Being A Parent Volunteer – What It Means To You?

Recently I came across a post on “All About P1 Registration” in Our Little Smarties. Reading her entry, makes me feel I should share my 1st hand experience since it is not too long ago.

I believe many of the parents will know the diffrent kind of phases of registering your child into P1. If not, there are also many articles written about it too, which you can refer to from time to time:

In A Short Summary(For Registration Phases):

  1. Phase 1: Sibling currently studying in the school.
  2. Phase 2: Parent is in School Alumni Association or member of the School Advisory/Management Committee.
  3. Phase 2A2: Parent/ Sibling was ex-school student or staff member of the school.
  4. Phase 2B: Parent is a school volunteer or grass-roots leader or  in a church or clan affiliated to the school.
  5. Phase 2C: Child who is ineligible for or unsuccessful in earlier phases
  6. Phase 2C (Supp): Child who is unsuccessful in gaining a place in a school of choice at Phase 2C.
  7. Phase 3: Child who is not a Singapore Citizen or a Permanent Resident.

*Also Note: Phase 1 – 2A2: There is no distance priority; Phase 2B – 2C (Supp): There is distance priority (staying within 1-2km from the school to be eligible for balloting)

Well back to the topic: Being A Parent Volunteer – What It Means To You?

Base on my own experience regarding Phase 2B, here is a few points which I think parents should take note:

  • Volunteering at the school DOES NOT guarantee your child a place in school. The principal will of course limit the number of volunteers base on their estimated vacancies (as to prevent disappointment) but he/she cannot control the number of parents who has joined the grass-roots or are church/ clans affiliated to the school.
  • Take note of the distance of the school from your place. This is because there is distance priority which means you have to stay within 1-2 km from the school. Some really popular school will only accept you if you stay within 1kn from the school.
  • You should start applying for Parents Volunteer when the year you child turns 4. This is to ensure you have enough time to think through and enough time to do the volunteer work by the time your child turns 6 and is ready for registration for school.Parents have to volunteer for at least 1 year prior to registration, and has given at least 40 hours of voluntary service to the school. So I thought it will be good to give yourself a span of 2 years.
  • Parents Volunteer work in some school may no longer be as simple as being a traffic warden or a librarian .  You will be asked to attend the briefing programme (if you have signed up as a parent volunteer). Do attend and understand the school requirements and ask if in doubts.

By now, you will have thought that I volunteered at Clemens school which I did not. Even though I submitted the PV application when he was four and was called up to attend the briefing. After thinking through quite a bit, my hubby and I decided not to do it. But I did take some snap shots of the photos when I was at the school for briefing.

Map of the Continent

Map of China

Great Wall of China (with Replica of the ornaments from the Tomb)

This by far was the most impressive with a whole corridor dedicated to it.

Air Fighter Club Room

7-wonders of the world & About Helicopters

Impressive work done by the parents ain’t it? Mind you there was absolutely no sharing of projects. Each theme, each project was done solely by a pair of parents respectively.

The principal had wanted something to last the students a life time filled with knowledge which was also why he came up with these ideas. Parents Volunteer was also selected on based on the kind of proposals that were submitted to see if they were suitable for the school.

Looking at those works that fill the school, perhaps that was why I was never game enough to take on the parents volunteer programme by the school or perhaps I never wanted it that badly enough? Whatever it was, by a stroke of luck in the Phase 2C, Clemens got into the school.

For more photos on the kind of projects that parents did at the school, here is another blog which I happen to chance upon from Nigel Ng.

So for those who have decided to do parents volunteer, I really seriously do salute you.


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