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Local School - need advice on moving my son to one

Interested to get your child into a local Primary School? Discuss the opportunities here.
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quidsin
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Local School - need advice on moving my son to one

Post by quidsin » Wed, 08 May 2013 8:54 am

I have 2 children, 1 of them is currently in an International School in Primary 3 and the other is in a local school in primary 1. I have been quite impressed with the local primary school which my younger son attends and am thinking about moving my older son from International school to the same local school. The reason for this is that ideally we want them both in the same schools so they are educated in the same way, they are both close to home, they have the same holidays and lastly to save money - we cannot afford to send them both International school

The one thing I am a little worried about in the local schools is the PSLE (Primary School Leaving Exam), seems to be an obsession here among kiasu parents and the system as a whole, where the PSLE score determines which Secondary school you are allocated. It's my understanding that you could end up in a school anywhere on the Island if you don't achieve the required score to get into any of the schools of your choice. Now, my son who is at the international school is a very middle of the road child when it comes to learning, I'm concerned that he may struggle in a couple years when he takes the PSLE and then ends up in some school far away from home (we live near Tanah Merah).

My wife thinks that a better strategy may be to keep him in international school until end of Primary and then apply to the local secondary school with grades he has achieved from the international school. Has anyone attempted to do this and if so how do the local secondary schools assess such applications?

katbh
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Post by katbh » Mon, 13 May 2013 8:51 am

Do not worry about the PSLE. If you have a relaxed no pressure attitude, your children will adopt the same attitude. Yes, they need to study to do well. But if they are reasonably intelligent it is not onerous. Think outside the box. Yes, get them to learn the rote stuff and the tricks for the questions but also get them to read heaps. To go beyond the curriculum. But make sure they keep up with maths. It is important to learn the 4 basic tools for problem solving in maths and with these they will excel. Kids with english speaking western parents will always do well in English if they learn the writing style, learn their editing and have a good vocal. Science unfortunately, is rather repetitive but really easy to learn.
I have had 3 go through the PSLE with no tutoring (mind you make sure you get exemption from mother tongue or do a western language - french).
There are plenty of good secondary schools at Bedok (near Tanah Merah) with western kids and mixed race kids.
Get him into a local school where he can make friends that will not leave in 6 months, where he can get a better education and where he can excel at sport if he wants to.
My advice would not be to try to get him into a local school from International School at secondary level. Do it now so that he can acclimatise and make friends.
Remember that he can not change schools in P6 and also remember that the Science curiculum starts at P3.
Good luck
katbh

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Post by katbh » Mon, 13 May 2013 8:53 am

Also, unfortunately, it is likely that if you were to try to move your child to secondary local school after primary, he would not be able to keep up. It is likely that the local kids will be far more advanced than he in Maths and maths is a core subject that may hold him back.
katbh

Warren Chamberlain
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Local Schools

Post by Warren Chamberlain » Tue, 10 Sep 2013 3:42 pm

We are moving to Singapore and looking to put both our children into secondary 2 next year. We are in the AEIS process however would prefer to sort a school out prior to Dec 16, 2013 when AEIS allocations are announced. Could you recommend some schools in the Bedok/Tanah Merah area, we have spoken to Temasek and they do not have any places for next year - thanks in advance

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Post by katbh » Tue, 10 Sep 2013 4:07 pm

The difficulty is that they really are not interested until your child is here. If they are here they will put them into an available space.
There are lots of schools round the bedok area
Tamasek I think is an express stream school. If it is not, I know it is quite popular.
Do you have boys or girls? or One of each?
Do you know if your children are going Express / Normal Academic / Normal Technical?

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Post by Warren Chamberlain » Tue, 10 Sep 2013 8:56 pm

Hi, twin, one of each. We are thinking they will go in the normal academic stream, although they are in extension classes at their school in Sydney they will probably need some time to get used to Singapore and don't really need to be nder pressure at school from the get go. As I mentioned before we can't get into Temasek, we have enrolled them n the AEIS exam for Oct 10 but would rather get a school sorted before hand so we can also arrange accommodation close to were they will be at school. Was also looking at Bedok South and Bedok View, and thoughts on them ???

therat
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Post by therat » Tue, 10 Sep 2013 9:25 pm

Just in case, you don't understand Singapore education system

Express is 4 yrs secondary school. On the 4th year, they will take 'O' level

Normal (Academic) is a 5 years secondary school, students offer 6-8 subjects in the GCE ‘N’ Level examination. 'N' level will take on 4th year.
Students who perform well in their GCE ‘N’ Levels, will proceed to 5th years to take 'O' level.

