Doing well in the PSLE of Singapore

PSLE. Primary School Leaving Examination are the first educational hurdle of all Singapore students and has been a staple of our enduring educational system since its inception. So what’s all the fuss over the PSLE’s? First and foremost, it dictates the secondary schools that a child can go to. Secondly, it dictates the stream that a child will be studying as well. The current secondary school streams are Express, Normal Academic and Normal Technical.

So how do you support your child in this endeavour?

I’ve been tutoring kids for the last 15 years and there are 4 main categories that characterizes a successful PSLE candidate.

  1. Intelligence
  2. Gumption
  3. Stamina
  4. Determination

Intelligence

Developing the intelligence of a child. What are the do’s and don’t’s? The first thing I find that a child do very well is the ability to acquire information. Their rate of learning is ferocious as compared to us adults. I always find that the weaker students has parent’s who underestimate the learning velocity and potential of their child. Quality of information, and the rate of disbursement of information to the child are important for the development of the intelligence of the child. Useless information leads to refuse in the brain. And a slow learning rate makes them lag behind their peers. Things parents need to avoid like the plaque. The PSLE score is heavily linked to the intelligence of a child. And rightfully so.

How do we develop the intelligence of a child?

  1. The simplest and cheapest ways to teach a kid is to go to a library. Instill the virtues of the public library system. This old school method still has a few tricks up its sleeves and are still a viable way of acquiring superb materials. Enrol your kids in interactive courses organized by the library. They generally have reading classes for kids, or introduces new interesting books to make a bookworm out of your child. These classes also tend to involve socializing for your child, and that is an awesome by-product of making more friends and learning social skills.
  2. Read to your child every night. By far, the most effective way of disbursement of information. Take 20 mins out of your hectic lifestyle. Pick any topic and start reading. Your child will learn diction, as well as gaining knowledge in the process. Therapeutic, and bonding with your child as the by-product which works in your favour far down the path of a healthy relationship with your child. What else can you ask for?
  3. Games. I have always heard parents tell me that their kids play too much games and not studying enough. True enough. But I have to say, in moderation, games does provide an intelligence boost that cannot be acquired otherwise. Games can be divided into three distinct forms. Traditional board games, computer games and physical games like basketball. They all have their merits and again, used in moderation, gives an edge to children both mentally and physically. Games teaches kids a passion to persevere, to win or to lose gracefully, to solve problems, to improve hand-eye coordination, etc. The list is too long to talk about here but I think you get the picture.
  4. IQ tests. These are the tests administered by MENSA. We don’t need to test our kids IQ, we just want them to acquire a love for solving IQ tests. Just like in the show “The Da Vinci Code” where Dan Brown weaves his tale out of codes and IQ type of quests, the mystery and intrigue can be intoxicating to your child. IQ questions tends to develop a heuristic skill that requires out of the box solutions. Again, we are living in a highly paced evolving society that requires this skill set to properly survive as we can never anticipate what will happen tomorrow. So, definitely a worthwhile skill to have for you child.
  5. Music and the arts. I have never once thought that music nor the arts can be bad for anyone. Economically, it might be a challenge. But intellectually, it can be stimulating and promotes creativity. Singapore have invested heavily into the arts in recent years. New museums, galleries, art schools as well as a budding local arts community are starting to transpire our 20th century Singaporean hardwork into a 21st century First World culture. Take your child to an art museum, go for a musical, enrol in an arts class. Get the creative juices going and maybe find a hidden Michelangelo or Yo Yo Ma in our midst.
  6. The News. How current is your child to the news? Current affairs are an important but often neglected development in a child’s scope of education. Ask your child what happened today and involve them in the latest developments of the world. In this decade, the internet has linked our lives into current affairs that we cannot let our child be ignorant in this topic. Twitter and facebook dictates so. Social networks are abuzz with the latest news and links people tighter than ever. If we don’t know what happened today, we are just simply a non-participant in the society. And that is where our child needs to be. To be a participant in our society and have a voice in this world. It is simply not enough to just exist anymore with our global connections.
  7. New technology. Ever heard of first adopters? These are a bunch of people who live to buy the latest technology. It is obvious how techonology can help making your kid smarter. The latest technology always creates high interests in the minds of children. Since kids are pretty new to this earth, its only natural that they should get the latest. They also seem to get it faster than we do don’t they? As in, kids always seem to get a gadget running in no time, whereas adults takes forever. Now how do we switch this on again? Buying the latest technology and making it available for children to use creates a culture of always knowing what is the latest. Having the latest technology always creates winners, and don’t take my word for it, most wars are won by countries that have the latest technology of their times.
  8. DIY. Do-It Yourself. How many times have you let your child do something and you not interfere? For example, get an order at McDonalds for the family? Sometimes, parent’s have a tendency to over-protect their children. You have all the right to, but draw a line to where that should stop. One day, your child will be a father/mother. How do we teach them to become one? By letting them do things on their own. And insist that they finish the job. But start them off slow and only on the right attitude. Don’t make them do things they don’t like. Dishes, laundry, taking the rubbish out. Or things that are dangerous. Boiling water, drilling, sharpening the knife are a definite no-no. That’s just counter-productive. Let them do things that make them feel like they are adults. Children loves to be mini-us, and takes pride when we approve of it and respects them as one. Let them order what they like, give them tasks that makes them excited. They might not do it well right off the bat, but hey, its their first time so give them some slack. They’ll get it right soon enough. And yes, they’ll turn out to be excellent parents because you showed them how to be one.

