Primary One registration for the 2018 cohort is set to begin tomorrow. The exercise will take place in seven phases from this month to August at primary schools.
What should parents keep in mind when picking a school?
"Parents should have a clear idea of their goal for their child. This will allow them to rank priorities such as academic excellence, character development or school environment, when picking the right institution," said a spokesman for The Learning Lab, an enrichment centre. Educators also have tips on navigating the registration process.
"Picking a school near your home can allow parents to take part in school activities with their children and reduces travelling time," said early childhood educator Aparijita Ghatak, 40. Close proximity to schools will also be beneficial if parents take part in the balloting exercise some schools may conduct from phase two onwards.
Parents can go to www.onemap.sg to identify a list of schools within one kilometre and between one and two kilometres from their residence.
YOUR CHILD'S INTERESTS
Educators agree that parents should identify schools that cater to their child's budding interests."If a school offers opportunities for the child to excel in other areas that interest him, parents should consider the school a good choice," said primary school teacher Madam Siti Farhaana, 34.
"The child will look forward to school and will enjoy his time learning. This will help him develop holistically."
Parents should look out for school excellence awards in CCAs their child is interested in.
VISIT AN OPEN HOUSE
An open house allows parents and children to experience the school's culture and its unique CCAs.
Damai Primary School organised their third open house this year, with events like interactive classroom sessions, CCA booths and information on Parent Support Groups.
The school's Principal, Miss Lay See Neufeld, said: "The feedback from parents and students has been positive and there was strong interest to get to know the school better."
Information on open houses running this month can be found at www.schoolbag.sg.
IS AFFILIATION IMPORTANT?
While affiliation may present an advantage later in a child's educational journey, parents should not make this a high priority during the P1 registration period, say educators.
Primary school teacher Vinitha Thiro Selvan, 32, said: "Affiliation is not important at all. Plans for secondary education should start around primary five, in my opinion, when the child has developed further."
A Mindchamps spokesman said: "Getting a good academic result is important but having the right mindset will allow him or her to be able to look forward to life in a positive light."
How can I help my special needs child?
Parents of children who have mild special education needs (SEN) can still consider enrolling them in mainstream education, as all national schools provide assistance to children with mild SEN.
Children with mild SEN such as dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or mild autism spectrum disorder, can receive assistance from allied educators to help them integrate into the school's learning environment.
Programmes like School-based Dyslexia Remediation (SDR) are intended to identify students with dyslexia and provide them with assistance through school-based intervention in Primary 3 and 4.
Besides assistance for special education needs, children who have hearing, visual or physical impairments can access support services provided by volunteer welfare organisations in their school of choice.