Which primary school are you registering your child for next year? This is a conversation I often have with parents two years before their children qualify for primary school.
Some have already done their due diligence in their research for CCAs, school culture and even the traffic routes from their home to school. Others are more laid-back with a come-what-may attitude. Whichever primary school you choose to place your child in, here are some criteria for you to consider.
1. Entry level Accessibility
Are you an alumna of the school of choice. If you are, then it is an easy access to the school as you will have priority status (phase 2B). If you are not alumni but you wish to be in the priority phase, here are a couple of ways to get your foot in the door.
a) Volunteer at the school – although many schools now limit their volunteer pool or are more picky about the quality of service their chosen volunteers can offer them. The time commitment here varies depending on the scope of work the school needs. It is the research and preparation time to submit your proposal to be a school volunteer that takes the bulk of the time and brainpower.
b) Volunteer with the Group Representation Constituency (GRC) in the district that your school of choice is in. They will issue you a letter of recommendation to submit to the school during the registration period. You will need to volunteer for two years.
2. School Culture
Do you want a more academic school for your child or one that is well-rounded? Do you want a mixed-gender school or an all-girls or boys school? Do you want one with a strong Chinese culture or one where the Mandarin is not so prominent? A good way to find out about the culture of the school is to ask friends with kids in that school or observe the students in a social setting.
The distance between school and home is something to consider. If the school is close to home, your child has more time to rest. Also, you may be more inclined to be a parent volunteer in the school. The proximity will also help build a social circle for your child as he/she will bound to run into school/classmates at the neighborhood hangouts or in enrichment centers.
Another factor to consider if you have two or more children. Can you place them in the same school or do you want to repeat the registration process? How will you coordinate the drop-off and pick-up schedule if your kids are in different schools? Your answers to the questions will help you narrow your school choice.
5. Your Child’s Learning Aptitude
This may be the most important factor to consider. Every child has a unique set of learning aptitude. Some are advanced, others are late-bloomers. Some have the focus and concentration to sit for long periods of time, others need lots of opportunities to move – a movement that some teachers may describe as “fidgety”. Our local education system is primed for kids who are visual and auditory learners. For kids whose primary learning style is kinesthetic, they can overcome the challenge with more revision and practice time. [Learn more about your child’s learning style here.]
Do you agree with our list of criteria? What other criteria did you consider before deciding on a primary school for your child. Please share with Us in the comments below. We will also love for you to connect with Us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Till our next post, love yourself, love one another.