Secondary School Open House 2024: Your Chance to Find Out About Top Schools!

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In April and May every year, some of Singapore’s most popular secondary schools will hold their open house events, in order to attract the best students for their Direct School Admission (DSA) intake. 

Even if your child is not intending to participate in the DSA, or doesn’t feel ‘good enough’ for a top school, we encourage you to attend these events together. Here’s why:

  1. It’s good exposure. Perhaps your child doesn’t have stellar grades right now, but this could change when they develop better learning strategies or a strong interest in specific subjects in future. In any case, the purpose of the DSA exercise is to give students an alternative way to enrol in a school, besides grades.
  2. It builds confidence. You don’t want your child to harbour the belief that they’re not cut out for certain environments, based on limited information. It’s better to attend open house events with a curious mindset, to ask questions like: What sorts of students is this school looking for? How does the school do things differently? Could this be a school where my child can thrive?
  3. It inspires action. If your child is still undecided about the DSA, seeing the school environment, hearing about the programmes, and talking to current students may motivate them to apply. 

Below, we’ll discuss how to shortlist schools of interest, as well as provide tips on making your open house visit more meaningful. We also have a list of 2024 open house dates that have been announced, but please visit the school websites or contact schools directly for the most accurate information.

Which Secondary School Open House Events to Attend

In general, the open house events that get the most attention are the ones held by brand-name schools. Many neighbourhood schools opt to hold year-end open-house events instead, around the time where the PSLE results are released.

That said, if your child is interested in a lesser-known school, do contact the school to ask if there will be an open house event, or if you can schedule a private visit with your child.

To shortlist schools of interest, you can do the following:

  1. Visit the Ministry of Education’s SchoolFinder website.
  2. Click on ‘Secondary’, look for ‘Admission type’ in the left navigation bar, and select the DSA checkbox. 
  3. View the different ‘talent’ categories, or search for a talent area that is relevant to your child. 
  4. Research the schools that specialise in each talent area, to see if they might suit your child. 
  5. Contact the schools on your shortlist to check if they are holding open house events in April or May. (Or see our list of open house dates below.)

At the time of writing, the Ministry of Education has not updated their website with the DSA talent areas offered by secondary schools in 2024. Be aware of this, and check the site regularly for the updated list. You can also contact the schools directly for information on their talent areas.

How To Make An Open House Visit More Meaningful

Attending an open house event requires time and energy, so you may find it more enjoyable to attend just one per day. 

If there are two clashing events that you and your child have shortlisted, ask them which one they are more keen to attend, and why. This will also help you to assess what your child is truly interested in.

Open house events at popular schools can be quite crowded and chaotic, and there are often many parents vying to talk to the same teachers and students, especially after presentations or at the activity booths. It’s helpful to identify any talks that might be directly relevant to your child, such as the sports presentation, as well as specific booths that you want to visit.

You can prepare questions to ask during the Q&A sessions, but because of time constraints, educators may request that questions are kept to general topics, rather than something that is specific to your child. Some questions that you could ask include:

  • What are some of the common qualities of successful DSA candidates?
  • What qualities should candidates try to demonstrate, in order to stand a better chance of getting selected?
  • What’s the preferred academic profile of the students that you’re looking for?
  • Will you consider students who haven’t represented their primary school in competitions or events, by letting them try out or take a test?
  • How does the school provide support if students fall behind academically?
  • How does the school ensure the mental wellness of their DSA students, who will have hectic schedules?

It’s also important to try and talk to current students of the school, and you can do this at the activity booths. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Why did you choose this school? What other schools were you considering?
  • What do you like best about the school so far?
  • What have you found most challenging? How has the school supported you?
  • Do you feel that you will continue to pursue your talent area after secondary school? Why or why not?
  • How are you coping with your schoolwork? Do you depend on private tutoring to catch up?
  • What is your training schedule like? Do you do additional training sessions with a private coach?
  • Are you glad that you chose the DSA route to enter this school?

Remember: there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ questions. Have a discussion with your child, and come up with questions that fit your needs. If you and your child tend to be more introverted, you may find it difficult to approach strangers at these public events to chat. Although it may not come naturally, we encourage you to reach out to at least one or two individuals, as they can give you a more accurate view of life in these schools. 

2024 DSA Secondary School Open House Dates

Which popular secondary schools are holding open house events in April and May 2024? 

Below are schools that have announced their open house dates. Apart from these, we’ve also included several schools that parents typically want to know more about — these schools have not released open house event details, so it’s best to contact them directly for updates.

School Location School Type Open House
Nanyang Girls’ High School Bukit Timah Girls 6 April 2024
School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA) Central Co-Ed 6 April 2024
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) (Secondary) Queenstown Boys 13 April 2024
Methodist Girls’ School (Secondary) Bukit Timah Girls 27 April 2024
River Valley High School (Secondary) Jurong West Co-Ed 27 April 2024
CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School (Secondary) Ang Mo Kio Girls 4 May 2024
Raffles Institution (Secondary) Bishan Boys 4 May 2024
NUS High School of Mathematics and Science Clementi Co-Ed 11 May 2024
Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary) Central Girls 18 May 2024
School of Science and Technology, Singapore Clementi Co-Ed 25 May 2024
Catholic High School (Secondary) Bishan Boys Contact school
Cedar Girls’ Secondary School Toa Payoh Girls Contact school
Dunman High School (Secondary) Kallang Co-Ed Contact school
Hwa Chong Institution (Secondary) Bukit Timah Boys Contact school
National Junior College (Secondary) Bukit Timah Co-Ed Contact school
Singapore Chinese Girls’ School Novena Girls Contact school
St. Joseph’s Institution (Secondary) Novena Boys Contact school
Temasek Junior College (Secondary) Bedok Co-Ed Contact school
Victoria School Bedok Boys Contact school

Want to chat with other parents about the DSA in 2024? Join the conversation on the KiasuParents forum!