As a parent, we always worry about the quality of education our children are getting each time they move up a new school level. This worry increases by the time they enter secondary school because their performance in this level can determine how well they will be able to handle collegiate work.
Once your child takes their Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), you and your child should have already shortlisted a select number of secondary schools to apply for in preparation for the results. However, with the number of secondary schools around Singapore that offer quality education, which one will suit your child’s needs?
Here are four of the usual considerations of each parent, like yourself, may have for your child moving up to secondary school and how you can tackle it:
#1 Choosing a school that is near to you
One of the most notable concerns of every parent when choosing a school for their child is the distance of the school from home.
There are at least 162 schools across Singapore and it is possible the “suitable” school for your child is the one located the farthest.
When helping your child select their future secondary school, help them discover the distance of the school from home and how they can travel to the area. Would they have problems commuting to the school every morning? Is it accessible via the MRT or not?
If your child would have to travel far distances every day, it may affect their rest and study time when they get home. Long travel to and from the school can wear your child’s body down and they won’t be able to do their homework or even rest after a busy day in school. Picking a school that is both ideals for your child and close to home can eliminate this problem.
If your child really needs to study far from home, consider getting them a school service that can take them to and from the school. Since they won’t be traveling with other commuters, your child can use the travel time to rest before and after school.
#2 Choosing a school with a higher cut off points
Most parents would often think of getting their kids to apply into the schools requiring a high cut off point since they believe it would equate to better education. However, this is not always the case because students can run out of steam if they are always pushed to perform at their hardest and beyond their skills every day.
When selecting a school for your child, you should be aware of their skills and how well they adapt to new environments. Some students may thrive when they are motivated and there is always a challenge for them to improve. A few may thrive if they are not always in the spotlight.
If your child shows signs of becoming motivated whenever there is a challenge, enrolling them into a high cut off school is recommended. However, if they prefer thriving in a quiet and relaxed atmosphere, consider the schools with a relaxed yet challenging environment.
#3 Choosing a school based on its mission, vision, and philosophy
For some parents, a school’s vision, mission, and philosophy are important because it should align with their personal philosophy. It also gives them an idea of how the school will teach their child these mission, vision and philosophy and the programs that it will offer throughout the year.
If you will take this aspect into account, you can check out the student accounts from the projects the school does every year to see if the school can effectively teach its mission, vision, and philosophy.
#4 Choosing a school with a Co-curricular activity (CCA) of your child’s interest
One of the most devastating things that can happen to your child when they enter secondary school is finding out that they enrolled in a school that did not have their preferred co-curricular activity. If this does happen to your child, it would be difficult for them to switch schools until the end of the year.
While checking out the schools with your child, learn which CCA your child would love to try out and teach them why the other CCAs are important as well. CCAs are divided into 4 categories: Sports, Clubs & Societies, Arts & Aesthetics, and Uniform Groups.
When your child understands the importance of CCAs aside from the one they prefer, they will be able to appreciate the different CCAs even if they prefer a specific CCA. If they end up in a school that does not have a strong support for their preferred CCA, they can still fall back to the other CCAs available.
You can check out a school’s CCA background through their website or through their brochures.
How can you help your child?
If you want to help your child get used to the heavy workload of secondary school or pass the entrance test of their target school, you can get them ssecondary school tuition from one of Singapore’s tutorial schools or from a tutor. These schools or tutors will assist your child to understand the basics of secondary education classes and prepare them for their lessons and exams.
Aside from this extra help, you should also support your child with their choice of school. If they do not pick your alma mater as their future school, don’t pressure them or make them feel that they are making a wrong choice. Remember, your child deserves to choose for themselves and their skills or preferences may not work well with the school you think is best.
You must also take the time to attend school events and get to know how your child acts in school by speaking to their teachers. By doing this, you will be able to understand what your child needs and why they would prefer a certain school than the ones you hope your child will consider.
With your support and some extra help from a tutor, your child will be able to handle the strain attached to moving up to a new grade level and flourish at the same time.
We have more articles to help you as a parent to prepare your child for secondary school: