10 steps to primary 1


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10 steps to primary 1

  1. 1. 10 steps to primary 1 10 factors to consider in your search for the ideal school
  2. 2. WHERE'S THAT REPORT CARD? Other than your child's birth certificate and both parents' identity cards, an immunisation certificate is also required, so check that your child has taken all the required shots (for diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pertussis, poliomyelitis, rubella, tetanus and tuberculosis). To check your child's immunisation records, log on to the Health Promotion Board's National Immunisation Registry website at www.nir.hpb.gov.sg and click on "Check Immunisation".
  3. 3. DO YOU WANT TO WAKE UP AT 5 AM? Other than time and transport costs, there are many benefits to choosing a school close to home. Alice Lee-Tok, family education expert and counsellor, says that despite parents' best intentions, sending a child to a top school at the other end of the island isn't a good idea. Primary school, she notes, is a six- year journey and a tired child is more prone to experiencing behavioural problems in the future. “You won't see the impact immediately as a Primary I child is happy to go with what mum and dad want. But when the co- curricular activities and extra lessons start in Primary 3, a tired child is more likely to exhibit behavioural problems," she says. A school close to home, she adds, also allows the child to remain in his or her "neighbourhood". She adds: "He's in familiar surroundings, lots of other kids around attend the same school and he won't have to wake up at 5.30am."
  4. 4. LOOK BEYOND BRAND NAMES It may not be the most popular establishment, but a regular neighbourhood school may give your child a chance to shine, as opposed to being mediocre in a school filled with high achievers. While parents are not wrong in wanting the best for their children, Alice, family education expert and counsellor says a school that allows a child to shine does more for his or her self-esteem than having to compete to be top of the class. On the flip side, financial analyst Jenn Lim, 35, says she hesitated to enrol her two daughters in a top primary school. She and her husband both preferred a regular school where their girls would enjoy learning without the additional stress. However, with the elite school being the only one within walking distance from home, it didn't make sense to send the girls to a faraway neighbourhood school. In their time at this school, Jenn's daughters' teachers piled on so much pressure that it made them fear attending classes. She even sent a complaint when one teacher made her then-Primary 2 child complete 10 drafts of corrections for a composition. While Jenn agrees that the school does have good and understanding teachers, she adds that the experience that year showed that not all teachers in a good school are good.
  5. 5. DOES THE TEACHING STYLE SUIT YOUR CHILD A mismatch of a child's learning style and the school's teaching or even discipline methods could lead to stress and even a phobia of school.
  6. 6. NURTURE OTHER INTERESTS If your child loves dance, why not enrol her in a school that will allow her to do that? Look beyond the academic and match your child's interests and strengths to a school that will enhance her love of learning. To find out which schools specialise in what areas, read the press release at www.moe.gov.sg/media/press/2008/04/programme-for-schoolbased-exce.php for more details.
  7. 7. DO YOU NEED STUDENT CARE? If you need Before and After School Care (BASC), schools that offer such services within its grounds are a bonus, as they make it easier for children to head to and return from CCAs. For a comprehensive list of student care centres islandwide, log on to www.mcys.gov.sg and search under "Directory of Family & Community Services".
  8. 8. DOES YOUR CHILD HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS? Since 2005, the Ministry of Education has deployed a pool of Special Needs Officers (SNO) to mainstream schools to support students with Dyslexia and mild Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). For a list of schools, log on to www.moe.gov.sg/education/
  9. 9. CHECK THE STATS No matter how much you'd like your child to get into a particular school, if you're living beyond 2km and they've balloted within 1km for the last three years, it's really not a realistic choice. Check past statistics from the school of your choice, or call them to confirm the actual distance between your home and the school. Knowing the school's balloting history will help give you a better idea of where your child stands. If you know that the chances are slim, start looking elsewhere.
  10. 10. HAVE A BACKUP PLAN It helps to have a second, even third-choice school that you're comfortable with and really won't mind your child attending, says Sybil Koh, 34, a personal assistant, whose son started Primary rat Tao Nan School this year. As she knew there would be balloting even within 1km for the very popular school, she was realistic about the odds and didn't pin her hopes too high. She looked around for alternative choices that were further away but still within reasonable distance, and chose schools she knew her son would be able to secure a place in during Phase 2C Supplementary. That's the right attitude, says counsellor Alice. "The disappointment some parents express when their child doesn't get into the school of their choice sends the message to their kids that they're not good enough because they didn't get into a top school."
  11. 11. MAKE THIS YOUR HOME PAGE Log on to http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/admissions/ and bookmark this page. A one-stop service portal, it provides all the essential information you'll need - from registration dates to documents required and lists of niche CCAs and schools for special needs students. The website is also updated throughout the Primary 1 registration process, providing figures on the number of places taken up in each school at the end of each phase, as well as day-to-day updates on the number of children who have registered during the phase and the schools that will be conducting a ballot.
  12. 12. Reference: • Young Parents (SPH Magazines Pte Ltd)