Disclaimer: The above can be applied to any child doing PSLE in Singapore. When I am talking about intelligence, I am not talking about gifted children whom are naturally intelligent. There are such kids but I have often been asked why some gifted kids don’t do well in the PSLE, and some do pretty well. I shall explain this later but the intelligence I am talking about are more generalized.

Meaning, any child who are capable of solving mathematical sums, understand scientific fundamentals and are capable of holding a conversation with their peers in a common language. This generally means almost 95% of PSLE participants will have the intelligence to pass the PSLE well. However, in the last 15 years being a tutor, I have seen these 95% and there are a wide varience in the ability to perform well due to external factors that are beyond their scope of intelligence. These variance can be due to parent’s educational background, the way they are brought up, their peers and simply, the schools that the child attend and the culture of their schools plus teachers and principals.

Gumption

Initiative and resourcefulness. These are the qualities that will create intelligence in a child. Students that show gumption generally do much better in their PSLE. Simply because they seem to find out more than their peers, as well as makes the best use of their time. Initiative creates students who study by themselves, find the relevant information by themselves and start their own studying when the need arises. Autonomy to operate before you tell them to do it. Resourcefulness on the other hand is to find what they need by themselves. Or make things happen with whatever resources they have. A real life MacGyver.

So how do we cultivate gumption in students?

We create a reason for them to start being serious with their studies. Prompt them of what they need to do. Give them a timeline of when they should start. I got a new Primary 5 student a year back. She had a bad mentality towards studies. When I asked her how come most of the question she did was wrong, she replied, “You mean I must get them all correct?” She did not care if she did well in her studies and had no idea what PSLE entailed. As far as she was concerned, computer games was her be-all-and-end-all. Then slowly, I slid in reasons why students should do well in PSLE during her classes. How a failure could mean a disastrous career in Singapore. And most importantly, what Primary 6 students do to get good grades in PSLE (meaning, 6-10 hrs of studies a day is a normal occurance) and when will they start preparing to do so much work. That was one year back. So its January now and she is still a student of mine. Guess what? She put her hand up the other day, and asked, “Can you print out more questions for me to do and I do it with my friend? And can I come over to ask questions if I don’t know how to do the sums?” And guess what? She did come back for extra lessons with me this week. Very encouraging indeed.

So what transpired? She woke up somewhere down the line last year and said to herself that she needed to do something about it. I am pretty sure she put a time she started to work harder. All I did, was to seed that thought that she needed to do something and a timeline of how it should be done. Very Inception indeed. But it worked. I don’t think there is a point in telling off children if they don’t study. They respond much better if they saw the need to do it themselves. The fire within will always burn hotter than the fire without.

Stamina

Stamina refers to the ability to put in the miles. Psst, the secret to awesome PSLE scores? 6-10 hours of pure studying. No complaints. No discomforts. Full focussing. So how does a child sit there relentlessly for the whole Primary 6 and knock in 10 hours of studying time? By starting them off young. The analogy to a marathon makes this easy. No one can run a full marathon without training and gaining stamina. This accumulation of stamina comes about by running 1km, increasing it to 2km, and then 3km, gaining higher endurance along the way, over months and years, and keep on moving the ante up till you hit the full monty. There’s is no other way of saying this but, for any child to do well in PSLE, they need to put the miles in. And the magical number is 10. 10 hours of studies every day. So start with 1-2 hrs during their Primary 5 holidays, then move it up to 3-4 hrs and keep on increasing this till it hits 10. Here’s a warning, don’t expect this to happen every day. Have some rest days and keep their mind fresh by doing something fun. They are afterall kids. They do much better if you start this regime earlier, during Primary 2-3. As with more practice and consistency, they tend to get better at keeping their energy high when they reach Primary 6 and need to clock in the hours.

