
beyond that. For example, the media and design industries could also contribute by
providing critical inputs into the curriculum. The school could arrange for companies in
the creative industry to provide career guidance to students who intend to enter the
creative profession.

31. The school could provide assistance in industry development, for example,
collaborating with industry players to provide part-time courses for establishing MVQs
(minimum vocational qualifications).

Linkages with parents & general public

32. The school could establish a not-for-profit organisation for alumni and friends.
Membership could be open to alumni of the school, faculty member, parents and
anyone who wishes to be a contributing member of the school. This organisation
could be involved in securing funding, establishing an endowment fund for
scholarships, programming of schools arts activities with the staff and communicating
with the alumni.

Chapter Seven



Funding & Budget

1. To develop a new school for the arts, the Committee proposed that government provides
for the total capital cost (excluding land cost) of $80m. This sum was based on
relative estimates from the capital cost for developing a new school in a central location,
to be equipped for academic and arts learning. This sum is also comparable to the
development costs of new city campuses of NAFA and LASALLE-SIA, as well as of other
independent schools.

2. The Committee further estimated an annual operating cost of $18m for the school in its
steady state. The annual operating cost is based on estimates of manpower costs,
including the recruitment of quality teachers, and the cost for developing a unique
curriculum and arts programmes.

3. The Committee estimated that the annual revenue for the school would include total
school fee revenue of $7.2m in its steady state, with enrolment of 1200 students. This
estimate is based on monthly school fees of $500 per local student, and the higher fees
of $1000 per foreign student. The Committee recommended that the implementation
committee should study the appropriate level of school fees further, and strongly urged
that scholarships be also made available to talented students who may need financial

4. The Committee noted the support extended by the government to the development and
operation of the Sports School. It also noted the support extended by the Ministry of
Education to independent schools. However, to better meet the estimated annual
operating cost of the Arts School, the Committee recommended that over and above the
Ministry of Education grants, the government provide a further operating subsidy. The
Committee also recommended that the school actively seek support from the private
sector and foundations. This would also ensure that the school forges strong links with a
wide range of stakeholders and help to build up a stronger base of arts patrons in

5. The funding obtained should be channelled into optimising the learning experiences of
the students. The Committee proposed that the priority in the allocation of budget
expenditure should be on enhancing the quality of software aspects of the school, e.g.
teaching faculty, instead of over-investment in state-of-the-art infrastructure.


6. In implementing the recommendations for the Arts School, the Committee recommends
that MITA establishes an implementation taskforce to include members with the
relevant expertise and know-how in education and the arts. This taskforce would
oversee the following:
(a) Appointment of the Architect/Design of the Proposed School
(b) Construction and Development Project of the Proposed School
(c) Design of the academic and arts curriculum
(d) Recruitment of key members of the staff
(e) Establishing strong linkages with a network of relevant arts groups and education
institutions in Singapore and overseas
(f) Establishing support from community and private sector
(g) Marketing and Public Communications of the Proposed School to the public

7. The Committee recommends that MITA recruit a Principal of the Arts School to be an
active member of the Implementation taskforce. As the public communication and
marketing of the school would be important in building public support and parents'
confidence in the school, the Committee recommends that MITA provide or recruit the
necessary communications personnel.

8. The Committee also recommends that MITA starts to identify the members for the
school's Board of Directors, and that these could comprise some of the members for the
implementation taskforce.


Annex A
List of Committee Members

Mr Lee Tzu Yang
Chairman, Shell Companies in Singapore
Council Member, National Arts Council

Deputy Chairman
Mr Lim Joo Hong
Senior Advisor, Singapore Computer Systems Ltd

Mr Khor Kok Wah
Director, Arts & Heritage Development, MITA

Ms Carmee Lim
Executive Director, The Academy of Principals

Mr Philip Ong
Deputy Director, Planning, MOE

Ms Carol Tan
Deputy CEO, National Arts Council

Dr Kelly Tang
Assistant Professor, Dept of Visual and Performing Arts
Nanyang Technological University

Mr Robert Tomlin
Vice Chairman, Asia UBS AG
Chairman, Singapore Repertory Theatre
Annex B
List of Organisations Consulted

The Committee held expert consultation sessions with the following organisations on the
desirability and feasibility of a pre-tertiary specialised arts school.

