Singapore Expats Forum

local schools

Discuss various schooling options for your children here.
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 09 Dec 2008 6:55 pm

smayrhofer,

My daughter was also a CHIJ girl (Toa Payoh). And yes, even then there were few non-locals there (I believe only one other in my daughters cohort) She's been finished around 6 years now but she was back there recently and says that there a lot more there now.

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Postby quidsin » Tue, 09 Dec 2008 7:31 pm

I sent my son to a local school for about 6 weeks and found it to be very regimented and old school style teaching. I also caught his teacher grabing him by the arm and pulling him qite agressively when dropping him off one morning but she never saw me in the corner looking on and boy did she get the rap from me as did the principle. That said, i hear they are still allowed to beat kids in school here, is that true ?

I since moved my son to an Int schoolin, although expensive (we are paying) he absolutely loves it and we don't regret pulling him out of a class of zombie kids into a learning environment where he and other kids are encourage to express their feelings. Yes it is expensive but there are some things in life, such as your kids education, which are worth paying the price for.

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Postby lynn13 » Tue, 09 Dec 2008 10:00 pm

Neighbourhood schools are normally built in satellite towns such as Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Yishun, etc for the convenience of the residents nearby. Hence the schools' names are associated with the area, like Ang Mo Kio Primary, Yishun Primary, etc.

But though Raffles Institution is in Bishan, it is not a neighbourhood school. It was moved there years ago.

Secondary school students who cannot get into the good schools or schools of their choices are been sent to school near their home, the neighbourhood schools. That is why I suggest not to go to a local school if your children are in the secondary level, because you will probably not be able to secure a place in a good secondary schools as they are always very full. Even returning Singaporeans like me has problems trying to get the children back in, especially in the upper secondary.
Some of the top secondary schools are Raffles Institution, Raffles Girls' School, Singapore Chinese Girls' School, ACS Independent, St Joseph Institute, Methodist Girls' School, CHIJ, etc.

Neighbourhood Primary schools have improved tremendously over the years. In order to compete with the popular schools, they try to carve out a niche area for themselves. One school will try to excel in robotics, another in arts, and so on. You will need to go through the schools' websites and look at their strengths.

Some of the popular primary schools are Nanyang Primary, ACS Junior, ACS Primary, SJI Junior, Raffles Girls' Primary, Methodist Girls' School, Catholic Primary, CHIJ, St Nicholas, etc.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 09 Dec 2008 10:34 pm

quidsin wrote:I since moved my son to an Int schoolin, although expensive (we are paying) he absolutely loves it and we don't regret pulling him out of a class of zombie kids into a learning environment where he and other kids are encourage to express their feelings. Yes it is expensive but there are some things in life, such as your kids education, which are worth paying the price for.


Hopefully he will blossom. But not like Michael Fay and his Honky friend did. (Both got their non-zombie educations in International Schools). I think he was taking a Liberal Arts course. :P

And yes, I believe a whack with the cane may still be acceptable (thank goodness). That's why you don't have children here threatening their parents with being thrown in jail like back in the US currently where almost a whole generation are totally out of control. But to each his own. One lives with their mistakes and/or achievements. The peer pressures are what I always worried about (the negative ones like spray painting cars and drugs). I'd rather have mine in an environment where all were concerned with education. Fortunately, the local schools have changed considerably in the last 10 years. The rote learning system is taking a back seat towards a more rounded education and the newer facilities are as good as any I've seen in any of the International Schools.

However, at the end of it all, the child's education and ability to integrate is the key to everything. If you child wasn't able to integrate into a mixed environment there is no way the child would be happy and conducive to learning. You probably made the right decision as a lot would have depended on the attitudes the child receives in his home environment as well. As long as the child is comfortable I think that's what counts the most as a relaxed child is more attentive and receptive.

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Adjustments

Postby Iridium08 » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 8:00 am

I think the only reasonable options are the schools that take international students as a function of decision (e.g. SJI). Period.

