Top 10 tips for getting into good school in Singapore


Primary education is the foundation stone of a child’s academic pathway. Therefore, every parent in Singapore undergoes a stressful time to select the best school for their child because academic achievement is one of the key component of holistic success. None of the schools are officially ranked as such, so the parents seek through the schools’ past records and achievements to decide the best one for their children.

The ministry of education in Singapore has declared compulsory primary education for all and students should be given a good grasp over English Language, Mathematics and their mother tongue.

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The top 10 Primary Schools in Singapore are:

Nanyang Primary School: One of the top 10 schools of Singapore, Nanyang visions to teach children how to learn character and lead in action. It teaches their children how to achieve the fullest potential within a bicultural environment that is steeped in prudence, diligence, respectability and simplicity, thereby enabling them to contribute their best to the society. The school aims to incorporate six main values- responsibility, respect, integrity, resilience, Harmony and Care among its pupils and focuses both on academic and co-curricular activities for all round development.

Rosyth School: The motto of the school is to learn with passion, serve with compassion and lead with a vision. The school missionizes to maximise the potential of the students through the development of mind, soul and body. The core values of the school is to learn how to care and share, put integrity before anything, have gratitude towards others, show resilience and have respect towards others and inculcate entrepreneurial spirit. The Gifted Education Program (GEP) of this school helps to divide students into small groups and challenge them by various concepts, knowledge and skills so that they learn majorly through interdisciplinary approaches.

Tao Nan School: This school trains their pupil to be passionate about learning, be self-directed and life-long learners with adequate knowledge, skills, attitude and values to face challenges in future. The students are also taught to learn to care for self, community, family, nation and environment. They must be grounded, appreciative of others and be committed to serve the society. They espouse to inculcate core values in children by creating them independent, self-directed learners and develop bilingualism with an appreciation in Chinese culture.

Hilda’s Primary School: One of the top 10 primary schools in Singapore, is St. Hilda’s Primary School. This Anglican School is committed to provide development of mind, body and spirit and create god fearing citizens for the nation. Established in 1934, this school has contributed in enriching dynamic community leaders who are successfully contributing to the society. The vision to nurture pupils to become loyal citizens and develop godly character. Their values are to show care and concern to others, make friends and be a proud Hildan and Singaporean. They wish to instil in the minds of the children to put others before self and be self-motivated and reflective learners.

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Raffle’s Girls Primary School: This school believes that every child matters and the best facility should be provided to each and every child. The school aims to empower women to be leaders of character and service and nurtures them to the peak of excellence. The school visions to create a vibrant community of creative thinkers who can bring in a change to the society through lifelong learning and moral values. The core values of this institution are- gratitude, integrity, creativity, graciousness, responsibility and resilience. Over 150 years, this school and her pupils have strived together like a team to build better lives thus making it to the top 10 primary schools in Singapore for a considerate period of time.

Nan Hua Primary School: The school started as an institution only for the girls, but later on, it opened its gates for both boys and girls. This school also comes under the Gifted Education Program and helps students to learn more in smaller groups and work together like a team. The school focuses on overall moral development and abides by 8 core values. It teaches the children to pledge loyalty the nation, serve humanity with utmost sincerity, show courtesy to others, demonstrate love for all mankind without discrimination, value filial piety as the greatest virtue, practice integrity, realise sense-of-shame in wrong doings and rectify them with courage and uphold righteousness.

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Anglo-Chinese Primary School: They also offer GEP and through all endeavours they hope that the pupils will serve one another humbly in love. Their mission is to provide an all-round education and bring out the best in every child, develop their potential to the fullest by developing a strong moral character and imbibing Christian values. They envision to produce gentlemen of creativity, character and capability. IT roots on academic excellence and Christian services.

Catholic High School Primary: One of Singapore’s highly regarded institution, this is a catholic school but enrols both Catholics and non-Catholics. The school has been chosen as the top 10 primary schools in Singapore by Ministry of Education (MOE) and it envisions to acquire competence in bilingualism- English and Chinese. As a Special Assistance Planned School, it offers the Dual Track Programme (both O-Level Programme and Integrated Program). The school experiences a strong curriculum in academic distinctions, sports and aesthetics excellence, leadership and character development. It takes pride in its staff who received accolades from MOE, Singapore.

Henry Park Primary School: This school established over 40 years, aims to develop a leader in every child by nurturing their talent and developing a character of strength through distinctive education. The distinctive programs of Applied Learning, Learning for Life, in-house Talent Development and service-learning helps the students to develop a sense of empathy for others and contribute to community. The school follows 4 core values to develop holistic education through Respect, Integrity, Care and Excellence and takes pride in service and shows honesty in performance.

