Supporting your Child through a Transition to a Primary School in Singapore

Published on 4 January 2023 by Edu Aid | For Parents

Portrait of Asian student with backpack outdoors

It is a joyous time for parents in Singapore when their little one is ready to move from the familiar and secure preschool environment to the more intensive and structured primary school environment. It is a milestone that marks the beginning of an exciting journey into formal education in Singapore. It can also be an unnerving experience for children and parents alike as new routines, school environment, friends, teachers, and expectations are thrust upon them.

Do you know that a child’s experiences during this transition period will have a lasting impact on their future academic progress & adaptability to the education system in Singapore? A child will be more likely to be able to enjoy school if he or she can adapt well academically, socially and emotionally.

To ensure a smooth transition, parents must understand what to expect and know how best to support their child during this process. Here are some critical tips for parents to help their child transit successfully to primary school life in Singapore.

Help your child to be independent and responsible.

Imagine walking in an unfamiliar school canteen with hundreds of other students ordering and carrying snacks and drinks in their hands. Your child wants to buy food but doesn’t know how.

This is an example of a new routine in primary school. Other new tasks include making their way to and fro the toilet within a larger school compound, packing their school bag according to the timetable, managing their homework and spelling schedule and home-based learning tasks deadlines.

Parents can help by training their children and creating ample opportunities to handle the tasks independently. Instead of helping your child to pack his school bag, spend time helping him or her to read the timetable and tick off items in a checklist that he or she needs to bring to school, for instance, a snack box, money and wallet and storybook.

Guide them to order and purchase their food, including counting change, carrying the food without spillage and returning the utensils. Let your child experience independent task completion in an unsupervised setting to gain confidence.

Build a good foundation in literacy and numeracy

As your child moves to primary school, the emphasis shifts from learning through play and exploration to a more formal educational approach. A strong foundation in literacy and numeracy will give your child an advantage in learning these subjects compared to their peers.

How do you give your child the edge needed for formal education? While it is true that your child’s primary school teachers will help them understand mathematical concepts and learn how to read and write. Being able to grasp Mathematics concepts quickly and having adequate competency in English and Mother Tongue can boost your child’s confidence in their academic ability. With one less area to worry about, this reduces their stress during the transition to primary school.

This is why Singapore parents will engage home tutors for home tuition to conduct primary one preparatory lessons. Designed to give your child a head start, these classes introduce topics and concepts taught in primary one; an English home tutor will teach grammar and sentence writing, while a Mathematics home tutor will help your child build number sense and solve problem sums.

Help enhance your child’s social skills.

While home tuition can help strengthen your child’s academic competencies, strong parental support is needed as your children cope with the new social-emotional dynamic in primary school. Your child must learn to interact with peers, teachers, and other adults outside the home environment. Good relationships with teachers and friends help your child feel secure and supported at school, which enhances their learning. It is essential that you help to build your child’s social skills.

Help your child develop and foster positive friendships by attending activities such as playdates, sports, and educational activities outside school. These experiences will help your child develop important social skills such as sharing, cooperation, negotiation and observing social cues such as the body language of others.

Model positive social behaviour for your child, such as friendliness by greeting others, and communication skills, such as listening to others before responding. Be the role model for your child to look up to and emulate.

Work out an arrangement with other parents so their friends can come over for a playdate with parental supervision. You may also consult a home tutor in Singapore to provide guidance to build your child’s social skills based on their experiences with other students.


Primary school is a big transition for any child, and proper preparation is essential to ensure the smoothest possible experience. Send positive messages that school is a fun place to make friends and gain knowledge.

If this information strikes a chord and you are looking for a professional home tutor in Singapore to help with the transition, get in touch with us for home tuition sessions to kick-start your child’s formal schooling journey.

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