2.22.2013

Are you ready for Primary 1?


Daddytalk

MOE had introduced a new Kindergarten Curriculum framework aimed to give a guide for kindergartens as well as parents on what to expect the child would learn by Kindergarten 2

The firstborn is at K2 and would be 'promoted' to primary 1 next year. As a concern parent, I am interested in what is expected of my child in P1.



The updated kindergarten curriculum focus on 6 main learning areas

The New Framework
They are as follows
  • Aesthetics and Creative Expressions
  • Discovery of the world
  • Language and Literacy
  • Motor Skills development
  • Numeracy
  • Social and Emotional Development
The general guideline can be seen below. The full guidelines can be found here.



It aims to provide a holistic experience instead of focusing on academic. While I think it is a decent effort in identifying the areas, it would be good if there is at least some fix academic guidelines.
In addition, certain milestones such as the ability to write only the first name and counting to only 10 (I think a 2 year old can already do that) may be unrealistic and insufficient. In fact, placing low emphasis on academic milestone may be detrimental to the children once they transit to primary one. There is also no mention of the 2nd language and thus makes us none the wiser on the required knowledge.

Call it the Kiasu mentality at work, I would rather we realistically prep the boy for primary one academically than to let him have a culture shock when it arrives.

Nevertheless childhood is precious and there should be ample fun induced to balance education. As such we would keep to our current plan of having him in a 3 hour long kindergarten (instead of childcare) along with enrichment classes in English and Chinese once a week. That should be about 18 hours of school per week. It is much less than the minimum 25 hours week in Primary school, but it should be sufficient to prep him for it.

However there are times when it can be quite a chore for the boy especially with 34 words of English spelling plus Chinese spelling plus weekend assignments. As much as we hate to focus on academic, we feel that it is a necessary evil. We do see that he has now been accustomed to practising his work and thus hope it will be carried forward in primary school. A disclaimer, we do not need the boy to score 100 % every week, rather it is the practise of homework that we like to emphasize for his weekly test.

At the end of the day, most parents if not all wants the best for their brood. I feel that the guideline would only serve to set as a minimum benchmark rather than the guide for primary one. It is a fact that primary school education is academic in nature. Unless we change the structure of education in Singapore, the changing of the parent's mindset to focus on holistic rather than academic aspect of pre school education is but a mere pipe dream at best.


2 comments:

  1. I'm feeling the jitters for my girl entering P1 too. In 3 years time haha but still.. I need to find a balance as I believe a child should have her childhood too.

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

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    1. 3 yrs is not too long or too short. Seriously we only started to send the eldest to 'educational' enrichment class when he hits k1. Primarily because we do not know what to expect in p1, so we decided to outsource it. Nevertheless agreed on the balancing part and we try to give him time to immerse in play over sat/sun and 1 hour every weekday evening. All work and no play makes jack a dull boy :)

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