Academic Institutions in Singapore*
LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
Nanyang Technological University
National Institute of Education
National University of Singapore
Singapore Sports School

Foreign Tertiary Arts Institutes
Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK
The London Institute, UK

Foreign Pre-tertiary Arts Institutes
Fiorello H LaGuardia High School (aka the "Fame" School), New York, USA
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, California, USA
Arizona High School for the Arts, Arizona, USA
The High School for Performing and Visual Arts, Texas, USA
Marylebone Church of England School, London, UK
Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, Melbourne, Australia
Newtown High School of the Performing Arts, Sydney, Australia.

Arts Community*
I-Dance Central
Singapore Dance Theatre / Singapore Ballet Academy
Singapore Symphony Orchestra

Other Agencies
Economic Development Board, Education Services Clusters
International Baccalaureate Organisation, Asia Pacific Regional Office

*The Committee also held extensive focus group discussions with artists, arts teachers and
principals. Please see Annexes B.1.1 & E for more details.
Annex B.1.1
List of Consultations with Arts Community

Many members of the arts community were invited to give their views on a specialised
school for the arts. This includes individuals from the following companies/organisations in
the creative industries:

1. Ah Hock & Peng Yu
2. Art Management Associates
3. Arts Theatre of Singapore Limited
4. Clay Cove
5. Colour Me Mine
6. Dance Spectrum International
7. EasternWorld Holdings Private Limited
8. Gajah Gallery
9. Huqin Quartet
10. I-Dance Central
11. Immortal Design Station
12. Language Arts Educational Services
13. Muvee Technologies Private Limited
14. Nrityalaya Aesthetics Society / Bhaskars Arts Academy
15. PERKAMUS (Association of Malay Singers, Composers & Professional Musicians)
16. Philbeat Studio
17. Philips Design Singapore
18. Practice Performing Arts Centre Limited
19. Recording Industry Association (Singapore)
20. Singapore Chinese Instrumental Music Association
21. Singapore Dance Theatre / Singapore Ballet Academy
22. Singapore Drama Educators Association
23. Singapore Indian Orchestra & Choir
24. Singapore Life Art Society
25. Singapore Symphony Orchestra
26. Singapore Youth Orchestra
27. Six Planes & Partners
28. Southeast Asia Art Association
29. Sun Yu Li Sculptures
30. Tang Quartet
31. Teater Artistik
32. The Arts Fission Company
33. The Necessary Stage Limited
34. The Substation Limited
35. WORK
36. Young Peoples Performing Arts Ensemble Limited

Annex C
Creative Industries Development

Economic Contributions of the Creative Cluster

In Singapore, the creative cluster contributed 3.2% to the GDP in 2000. The cluster has
been growing at 14% from 1986 to 2000, surpassing the 10.5% growth of the overall
In 2003, the creative industries were recognised in the Economic Review
Committee Report as one of three new and promising service areas to promote. The
development of the Creative Industries would:
(i) Serve as a strategic enabler to differentiate our products and services through
design, branding and marketing;
(ii) Grow Singapores economy by tapping on the burgeoning global demand for
creative, leisure and entertainment goods and services
(iii) Contribute towards Singapores vibrancy and buzz, reinforcing our position as a
global hub for talent and enterprises.

Creative Industries Development Strategy

The Creative Industries Development Strategy comprises the following 3 initiatives:

(a) Renaissance City 2.0 Initiative: Focused on developing the Arts and Culture industries,
encompassing photography, visual arts and antiques industry, contemporary & recording
music industry, performing arts and theatres. The Renaissance City 2.0 Initiative will
continue the work of the initial Renaissance City Plan in growing Singapore's arts and
cultural base of audience and talents, while developing new programmes to support the
arts and cultural industries and to seek greater collaborative and partnership
opportunities between arts, business and technology.

