Singapore Expats Forum

local schools

Discuss various schooling options for your children here.
madura
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Re: From a girl who's been there, done that...

Postby madura » Wed, 10 Dec 2008 8:21 pm

lynn13 wrote: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.


Just because it is popular doesn't mean it is good. Some of the schools in the above list have a bad record of focusing too much on grades (hence its popularity among the locals!!).

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Local Schools

Postby NewtoSing » Thu, 11 Dec 2008 3:42 am

Very interesting postings, just what I need, thank you!

We will be moving to Singapore next month, Jan 09. My kids are 8 and 10 years old, a girl and a boy, grade 3 and 5, here in US. We are considering district 4 and 2 for our home (both my husband and I will be working in Sentosa Island). We would like our children to attend local schools. After reading all the postings on local schools, it seems lots of the schools are single gender. Would anyone could advise me mix good well rounded schools that have already had international students? I am not so kee in with single gender, mainly just to assist my kids with the transitions.

Thank you.

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Re: Local Schools

Postby local lad » Thu, 11 Dec 2008 9:15 am

NewtoSing wrote:Very interesting postings, just what I need, thank you!

We will be moving to Singapore next month, Jan 09. My kids are 8 and 10 years old, a girl and a boy, grade 3 and 5, here in US. We are considering district 4 and 2 for our home (both my husband and I will be working in Sentosa Island). We would like our children to attend local schools. After reading all the postings on local schools, it seems lots of the schools are single gender. Would anyone could advise me mix good well rounded schools that have already had international students? I am not so kee in with single gender, mainly just to assist my kids with the transitions.

Thank you.


Tanjong Katong Primary for a start. Google them if you could.

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Postby smayrhofer » Thu, 11 Dec 2008 2:54 pm

I have two brothers who both attended neighbourhood schools for Primary school. In those schools (this was 10 years ago), caning was a very common form of discipline. My mother volunteered at the school just to ensure that the discipline master didn't lay his hands on my brothers.

Not to say this is still the case or that it's the case in all neighbourhood schools. Just be sure that when you choose a school, you ask about their discipline methods.

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Postby madura » Sat, 13 Dec 2008 1:52 am

smayrhofer wrote:I have two brothers who both attended neighbourhood schools for Primary school. In those schools (this was 10 years ago), caning was a very common form of discipline. My mother volunteered at the school just to ensure that the discipline master didn't lay his hands on my brothers.

Not to say this is still the case or that it's the case in all neighbourhood schools. Just be sure that when you choose a school, you ask about their discipline methods.


emphasis on "10 years ago"
from what I hear, this doesn't seem to be the case right now. in fact, I believe the reverse is true, teachers not being harsh enough for fear of complaints from parents.

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Postby NewtoSing » Tue, 16 Dec 2008 6:15 am

Anyone knows about Radin Mas school? I was told by our agent that it is a good schoolin district 4. What I meant by good school is a well balanced, no canning, have a good number of international students. Any info would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

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urgent help needed....

Postby jpoorni » Tue, 23 Dec 2008 10:39 am

Hi All,
We are relocating to Singapore next week,my son is 5 yrs old.we are coming from shanghai(China), but indians.we decided to choose a local school for my son, what are the kindergartens you all recommend.my son can understand some chinese neither read nor write.would that would be difficult.for the past two years we are in shanghai and he was attending british curriculum International School.when i saw in some websites they mentioned some shortforms like PCF,PAP etc., can you tell me what are those. as i know in india there are syllabuses like international syllabus very tough, central board - tough, matriculation - ok, state board - easy. it all depends on the interests etc., i like to know whether singapore also have such differenciantions ... i m really confused with everything and it would be very useful if u all provide me some informations.

do we have some agencies which would help me to get some basic ideas on the schools of singapore ......

thanks a lot in advance,
Poornima

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Postby metroguy » Tue, 23 Dec 2008 11:18 am

In Singapore, 5 year old is eligible for Kindergarten2 equivalent to UKG (Upper Kindergarten) in India.

PAP is the ruling party in Singapore and they run PCF, which is PAP Community Foundation. One can compare it with goverment schools in India, but much better in quality. They are very affordable and generally good.

The syllabus/curriculum upto Primary school varies from school to school. It cannot be compared to ICSE/CBSE/State syllabus in India, because the pre-schools here have the autonomy to have their own curriculum.

There are some very good local preschools. But there may be no vacancies and the waiting lists are very long.

I think the best thing to do is enrol him in a PCF school. There's a PCF school almost everywhere in Singapore.

Hope this helps.
It's in my blood. B(e) Positive.

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Postby jon0lim » Thu, 25 Dec 2008 1:51 am

madura wrote:
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.

The problem with neighbourhood schools is not the curriculum, but the students in it. Neighbourhood schools generally have more rebellious kids. However, I agree that some "premium" schools focus too much on academics.
madura wrote:
lynn13 wrote: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.


Just because it is popular doesn't mean it is good. Some of the schools in the above list have a bad record of focusing too much on grades (hence its popularity among the locals!!).

Agreed. The Raffles group of schools are notorious for their obsession with good grades. I've even heard stories of students studying there who sabotage each other before exams just to get an extra edge over their classmates. ACS, SJI and MGS tend to have a more well-rounded education system though.
madura wrote:
smayrhofer wrote:I have two brothers who both attended neighbourhood schools for Primary school. In those schools (this was 10 years ago), caning was a very common form of discipline. My mother volunteered at the school just to ensure that the discipline master didn't lay his hands on my brothers.

