Listening to their friends and colleagues talk about with the perceived difference between ‘neighbourhood’ and ‘branded’ schools, Mr Toh Tuck Choy, 46, and his wife, Mrs Cherie Toh, 43, did feel some peer pressure.
But that did not shift their focus away from finding a primary school that would encourage a joy and love for learning in their son, Bryan.
“When our child was so young, we really didn’t know if he could cope in a more demanding environment. We didn’t want to affect his interest in learning,” said Mrs Toh.
Now, Bryan is in Primary Five and his parents share with us why they think Eunos Primary School was a good decision.
Instilling a joy for learning
Mr and Mrs Toh first heard about Eunos Primary School when the vice-principal visited the kindergartens nearby to share the school’s approach to a holistic education, which goes beyond academic results.
“Our guiding principle was to encourage our son’s interest in learning and ensure that he enjoys school,” said Mr Toh.
Bryan’s parents shared that he was usually the first to be ready for school in the morning. In the evenings, he would also talk excitedly about his school activities, lessons and teachers.
With Bryan’s grandparents helping out as they live just next to the school, Mr and Mrs Toh is assured he is well looked after school, and appreciate the convenience and time saved. After work, they would also meet up to go home together, which is also located nearby.
Developing students’ strengths
“I think the school has done well in talent spotting,” said Mr Toh, who did not know that Bryan could sing well, till he was discovered through the school’s aesthetics programme for Primary One and Two students. Hearing Bryan sing during a school musical came as a surprise! Bryan later joined the school choir, and has represented the school at the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF).
The teachers also developed Bryan’s aptitude for public speaking, by letting him take part in the school’s Babble and Speak competition, which aims to build students’ skill and confidence in communication. When he became good at it, the teachers tasked Bryan to help his classmates so that others could also have the opportunity to excel in public speaking, and he could hone his leadership skills at the same time.
Mr and Mrs Toh also appreciate the value of resilience that Bryan has learnt through exposure beyond the classroom. Bryan fell ill just two days before a Chinese speech competition, but despite assurances from his teachers that it was fine to withdraw, Bryan was sure he could handle it.
“I’m proud not because he won a bronze award…but because he persisted and did not give up easily,” said Mrs Toh.
Their perspectives may be different, but Mr and Mrs Toh felt that this decision was best for their son and are happy to see Bryan’s potential being developed at the school.
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