Normal (Technical) course, students offer 5-7 subjects in the GCE ‘N’ Level examination.

You might want to read more detail at MOE web
http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/secondary/normal/

This is the relationship between these 3 course
http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/secondary/courses/


I did a compare among the mention 3 secondary school.
TEMASEK SECONDARY SCHOOL

Non-Affiliation (2012)
Express: 232-249
N(A): 196-199
N(T): 147-158

BEDOK SOUTH SECONDARY SCHOOL

Non-Affiliation (2012)
Express: 215-231
N(A): 168-198
N(T): 130-157

BEDOK VIEW SECONDARY SCHOOL

Non-Affiliation (2012)
Express: 219-231
N(A): 177-198
N(T): 138-158

These are PSLE mark cut of point for last year. Technically , the higher the mark, the more popular.

========
These are some of the special program from the school
BEDOK SOUTH SECONDARY SCHOOL

School Based Programmes
English Enrichment Programme Leadership and Character Development Programme
Life Science and Robotics Enrichment Programme
National Education Programme
Peer Support Programme


BEDOK VIEW SECONDARY SCHOOL

School Based Programmes
Sec 1 Orientation Programme
Academic Result Management Programme
Peer Support Programme
COMBUST Class Monitor Adventure Training Public Speaking for Sec 1 & 2 Night Study Programme (Graduating Classes)
Entreprenuer Workshops
English Reading Programme English Language and Literature Seminar

=========

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Post by Warren Chamberlain » Tue, 10 Sep 2013 10:01 pm

Folks, really appreciate the responses, you are very generous with your knowledge. We have done some poking around at these sites and have some limited understanding of how the grading works in Sing. Was now more after thoughts on these schools and how difficult it would be for two kids who have only lived in Sydney to fit in, ie other expat and mixed raced kids at the school ??
raffy

therat
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Post by therat » Tue, 10 Sep 2013 11:16 pm

Warren Chamberlain,

as katbh has mention, math is the code subject

I shown you some sample of primary school math. These are consider quite simple type. There are some question very complicated.

Primary 5 math

Jason and Kevin were given some money each. If Jason and Kevin spent $100 and $50 each day respectively, Jason would have $1300 when Kevin had spent all his money. If Jason and Kevin spent $50 and $100 each day respectively, Jason would have $3700 when Kevin had spent all his money. How much money was given to Jason at the beginning?

Primary 6 math

Peter and Jane took 45 hours to complete an assignment. If Peter had worked 7 hours less and Jane had worked 9 hours more. Jane would still have put in 5 hours less than Peter . How many hours did Jane put in for the assignment ? ( assume that Jane and Peter worked separately on the assignment.)

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Post by katbh » Wed, 11 Sep 2013 8:19 am

A lot depends on your expectations for your child. Do you expect your children to go onto university? If so they need to do O levels. They can not get into university anywhere with N levels. But if you intend to leave Singapore before or just after N levels, they may be able to go to 6th form college (years 5 and 6 equivalent in AUS) in Britain or AUS. But if you are still here (and there are many of us who thought we were only here for 2 years and are still here 10, 15, 30 years on) they will go to Poly after sec 4 or 5. This increases the length of their education by a lot more than if they were in express stream (2 years) and it is difficult to go from Poly to Uni unless you are top of your year. And remember you will be paying for all this eduction - it is not free. If your children are on student passes the fees will be about $600pm for each secondary child. There used to be a fees exemption for the first two years of study but I am not sure if this is still the case. If it is, the first two years are about $100pm.
Then the fees go up considerably for Junior College / Poly and very high for University.
I have three children in secondary express stream and I have no issues with pressure. Yes they do exams (have done since primary 1) but then so do Sydney schools by secondary school time.
The only pressure really comes around O level time and if you are not a pressuring family, this can be relatively minimal. The pressure is really only what you allow them to feel. If you keep a level head and teach them to deal with any pressure by the teachers it is a lot easier. This is usually easy for Australians due to their self mockery and ability to have a laugh at adversity. My children have coped well and see the silliness in it all.
However, the exam pressure is the same if you are in O level or N level stream.
We were originally from Sydney (many years ago now) and can cross reference the education systems for you.
If you children are bright (which I assume they are because of extension classes) you should really try for express stream. For a start, there are less 'gangsters' in the express stream and there are far more opportunities given to your children to do extra curricular things.
Also, do not go by the website if CCAs are important to you - the sites say what they have done in the past - not necessarily now. So although the MOE site may say they offer football (etc) check with the school. Firstly you need to ask if they are still offering it and more importantly IF you child is able to join in Secondary 2. Some close their books and your child may be left in Chess club (etc) as the only option. If your children are in anyway good at sport, they will fly here. Western kids are very much in demand as their level of sport is often a lot higher - as is their level of commitment to sport.
For now you should get them doing exam papers (you can get these on line) so that you can judge how they will go and so they will get used to the exams - they are quite specific how they should be answered.

