Phase 3


Date: Jan 1991 – Dec 1993
: Primary 1 – 3
Age: 7 – 9 years
Location: Singapore (Yishun / 799, Yishun / 723)


My first primary school was Peiying Primary School, and I was here from Primary 1 through Primary 3, before shifting schools to Rosyth School in Primary 4. We moved from southern Yishun to northern Yishun during this time, so we were still in the same “residential town” nucleus within Singapore, and I didn’t change primary schools. Our home became fancier though, as it was an apartment block which consisted of two-storey maisonettes stacked on top of each other instead of one-storey apartments like normal apartment blocks.

So for example, our address was Block 723, Yishun Street 71, unit #12-155 (local), and there was no 13th floor because the upper level of our apartment was basically the 13th floor. And the unit below us was #10-155, because the 11th floor was their upper level, and so on. Note that most Singapore apartment blocks, called HDB flats, have a void deck on the bottom level to allow air and foot traffic to flow through. While there is the occasional Mom n Pops’ shop or home on the first floor, most of the time there are few or no houses on “floor 1”, and the lowest apartment units are usually on floor 2 instead. This was my school transit (local) during that time, and you can see how my travel distance to and from school basically quintupled. This was still quite short compared to what was to come from Primary 4 onwards, though.

My younger brother, the youngest of us three siblings, was born during this time, and he was born when we were living in Block 723. So while no one seems to remember when exactly we moved, it was sometime between the middle of 1992 and early 1993.

I was really good in school, at least this early on, and was always in the top 3 in my entire grade. More importantly, at the end of Primary 3, all students took a nationwide Gifted Education Programme (GEP) test designed to identify the students in the top 0.5% or so scholastically, who would then be pulled out of their current school (unless the parents objected) and moved to a special class in one of several schools. I did really well on this test, and was the only person from my entire school (I think for some time before and after as well) to qualify for the GEP. I was told later on when I was in Primary 5 or 6 that I had actually scored the top score in the nation on the math portion of this Primary 3 GEP test. At the time that I qualified in 1993, and all the way until I left in 1999, there were only four schools out of the nine on that Wikipedia page above that offered the GEP for primary schools — Anglo-Chinese Primary School. Nanyang Primary School, Raffles Girls’ Primary School, and Rosyth School. None of them were near Yishun! Still, my parents moved me to Rosyth, which was a mixed-gender school, for Primary 4.



Inline Feedbacks
View all comments