Starting primary school in Singapore is a brand-new chapter in your child’s learning journey. The beginning of formal education, primary school is a world apart from preschool.
As a parent of a child attending primary school in Singapore next year, you may be wondering if you have done enough for your child’s transition.
Here are some Primary 1 preparation tips for a smoother adjustment.
Primary 1 Preparation Tips for Children attending Primary School in Singapore
Before the first day of P1
1. Listen to the experiences of friends and relatives in primary school
Our recollections of primary school may be too long ago and our memories could have been fuddled over the years. If your child has a close friend or relative currently studying in primary school, set up a playdate. The elder child can relate their memories of the first day of school with your child and encourage them.
2. Visit the school and attend the orientation
Visit the school during arrival and dismissal with your child to show him or her an idea of how school is like.
Attending the P1 orientation is a must, as it is when your child will be introduced to his or her form teacher, classmates and classroom. They will be given a school tour and it is the perfect time to make friends with the parents of your child’s future classmates.
3. Prepare essential items together
Allowing your child to participate in their primary 1 preparation gives them a sense of responsibility.
Apart from bringing your child along to the bookstore to purchase essential school supplies, get them to label their new textbooks, stationery and art materials. While doing so, have a chat about the subjects that they will be learning.
4. Gradually adopt a new routine suited for school
One of the hardest things that parents and children attending primary school in Singapore experience is the inability to wake up early.
To circumvent this, about a month before school starts, adjust your child’s routine so that he or she can have sufficient time to prepare for school. Having adequate sleep and a balanced diet keeps them alert in school.
During the first few weeks of P1
1. Ensure that your child knows how to order food from the canteen
Most schools implement a buddy system, where an older student is paired with a Primary 1 child to mentor their juniors on school life. Let your child practise buying meals from food stalls outside to be familiarised with the process of ordering and payment.
2. Check that your child is aware of after-school arrangements
After school ends in the afternoon, some children head home where they are cared for by their parents, grandparents or domestic helper, while some may head to an after-school student care centre.
Regardless of the option you choose, make sure that your child is aware of where to head to.
3. Keep them confident with the right attitude towards learning
Having a positive attitude towards learning can help your child keep up with the core subjects in school (English, Chinese language, Mathematics). The MindChampion Junior Programme by MindChamps equips primary school students with the necessary strategies to actively understand, store and recall information. The programme keeps your child confident and ready to face the challenges of the demanding world.
4. Communicate with your child regularly
Your child will need support and encouragement as he or she adapts to the new life in primary school in Singapore, where things can be overwhelming for a young child of six years old.
Set aside some time before bedtime to share about your day, and encourage your child to open up. Examples of conversation starters include “What was the best part of your day?”, and “Did anyone do anything funny today?”.
Moving from a sheltered environment in preschool to a brand-new environment and routine in primary school can be daunting for young children. Making an effort to prepare them in advance can make the transition smoother. Most important of all, continue to be there for your child with a listening ear and open arms.
Written by Jamie Koh