All About P1 Preparation

Two weeks ago, during a lunch conversation with my colleagues, one of them asked me which school I intend to enroll Little Edison in. To be honest, I haven’t given it much thought until yesterday when I stumbled onto someone’s blog. I was shocked to know that they have been planning for their daughter’s primary school when she is just two years old.

Our boy is already four and I haven’t plan anything yet. Am I too late? Or am I too “kan-cheong”? I wasn’t sure, but I began searching for information pertaining to Primary One registration on the internet. I’m not a Singaporean, thus I don’t really know how the primary school registration system works in Singapore.

However, I’ve seen the stress that my colleagues went through in order to enroll their children into a premier primary school. If you’d ask me, I’ll be honest with you that I’m going to fight tooth and nail to get Little Edison into a premier school too. In this aspect, I don’t mind being labeled as a “kiasu” mother.

Education is a significant component in one’s life that would mould the person he would become one day. Considering the fact that our children are spending more and more time at school than at home, it’s important to find the “right” primary school for them.

V and I had a talk about this issue yesterday. Both of us were from neighbourhood schools but we do recognized that it would be a good opportunity and starting point for Little Edison if he were given a place in a premier school. It’s our prerogative as parents to give him the best wherever possible.

Our selection criteria for Little Edison’s primary school are:

  • It should have a proven track record of outstanding PSLE results.
  • It should have a good learning environment with dedicated and hardworking teachers.
  • Ideally, it should be within 2km from our house or our parents-in-law’s house.
  • Preferably, it has a good school image as reflected in their students’ attire and behaviors.

With the above criteria, we should start short listing our preferred primary school for Little Edison.

There are many good articles about P1 registration at If you’re unsure of the process, do hop over for a good read. This article is very well-written with all the details of the different phases of registration.

From this article, I also understand that if I wish to get involved as a parent volunteer to increase the probability of getting enrolled, I‘ve to start at least ONE YEAR before the registration. Counting backwards, that means I need to sign-up 2 years before Little Edison turns 7 – which means when he is 5 years old – which is just next year!

Now, we should really start to think and plan for it. It’s never too early.


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  • Reply
    Sin Yee
    September 28, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    we have also thought about P1 and decided on the following criteria :
    1) must be a catholic school
    2) within 1-2km from our home
    3) Chinese must NOT be compulsory 1st language
    4) must not have a reputation of intense homework / competition
    5) must not one of the “hot” schools
    6) preferably emphasis on other aspects, than academic excellence

    fingers cross, let’s hope we can get into such a school.

    • Reply
      September 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

      Hi SY,
      Thanks for highlighting item # 4. I nearly forgot about that. In fact, I just read on the newspaper this week about some P1 students spending 2 hours daily on homeworks. My boy will start complaining when I ask him to do writing for more than 20 mins. Can’t imagine if he needs to sit for 2 hours every night for homeworks.

      It’s good that we have listed down our criteria – we can start our school hunting now.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    Hi Emily , my dd is Also 4 yrs old we also want her to go to a decent school with good values and morale. I don’t want a school that’s too academic as well. We have already chosen one and like you mentioned I have to start doing pv next year. Submit application by April/ may to qualify for PV. Am sure u must be aware that some top schools even have selection process for PV . Parents will be interviewed. Huh! Am not a Singaporean and I also prefer a catholic school though am not a Christian. I don’t mind because I believe in their system . I studied in a catholic convent and I know what they instill in the young minds,. For me the school must also teach kids good values and ethics apart from academics. I am already getting tensed about p1 reg process. Head spinning already! Hope we get thru the whole tedious process. Yes I hVe read all the articles on kiasu forum for mire than a year. Stressed already!

    • Reply
      September 29, 2011 at 12:54 PM

      Hi Lacy,
      I heard about the interview prior to PV. It happens to Nanyang Primary School and many others. It’s quite stressful for the parents… But no choice, the system is already like that, we just have to adapt to it. I have no qualms about being a PV, maybe a traffic warden, librarian or making donations for the school. Most importantly, we can secure a place for our kids. We path a good starting point for them, the rest will be up to their own performance.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    HI, if your boy is four, I believe you can start calling up the school to enquire about PV. I remember callin up when Clemens is four and we went down to the school to collect the PV form, fill it up and submit it. After some time, the school will call you up to attend a briefing session. As for me, because of some circumstances we did not not do PV and joined the Phase 2C instead.

    If you need to go for balloting, please check very carefeully with the school because although it is said that balloting occurs for 1-2km from home, there are some schools that are so popular that they will only accept application if you are staying 1km away from the school not any further than that. That was the case when I was balloting for Clemens’ School this year. But of course, the year that Edison turns 6, you can start regulary checking the MOM Website say mid-june. I hope this helps.

    If you are interested to read, I have just finished with this roller-coaster experience this year (nothing too detailed just some heartfelt feelings):




    • Reply
      September 30, 2011 at 9:33 PM

      Hi Ange,
      Thanks so much for sharing your roller-coaster experience. What a name! I like it… Hehe! Have been reading a lot on balloting history and PV application this week to understand the process better.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2011 at 12:35 AM

    Hmmm as far as I can remember, since you mention that Edison is 4 now, you should call now if you 1 2 do PV. and of course ask them really clearly if they have any distance prioritization on PV.

    Because at the age of 6, he will already be balloting for school which means from now till 6yrs old, you still have 2 years to do your PV.

    And also some schools are no longer doing stuff like traffic warden or story tellers. At least that is not what my son’s school does.

    It was base on projects that can benefit the students for life and PV are selected base on the kind of proposals they submitted.

    • Reply
      October 1, 2011 at 10:43 PM

      Hi Ange,
      Yeah, we’re still undecided on which school to take. Will probably take another month or two to confirm before we call up the school for PV application. Thanks for your advise again. It’s so nice of you.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    No worries. I understand that phase you will be going through.

    After reading your entry, I wrote my very own experience on Parents Volunteer. So if you are keen, you can pop by to have a look. 🙂

    All the best to you. 🙂

  • Reply
    October 3, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Hi Emily,

    Some schools have already closed their PV registration for our kiddos. You can give Rosyth a miss already cos they have closed their PV registration. Think Nan Chiau and Mee Toh are still open for PV registration.

    En En will most probably be going to Mee Toh cos daddy is an alumni.We will be moving north by end of next yr! Can meet up for playdates! Haven see u all for so long!!

    • Reply
      October 3, 2011 at 3:33 PM

      Hi Pooh Wei,
      Long time no hear from you… Nice to see you here again… Mee Toh is in Punggol, right? So, you’re shifting here soon? Wow, we can meet for playdates definitely.. Most likely, I’ll enroll Little Edison to Maris Stella Primary School which is within 1km from my PIL’s house. Nan Chiau is difficult cos my place is within 1-2km from it. I checked the balloting history. For Nan Chiau, balloting starts from 2km, so no chance also.. I haven’t check Mee Toh, thanks for highlighting! 🙂

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