(b) DesignSingapore Initiative: Focused on developing the design industries, encompassing
software design, advertising, architecture, interior design, graphic and visual
communications design, industrial and product design, fashion. The DesignSingapore

Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade & industry (2003).
1. 4%
Software, Architecture, Advertising,
Interior Design, Graphic Design,
Industrial Design, Fashion
Publishing, TV & Radio,
Digital Media, Film & Video
Arts & Culture
Photgraphy, Performing Arts,
Visual Arts, Art & Antiques Trade,
Figure 1. %GDP contribution of the Creative Industries, by Sector (2001)
Initiative looks to better integrating design in Singapore businesses, seeding the
development of unique designs from Singapore through research and prototyping,
promoting a pervasive design culture and nurturing an integrated design cluster of
education institutions, expertise and enterprises. As the Initiative also aims to position
Singapore as a gateway for creative design in Asia, it will seek to raise the level of
international design activities in Singapore and to promote Singapore design and
designers overseas.

(c) Media21 Initiative: Focused on developing the Media Industries, encompassing
publishing/print media, TV & radio, digital media, film/cinema and video. The Media21
Blueprint aims to establish Singapore as Asia's media marketplace and financing hub,
while growing the media products and projects by Singapore for the global market.

Annex D
Tertiary Programmes in Arts, Media & Design

O Programme is available
(*) NTU's School of Design and Media, slated to open in 2005
(#) NUS is reviewing the readiness of LASALLE-SIA and NAFA to issue NUS degrees for visual arts
Diploma Degree Programme

O Art (Teaching) NAFA
O O (*) Multimedia Art LASALLE-SIA
O Education with Art specialisation NIE/NTU
O Education with Art Specialisation, Art Education NIE/NTU
O Theatre Studies (major) NUS
O Drama (Technical Arts) LASALLE-SIA
O Education with Drama and Performance specialisation NIE
O Piano Pedagogy LASALLE-SIA
O Music (Contemporary Music) LASALLE-SIA
O Music (Music Technology) LASALLE-SIA
O Music (Teaching) NAFA
O O Education with Music specialisation NIE
O Diploma in Music Education NIE
O Arts Management LASALLE-SIA
O Arts Management (Performing Arts)/ Arts & Events Management NAFA, TP
O O Fashion Design LASALLE-SIA, NAFA
O Diploma in Fashion/Apparel Merchandising and Marketing NAFA, TP
Industrial & Product Design
O (*) Product and Industrial Design TP
O O Industrial Design NYP, NUS
O Product & Interface Design LASALLE-SIA
Interior Design & Architecture
O O Interior Design/ Interior Architecture & Design LASALLE-SIA, NAFA, SP,
O Architecture/Architectural Design SP
Visual Communication Design
O (*) Graphic Design LASALLE-SIA, NAFA
O (*) Communication Design/ Visual Communication LASALLE-SIA, NAFA, TP
O O (*) Multimedia.Interactive/Digital Design NAFA, TP, NYP
O (*) Film, Sound and Video NP
O O Mass Communication/ Media and Communication NP, SP, NTU
O Media Management TP
O Information and Communication Management NUS

Annex E
Focus Group Findings


The Committee consulted key stakeholders on their insights, concerns and
recommendations for its study on the desirability and feasibility of a pre-tertiary specialised
arts school.

A series of 14 focus group discussions involving the following key groups of stakeholders
was held.
3 Student Groups (Primary, Secondary, Junior College, Arts Colleges)
2 Parent Groups (Children in Primary and Secondary Schools, and Junior College)
5 Arts Community Groups (Dance, Theatre, Visual Arts and Music)
3 Arts Education Community (Arts Teachers of AEP/MEP, Arts Colleges and Private Arts
education providers, Principals)
1 Creative Industries Group (Design, Media and Arts Industry)

Current Education System

There was general agreement that the current options for pre-tertiary arts education /training
were limited in nurturing young arts talents. The reason for such a feedback was that the
current options for pre-tertiary arts education in mainstream schools were not positioned as
platforms for arts training for the artistically talented. Rather, these options were offered to
provide a more balanced education to students with an interest in the arts.

