Oct 2, 2017

The Final Lap of PSLE English Preparations with The Learning Lab + A 4-Step Action Plan for PSLE Parents


As you read this, the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) IS OVER!!!!

Finally, I can breathe a sigh of relief because personally, examinations are nothing but this.

I am not going to get started on the need for PSLE because, you know, the system is there but it is up to us parents on how to approach it with our kids in the least stressful way possible. And if you have been following me on either Facebook or Instagram in the past 2 weeks leading up to PSLE, you would have read some of my tongue-in-cheek #cheekiemonkiePSLE quotes.

All done in good fun, because there is nothing like injecting a little humour to relieve some stress, no? Especially since there is so much revision to complete with Ash over the past few weeks.

And if you read my previous post on Ash's journey with The Learning Lab, you would also have known that both the wifey and I are utterly clueless when it comes to coaching him on essay writing. There is no doubt that English has always been Ash's weaker subject so The Learning Lab's 10-week P6 English Composition Excellence Workshop helped him tremendously. Which is a good thing, since that means no more puking sessions for me!

But jokes aside, I feel English as a subject is so difficult to teach. So for the teaching to be effective, a well-planned curriculum with skilled guidance is a must as this allows kids feel more confident in their abilities, and helps them make the most of what they are already learning at school.

And if your kid is short on time for revision, The Learning Lab's Intensive Revision Series is great for equipping the child with the best PSLE ammunition in the shortest possible time. Ash attended the P6 English Intensive Revision Series during the September School Holidays and at the end of the 2 days, he remarked that he had learnt new techniques when it comes to answering questions in the English Paper 2!

Subject mastery is important in building a strong foundation for academic success. Hence, the programme is made up of a series of workshops based on key examinable components such as composition writing and comprehension. In addition, extra emphasis is placed on other exam components such as grammar as well as synthesis and transformation - areas which Ash is particularly weak in!

Through all of this, Ash learnt more about question-answering techniques, how to identify and manage question types and learnt how to avoid making common mistakes.

I flipped through the worksheets that Ash completed over the 2 days, and realised there is indeed a systematic way to answering the various English questions competently. The handouts were clear, concise and comprehensive. In fact, Ash only focused on revising the notes and worksheets from The Learning Lab in the lead-up to the PSLE English Paper!

Another aspect of The Learning Lab that I found to be particularly helpful was the updates I had from Ash's teacher. I received a phone call from the teacher, who provided useful updates about Ash. She pointed out his areas of weakness, and suggested ways we could reinforce certain teaching concepts at home.

In any case, I am so glad it is all over... for this year at least. Until the same 'here-we-go-again' thing repeats next year for Ayd. And if there is one important thing that I learnt as a PSLE parent this year, it is the importance of having a good revision plan for your child and starting revision early.

Because a lot of it boils down to time – which when well-planned, will help you to make the most of the months leading up to the big exam. so if you have a child who will be taking the PSLE next year, I have a few tips on how to work out your own PSLE action plan:

Discuss priorities and targets

Before all the revision, schedules and tuition come in, have a good chat with your child first. Hear out his/her thoughts about the exam, and discuss on the targets and whether they are realistic. Take the chance to find out any fears and doubts that the child may have and let him/her know that the PSLE is a team effort, and that the family will be there for him/her, showing support every step of the way.

Identify areas of weaknesses and source for solutions

Solutions can come in many forms, and do not necessarily solely refer to extra tuition. It can be setting aside 30 minutes for solid revision work every weekday night or joining study groups. But if your child does receive tuition, it is important to zoom in on the specific areas of weakness so that the solution is targeted and more effective. In the case of Ash, his main weakness in English is in essay writing so that made The Learning Lab's P6 English Composition Excellence workshop a perfect fit.

Draw up a study schedule

This is a year of discipline so coming up with a study schedule is key because it keeps the child focused and maps out the revision plan in a clear manner. This will also allow you to allocate more hours to your child’s weaker areas where necessary.

Make time for leisure as a family

Some may advocate a complete ban on playing computer games and going on family holidays during PSLE year but as with everything, moderation is key. Don't further stress the child by imposing on additional constraints - Ash still played on the iPad during the school holidays and we went for a Campervan holiday in Perth in June. But at the end of the day, you need to know what works best for your child so do factor in his/her feelings when cutting back on leisure time.

Do you have other pointers to share with parents of Primary 6 children? I would love to hear them!

Registration for Term 1 – 2018, which commences on Wednesday, 6 December is now open. Find out more about The Learning Lab programmes at www.thelearninglab.com.sg.

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1 comment :

Rainna said...

The Preparation should start as early as P3 or earlier, just a year of preparation will make the kid extra stress during exam. What I meant of the preparation is not about going tuition classes but to clear the doubt. Asking questions in class and knowing what you don't know.

Maths and Science are about Grabbing concepts. I don't agree to just remember the work for the few days of exam. I will ask my older child to teach the younger one to polish their skill.

Language built by reading interest. There are people who are more structured and they will have no problem with creative writing. For those who are not I think creative writing classes helps.

By end of P5 the kid should be able to auto pilot, LIY (Learn it yourself) and we only step in when they need help. As we also need to prepare them to a more challenging stage in Secondary school.

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