Determination

All the above comes to naught without determination. The belief that it is possible to score high in PSLE is more important than everything that I have said so far. I have taught students that are very determined and some that aren’t. The first group tends to score higher, with all other factors being equal. Children tend to do well in things that they can believe in. They see a reason to aim higher. Nevermind if they don’t hit the mark, but aiming high at least gets them a better grade than one that aims low or worse, don’t have ant aim to begin with. So we have to be careful of the things that we say to them. Positive reassurances are a must. Its not good enough that we say it, we have to actually believe in it too. Optimism always trumps pessimism when it comes to studies.

So how do we instill determination in a child?

2 important skill sets has to be introduced to the child. A challenge. And the need to complete the challenge. Again, the methodology is much like the same as the stamina methodology. Start off with small challenges. But make sure the child does not give up. When they succeed, acknowledge them. If they fail, analyze the reason with them too. The important thing is not to give up till they suceed. Move up the ranks to harder challenges and soon enough, they will be determined enough to make sure they complete their own challenges.

In summary, the PSLE awards those who deserves it. With proper preparation and planning, it can be triumphed. I do believe all candidates can achieve a good PSLE grade. The reason for any divergence can only come from a lack of those qualities mentioned above. Of course, there are some factors beyond control, but I have seen students who started off wrong but finishing strong for the PSLE. Proper guidance and advice where it is needed is important to correct what is wrong.

What else?

We can help by making the environment conducive for the child to study in. A well lit, quiet and ventilated room. A properly organized study with all materials in easy reach. When every second counts in Primary 6, efficiency is everything. Keep a healthy diet and before you know it, the PSLE’s over.

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Famous Places-Machu Picchu, Peru

A photo of Macchu Picchu in Peru.
A photo of Macchu Picchu in Peru.

Machu Picchu is an ancient Inca site that was abandoned and discovered in 1911 by the Americans.

Here’s an extract from wikipedia.com:

Machu Picchu (in hispanicized spelling, Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmatʃu ˈpiktʃu]) or Machu Pikchu (Quechua machu old, old person, pikchupyramid; mountain or prominence with a broad base which ends in sharp peaks,”old peak”, pronunciation [ˈmɑtʃu ˈpixtʃu]) is a 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District inPeru. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cusco and through which theUrubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas”, it is perhaps the most familiar icon of Inca civilization.

The Incas built the estate around 1450, but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of what the structures originally looked like. By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored. The restoration work continues to this day.

Since the site was not known to the Spanish during their conquest, it is highly significant as a relatively intact cultural site. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.

Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana (Hitching post of the Sun), the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. These are located in what is known by archaeologists as the Sacred District of Machu Picchu.

 

 

Famous People-Mother Theresa

Wikipedia.com quotes ”

The Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, M.C., commonly known as Mother Teresa (26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997), was an Albanian-born, Indian Roman Catholic Religious Sister.

Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and is active in 133 countries. They run hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; children’s and family counseling programmes; orphanages; and schools. Members of the order must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, and the fourth vow, to give “Wholehearted and Free service to the poorest of the poor”.

Mother Teresa was the recipient of numerous honours including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. In late 2003, she was beatified, the third step toward possible sainthood, giving her the title “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta”. A second miracle credited to her intercession is required before she can be recognised as a saint by the Catholic Church.

Admired and respected by many, she has also been accused of failing to provide medical care or painkillers, misusing charitable money, and maintaining positive relationships with dictators.”

Famous People- Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln is remembered for many things, a great President, war strategist, a liberator of racism and most importantly the President that kept America united. Self educated and becoming a lawyer, Abraham Lincoln opposed the expansion of slavery and won the American Civil War which kept America from splitting into two. Shortly after, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer.

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

for wikipedia.com

Abraham Lincoln/ˈeɪbrəhæm ˈlɪŋkən/ (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through its greatest constitutional, military, and moral crisis—theAmerican Civil War—and in so doing preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the national government and modernized the economy. Reared in a poor family on the western frontier, Lincoln was self-educated, and became a country lawyer, a Whig Party leader, Illinois state legislator during the 1830s, and a one-term member of the United States House of Representatives during the 1840s. He promoted rapid modernization of the economy through banks, canals, railroads and tariffs to encourage the building of factories; he opposed the war with Mexico in 1846.

