* First Point Of Entry: Grade 1, referred to as Primary 1. A child has to be 6 years old upon entry, with the school year and the cut-off for admission being based on the calendar year.
* Phase Admission: Admission in local schools is done in “Phases”, with foreigners being eligible in Phase 3. This exercise is called the Primary One Registration Exercise and takes place between July to September each year, for entry into school the following January.
* Registration: Registration procedures are to be strictly adhered to and the necessary documents are to be submitted to the school of choice. Popular (“elite”) local schools are usually oversubscribed. It is therefore prudent for a foreigner to start in a school that is not so popular. It is easier to move to a higher-rated school at a later stage. This can be achieved by strong performance in academics or sports, good leadership skills, and other extra-curricular achievements.
* Options For Those Waiting To Get Into A Local School: A large number of foreigners applied for Primary One places for their children in 2014, and close to 1,500 children did not gain admission in local schools. While some parents bit the bullet and enrolled their children in international schools, some others opted to home-school their children instead. At times, they sign up their children in enrichment classes and group sporting activities to offer them the opportunity to mingle with their peers. Some children were lucky to secure places in local schools which had withdrawals.
* Secondary School Admissions: For admission into local schools for grades higher than Primary One, the children need to appear for the S-AEIS (Supplementary Admissions Exercise for International Students) evaluation in September prior to the start of the academic year in January. However, some critical years (e.g. just before the PSLE or O levels) are “no entry” years for students not already enrolled in the local curriculum.