Maris Stella High School Open House

I drove pass Bartley Road last week and I noticed a banner with words “Open House 29 Oct 2011 9am to 12noon” at the school gate of Maris Stella High School.

I was so excited. I told V that we must attend the Open House. It’s a great opportunity for us to understand the school better and at the same time, our boy can get a feel of the school environment. Oh, have I mentioned that Maris Stella is our preferred primary school for Little Edison?

So, we woke up at 8am on Saturday, had our breakfast at home and drove to MSHS at 9am. But to my dismay, I realized that the open house is for Secondary School only (Primary School is not involved). Nonetheless, since we were already at the school, we decided to proceed with our visit.

Just like his Dad, Little Edison loves to wear sunglasses

Some parents gave us a “weird” look. They must be wondering how “kiasu” we are to attend the Open House when our boy is still in pre-school! I asked the security guard on-duty for information pertaining to the Open House for Primary School and her answer was “No Open House for Primary School”. I wonder if that’s true.

Frankly, I was very impressed by their innovative MACbook learning system and a well-balanced mix of extracurricular activities. The school environment is clean and well-maintained. We also took the opportunity visit the Primary School, which is just beside the Secondary school.

Maris Stella Primary School

The School’s Mission Statement

One big advantage of Maris Stella Primary School is its close proximity to my parents-in-law’s house and my office. My parents-in-law, whose house is just a stone throw away from the school, will be picking up our boy from school every day. So, it will be minimal travelling time for all of them.

The school is also within 1km from my office. So, it’s convenient for me to send him to school and get to work after that. School starts at 7:10am, this means I’ll be in my office before 7:30am! Good or bad, in year 2014, I’ll start work even earlier than the security guard in my office.

Maris Stella Primary School has a proven track record of outstanding PSLE results. In addition, the school has also done well in non-academic areas. Being a SAP school and having an affiliated secondary school are among the other advantages of the school.

The close link between the affiliated primary and secondary school means that our boy will enjoy a sense of familiarity and easier adjustment as he progresses to his secondary education.

In time to come, we would be in the shoes of those parents who went through the dreaded balloting process. Little Edison does not qualify for Phase 1, 2A1 or 2A2 because 1) he does not have a sibling studying in that school, 2) his father is not a former student of the school, 3) his parents are not in the school management committee, and 4) his parents are not staff of the school.

To increase the possibility of enrolling our boy in this school, we will be using our parents-in-law’s address which is within 1km from the school. In order to do this, we need to make a statutory declaration at MOE. Luckily, we fulfill the eligibility criteria where 1) both of us are working full-time, 2) Little Edison is under the full time care of his grandparents, and 3) his grandparents are not employed.

We should also start thinking of a backup plan in case we fail to enroll him into Maris Stella Primary School. What should we do?

 

13 Comments on Maris Stella High School Open House

  1. May
    November 3, 2011 at 11:30 PM (2 years ago)

    i happen to be searching for elementary school and these were my thoughts. before signing up for any school, i would post these questions to the school. i am skeptical about sap schools and i would definitely be that difficult parent who will ask these questions.

    1. yes, the school has outstanding psle record. what happens to the students who fall behind in their internal tests and work? a school that has outstanding psle results, tells me that they have very high standards in their internal tests, which can translate to teaching very challenging concepts and problem solving situations that can be beyond the children’s age comprehension. how does the school help these children not fall behind? how does the school not tear a child’s self esteem in that respect. what happens if my child happens to be that one who cannot cope and the rest excel? feigning indifference and telling me that my kid is the only one who has problems because everyone else has advance tuition, comes to school to attend classes just for revision, DOES NOT cut it.

    2. bullying. it’s a all boys’ school. will you expect a rowdier crowd? what are the disciplinary actions toward bullying of a student? how does the school ensure that the bully and the bullied walk away feeling safe and good about themselves?

    3. homework. what is the school’s stand on this? are the teachers working together to plan a weekly schedule, so as not to overload the child? or are they just dumping homework independently on the child? what are the average hours clocked daily for each subject for homework?

    4. how does learning happen? what is the balance of classroom teaching, exploration, worksheets, experimentation, encouragement of thought challenge?