The key limitations of the current arts education programmes conducted in mainstream
schools include insufficient focus on practical/performance training, inadequate curriculum
time dedicated to arts learning, narrow scale/scope of arts disciplines offered in schools and
more critically, the lack of a seamless and viable development pathway of young artistic
talents. Hence, some students were not able to receive the complete support required to
reach their full artistic potential. The need to address the inadequacies of the existing
education system for specialised arts training and the current conflicts between artistic and
academic demands on the students surfaced repeatedly during the focus groups

Desirability of proposed specialised arts school

Some felt that the setting up of a specialised arts school would send a strong signal to the
public that the government was committed to recognising interests and talents in the arts,
and was taking steps to help develop the local artistic talents.

The proposed school was deemed desirable to most as they felt that such a school would
provide local development opportunities for those highly-talented in the arts. The school
would be able to provide more dedicated and intensive pre-tertiary training in the arts. The
presence of such a school would also create a cumulative effect resulting in an increase in
quality of entrants to tertiary arts and arts-related programmes and indirectly contributing to
the overall development in the arts and creative industries.

A school dedicated to the arts could also provide the total arts learning environment needed
to nurture young artistic talents. Students would be able to learn from and be inspired by
their peers and teachers who share similar passion in the arts. Such a school could also
appropriately prepare aspiring young artists for careers in the arts

Feasibility of proposed specialised arts school

Options for tertiary education in arts or non-arts related fields must be made available to
graduates of the proposed arts school. Hence, there was agreement that the school should
provide a good academic grounding for its students.

The school should provide permeability to allow students to opt out of the school if they want
to rejoin mainstream education. Likewise, students from mainstream schools should be able
to enrol in the school midstream if they demonstrate talent in the arts.

Many emphasised the need for a flexible, modular curriculum that would optimise the
different talents and interests of the students without over-stretching them. Such a
curriculum would also allow students to better balance the demands of their academic
studies and their artistic pursuits.

To further enhance specialised arts training, many recommended that arts theory, arts
history and humanities be incorporated into the arts curriculum. Cross-disciplinary learning
was also recommended to stimulate creative innovation. The other features highlighted that
would make the school feasible in Singapores context were high quality arts faculty and
small class size.

Possible challenges

To establish and operate a specialised arts school would require a large amount of funding
given that the training of an arts professional was both time-consuming and costly. Long-
term sustainability in funding was a key concern among many. There were calls to leverage
upon existing resources and expertise and not to duplicate efforts.

Some raised concerns about the availability of qualified local arts teachers to teach in the
proposed arts school.

The government must continue to help develop a conducive ecosystem for arts and
creativity to flourish so as to ensure the long-term sustainability and relevance of the
proposed arts school. The overall effort in fostering the arts and creative industries was
highlighted as an important factor for its impact on the career prospects of young arts
talents. In particular, arts education in mainstream schools should continue with its efforts
towards developing future arts audiences. The school might also face the challenge of
attracting young arts talents to the school if the feeder pool was not further developed.

Another key challenge for the school was to change the negative mindset of parents and
public towards arts education and a career in the arts.


The feedback revealed that many saw the need to establish a pre-tertiary specialised arts
school for the young arts talents in Singapore. However, many raised practical concerns on
the setting up of such a school. For instance, public misconceptions of the arts, limited
promotion of the arts in mainstream schools and funding.

The Committee reviewed the feedback obtained from the focus group sessions and has
addressed the concerns raised in relevant parts of this report.

Annex F
Survey Findings


Conducted between January and February 2004, the quantitative survey provided strong
justifications for the setting up of the proposed specialised arts school. The survey targeted
parents of Pri 5 & Pri 6 students who excelled in the arts. It was conducted with assistance
from MOE.

There was a common sentiment that the current education system did not adequately
provide a foundation for students to fully develop their talent in the arts or pursue a career in
the arts (>50% of respondents).

44% of the respondents (or about 528 parents) were receptive to sending their child to the
proposed school. Of these12% indicated they would definitely send their child to the school.
The main reason for parents willing to send their children to the proposed school is the
opportunity it afforded to further their talents and interest in the arts. Affordability and career
prospects were also key factors of consideration.

While parents desired specialised arts training, a higher focus on arts training resulting in
less time allocated for academic education was relatively undesirable. The parents
surveyed also favoured the International Baccalaureate over the Cambridge examination
system. A majority indicated their preference for a flexible, modular curriculum and most
expressed liking for incorporating industry exposure within the arts curriculum.

