Choosing the right primary school for your child is one way of setting them up for success. For parents based in Singapore, this can be a tough challenge, as the city has a lot of good primary schools to choose from. In addition to the excellent local schools within their communities, families have the option to enroll their children in international primary schools in Singapore that can provide them with a world-class education and a cosmopolitan learning environment.
If you’re narrowing down your list of primary or elementary school options for your child, there are a few techniques that you can employ to make this process more efficient. One of these is listing down the qualities that you want your child’s primary school to have, then checking each item against the schools in your list. But what should you be looking for when selecting the best primary school for your child? Here are a few categories that many Singapore-based parents consider when making a similar decision.
In This Article
- Capability to Support Your Child’s Current Interests
- Good Reputation within the Academic Community
- Amenable School Culture and Learning Environment
- Proximity to the Family’s Home
- Affiliation with Secondary Schools
- Programs for Students with Special Educational Needs
- Availability of Student Care Services in the School
Capability to Support Your Child’s Current Interests
Supporting your child’s interest at a young age can help them find a lifelong love of learning. You can do this by choosing a primary school that has the programs and facilities needed to encourage your child to learn more about the subjects or topics that they are interested in. For example, if your child is particularly interested in dinosaurs or robots, then it’s a good idea to consider primary schools with science clubs where your child can further expand their interest in living things or technology. Children who have shown an early aptitude for the arts will benefit from joining a primary school with a strong arts program, one that will help them explore their art and improve their skills even in their younger years.
Good Reputation within the Academic Community
It’s also important for parents to choose a school that has a respectable academic reputation. These schools often place well in examinations, or their students are able to find placement in good secondary schools. It’s a smart idea as well to look into award-winning schools, such as the academic institutions that earned top places in the Singapore Education Awards 2021, and see what makes these schools stand out from the rest of the competition.
Amenable School Culture and Learning Environment
Some parents make it a point to choose a school that’s closely tied to their religious or cultural practices, while others prefer to enroll their children in a school that has an international ambiance. There are families that see the benefit of choosing a school that reinforces the values they have at home, and there are also parents who want to bring up their children with a global perspective at a young age. It’s a good idea to sit down and consider whether you want to be a part of the former, the latter, or somewhere in between.
Proximity to the Family’s Home
Not a lot of people are willing to travel very long each day just to go to school, even in a country with a small land area like Singapore. When choosing a school for your child, think of the logistics as well. Would you rather send your child to a school that is just a few blocks away from your home, or are you willing to travel a bit further so that your child can attend a school that’s better matched to their interests and capabilities?
Affiliation with Secondary Schools
There are also parents who want to think ahead when enrolling their children in a primary school and choose an academic institution with affiliations to a respected secondary school. More likely than not, students who come from an affiliated primary school won’t have to go through a stringent application process before they are accepted into their target secondary school.
Programs for Students with Special Educational Needs
If your child has special educational needs, then finding a primary school that can properly respond to these needs is a must. There are families with multiple kids who choose to enroll their children in a mainstream school that also offers strong support for special education programs. This way, they can easily keep a close eye on their children’s performance and fully involve their household in the school community.
Availability of Student Care Services in the School
If you’re working full-time, you’ll want to check if there are student care services near your choice of primary school. These facilities can give you peace of mind in case you need to stay late or your schedule changes, rendering you unable to pick your child up or accompany them at home. These service providers can help you look after your child and offer them a safe and comfortable space while you’re away from home.
Aside from visiting the school’s website and talking with parents and students, you can also take advantage of school open houses to visit the campus, talk with teachers and the school principal, and get a good feel of each option that you have on your list. These open houses are typically done once a year, so it’s important to think ahead and research about the primary schools you are interested in months before your child moves up from preschool. Bring your child with you when you visit your prospective primary schools as well so that you can get their opinion about the school where they’ll likely spend most of their days in the next few years.