These schools offer the best combo of local and international in Singapore (from a Singaporean POV). The highest "ranked" local schools in Singapore are quite brutal. They do not have as great an international reputation as they think they have nor are their students necessarily "advantaged" outside of Singapore.

Even if your kids were pre-SAP in pre-school and ideal for the P1 entry, I would steer you clear of schools that are not open to international scrutiny.

The funny thing is this: Singapore just does not realise what it is doing to its kids. At uni and beyond, they underperform by a wild margin. If the MOE truly understood this, they would completely revamp the system and rethink the idea of schooling and education.

Yes, there are pockets of hope but the system and the rewards/standards imposed by a society weaned on an even more brutish schooling system make reform near impossible or at best incremental.

Good Luck!

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Postby road.not.taken » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 8:36 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:But not like Michael Fay and his Honky friend did. (Both got their non-zombie educations in International Schools). I think he was taking a Liberal Arts course. :P


First of all, there was no 'Liberal Arts' course offered to Michael Fay. Second, he was expelled from his International School, so obviously the school saw him for what he was -- a troublemaker. Thirdly, that was in 1994, ancient history. Let's see what are we one now... Fourthly, his school has graduated over 3000 students since then.

If anyone really wants to know who is attending any International School, I suggest you go onto their wikipedia site and look in the Notable Alumni section and not get regurgitated sensational information from the biased posters here.

SMS, since we're in Singapore do you call that thing on your shoulder a crisp or is it still a chip? :D C'mon. Michael Fay? What a cheap shot.

Find the right school for your child, your family and your circumstances and don't worry whether it's a local school or an International School. The lines are getting blurred, and really what does it matter?

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Postby cbavasi » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 8:52 am

I'm really tired of people always equating an International School education with an "expat package". We are on a local package - have been for almost 5 years and we make adjustments in other areas in order to send our child to an International School. This is what works for us. There are pros with local schools, there are pros with International Schools - go and visit the ones of interest and find what works best for you and your family.

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Postby road.not.taken » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 9:26 am

Exactly cbavasi, well done. =D>

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 9:55 am

road.not.taken wrote:First of all, there was no 'Liberal Arts' course offered to Michael Fay. Second, he was expelled from his International School, so obviously the school saw him for what he was -- a troublemaker.

SMS, since we're in Singapore do you call that thing on your shoulder a crisp or is it still a chip? :D C'mon. Michael Fay? What a cheap shot.


Guess the razz smilie was totally wasted on you as well as the reference to "Liberal Arts" and the liberal usage of paint by Michael. :roll:

I will admit, I do those things just to bait you cause you bite every time. :P

Sometimes you cannot see the forest for the trees and if you had bothered to read my post for content instead of targets......
.....nevermind, what was I thinking! #-o

something about leopards and spots occurred to me just now.....

:lol:

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Postby smayrhofer » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 4:21 pm

pakjohn wrote:Compared to Atlanta Schools Singapore must have been quite an adjustment. I'm from Atlanta, my kids went to private school till after Jr. high because the local schools were so bad.


I was in a public school in Fayetteville Georgia. The adjustment to local schools here wasn't that bad. I actually loved the structure of it all here... really suited my personal learning style. It helps that I loved math, and i was a total geek to begin with. I thrived here... I was Singapore top scorer for O-Levels in the 'Other races' category in my year, actually.

AussieSkater wrote:Thanks for your insight, can you just clarify what are "neighbourhood" schools and I guess non-neighbourhood schools. I know that there are certain local schools that you almot have to sell your left kidney to get into, mainly because of their "academia" excellence and hence very popular amongst the Kiasu parents.

Thanks


I'm not sure what the official determining factor is for a neighbourhood school. Personally, I just know them by their names. Sorry...

sundaymorningstaple wrote:smayrhofer,

My daughter was also a CHIJ girl (Toa Payoh). And yes, even then there were few non-locals there (I believe only one other in my daughters cohort) She's been finished around 6 years now but she was back there recently and says that there a lot more there now.


