First day of Primary 1: Photo booths, mascots and more at Singapore schools

Primary 1 pupils across Singapore started attending lessons at primary schools for the first time on Jan 3, some with excitement, others with trepidation.

Related: The complete guide to starting Primary 1 in 2017

“Be brave, be curious, ask questions,” Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng told some of them at Princess Elizabeth Primary School on Jan 3. 

Addressing a group of 210 Primary 1 pupils, as well as their parents and teachers, Mr Ng added that parents and educators should “take a step back and let kids have a little space to learn responsibility”.

Related: 8 ways to help your introverted kid with Primary 1

While he noted that having a strong academic foundation is important, children should also be able to learn in informal spaces, be more independent, and explore beyond school work.

Some schools have been making special efforts to help their new students settle in.

At Unity Primary School, for instance, pupils were greeted by two animals mascots at the school gates (watch video below). 

Related: How to prepare your child for Primary 1