Whether your child is starting school for the first time or transferring from an Australian school, preparing for application for the 2019 – 2020 school year is probably a time of mixed emotions. A new start is exciting, but can also be nerve wracking, as you all wonder what the changes will bring. Being well prepared for application will help you and your child to get off to the best start at a new school.
Starting school for the first time
It may seem hard to believe that your baby is old enough to go to school and parents often find this step an emotional one. While you may have mixed feelings, try to keep to a positive approach with your children. They too may be feeling nervous and need to hear about the positive aspects of starting school.
There are many children’s books which deal with the theme of starting school and it is well worth reading some with your child, so they can learn in advance about the exciting topics they will study and the new friends they’ll make.
Transferring from a current school
Many children starting at international schools in Singapore are older children who have already started their education elsewhere. Some of these students may not be happy with the move as they leave behind friends and the school they were accustomed to.
While you will want to promote the move to Singapore as a positive step, do not dismiss your child’s feelings. Find ways to help your child keep in touch with their old friends such as social media and Skype and try not to worry. International schools support many students transferring to their school, helping them to settle into their new environment.
Steps for enrolment
Information on how to enroll at your chosen school will be available on their website. The initial step may simply be filling in a form on the website, to register your interest. There will also be a number of other forms to fill in and documentation to be submitted. These are likely to include copies of passports and birth certificates.
Waiting for confirmation can be nerve-wracking, as you hope your child gains a place at your chosen school. Once it has been confirmed, there will likely be further paperwork and documentation, as well as the necessary fees to be paid.
Visiting a school in advance
Students coming from overseas may not always be able to visit a school in advance, but if you can manage a visit, it is strongly recommended. Many schools have open days where prospective parents can visit the school, before beginning the application process. This can be key to choosing a good school, as you get a feel for the place and can decide whether it is the right place for your child.
Once a child has been offered a place, they will usually be invited for a visit before they start. This is enormously beneficial, as it gives the child a chance to become familiar with the environment before they start, as well as getting to know key members of staff.
If a visit is not possible, at least look through the school website with your child, letting them see the facilities, so getting started is not full of too much of the unexpected.
Make sure your child is fully equipped.
Check what clothing or equipment your child will need when they register for the 2019-20 school year and ensure it is purchased well in advance. Items might include a school uniform, sports kit and equipment.
Make sure you also know how your child will be getting to school. While some parents in Singapore take their children, others make use of school transport options.
On the first day
You can help your child get off to a flying start on registration day by ensuring they are well prepared. The night before, make sure they go to bed at a reasonable time and set an alarm to give you adequate time in the morning. It is a good idea to get their uniform and bags ready the night before, so there is no panic in the morning.
Leave home in plenty of time and be positive about the new experience as you wave your child off on this exciting stage of their education.
At AIS, our Admissions team will ensure the smoothest possible transition for your family. We offer enrolments throughout the year as long as spaces available. Whether a child is starting in the early years or in Secondary school, we look forward to getting to know them.