Need help and advice deciding

PSLE marks the graduation of Primary school students and their entry into Secondary schools as teenagers. Discuss all issues about Secondary schooling here.

Need help and advice deciding

Postby newbie86DHS » Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:40 pm

Hi all,

First time on the forums here, glad to see that our community is active.

I have three kids, one now in SH1 and the other in JH2, or J1 and Year 2 respectively. The middle child is in VS, currently in Year 4 or their IP programme.

Recently, the one in Sec 2 told me that quite a few of his friends were applying to jump ship to the VCA IP Programme ( VS, Cedar and VJC ), and that after reading up on what they offered as well as talking to some of his p6 friends currently studying there, he says he wants to try to apply through badminton DSA as well.

When we asked the oldest one in SH1 for advice, she also agreed and said that it would be a good choice to make because (not only her opinion, majority of the batch) is quite disappointed with the quality of teaching and resources they are receiving, and definitely worser off than those who jumped ship in JH4 to VJC. Now many of them sleep in class and go home to study independently using other JC notes such as VJC, HCJC and RJC. Apparently, VJ's results for the past few years have all been better than DHS.

The one in VS is doing really well and excelling. Grades are very good, near perfect GPA. Asked the one in SH1 to look at the resources and stuff VSIP is teaching, and she says that based on what she is studying now and what she was taught in Year 4, VS's content seems more targeted towards building a solid foundation specifically for JC i.e. they bring down stuff like GP AQ to Year 3 onwards, Chem Orbitals to Y3, Genetics to Year 4 etc. ,is comparable if not better than DHS Y1 to Y4 syllabus.

But besides all this academics, we also got the sense that the VS kids are more all-rounded and outspoken. The friends of my kids in DHS who came to the house to do project work was relatively mild and quite quiet quiet shy shy that kind, but those from VS always greet with smile and very vocal ( sometimes can hear them debating about best solution from living room). Plus the one in VS is given far more opportunities in CCA from what we can see. Had hockey experience in primary school, but tried UG and didn't like for first year. Joined back hockey in Year 2 and the team welcomed him with arms wide open (no discrimination as far as we can tell). But the nicest thing was that this year, when the B div team suffered a shock lost to RI 4-3 in penalty shootout during the National finals (had beaten them by quite wide margin in earlier games), son was not depressed but proud of his team and the team all very gentlemanly. Instead of giving up, the Year 4s decided to continue their training with their juniors to help them win the B div championship next year as well as for them to win the A div championship when in VJ.

As you can see, swinging towards the VCA programme, but not sure whether it is the best thing for the youngest one to switch. For one thing, afraid of discrimination, because as it is with boys, they form close friendships with those who know very well and may not be nice to those who are different, and because it's a single sex school up till JC, gives them less exposure with regards to interacting with the ladies. Another thing we notice is that the VS boys are very 'angmoh kia', hardly use chinese in their conversations, always use english, very different from the Bicultural atmosphere in DHS, which we think is very important in the real world.

When we told our middle son this, he countered quite strongly, told us that some boys also joined them from DHS, RVHS and even HCI due to traveling time and they were very quickly integrated. Meet about once a month with gals from cedar and also have friends of more races, so not awkward around people at all. And it seems that VS organizing a lot of career guidance for the kids, invited former students on PSC and SAF Overseas scholarships to share w kids as well as former students studying in top Unis in the states & uk to share. Also have a boarding programme in school hostel where all Year 4s stay for a month after final exams and go on internships in the day.

Husband and I were from DHS as well and believe quite strongly in the school, but now that the kids seem to have found a better place, what should we do? Grateful for any insights you can provide.

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