Withdrawing P1 Registration from a Top School
I was from an elite primary school. Much thanks to my parents who decided to register me in what was then a Pure Chinese School. You see, my parents don’t speak Mandarin, and they figured they had better enrol me in a Chinese environment to boost my chances to pass this compulsory subject.
Well, the decision my parents made naturally gave my own kids the option to register in this what-is-now, one of the TOP primary schools in the island. (It really wasn’t so top during my time!)
Nicole and Nathan are in this school, and I must say it has been very enriching. They get to try different sports and cultural activities as part of their curriculum. The Chinese immersion is also very impressive with them reciting stuff I’ve zero understanding of.
This year, it’s Nadine’s turn to register for Primary 1. We got her a place in this school successfully simply cos she has older siblings there. Easy peasy, no worries at all. BUT we weren’t so sure if this is the school for her. Because of her learning difficulties, I’m not confident she can cope with the academic focus in this school. Plus the fact that affiliation to the secondary school is not guaranteed as there’s a super high t-score to hit to qualify.
As with all parents, I want to be able to give her a place in a school of MY choice at least for the first 10 years of formal education. That would ease a lot of worries, stress and pressure.
So last Friday, we went to check out another school. I did take into consideration what I considered is the most important criteria in choosing a Primary School! Definitely one with much lesser academic focus, and with a secondary school too! Alas, this school is also very popular! There’s no guaranteed space for us. We have to go thru balloting to register our girl.
The odds? 28 vacancies for 39 applicants. Thus we were hit with one of the most difficult questions ever.
Do we give up our spot in an elite top school so that we can register her for a spot that is not guaranteed?
(For the uninitiated, this means if she doesn’t get a spot during the ballot she is NOT registered in any school, and has to go to any other school which still has vacancies.)
It was tough. A dear friend was with us yesterday. Look at her photos of us. The emotions that we went through!
In the end, we realised the top school was simply not the school for her. There was no way she could survive there. So no matter what, we just couldn’t put her there.
It seemed simple enough. I was tasked to drive to my alma mater to do the withdrawal of Nadine’s application. While the husband stayed on in the new school to await the confirmation of the withdrawal so that he can put in her new registration.
I thought it would be easy. Go to the school, smile and say no thank you, I’m withdrawing. Oh man. It was tough!! I teared as I walked through the gates, up the stairs and into the building. Many thoughts flashed across my mind.
- Nadine won’t get to attend this top school like her siblings, like me. Are you sure you want that?
- Nadine won’t get to experience this school’s culture, school song, strict rules and Chinese discipline. Are you sure?
- And of course, this is the school so many parents are trying to get their kids in, and you are withdrawing??? Are you sure???
It was really tough. But I’m so thankful we prayed, we had the peace and faith to know that God is in control. Strangely, I felt happy that I gave a bit of hope to those anxious parents waiting at the elite school, cos with my withdrawal, there’s one more spot available!
And so we withdrew from one of Singapore’s top primary school. Any regrets? A little, just a little. That Nadine won’t get to learn that super high pitch school song! =)
But now we move on. 6 Aug. 9 a.m. The ballot for 28 spots starts. My girl will start a new legacy based on this decision we made.
Praying hard now!
– UPDATE –
We sat through the ballot session this morning. The room was really quiet with all parents’ eyes on the ‘roulette machine’.
They called 28 numbers, and none was our number. We sat there and honestly we had no reaction. We did the logical Singaporean thing, walked up to the staff in front, asked about appealing and wait list, and we walked out.
Oh man.. my girl is now without a school. We went from Phase 1 to Phase 2C Supplementary.
Very quickly, we searched the vacancy list for schools which we can register. That’s priority #1.
Thoughts of Why? Did we hear wrong? Was it wrong decision? and even Ahhhhhhh!!! hit us. But we realised this is quite an obvious no from God, esp when odds were supposedly quite good! So now, it’s a faith walk as we decide on our next course of action. It’s most assuring now that God is in control. We know best plans are in His hands.
Aw, her siblings can teach her the school song. I will pray she gets in the school you did pick for her. Too bad you can’t try to get her in the new one while you hold her spot at the other one.
Thanks Rachel! I’m glad there’s one less person singing the awful song! 🙂
It’s so hard to choose schools for kids. We have struggled…and didn’t get into the one we wanted. So we’re waiting until a spot opens. I hope things go well for your girl.
Thank you Sarah! All the best for your wait too!
I respect how much thought and research both you and your husband put into decision-making for your children. It’s wonderful to witness such caring, loving and concerned parents making the best possible choices for their children. When my oldest started public school, we applied to one private school (2 year waiting list) and two charter schools. She got into one charter but later we decided her learning disabilities were not being addressed appropriately, so we transferred her to our local community school. It was an amazing experience and it’s where we learned that she is dyslexic. Knowing her diagnosis made everything make sense. She started the public school two full academic years behind but has been slowing building up to grade level. She’s starting 8th grade now and is FINALLY an average student! She is exceptional in our eyes!
This is so encouraging! Love love love your blog too! 🙂
It’s great that your daughter has such loving and concerned parents! Hoping for the best for her. I’m sure you’ve made the best decision.
What a tough decision, but I always say follow your gut. With you knowing the in’s and out’s of that school from previous experience I think you made the right decision. Wishing you the best of luck with the ballot!
