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Choices: How Should I Go About Selecting The Best Primary School For My Child?

As we enter a new season, a new beginning with our child – Primary School, parents may be faced with the huge responsibility to make many right decisions. Selecting the Primary School most suitable for our child is vital in ensuring that our child gets a good start to their education journey in Singapore. Primary School years are also especially important because they make up the foundation and are the building blocks to our child’s learning. There are many many factors to consider when selecting the most suitable Primary School for your child, so let’s try to break them down into three huge categories: Environment, Comfort and Needs.

The Environment For My Child

We want to be putting our child in an environment that suits them the best, but there are just too many factors in the Primary School environment to consider. And sometimes, you won’t know if you like the environment until after you have been in it as well. Nevertheless, we can still pick out 4 main factors to consider.

Gender Preference: Do we want our child to be in a mixed school or a single gender school?

Some parents have concerns that putting them in a mixed school will make them distracted and possibly lead to them getting into relationships too early. But on the other hand, wouldn’t putting your child in a single gender school not prepare them well for their future interactions with the opposite gender? It is entirely up to your principles and priorities; make a wise decision for this one!

Culture: What kind of school culture do we want the child to be in?

Every Primary School has a different motto and vision. Do you want your child to be in a school that focuses on integrity, or in a school that emphasises on holistic development?. The learning environment in schools is driven by their core values, so you might want to research the school’s history and principles before deciding as well.

Religion: Do we want our child to learn more about religion in school?

Religion might play a huge part in your family, and thus you might want your child to attend a Primary School with religion in play as well. Religious schools commonly hold religious activities like devotions, praying and even worshipping during mass assemblies. It aims to inculcate the idea and importance of the particular religion in children’s day to day learning.

Status: Does the prestige of the school matter?

This is quite a controversial point but very very true in our society today. Being in an ‘elite’ school might place unnecessary pressures on our child, but yet make our child feel more confident and motivated to do well. But yet again, being in a less-known neighbourhood school might be a more enjoyable experience for your child but would your child start slacking then? Every child is different, and your decision on this should be based on your child’s character and personality. It shouldn’t be based on what parents primarily want, because after all, it is your child’s education journey.

The Comfort Of My Child

Moving on, factors that we should also consider as parents would be the comfort of our child in their new Primary School. Be it the amount of time they get to sleep each day, the clothes they have to wear or the activities they get to participate in – we want to be making sure that our children get as much of their preferences checked as possible!

Distance From Home: Do we want to enrol our child in a Primary School nearby our home or we don’t really mind a Primary School further away?

Some may say that a nearby Primary School benefits the family a lot. You can wake up later each day to prepare to go to school, as well as travel less which saves on travelling costs. Children might even be able to walk to their Primary School and back with their parents as a form of exercise! However, some feel that other factors matter way more than the distance of the Primary School from their home, thus this consideration could be unimportant.

Type of Uniform: Does my child like the uniform?

If you feel proud of what you are wearing, it most likely makes you look forward to whatever you do wearing it! Some students feel motivated to go to school when they put on their very ‘smart’ or ‘cool’ looking uniform, whereas some… don’t really think it makes a difference.

Available Activities: Is my child particularly interested in a programme that he/she wants to continue doing in Primary School?

Every school has a different set of enrichment programmes and Co-Curricular Activities (CCA) for sports, arts or music. If your child is keen on a particular CCA and would like to pursue it in Primary School, then you might want to consider enrolling your child in a Primary School which has it! Else, you are free to decide for this one.

The Needs Of My Child

Lastly, we need to consider the needs of our child. By needs, we mean in terms of their learning capabilities. For this it’s mainly just 2 factors: languages learnt in school and if applicable, any Special Educational Needs (SEN).

Languages

It is important to be able to study a Mother Tongue Language (MTL) as it will help your child better communicate in their own MTL. They will also then grow to appreciate their ancestors’ histories and understand more about the culture of communities around the world. Not all schools offer the official MTLs in the national curriculum (Chinese, Malay and Tamil), so be sure to check out which Primary Schools offer the MTL for your child!

Special Educational Needs

If your child has special educational needs, do consider choosing a school that caters to their learning needs. Putting them in a standard Primary School might not be the best idea! This is so that they get the full help they need and their education journey will be more pleasurable and fun as it would tailored to them!

With the above mentioned factors in consideration, you may utilise a very useful tool called SchoolFinder to help you choose a suitable school for your child!

Ultimately, it is important to communicate with your child during this decision making period. Though they might be young, their little opinions should also be a part of your consideration. FamilyTutor hopes that your child enters a desirable Primary School and wishes your family the smoothest P1 Registration ever!

By the way, the ‘Simply Advice’ series conveniently gives you information that is useful any day any time. It aims to shed some light on pertinent topics and provide you with the best advice!

Zoe

Zoe

Zoe is an undergraduate student in Singapore who loves thinking deeply and translating them into writing. She hopes her reflective opinions and sound advice weaved into relevant articles will be useful for you in one way or another!

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