1 in 6 parents was reluctant to send his/her child to the proposed school. Key barriers were
general lack of interest from the child, a preference for academic qualifications, and a
perceived lack of career prospects.

The top three factors influencing parents decision to enrol their children in the proposed
school were:
a. Quality of teachers
b. School fees; &
c. Ratio of time allocation for arts and academic subjects.

Sample Profile

Targeting parents of Pri 5 & Pri 6 students who excelled in the arts, the sample consisted of
1200 completed questionnaires collected from 52 mainstream primary schools and 6 private

Table 1 Sample Profile

Frequency counts Percentage of total
Mainstream schools 1131 94%
Private arts schools 69 6%
Base = All respondents (N = 1200)

A majority of the selected students were in the stream of EM1 and EM2. They were mostly
involved in music or dance activities.

Chart 1 Type of arts activities or arts-related CCA that child is
involved in (in school and/or outside school)

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
Visual Arts

Current Education System

More than half (56%) of the parents felt that the current education system was not providing
their children with adequate grounding to fully develop their talent in the arts.

Chart 2 Do you think the current education system is giving your child/
students adequate grounding to fully develop their talent in the arts?
Yes No Don't know

Survey Sample
Primary Schools, as shortlisted by the Ministry of Education to have demonstrated strengths in the arts, were invited to
participate in the survey along with some private arts schools. Each school was requested to select 20-30 students who
excelled in arts and/or arts-related CCAs and distribute the questionnaires to the students for self-completion by their parents.
Similarly, 62% of the parents believe that the current education system does not prepare
aspiring students for a possible career in the arts.

Chart 3 Do you think the current education system has done enough to prepare
aspiring students to pursue a possible professional arts career later?
Yes No Don't know

Demand for Arts School

7 in 10 parents indicated they would encourage or allow their children to continue with their
arts education or arts-related activities after primary school.

Chart 4 Extent to which parents would encourage/allow their child to pursue arts
education in secondary school.

0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40%
Very likely
Quite likely
Neither likely nor unlikely
Quite unlikely
Very unlikely

Through the survey, parents were asked to indicate whether they would send their child to a
specialised arts school. 44% of the parents surveyed were receptive to the idea. While 4 in
10 parents remained undecided.

Chart 5 Likelihood of sending child to the proposed specialised arts school
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
Definitely would not send
Probably would not send
Might or might not send
Probably would send
Definitely would send

Base: All respondents (N = 1200)

Desired Features of the School

To test the relative importance and desirability of the main attributes of the proposed
specialised arts school (as identified through an earlier qualitative survey), a framework of
conjoint analysis was used in the survey questionnaire. Parents were allowed to evaluate a
range of features that the proposed school could offer and were then asked to make
judgements to determine their most preferred school model.

Parents placed the highest importance on the quality of arts faculty (almost 5 times as
important as the next most important feature school fees) as a key factor influencing their
decision to send their child to a specialised arts school.

Chart 6 Level of importance of possible features of proposed specialised arts school

0.00 20.00 40.00 60.00 80.00 100.00
Academic Qualifications
Arts Curriculum Objectives
Academic Class Size
Time allocated for arts vs. academic subjects
School fees (non-boarding)
Arts Faculty (Quality of Teachers)

* Note: The higher the score, the more important the factor is to the respondent
The findings of the conjoint analysis also revealed the following combination of features as
was most desired by parents:

Table 2 Top Ideal specialised arts school

Features Choice
Quality of teachers:
Arts teachers with both strong
teaching and industry experience
Academic qualifications: International Baccalaureate Diploma
School fee (non-boarding): $200
Time allocated for arts vs. academic
50% arts training : 50% academic
Arts curriculum objectives: Provide specialised arts training
Academic class size: 15 20 students


Annex G
Overseas Arts Schools

Schools Visited

The Committee visited the following schools:
Fiorello H LaGuardia High School (aka the "Fame" School), New York, USA
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, California, USA
Arizona High School for the Arts, Arizona, USA
The High School for Performing and Visual Arts, Texas, USA
Marylebone Church of England School, London, UK
Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, Melbourne, Australia
Newtown High School of the Performing Arts, Sydney, Australia.