CHIJ St Nicholas Primary School: Another prime institution in the top 10 primary schools in Singapore, is the CHIJ St. Nicholas Primary School which is an all girls’ institution who believes in holistic education, giving a vibrant school life to the children, creating joyful learners and focusing on academics as well as aesthetics of learning. This school follows the CCE framework and focuses on bilingualism- English and Chinese and also encourages students to enrol in multiple co-curricular clubs and societies to make them competent leaders and indulge in value in action.

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For a parent, choosing a particular school for their children is an extremely exciting but an equally stressful task. Every parent wants their child to receive the best education and therefore, the job of school hunting gives them jitters. There are quite a few tips that a person should remember before getting into a good school.

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The most favourable 10 tips for getting into good school are listed below:

Decide your Priorities:

It is very important to consider which school are you exactly looking for? Is it a faith school, a school with special educational needs or a school with special medical care in case your child has chronic disease? If you have specific needs as such, then you have to marginalise your choice related to the schools that provide additional classes and care for the differently abled children. And, if you are opting for schools that are well resourced, has good academic background and a nice principal then consider from multiple options which features you are looking for, like big playground or bigger classrooms, school timings and as the like for your child.

Focus on schools within your vicinity:

Look for a school of your choice near your home. This is one of the important tip among the 10 tips for getting into good school. Only if there is no school available near your residence, opt for a school that is farther away. Remember, your child needs to travel daily to school irrespective of weather changes and hectic school curriculum. Therefore, it will be beneficial to opt for a school that is closer to home so that your child does not get tired unnecessarily due to lengthy journeys.

Research Well:

Read about the school you want your child to get allotted to from official review sites. Also, try to interact with parents whose children are already studying in your preferred school. Ask them difficult queries and figure out whether it will be the best option for your child.

Be realistic and open to options:

The fourth tip is to be realistic and open to multiple options. It may happen that your child could not crack through the admission process of your desired school. Or, due to some other inevitable circumstances, the school will not be able to enrol your child. In that case, do not lose all hope and dishearten yourself. You should at least keep a couple of options as your preferred schools before the admission process begins. If your child could not get through one, he will surely get through another. Be practical and have faith.

Plan a visit:

As a parent, it is your duty and responsibility to personally visit the schools where you want your child to study from. Call up the schools, ask for the open days and take an appointment to visit. Visit the classrooms and look around the display boards. See, if you are finding the recent works. Read through them to check if they are interesting and interactive. Ask the school about other school clubs where your child can learn beyond academics which will help him develop his overall personality.

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Know how and when to apply:

The next tip is to be aware of the timings when the school will start with its admission procedures. Check whether the application process is online or offline. If they are by offline means, collect the admission form on time and enquire about the various documents that needs to be submitted along with the form within the deadline.

Look for a school before his 4th birthday:

It is necessary to plan to enrol your child in school before his 4th birthday as it will allow you to have a second chance for school enrollment. Education should be started on time in order to strive along with others in this competitive world and there should be absolutely no delay if the child is not differently abled or medically unfit. All schools are supposed to start from January, admission processes should be completed by July and should be checked by parents from time to time on the school’s official website.

List your real preference:

List all the schools you wish to get your child enrol into according to your genuine order of preference. Gauge your chances of getting through the first school of preference after your child appears for the admission process and always have one school on your list as a fall-back option where the child can get through easily.

Understand the allocation process:

The second last tip is to understand how the allocation process works. There can be maximum 45-50 pupils in a class and it may happen that your child is on the waiting list for the top most school of your choice but got through the second one on your list. Do not keep waiting for him to clear the waiting list and miss out the admission deadline for the second school. Enrol him first in the school he got through so that he does not miss out on his elementary education because the number of applicants are always huge enough as compared to the available seats.

Don’t be afraid to appeal or request:

If you desperately want your child to get through the prime institution of your choice where he is on waiting list or if he has not got through any schools on your list, do not panic. Request the council to look for one extra seat, if they can, or appeal to them if you think the reason of rejection was not fair. If your appeal is heard, you can appear for the admission within 10 school days’ notice.

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Bonus Tip:

Move your House within 1km of desired school

Priority for school admission will be given to students who live within 1km from the school and followed by those whose distance is between 1km to 2km; if there is none that interests you then you had better move your house. Going to school should not be a hassle for your children. As kids grow, they know little about education other than fun and meeting other children in school. It should be fun; let it be close enough. 1km is also favourable to you when dropping or picking them up.

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