P1 Registration: Spot The Hidden Signs To Choose A Good Safety School (With E-Open House Details)

Photo by MChe Lee on Unsplash

Registering your child for Primary 1 next year, and anxiously tracking the number of remaining places for your top-choice school? Or losing sleep over not being able to register for a popular school until Phase 2C?

Perhaps it’s time to give some attention to your safety school instead.

If this is the first time you’ve heard the term, a “safety school” is a school that your child is almost guaranteed to get into. Since there are no grades involved in Primary 1 registration, your main concern will be the likelihood of balloting for school entry in Phase 2C and beyond, which you can read more about in our post “Get Ready For 2021 P1 Registration.” (If you need a refresher on the different phases of the P1 registration process, please bookmark the Ministry of Education’s P1 Registration Page.)

Below, we have listed the primary schools that KSP considers “no-risk” or “low-risk,” when it comes to balloting at Phase 2C. Do visit their official websites and e-open house sites, and sign up for their webinars if you can spare the time. If you have further questions, all it takes to link up with a school is a phone call or an e-mail.

How much can you learn about a school’s culture from its website and social media channels? Well, just as one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you should temper your expectations and not expect anything too fancy. It is a complex operation to keep a school running, and the websites and social media channels are just one of many balls to juggle.

However, considering the times that we’re in, technology is the easiest way to reach people, and a better user experience may indicate the presence of school leaders who are more in tune with digital technology. This may also hint at how comfortable the school is with home-based learning (or HBL, as we know it). This is important because Covid-19 vaccinations for children under 12 are still a question mark at the moment, and HBL will likely remain a significant part of the school experience, especially for primary schoolers.

Given the current media spotlight on Singapore’s race relations, you may also be concerned about the diversity of the school community. Most of our primary schools make it a point to feature students of different races on their websites, so it would be a red flag if you don’t see that on a school website. Beyond that, it will be hard to tell if a school environment will be culturally sensitive. What you can look for — in the school updates section — are efforts to do more than getting students to dress up in ethnic costumes on Racial Harmony Day. For instance, if a school has made attempts to discuss what race really means, to learn about different cultures, or to explore what racism is about, it would have gone much deeper into building true understanding between the races than most schools.

If you have a chance to watch a welcome address by the school leaders, or read their speeches, you can observe if they tend to rely on platitudes, or if they make the effort to use concrete examples to illustrate their points. School leaders may not be the ones who are actually educating your children, but they do set the expectations for how teaching should be carried out. Although we should never judge someone solely on a video or a piece of writing, sometimes, it is from these channels that you get a sense of whether you like someone, and it’s important to start off your child’s school journey with a basic level of trust.

Finally, some schools have made their videos and resources available for parents to view at their convenience, which would reflect an openness towards communication, as opposed to a school where the “open house” is limited to a single-session webinar that is not made available for public viewing. That said, a school may be facing constraints that we don’t know about, and the best way to see if they are keen to engage parents is to get in touch with them. How they respond to your questions, and whether the door is left open for you to find out more, will signal their interest in building ties with the wider community of interested parents. It may be a little unfair, if an already bogged-down teacher has been handed the additional task of dealing with parent enquiries. But as parents, we have few other ways of assessing a relatively unknown school, and the school that provides the warmest reception will easily become the clear winner.

As the safety school that you are considering is likely in or around your neighbourhood, do talk to your neighbours to get the inside scoop. But again, bear in mind that every child’s school experience is shaped by different factors, from their school readiness to social skills and resilience. Two children studying in the same school may view it entirely differently, and you will never be able to predict with certainty that a school will work out perfectly for your child.

Keeping an open mind will be crucial during this period, and you can read our conversation with a mother who registered her child in a neighbourhood school some years ago, after being unsuccessful in her balloting efforts during Phases 2B and 2C. For more tips, you can also read our guide to finding a school that you’re happy with in Phase 2C. Here’s wishing you and your child all the best in your school search!

