There are 182 primary schools and 154 secondary schools in Singapore, and choosing the right school for your child is hardly the stuff dreams are made of. For many people, even their housing decisions are based on ‘top’ schools.
Before you pick that right school, it is important to remember that there is no magic formula. Here are some reminders:
- The Ministry of Education (MOE) does not endorse any ‘top 10 primary schools’ list: That’s right, you might have come across many such lists on various forums (based on PSLE results etc), but fact is, there is no top 10 or top 20 list, at least not publicly.
- Small fish in big pond or big fish in small pond? : Supposing you were to enrol your child in a top primary school, would he be able to perform on par with other high scoring children? What if he does not? Would he be able to embrace his shortcomings or would it leave him with low self-esteem? Is is important to evaluate your child, and consider these factors first.
- Focus on the school’s environment and activities: Rather than judging a school based on PSLE score, you might do well to check if it offers the programmes and activities your child shows aptitude in. The parent support group of the school may be a good place to voice your concerns about the kind of environment the school offers.
- Location matters: It really makes no sense for the poor child to spend a good part of the day journeying to and from school, having little or no energy for studies later on.
- No, you can’t ‘buy’ a place in a school through donations.
School Picker app to find the right school in Singapore
With so much at stake, it might be nerve-wracking to find the right school in Singapore, but the friendly folk at Data.gov.sg have created SchoolPicker.sg, a cool new app which makes the whole process a breeze.
The app has been developed using data on government schools, and is super simple to use:
- Start off with entering the 1) school level (primary/secondary etc), 2) your address, and 3) CCAs and other programmes you are interested in. You may can also refine your search based on more options like special needs schools etc…
- Once you click “done”, you will be shown a shortlist based on your answers. Schools within 1km and 2km radii are highlighted in blue, a factor that is especially useful in primary school admissions.
Click on ‘Details’ under any school in the list on the left side, or on the map, to see more details such as how to get there, and the full list of CCAs and subjects offered by that school. You can view the school’s achievements in youth festivals and competitions.
In case of secondary schools, you can also view the PSLE score cut off for Express and Normal (Academic and Technical) streams in that school.
To shortlist any school, just click on “Bookmark” in the left panel.
Once you have shortlisted enough schools, you can click on the “Bookmark” button at the top right of the screen to see the list and to compare the schools further.
Wasn’t that simple and extremely useful? Over time, the team aims to provide more comprehensive info like student care services offered, and we are certainly looking forward to that!
Meanwhile, the MOE has just released the list of vacancies available in primary schools after Phase 1, so do check it out.
(Source: Data.gov.sg, The Straits Times)
Also READ: What you must know about Singapore Primary 1 Registration 2017!