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    Jan 02, 2014

    'Fairies' and food to welcome P1 pupils

    PUPILS starting at West Spring Primary will be greeted by balloons and teachers dressed as fairies when it opens its doors for the first time this morning.

    The school in Bukit Panjang is one of three new primary schools that will take in their first batch of pupils today, along with Alexandra Primary in Bukit Merah and Northoaks Primary in Sembawang.

    West Spring principal Jacinta Lim told The Straits Times she wanted to ease the anxiety of the 210 youngsters starting Primary 1.

    "When the kids see the colourful balloons and fairies, it distracts them from that anxious moment," she said.

    Such special first-day activities are a tradition she carried over to the new school from her former one, Yangzheng Primary.

    "For the kids, transitioning to primary school can be overwhelming," she said. "The setting is very different, the school is bigger and they have to start buying their own food."

    The school has also set up a partnership with nearby Zhenghua Secondary, which will involve the older students acting as buddies for the younger ones. They will guide the West Spring pupils during recess time and teach them how to order and pay for food.

    Northoaks Primary, meanwhile, will offer breakfast to pupils and parents to usher in the new school year today. Its principal, Mrs Theresa Hong, said: "We just want to welcome them to a brand-new school."

    Parents will spend 45 minutes eating with their young ones before the first cohort of over 160 pupils is taken to the school hall for the flag-raising ceremony.

    They will be among some 40,000 Primary 1 pupils beginning their formal education at 190 primary schools.