Common Features Observed

The following are some common features of the school:
Focus on both academic and artistic excellence
Highly competitive entrance criteria by academic merit and audition (total enrolment
sizes vary between 300-2400)
Graduating qualifications for university entrance, majority to leading universities and
conservatories for both arts and non-arts degrees
Full state funding, supplemented by private donations (especially in USA)
Highly close links with the arts community for teaching resources and
collaborative/performance opportunities

Note on Asian case studies

Although the Committee did not get a chance to visit any schools in Asia, it conducted desk
research on such schools in Japan, Korea and Thailand (national arts school for young
talents). They are largely state schools similar in structure to the American, Australian and
UK schools, with the exception that Asian traditional art forms are also integrated into the
curriculum. Hong Kong is planning to open its High School for Art, Media and Design in
2005. The school will be funded by the HK government.

Description School Structure/Model

USA, New York
Fiorello H LaGuardia High School (aka "Fame" School)

It is the first independent, public-
funded high school for the arts in New
York. In additional to academic
students, the school offers a
programme for the visual and
performing arts. Today, the school is
the leading high school particularly for
the performing arts in USA. Its
graduates gain admission into top
arts institutions (e.g. Julliard School,
Berklee School of Music) and
academic universities (e.g. Harvard,
Yale). Its alumni have excelled in
virtually every in the arts, sciences,
public service and other professions.

4-year High School(ages 14-17),
with University advanced
placement programme

Full academic and arts curriculum

Size of 2400 (40% visual arts,
60% performing arts)

Admission by academic merit and
competitive audition (13,000
Teaching staff of 90 academic staff
and 65 arts staff

State funding of
US$7000/student/year, with private

Close partnership with performing
arts centres and arts companies
USA, California
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts
Started in 1985, the school is a free,
public high school providing
specialised instruction in dance,
music, theatre and visual arts. The
school has also developed new
programmes in film, musical theatre
and animation. Its graduates are
recruited and receive scholarships
from the leading art institutes in USA
and the world.

4-year High School (ages 14-17),
with University advanced
placement programme

Full academic and arts curriculum

Enrolment Size of 540, with ethnic

Admission by academic merit and
competitive audition

Located on the California State
University Campus, with shared

State funding of
US$5,500/student/year, with
Foundation linked to the School
(approx US$1m/year)

Strong support from parents local
arts community

USA, Arizona
Arizona School for the Arts
The ASA, a downtown Phoenix
charter high school started in 1995, is
envisioned as a high achieving,
academic school intended for
students who wanted to work with
professional artists as part of the core
school experience.

7-year Middle and High School
(Age 11-17), with University
advanced placement programme

Full academic curriculum. Arts
curriculum concentrates on
performing arts.

Enrolment size of 350

Admission by academic merit

20 academic staff, 38 arts staff (on
service contract)

State funding of
US$5,000/student/year with private
donations and other grants.

USA, Texas
The High School for the Performing & Visual Arts
Started in 1971 to meet the special
needs of young people who are both
gifted artists and scholastic high
achievers. It is a public-funded school
for specialised training in the arts
(first outside New York) for aspiring
4-year High School (Age 14-17),
with University advanced
placement programme

Full academic and arts curriculum
State funding of
US$3,600/student/year, with
private donations and strong
alumni support

young artists. 40% of its graduates
are admitted to top conservatories
and art institutes, and 60% pursue
other academic areas.

Enrolment size of 650

Admission by academic merit and
competitive audition

Close links with arts community

UK, London
St Marylebone Church of England School
The school is a specialist arts college
for girls, under the UK Specialist
School Scheme, a scheme providing
the option & resources for schools to
make the transformation from a
mainstream school to one offering
specialisation. The school is the most
successful specialist school for the
arts under this scheme, where its
students have shown the greatest
improvement in results following the
6-year programme (Age 12-18),
leading to A-levels

Full academic curriculum where
the arts is integrated in all aspects
of teaching/learning, and with a
strong emphasis on performing
arts. Wide exposure and training
in the arts are provided.

