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Your Guide To Singapore Secondary Schools

Enrolling your children in an overseas school with a different education system and curriculum is something not to be taken lightly. There are various factors to contemplate about such as location, appropriateness, syllabus and co-curricular activities, thus making it a process that requires a certain amount of time, effort and careful research. If you are feeling antsy about how to go about registering your child for a secondary school in Singapore, fret not as it is actually less complex than it seems.

For Singaporean citizens, permanent residents or foreigners that have been studying in a Singapore primary school for some time, the usual procedure of application is via the Secondary One posting exercise. The main criterium for admission is largely based on the student’s overall aggregate score for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), thus making it important to perform well to secure the chances of attaining one’s desired school.

Whereas for international students who are applying to enter a secondary school in Singapore for the first time, they are required to go through an Admissions Exercise for International Students (AEIS), prior to the year that they intend to enrol in the school. Essentially, it’s a test that prospective foreign students have to take, in order to enter a Singapore public school. It is mainly centred around the testing of their English and maths skills. Upon passing, the candidate will then be assigned to a particular school based on certain factors such as spaces available, the proximity of school from home and so on. But do note that these criteria are only applicable if you intend to admit your child into a local, public school in Singapore. For private educational institutions and other international schools, you have to deal with the academic parties directly.

Nevertheless, whether you choose to have your child enlist in a local government school or private educational institution, you will be glad to know that he or she will be in good hands as the Singapore education system is internationally acclaimed. Plus, based on a study done by Trends in Mathematics and Science in 2016, Singaporean secondary school students placed first in terms of maths and science exam results, thus highlighting the strength of the Singapore education curriculum in the global sector.

Hence, it’s not unusual that many parents from all around the world spare no expense at ensuring that their children get admitted to a Singapore school, whether be it relocating the entire family here or making intensive preparations for placement tests. However, with the wide variety of secondary school options available in Singapore, you might feel unsure as to which institution would be the best place for your child to further his or her studies. But worry not, as we have got your back. Here are some tips on which factors you should consider when selecting a secondary school for your child as below.


Things To Keep In Mind When Choosing A Secondary School

As mentioned earlier, the probability of getting into your desired school is based on the system of meritocracy, namely through the AEIS test results of that your child has to take. However, one thing worth noting is that in the situation that there are limited spaces left in a particular school and your child has the exact same test score as another, the differentiating factor that decides whether or not the prospective candidate gets accepted is based on the residency status. In other words, Singaporean citizens and permanent residents will have a higher chance of securing that highly coveted spot in a popular school as compared to foreigners.

As such, if you are going to permanently reside here and send your children to local schools here, perhaps you should consider submitting a PR application for your entire family. Upon approval of your family members’ permanent residency in Singapore, this will increase the likelihood of your child being successfully chosen for their preferred secondary school. Not to mention that school fees tend to be higher for foreign students as compared to Singaporeans and Singapore permanent residents. So, for a more cost-effective financing approach over the long run, it would be wise to convert both your child and yourself to permanent residents.

In light of that, let us share with you some factors to think about when choosing a secondary school for your child:

Try To Match The School’s Strengths With Your Child’s Preferences

As different schools have different areas of specialisation, it’s imperative that you take into consideration what their curriculum emphasises on and coordinate that with what your child likes. For example, if your kid has an avid interest in competitive track activities, consider placing him or her in a school with an extensive co-curricular programme rather than just selecting a school based on their academic ranking. If you are uncertain about their specific preferences, try to find an opportunity to discuss this matter with them.

Take Advantage Of Any Open Schools Events

Rather than trying to figure out the potential secondary school’s culture from their website or other supporting material, why not make a trip down to the school itself? From there, you will be able to better gauge if the school is suitable for your child along with gain an in-depth look at their curriculum, facilities and teaching style of the teachers there. After which, you can then list down a few prospective schools and rank them according to your child’s preferred choice.