34 “Easy” Steps to Choose a Primary School for Your Child in Singapore

11 January 2016
<p>Don't worry...he'll be happy!</p>

Don't worry...he'll be happy!

Partly because they have a world renowned educational system and partly because of the expense, choosing a school in Singapore for your child can feel like a daunting task. Here’s how to do it.  

  1. Decide how far you’re willing to let your child travel.

  2. Make a list of all the schools that fall in that radius.

  3. Talk to your mom friends and add 3 more schools you never heard of to your list.

  4. Spend 400 hours navigating all the schools websites. Make sure you know the curriculum they follow, student-to-teacher ratio, nationalities represented, facilities, extracurriculars, special services, field trips and service projects, term schedule, fee schedule, admissions policies.

  5. Obsess about the type of learner your child is and the type of educational environment that would help him thrive.

  6. Visit the schools — all of them. You’ve heard you can’t judge a school by its website. You have to see the school to really get a feel for it. Talk to teachers, administrators and students.

  7. Create a list of 5 schools to apply to.

  8. Go into shock when you realise how much it is just to apply (even though you’ve seen their fees, you were sure there must be a mistake in decimal points. There was not.)

  9. Take deep breaths.

  10. Talk to your Mom-friends in an effort to try to feel better.

  11. Rethink all of the schools you were previously considering.

  12. Visit more schools.

  13. Field emails from polite admissions officers who “gently remind” you space at their institution is limited and you should decide soon.

  14. Have a dream about your degenerate child, lost, broke and miserable because he didn’t get into the “right” school when he was 6.

  15. Wake up feeling ridiculous and resolve to simplify.

  16. Speak to someone whose children are in a local school.

  17. Start researching how to get your non-Singaporean, non-permanent resident child into local Singaporean schools.

  18. Give up a day later.

  19. Speak to more parents, get more conflicting opinions.

  20. Ask your child where he wants to go to school.

  21. Remember he’s 5.

  22. Take deep breaths.

  23. Make a pros and cons list.

  24. Remember you hate pros and cons lists.

  25. Put all the names of all the schools on a dart board.

  26. Throw darts at said dartboard.

  27. Apply to the school you hit.

  28. Start sending out resumes for extra income to pay tuition.

  29. Wait and pray you don’t have to go through this again when the school rejects your 5-year-old.

  30. Keep waiting.

  31. Learn you will be relocated just before the school year begins.

  32. Just kidding, the company has changed their minds and wants you to stay.

  33. Get word your child has been accepted.

  34. Spend the next several months hoping you made the right choice.

So easy! Have you gone through the process of getting a child/children into a school in Singapore? What was your experience like? Like our Facebook page and share your story!


By Kathleen Siddell, January 2016

Photo: 123rf.com

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