Primary one registration for classes in 2013 will begin in July. Parents will have to start preparing their kids for the next six years of education. Read on for tips on finding the right school to fit your child.
Children born between 2 Jan 2006 and 1 Jan 2007 will be eligible to register for the 2013 class come 3 July. All primary schools will be open for registration from 8 to 11am and from 2.30 to 4.30pm from Mondays to Fridays during the registration period.
A new addition will be introduced in 2012. The MOE will implement the Primary One Internet System (P1-IS) in 42 primary schools during Phase 2C and Phase 2C Supplementary only. The P1-IS serves as an alternate channel to facilitate the registration of children during Phase 2C and Phase 2C Supplementary in these 42 schools. To register online via the P1-IS, both parents’ SingPass are required.
About the exercise
The annual registration exercise is divided into seven phases each with different registration periods and eligibility criteria.
Phase 1 (3 – 4 July): For a child who has a sibling studying in a school of choice.
Phase 2A1 (6 July): For a child whose parent is a former student of the school or is a member of the School Management Committee.
Phase 2A2 (12 – 13 July): For a child whose parent of sibling has studied in the school of choice, or whose parent is a staff member.
Phase 2B (19 – 20 July): For a child whose parent has joined the school as a parent volunteer or is an active community leader.
Phase 2C (30 – 31 July, 1 Aug): For all children who are eligible for primary one in the following year and are not yet registered in a school.
Phase 2C Supplementary (14 – 15 Aug): For a child who is not yet registered after 2C.
Phase 3 (30 Aug): For a child who is neither a Singaporean Citizen nor a Singapore Permanent Resident.
Choosing the right fit
There are two major pieces that need to fit together for the next six years: the child and the school. Parents need to understand the needs of their children and place them alongside the values and characteristics of the school of choice.
Each primary school has its strengths and weaknesses. Parents should take note on what they are looking for in a school.
1. Academically strong
Parents looking for schools that have an exceptional focus on academics should look towards schools like Nanyang Primary, St. Hilda’s Primary and Raffles Girls Primary.
2. Affiliated Schools
If an easier guarantee to secondary school is a factor, consider schools like St. Stephen’s or CHIJ primary schools that have affiliations that last as far as Junior College.
3. Strong in sports
If a child is talented in sports, take a look at schools like SJI Junior or ACS Junior with strong sports programs dedicated to grooming young talents.
4. Character development
Some schools have a focus on developing character and moral values, for instance Yishun Primary’s motto and vision reads: To do our best & be the best.
5. Miscellanous reasons
Proximity from home, strong uniform group programs, religious focus, innovative teaching methods and a wide range of facilities could also be key reasons to choose a school.
The next important piece of the puzzle is the child. Parents have to understand the needs of their children before choosing a school. It would be a huge mistake if a parent sent his or her child to a school that a child feels uncomfortable in. Parents must take into account not only the character of the child but also the family. Is the child a slow learner? Is the child comfortable in single gender or mixed groups? Is the value system of the school in tandem with the family’s values or religion?
The primary school exercise can be an exhausting, nerve-racking process, especially with the deadlines, phases and the variety of schools across the nation. But if parents manage to make the two pieces (the child and the school) fit, then this short term period of stress would be worth the six years of comfortable, quality education for the child.