How times have changed... ;) I feel old. But I think CHIJ schools are popular among non-locals, because they are pretty well balanced, and the teachers are very interested in their student's welfare. At least that was my experience. I went to RJC (Raffles Junior College) after that, and while this is a very good school, the teacher are a lot less involved. I think because the students are already all stellar and have a million tutors, the teachers don't need to make as much effort. Again - just my opinion!

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Postby splat » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 5:02 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
quidsin wrote:I since moved my son to an Int schoolin, although expensive (we are paying) he absolutely loves it and we don't regret pulling him out of a class of zombie kids into a learning environment where he and other kids are encourage to express their feelings. Yes it is expensive but there are some things in life, such as your kids education, which are worth paying the price for.


Hopefully he will blossom. But not like Michael Fay and his Honky friend did. (Both got their non-zombie educations in International Schools). I think he was taking a Liberal Arts course. :P

And yes, I believe a whack with the cane may still be acceptable (thank goodness). That's why you don't have children here threatening their parents with being thrown in jail like back in the US currently where almost a whole generation are totally out of control. But to each his own. One lives with their mistakes and/or achievements. The peer pressures are what I always worried about (the negative ones like spray painting cars and drugs). I'd rather have mine in an environment where all were concerned with education. Fortunately, the local schools have changed considerably in the last 10 years. The rote learning system is taking a back seat towards a more rounded education and the newer facilities are as good as any I've seen in any of the International Schools.

However, at the end of it all, the child's education and ability to integrate is the key to everything. If you child wasn't able to integrate into a mixed environment there is no way the child would be happy and conducive to learning. You probably made the right decision as a lot would have depended on the attitudes the child receives in his home environment as well. As long as the child is comfortable I think that's what counts the most as a relaxed child is more attentive and receptive.


Hi SMS I understand what you are saying. My kids are currently in International Schools but I am thinking that I would like them to do high school in the local system for this very reason. The local kids seem nicer and not so much rebellion. For them getting good grades is cool instead of getting drunk.

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Postby road.not.taken » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 5:18 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I will admit, I do those things just to bait you cause you bite every time.


What an astonishing admission and a sorry waste of your time.

Chippie,

There aren't any short cuts here. You have to talk to lots of people and go to lots of schools and ask lots of questions. Check out their websites and find a teaching philospophy that suits your ideals.

I know for us, I wouldn't send my children where it is acceptable punishment to hit or shame children. That narrowed our list a great deal. I knew I wanted their calendar to match the vacation schedules at home, so the list got shorter. It's better for us to follow an AP program rather than an IB program, etc... Set your priorities, visit campuses, ask questions, observe the children in the school setting -- it'll help make your decision much easier. If you have friends who are educators, I would ask them to clarify any specific concerns you may have.

Good luck to you.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 6:03 pm

road.not.taken wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:I will admit, I do those things just to bait you cause you bite every time.


What an astonishing admission and a sorry waste of your time.
.


:mrgreen: not half as sorry as your taking the obvious bait & responding as usual. :P

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Postby road.not.taken » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 7:51 pm

:roll: Really SMS, bullying doesn't suit you. Can't you go nightstick the smammers for sh*ts and giggles? Isn't that enough?

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Re: Adjustments

Postby madura » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 8:13 pm

smayrhofer wrote:Like mentioned previously, neigbourhood schools are to be avoided!! Primary schools which are 'neigbourhood schools' still cane the children as a form of discipline, among other things. Also, the level of education will not be high enough and their exam results will not be good enough to continue at a better school at the next level (secondary/JC).


I have my doubts on this caning statement, can someone help to prove/disprove this? Actually, neighborhood schools might sometimes be a better choice, better balance of academic and non-academic time.
Last edited by madura on Wed, 10 Dec 2008 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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