Instead of going for popular schools, Mrs Jeanne Lim chose to enrol her daughter, Yean Lyi, in Jing Shan Primary so that she did not have to travel far.
"It was mainly a practical decision; Jing Shan is within walking distance of her grandmother's place in Ang Mo Kio," said Mrs Lim, 52, who teaches economics at Raffles Institution.
"I didn't feel that the quantity or quality of programmes here is any less than in the so-called brand-name schools."
On Friday, her confidence in the school paid off. Yean Lyi scored 257 in the PSLE and is one of Jing Shan's 11 top scorers. The school's performance in this year's PSLE is also its best in nine years.
The 12-year-old's results have been fairly consistent. She had tuition for only Chinese, which was her weakest subject, said Mrs Lim. Yean Lyi, the head prefect and a section leader in the school's Brownies troupe, said she had been aiming for a score of between 250 and 270.
"I didn't do as well as I would have liked," said Yean Lyi, who has an 18-year-old brother and 10-year-old sister. "But overall I'm satisfied with my results."
Principal Azizah Ismaun, who has been helming Jing Shan since 2005, said the school had made "good progress" from last year. Over half of this year's cohort qualified for the Express stream. She declined to give more details.
The school's overall pass rate was 98.4 per cent, above the national figure of 97.5 per cent.
Before the results were released on Friday, the school first applauded repeat pupils who had passed the PSLE this year, then top foundation level pupils. It finally lauded the achievements of the 11 top pupils who scored above 250.
"We want to celebrate the small successes here," said Ms Azizah. "That's why we go through the whole spectrum."
The 55-year-old will be retiring at the end of the year, and told the cohort of about 200 Primary 6 pupils that this was "the best retirement present you could have given me".
Another pupil, Mohamed Azman, said the school's teachers encouraged them to work hard without overdoing it during the PSLE period. He scored two As and two Cs, and will be going into the Express stream.
Azman admitted that he did not do as well as he had wanted. But his mother, Madam Harunnisha, a teacher in Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Primary School, is not at all disappointed. "Azman was very mischievous in Primary 1, but he has really grown up," she said.
"Marks are marks. We want him to be a good human being."
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