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The Practical Guide to Choosing a Secondary School

When the PSLE Papers are over, parents will heave a sigh of relief and the kids get their well deserved break after months of hard work and practices. However, if you are parent, there is one last hurdle to cross: choosing the “right” secondary school for your child.

As Educators at Ace Clinic Education, we get bombarded with this question year after year. Bearing in mind that the process of choosing a secondary school is a personal decision between parent and child, we put together this guide that might help you simplify that decision.

1) Consider what the schools have to offer, in terms of programs and CCA

You can gather information easily about schools by visiting their websites. Alternatively, you may check out MOE’s School Finder Tool. Some schools offer Music and Arts Elective Programs (MEP/AEP) that might be in-sync with your child’s talents. You may also want to consider Applied Learning Programme (ALP), Learning for Life Programme (LLP) and other talent development programs offered by various schools.

It is wise to discuss your child’s strengths and interests, to choose a school that offers the CCA he/she prefers, for a holistic experience through the secondary schooling years.

2) Accessibility and Travelling Time

This is a factor that weighs heavily on your child’s well-being, but is commonly brushed aside. Even if you plan to fetch your child to-and-from school daily, there might be occasions where they stay late for CCA commitments or clashes in schedules. There might also be expectations of independence as they progress to the higher levels, that can increase the burden of commuting.

3) Choose Long Term Suitability over PSLE Cut-off Points (COP)

We understand the desire to get into reputable schools to stretch your child’s potential to the fullest. However, it is prudent to consider the school’s culture and learning environment which can contribute to the well-being of your child. For example, affiliated schools can offer continuity and familiarity in terms of school culture.

Do check out the secondary schools’ open houses to get a better sense of the culture, ethos and learning environment.

In closing, both you and your child should be comfortable with the school’s program offerings and culture, before nominating it as a choice. We also advise to input at least 3 to 4 schools, to avoid the scenario of being posted to the nearest school if your choices fall through. There will be changes that your child needs to adapt to. Facing these challenges with the right mindset and attitude will contribute to mental and academic growth.

To smoothen their transition into Secondary 1, you may consider some headstart programs happening this December.

All the best to P6 Students taking the PSLE 2021 Papers!


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