Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Choosing THE Primary School

We went through 2 consecutive years of registration for Primary One for our two children. While many parents have to go through the process of selecting the ideal primary school for their children, we had it easy because our kids are entering our alma mater.

However, we did have a little debate on which school to send Missy to initially and my alma mater was not in the consideration radar. I'd like to share how we finally decided to put Missy in my alma mater.
Photo credit: MOE
Our initial selection criteria was based on -
1) Academic Excellence of the School
2) Character Building / Imparting of Values
3) Convenience of location
4) Hassle-free registration (lesser or no chance of balloting would be best)

We considered a neighbourhood school that is just a stone's throw away (5 minutes walk, literally) from where we live and knowing too, that many of Missy's current classmates will also be entering the same school so transitioning into a new environment wouldn't be as daunting. The school has a good reputation of academic excellence and is highly popular in the area that we live.

The hubby was all praises for this school, citing that it's important to have a good learning environment for the child so that he/she will be motivated to strive for academic excellence (to be honest, I wasn't too keen on the academics department). We did have conflicting decision about the academics part.

To what I know of Missy's character and interest, I know this neighbourhood school will not be the right place for her. Though hubby has talked me into accepting it as the choice for Missy. He's even took up the responsibilities to volunteer as a grassroot member so that we could get a better chance of putting Missy into the chosen primary school.

I guess, God, knows better where we should place Missy for her formal education, the results of vacancies left for Phase 2B of the said Primary school in Year 2012 (while we were registering for Little Man), was not promising. At Phase 1 (in year 2012) this school has already had more than 50% of the vacancies taken up, it was then, I flagged it up to the hubby that we should seriously reconsider our options. (Here's a detailed break down of the different phases of registration)

I took an active role in searching for more information about my alma mater for I have heard that the school is strong in performing arts (Missy's main interest) and imparting of strong core values in the development of a child. After presenting the researched info to hubby we discussed and researched more intently this round, by chatting with a few friends who currently have their daughters in the school we gathered and felt that this is the right place for Missy.

We finally decided to put Missy in my alma mater even though we have missed the opportunity to register during the Phase 2A1 (because I didn't sign up to be the school's almuni). We know our chances are still high at Phase 2A2. In addition, the school is within the estate that we are living in (within 1.5km-2km distance). More importantly, hubby has realized that academics is not the be-all and end-all of education, he agreed that nurturing the child's interest and imparting of the right values are more important.

Before I end this post, it was this video that spur me to write this post, and I feel it's really important that we understand the interest and strengths of our children and to take a more active role to help our kids develop those interest and strengths so as to build a firm foundation for our kids' education. To me, academics is but a small part of education, nurturing a child in the right values and helping the child develop the gifts that God has placed in the child is more important.

If you wish to research more on selecting a primary school for your child, you might want to read this write up that detailed every aspect of the selection criteria.

1 comment:

Simple Mum said...

Choosing a primary school certainly is stressful. For my gal, we went through a balloting phase for a popular school as me and my hubby's primary schools have closed down. I think for those who don't have an alma mater like us, should always have an alternative school on standby in case Phase 2C fails. And I agree with you academics is not be all end all.