5 Useful Tips for When You’re Deciding the Right Primary School for Your Child.

Tuition Finder

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They grow up fast don’t they? Your kid is crossing yet another very important threshold of his or her life, and probably one of the more important decisions parents have to make in theirs. For many local parents, choosing a primary school is marks a pivotal but daunting period in this journey for quality education.

This brings a whole new level of stress for parents entering their children the right primary school. Studying in Singapore allows our future generation to have quality and first class education. So technically, or rather it is a fact that there is no such thing as a “bad” primary school, however there are suitable and unsuitable choices for the child and parents needs and consideration.

No longer the days where choosing a school was an easier process. Therefore, being knowledgeable, prepare by investigating deeper into your child’s devolvement for the future by planning their education path for success, is more than necessary. Primary education is the foundation for your child’s continued studies into adolescent, teen, and adulthood. So the foundation, should be coming from a strong, stable, education system that is best suited for your kid.

It is clear that not all primary schools are equal or have the same offerings, and there are some which are considered the top dogs as they are significantly above others in array of aspects. Hence, it can be a difficult chore to compare your choices as a whole in general.
Not all parents want the same options for their children and not all children have the same needs or interests compared to their fellow to be P1 peers. But every parent has a common goal, that is to give their child the best education possible.

So after further research, we at Tuition Finder SG have gathered 5 top useful factors to use for your consideration, hopefully making decision process a tad bit easier.

Distance and travel needed back and forth. This by far has been the longest standing, and one of the top criteria for most of the parents (especially in Singapore), be it 10 or 20 years ago, this factor has been strongly rooted and it is not just for the mere fact of convenience sakes and we will explain more in detailed why. A parent who posted on allstuffsingapore.com has experienced this with his own child, and mentions that if your child requires a school bus which is common in Singapore, then the pick-up time is usually at 6 am, so the further the school, the pick-up time could go back as early as 5:30 am. These early hours are very tough on kids, as the lacking of sleep at night will affect your child’s concentration. It also affects your child’s immunity, and this makes kids these days are prone to catching viruses going around. Be sweet and thoughtful for your kid, because she or he on top of waking up early to arrive to school way earlier, they have to sometimes wait up to another 30 or 45 mins before assembly starts. So as many sees it, the school being further away is going to be a waste of valuable time.

Do think further ahead for your kids, by around P5/P6, as then they would start to take public transport. Finding a school that is just a few bus stops away could reduce transport costs, including help them get home easier after their compulsory supplementary classes, and of course not forgetting CCAs. Considering an easier travel route for your kids is good, as this can lessen the roads they have to travel and cross ensuring their daily safety. Bus fares do increase every few years, so the earlier you get them independent enough to travel to school (that is easily accessible for them) would be beneficial for the parents (who are working) and the child, this helps by eliminating a lot of the unnecessary stress when you keep the school as close to home as possible, to cut down traveling time. For working parents who drive their children to school, you won’t have to be worried about being stuck in traffic if you are dropping off/ picking up your kid.
Utilize Singapore’s Land Authority’s One Map School Query Service, or visit MoE’s listing of schools by area.

  1. Mother Tongue Languages/Focuses
In Singapore, being a strong bilingual individual is a huge advantage when seeking employment. In this case it is never too early to think ahead, and this is not being “Kiasu”! Associate professor Lionel Wee from the English department at NUS states,"… In fact, it is safe to assume that English has become the mother tongue for most,” it is therefore only a numbered amount of Singaporeans who are effectively bilingual. One who has strong proficiency in two languages will have an edge in the job market, as 2nd languages are used in sectors such as banking, law, teaching, accountancy, public relations and tourism. We just cannot emphasize enough, how useful of a skill it is to have a good mother tongue background.
But let’s talk now, there are certain schools focus on forging strong cultural bonds between students and their mother tongue language (MTL). Special Assisted Plan (SAP) primary schools offers Higher Mother Tongue (HMT) from P1. Usually HMT is offered to skilled students after P4 in other schools, therefore in SAP schools both English and Chinese are offered as 1st languages. Do note that Malay is offered by all EXCEPT SAP primary schools. And for Tamil, it is offered by most schools, however it is always good to confirm with your school of choice. Inquire and check out from the school’s management about their Mother Tongue options offered.

  1. Building upon your child’s interests through schools CCAs.
At the age of 6 years old, the parent would have a better understanding and idea of their child’s interests and capabilities. Is your kid naturally interested in music or arts? Or maybe they have a huge curiosity towards tech and sciences. Does she or he have the flare for numbers or passion for being active outdoors or in the water? As a parent you have to sit down and seriously consider your child’s nonacademic interests. Why? Because as an adult you are better qualified to choose the primary school that focuses on growing these talents through their non-curricular programmes that goes beyond what is learnt from just in the classrooms. Your child will be thankful as it will give an extra boost for going to school long hours and daily not only to just study. it will play a huge role in their lives as it foster friendships with others, and also instills other character values.

Fostering these talents could make them skillfully talented in other areas outside the academic realm. MOE always actively encourages schools to specialize in various non- curricular programs, so school in Singapore often use their grants to hire or train staff to build up their niches for activities that includes:

The arts, performing arts; dance or singing.
Sports such as swimming, hockey, rugby.

Aesthetics: Music, cultural training and calligraphy.

Character development such as outdoor rugged activities

Infocomm: Multimedia, robotics

Also new teaching approaches and pedagogies such as human dynamics.

A parent should do their research and ask their school managers near you to get a better understanding on what additional programmes they offer to enrich their students’ lives, and make an informative decision if it matches your child’s needs best.

  1. Level of Autonomy and Secondary School Affiliations.
This is a good starting point for parents to get some understanding of the different types of schools.

We have your government schools, where they are fully funded by the Singapore government and they strictly follow all the rules given by MOE.

Then there’s government-aided schools, which has largely funded from the Singapore government, while the remainder is supplemented from private sources such as fund-raising activity. Majority of these form a part pf a group of schools that covers from primary, to JC and also up to tertiary education. These schools maintain a certain level of autonomy over how they operate. For example, they are allowed to choose to offer class sizes that are different from those recommended by MOE. There are parents who prefer these schools due to their affiliation to a certain brand of education and their flexibility.

  1. Mixed (co-ed) schools vs Single sex schools
There are parents who feel strongly and have strong opinions about this.
If you have a mix of boys and girls, do consider choosing a mixed school. Some parents watch their kids form stronger bonds by going to same school together. Watching their kids share tidbits of what went on in school during dinner times. Siblings could always help and support each other in time of needs, especially during homework, this benefits the kids and parents. Having have both female and male kids, bringing them to (Co-ed) school offers lesser of a hassle as they would only need to go through the Primary 1 registration just once for their kids, since both brothers and sisters will be attending the same school.

There are parents who prefer single sex schools, perhaps a traditional local parent who has only one daughter, just might feel more comfortable with such, as they are treated uniformly across the entire school. Some do believe that single-sex schools allow they boys and girls to really focus and perform better in their studies.

Tuition Finder


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Well, everything here are indeed important in choosing the right school for our younger kids. Personally, I consider the location first , the teachings conducted and see if my kid will be comfortable in the said school.