It’s that time of the year again – and no, we’re not talking about Christmas. We’re talking about the release of PSLE results, and the start of another highly stressful exercise – choosing of secondary schools. Which secondary school is the most suitable for your child based on his grades/skills? Is it worth moving to be nearer to your ideal secondary school? We answer all these questions, and more!
An alternative secondary school curriculum
In the past, choosing a secondary school was more straightforward – you typically looked at what schools you could get into, and filtered them by whichever wasn’t too far from your home. But with the increase in options available, students can now take into consideration other factors such as whether a school specialises in a certain area (eg sports), and can further their potential in that particular field.
- School of The Arts (SOTA)
With perhaps one of the most aesthetically appealing campuses located right in the heart of town, SOTA is Singapore’s first national pre-tertiary specialised arts school with a six-year integrated arts and academic curriculum. Students at SOTA may choose to take either the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, or their Arts Excellence Programme (AEP).
In both these programmes, students are required to take subjects such as English Language & Critical Thinking, as well as dance, music, theatre, and visual arts. Their curriculum, which focuses on both academics and arts-related subjects, aims to help students realise their artistic potential without neglecting their academic side. In short, SOTA is perfect for students who are interested in or show early talent in the arts.
Details about applying to SOTA are available on their website.
- Singapore Sports School
Singapore Sports School is a specialized Independent School that provides its students with an integrated academic and sports programme. The list of core sports they offer include Badminton, Bowling, Fencing, Football, Netball, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis and Track and Field. Aside from these, they also admit exceptional students in other sports on a discretionary basis.
Students who enroll in Singapore Sports School are encouraged to board at the school, in order to benefit from a highly structured schedule and optimize their time for training, academic learning and rest. After graduating, depending on which option they choose, students may proceed on to study at Junior Colleges or Polytechnics, or progress to the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) or the customised Republic Polytechnic-Singapore Sports School Diploma in Sports and Leisure Management (RP-SSP DSLM).
Details about applying to Singapore Sports School are available on their website.
Want to stay in close proximity to Singapore Sports School to minimize travelling distance?
- School of Science and Technology
Technology-related skills such as programming and coding might be seen as a nice bonus today, but it’s been expounded many times by various ministers that these same skills will be essential for the next generation. Catering to this new wave of demand, the curriculum at School of Science and Technology revolves around key academic concepts in Science, Technology, Art, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Unlike other schools, School of Science and Technology offers a small class size restricted to 20 to 25 students. Students will get to get their hands dirty by learning through cognitively demanding hands-on applications, and cultivate essential competencies such as innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset, responsible risk-taking and resilience.
Details about applying to School of Science and Technology are available on their website.
Is it really necessary to stay near to my child’s secondary school?
Unlike primary schools, your residence’s proximity to your ideal school does not affect your chances of your child getting in, so technically speaking you can get away with staying someone further. However, do take into consideration the toll excessive travelling will take on your child.
Apart from regular schooling hours, students also have to stay back for co-curricular activities and additional classes. So, if they have to face a 1.5 or 2 hour journey back home on top of that, you can bet that they’ll be extremely exhausted by the end of the week!!
Ideally, you should be staying close enough to your child’s school so that a one-way commute will take thirty minutes or less. If you really can’t be that close, work out a travel plan to make sure that a longer commute is made more comfortable by minimising any switching of buses or within MRT lines. Getting this right at the start might take a bit of coordination and/or some investment, but it’ll pay off with a child that is more well-rested, and has more time to cope with schoolwork and co-curricular activities in the long run!
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