P1 Registration 2023: Which Primary School is the Best in Singapore?

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Still undecided on which primary school to register your child in? 

It’s a big decision for children in Singapore, and we encourage parents to set aside time to explore the choices that are out there. 

If this is your first time registering a child for P1, use the Ministry of Education’s resources to get started. In May, you can check the official Primary 1 registration page for instructions, including registration phases and key dates. You should also read the MOE’s guide on how to choose a primary school, which covers key consideration factors such as:

  • Home-school distance
  • Whether your family’s Mother Tongue Language is offered
  • Special learning needs support 

Local parents also tend to be curious about the primary schools in Singapore that are considered ‘the best.’ We hope that parents can move away from trying to rank primary schools by their PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination) performance. Instead, focus on choosing a school that will accept your child as a unique individual and nurture his or her strengths, so that your child will emerge as a confident and motivated teenager.

Read on to find out how you can identify the best primary school for your child!

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Which primary schools are Singapore parents searching for in 2023? 

Not sure how to shortlist primary schools? Use the SchoolFinder tool to browse the 182 primary schools in Singapore. This is where you can shortlist schools by location, co-curricular activities (CCAs), Mother Tongue Language, special needs support, and more.

But if you’re curious about the schools that other parents are searching for, here’s what you should know: Some schools that regularly pop up in search questions are known for their academic rigour — these include Nanyang Primary School, Henry Park Primary School, and Raffles Girls’ Primary School.

In terms of search frequency alone, these are the primary schools with the most searches right now:

  1. Nanyang Primary School
  2. St. Margaret’s Primary School
  3. Greendale Primary School
  4. Pioneer Primary School
  5. Xingnan Primary School
  6. Anglo-Chinese School (Primary)
  7. Springdale Primary School
  8. Cantonment Primary School
  9. Qifa Primary School
  10. Yuhua Primary School
  11. Punggol Primary School
  12. Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Primary School
  13. Punggol View Primary School
  14. Bendemeer Primary School
  15. Bukit View Primary School
  16. Unity Primary School
  17. Yio Chu Kang Primary School
  18. Fern Green Primary School

Although we can’t determine why the search interest exists, we think it’s still worth checking out these schools to see what they are offering, especially if they are located near your home.

Which primary schools have performed well at sports?

In local primary schools, the most common sports CCAs are basketball, badminton, and football.

You can find out how primary schools have fared in these, as well as other sports, by checking the National School Games website. In particular, you can look at which teams have qualified for the quarter-finals, semis, and finals, and how they’ve fared. 

For primary school basketball, fixtures and results are available here. Chua Chu Kang Primary School, Tao Nan School, and Pei Chun Public School are some schools that you can explore.

For primary school badminton, fixtures and results are available here. Henry Park Primary School, St. Joseph’s Institution Junior, Kong Hwa School, and Tao Nan School are some schools that you might like to check out.

For primary school football, fixtures and results are available here. For girls who like football, Haig Girls’ School and Telok Kurau Primary School had a strong showing at this year’s National School Games. For boys, please continue to check in for updated results.

Which primary schools help to develop artistic talent?

If your child attends an enrichment class, such as an art or music class, it’s best to get recommendations from your child’s teachers. 

You can also look at the results of the annual art and creative writing competitions held by the School of the Arts (SOTA) for Primary 6 students. Check out which schools the finalists are from, as this might indicate more support for artistic talent in these schools. You can then proceed to research these schools, or try to find out more from current and former students. For instance, you might want to consider Raffles Girls’ Primary School for their creative writing programmes. 

If children have other interests besides sports and the arts, how do I find out which school is best for them?

The quickest way is to use your preferred search tool, such as Google! 

As an example, let’s say your child is interested in robotics. You can look for a list of robotics competitions in Singapore, and visit the competition websites to view the results. For instance, the RoboCup Singapore competition lists all its winners here, and the winning schools for the various RoboCup events in 2023 include:

You can then check out these winning schools to see if their programmes might be suitable for your child.

Alternatively, if you are already interested in a particular school, simply call them to enquire about their enrichment programmes and CCAs. You don’t have to wait till the school holds an Open House event — you will have a better chance of getting your questions answered when you contact the school directly. Open House events tend to be crowded and noisy, and it’s not a conducive environment for quality conversations with teachers and students.

Which primary schools are known for having a good school culture?

First, you will have to decide what a ‘good school culture’ means to you.

For some parents, it’s about having ample support for their children, who may have different learning needs. Technically, all our primary schools can support students with mild special educational needs such as dyslexia and ADHD. In addition, all primary schools have Special Educational Needs Officers. 

Over half of our primary schools have a programme called P1 TRANSIT, designed to help children with social and behavioural needs. You can further filter these schools by location and other factors, and contact the schools directly with your questions.

You can also consider joining an online support group relevant for your child, as that would be the best place to get primary school recommendations. If you don’t know where to seek help, read our conversation with a former educator and homeschooling mother of neurodivergent children, and try reaching out to her for contacts. 

Other parents may be concerned about how a school deals with bullying — this can be hard to predict, as no two bullying cases are the same. It may be best not to worry too much about this before your child has even started school. What you can do is to have conversations with your child about bullying and cyberbullying, and teach them some simple tactics that they can use if they encounter trouble in school.

Finally, some parents might want to pick a school with a more ethnically diverse background. For instance, this might be the case if yours is a mixed race or minority family. Every cohort is different, but schools will generally reflect the cultural mix of the surrounding neighbourhood. You can also check the school’s social media channels to see if the featured photos show a diverse school population.

Is it better to choose a primary school with affiliations?

About 20% of our local primary schools are affiliated to secondary schools, which means that there will be a lower entry bar to enter these secondary schools. 

Many affiliated schools also have religious ties, and this appeals to parents who want a values-driven education for their children. 

However, affiliated primary schools can be hard to gain entry to. If you are not alumni, and have no other ties to these schools, you will have to wait for Phase 2C of the registration process, where home-school distance will be the deciding factor. Either way, you should be prepared that demand will be high, and balloting for places is a possibility.

Want to chat with other parents about P1 registration in 2023? Join the conversation on KiasuParents!