It is the time of the year again, where many parents with a K2 child, has to make one of the most important decision for their children: Which Primary School should I choose for my child? Most of us have been there. Even a few years before our children turns 7, some of us are already planning which primary school to enrol our children into (Well, being Singaporean, it is in our blood to be a little kiasu).
It will be the beginning of a whole new series of stress and indecisiveness. I have put together few of the most important factors that is highly recommended to consider when it comes to choosing a good and most suitable Primary School for your child.
1. Distance from your home to preferred primary school
This is a common factor that all parents must consider when it comes to choosing a primary school. Whether if the future primary school of your child is far or near to where you are staying, makes a big impact throughout the 6 years of your child’s primary education journey. A shorter distance from your home means shorter travelling time, lower transportation costs, and your child will also have more time to rest or do something productive.
If you have close proximity to the primary school you are enrolling into, you will also stand a slightly higher chance in the balloting exercise. Usually, primary school will prioritize students staying within a kilometre from the school.
If you are planning to send your child to school before heading for work, you will also not have to worry about being stuck in a traffic due to the shorter commute. When your child gets old enough to travel to school alone, you will also feel more at ease as he or she does not have to travel so far alone.
2. School Affiliation
There are some primary schools that have associations with certain secondary schools, which will give your child priority for admission after PSLE. Simply saying, your child can continue his education journey at the affiliated secondary school as long as your child meet the school’s minimum PSLE score and indicate that secondary school as his or her first choice.
Parents should also consider this factor when planning ahead. This will increase the chances of admission into these secondary school. However, please take note that priority does not guarantee admission, and it is subject to the availability as well.
To find out more about the respective primary schools and their affiliated secondary schools , you can refer to this recent news article.
3. Parent Volunteer Scheme
This scheme will give P1 registration priority to parents who have volunteered their effort and time in a primary school. The guidelines provided by Ministry of Education require parents to contributed at 40 hours of service in their school of choice at least a year before their child’s primary 1 registration. However, schools do have the freedom to decide on how they want to run their respective parent volunteer schemes.
For instance, Nanyang Primary School requires the parents to volunteer a minimum of 80 hours and parents have to submit their curriculum vitae on areas where they can volunteer in. Parents who are shortlisted will also be interviewed before they are selected for the scheme. There are a wide range of activities that parents can volunteer in, from traffic wardens to librarians in the school.
This scheme is rather popular among parents, as those who are not able to get Primary 1 registration priority due to not being an alumnus or not having an older child in a particular school, are able to use this scheme to increase the chances of securing a place for their children in that primary school.
Parents who have satisfied the volunteering requirements in the primary schools will be given priority to register in the Phase 2B of the P1 registration exercise. This scheme is open to all parents whose children are Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents. Due to the overwhelming applications, priority will be given to citizens living nearer to the school. Check out the volunteering requirements on the primary school website, and enquire them on the application process.
4. Get to know the culture of the school
When it comes to choosing a primary school for your child, it is important to consider many factors including the awards and the type of CCAs they have. Different primary schools also have different culture. Open houses of the primary school is a great way for you and your child to know a little more about the school, especially when it comes to environment, culture and other academic & psychological factors. You are also able to meet the teachers, current students and principals or managing staffs in a more informal setting.
Take the times to speak to them. It will be ideal to talk to students there, and ask if they enjoy school, and what might be the things that make them enjoy school.
You can speak to the teachers and ask things such as the kind of classroom environment they strive to create. Also, do look out for the interactions of teachers and current students. All these small factors will be essential in getting to know the school’s environment more. You can also try socialising with other parents. You may be able to pick up advices to help you make the choice for your child.
I hope that this article has helped you to understand more about the factors that will contribute in making your choice of primary school. At the end of the day, all these factors will affect your child’s primary education indirectly. Make the best choice for your child today!