ST Senior Education Correspondent Sandra Davie gets lots of questions directed to her Ask Sandra column on Primary 1 registration.
askST offers a collection of her answers to some frequently asked questions.
Q: I intend to register my son in a school under Phase 2A2 next week. However, my first choice is another school, which he qualifies for under Phase 2B.
Balloting was conducted at the school of my first choice in Phase 2B in previous years for those living more than 2km away.
I intend to register my child under Phase 2A2 first.
When Phase 2B opens and there is a chance that he can get in without balloting, I intend to withdraw the registration at the earlier school and register him for the second one.
Should I do this?
A: Phase 2A2, is for children whose parents or siblings were former pupils of their school of choice.
The next stage, Phase 2B, is for children whose parents are volunteers at the school and those who have church and clan connections with the school.
A child can be registered in only one school at any point of the Primary 1 registration exercise.
But if you change your mind, you may withdraw an earlier application to register at another school.
However, I would not recommend this. You have to consider the fact that your child has already secured a place in the earlier phase, while he may be subject to
balloting at the second school, especially if it is a popular one.
Q: What happens if I fail to get a place for my son under Phase 2B as an active community leader?
A: You can register your child at the same school or a different one under Phase 2C.
However, you will no longer have priority as a community leader.
Q: I have in mind a Christian mission school for my child because I feel it would teach him the correct values.
But I also hear that the school's students do not perform that well in the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). How do I check the academic performance of the pupils in a primary school?
A: If PSLE achievements are important to you, ask the school about the number of pupils who made it to the Express and Normal streams. This number points to how well the school's pupils fared in the PSLE.
I would advise you to ask the school principal about his or her educational philosophy and see if it squares with your own views on what is important in education.
It may also be useful to check the worksheets prepared by teachers to see if creativity and independent thinking are encouraged.
If your child is gifted in a particular area, be it in the academics or arts or sports, ask about the school's enrichment programmes in these areas.
Get in touch with the parents' support group and ask its members about their experiences.
Q: My sister takes care of my daughter as I work full-time. Can I use her home address to register my daughter in the Primary 1 registration exercise?
A: Yes, but a statutory declaration is required. Both you and your husband must be working full time and your sister must not be employed and must be providing full-time care for your daughter.
Children who apply using a statutory declaration and live within 1km or between 1km and 2km of the school of choice have the same chances of getting a place in the school during a ballot as other children of the same citizenship residing within 1km or between 1km and 2km of the school.
Q: If my child gets into a mission school, will she have priority for secondary school admission, even if the school offers an integrated programme?
A: Primary school pupils do not get admission priority for the affiliated secondary school's six-year Integrated Programme track, in which students progress to junior college without taking O-level exams.
But pupils will still get priority when they apply for the affiliated secondary school's normal, four-year O-level track.
Q: How can I find out if there is a school bus provided from the school to my house and how long the bus ride will be?
A: You can ask the school to refer you to the school bus operator who will be able to advise you on which route the school bus will ply and how long the journey will take.
More askST stories here.