Education

My take on the different aspects within education which relates to ongoing societal concerns.

Bridging the Gap- Moving from Lower to Upper Primary (Part 2)

Moving from Lower Primary to Upper Primary ( Part 2)

Moving from Lower Primary to Upper Primary ( Part 2)

Moving from Upper to Lower Primary has not been  an  easy transaction for most kids.  Not only is it adding another subject, Science,  to the number of subjects that they have to study but also a change in mindset due to the different testing methods being used on the child.  There is less emphasis on byte size assessments but higher weightage ones as shared in Part 1

Growing up- Moving from Lower to Upper Primary

Growing up- Moving from Lower to Upper Primary

When the child enters Primary 3 you may see that she suddenly is forced to “grow up” overnight.  She is no more the baby of the school and there is less hand holding by the teachers.  The workload increases significantly for each subject and there is more writing that needs to be done.

She has to be independent and responsible for her own actions more then before.  In Primary 3 she would have to participate in a CCA (Sport/ Non- Sport) on top of her studies. This is normally held after school although I do know of schools who incorporarte the  attendance of CCA within school hours by adjusting the daily time table.

Time available for play and leisure is shorten by extra activities and supplementary lessons in school. Therefore it is essential for the child to be able to manage their time properly.

In the previous post I talked about how English and Mathematics. In this post I will be talking about Chinese is being taught and the differences between P2 and P3 assessments

Lower Primary Chinese

Chinese has always been the weakest subject in our family as we mostly speak English at home. Since Monkey boy entered Primary 1 back in 2010  the teaching of Chinese has changed dramatically.

The Changes in Chinese Oral for PSLE

The Changes in Chinese Oral for PSLE

 

This year, 2017 marks the 1st year the  revised ORAL Chinese syllabus will be tested.  With this changes there has been a increased focus on spoken Chinese . There is an added focus on  developing a good Chinese foundation with good phrases and solid sentence structures that can be applied  in any situation – compo, comprehension and oral.

Doggie boy, who is in Primary 5 at the moment, doesn’t have a very solid understanding of the fundamentals of  the Chinese Language. As a result, he is struggling in this language as his exposure and usage of the various vocabulary needed is limited.

When he was younger he was highly dependent on learning using HanYu PinYin(HYPY) . This reliance made it  difficult for him to associate  the  meaning of the words with the correct Chinese Character.

At the moment his Chinese tutor and me have to go back to the lower levels to revise with him in hope that his fundamentals in Chinese is strenghtened .   Doggie boy is a  struggling learner  and  Chinese is his weakest subject.

Now that Tiger Girl is in Primary 1 I have started to be more intentional in teaching her Mandarin.  I’m totally not focusing on  HYPY with her but just recognition of the  Chinese Characters and how to use them in formulating sentances. Hopefully this will help me eliminate the possibility of her suffering the same difficulties as Doggie boy is facing in the near future.

From Primary 2 to Primary 3

 

Lower Primary Vs Upper Primary

Lower Primary Vs Upper Primary

In Pr 2 there has been focus on  Byte size on-going assessment while from Primary 3 there are termly and/ or semester based assessments.  This is mainly done to get the student used to the different components that will be tested in each assessment by introducing  it to them gradually.

Changes in Teaching Of English

In Primary  2 English the students learn more  through  choral reading and group work while  in Primary 3 be  are expected to more independent in their learning.

P2- Show and Tell is part of the overall  assessment (3.5%)

P3- Show and Tell is not part of the assessment

In Primary 2

Term 1-  Paper 2 components are tested. ( Grammar & Vocabulary)

Term 2 – Paper 2 ( Grammar & Vocbulary )
+  Listening Comprehension

Term 3 -Show and Tell

Term 4 – Oral , EL Written Expression, Listenining Comprehension
+ Paper 2  ( Full Semestral Exam  components )

There is a gradual build up  in Primary 2 from  a partial  examination paper to a full paper from Term 1 to Term 4.

