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What age did your child start "school" in Singapore

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BedokAmerican
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What age did your child start "school" in Singapor

Postby BedokAmerican » Thu, 03 Oct 2013 2:14 pm

I get asked at least once a week where my son goes to school. He's 19.5 months old and doesn't go to school or to any enrichment center. He goes to weekly music classes at the condo, a structured playgroup and sometimes an additional unstructured one. We also play, swim, look at books, practice letters, etc.

Some people seem taken back and concerned when I say he's not in a formal school. However, he doesn't pay attention for most of the structured things he goes to anyway (toddlers, particularly boys, hate sitting still) so spending loads of money on school doesn't make sense.

I realize some schools in Singapore will start taking kids at 18 months or earlier but I didn't think he'd need school until he was 3 or 4. I hope what he's already doing is enough and I don't want him falling behind, but I also don't want him having a mid-life crisis before age 10.

It's almost as if there's "peer pressure" to get your kid into school as soon as possible, even among some expats. Seems insane. Has anyone else found things to be this way?

When did you send your kids to school in Singapore? If they started really young, did they get much out of it?

Thanks.

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Postby Wd40 » Thu, 03 Oct 2013 2:20 pm

Is your child big in size? May be they think he is older that what he really is. 19.5 months is really very young even by Singapore standards even to attend playgroup.

Apple Tree doesn't even take babies that are less than 2 yrs old. The worst case are those that are born earlier in the year compared to later in the year, since the term starts in Jan.

Our daughter is just turning 2 and we will be enrolling her in playgroup(Star Tots) from next Jan.

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Postby PNGMK » Thu, 03 Oct 2013 2:27 pm

Legally they need to start P1 by the year they turn 7.

You can do K1 and K2 and other stuff but it's not required by law.

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Postby Steve1960 » Thu, 03 Oct 2013 2:35 pm

Our daughter started playgroup in January, 2 yrs and 2 months. Whilst it isn't compulsory she is effectively an only child (at least here in Singapore) and we don't have a circle of friends with kids so it was important to us that she interacts with others her own age.

Oh, and yes there is huge peer pressure here regarding education! It has been discussed frequently in other threads.

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Postby snowqueen » Thu, 03 Oct 2013 6:19 pm

I started my son at 23 months. Although I was doing parent/toddler classes and JWT I felt it was good for him to start doing drop off so he could interact with other kids and also it gave me some time to myself as I don't have a helper. I only started on twice a week then increased it.

Don't feel pressured into sending him to playgroup if you do not feel he is ready, you'll know when the time feels right. The teachers are good though and it's cute seeing the little projects they do and 'artwork' they bring home. Also don't worry about them not sitting down during class, my son is 4.5 now and still doesn't do that.

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Postby BedokAmerican » Thu, 03 Oct 2013 7:12 pm

Thanks for your replies.

Some of you mentioned "playgroup." Are you referring to a playgroup at a school or a playgroup that involves just meeting at someone's condo once a week (or at some scheduled interval) and doing informal reading or free play?

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Postby Wd40 » Thu, 03 Oct 2013 7:30 pm

BedokAmerican wrote:Thanks for your replies.

Some of you mentioned "playgroup." Are you referring to a playgroup at a school or a playgroup that involves just meeting at someone's condo once a week (or at some scheduled interval) and doing informal reading or free play?


Playgroup as in school. Its 2 hours a day.
Popular ones are
Apple Tree
Star Tots
Cherrie Hearts
etc

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Postby katbh » Fri, 04 Oct 2013 6:27 am

A Singapore Citizen must start school in January of the year they turn 7. But they are expected to be able to read, write and count before they start school.
But this is for local govt schools and the age limit is only for Singaporeans. If you are PR or DP or Student Pass, there is no obligation to school your child at all! Ring MOE and they do not care about non Citizens. This is why there are so many home schoolers here.
Citizen and most PR children start schooling earlier in k1 and k2 (so year they turn 4, 5 and 6) so that they are ready for P1 with reading writing etc. But is usually only half day.
International schools start schooling on average at about 5.
I think most kids here are in some sort of schooling from 3. But often this is only a few hours in the morning or the afternoon. It is not a bad way of doing it.

