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 responsibiity 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 preperation in each subject.

I strongly beileve 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 buidling 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 teacherintroduces 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 re-inforce 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.


Bridging the GAP
Bridging the GAP

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)



A Helping Hand : Delicious Recipes in English & Tagalog

A Helping Hand Book Cover
A Helping Hand Book Cover


A Helping Hand- Delicious Recipies in English & Tagalog by Frog Michaels is the first cookbook which I’ve seen that introduces the different recipes in both English and Tagalog. Most dual language cookbooks that I’ve seen are in English/Chinese  or just English alone.  This was certainly the first of the kind for me.

In this cookbook Michaels introduces recipes that are easy to prepare from Breakfasts to Dinners and even Desserts.   There are 86 recipes inside for you to browse through which are from Western and Asian Cusines.

You do not need to be a professional chef to whip up these delicious meals in the kitchen. Some meals are even simple enough for kids to make for their own breakfast like French Toast , Soft Boiled Eggs or scramble eggs.

Salt and peper Squid ( Calamari)
Salt and peper Squid ( Calamari)

I love this appitizer and will not hesitate to order this dish when we are in a seafood restaruant. I was glad to see the recipe in this cookbook. Doesn’t it look yummy?  In the upcoming March holidays the kids will be taught how to make this dish as part of our holiday activities.

Aachi's Chicken Curry
Aachi’s Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry is  one of my favourite dishes too . Complimented with  rice it makes a complete meal on the go for busy individuals.  Now that I have the recipe for creating it  I see that it will be a dish that I will attempt to master soon.

A selection of Desserts
A selection of Desserts

If you are into sweets there are also some dessert recipies for you to try out.

My thoughts

I found that this cookbook by Frog Michaels as an excellent tool for households who have domestic helpers from Philipines or even  Filipinos who want to learn more about the local Singaporean cusine together with dishes from other international cusines.

The pictorial ingredient list at the back of the book certainly comes in handy for foreigners  or newbie cooks who are not sure which items they have to pick up at the grocery store or supermarket to recreate the dishes.

You can pick up a copy from their website- A Helping Hand

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are 100% mine.

Dominique Goh|Singapore Mom Blogger