What a wrenching decision to have to make! It sounds like you did what was best for her though, and I pray that you’ll get a spot!
Thanks Liz… We feel so much better after the weekend!
Nadine is very very fortunate to have you and Ed as parents.
Good luck! 🙂
Thanks Regina! 🙂
Psalm 37:23 – The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way. God has given you the peace and wisdom to do what is best for Nadine. He will make His perfect plans for her come to pass. Praying along with you both. Big big hugs!
Thanks for being a part of this journey with us Angie!! 🙂
I strongly believe n support both your decision. To be in this elite school would give so much pressure on our dear Nadine. She would feel an outcast among her peers. Is damaging to her self development. Just trust God n believe that He would give your family the best. Pray..Pray. ..Pray ..n proclaim His goodness
I’m totally with you on this. I would have made the same choice. Actually, I believe that a lot depends on the child’s own attitude towards learning. If the child loves learning and is diligent, she will thrive in any school that she goes to. So for me, any primary school will do. That being said, there are two types of school which I WILL not send my kids to:
1. A school where the standard is obviously too high for my kids. It will just stress them out unnecessary and kill their passion for learning.
2. A school with a lot of pia kias!
I’m praying along with you on this but I also want to say this… Even if the balloting falls through, it doesn’t mean that you made the wrong decision. It simply means that God has another school in mind for your darling girl. And God always know best ya?
Ling Fong Hello!!! 🙂 Thanks for your prayers! Yup God knows best, and we are really just trusting Him now!
This is such a beautiful, courageous post! I can truly feel your heart as I read it.
We went through a similar choice last year. We removed our son from what was considered to be THE BEST school in our region. The truth is, it is exclusive & sought after because most families can’t afford it. It wasn’t the best environment for our son. He was miserable, and had zero support. Standardized test results are public in our area, so we knew that we still had the option of great schools. We switched schools, and found the best place for us. It is still demanding academically, but it is also nurturing spiritually. My prayers are with you. You are doing what you feel is best for Nadine. That is the greatest gift that you can ever give to her, and it far surpasses any laurels that come from documentation from a “top” school.
Thanks Jeanae, I’m so glad we are not alone in this!!
This entry is really exciting. I felt like I went through YOUR process! After reading this post, I now can imagine how my parents felt when I am enroling to pri 1 ! 🙂 keep writing pls! love to read more!
Thanks Torance, you can go thank your parents now! 🙂
Praying and Believing together with you and pastor. Miss Wong will be here to look out for Mei Mei when she comes!
Ms Wong, we look forward to seeing MORE of you!! 🙂
I’m sure God led you to make that decision too! Nadine will be in good hands. 🙂
Salute! Indeed a tough decision making journey. Go with your parents’ instinct and may you do so in faith and peace. God bless!
Hey I stumbled upon your blog, but how fortuitously too, since I can empathize with you. I too went for the ballot this morning and we prayed for God’s will to be done in our child’s life, and to open the doors to the perfect school that He has in mind for our child.
I guess the school we balloted for was not the one, since we didn’t get through as well. It’s disappointing, no doubt, and even though I left it completely into God’s hands, I couldn’t help but feel very disappointed and weary having to think (and strategise so as to avoid another ballot!) about Phase 2C supp.
I too applaud you for not having taken the easy way out to enroll Nadine in the siblings’ school, but your careful thought and consideration for her is admirable. She is very blessed to have such supportive parents!
Let’s press on together, cos I’m also on the search for another school for my child. Whatever it may be, we should be comforted to know that His ways are higher than ours, and He has only thoughts to prosper us, to give us a hope and a future. He will put our kids in the best school that will nurture them best.
I’m with you on this faith walk! Have a very blessed day! 🙂
Woke up this morning thinking abt you. Had been praying for you so I was anxious to see your update. Had a feeling that God had another school in mind for your precious girl. That’s why I wrote what I wrote in my previous comment. Wanted to assure you that you didn’t hear wrongly. Now I’m so excited to see what marvelous plans that God has in store. Praying for you all the way.
Dear….In All things give thanks because He is still in control. Do continue to press on ….. for His promise never fails
“Gold things come to those who believe
Better things come to those who are patient
BEST things come to those who DON’T Give up”.
CHEERS…..In our prayers
You know what is best for her, and had to make the difficult decision. All the best for your 2C supplementary.
You and your husband are such inspirational parents! I’m sorry you all are having a hard time with this, but I see the dedication and commitment to do what’s best for your children working out to be a positive outcome in whichever school your daughter ends up attending! Good luck! Praying for your whole family!
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I don’t think there’s ever a right or wrong decision in choosing the school for your kids. Going with your gut and what you know will work for your child is definitely the priority.
I don’t know if I would want my child to go to the top school with all the rigid rules, etc! I think a lot of the best education comes at home from parents who support what is taught in school.
So sorry you didn’t get the lottery pick, it must be so frustrating. But you are right that you have to search for the best school for her, not just based on ratings.
Such a tough decision – wishing you the best!
I really think that if you prayed about and felt God’s peace that the school Nadine ends up in, is the school God had planned for her to attend all along. It’s so hard when we have a limited vision of what we can only see around us and in this present time, but He is all knowing and has proven faithful — keep heart in that – God Bless you all 🙂
I came across your post when i am looking at deferment for P1 for my son who had speech delay. It was a courageous move. How’s Nadine now?
she’s good! thank you!