 

Differences in Primary 2 and Primary 3 Maths Assessment

P2- Written Assessments + Practical Assessments

P3- Written Assessments only.

  • If you are not accustom to Practical Assessments they are written assessments with use of manipulatives.  Open ended questions  and multiple choice questions are asked.

In regular Written Assesments the components that are tested are – Open Ended Questions, Multiple Choice Questions and Word Problems

In Primary 3  the  2 main type of items used in the semestral assessment are the MCQ with the  SAQ (Short- Answer Question) and LAQ ( Long Answer Question / Word Problem)

P2 Maths Assessment compared with P3 Maths Assessment

P2 Maths Assessment compared with P3 Maths Assessment

 

Differences in Primary 2 and Primary 3 Chinese Assessment

Assessment in Primary 2 

Assessment 1(统一测验一)
 Hanyu Pinyin(汉语拼音)
 Fill in the blanks(填写汉字)
 Matching words(组字成词)
 Rearranging words(组词成句)
 Comprehension-MCQ(理解问答-选择 式/开放式

10%

Listening Comprehension 1(听力测验一 )

10.00%

Assessment 2(统一测验二)
 Punctuation(标点符号)
 Fill in the blanks(填写汉字)
 Collocation(词语搭配)
 Cloze passage(短文填空)
 Comprehension – Open Ended (理解 问答-开放式)
Story Telling(讲故事)

7.00%

Oral Communication(口试)
 Passage reading (朗读篇章)
 Picture description (看图说话)

14.00%

Written Expression (看图写话)

10.00%

Listening Comprehension 2(听力测验二)

7.00%

End-of-Year Assessment(年终考试)
 Identifying characters(辨字测验)
 Fill in the blanks(填写汉字)
 Matching words(组字成词)
 Fill in the quantifiers (填写量词)
 Collocation(词语搭配)
 Rearranging words(组词成句)
 Cloze passage(短文填空)
 Comprehension – Open Ended(理解问答- 开放式)

32.00%

 

In Primary 3 the format is slightly different as the story telling component is removed.

试卷 Paper 考查项目 Test Items 时间 Duration 题数 No. of Qns 分数 Weightage
1 作文 Composition 40 分钟/min

1

15.00%

2

语文应用与阅读理解 Understanding of Language and Grammar usage

60 分钟/min

22

45.00%

3

听力测验 Listening Comprehension

20 分钟a/min

10

10.00%

4

口试 Oral

10 分钟/min

3

30.00%

 

 

As you can see from the tables above it  the examination format gets more structured moving from P2 to P3. In P2 the students are introduced to the various components one by one during the academic year .

My thoughts

 Primary 2 is a bridging year from Lower primary to Upper primary and it is extremely important to get all the fundamentals strongly ingrained in the child or else she may have a very shaky foundation.

I hope that this series on Bridging the Gap has  been useful to you. Do leave me a comment if you have any questions.

1) Bridging the Gap- An Introduction

2) Bridging the Gap-  Identifying the Gap in Chinese Language ( P4 to P5 )

3) Bridging the Gap- Reinforcing the Learning of Chinese

4)Bridging the Gap- Identifying the Gap between P4 and P5 English.

5)Bridging the Gap- Learning of English in Upper Primary

6) Bridging the Gap- Identifying the Gap between P4 and P5 Maths

7) Bridging the Gap –  Modelling and Methods  in Maths (Part 1) 

8) Bridging the Gap- Modelling and Methods in Maths ( Part 2)

9) Bridging the Gap- Upper and Lower Primary Science

10) Bridging the Gap-  Moving from Lower to Upper Primary

Bridging the Gap- Moving from Lower to Upper Primary( Part 1)

Moving from Lower Primary to Upper Primary

Moving from Lower Primary to Upper Primary

It has been nearly a year since my last post in this series.  Last year was a busy year for me as there were many changes in my life coupled with preparing Monkey boy for the PSLE. Now that he is settling into Secondary One I can have a breather and restart this series with a post on how it is moving from Lower Primary to Upper Primary.

