(This article is contributed by our senior teacher, Queenie who teaches English to K1, K2 and P2 students. She is also a curriculum content writer for P1 and P2 English materials.)
It’s that time of the year – your child is about to embark on a new stage in his or her life!
You have just received news about the primary school that your child will be enrolling into next year and a palpable sense of excitement is in the air as you count down the days to their first day of primary school.
Without any tests or topical reviews at the preschool level, it may be difficult for you to determine areas that your child may need help with before entering primary school.
What can you and your child expect in their Primary 1 journey?
It’s a whole new adventure for the next six years of their lives and we would like to guide you through the next few months together.
Here are my first 10 tips, to help you and your child make that transition from preschool to Primary 1 smoothly.
Tip 1. Encourage Good Reading Habits Early
Parents are usually concerned that their child can read and write before entering Primary One. Children learn best when the stories they read captivate their imagination.
To help our students starting from preschool level, we have a structured incentivized reading programme to increase reading proficiency, library visits to encourage a good reading habit and weekly interactive storytelling sessions to nurture a love for books. Our students are familiar with spelling drills, read confidently and are exposed to a range of excellent authors and genres and school work (cloze passages, poetry, comprehension passages, grammar, sentence construction and writing exercises).
As our worksheets are all developed in-house, we aim to cover diverse topics such as Science and Technology, Current Affairs and Animals, to captivate our young minds and expand their horizons. What’s more, with our collection of 77,000 books located in all our seven education centres, your child will certainly be spoilt for choice. You can explore our LIBRARIES WITH A VIRTUAL TOUR
Tip 2. Pace Their End Of Year Activities
Do not overload your child with end of year activities like graduation concerts, holidays and performances. Ensure that they sleep well, eat well and not get overwhelmed with too many activities as they may get caught up in the stress of having too many activities.
Tip 3. Expect A Totally New Timetable And Schedule
From early morning wake up times to having longer periods per activity in school, it is important to plan for your child to have adequate sleep.
Tip 4. Set up a timetable for your child
Explain the daily routine to them: Mondays to Fridays are spent in school and family activities happen on the weekends. Talk to them about what time they will be in school and who will look after them after school (child care / family members / helpers).
Tip 5. Familiarise Your Child With The Journey To School
Have a dry run of the transportation route that your child will take to and from school and be sure to time the journey as well as check the traffic at the actual drop off and pick up time, to get a sense of how parents and caregivers can manage the logistics.
Tip 6. Teach Your Child To Focus For Longer Periods Of Time
Set your child short tasks and extend the duration of these tasks for increasingly longer periods of time. For example, our K1 and K2 lessons adhere to a highly-structured lesson format. In a lesson of 1 hour 45 minutes, we break our tasks down into short segments that comprise of games, worksheets etc. This helps them to focus and learn well, especially when they start school.
Tip 7. Apart From Academics, We Want Our Students To Learn Independence
We also want to encourage them to take responsibility for their belongings – they manage their school bag, stationery, return and borrow their library books and also learn to take pride in their work via document management such as filing their own worksheets. We go to great lengths to get our students into a routine and to have a sense of ownership over their work, belongings and classrooms.
Tip 8. Parents Are Likely To Feel Anxious And Excited At The Same Time
Do manage parent anxiety first - in a positive manner. Often, children are sensitive to their parents’ feelings – so parents need to manage their emotions first and not put undue pressure on their children.
Tip 9. Set Goals With Your Child For This New School Year – Academic, Health, Hobbies And Relationships
What activities do they like and what do they want to pursue? How do they want to relate to friends? It can be weekly, monthly and termly goals, such as get to know two new friends a week, or read 5 – 10 books in a month etc.
Tip 10. Maintain An Ongoing Conversation With Your Child.
Talk about their new school and experiences. Tell them stories about your school days – show them photos, your old report card and uniform. Our teachers often share our own anecdotes and we make time during lessons to affirm students when they tell us snippets of their day. It makes them feel acknowledged, loved and we delight in their milestones and enthusiasm.
Most importantly, enjoy the ride, and do take lots of photos, give them lots of hugs and kisses, because in the blink of an eye, they’ll be all grown up! I have prepared 19 more tips, which you can find in this downloadable guide.
Prepare Your Child For Primary 1
Find out what your child needs to know in Primary 1 and how our Early Years Programmes can prepare your child for Primary 1.
If you have any enquiries about our Early Years programmes, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 6733 8711 and we will be happy to assist you.
About The Writer
1. Queenie currently teaches English to K1, K2 and P2 students. She has been with The Learning Lab for 7 years.
2. She is also a curriculum content writer for P1 and P2 English materials. She has also previously developed art and craft projects for the N1 and N2 curriculum.
3. She considers building young lives her greatest challenge and satisfaction and enjoys telling her students stories, taking them on little ‘adventures’ every lesson and watching them grow.