The Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) are the definitive academic milestone for any primary school student in Singapore. Hence it’s understandable that parents and students alike feel nervous in the lead up to such major exams, and many students will double down on their understanding, memorising, and applying of content knowledge to be tested.
However content knowledge is not the only thing needed to help your child score well in their PSLE. Soft skills such as communication also come into play and can have a significant impact on your child’s academic success – both during the PSLE and for years to come.
How Communication Skills affect Children’s Academic Success
Communication can be further broken down into different competencies, namely spoken (or verbal) communication, non-verbal communication, written communication, and visualisations. Other aspects of communication include empathetic listening, active listening, and sensitivity to the emotions of others.
So why is communication – in any or all of its forms – so important for students to master?
In essence, communication is the bedrock of how we express ourselves and exchange information in society. For Primary School students this can take the forms of attaining proficiency in English and any other 2nd or even 3rd languages; having the confidence to voice their uncertainties and ask questions in class; or understanding how to properly interpret questions and provide the right answers during assessments.
Communication skills aren’t only being tested in English, Second Language, or Creative Writing classes – they ensure that your child is able to process and understand Math equations or accurately analyse diagrams in Science.
Enhancing your child’s communication skills gives them a boost in all of their subjects and sets a good foundation for future studies and even their working life outside of school.
Improving your Child’s Communication Skills
It is important to remember that learning and improving one’s communication skills is a gradual long-term process that continues past childhood and the teenage years, and even into adulthood.
If you’re preparing your child for their PSLE, it can be most conducive to look at communication in relation to the familiar context of their English, Math, Science, and Second Language classes, such as:
- ‘Showing’ their workings when answering Math questions
- Revisiting ‘careless mistakes’ made in Math or Science assessments to help them understand the importance of clear and precise communication
- Understanding and explaining Science infographics on life cycles, photosynthesis, or the water cycle
- Being able to read newspaper articles or other written media in English and their Second Language
- Practicing creative writing prompts in English and their Second Language
- Crafting practice Listening Comprehension worksheets based on YouTube videos
Teaching other soft skills such as time management can also help create a holistic picture of what communication looks like for young students. For example, holding timed practice sessions for Oral examinations so that your child gets a better grasp of how much information they need to convey and how they can confidently do so.
Building key competencies in all forms of communication is a key part of nurturing your child’s holistic development, creating a flexible and versatile toolkit that will serve them well for years to come. This aligns with the main objectives of our Art of Learning Primary 3-6 Programme, which focuses on cultivating a Champion Mindset in your child to help them excel in any subject they set their mind to.
The Art of Learning Programme curriculum not only teaches content knowledge but soft skills such as memory retention, time management, communication, and active recall through the Hour-Glass Model of Active Learning. An Oral Preparation Junior workshop also empowers your child to confidently express themselves – a skill that will remain useful beyond their PSLE examinations.