After a series of highly publicized debates in 1858 during which he opposed the expansion of slavery, Lincoln lost the U.S. Senate race in Illinoisto his archrival, Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln, a moderate from a swing state, secured the Republican Party presidential nomination in 1860. With almost no support in the South, Lincoln swept the North and was elected president in 1860. His election prompted seven southern slave states to declare their secession from the Union and form the Confederacy. The departure of the Democratic politicians to lead the Confederacy gave Lincoln’s party firm control of Congress, and no compromise or reconciliation was found regarding slavery. Lincoln explained in his second inaugural address: “Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the Nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.”

When the North enthusiastically rallied behind the national flag after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, Lincoln concentrated on the military and political dimensions of the war effort. His goal was to reunite the nation. His numerous complex moves toward ending slavery centered on the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, using the Army to protect escaped slaves, encouraging the border states to outlaw slavery, and helping push through Congress the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which permanently outlawed slavery. Lincoln closely supervised the war effort, especially the selection of top generals, including commanding general Ulysses S. Grant.

An exceptionally astute politician deeply involved with power issues in each state, Lincoln reached out to “War Democrats” (who supported the North against the South), and managed his own re-election in the 1864 presidential election. As the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican party, Lincoln found his policies and personality were “blasted from all sides”. Politically, Lincoln fought back with patronage, by pitting his opponents against each other, and by appealing to the American people with his powers of oratory. His Gettysburg Address of 1863 became the most quoted speech in American history. At the close of the war, Lincoln held a moderate view of Reconstruction, seeking to reunite the nation speedily through a policy of generous reconciliation in the face of lingering and bitter divisiveness. Six days after the surrender of Confederate commanding general Robert E. Lee, however, Lincoln was assassinated by an actor and Confederate sympathizer named John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln’s death was the first assassination of a U.S. president. Lincoln has been consistently ranked both by scholars and the public as one of the greatest U.S. presidents.

Famous Places- Acropolis of Athens, Greece

The Acropolis houses the most famous ancient Greek building, Parthenon. Built as a citadel, it has survived through the ages and is considered to be the most important site for the European Cultural Heritage list of monuments.

The Acropolis Hill of Athens
The Acropolis Hill of Athens

from wikipedia.com

The Acropolis of Athens (Greek: Ακρόπολη Αθηνών) is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and containing the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word acropolis comes from the Greek words ἄκρον (akron, “edge, extremity”) and πόλις (polis, “city”). Although there are many other acropoleis inGreece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as “The Acropolis” without qualification.

While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495 – 429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site’s most important buildings including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the temple of Athena Nike. The Parthenon and the other buildings were seriously damaged during the 1687 siege by the Venetians in the Morean War when the Parthenon was being used for gunpowder storage and was hit by a cannonball.

The Acropolis was formally proclaimed as the preeminent monument on the European Cultural Heritage list of monuments on 26 March 2007.

A Youtube video on the Acropolis of Athens

the 4 pillars of learning

So with the need in the 21st Century to be highly educated comes the need to provide an education that befits the dynamism of such an aim.

Society changes rapidly, with the industrial revolution going the way of the dinosaurs, the digital revolution maturing and now, the social revolution is upon us with Facebook, Twitter and forums gathering no moss with such an aggressive momentum onto our current lives. Everyone is a friend of someone now, and information travels around the globe faster than the blink of an eye.

Students are starting to mature in this age as well, incorporating digital elements early in life to be social individuals, exchanging thoughts and communicating with these tools. No longer are we surprised that our students approach us and know so much more than yesteryear. No longer are we surprised that they gulp information and understand the intricacies of the fabric of life.

So what do we do with such changes? It would be foolish not to keep up and make changes that would take advantage of these changes. Never sit still and let technology overcome us, and turn us into the relics that would make age gaps look ominous, outcast adults from their children and have our society alienate itself between the young and poor. This is where a page from United Nations website started looking very relevant to our lives, which I have included in this article as follows:

The following are an extract of an outline with regards to education as stated in United Nations website:

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/networks/global-networks/aspnet/about-us/strategy/the-four-pillars-of-learning/

“The four pillars of learning are fundamental principles for reshaping education:

Learning to know: to provide the cognitive tools required to better comprehend the world and its complexities, and to provide an appropriate and adequate foundation for future learning.

Learning to do: to provide the skills that would enable individuals to effectively participate in the global economy and society.

Learning to be: to provide self analytical and social skills to enable individuals to develop to their fullest potential psycho-socially, affectively as well as physically, for a all-round ‘complete person.

