Northlight School

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NorthLight School
151 Towner Road, Singapore 327830
Type Government
Motto A Living And Learning Community
Founded January 2007 (New one at January 2015)
Gender Coeducational
Age range 13-19
Enrolment 850 (2015[1])

NorthLight School (Chinese: 北烁学校) is a secondary school located in Balestier Road Singapore that was established by the Ministry of Education (MOE) for students with difficulties handling the mainstream curriculum in the country. The school started its operations formally in January 2007 to assist students at risk of dropping out of school. Admission to the school is based on at least two failed attempts at the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE). The school also accepts those who have yet to complete secondary education.[2]


NorthLight School was established in March 2006 and opened to students the following year. Previously, students who failed the PSLE would enter technical schools, later called Vocational Training Centres (VTCs), for secondary education. However, the attrition was alarmingly high. In 2005, the drop-out rate was 60% and only half of the remaining 40% entered Institute of Technical Education (ITE). Because the minimum entry age for VTCs was fourteen, there was two-year lag between the primary and secondary stages. In response to the problem, the Ministry of Education proposed to open a school to meet the needs of these students who would otherwise be forced to leave school. The Geylang Serai Vocation Training Centre was absorbed into NorthLight.[3]


Northlight has two old campuses situated in Singapore: Campus 1 at Dunman Road and Campus 2 at Jalan Ubi. The two campuses differ mainly in the curricula offered: Campus 1 provides the three-year enhanced vocational programme while Campus 2 provides the existing two-year program Institute of Technical Education Skills Certificate (ISC) Course.[2] The new Campus is at 151 Towner Road, Singapore 327830


The curriculum draws its inspirations from the Life Learning Academy in San Francisco. The curriculum, primarily vocational, emphasises on developing emotional strength and instilling life-skills in the students. The curriculum includes a wide range of vocational options. In addition, there is a 10-week-long industrial attachment to ensure the relevance of the skills picked up at school to real time employment needs. There is a Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) programme to cater to the needs of students beyond the academics. The school has full-time, in-house counsellors to assist students troubled by social and emotional challenges.


Fees for courses range from $90 to $205 per semester depending on the course level and nationality of the applicant.[4]

Financial assistance[edit]

Financial assistance available to students includes:

  • the Community Development Council and Citizen's Consultative Committee-Institute of Technical Education Bursary scheme. The bursary, administered by the Citizen's Consultative Committee, is open to Singapore citizens only. The annual bursary ranges between $600 to $800 depending on the gross domestic household income of the applicant which is not expected to exceed $1500.[5]
  • the Northlight Special Student Assistance Scheme, administered by the school, serves as an emergency scheme to see students through to the completion of their training.[4]
  • the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund provides relief to students from families with per capita income of less than $450. Applications, administered by the National Council of Social Services, are open to Singapore citizens and permanent residents only. The monthly disbursement is $80 for applicants from secondary schools.[citation needed]

Student awards[edit]

The Good Progress Award, valued at $150, is given to the top 10% of students who show commendable improvement in their studies. The Edusave Awards for Achievement, Good Leadership and Service (EAGLES), valued at $150, are given to students in recognition of their excellence in non-academic areas.[4][6]


Admission Fees :
Admission Requirements:

  1. ^ "Principal happy that NorthLight is students' 'second home'". The Straits Times. 10 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Admission Requirements". NorthLight School. 
  3. ^ "Helping Students Stay in School" (Press release). Ministry of Education. 2006-03-08. 
  4. ^ a b c "Admission: Fees". NorthLight School. 
  5. ^ "Admission: Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries". Institute of Technical Education. 
  6. ^ "Edusave Scheme: Funds, Grants and Awards". Ministry of Education. 

External links[edit]