Sports School students do well in the O levels

Brian Cheong is the Singapore Sports School's top student-athlete, with a score of nine points for six subjects in last year's O levels.
Brian Cheong is the Singapore Sports School's top student-athlete, with a score of nine points for six subjects in last year's O levels.PHOTO: SINGAPORE SPORTS SCHOOL

All 42 students pass five or more subjects in 2015 exams, bettering national average

Students at the Singapore Sports School (SSP) have done it proud with an above-average pass rate in last year's O-level examinations.

Results released on Monday saw all 42 students who took the exams passing five or more subjects, compared with the national average of 83.8 per cent.

The school's pass rate for at least five subjects also improved on the 87.8 per cent it attained in 2014.

Of last year's batch, 97.6 per cent qualified for junior college or the Millennia Institute, which offers a three-year A-level programme, up from 80.5 per cent the year before.

And 100 per cent were eligible for the polytechnic route, an improvement from 95.1 per cent previously.

SSP principal Tan Teck Hock said the school's results were testament to how it helps its students and "leaves no one behind".

The school keeps track of students' performance in their studies and sport, and steps in when they need help. "If they fall behind in whichever area, all the staff - teachers and coaches - will help bring them up to par, whether it is to restore some motivation or resolve other issues," said Mr Tan.

Fencer Brian Cheong emerged as SSP's top student-athlete, with a score of nine points for six subjects.

"When I saw the results, I was quite surprised. I didn't expect a single digit, I thought I would get 12 or 13 points," said the 16-year-old.

In the past few years, he has been struggling with Type 1 diabetes, a condition which arises when the pancreas does not make insulin.

He was diagnosed with it in 2013 and his studies were disrupted as he had to be in hospital for about a week, but the school helped him catch up with extra classes, he said.

He had to take daily injections and was out of action from training sessions for almost a month.

"When I first came back, it was quite tough to get back the momentum because I was weak, got tired very easily and had lost about 10kg," said the son of a housewife and an insurance manager.

His coach helped to create a special programme for him to get back in shape, said Brian, who scored As in English language, mathematics, additional mathematics, biology and chemistry.

The effort paid off. Last year, he won an individual silver medal in the National Inter-School Fencing Championships.

He has a place in Meridian Junior College and now trains with Z Fencing International Academy.

The four-year O-level route is one of the three programmes offered by the SSP. The other two are a customised sports management diploma programme offered together with Republic Polytechnic and the International Baccalaureate diploma.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2016, with the headline 'Sports School students do well in the O levels'. Print Edition | Subscribe