Not to say this is still the case or that it's the case in all neighbourhood schools. Just be sure that when you choose a school, you ask about their discipline methods.


emphasis on "10 years ago"
from what I hear, this doesn't seem to be the case right now. in fact, I believe the reverse is true, teachers not being harsh enough for fear of complaints from parents.

Agreed. In my 9 years of schooling so far, I've only ever witnessed 1 public caning. The average rate of canings in my school (Both Public and non-Public) is about 5 or so a year.
NewtoSing wrote:Anyone knows about Radin Mas school? I was told by our agent that it is a good school in district 4. What I meant by good school is a well balanced, no caning, have a good number of international students. Any info would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Radin Mas is a pretty good school. Not sure about no-caning though. However, I do not feel that caning should be a factor in choosing a school. Canings are few and far between and are only meted out to extremely disobedient and rebellious students for extremely serious offences (Assault, Attempted Arson, Smoking, Vandalism, etc.)

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Postby boffenl » Mon, 29 Dec 2008 12:23 pm

Great discussion! As SMS mentioned, I chose a local/neighborhood school for my 7 yo daughter who will be a Primary 2 student next week--wow, time flies! We have been positively overwhelmed by the curriculum, teacher interaction and facility quality. As I've mentioned before, the brand new school has better amenities than my college!

There was one caning incident in her class this year. I don't think it was an actual cane employed, but a ruler. A very troublesome boy who had pushed my daughter on one occassion had been harassing some other girls in the class, also not doing homework and interrupting the teacher. The teacher publicly shamed him and smacked his bottom with the ruler once. He promptly burst out crying. My daughter was amazed--and admitted to laughing so hard at his expense she felt bad afterward. She had never seen a bad student reprimanded much less punished. But she was pleased it was this boy since he was so "bad" to the other students.

I hestitated to speak about this on the forum until now because (personally) I feel it was the right decision on the part of the teacher and the kid was a total nudge and needed some discipline. His parents are both totallin ineffective. My daughter (who got a note about talking in class sent home) was a model student the rest of the term! It was a good discussion point for our family although we're not hitters we do believe in punishment.

We have been very involved in my daughter's class (I even went with them on a field trip to see a Mandarin play--very cool but honestly couldn't understand a freaking word!), and feel that each parent needs to paly a large role in understanding where their kid spends their class hours. Local school was a great option for my outgoing, mathematically inclined daughter. She has made some amazing friends and really values education and school. She practially jumps on the bus each morning in excitement--so vastly different than my experiences!

So, I welcome any and all questions. But please don't bite me for choosing something different than you would for your child!

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Postby NewtoSing » Tue, 30 Dec 2008 4:18 am

Boffenl, thank you for your post. Was it easy for your child to get a spot in the school? May I knwo which school? I am looking for a elementary school for my children, grade 3 and 5. I have been calling and sending emails to the shcools (Tanjong Katong and Radin Mas) with no success.
Do you know when the schools are open?

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Postby boffenl » Tue, 30 Dec 2008 9:04 am

Hi NewtoSing! All SG schools return on Friday January 2 for their first day of the new school year. I know you'll be able to reach someone in the office from 7:30 to 3pm next week--Friday might be pushing it as it's the first day back.

My daughter attends Pei Tong Primary in Clementi. We were hoping for Clementi Primary, but there were no spots available during the final stage of balloting. But, all things happen for a reason and we have been really, really pleased with Pei Tong.

Good luck, I've found the principals very responsive.

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Postby AussieSkater » Fri, 02 Jan 2009 7:55 pm

Hi NewtoSing,

Given that you are trying to get your children into higher grades 3 & 5, they will have to first sit the entrance test, and the school won't guarantee them a place until this is undertaken.

I will be arriving in Singapore in 12 days for my son to take his entrance exam, and then have to wait a month for the results before I can even approach the school. So you need to bear this in mind, not sure when you are coming out from the US.

Some of the schools do their own entrance tests, but a good majority of them have them conduced by Principals Academy, Randin Mas is one of them. These tests are conducted a couple of times a year.

Also another way to find our which schools have vacancies is to contact the Ministry of Education and they have the list of all the schools and what vacancies they have. In particular as naturally you will try to get them both into the same school will be a bit difficult.

Hope this helps.

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Postby AussieSkater » Wed, 21 Jan 2009 10:49 am

I have just finished enrolling my youngest child in Pei Tong and he will be starting next week in P1 (after he arrives from Australia).

My elder child, who is going into P3, had to sit for the centralised exam test for entry and pending the results of this will also be attending Pei Tong.

Both of the boys are very excited. Agree with Boffenl, I found the vice principal very helpful.

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Postby boffenl » Wed, 21 Jan 2009 11:02 am

Congrats AussieSkater! Great to have another Ang moh at Pei Tong! My daughter was delighted when she spotted a P1 little girl with light brown hair and her blond dad the other day. All the other kids were convinced they were sisters. :) I know your boys will feel at home in no time!

Do let me know if you have any questions about buying books or supplies. One suggestion--When you order their name tags for their uniforms, get extra in case they ruin some uniform shirts and you need to order more during the year! I ordered 8 nametags this year and five new shirts. The color on the outside of the nametag corresponds to their year of entry--P2 is red. I think the new P1's are purple.

Good luck!!


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