It is that time of the year again, when the local parents who have 9 year old children in the local mainstream schools get anxious and excited. Some more so than others.
Having been through it two years ago when M was Primary 3, I know what to expect.
My intuition told me my Chippy should get through round 1, also known as the GEP Screening Stage.
Traditionally a third of this school cohort would get through this first round. With his strengths in English and Math, I reckon he should easily be placed in the top one-third of his school cohort, hence should clear this round.
That said, I did not want to be overly confident, so I did find time to chat with him before and after the GEP papers in late August, just to understand how he felt about this whole streaming business and to ensure his own expectation was reasonable.
The last few weeks were especially busy for me. After the GEP papers, I forgot all about it. Until a few days ago, when I received an email early in the morning from his form teacher, informing me that he was successful in round 1. Yay!!
To be honest, I felt a huge sense of relief and for a brief few minutes, I was very excited for my Chippy. He had said before that he just wanted to achieve as much as his brother did; no more, no less. Hence, clearing the screening stage is a necessary first step to get to where M is. I figured this piece of good news would make him very happy.
Oddly, by the time I picked him up from school that late afternoon, he did not seem to be much happier than normal. In fact, he forgot to mention it to me when he got into the car. Haha!
The GEP selection stage is just a few days away. Like I did with M, I explained to Chippy that we will not send him to any of those preparation classes. Though I know of friends who did (for round 1) and probably will be sending their offspring for round 2, I also know of kids who were unsuccessful even after spending $1200 for a few days of "training". The bottomline is, I do not believe the training is necessary. Not every child is suitable for the GEP curriculum anyway. If he is not, I would much rather he remains in the mainstream and excel in the PSLE.
Anyway, he already said he does not want to change school, no matter what happens. So there.... we will just be supportive parents, and send him to the two days of tests next week. The rest is up to him.