Home Education Which is important when our kids come to elementary school

Which is important when our kids come to elementary school

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Which is important when our kids come to elementary school

Children can access the necessary literacy, numeracy and social skills they need in preschool to build a solid foundation in their learning and to adapt well to primary school.

What, other than 123, should a child know when entering primary school? What was the rule of the second Minister of Education, Dr. Maliki Osman, when choosing an elementary school for his children? How did his mother’s goreng sambal belokan make his school days brighter? In this article for Schoolbag, Dr. Maliki offers his perspective on preparing a child for Elementary School 1 today, as well as tips on how parents can start their children well.


We often hear cases of parents going to great lengths to secure their child’s future.

A mother reads to her child in the womb. A parent takes extra changes to pay for their child’s music lessons. Parents move closer to the school, which they think is best for their child. This is understandable because as parents, we want the best for our children.

When I was seven, preparing a child for elementary school was a fairly easy task for parents. All the kids on my campus on Coronation Road went to the same school nearby, Duchess Elementary School. To take my siblings to school and make sure we were fed, my deceased woke up early every day to fry nasi goreng sambal belokan so we could pack things for the break to save money for the break.

My parents, uneducated, did not care what school we went to, as long as we had an education. Other parents could choose the school based on their language, cultural or religious considerations. In addition, with the beginning of the school year, training remained entirely with the teachers.

When my wife and I were young parents over 20 years ago, times have changed. The distance between home and school was still important, but we also adhered to certain ideas about preparing our children for formal schooling.

When our daughter Lydia was in elementary school 2, we moved to a new home quite far from her school and then decided to move her to a school closer to our new home. For Adly’s son, we also chose the school closest to home. The closeness brought convenience and a shortened trip, and we hoped that Lydia and Adly would have more time and energy to focus on their interests in school and after.

We then worked on their preparation for school.

Get them to strong to start

Language training is important, and we were glad that we already had the habit of reading and talking to them regularly – even singing lullabies – in English and Malay, which gave them a good foundation in both languages.

To make learning fun and natural, my wife encouraged our children to learn the numbers and alphabet in the car by reading aloud the road signs and license plates of the cars in front of us.

A sense of curiosity is also important. We told stories about things we saw – trees, buildings, animals – to arouse their interest in the environment. And my wife regularly took them to the library and read to them.

As a result of these efforts (although much credit should go to my wife) there were no major surprises when both of our children went to school.

However, I wondered about children who were less prepared, and was happy to learn from Adly School, for example, that teachers have taken steps to find out which children need more support, and have directed more resources to help them improve level.

Today, I am pleased to note that all schools in Singapore continue to fulfill the same commitment to help every child realize their potential to the fullest regardless of their starting point, for example, through an English language support program.

In September 2021, the Ministry of Education (Ministry of Education) announced a change to the Primary School Registration Framework 1, which doubles reserved seats in Phase 2C from 20 to 40 to help more unaccompanied children attend home school. .

With this change more children will spend less time on the roads and more time with their family and their interests. From a broader perspective, it also ensures that our schools remain accessible to students from all walks of life and promotes diversity in our schools.

The MOE is also committed to ensuring the quality of each school and their good resources. When choosing a school for my child, I encourage parents to keep in mind that there is no one right school, and there may actually be several suitable options that meet their needs and interests in learning and are close enough to home.

Dr. Maliki attends elementary school. It is important that children have the social and emotional skills they need to get along well in school, make friends and enjoy learning.

What is expected of your child’s First Elementary School

As we approach the start of the new school year, many parents of children entering primary school 1 are, of course, concerned about what is expected of their child. The transition may seem difficult, but I urge parents not to worry too much.

In general, it is expected that children from primary school 1 will be able to express in English their personal needs, desires and experiences, as well as ask simple questions and answer them. Gradually they should be able to express it in simple, complete sentences, orally or in writing.

Elementary understanding of numbers is also encouraged, where children should be able to count to 10 and know what “more”, “less” or “same” is.

In addition, it is more important that children have the socio-emotional skills they need to get along well in school, make friends and enjoy learning.

I have some ideas on how we can further prepare our children for First Primary School and cultivate a love of school and learning:

1. Simulate a sense of wonder and curiosity

My wife and I love to share with our children our interest in the world around us. When they were young, we introduced the world through books and TV shows, and when they were older, we also discussed social and current affairs at the dinner table. To strengthen their sense of mastery of the subject, also be prepared to learn from them!

2. Share with our children what is interesting in school life.

After we moved to Toa Payo, I continued to attend school in Bukit Timakh, and the journey took me 45 minutes by bus. I told my kids how I needed to wake up very early to catch the first bus to school, and often slept standing in a crowded bus! I also told them about how Grandma Nasi Goreng and other delicious dishes made me quite popular with my friends as I often shared my food with them. When parents share good memories of school, it sends a strong signal to our children that school and learning are important and what they can expect.

3. Join in your child’s school activities.

Teaching a child is a shared responsibility of parents and the school. Try participating in a school orientation program, study the school website together, choose a CCA with them, and attend parent conferences and special school activities. Presence at school gives a strong message that the education of our children is the most important thing in our minds, and our children will find more sense to attend school. If you have the opportunity, volunteer at the school in any capacity to demonstrate your great interest in their school. My wife was an active volunteer and even helped with teaching help at Adly School, to the great joy and pride of Adly.

4. Build a good skills foundation in preschool.

Early childhood education can provide children with an early acquaintance with the necessary literacy, numeracy, and social skills needed to build a solid foundation in learning and good adaptation to elementary school. Those who are afraid that the price may be too high, do not worry – they have support available.

Ultimately, a child’s educational path should not be determined solely by their academic achievement. We want to see bright smiles on the faces of our children every day when they return from school. Let us strive to instill in our children the joy of learning, encourage their healthy social and emotional development and give them the opportunity to create good memories of school to look back on.

A Malay version of this commentary first appeared in Berita Mediacorp.

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