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Are you gearing up for Primary One (P1) registrations this coming July? Here's a quick walk-through of the process, especially if it’s your first time.

As a Singaporean, your child’s primary school education is compulsory. The upcoming 2020 P1 Registration Exercise by MOE applies to children born between 2nd Jan 2014 and 1st Jan 2015, inclusive. But before you get started, you might be wondering how to go about choosing the right school for your child.

How do I pick the right school?

According to MOE, there are five things to consider when picking a school for your child: 

  • Which schools’ extracurricular activities relate to your child’s interests?
  • How far is the school located from your home?
  • What mother tongue languages does the school curriculum include?
  • What is the school’s culture like?
  • Are there special educational needs for your child?

A good way to learn more about a prospective school is to check out their social media pages. 

What are the steps involved in P1 registration?

There are four key steps for P1 registration, so let’s get down to it! 


Step 1: Choosing the right school 

Be sure to consider all options before picking the right school for your child. Your home address will be used to calculate the distance between home and school. This plays a part in the priority your child’s application will be given.


Step 2: Documents needed for registration

It is important to note the P1 registration will be conducted in a few phases. You will need to prepare documents for each phase, and understand how and when balloting takes place if there are more applicants than vacancies to any particular school. 

In the light of the Covid-19 situation, there will not be any in-person registration at schools for the upcoming exercise this year. 

Here’s brief summary of the different phases and key dates:

Download a PDF version of the summary here!


Step 3: Check vacancies and balloting updates

Once the registration phases are active, updates on vacancies and balloting will be available daily at this link


Step 4: Results and preparation for next year

After completing the above three steps, you will be notified of the registration outcome through SMS by noon on the results announcement day of the phase. You can check directly with the school in the afternoon if you did not receive the notification. 

You and child are encouraged to attend the school orientation before your child begins P1. This would give you an opportunity to meet other parents in the same class and exchange contact numbers.


What if your child does not get into the school you picked?

Should your child’s application be unsuccessful at any phase of the registration exercise, you may register your child again in the next eligible phase. If your child is unsuccessful at Phase 2C Supplementary, they will then be posted to a school with an available vacancy. You will be informed of the outcome on the results announcement day via SMS.

If you fail to get your child into the school of choice, you can request to place your child on your preferred school’s waiting list. It is important to remember, however, that your child will still receive the same fruitful education no matter where they are placed. 

Apps for parents to take note of

There are some apps that your preferred school may use to facilitate communication with parents on various matters. Here are two examples:

1. Parents Gateway 

Developed by the MOE and GovTech, this app is a one-stop portal that facilitates the circulation on info from schools to parents. It allows you to:

a. access all official school announcements and consent forms

b. submit your consent for your child's activities

c. keep track of upcoming activities for more than one child


2. ClassDojo

This app is used by teachers to keep parents updated with developments on a class level.


Mentally preparing yourself

The transition from K2 to P1 may be overwhelming. Your child is about to begin a new educational journey and will soon forge strong bonds with new friends and teachers. In fact, this new beginning will present a great opportunity for you to allow your child to be more independent. If you’re worried about how your child or you might cope with the changes, you can join online communities or interest groups for local parents on Facebook and hear from other parents who have been through this process. Do also look out for parent support groups within your child’s Primary school.

If you and your spouse are working full-time, you may want to check out vacancies for school-based Student Care Centres (SCC). Do note that, all primary schools will have a school-based SCC by end-2020.


Mentally preparing your child 

Your child may not grasp how big the jump from K2 to K1 is, so you should prepare him or her as best as you can. Here are six ways to help them prepare right away!

  1. Have a chat with your child about Primary 1 and explain what he or she can expect. Talk about concerns or worries and assure your child that you are there to help. 
  2. Start reading and writing activities with your child. There’s no harm in getting a head start! Be sure to do these activities together for some time before you leave them to try it on their own.
  3. Teach them how to be responsible for their belongings, and for cleaning up after themselves. They can start by putting away toys after playing and putting away dishes after meals. 
  4. Teach them the value of money and how to count it so that they will be able to manage their allowance. They should learn how to count change when purchasing items. Get them involved in your grocery errands and allow them to order food and pay for items at the counter on their own. 
  5. Introduce a new routine at least twice a week that mimics a school day. Have them wake up on time to get ready and have breakfast. Afterwards, let them read books, do arts and craft or watch educational content during the school hours. You might want to start with two hours and gradually increase by an hour to match school schedules. Be sure to include a recess break too!
  6. Communicate well and often with your child and let them know that they can always come to you with anything, whether it’s a happy or sad conversation. 


“The one thing I found challenging was the jump from K2 to P1. It took my son a few months to get used to the change. 

Nonetheless, I allowed him to take his time to get used to things without adding more stress, and he eventually pulled through. My advice would be to start preparing your child at least two to three months before their first day of school with some enrichment work like reading and simple worksheets.” ~ Julia, 34


It’s a big change, but your child will be well cared for!

If you’re feeling emotional about how quickly your child is growing up, do remember that although it’s a big change, your child will be in good hands, and their educational journey will be off to a great start! Keep up to date with the 2020 P1 Registration Exercise by MOE through their website

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