Is there any use to attend P1 for 2~3 months only?

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Is there any use to attend P1 for 2~3 months only?

Postby SandS » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:31 am

I have been looking forward to the day when my girl move on to the next phase of her life - primary school! It seems not too long ago when she was just a tiny wee thing and now she is already going to P1 next year! Time flies. We often talk about it, and she is also looking forward to it.

However, recently my DH has received & accepted a job offer overseas. We are planning to join him next year, perhaps after CNY & my mum's birthday; and that would bring us to sometime in March. So now I am in a dilemma. Should I allow my girl to attend P1 next year? Is it cruel for her to make new friends and then having to say farewell after a few months?

My parents don't mind bringing them back to my hometown in Malaysia, while I stay on here to pack & work till Feb (to get my bonus!). But if I agree, that will mean my girl will not experience entering primary school.

If she does attend P1, my parents will be here to help bring her to and fro school. But packing will be difficult since both kids will stick with me like glue.

If you are in my shoes, which option will you choose? Which option is best for my girl? Please help share some thoughts on it.

SandS
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Re: Is there any use to attend P1 for 2~3 months only?

Postby hquek » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:40 am

hi SandS,

Depends on if you foresee you will be away definitely for the next 6 years. My friend put her girl in school and few months down the road, they moved to another country for work also. The plus of doing this is that your girl has a confirmed place in that school and she can just take extended leave of absence (not sure if you need to pay school fees but it's not big amount). Should the family decide to come back after a few years (more job opportunity?), you won't have to hunt for a primary school for her.

But better to check with MOE if this is ok. The above was what I gathered from my friend and is at best sketchy.

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Re: Is there any use to attend P1 for 2~3 months only?

Postby slmkhoo » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:51 am

I think you should let your child go to school, especially if you foresee that you are coming back within 6 yrs. You can apply for leave of absence and she can return to the same school eventually. Also, she will have some impression of Singapore school which will help when she returns. It's true that making and leaving friends is painful, but she will get over it. In fact, if you can help her stay in touch while overseas through email or skype or whatever, it will also help in re-integration when she returns.

My family has lived overseas since my kids were tiny, but we registered them in Singapore school at the appropriate time for P1 and brought them back for immersion every 2 yrs for a few weeks or so, just to help them know what Singapore school is like. We weren't sure when we were going to return, but we knew we would one day. We have now decided to return next year and my kids will already in sec school, but they remember their immersion periods in school and still stay in touch with some of those friends. And at least Singapore isn't such a 'foreign country' to them.

By the way, even if you decide not to put your child in school, since she has already been given a place, you can still apply for leave of absence to reserve the place until you return. Details of the LOA scheme can be found on the MOE website. In essence, you apply for 1 yr (or part of a year) at a time, and pay some fee (depends on the school but shouldn't be more than the normal Pr school fees). The applications generally have to be made in November each year. I've been doing it since 2004.

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Re: Is there any use to attend P1 for 2~3 months only?

Postby SandS » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:12 pm

Thanks for those info. Never knew there is such a thing as LOA!

We are not sure how long we will be out. If it goes well, maybe for long. If it doesn't, then we'll come back and take it as an experience (whether good or bad). We will just play it by the ears. :xedfingers:

My friend just mentioned to me that will need to pay a bit if the child goes to school (uniforms, textbook, misc). Roughly how much does it cost? I guess it won't be that much, but since we are not going on expat package, money is a concern. :moneyflies:

SandS
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Re: Is there any use to attend P1 for 2~3 months only?

Postby bebebub » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:54 pm

SandS wrote:Thanks for those info. Never knew there is such a thing as LOA!

We are not sure how long we will be out. If it goes well, maybe for long. If it doesn't, then we'll come back and take it as an experience (whether good or bad). We will just play it by the ears. :xedfingers:

My friend just mentioned to me that will need to pay a bit if the child goes to school (uniforms, textbook, misc). Roughly how much does it cost? I guess it won't be that much, but since we are not going on expat package, money is a concern. :moneyflies:

I sent my dd to school for 2 months before joining my hb.
Actually, the few hours in school allow me to do quite a fair bit of packing. When we came back for visits, she asked to be sent back to school. I didn't send her as we were usually back for less than 2 weeks.
I don't think u need to call MOE for such arrangmments. Just call the school n work out the details with them. Same for LOA.

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Re: Is there any use to attend P1 for 2~3 months only?

Postby slmkhoo » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:09 pm

SandS wrote:My friend just mentioned to me that will need to pay a bit if the child goes to school (uniforms, textbook, misc). Roughly how much does it cost? I guess it won't be that much, but since we are not going on expat package, money is a concern. :moneyflies:

That is true. However, there are ways to make it a bit cheaper. If you know families with kids who are older than yours in that school, you can ask to borrow uniforms (if being kept for younger siblings) or for hand-me-downs. Pr textbooks don't cost that much, and you can also get hand-me-downs or buy 2nd hand. One of my good friends would always help me get hand-me-downs of books and uniforms before we came back for the immersion periods.

You may want to have the textbooks anyway, either to cover the material or just for reading. I used to buy the Singapore textbooks every year to cover 'missing' Maths topics (most international school Maths isn't as advanced as Singapore's), and my kids would read the English, social studies, health, music etc for 'fun'. I felt it was important that they were aware of what kids in Singapore were learning even if I didn't actually make them study it. You can also talk to the teachers and find out which items are not really necessary since your daughter is only going to be around for a while.

LOA forms can be downloaded from the MOE website but must be submitted to the school, not to MOE. The fee is also paid to the school.

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Re: Is there any use to attend P1 for 2~3 months only?

Postby janet88 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:09 pm

Secure the place in primary school. Apply for LOA. Used to be $120 for 1 year but just increased recently. Handled this admin for my uncle's son. Get a receipt from the school...download the form from MOE website.

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Re: Is there any use to attend P1 for 2~3 months only?

Postby slmkhoo » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:12 pm

janet_lee88 wrote:Secure the place in primary school. Apply for LOA. Used to be $120 for 1 year but just increased recently. Handled this admin for my uncle's son. Get a receipt from the school...download the form from MOE website.

The fee varies from school to school. My daughter's school was $130+ (can't remember the exact figure).

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Re: Is there any use to attend P1 for 2~3 months only?

Postby SandS » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:03 am

Thank you all for your inputs! Really value all your post.

After thinking about it and discussing it with her, I will send her to school since she is really looking forward to it. I guess her childcare teacher is gearing them up for it also.

Okay back to getting excited about her first day in P1 then! :wink::rahrah:

SandS
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