P1 registration starts today, schools offer interesting programmes
Parents registering their young ones for primary school can take their pick from a greater variety of creative options, such as traditional Asian medicine
The registration exercise for children starting Primary 1 next year begins today. Conducted over seven phases, this year's registration exercise will take place completely online until Oct 30.
For Ms Aisyah Amdan, preparing her firstborn son, Andi Muzaffar, six, for primary school includes spending three months researching on schools that can cater to his zest for sports and music.
The content developer, 36, who has another boy aged four, said she scoured online forums to help her pick the right school.
Ms Aisyah, who will take part in phase two of the registration exercise next month, said while location is important, she is open to what different schools may offer.
Parents willing to cast their net wider will find some schools offering unusual and fun programmes.
Ahmad Ibrahim Primary School in Yishun developed its Traditional Asian Medicine curriculum in 2013 to provide a fun and interactive way for pupils to learn mother tongue languages (MTL) and to appreciate different cultures.
Lessons are conducted in the school's traditional Chinese medicine room and traditional herb garden, said its principal Ong Lee Choo.
She added that pupils are introduced to simple medicinal properties of common food items and taught how to describe symptoms of common illnesses in their MTL through a variety of activities, such as role playing and games.
Ms Ong said: "This is an extension of the MTL curriculum offered in our school, and through the exposure of the Chinese, Malay and Indian herbs and spices, it creates an awareness for their own holistic health, and this cannot be done through textbooks."
At First Toa Payoh Primary School, students are introduced to media literacy through its Literacy Through Photojournalism programme. Vice-principal Tye-Low Lee Chern said the programme, which started in 2010, has become an integral part of the school's art curriculum, which allows pupils to pick up language skills to craft photostories.
She added that the school has engaged a resident trainer in photography to work with a core team of staff members to design and deliver the six-year programme.
Mrs Tye-Low said: "Pupils learn how to frame a picture and tell their story. As they progress, they learn how to share it in different perspectives. This helps to build their confidence in communication while they pick up language skills."
Ms Aisyah was impressed that primary schools are now engaging pupils in more creative ways and added that it is the school's culture that will ultimately win her over.
She said: "I am looking at the programmes offered with an open mind because it is good that young children can be exposed to different pursuits."