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Primary School Education Print

The Ministry of Education Singapore has stated that Primary school education is compulsory in the country. Primary school education consists of a 4-year foundation stage from Primary 1 to 4 and a 2-year orientation stage from Primary 5 to 6. According to Singapore’s Ministry of Education, the overall aim of primary education is to give students a good grasp of English language, Mother Tongue and Mathematics.

The top 1% at Primary 3 will be streamed into the Gifted Education Programme (GEP) from Primary 4 and will be posted to selected schools which offer the GEP. The GEP selection exercise comprises of 2 rounds of tests. The first round will throw up the top 10% of the Primary 3 cohort and the second round will identify the top 1 % of the primary 3 school cohort that will go on to the Gifted Education Programme from Primary 4 to Primary 6. The GEP test at Primary 3 is optional and parents can opt out if they do not want their kids to go through a more demanding academic curriculum as a result of being selected for the Gifted Education Programme. The primary schools in Singapore which run Gifted Education classes are :

  1. Nanyang Primary School
  2. Rosyth School
  3. Tao Nan School
  4. St Hilda Primary School
  5. Raffles Girls’ Primary School
  6. Nan Hua Primary School
  7. Anglo-Chinese Primary School
  8. Catholic High School Primary
  9. Henry Park Primary School

It is important to note that not all classes at the above schools are on GEP. Usually there are around 2 – 4 GEP classes in each school.

As a guideline, the number of GEP classes in each primary school :

Primary School P4 P5 P6
Anglo-Chinese Primary - Boys 2 2 2
Catholic High Primary - Boys 2 2 2
Henry Park Primary - Mixed 2 2 2
Nan Hua Primary - Mixed 2 2 2
Nanyang Primary - Mixed 4 4 4
Raffles Girls Primary -Girls 3 3 3
Rosyth - Mixed 2 2 2
St Hilda Primary - Mixed 2 2 2
Tao Nan - Mixed 2 3 3

Based on Edupoll’s proprietary research, the Top 10 primary schools in Singapore ( by prestige ) are :

  1. Nanyang Primary School
  2. Rosyth School
  3. Henry Park Primary School
  4. Tao Nan School
  5. Raffles Girls’ Primary School
  6. Anglo-Chinese School Primary & Junior School
  7. Singapore Chinese Girls’ School Primary
  8. Methodist Girls’ School Primary
  9. CHIJ St Nicholas Primary
  10. St Hilda’s Primary School

The Primary One places in the above schools are in high demand and many of their students come from good family backgrounds.

For example, Nanyang Primary School in Bukit Timah has been popular with Singapore’s business and political elite for a long time.

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew sent all his 3 children to Nanyang Primary School and most of his grandchildren also attended Nanyang Primary School.

Another example is Anglo-Chinese School which has many old boys and most places would have been taken up in Phase 2A1.

Parents should also take into account that the academic curriculum is tougher at these top primary schools and many of their students can afford the best of tuition to cope with the intensive academic demand. Many of the students at these schools are also taking expensive tuition and enrichment at places like The Learning Lab or Mind Champs.

Some parents even send their upper primary school kids for junior leadership training at the Raffles Leadership Centre as part of an overall effort to build up their portfolios for Direct School Admission.


The Singapore’s Ministry of Education has designed an annual primary school registration process that takes into account sibling relationships, school affiliations, proximity to home and old school ties, amongst others.

Typically the annual primary school registration process looks like the 2007 registration exercise as appended below:

Example : PHASES OF PRIMARY 1 REGISTRATION EXERCISE ( Source: MOE Singapore )

CATEGORY I CHILDREN WHO ARE SINGAPORE CITIZENS OR SINGAPORE PERMANENT RESIDENTS
Phase 1 For a child who has a sibling studying in the school of choice.
Registration Tue 3 Jul 2007 and Wed 4 Jul 2007
All children registered under this phase will be given places in schools.
   
Phase 2A1 For a child whose parent is a former student of the school and who has joined the alumni association as a member not later than 30 Jun 2006; or whose parent is a member of the School Advisory/Management Committee.
Registration Fri 6 Jul 2007
Announcement of result By Mon 9 Jul 2007
   
Phase 2A2 For a child whose parent or sibling has studied in the school of choice; or whose parent is a staff member of the school of choice.
Registration Wed 11 Jul 2007 and Thu 12 Jul 2007
Announcement of result By Tue 17 Jul 2007
   
Phase 2B * For a child whose parent has joined the school as a parent volunteer not later than 1 July 2006 and has given at least 40 hours of voluntary service to the school by 30 June 2007; or whose parent is a member of the church/clan directly connected with the school; or whose parent is endorsed as an active community leader.
Registration Thu 19 Jul 2007 and Fri 20 Jul 2007
Announcement of result By Wed 25 Jul 2007
   
Phase 2C For a child who is ineligible for or unsuccessful in earlier phases.
Registration Tue 31 Jul 2007, Wed 1 Aug 2007 and Thu 2 Aug 2007
Announcement of result By Mon 13 Aug 2007
Phase 2C Supplementary For a child who is unsuccessful in gaining a place in a school of choice at Phase 2C.
 
Registration Mon 20 Aug 2007
Announcement of result By Thu 23 Aug 2007
   
CATEGORY 2 # CHILDREN WHO ARE NOT SINGAPORE CITIZENS OR SINGAPORE PERMANENT RESIDENTS
Phase 3 For a child who is not a Singapore Citizen or a Permanent Resident.
Registration & Announcement of result Thu 30 Aug 2007

 

@ Should the number of applications exceed the number of vacancies in any phase, places will be balloted according to the following order of priority:
  1. Children living within 1 kilometre of the school of choice.
  2. Children living between 1-2 kilometres of the school of choice.
  3. Children living outside 2 kilometres of the school of choice.
To check whether your address is within 1 km or 2 km, go to the Singapore Land Authority website at : www.sla.gov.sg . A search fee is payable.
* At the end of Phase 2A(2), 50% of the remaining places will be allocated for phase 2B and the other 50% for Phase 2C registrants in a school. In the event that less than 50% of the allocated vacancies is taken up at Phase 2B, the remaining vacancies will be carried forward to Phase 2C.
# Children who are Singapore Citizens and Singapore PR and who have not registered at any of the earlier phases are also eligible to register at this phase. Registration in this phase is on a first-come-first-served basis.

For the latest information, please log to : www.moe.edu.sg

 

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