A quick update on the kids 

My 3 kids

My 3 kids

This year (2017) Tiger girl has joined her elder brothers in entering formal education. She is now in Primary 1 and getting use to being in the “big kids” school.

Doggie boy is currently in Primary 5 and adjusting being the among the older kids in school.  He has the added responsibility of taking care of his younger sister who now goes to school together with him.

Moving from Primary 4 to Primary 5 he will be facing the challenges which his elder brother faced two years ago.  I’m sure this 2nd time around I’m more equipped to help him along with the changes he may be facing.

Lower Primary Vs Upper Primary

Lower Primary Vs Upper Primary

*Note for P6- 100% of the assessment weightage would be based on the Prelim exams ( For school records/ Initital DSA entry ) and 100% based on the PSLE results obtained for Secondary school admission.

When the boys were in lower primary they were having tests and different kinds of assessments almost on a weekly basis. It was really exhausting trying to keep up with their schedules and getting them ready for the various assessments.

In the end I took the middle path with regular revision for each subject. This way the kids were not caught up by the stresses of  continual assessment and had sufficient preparation in each subject.

I strongly believe that education should be an enjoyable process for a child and not one which only focuses on academic results.  Through education the child will be able to cultivate the skills and values that will see them throughout their lives.

In the Lower Primary years there is more emphasis on building up the foundation in language through teacher student modelling. The is evident in the teaching of Languages.

English in Lower Primary 

 Studying English

Studying English

During English periods the pupils engage in shared reading and writing experiences using the STELLAR method.

There are 3 key strategies used in  Lower Primary STELLAR

  1. SBA (Shared Book Approach )
    The teacher introduces and shares a Big Book(Story) with the pupils. In the second part, the teacher teaches language items, structures and skills explicitly, including concepts of print, phonics and grammar.There will be follow up activities ranging from drama to arts to reinforce the vocabulary and grammar learned.
  2. MLEA(Modified Language Experience Approach)
    There is a shared experience that is linked to the Big Book that has been read during Shared Reading. The shared experience provides the context and content for the children to think and talk about, using the target language structures and vocabulary they have been exposed to in SBA.  This is normally in the form of unit based worksheets which the teachers have compiled as a level.
  3. LC (Learning Centres)These are stations where activities are planned and differentiated for the pupils. They consist of a  Reading Centre, the Word Study Centre and the Listening Centre.  At these stations pupils have the opportunity to re-learn, revisit or extend what they have learnt at their own pace and in differentiated ability groups.

Maths in Lower Primary

Studying Maths

Studying Maths

Teaching of Mathematics  is done through the Concrete Pictorial Abstract Approach.   There is extensive use of mathematical aids (manipulatives) like unit cubes, charts and  fraction bars to develop the various concepts and skills in this subject in relations to the 4 operations,  the topics on length, fractions, money mass and picture graphs.

The modern Maths classroom aims to use a variety of learning experiences to help students develop  a deep understanding of mathematical concepts such as through the use of manipulatives (concrete materials), practical work and use of technological aids.

In the next post (part 2) I will be examining how Chinese Language is being taught in lower primary and give a breakdown on how different the assessment is from Primary  2 to Primary 3 for the different subjects.

1) Bridging the Gap- An Introduction

2) Bridging the Gap-  Identifying the Gap in Chinese Language ( P4 to P5 )

3) Bridging the Gap- Reinforcing the Learning of Chinese

4)Bridging the Gap- Identifying the Gap between P4 and P5 English.

5)Bridging the Gap- Learning of English in Upper Primary

6) Bridging the Gap- Identifying the Gap between P4 and P5 Maths

7) Bridging the Gap –  Modelling and Methods  in Maths (Part 1) 

8) Bridging the Gap- Modelling and Methods in Maths ( Part 2)

9) Bridging the Gap- Upper and Lower Primary Science

10) Bridging the Gap-  Moving from Lower and Upper Primary
( Part 1)

11) Bridging the Gap- Moving from Lower to Upper Primary ( Part 2)