Size of 800, from inner city
Admission by academic merit only
(no arts audition as students may
enter without any arts

Funding as per mainstream
schools, with additional state
funding of GBP100,000, and raises

Extensive workshops and classes
with arts community
Australia, Melbourne
Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School
Founded in 1978, the school is part of
the Victorian University's College of
the Arts. It combines a specialised
training programme in the arts and
general academic education to
prepare talented young people in
music and dance. The school
emphasizes academic excellence,
with a high percentage of its
graduates continuing their higher
education in music, dance or drama.

6-year School (Age 13-18),
leading to the Victorian Certificate
of Education (equivalent to A-
levels or IB) in music/dance and
other subjects.

Full academic and arts (minus
visual arts) curriculum

Size 300 (120 applicants for 50/60
places a year).
Admission is highly competitive

25 full-time faculty, leveraging on
university faculty and visiting artists
for additional teaching.
Co-located with the Victorian
College of the Arts

Full direct state funding (i.e. not the
Sydney, Australia
Newtown High School of the Performing Arts
Founded in 1990 through the merging
of 2 small high schools, it is the first
government school in NSW to offer a
continuous academic and arts
programme. The starting point is not
to produce artists for the arts industry,
but to provide an education through
the arts.
6-year High School (age 13-18),
leading to the Higher School
Certificate (equivalent to A-levels
or IB)

Full arts and academic curriculum,
with accreditation of
dance/drama/music courses for
university entrance

Enrolment size of 800 (160
applicants for 120 places)
Admission through audition and

Full state funding

Close links with national and
international arts groups
Asian School Case Studies
Hong Kong
Hong Kong School of Arts, Media and Design

The Hong Kong Institute of
Contemporary Culture Limited
(HKICC), as a sponsoring body, plans
to set up and operate a senior
secondary school as a learning
community that puts creativity at the
heart of its education process.

4-year Senior Secondary
Programme (Age 16-19)

Broad-based liberal arts
curriculum with examinable
subjects by the Hong Kong
Examination Authority. Non-
examinable subjects cover the
Arts, Design and Media.

Projected enrolment size of 900.

A projected number of teaching
staff required is 32.

In additional to full-time teaching
staff, the School will engage part
time teachers and creative industry
professionals as guest lecturers.

Under the direct subsidy scheme,
the School will receive subsidy
from the government as well as
school fees from students.

Kyoto City Dohda Senior High School of Arts
Founded in 1880, the school caters
mainly to local students from the
Kyoto city area.
3-year programme (Age 16-18)

Visual arts curriculum includes
Japanese painting, western art,
sculpting, fashion art, etc.

Enrolment size of 330.
Admission by recommendation or
by entrance exam.
School receives state funding.
Akita Municipal Junior College of Art and Craft
Akita Municipal Junior College of Art
and Craft has an affiliated high school
that its graduates can advance to
after their 2 years study at the junior
college. Works by its students have
been shortlisted and nominated for
many arts festivals and prestigious
3 year programme (Age 13-15)

The school has 2 departments
Department of Handicrafts
(woodwork , oil painting, drawing
and ceramics) and Department of
Industrial Design (Production
design, audio and visual design,
environmental design)

Enrolment size of 150
Admission by recommendation or
by entrance exam.
Department of Handicrafts 12
Department of Industrial Design
29 professors

The school provides internship
programmes and overseas
research programmes for
outstanding students.

Information obtained from The Hong Kong School of Arts, Media and Design School Plan (October 2001).
Annex H
Considerations for Arts Curriculum

Based on the following criteria, the Committee has recommended that the school will offer
training in four art disciplines Music, Theatre, Dance and Visual Arts.

(a) Basic arts training. The school would focus on the basic core art forms to ensure
that students aged 13-18 are equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills for
future artistic development. This is to ensure that the students stand in good stead
for progression into tertiary arts education or arts profession upon graduation.

(b) Crucial to have early training. In art forms where early intensive training is
crucial for development, there exists a relatively greater conflict between academic
and arts education. Such art forms (e.g. music, dance) require students to undergo
intensive training when young to develop their full potential.

(c) Leverage on Singapores strengths. The initial selection of art forms should
capitalise on Singapores current strengths. Strategic review of Singapores
potential in the arts, building upon and raising the standards in art forms and
creative industries in which Singapore already has reasonable success, should be
made subsequently. Singapores unique position at the confluence of east and
west should also be considered in finetuning the arts curriculum.

