Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Primary School Registration

After reading and hearing so much ravings about primary one registration, we are finally part of registration process this year. It is going to be a new milestone for Pei Pei, and it is also a new milestone for us as parents.

DaDi's primary school is closed down while mine is a distance away from our place. As a full-time-working-mum, I treasure the weekend time with family so I didn't sign up as parent volunteers (ok I admit that I am actually lazy). We do not have any form of affiliation with the primary schools. So we can only register in Phase 2C. (What is "Phase this and that"? Please refer to Ministry of Education's website.)

Initially, we hoped to register our children with the primary school that is a stone throw away (School A). There is a covered walkway that links our block to the school's back gate. This saves time and expense on travelling. Distance is one of the factors in our consideration. Oh, we didn't buy the house because of that school, I wasn't even aware that there was a school nearby when we bought this house! 

But well, so close yet so far.

School A is a very popular school. Even parent volunteers / active community leaders have to ballot  during Phase 2B. So our chance to get a place in Phase 2C is very slim. Friends who know me for a long time would know that I don't have luck in lucky draws.

Of course, you may say, just give it a try. But the problem is, if we don't get balloted, by Phase 2C Supplementary, the next school that is close to our place (School B) may not have a vacancy! Then we have to travel further!

Other than distance, another consideration is the availability of student care centre in the school or near the school. This is essential for us as we are working, and we don't have any help to look after the children after school. I went to visit the student care centre at School B, the supervisor informed me that the priority is given to low income families and those families that are facing difficulties (e.g. single-parent families). Then I went to visit the student care centre just next to School B, it is on first-come-first-serve basis. 

Another consideration in choosing the primary school for my children is, whether the school suits them. As we hope both children study in the same school for convenience sake, we have to consider both of their personalities and interests, though we are registering for the elder one now. I just hope that through primary school education, my children will become confident individuals with good character and have a love for learning.

While I was very tempted to give it a try to ballot for School A, to get an experience of heart attack during the balloting process and hopefully miracle happens, recently the temptation was reduced after I read some parent forum. Ok, again I am too lazy, as some parents would have read the forum at least one year before registration. Parents from School A discuss things like PSLE results, tuition centres and enrichment classes, comparison between results of different classes, and some parents even expressed that they were worried as a teacher was new and "could not produce results". On the other hand, parents from School B mainly share information about administrative matters, and some share that the principal is very nice.

So it seems that for School A, though it is just a stone throw away, we may have to give it a miss.

What are your considerations in choosing primary school for your children?

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  1. we share the same considerations as you - distance, availability of student care service on-site, suitability of the school for the children (we are registering for our eldest, but we have three kids in all, so it is a major decision that will last for quite a long time!). we also consider the values espoused by the school management and teachers. =)

    1. Carol, good point on the values of the school management and teachers!


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