Singapore Expats

Local school with international flavours

Interested to get your child into a local Primary School? Discuss the opportunities here.
Post Reply
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun, 26 Apr 2009 3:27 pm

Post by pdelaval_07 » Sat, 11 Jul 2009 5:25 pm

Reading this thread for the first time now. I'm in a similar situation to ribena. Moving in September and considering local schools. Our 7 year old is not the most focused boy but has not been diagnosed with any disorders. He has completed P1 equivalent (minus the mandarin) but we hope to start him at P2 nonetheless. In addition to ribena's questions (which have been nicely answered by the forum - thank you) I have another question that is plaguing me - "available spots".

From what I read, it seems that good local schools have few or no available spots especially for late arrivals to the registration scheme. I have read on MoE site about the phased approach for P1 registration and the AEIS process for P2 and higher. Neither is encouraging with respect to finding a good school from the outset. I have read the advice that it’s critical to visit schools of choice but I’m concerned that visits are pointless if admission is impossible. Furthermore, it seems that if successful in the AEIS process, the MoE will assign a school. But what if the assigned school is one of the not-so-good schools? Bottom-line: Are admissions to good local schools really as difficult as it seems to me, and are there tips on getting through the process?

p.s.: I’ll anticipate anyone who replies with “...depends on your definition of a good local school... ”
Last edited by pdelaval_07 on Sun, 26 Jul 2009 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 34
Joined: Sat, 14 Mar 2009 6:08 pm

Post by fristromcan » Sat, 11 Jul 2009 10:56 pm

pdelaval_07 wrote: Are admissions to good local schools really as difficult as it seems to me, and are there tips on getting through the process?
Let's not discuss what is good vs bad as it is subjective. My problem is: if I decided that I wanted to put my kid into a particular school for whatever reason, I can only wait until phase 3. I see three possibilities:

(1) the school could have no vacancy.
(2) the school still have vacancy but there are more applicants in phase 3 than available places
(3) the school still have vacancy

Note this problem only comes in if you have decided on a school. If you are not particular, there are always places for the kid. Maybe you can share with us your expectation, as in how does the school admission system works in your country?

User avatar
Posts: 40395
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 21
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 11 Jul 2009 11:17 pm

One other thing to thing about regarding the trying to "get into a good school". First of all it's subjective. What's good for kiasu local parents may not be what you are looking for for your children. Secondly, as was pointed out earlier, no matter where you put you child in the local system, the syllabus is still the same. Amenities, teachers, attitudes differ. And additionally, even if you were able to score a so-called "good school" you might put you child at a grave disadvantage as the competition is extreme in those schools and if your child get demoralized, it could spell disaster. So, as was pointed out. Visit a number of schools, talk to principals and see the schools in session. Then figure out whether or not it could work for your child.

And, yes, it is hard to get into the "good schools" as the kiasu parents will actually sell their home and buy another that is within 1 km radius of the school to enable them a better chance of gaining admission for their kid. they will also spend countless hours being a free assistant at the school to gain "brownie points" for their kid's admission.

User avatar
Posts: 5989
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 8:52 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by ksl » Mon, 13 Jul 2009 1:33 am

Actually I can recommend Haig School which as a high percentage of expatriates, although not many western ones.

We purchased our property next to Paya Leba Methodist, when my daughter was still at kindergarten, and couldn't get her into the school 30 meters from where we live.

The only option at the time was Haig School, and she was there up until last week, when she finally succeeded in a transfer, okay she was only 8 years old, but i can thank Haig School for the straight A's she achieved, and probably the reason why the other school decided to take her.

Haig School was 5 to 8 km from our home, but i didn't mind all the travelling time 20 minutes, I was impressed with the school, and the mixture of expatriate children was fine for me, my girl has picked up a little Malay and Indian and speaks Fluent Chinese on a higher level, with English and Mandarin speaking parents.

Although I forbid Singlish in the house, even from Singaporean children if possible, because in most cases it is not good for them or their future.

For her to come home with straight A's, is more than a miracle and not expected, because she is a difficult child when it comes to study, it's been teachers that have cared and my wife and i that never gave up, the effort that paid off.

Teachers have constantly kept in touch with me by telephone of any lack of concentration. So therefore I can honestly say, I was sad to move her away, when she was excepted into the new school next to our home this year.

I most certainly have no qualms about recommending Haig School, which appears to be the end of the line for many expatriates in many cases, because of distance and the fact we cannot choose.

We still have many friends there at Haig and the parents are great too! So its how much effort parents put in, that matters, rather than thinking there are good and bad schools.

The biggest threat to any childs education is the contract suppliers of reading and exercise material, which can have errors on occasions and for me, very frustrating and unprofessional that the books are not vetted for mistakes.

I was also told that if I offered my services it may help, just like SMS said above although I would never do that, basically having a bad education myself, I understand the importance of getting involved with my childs home work and many parents do not. My daughter is a tough cookie, when it comes to home work, so I have to lay down the law and get involved.

My school life, home work, consisted of being held back at the end of school, to write lines far too often, and i never did home work ever, although what does one expect when you get rubber stamped, by the system at 11 years old for not doing the 11 plus exam and you have social problems at home, who gives a toss about school.

I can also see the neglect here in Singapore too, because a parent is alcoholic and have family problems, there children are left with one supporter, normally the mother to work, and take the burden, although the privileged are well cared for, its the same the world over, so I'm not complaining, just bringing it to your attention, that it isn't the school alone, that makes good education.

Posts: 1
Joined: Tue, 21 Jul 2009 1:39 pm

Looking public school

Post by Japp » Tue, 21 Jul 2009 1:59 pm

In many threads it's mentioned that there are some certain public schools having international (and/or western) studends. I haven't seen anybody to name those schools, just telling that one is in bukit timah etc. I'm European and looking a public school for our kids, 10yrs old daugther and 14yrs old son.

Could someone tell what are those schools? Both, Primary and Secondary.


local lad
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 5:02 pm

Post by local lad » Tue, 21 Jul 2009 9:39 pm

My guess is Singapore Chinese Girls School and Hwa Chong Institution

Posts: 3
Joined: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 5:47 pm

How about Enrichment Schools?

Post by leesengghee » Sun, 11 Oct 2009 7:39 pm

Does anyone have any recommendations of places to check out?

Bukit Timah area.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 9:45 pm
Location: indonesia

Post by fabytsui » Mon, 12 Oct 2009 10:30 pm


i am moving to Singapore end of this year.
anyone can advise me on education for autistic kids in Singapore?
And also good doctor specializing in autistic.

My son is 8 years old, we are from Indonesia.


Posts: 1
Joined: Tue, 08 May 2012 11:57 am

Novena Area Public Schools

Post by kebikebi » Tue, 08 May 2012 12:05 pm

Hello Ribena, was wondering if you, or anyone else, could provide details of any public schools in the Novena area? Just moved to town, and awaiting feedback from the MOE. Appreciate if anyone in the area did the search and could guide me through. Thank you kebi

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post

Return to “Primary & Secondary Schools”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest