How to choose a Secondary School after PSLE : 5 Factors to help you decide wisely


PSLE result will be out tomorrow.



With the release of the results, it will be time to decide on the Secondary School. Students can choose their secondary school from 21 Nov 11 am to 27 Nov 3 pm via the Secondary 1 Internet System (S1-IS).

Alternatively, you can submit your application at Primary Schools during the following timeslots

21 Nov 11am-3pm
22 and 25-27 Nov - 9am-3pm



Choosing a Secondary School can be a daunting task for both parents and students. Here are 8 factors to help you make the choice.

1) Discuss with your child
Start the process by including your child in the discussion. They are the ones who will be studying in the secondary school in the next 4-6 years and not you. Sometimes, they may have discussed with friends over school choices and that would be a good conversation started on school selection. Give them the benefit of having a choice and playing a part in the process. That way, it would be a school they would want to go to instead of the one that was 'forced' upon them.

2) Location
Secondary School hours are much longer with CCAs, project work, etc. In addition, students will be taking additional subjects and would be faced with a higher academic workload. Even though parents may want the best school for their children, choosing a school that requires an hour of travelling per trip may not be feasible in the long run. Choosing a school closer to home will mean more time for revision, homework, family time and rest.


For Location base on T Scores, you can refer here


3) Types of School

Affiliation 
If your child's primary school has an affiliated secondary school, placing it as the 1st choice during the school selection process will prioritize entry. If you place it as the second choice, priority will not be given.

Additionally, you may also want to choose a secondary school that is affiliated to a Junior College as bonus points are given to the affiliated secondary school for entrance requirement.

Integrated Programme (IP) vs O Level
If your child does well for PSLE and qualifies for Integrated Programme. The next factor to consider would be the choice between IP and O Level

IP would allow students to skip the O-Levels and provide a seamless upper secondary and JC education. IP focuses on self-learning and can be less structured than the O Levels programme. It is more suited for self-directed learners who are more discipline to handle the programme. In addition, there will be a larger age gap in IP schools as students range from 13-18 years old instead of the 13-16 age group. Socially, it would be more apt for more mature students. There will not be any O level results to fall back on if students do not do well for the A-Levels. IP schools have a higher Cut Off Point (COP) to reflect the requirements of students.

The O Level route would be more structured with a well-defined curriculum.  O Level track allows students to choose between JC or Polytechnic base on their O Level results. It is more suited for students who require a structured programme. Academically, it is a more moderate pace compared to IP

Specialised Schools
If your child has potential in Sports, Arts or Science and you would like to balance school and their interest, you might want to consider School of Arts (SOTA), the Singapore Sports School or School of Science and Technology (SST)

Special Assistance Plan(SAP) schools
For students who are strong in Mother Tongue, this would be a good option to nurture bi-lingual students. You must meet the either of the requirements to qualify.

  • Top 10% of the PSLE
  • Students in the top 30% who score A for Mother Tongue or Merit in HMTL
School Culture and CCAs offered
Find out more about the school you are planning to select. The culture of the school should fit into your child's aspiration. There are schools that are a focus on academic results while others provide a more holistic approach. A good way to gauge would be an open house visit. There will be open houses during this weekend after the PSLE results are released. 







4 PSLE Cut Off Points (COP)
The PSLE Cut off Point for each secondary school would determine if your child qualifies in the school. This would be used together with your child T Score in selecting a school.

Refer here to the list od COP base on 2019 intake




5 PSLE T Score 

Last but not least would be the child's PSLE T Score.

Other than qualification, you might also want to assess if your child would do well by being the top in the school they choose or be squeezed in at the lower end of the cut off point. If they are among the top of the cohort, they have a higher chance of standing out in the future. There are also those who thrive under challenges and use their more academically incline classmates as pacers to excel.

Here is a reference for range of score as well as media scores for Secondary School(Express)







Strategy
You can consider this strategy when you are choosing a school. This strategy is meant for students who are unable to meet the COP of the school of their choice and have no affiliated secondary school to choose.

Choice 1: Gamble
Choose a school that historically had a COP of 1 to 5 points more than your child's current T-score

Choice 2: Gamble
Choose a school that historically had a COP of 1 to 5 points more than your child's current T-score

Choice 3: Moderate choice
Choose a school that historically had a COP of 0 to 3 points less than your child's current T-score

Choice 4: Moderate choice
Choose a school that historically had a COP of 0 to 3 points less than your child's current T-score

Choice 5: Safe Choice
Choose a nearby school that historically had a COP of 5 to 7 less than your child's current Tscore

Choice 6: Safe Choice
Choose a nearby school that historically had a COP of 5 to 7 less than your child's current Tscore

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