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Introduction to Primary school Education in Singapore for parents  

Elementary or Primary Education forms the foundation for gaining basic knowledge. This is the stage where the child learns to interact with people and to the society as a whole. Elementary education can be compared to the first stride that a person takes in life, it is impossible for people to run without first learning how they can walk (Long, 2000).

Primary Education enables the child to make friends, facilitate acquisition and vocabulary development. In school, their listening ability develops, they also acquire the concept of sharing and turn taking. This article explores primary school education in greater depth.

Family and Education


Primary Education in Singapore

From the age of seven onwards, children attend a primary school, consisting of a four-year foundation course and a two-year orientation stage. The goal of this phase of the education system in Singapore is to teach children basic math skills, give them a good grasp of the English language, and to improve their knowledge of their mother tongue.

Primary schools vary greatly in terms of the educational program and extracurricular activities they offer. It is important to take a second look at your kid’s interests and see if the school of your choice matches these interests.

Primary school
Primary 16–7
Primary 27–8
Primary 38–9
Primary 49–10
Primary 510–11
Primary 612–13 (13 if failed PSLE)


The first stage of formal schooling is the first four years from primary 1 to 4, it is called the Foundation Stage. At this stage the children are taught the foundations in English, Mother tongue (which includes Standard Mandarin, Malay, Tamil or a Non-Tamil Indian Language (NTIL), Mathematics and Science.Other subjects include Civics and Moral Education, Arts and Crafts, Music, Health Education, Social Studies, and Physical Education, which are taught throughout Primary 1 to 6. Science is taught from Primary 3 onwards.


After Primary 4, all pupils will advance to the Orientation Stage where they are streamed according to the pupil’s ability. At the end of Primary 4, students are placed into three streams according to their proficiencies. The reason behind this is to allow children to progress at their own abilities so that they can complete primary education successfully. The high-ability children are allowed to take an additional subject which is Higher Mother Tongue (EM1). The children who are behind (EM3) will take Mother Tongue at basic proficiency level. The majority of the students will be in EM2 taking Mother Tongue as a second language.

Subject-based banding

But since 2008 the MOE has taken streaming in a different course and introduced a new scheme known as “Subject-based Banding.” Subject-based Banding provides greater flexibility for your child by offering him the option of a combination of standard and foundation subjects, depending on his strengths. For example, if he excels in English and Mother Tongue but needs more support in Mathematics and Science, he may choose to take the first two subjects at the standard level and the others at the foundation level. Such a choice will allow your child to focus on and stretch his potential in the subjects that he is strong while building up the fundamentals in the subjects that he needs more support.

Subject Based Band Chart



After six years of Primary education, students will have to sit for the national Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). Students will then choose the secondary school of their choice based on their results at this examination; they will then be assigned to a secondary school based on merit and their choice. Students are also admitted into a secondary school under a separate “Direct School Admission” scheme, where secondary schools are able to choose a certain number of students based on their special talents before these students take the PSLE. Students admitted under this scheme cannot select their schools based on their PSLE results.

So to help the parents choose and narrow down their options, we have gathered the 10 most popular primary schools in Singapore. Since there are 365 schools altogether, picking the best school can be quite confusing  daunting.

The Top 10 Popular Primary Schools are:

1. Nanyang Primary School

Established:  1917

Top PSLE score for 2012: 285

 2. Rosyth School

Established: 1956

Top PSLE score for 2012: 278

3. Henry Park Primary School

Established: 1977

Top PSLE score for 2012: 277

 4. Raffles Girls’ Primary School

Established: 4th March 1844

Top PSLE score for 2012: 280


5. Anglo-Chinese School Primary

Established: 1886

Top PSLE score for 2012: 279

6. Methodist Girls’ School Primary

Established: 15 August 1887

Top PSLE score for 2012: 276


7. Singapore Chinese Girls’ School Primary

Established: 1899

Top PSLE score for 2012: 271

8. St Hilda’s Primary School

Established: 1934

Top PSLE score for 2012: 277

9. CHIJ St Nicholas Primary

Established: 1933

Top PSLE score for 2012: 276

10. Rulang Primary School

Established: 1930

Top PSLE score for 2012: 283


But whatever school you pick or choose, may it be famous, established, independent or government as long as you support your child to all his/her endeavor he/she will succeed with flying colors.

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