Five months before Primary 1 starts is an ideal time to start actual preparing your child for the next stage in education, educators say. As Ms Siti, the Executive Director of MathsExCEL assures, “Children should be prepared for Primary One at the preschool they attend daily.”
She adds that the process of incorporating skills and content is best spread over the span of three years — from Nursery Two (N2) to Kindergarten Two (K2) — to gradually build P1-ready children. This is because preschool teachers are regularly updated as the lower primary school curriculum progresses; they know first-hand what skills and abilities the pre-primary children need to attain before they head off into the great big world of primary school education.
Of course, parents also have do their part — to nurture independence and a sense of responsibility for self and belongings. And here in Singapore, parents tend go beyond that. We want our children to be able to read, write, and count before they begin formal schooling. Actually, we want our children to be able to do all that at primary level even before they have stepped foot into a primary school.
Fatimah’s daughter Tina grew up in a Malay-speaking household and hardly spoke any English until one year ago. She believes that their preschool is preparing her child well for P1. However, Fatimah also teaches Tina Maths herself, and familiarises herself (and Tina) with the P1 syllabus through workbooks that she bought from Popular bookshop.
“I don’t want my son to suffer when he starts school,” says Lisa, 35, whose son Zaki has been attending a Primary 1 preparatory programme since the June holidays. “There are more children in each class; the teachers will not have the time to coach each child individually so if the child is slower, he gets left behind. I also want my son to have a headstart so that he will not be overwhelmed when the time comes.”
Agreeing, Mabel Chan, mum to a six-year-old girl, says, “If the child cannot follow the lessons, she may lose interest and become unmotivated.” Mabel teaches her daughter at home, and buys Primary 1 assessment books for her child to do at home.
Obviously, there is no need to do any of this. Ms Amy, a teacher, says that as long as the child can read and speaks confidently, he or she will be fine in Primary One.
But parents will be parents and chances are, some of you may be thinking about ensuring that your child is perfectly prepared for Primary One. In Singapore, there is no shortage of learning centres which offer enrichment classes for preschool children. Some of them offer intensive programs especially designed for K2 children. Compared to regular enrichment classes, preparatory classes cover fewer topics, but in a more in-depth manner.
Here is the content P1 Preparatory Class programme offered by MathsExCEL:
A new class begins on 17 May – 25 October 2014
- 24 weeks, 8 sessions per term (refer schedule)
- Every Saturday, 2 hours per session
- Choose-a-Slot: 9AM – 11AM | 11:30AM – 1:30PM | 2:30PM – 4:30PM
- 2 Subjects – English and Math (1 hour per subject)
- Venue: Blk 125 Bukit Merah Lane 1 #04-190 Singapore 150125 (see map)
- 10-15 Students per Class (max) : 2 Teachers
- One time payment: Registration $30 + Materials $60
- $280 per term at 8 sessions
Click here for programme detail.