SPECTRA Secondary School was Madam M. S. Suhanthi's first choice for her son, Deevinesh Judevincent, when she heard that the school caters specially to Normal (Technical) students.
"My son is very good at hands-on stuff like electrical work and fixing cellphones, more than books," said the 46-year-old administrative clerk. "In a normal school, he may not be able to cope."
Deevinesh, 12, was one of the 200 pioneer students who turned up yesterday at the new specialised school for Normal (Technical) students, to prepare themselves for the start of the new year of school.
Other parents like Madam Suhanthi also said they were drawn to the school's learning environment as it can meet their children's needs.
Madam Karen Cheah, 47, whose younger son is enrolled in the school, said she was impressed by its new facilities and leaders when she attended its open house last month.
"The principal and vice-principal are very dedicated," said the mother of two boys.
"This is where a child who needs help will get help and not be left aside," added Madam Cheah, who is currently not working.
The school, in Woodlands Drive 64, is the second specialised school for Normal (Technical) students.
The first is Crest Secondary in Jurong East, which opened in January.
Spectra Secondary's principal Krishnan Aravinthan, 45, said a mid-term review will be done in June next year to monitor the school's progress.
He told The Straits Times that 25 teachers have been recruited so far.
He plans to hire about 17 more by 2015 when the school takes in its second cohort.
They were selected, he added, for their "strong passion" to help this group of students and their experience in teaching Normal (Technical) students.
They also have good pedagogy and classroom management skills, he said, and are "more enterprising" in trying new ways of teaching.
Apart from standard academic subjects such as English and mathematics, Spectra's students will also do vocational modules in four areas: Mechanical services, facility services, retail and hospitality, similar to Crest Secondary's curriculum.
The school will use a "flipped classroom" approach, where students watch videos on their own before discussing in class. They will each get a tablet device for their learning and enjoy wireless connectivity in the school compound next year.
Across the island yesterday, pupils reported to secondary schools that they have been posted to for the new year.
A total of 43,047 Primary 6 pupils took the Primary School Leaving Examination this year, with a record 66.7 per cent of them making it to the Express stream.