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Postby movingtospore » Fri, 04 Oct 2013 12:53 pm

Kids here are way over-programmed, even the laid back, western expat variety. If you plan on being in Singers a long time I'd say enjoy this unstructured time. Once they hit actual school age, the nature of life here dictates that they will be doing a whole lot of stuff....eg/ organized sport, music, tutors, etc etc. It's not so easy to just let them run around with kids and play soccer after school...nowhere to do it...so they need soccer school, and so on.

I'm sure he's happy as a clam with mom.

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Postby snowqueen » Fri, 04 Oct 2013 1:37 pm

A lot of the pre schools go from Playgroup to K2 (or when child turns 7 if going to local school).

Some have quite a laid back approach, others are structured. My son went to WhiteLodge and he loved it there. Blue House Nursery has a very holistic approach, as does I think The Garden House (which is brand new). It's worth having a look just to see how they do things - the montessori schools are different again. It's not compulsory though.

I went to enquire at Baby Planet the other day as I'm now looking for full time day care, they told me that as he would be going to K1 level from January, he would need to be assessed, WTF! He's 4.5 years old - totally not necessary at that age. When they called to arrange for an appointment to go in, I told them I'd changed my mind.

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Postby maidsrch » Wed, 09 Oct 2013 11:18 am

Rookie question here - my daughter will turn 2 on Jan 17th. Does this mean she will miss out / fall behind an year when it comes to P1 admission? She'll be 6 yrs old on Jan 17, 2016. So she'll be eligible to join P1 only in 2017, as she doesnt make the Jan 2 cutoff? I've asked around but getting conflicting replies. If its only in 2017, i might as well have her stay at home till 2015 and enjoy her toddlerhood instead of thinking about starting regimented sessions from next year. Any advice?

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Postby katbh » Wed, 09 Oct 2013 11:27 am

It was my belief that it was turning 7 during the year. So your daughter would be going in on that year. But, yes, I have read her that early January may be a loop hole. My daughter was born on 12 January and she started school in the year she turned 7.
Probably best to call MOE.

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Postby therat » Wed, 09 Oct 2013 11:40 am

maidsrch wrote:Rookie question here - my daughter will turn 2 on Jan 17th. Does this mean she will miss out / fall behind an year when it comes to P1 admission?

she didn't miss out or fall behind an year.

She'll be 6 yrs old on Jan 17, 2016. So she'll be eligible to join P1 only in 2017, as she doesnt make the Jan 2 cutoff? I've asked around but getting conflicting replies.


Yes Jan 2 is the cut off date.

Your daughter will be attending primary 1 in 2017 as she born in 2010.
2016, you need to register her to the primary school.

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Postby maidsrch » Wed, 09 Oct 2013 3:14 pm

therat wrote:
maidsrch wrote:Rookie question here - my daughter will turn 2 on Jan 17th. Does this mean she will miss out / fall behind an year when it comes to P1 admission?

she didn't miss out or fall behind an year.

She'll be 6 yrs old on Jan 17, 2016. So she'll be eligible to join P1 only in 2017, as she doesnt make the Jan 2 cutoff? I've asked around but getting conflicting replies.


Yes Jan 2 is the cut off date.

Your daughter will be attending primary 1 in 2017 as she born in 2010.
2016, you need to register her to the primary school.


Pardon my typo error. I meant to say my child will be 6 years old on Jan 17, 2018 (born in 2012).

Which means, she would be attending P1 in 2019. To me, that is falling behind an year. If she were born 2 weeks or so earlier, say around Jan 1 - she would be starting school in 2018, right? So how is this not missing out an year due to a 15 day difference?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 09 Oct 2013 3:27 pm

She won't miss a year. She will still have to do them all. :wink:

Who knows? It might be a boon if you play your card right. With the extra year of prepping before P1, she may well be at the top of her class all through primary if you take advantage of the situation instead of railing against it.
:wink:


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