Parenting and Kids

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Preparing for Primary One- Before Primary One

Photo by Photoxpress

Prior to being in primary school I sent Monkey Boy to both nursery and kindergarten. I feel that it is important that he get use to a formal learning environment before he enters primary school. I also wanted him to learn how to get along with other kids and learn from other teachers besides me.

Besides sending Monkey boy for academic classes I enrolled him in piano and swimming as I feel that it’s important to help nurture his right brain through music and physical prowess through sports. Swimming is a must for my kids as it’s a lifesaving skill which  may come in very handy as we are living in an island state.

Before entering primary one Monkey boy is expected to know  more than his ABCs and 123s.  It is assumed that he knows the following

English

Vocabulary

  • Classification of verbs (eg. jump, walk, crawl) and nouns (eg. aeroplane, house, shopping centre)

Grammar and Punctuation

  • Singularity and plurality, adjectives, pronouns, possessives
  • Present and past tense

Written Expression

  • simple descriptive sentences for composition writing (Eg, Jane is wearing a red blouse and blue jeans.
  • penmanship- legibility of words written given a specific passage.  (I’m personally not too concerned if Monkey Boy’s writing is not print perfect. It is more important to me that he and the teachers understand what he is writing. )

Oral and Show and Tell:

  • Formal tests involving:
    • Reading of a passage in the presence of the examiner
    • Discuss the events depicted in a picture with the examiner
    • Develop and present materials for a presentation to the class based on topics chosen by the teacher (eg. “My Favourite Toy”)
    • Having a dialogue with the examiner based on a given scenario.
      ( *This is something new which will be slowly introduced to the students to prepare them for the changes which will be implemented during PSLE in the coming years. )
    • Students will be graded based on clarity of delivery and content.

Mathematics

  • Addition and Subtraction up to 20
  • Multiplication in 2s, 5s and 10s
  • sequencing and number bonds
  • completing 2 step questions and problem sums

 

It’s quite a fair bit but all these are tested during the 1st semester of  Primary one so I have two years to get Doggie Boy ready before he gets to Primary one.

If you missed the earlier parts here are the links to them

Part 1- The Registration

Part 2- Meeting Expectations

Preparing for Primary One- The Registration (Part One)

Photo by Photoxpress

Entering Primary One this January  was a milestone for my eldest son- Monkey Boy. It marked the departure from being a pre-schooler and  the start of being a primary school student.

At the start of the year he was eagerly looking forward to being in a new school. However he entered  his new school with mixed feelings as  he was sad to have to part with his kindergarten friends who have been with him for the past four years.

Even though the actual registration process only takes about 5-10 minutes there was a lot of preparation which led up to the moment where I filled out the form at the general office. I had made my decision of which school to send Monkey Boy to even before he entered kindergarten. I was lucky to be teaching in a good school so Monkey Boy was able to enter under Phase 2(a)2 which was as good as 100% guarantee of a place in the school.

The preparation

Every parent aims to send their child to the best schools. With a solid foundation your child will be able to keep up with his peers or even surpass them in his studies.

For some parents choosing of a suitable primary school for their child takes place 3 to 4 years before the registration date. In bid to get their child in their chosen school they may do one or all of the following.

  1. Shift house to stay within 1km radius of their chosen school.
    This has two main benefits. Firstly, it will cut down transportation cost and time to and from school. Secondly, the close proximity plays an important part in consideration for entry if there happen to be a ballot for the phase you are registering your child in.If you are staying outside the marked radius  your child would not even be considered if there are already too many people balloting for a place.(As stated on MOE’s website)

    2C Supplementary Places will be balloted according to the home-school distance category in the following order of priority. Singapore Citizens will be given two ballot slips for each child, while Singapore Permanent Residents will get one ballot slip per child.

    1. Children living within 1 km of the school of choice.
    2. Children living between 1 km and 2 km of the school of choice.
    3. Children living outside 2 km of the school of choice.

    Children living within 1 km of the school of choice will be considered first for allocation of places, followed by those living between 1 km and 2 km and lastly, those living outside 2 km of the school of choice. If the number of children under the category being considered is more than the vacancies available, balloting will be conducted for that category.

    Phase 3 Places will be balloted according to the following order of priority:

    • a. Children who are Singapore Citizens
    • b. Children who are Singapore Permanent Residents
    • c. Children who are not Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents

     

  2. Sign up for Parent Volunteer
    (40 hr community service with the school)This option is popular with parents who have the spare time and have no affliation whatsoever with the school of choice.  By completing the mandatory 40 hrs they get a chance to register their child under Phase 2B. This gives their a higher chance of entering the choosen school which annually has a oversubscribed balloting exercise at Phase 2C.Parents would have to take note of the cut off date and interview sessions for qualifying as a parent volunteer(PV). They also have to meet the schools stringent conditions for being a parent volunteer. For many schools the parents would have to register for PV at least  1-2 years before their child enters the school.

    Sometimes even if you have clocked the 40hrs it doesn’t mean a guaranteed entrance to the school if there happens to be balloting at Phase 2B due to limited number of vacancies. In this sense PV is not a failproof school entry card for your child and you would have to monitor the school’s PV entry history before embarking on this path.

  3. Join the school’s alumni Being an old boy or and old girl of a prestigious school does has it’s benefit.  By being an alumni member you would be able to register your child under Phase 2A (1) and effectively secure a place for your child.
  4. Be an active community leaderBeing an active member of the Residents’ Committee (RC), Neighbourhood Committee (NC), Citizen’s Consultative Committee (CCC), Community Club Management Committee (CCMC) or the Community Development Council (CDC) does have it’s benefit.

    If your chosen school is within the GRC you serve and you have an executive status it would enable you the chance of  getting a letter signed by your MP to endorse you as an active community leader for priority registration in Phase 2B.

 

To learn more about which Phase your child would qualify for you can check out MOE’s website.

 

In the next installment I will be explaining on what is expected of your child as she/he enter’s Primary 1.

 

Part 1- The Registration

Part 2- Meeting Expectations