Find Tuition/Enrichment Centres

How to Choose the Best Primary School Near You

Image courtesy of Pexels

 

Still trying to decide between the top primary schools in Singapore to register your child in? Wondering which are the best primary schools near you?

From search data, we see that a number of parents are curious about the “ranking of primary schools in Singapore.” Although it would be much easier to rank primary schools by an obvious marker, such as the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results, it’s what our education system has been trying to move away from. This is why schools no longer broadcast their results — in closed settings, they do reveal how graduating batches have performed, but it’s often accompanied by a reminder that parents should keep this information to themselves.

Other ways of trying to rank schools might include assessing their performance at the National School Games and other inter-school competitions. However, these may not be highly relevant for your child.

For data-loving parents, this article by local news site Kopi sheds some light on how Singapore schools may offer different opportunities, namely:

  • Differences in school programmes (e.g. some schools offer more CCAs)
  • Differences in funding (e.g. some schools are better funded)
  • Access to different social networks (e.g. schools located in ‘prime’ districts tend to attract a wealthier cohort)

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has a guide to the different types of schools in Singapore, under the local education system. For primary schools, there is a distinction between government schools and government-aided schools — the majority of primary schools are government schools, while government-aided schools usually have links to churches, clan associations, and so on. If you look at the list of government-aided schools, you will recognise many of the schools as being popular and highly regarded.

 

Some parents also place a premium on schools that offer the Gifted Education Programme (GEP), as well as Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools. SAP schools are known informally as ‘Chinese schools,’ and this Rice Media article is an interesting read, especially if you are concerned about diversity in our schools.

Deciding on the ‘Best’ Primary School for Your Child 

For parents who believe in holistic education, we think it’s best that you create your own vision and definition of what a good school should offer! Our Chief Kiasu has a method for this, which we’ll briefly explain below. 

First, you should identify the school factors that matter most to you, such as:

  • Distance: This seems obvious, since a school far away will mean higher transport costs and more worn-out and grumpy kids! However, what counts as ‘acceptable’ travel time is subjective — from walking distance to less than one hour on private or public transport.
  • Facilities: Some schools have facilities such as tennis courts, football fields, and swimming pools. 
  • CCAs & niche programmes: Some schools are famous for special programmes and CCAs. This is important if you feel your child has a particular talent that you would like to nurture.
  • Religious affiliations: Schools run by religious organisations will have a strong focus on the values of the religion that they practise.
  • Affiliation to secondary schools: The cut-off scores for ‘affiliated’ students to enter the related secondary schools will be more generous, i.e. the bar for entry is lower.
  • Academic standing: As the MOE does not publish the actual results of PSLE graduates, you will have to rely on hearsay to establish what you think is the academic standing of the schools. You can try your luck and enquire with school principals or administrators about the percentage of pass rates and quality passes — depending on the context of your interaction, you may get a response in conversation, but probably not in writing.
  • Reputation of the school principal or faculty: This is highly subjective. 

Next, assign a weightage to each factor, such as 50% for distance, or ease of travel. The sum of all your weightages should add up to 100%. You can then give each school a score, according to whether it has what you’re looking for. One way to track these scores is to use Excel — learn how to create a weighted scoring model in Excel here.

What’s the Best Primary School Near Me?

Convinced that convenience should be your top priority for choosing a school? Use the MOE’s SchoolFinder to search for schools by area, and get a shortlist of schools in your neighbourhood. 

To help you along, we’ve provided a list of SchoolFinder links below, and we’ve marked with an asterisk the areas that are more frequently searched for. By clicking on the relevant links, you can narrow down your list of schools by location, and you’ll then be able to apply the method that we described above to choose the best school — for your child — in the area.

If in doubt, you can always join our KSP chats to find out what other parents think! That’s why we’ve also provided links to relevant discussion threads on our KSP forum, where some parents have cast their votes for their preferred primary school in each area:

  1. Primary schools in Ang Mo Kio* (join our Ang Mo Kio primary schools chat)
  2. Primary schools in Bedok* (join our Bedok primary schools chat)
  3. Primary schools in Bishan* (join our Bishan primary schools chat)
  4. Primary schools in Bukit Batok* (join our Bukit Batok primary schools chat)
  5. Primary schools in Bukit Merah (join our Bukit Merah primary schools chat)
  6. Primary schools in Bukit Panjang (join our Bukit Panjang primary schools chat)
  7. Primary schools in Bukit Timah (join our Bukit Timah primary schools chat)
  8. Primary schools in Central (join our Central primary schools chat)
  9. Primary schools in Choa Chu Kang (join our Choa Chu Kang primary schools chat)
  10. Primary schools in Clementi (join our Clementi primary schools chat)
  11. Primary schools in Geylang (join our Geylang primary schools chat)
  12. Primary schools in Hougang (join our Hougang primary schools chat)
  13. Primary schools in Jurong East* (join our Jurong East primary schools chat)
  14. Primary schools in Jurong West (join our Jurong West primary schools chat)
  15. Primary schools in Kallang (join our Kallang primary schools chat)
  16. Primary schools in Marine Parade (join our Marine Parade primary schools chat)
  17. Primary schools in Novena (join our Novena primary schools chat)
  18. Primary schools in Pasir Ris* (join our Pasir Ris primary schools chat)
  19. Primary schools in Punggol (join our Punggol primary schools chat)
  20. Primary schools in Queenstown (join our Queenstown primary schools chat)
  21. Primary schools in Sembawang* (join our Sembawang primary schools chat)
  22. Primary schools in Seng Kang* (join our Sengkang primary schools chat)
  23. Primary schools in Serangoon (join our Serangoon primary schools chat)
  24. Primary schools in Tampines* (join our Tampines primary schools chat)
  25. Primary schools in Toa Payoh* (join our Toa Payoh primary schools chat)
  26. Primary schools in Woodlands (join our Woodlands primary schools chat)
  27. Primary schools in Yishun* (join our Yishun primary schools chat)

 

Alternatively, browse our 2022 P1 Registration Exercise and Choosing and Evaluating Primary Schools chats, or read our 2022 P1 Registration guides for more insights. 

 

We wish you all the best in choosing a suitable school for your child!

Find Tuition/Enrichment Centres