Blog Parents Key Decisions Primary Education: Elite Or Heartland School?

Primary Education: Elite Or Heartland School?

Singaporean education is system is considered one of the most successful systems in the world. Singaporean school system relies on a more results-oriented approach, which is rather different from other school s in other countries of the world. Singaporean state education has different stages which include; pre-school, primary education, secondary education, post-secondary and pre-university and university level. In all Singaporean schools, English is the teaching language used. Before a student can proceed to Secondary School Level, they are expected to take the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE).

The Ministry of Education controls the education system in Singapore. Preschools in Singapore are run by the private sector. They are to be registered under the Singaporean Education Ministry before they begin operating.

Singapore has also embraced a different alternative of education known as the homeschooling. When a parent opts to home school their children, they have to submit an application with the MOE. The Ministry has set regulations to guide you when preparing to home school your child. Homeschooling is on the rise in Singapore as more parents choose this system. This enables the parents to be able to choose a suitable method they can use to teach their children themselves or with a private tutor.

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Elite School vs Heartland School

In Singapore, there is a general perception that elite schools produce high achieving children. These schools are linked to excellent academic results and high-quality education for your children. In comparison to heartland schools that are alleged to offer common quality education, with graduates believed to be rough around the edges.

Some Of The Differences That Students Are Exposed To During Their Education Phase

Many Activities

In an elite school, your child will be exposed to many sporting activities which teach your child values like team work and sportsmanship, which is believed to contribute to an all-round education for your child.

The Education Ministry has introduced School-Based Program in primary schools and Niche Program for secondary schools, which has contributed to the heartland schools catching up to the elite schools. These programs are aimed at recognizing and supporting each school in developing its niche and area of expertise. These niches include sports, character education and ICT.

The education ministry’s programs and individual schools’ hard work put an equal playing field for both elite and heartland school. This strengthens the argument that each school has its strong points.

Building Networks & Connections

Many parents are for the idea that the friendships their children make in elite schools will be beneficial to them in future. This is set to start your child’s career and networking can be found on the contacts made from the primary years.

Heartlands, on the other hand, get their students from the nearby neighbourhoods, as well as different family backgrounds. Some parents believe heartland schools to be best suited for their children as it teaches them social skills and humility. This to these parents gives their children the ability to interact with people from different backgrounds.

Different Teaching Methods

Teachers in elite schools are well recognized in the public and the children from these schools tend to think outside the box. This gives elite schools the attributes that they have better teachers and has progressive instruction methods.

The teachers at heartland are similarly competent and many have in the past won numerous awards for inspirational teaching methods. These pioneering methods used in heartlands have helped the weak students and those lacking the access to tuition progress and excel in their studies.

A Sense Of Identity

Elite schools frequently have a long and strong history. A unique school tradition and culture promote the feeling of belonging for the students. A driving motivation for parents to enrol their children in an elite school, which they themselves attended, is the sense of identity it offers. The strong sense of team man-ship and belonging is often witnessed during sports and other school activities. These parents also intend for their children to experience the same during their education phase.

How To Decide What Is Best For Your Child?

When deciding whether to choose an elite primary school or a heartland school for your child, below are some points to take into consideration. These include:

Make sure you consider your definition of accomplishment in life. Is it the personal accomplishment? Or is it an achievement?
What defines quality education for you? Is it the academic achievement or the learning experience and end-results?
What are your set goals for your child’s primary education?
What does your child need and his personality? Does your child have any specific talents and skills that are to be developed further in school?
What philosophies, religion and family values do you make use of when parenting?

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Whether parents prefer elite primary school or heartland schools, the fit linking the primary school and each child determines if the child thrives and has an all-round growth in school. The most important thing that you need to always keep in mind is; the home environment and the parents are the essential influencers’ in your child’s life. Whether your child goes to a heartland primary school or an elite school, your participation in his education and a home life that encourages learning will make it possible for your child to thrive.


Although Singaporean education system is ranked among one of the best in the world, there are divided views when it comes to the type of school your child can attend. Parents are always torn between whether to choose an elite primary school over a heartland school for their children.

This divide is however based on the activities, the education methods used, the opportunities for networking and connection. The determining factors that determine whether your child thrives are the home environment you provide for your child and your level of involvement in your child’s education.

Each of these schools offers various opportunities to your child ensuring they produce well-rounded graduates. The MOE has also introduced School-Based and Niche programs that encourage each school to offer the best possible quality education for your child. Above all, each of these school offers a sense of identity and belonging for your child.

For more related articles, you might be interested in How to Develop Critical Thinking Skills in Your Students.

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.