SINGAPORE: Parents hoping to land a place in five popular primary schools for their children next year are headed for balloting for Phase 2A(1) of the Primary 1 registration exercise.
According to the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) website on Friday (Jul 9), the schools are Catholic High School (Primary), CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School (Primary), Nanyang Primary School, Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School and Rosyth Primary School.
Next year’s cohort of Primary 1 students was born in 2015, which saw the highest number of citizen births in 13 years at 33,725. This figure is also higher than the 33,238 babies born in 2012, the Year of the Dragon.
The Phase 2A(1) balloting for the five schools will be carried out for students living outside of the 2km radius from these schools, said MOE on its website.
Phase 2A(1) is open to parents who are members of a school’s alumni association, or who are members of the school’s advisory or management committee.
USE THE MAP TO FIND OUT HOW MANY VACANCIES ARE LEFT IN EACH SCHOOL AFTER PHASE 2A(1):
Every year, a school will have to reserve 40 Primary 1 places for Phase 2B and Phase 2C – 20 each phase – to ensure “continued open access to all schools in later phases”, said MOE.
But if a school is already oversubscribed in Phase 2A(1), it goes to the ballot.
In 2020, CHIJ St Nicholas, Pei Hwa Presbyterian and Rosyth also held a ballot for this phase, alongside Nan Hua Primary School.
This year, Catholic High saw 123 applicants for 119 places in Phase 2A(1). Rosyth saw 102 parents apply for the 81 spots available.
Over at Nanyang Primary, 150 applicants will ballot for 140 available vacancies, and at Pei Hwa Presbyterian, 86 parents will draw for 71 spots.
And, the 121 parents hoping to get their daughters into CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ will ballot for the 77 places available.
Fifteen other schools also saw more than half of their spots available for Phase 2A(1) snapped up, including Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) and (Primary), Henry Park Primary School, Pei Chun Primary School, Rulang Primary School and Temasek Primary School.
Ai Tong Primary School is also almost full, with only the 40 places reserved for Phase 2B and 2C remaining. There were exactly 113 applicants for the same number of vacancies available in Phase 2A(1).
LARGER COHORT SIZE, CHOICES FOR YOUNGER SIBLINGS
Parents who registered their children for various stages of Phase 2 told CNA that they had some worries about securing spots in the schools of their choice because of the large cohort size.
“To be honest I was worried, because my older daughter is born in 2015 with the bigger cohort,” said Mr Henry Tan, who has registered his daughter for a place at Raffles Girls’ Primary School under Phase 2A(2) as his wife is an alumnus of the school.
“But my wife has done her analysis, and found that for girls schools or single-sex schools, typically the vacancies are more than mixed schools, the more popular ones,” he told CNA.
“After doing that analysis, I’m not too worried, and I think there should be vacancies for the Phase 2A(2) part.”
Phase 2A(2) is open to parents who studied at the school or who have another child who previously studied there.
According to MOE data, there were 166 available vacancies for Raffles Girls’ Primary in Phase 2A(1), and 45 applicants.
If they secure a spot for their older daughter in the school, her younger sister will be able to apply via Phase 1, which is open to applicants with siblings in the same school, Mr Tan noted.
Other parents are opting to apply through Phase 2C, the open phase which will come later for those who do not enjoy any form of priority admissions.
For mother-of-two Yu Hui Ping, she previously managed to use her alumni status to get her daughter – now in Primary 4 – into Raffles Girls’ Primary through Phase 2A.
Since Raffles Girls’ is a single-sex school, she had to look for other options for her son, who will be entering Primary 1 next year.
“With my son, we don’t really have alumni status anywhere and we live in Toa Payoh, which is a densely populated place,” said Mrs Yu.
She has shortlisted two schools within 1km of their home, Pei Chun Public School and Kheng Cheng Primary School, and plans to register him through Phase 2C for either school.
The former would provide a “really good bilingual education”, while the other is within walking distance, she told CNA.
“We’ve been looking at the statistics of previous years and the current year, and we also realised that the spots are already filled up unexpectedly faster in the first phase,” said Mrs Yu, noting that for both schools, about half of the places were snapped up in Phase 1.
“I am getting a little worried, what happens if I don’t get the schools that I am looking for? But as it is I can’t really do anything right now, so it’s a sit-and-wait approach.”