Every student aims to thrive in the Singapore education system but unfortunately, not everyone is able to do so! As a parent, I am always a bit apprehensive about my children’s studies, and my prayer is always for them to do well. However, what happens when your child does not do well in his O levels and he needs a second chance? What happens when your child, has a problem adjusting into the regulated education system found in Singapore.
Recently, we met one of the top students in City College and we found out about her experience studying in a private school, that focused on the holistic development of students.
Today, we went a step further, by conducting an email interview with Paullyn Tay, who had a first-hand experience of sending her child, Vevien, to City College.
(This is Part Two of a 2 part series, as we look at special schools with a heart! Click to read Part 1. )
Hi Paullyn, tell me more about yourself and your family?
I am a working mother with 3 lovely daughters.
How did you feel upon receiving your son/daughter’s results?
I felt that she can do better. Haha! I think that most parents will think that their kids can apply themselves better.
How did you find out about City College?
Through City Harvest Church and through Pastor Tan Ye Peng. We shared with Pastor Tan our struggles and Vevien. And he immediately set up a meeting for us to meet the Principal, Mr Kenny Low of City College.
Was it easy for your family to consider City College?
At our meeting with Mr Kenny Low, we shared about our struggles with Vevien, and that she was not doing well in Singapore’s main education stream. She was not interested or paying attention in class and often just sleeping in class. The good thing was that the teachers said that she was not rude, but just not interested in class. Actually her foundation were not strong because she suffered from hearing loss since young and it was only discovered, when she was in Primary 4. She couldn’t hear in class and therefore she switched off in school.
She was healed when she 14, during a healing crusade, but by then her foundations were already weak.The teachers in her school could not get Vivien interested in her lessons or motivate her. She was failing all her subjects except English and Chinese. Kenny shared with us many insights about teenagers, and one thing he said struck me.” He said Vevien is a unpolished gem!
As Vivien had an opportunity to act in a local production, and since she could memorize 17 or 27 scenes by herself, she should no problem in her studies! Kenny believed in her, and that gave us enough encouragement to make a major decision. We decided to pull her out of the mainstream secondary school when she was in secondary 3 and put her into City College. Once we made the decision to pull her out, there was no turning back.
We made the decision to enroll in CIty College, as Mr Kenny Low believed in our daughter, saw the potential in her, and not condemn her. That sealed the deal for us!
How did City College help her?
City College helped her be more confident and motivated to do her school work. She also learned to push herself and apply herself in her school work.
In your opinion, what do you like best about City College?
I like the low student to teacher ratio. Together with the freed up culture for the students to express themselves. Furthermore, the teachers are always committed and willing to go the extra mile for all their students.
How did your daughter fare for her O levels?
She took the O levels in 2013. And she had 1 A, 2 B’s,1 C,1 D
Has your daughter changed since coming to City College?
She looked forward to school everyday in City College and even now in SIM. I don’t have a hard time waking her up and she is happy everyday. She is interested in her studies and her results have started to improve even more.
Right now she is studying for her Diploma in SIM, and she will be going to university next year. Best of all, I don’t need to nag or beg her to study anymore.
Is there anything that you would want to say to the staff at City College?
I am very very grateful to all the committed teachers (Mr Kenny /Ms Selena/ Jasmine/ Chye siang/ Jolie/ Lareina/ Mr David), who gave their best to help Vevien and all the other students. And our biggest appreciation to Mr Kenny Low who pioneered City College and many thanks for believing in Vevien.
( Picture On left: Vevien and CIty College teacher Selena Tan)
To find out more about City College and how they can help you prepare for the real world, do click on City College.