Primary School Location e-Open House Dates Balloting Risk (Phase 2C)
Jing Shan Primary Ang Mo Kio Webinar 14 July & 22 July 2021 Low
Mayflower Primary Ang Mo Kio Website   No
Ang Mo Kio Primary Ang Mo Kio     No
Townsville Primary Ang Mo Kio Website   No
St Stephen’s School Bedok     Low
CHIJ (Katong) Primary Bedok     Low
Telok Kurau Primary Bedok     Low
Opera Estate Primary Bedok     Low
St Anthony’s Canossian Primary Bedok     No
Bedok Green Primary Bedok     No
Damai Primary Bedok Website   No
Dazhong Primary Bukit Batok Website   No
Bukit View Primary Bukit Batok Webinar 15 July 2021 No
Lianhua Primary Bukit Batok     No
Cantonment Primary Bukit Merah     No
Blangah Rise Primary Bukit Merah     No
Greenridge Primary Bukit Panjang Website   Low
Beacon Primary Bukit Panjang     Low
CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace Bukit Panjang     Low
Zhenghua Primary Bukit Panjang     No
West View Primary Bukit Panjang     No
Bukit Timah Primary Bukit Timah     No
St Margaret’s Primary Central     Low
Concord Primary Choa Chu Kang     Low
Yew Tee Primary Choa Chu Kang Website   Low
Unity Primary Choa Chu Kang     Low
Kranji Primary Choa Chu Kang Website   No
Teck Whye Primary Choa Chu Kang Website   No
Clementi Primary Clementi     Low
Pei Tong Primary Clementi Website   No
Geylang Methodist School Geylang Webinar 9 July 2021 Low
Haig Girls’ Geylang Webinar
10 July 2021 Low
Canossa Convent Primary Geylang     No
Montfort Junior Hougang Website   No
Yio Chu Kang Primary Hougang     No
Xinghua Primary Hougang     No
Fuhua Primary Jurong East     No
Yuhua Primary Jurong East Website   No
Xingnan Primary Jurong West     Low
Corporation Primary Jurong West     No
Boon Lay Garden Primary Jurong West     No
Bendemeer Primary Kallang     No
Farrer Park Primary Kallang Website   No
Tanjong Katong Primary Marine Parade     Low
Casuarina Primary Pasir Ris     Low
Park View Primary Pasir Ris Website   No
Meridian Primary Pasir Ris Website   No
Edgefield Primary Punggol Website 9 July 2021 (Webinar) Low
Valour Primary Punggol Webinar 17 July 2021 No
Punggol Cove Primary Punggol Website   No
Greendale Primary Punggol     No
Northshore Primary Punggol Webinar 24 July 2021 No
Queenstown Primary Queenstown     Low
New Town Primary Queenstown Website   No
Wellington Primary Sembawang     Low
Sembawang Primary Sembawang Website 10 July 2021 (Webinar) Low
Northoaks Primary Sembawang Website   No
North Vista Primary Seng Kang     Low
Anchor Green Primary Seng Kang Webinar 16 July 2021 Low
Palm View Primary Seng Kang Website School may hold a webinar, register interest on website Low
Fernvale Primary Seng Kang     No
Seng Kang Primary Seng Kang Website   No
North Spring Primary Seng Kang     No
CHIJ Our Lady of Good Counsel Serangoon     Low
St Gabriel’s Primary Serangoon Website   Low
Zhonghua Primary Serangoon Website   No
East Spring Primary Tampines     Low
Changkat Primary Tampines     Low
Tampines North Primary Tampines     No
Yumin Primary Tampines Webinar 16 July 2021 No
Angsana Primary Tampines     No
Cedar Primary Toa Payoh Website   No
Marymount Convent Toa Payoh Details   No
First Toa Payoh Primary Toa Payoh     No
Fuchun Primary Woodlands     Low
Greenwood Primary Woodlands     Low
Woodlands Ring Primary Woodlands     Low
Qihua Primary Woodlands     No
Marsiling Primary Woodlands     No
Si Ling Primary Woodlands Website   No
North View Primary Yishun     Low
Yishun Primary Yishun     Low
Naval Base Primary Yishun Website   No
Xishan Primary Yishun Website   No
Peiying Primary Yishun     No
Ahmad Ibrahim Primary Yishun     No