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West Coast Primary schools, pagging boffenl

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WestCoastBaby
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West Coast Primary schools, pagging boffenl

Postby WestCoastBaby » Sat, 27 Mar 2010 3:58 pm

Hi,
I'm new to this forum and therefore could not send a pm. I've read with great interest the debate on local vs International Schools and thank everyone for the (mostly) very helpful comments. I wanted to reach out to boffenl in particular, or anyone else who has a view on the topic. We are moving to the clementi area and willing to give local schools a shot. What schools did you consider in the area. You mentioned you looked at three and from what I gather two of them are Clementi Primary and Pei Tong. What was the third? Did you look at Qifa Primary at all? If so, what was your impression? If not, why did you rule it out?

Also, I tried calling Pei Tong last week to try and visit the school and they said that they do not provide that service. I will try again next week and see if I can get in touch with the principal or vice-principal. Was there anyone in particular that you spoke with to arrange this?

Thanks in advance for comments.

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Postby boffenl » Mon, 29 Mar 2010 12:41 pm

Wow-I feel like a rock star--JK! :)

We looked at local schools Pei Tong, Clementi and Nan Hua (I was dreaming!). For some reason we didn't visit Qifa eventhough it was brand new, and a bit further from our apartment. Clementi, Nan Hua and Pei Tong are all very close to us.

I do know some (local) kids who attend Qifa and they've gotten some great extra-curricular activities going on that really sound cool! Plus I hear their building is really nice. Sorry to hear you didn't get a good response from the office at Pei Tong, I will talk to them today and find out whom you can speak with for a tour. :) It's good to have some contacts. I still have not met the new Principal, but plan to very soon.

Pei Tong is very close to our home, my daughter is happy and we are very pleased with the great education she is receiving. I did recently find out she's been placed in the top class (no wonder she has so much homework) and will be sitting for the gifted program this year. Sheesh! Just be prepared, the uniform and food prices are very low, but the stress is getting to us in P3. Some would say I'm finally realizing the differences--everything changes at P3. :)

Good luck, and once you get PM I'll send you my e-mail.

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Postby WestCoastBaby » Mon, 29 Mar 2010 1:56 pm

Thanks for the quick reply. I've read all the threads, you are a rock star!

You must be very proud of your daughter (as you should be), congratulations! I've ruled out Nan Hua after reading the discussion boards because:
1. we will never get in anyway; and,
2. I heard it has one of those pressure cooker environments.

I tried Pei Tong again today and they asked me to call back tomorrow and look for the vice-principal.

Just thinking out loud, could it be that one of the reasons you feel so comfortable with the decision to go the local route is that your daughter is academically-inclined (which some have argued is the limitation of the local sytem)? Does your daughter do after school tuition at all? Do you spend a lot of time with her on schoolwork after school?

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boffenl
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Postby boffenl » Mon, 29 Mar 2010 2:46 pm

Good questions!

I never thought of my daughter as academically gifted--but I teach English and my husband is an engineer, so she speaks and writes English well and her math has always been strong. She loves to read-- she reads about four chapter books a week. She is NOT in any extra tuition classes--but we do spend at least an hour at the Library a week. Nor do we spend hours a day with her on homework or extra work (maybe why her Mandarin is so crappy!). During the March school holiday week we drilled on the multiplication tables since we hadn't focussed on that--and she was much more comfortable with that subject when she went back to school.

We do stress academics in our house--given my profession--and speak about college and school being important. But she is also very athletic and we spend most of our time together playing or rollerblading. :) It depends on your kid and your expectations.

As I've said before, the $14 I pay every month is an amazing bargain--the uniform and school lunches are also extremely cheap. Her teacher has a Master's degree and the teacher's aid an UG degree in history. I am impressed and continue to be!

Good luck, and I hope you can PM me soon!

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Postby local lad » Tue, 30 Mar 2010 9:57 am

:) ..... Judging from the gaining popularity of local schools, I guess boffenl is the best person to answer the recent changes in local education system. Of course , not to discredit SMS and others who had gone down the same route with their kids

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Postby WestCoastBaby » Tue, 30 Mar 2010 10:07 am

It's such a misunderstood topic and I know many expat parents struggle with the decision. That's why I am really grateful to eveyone in this forum, regardless of the choice that they have made, for sharing their views.

Boffenl, meeting the vp of pt today. Hopefully my pm is activated soon so I can flood you with my questions! Ha ha.

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Postby boffenl » Tue, 30 Mar 2010 10:42 am

Good luck! Check out the Library and the two gyms. :) I'm assuming you're meeting with VP Tan--she's so nice. Do visit a classroom if they'll let you, the counseling rooms and of course the lunch/food court. They have a pretty extensive bookstore/pen and pencil central that is good and cheap too near the food court.

Good luck!!!

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Postby calmhappy » Thu, 20 May 2010 6:28 pm

Hi! Good day!

I'm new in this forum. I'm going to register my son for P1 this Aug. I'm considering Pei Tong and Clementi Primary. Well normally Clementi Primary no more vacancy during phase 3. But I'm curious why Clementi is more popular than Pei Tong, and thinking should I consider it if it has vacancy this year.

Hi! boffenl, may I know why Clementi Primary was your 1st choice that time? Is it because it has newer building and better facilities than Pei Tong (the old and temporary location)? I heard the Clementi primary has very good principal.

What is your comment comparing Pei Tong (now) and Clementi primary in your opinion?


Hi! WestCoastBaby, any comment after visiting Pei Tong?


Pei Tong will has open house around end of July.

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Postby WestCoastBaby » Thu, 20 May 2010 10:01 pm

Hi calmhappy. I visited qifa and pt in clementi area and would say that they are about on par with one another. I did not visit clementi primary but the feedback I've gotten is that it is about the same as well. I've wondered why clementi primary has needed to ballot historically and the other two haven't. One of the parents I spoke with hypothesized that this is because cp is closer to hdb estates and therefore naturally has more demand. To be honest I have not looked at it more closely.

I currently do not have children in any of the schools above yet and so while I have my impressions, parents like boffenl will have a lot more insight on the strengths of the given schools. Good luck!


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