(d) Demand. The proposed school should consider this criterion to finetune its future
arts curriculum. With time, demand trends are likely to be apparent to the schools

The following table broadly summaries the selection of art disciplines to be offered in the


Art Forms
s Strengths
Music (vocal /
choral, band /

Dance (ballet,

Visual Arts
To be
considered in
finetuning of
the arts
Current arts
education is
an indication.
Note: Language arts could be taken as part of language training in the academic
curriculum, as it is considered to be part of exposure to literature and writing skills.

Annex I
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme

Established in 1968, the IB Diploma Programme is a 2-year pre-university course of study.
It was developed as a deliberate compromise between the specialisation required in some
national systems and the breadth preferred in others, without bias towards any particular
national systems. IB students are accepted by universities in more than 100 countries.

The development of the Diploma Programme was based on three fundamental principles:
the need for a broad general education, establishing the basic knowledge and critical
thinking skills necessary for further study
the importance of developing international understanding and citizenship for a more
peaceful, productive future
the need for flexibility of choice among the subjects to be studied, within a balanced
framework, so that the students options could correspond as far as possible to their
particular interests and capacities.

The overall aims of the programme are to:
provide an internationally qualification for entry into higher education
promote international understanding
educate the whole person, emphasising intellectually, personal, emotional and social
develop inquiry and thinking skills, and the capacity to reflect upon and to evaluate
actions critically.

The Diploma Programme Curriculum Model

The IB Diploma Programme hexagon model depicts 6 academic areas and the core
elements of the programme (Theory of Knowledge, the extended essay and creativity,
action, service).

Schools Guide to The Diploma Programme, International Baccalaureate Organisation, obtained from the IBO public website
Students study six subjects from the six subject groups:
Group 1 Language A1: first language, including the study of selections of world
Group 2 Language A2: second modern language courses for various levels of
proficiency; classical languages
Group 3 Individuals and societies: history, geography, economics, philosophy,
psychology, social and cultural anthropology, business and management, information
technology in a global society, history
Group 4 Experimental sciences: biology, chemistry, physics, environmental systems,
design technology
Group 5 Mathematics and computer science: mathematics, mathematics methods,
mathematics studies, further mathematics, computer science
Group 6 The arts: visual arts, music, theatre arts

Students also have to fulfil the three additional core requirements.

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is an interdisciplinary requirement intended to stimulate critical
reflection on knowledge and experience gained. Each student is required to submit one
essay between 1,200 and 1,600 words, from a list of 10 titles prescribed by the IB
Organisation for each examination session.

The extended essay requires students to undertake original research of their own interest
and write an extended essay of 4,000 words. Students may choose to write on a topic in
one of the 22 subjects or write on a subject that is not included in the diploma course.

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) allows students to develop greater awareness of
themselves and concern for others, as well as the ability to work cooperatively with other
people. Students are expected to be involved in CAS activities for at least 3 4 hours each
week during the 2 years of the programme.


Students sit for examinations at the end of the 2-year course of study. An essential element
of IB assessment is that standards are the same worldwide. Examiners are trained to
assess work from an agreed framework using common IBO mark schemes.

Four-year Art or Music Elective Programme starting
from Secondary One, leading to the O-level Art or
Music examination
Depending on the availability of trained teachers,
students may opt to sit for Art or Music at O-levels
starting from Secondary Three.
Selected Secondary Schools
(Art or Music Elective Centres)
Other Secondary Schools
GCE O-level Examinations
Junior College (inc. selected JC
Art or Music Elective Centres)
A-level or equivalent Qualifications (e.g. IB)
Universities: Local and Foreign
Three-year visual
or performing arts
Diploma at

Two-year Art or Music Elective, and
Theatre Studies Programme at selected
JCs, leading to A-level and S-level
equivalent examinations
Design or Media-
related Diploma
at NYP, NP, TP
and SP

Arts School

Sports School

NUS High
School for
Science and

AGE 16
AGE 12

Annex J
Arts School and Map of Education landscape
Lateral Progression possible Progression to Higher Education

Students with interest
and/or talent in the Arts