The transition from Primary to Secondary can be a big leap for both the child and parents
Your once preschooler is now on the threshold of secondary school. It’s a huge milestone. Through the primary school years, children need a lot more attention and guidance from both parents and teachers. The same is needed at the Primary level too, but you can now you can step back a little and allow the child more independence. Sure, the child will be going through many changes at this phase, but it is the parents too that need to be prepared for this leap.
Why is this a transition?
PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination)is an important part of the Singapore education system. It is a national examination administered by the Ministry of Education. Almost all schools in Singapore undertake the examination for students at the end of grade six each year. The PSLE scores are therefore considered a landmark, as it allows admission to secondary schools across Singapore. Students often spend months and even years to score well in order to get into the school of their choice. PSLE can be pretty stressful for students and their parents as a lot is at stake in terms of the next phase of schooling. Secondary school also means that the student is entering the teenage years. This is a physically, mentally and emotionally charged phase for a child and therefore can be turbulent for families.
What to expect?
Secondary schooling years bring with it more intense and complex studies. A student would most likely be required to invest more time and energy towards academics as subjects turn more complex. Students need to stay motivated in order to do well, therefore it is for parents and teachers to guide the pupil in the right manner. More assignments and greater time spent at school means, the student also has more social exposure at school than ever before. The seeds of a greater sense of independence and self-assurance are sown at this stage, but it is also the time when there is a need for great mentors who can help direct the child on to the right path. Therefore it is important to research well in advance which schools to zero in on. International schools are amongst the most favoured choices for their multicultural environment, excellent infrastructure and offering of IB curriculum that has universal acceptability. Take for instance, The Canadian International School, Singapore that has more than 70 nationalities on campus, offers IB Middle Years Programme(MYP), and IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) and is known for very progressive innovative teaching methods imparted by reputed teachers. Such schools offer students a great exposure in terms of diversity as well as world-class facilities.
What can parents do?
Apart from teachers, parents and caregivers can be great mentors in this phase. The emphasis on PSLE can be very demanding and not all students score excellent grades. Therefore, it is the parents who need to create a balanced approach that pushes the child without being overbearing. Parents need to be aware of the child’s potential, interests and abilities. Does the child have a natural flair for any subject? Are the elite schools the right fit for the child? Are you providing a supporting and nourishing environment at home? Is the child ready for secondary school curriculum? If not, is it worthwhile to take it slow and let the child spend an additional year in the primary school? Parents can ask themselves these questions and help the child accordingly.
Secondary school brings about many changes and parents can prepare well in advance and in turn help their children to be aware of what’s to come and how to deal with it. More than everything, not being anxious about PSLE performance and considering it as just one of the many milestones can help alleviate a lot of stress within families. Exposing a child to as many disciplines as possible will help him/ her to find where his/her interests lie. Therefore it is best to expose, encourage, accept and motivate children that will help them sail through the secondary school years with confidence.For more information kindly visit Secondary School in Singapore