Best Primary Schools 2008


[Update 22 Aug 09: See primary schools ranking for 2009

A good education is arguably a necessary condition for good employability and even a good salary, so:

Good Education ≈ Good Salary.

… which is why parents are so uptight about getting their children into the best primary schools. They know best.

Going by this, I looked at the Primary One registration numbers from MOE and derived the list of the Best Primary Schools in Singapore.

Specifically, I calculated for each school the percentage of its total vacancies that are still available for the coveted Phase 2B, and ranked the schools by that.

What’s so special about Phase 2B? It’s when the fate of some children happens to be determined by a dice roll, or otherwise known as a ballot. See Straits Times article: Phase 2B balloting likely at 28 schools.

That’s right. Some children may still end up in a less preferred school (neighborhood school?) even after their parents spent precious time volunteering at their choice schools, or even moving house to a place 1km or 2km away from the school.

Here’s the Best 20 Primary Schools:

  1. Anglo-Chinese School (Primary) – 7.5% of vacancies available for Phase 2B
  2. Nan Hua Primary – 11.3%
  3. CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ – 11.9%
  4. Henry Park Primary – 12.1%
  5. Ai Tong – 12.4%
  6. Nanyang Primary – 13.3%
  7. St Hilda’s Primary – 13.6%
  8. Bukit Panjang Primary – 13.7%
  9. Rivervale Primary – 13.8%
  10. Maha Bodhi – 14.5%
  11. Holy Innocents’ Primary – 15.3%
  12. Chongzheng Primary – 15.7%
  13. Rosyth – 16.1%
  14. Tao Nan – 16.9%
  15. Red Swastika – 17.0%
  16. Catholic High – 17.6%
  17. Temasek Primary – 18.0%
  18. Methodist Girls’ School (Primary) – 18.1%
  19. Fairfield Methodist Primary – 18.1%
  20. White Sands Primary – 18.6%

About Author


  1. Sad but true..
    the easiest way to become rich in Singapore is to become a scholar.

    I don’t think scholars in other countries have it that easy. They wont be automatically groom but in sg, they will be.

    Even if they are groom as top civil serveants, they wont be getting the pay of our scholars here in civil sectors.

  2. Not true. It’s true only if you are an elite scholar, ie President’s Scholar or SAF Overseas Scholar. “Farmer scholars” just get normal pay, and a bond.
    Even so, not all President’s Scholars make it to the elite-of-the-elite Administrative Service which pays as much as $320k pa to the best 32-year-old AO.
    SAF Scholars also make a fair amount, but definitely not as much as the best AO.
    But both scholarships offer you a comparatively better chance to become a Minister one day! 🙂

  3. how did you derive the ranking? is it top to down rank #? I was searching for more statistics, how do you define “best”? is it by demand? or by student results/performance?

    I was looking at Holy Innocents’ primary, and never heard before that it is sought after school.
    Holy Innocents’ Primary – 15.3%
    what does 15.3% represent?


  4. Dear Anna, if you re-read the article, the author said he “calculated for each school the percentage of its total vacancies that are still available for the coveted Phase 2B, and ranked the schools by that”. So, the 15.3% means the school still has 15.3% vacancies left after phase 2b. Which is sort of like a ranking by demand. Not very scientific.

  5. I did not see raffles girls primary school on the ranking list..I thought it is supposed to be good, too?

    In my opinion, getting into a good school doesn’t necessarily promise a bright future. But it definitely make things easier for the children in the future,esp. in sg where career is qualification-based…

  6. it’s definitely a gate for a bright future. By entering a good school or even a top school (in general not just primary school), first thing is that it makes easier to enter the employment market, gate is open, once it is open, the success depends on one self, gotta prove it. Second, good school provides in general better educatio system, good environment, and highly competitive environment. Heard the saying says, if you want to be successful, mix around with successful people, if you want to be smart, mix around with smart people.

  7. I don’t agree with these ranking.

    It depends on pupils studying in the school. That is how the school can grow to be a better school.

    But, most of the schools are really good. this ranking can be very useful to parents who would want to send their child to primary.

    Are the schools equally good in sports and arts? To be the best school, it must be balanced in every subject, or if possible, better than every school in all subjects.

    NEway, thanks for the information!

  8. I find it hard to believe just how competitive and ridiculous all this is. Why do people act like animals and think only of their survival. If you go to a good school it = to a hopefully good salary! Is money all that we can think about! Schools should be also measured in how well balanced and what type of character a child grows into whilst at school. It seems to highlight that children are put through a system that is so competitive and it’s focus is on how much money you can earn when you leave school. What is the point of this life then if that is all we have come to focus on! Nothing Cool about that just simply a foolish way to live your life!

  9. You blaming us? Money is what motivates this country. It’s always about money- the economy, stock market, property, investments, high paying jobs. Our political leaders demand high pay, some religious leaders horde money, CEOs of some charities corrupt. Money money money. Everything else is secondary. Why teach our kids other things if they only grow up to be just like us in this money minded environment?
    But I disagree with you that we act like animals if we’re money minded. It’s just pragmatism.
    From the tone of your message and the words you choose, you sound a little uncouth too, criticizing on your high horse, trying to sound like a person with values, but in fact just like the rest of us.

  10. This “P” person has to be constantly short of money to be THAT angry about others wanting more money.

    Everybody has a different priority in life. What you think should be your top priority in life will probably sound foolish, pointless, and even animalistic to others in this forum too. Sheesh. Grow up!

  11. Ah Well…Like any other anxious parent, I am trying to latch on to any information I get online abt good schools. My son is already in P1 at apparently an extremely good school. But since we are moving to another town, I tried transfering him to another “good” school, but they have a huge waiting list and refused to transfer him. Just FYI, I was surprised to see both these good schools missing from your list and one school in your list is right next to the block I am moving to, but have never heard of it before. Thanks for adding to my dilemma!

  12. NA, mind telling us which are the schools you’re talking about, especially the “extremely good” one?

  13. Pingback: Best Primary Schools 2008 - Page 2 - Forums

  14. Pingback: Home of a Lesser Mortal » Am I kiasu?

  15. Pingback: Top Primary Schools 2009 | - Your Salary in Singapore

  16. realconsultant on

    The statistics are not valid as they are not adjusted for size of intake.
    Raffles Girls Primary has an intake of over 300. Some schools have an intake of only 100.

    Without some form of normalisation for intake size, this “school popularity index” (at best) is not in any way a proxy for “best”

    Maybe if the analysis was based on the average PSLE score, or number of students admitted into an (arbitrary) “good school” like RGS

  17. Dear realconsultant, thanks for your comments.

    If only schools with at least 300 vacancies are taken into account, Raffles Girls Primary would still only rank at 17th place in my table.

    And btw, there aren’t “some schools” with intake of only 100. The smallest intake size is 120 and it’s from Canossa Convent Primary in Geylang. All other schools have at least 150 vacancies.

    25 schools have intake size of 300 or more, including 9 schools in my 2009 ranking table.

    Nanyang Primary takes in 390, Pei Chun Public and Tao Nan each takes in 360, Henry Park Primary and Maha Bodhi each has 330, and they would all rank above RGPS if I had done any form of normalisation by intake size.

    Unfortunately, I do not have PSLE statistics.

    Do you have a valid and normalised ranking of the primary schools?

  18. Pingback: Top Primary Schools 2009 - Forums

Leave A Reply