I assume you will want them to be in the same school? If not, St Patricks and CHIJ Katong are opposite each other in East Coast. They are catholic schools but they also have the three streams of eduction, which is an advantage. And ironically, far from being overtly catholic, they have a high proportion of Malay kids - so do not get caught up about the catholic thing, it is not the same as Catholic schools in Sydney.

My children also have friends in the Bedok schools you have mentioned. There is certainly less pressure in these school but also fewer marks are obtained.

To be frank, the PSLE pressure is similar to those parents in Sydney who hothouse their children to get ready for the entrance exams to Fort Street and Sydney Girls/Boys. There are plenty of parents in Singapore who do not put pressure on the kids - but of course there are also plenty who do.
It is a totally different society in that way. In Aus, sport is cool and what you want to be good at - here it is academics.

Good luck
Last edited by katbh on Wed, 11 Sep 2013 10:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 11 Sep 2013 9:15 am

Excellent post katbh! I can relate to the 2 years turning into 30! :shit: :mrgreen:
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by katbh » Wed, 11 Sep 2013 10:53 am

Thanks SMS. Craving approval....

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Post by 2013raffy2013 » Thu, 12 Sep 2013 12:33 pm

Folks, really appreciate the replies, you obviously have had some issues with this also. We have enrolled twins in AEIS and are also ringing around the schools trying to get see who will let us apply pre AEIS results coming out Dec16. Would like to get this sorted and find an apartment but thinking that the AEIS path is were we are going to end up, including looking for an apartment close to 'chosen' school once this known. Think as much as anything this is a factor of timing, suspect that mid year application may be simpler with direct application. Off to find some past papers. Thanks again for your thoughts, it has been extremely helpful :)

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Post by therat » Thu, 12 Sep 2013 1:44 pm

Some secondary school has open house during Nov time before PSLE result release.

You can take this time, go down to the school, talk to the teacher, student. To have better understand on school and staff.

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Post by Wd40 » Thu, 12 Sep 2013 1:57 pm

therat wrote:Just in case, you don't understand Singapore education system

Express is 4 yrs secondary school. On the 4th year, they will take 'O' level

Normal (Academic) is a 5 years secondary school, students offer 6-8 subjects in the GCE ‘N’ Level examination. 'N' level will take on 4th year.
Students who perform well in their GCE ‘N’ Levels, will proceed to 5th years to take 'O' level.

Normal (Technical) course, students offer 5-7 subjects in the GCE ‘N’ Level examination.

You might want to read more detail at MOE web
http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/secondary/normal/

This is the relationship between these 3 course
http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/secondary/courses/


I did a compare among the mention 3 secondary school.
TEMASEK SECONDARY SCHOOL

Non-Affiliation (2012)
Express: 232-249
N(A): 196-199
N(T): 147-158

BEDOK SOUTH SECONDARY SCHOOL

Non-Affiliation (2012)
Express: 215-231
N(A): 168-198
N(T): 130-157

BEDOK VIEW SECONDARY SCHOOL

Non-Affiliation (2012)
Express: 219-231
N(A): 177-198
N(T): 138-158

These are PSLE mark cut of point for last year. Technically , the higher the mark, the more popular.

========
These are some of the special program from the school
BEDOK SOUTH SECONDARY SCHOOL

School Based Programmes
English Enrichment Programme Leadership and Character Development Programme
Life Science and Robotics Enrichment Programme
National Education Programme
Peer Support Programme


BEDOK VIEW SECONDARY SCHOOL

School Based Programmes
Sec 1 Orientation Programme
Academic Result Management Programme
Peer Support Programme
COMBUST Class Monitor Adventure Training Public Speaking for Sec 1 & 2 Night Study Programme (Graduating Classes)
Entreprenuer Workshops
English Reading Programme English Language and Literature Seminar

=========
Wah! So complicated man! In India so simple. Everyone studies the same thing until matriculation or class 10th as we call. We do not have this kind of bifurcation so early on. After 10th for pre university you can choose Science, Commerce or Arts.

We dont have life changer exams like PSLE at such tender age. Matriculation is the 1st "Life Changer" kind of exam.

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