Children are exposed to science every day as it is all around us. Watching how a plant grows, learning about the life cycle of animals and observing raindrops are all part of science.
It is no wonder then that children look forward to learning science at primary school. In Singapore, science is officially introduced into the curriculum at primary 3 to allow students to develop a better acquisition and mastery of the English language, mother tongue and mathematics in the first two years.
Despite high interest in the subject, most of them struggle to accurately answer the questions posed to them in their worksheets. This can be discouraging for them as they venture into the world of science.
How can you help your child to score in primary school science? Here are some tips for you!
Tips to help your child score in primary school science
1. Hands-on Learning
Children are naturally curious about the world around them. As time is a constraint at school to cover the syllabus, it is more challenging to incorporate many hands-on activities to rouse your child’s interest.
Being involved in science outside of school is not as difficult as it seems. Everyday objects can be part of your learning stimulus at home too. You can interest your child by asking him/her questions about parts of a plant, for example, and getting him/her to observe the plant with you.
Your child can also set up his/her own experiments at home under your supervision. The National Library provides many practical science experiment books that children can follow easily. By being hands-on in your child’s learning, you allow him/her to take charge of observing his/her environment.
2. The Right Key Concepts and Keywords
The science curriculum framework allows students to develop the spirit of scientific inquiry through skills like comparing, classifying, inferring, analysing etc. With each new skill, keywords allow students to differentiate between the skills. For example, if the question asks to compare the physical properties of materials, the focus would be on how the properties of these materials are being used.
It is important to emphasise the need to read each question thoroughly in order to find out what is being asked of them. Most science questions can be very wordy. Picking out certain scientific words in the question is not enough to solve the question. You should highlight keywords such as “explain”, “observe”, “compare” to place focus on them.
Other than keywords, scientific terms must be noted in the questions as those are the key concepts that the teacher would be looking out for to check their understanding.
3. Use Science Language – Be Specific
Answer the questions to the point and do not overwrite above and beyond what is required. This is where most children lose their marks. They may not have a sufficient grasp of the scientific language which is required to answer the questions.
To overcome this, you can help your child to use the information provided in the questions to craft his/her answers. Pictorial clues such as diagrams, graphs and tables can be used to demonstrate your child’s concept application skills.
4. Multiple-Choice Question Elimination
By the process of elimination in a multiple-choice question, your child cant find the correct scientific answer. Out of the four options provided, three of them are simply distractors. They divert the focus away from the correct answer.
Pay close attention to the distractors provided and read the question carefully. If your child does not know the correct answer immediately, he/she can try to eliminate the obvious answers that are wrong.
Read also: 5 Ways to Help Your P3 Child to Love Science
Does your child need extra help in primary school science?
Often, parents find that they struggle to guide their children to score in primary school Science due to the technical language and concepts required. Parents could consider enrolling children in the right enrichment programme such as MindChamps Primary Success (Science) programme to supplement their lessons in school.
With teachers who dedicate in helping your children score well through interactive activities, your children will be able to grasp the concepts quickly.
Written by Danielle Hee