    5. methods of assessments. is it purely tests on paper or are they adapting activity stations or hybrid?

    6. mathematics. known to be notoriously different. ask for examples of problem sums from P1 thru 6. be very careful to read them and understand what they ask of the child.

    7. mandarin. what kind of immersion program do they have other than textbooks?

    8. non academic areas. are there equal opportunities given to every student who desire to join any cca they desire? or do they have to have a pre-requisite before joining? what are the real hours to be clocked for each cca? how will that interfere with the student’s downtime and homework?

    Reply
    • Emily
      November 7, 2011 at 9:23 AM (2 years ago)

      Hi May,
      Wow, your list is so comprehensive! Thanks for sharing with me and our readers here. We should all print out these questions before we attend any Open House.

  2. Samantha
    November 7, 2011 at 9:02 PM (2 years ago)

    Emily, Maris Stella was our choice for #1. As in your case, our place was just a stone throw distance away. We love it for the locality, academic reasons and most ideally, the affiliated secondary school. But since the birth of Missy, we re-sorted our thoughts and decided on a co-Ed school instead. Didn’t wish to go through twice of the P1 ‘experience’… Can be daunting at times. All the best ya!!

    Reply
    • Emily
      November 9, 2011 at 12:49 PM (2 years ago)

      Hi Sam,
      Thanks! Hopefully we can secure a place for Little Edison. Most likely, we will need to go through balloting too. Personally, I would prefer a co-ed school than boys school. However, there isn’t any co-ed school that is within 1km from my PIL’s place – unless we want to enroll him in Sengkang.

  3. Samantha
    November 9, 2011 at 7:33 PM (2 years ago)

    Emily, yeah… There isn’t any co-Ed school of our choice nearby as well. Hence, we went ‘far’. But glad that all turned out well and little boy is enjoying his school life. Haha

    Balloting is indeed teeth gritting at times. But I’m sure all will turn out well for you… All the best!!

    Reply
  4. SHirley
    November 15, 2011 at 10:45 AM (2 years ago)

    Hi, how do you make a statutory declaration at MOE? And also, does it mean that one will be disqualified if one of the grandparent happens to be working part-time?

    kindly enlighten me :)
    thanks!

    Reply
  5. Rey
    November 17, 2011 at 10:15 AM (2 years ago)

    Hey, emily
    My son is in maris stella..when we went to enrol him for MSH the facilitator said usually within 1km balloting most will get it as per past years records..

    Reply
    • Emily
      November 21, 2011 at 5:53 PM (2 years ago)

      Hi Rey,
      Thanks for your comment. Do your son enjoy studying in Maris Stella? Hopefully by year 2014, there is no balloting for students staying within 1km from the school. Based on past records, balloting starts from 1-2km.

  6. nic
    February 19, 2012 at 4:43 PM (2 years ago)

    Hi Emily

    My son is due for registration this year. I am also interested in putting him in Maris Stella.

    Have u consider changing to yr address to yr PIL add? There is balloting for those staying in 1-2km. By changing yr address, yr chance will be much higher.

    Reply
    • Emily
      February 19, 2012 at 6:14 PM (2 years ago)

      Hi Nic,
      Yes, we intend to change our address within this year. :)

  7. Vincent
    March 14, 2012 at 6:19 PM (2 years ago)

    My sons are in Maris Stella. The school’s academic standard is set rather high so it can be tough when your kids fall behind. I know as my kids are struggling now.

    Here’s a useful forum where you can find out a lot about the P1 registration process and your chances of balloting based on a 5 year history/trend. The data includes most primary schools, if not all.

    http://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/content/singapore-primary-1-registration-school-balloting-history

    You’ll need to register for a free account but it is worth it for the treasure trove of information, all in one place. By far, it is the most comprehensive resource on primary school education in Singapore.

    If you are interested to hear what parents think of Maris Stella, read the posts below. It is an active forum so you can also pose your questions.

    http://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4513&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

    Reply
    • Emily
      March 20, 2012 at 1:38 PM (2 years ago)

      Hi Vincent,
      Thanks for your recommended links. I’m already a member at KiasuParents, I’ll read up these links that you’ve just shared. Yah, I know that maris Stella has very high standard – this is also the reason why I shortlist the school for my son. :)

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