Learning to live together: to expose individuals to the values implicit within human rights, democratic principles, intercultural understanding and respect and peace at all levels of society and human relationships to enable individuals and societies to live in peace and harmony.”

That is where we have to take note, to participate in the global economy and society, we have to keep ourselves not only mentally challenged, but physically fit as well. To keep upgrading ourselves to the new tools and skills, and never to stop changing ourselves, i.e to move with the times. Evaluation is the reset button of our lives. Re-evaluating our worth, our knowledge, and what new skills we need to keep ourselves relevant are the important points of what is written above.

So what are we doing at eduKate? We have never once stopped evaluating our skills and upgrading our techniques and tools. In 2014, there will be another suite of changes that will be implemented from Nov 2013 all through to Feb 2013. These comprises with a move to a new premise, new equipment for the students, and also new ways of teaching. Again, evaluation is the reset button we have, which means, we will move ahead with what works, and delete those that don’t, which was exactly what we have done in 2013. With positive outcome for our students and resulting with a group of positively happy parents.

Of course, the academics are not the be-all and end-all of a holistic education, which we are all too aware of. That is where we strive to keep our students well rounded and relevant, for the future is a constant question mark, and the best the students can do, is to be fleet footed and all ready for what is about to happen.

A sign of things to come. The Primary Levels

This is the new website of eduKate, revamped and all out to improve students. But before we start the next season, we shall wrap up this year with this article.

2014 is coming, and we will have some changes to our classes. This is in relation to the outcome of the classes that we had in 2013. The most important change will be to organize our  classes to fit the characters of the students. Amongst the changes, we will also be improving and implementing new techniques in our teaching. For English, prototype learning from tablets, increased exposure (reading more books, acquiring more knowledge) to classical writing with emphasis on literature structural fundamentals and application to creative writing. For Mathematics, heuristic applications for word problems will be taught with the use of logical deduction. Speed training when attempting sums with the use of stop watches. For Science, there are no changes except for a higher usage of videos to show experiments and application of knowledge gained.

Lessons learnt from 2013:

Primary 1-3 levels

The lower primary levels are consistently scoring in the 80-90++ bracket for their classes. Their classes are based on 5 pillars of fundamental education.

  1. learning
  2. repeating
  3. memorizing
  4. categorizing
  5. and finally, an evaluation of these skills in the next lesson.

In 2013, the biggest problem was to make the students memorize their lessons. No surprise as the 21st century is inundated with new technology that distracts children. Playstation, xbox, internet, iPhone and all the new apps that makes games easily accessible robs studying time from students. The concentration levels are lower now then the last decade in children between the age of 7-11, with so much things to distract them and children now are more social than before.

How do we counter that? We use the same technology that gets them distracted to become tools of learning. We have iPads, iPhones, kindle, AppleTV, computers and full internet connectivity incorporated into our teaching.

But of course, once we have their attention, nothing beats the age old ways of learning. Teaching from fundamentals, full use of assessment books, and when exam time approaches, judicious use of past year exam papers.

Primary 4 levels.

Our primary 4 class did very well this year. Their median score are within the 78-82 range for English, 80-85 for Math, and 79-82 for Science. This result comes from two reasons that we strove very hard to incorporate right from the start of the year.

reason 1:

The classes were tailored to the nature of the students. They were grouped into two main groups. First group are predominantly made up of students that are constantly participating in class activities. The second group are made up of students that are quiet but worked hard when we give them their tasks. The first group would prefer learning by talking with the tutors. The second preferred learning from doing more sums. This we tailored our classes to and the results were astounding. New comers at June 2013 had their results from a score of 60-65 jump to a score of 80-85. What to learn from here? Not every student responses the same way to one way of education. That does not mean they aren’t any good, it just means that there are classes that we need to tune to make them perform. custom classes are the way to go for 2014.

reason 2:

As the school term is getting shorter and exams are happening earlier, we changed our strategy from 2012 to 2013. We got the students to learn their syllabus faster and earlier in the year. We also changed how our information is delivered. Instead of just getting the students to do more sums and more homework, we made them strategize their thought process into two main processes. 1) the reason they are learning that skill, and 2) remembering what they learnt so they don’t have to revise it again and waste time relearning. this is inline with the curriculum of the ministry, based on the premise of learning it once, and moving onto harder, more proficient skills next.

Grouping these classes to suit students’ personalities created a group camaraderie. Meeting up for lessons week after week fostered bonds between students and we encouraged the brighter students to help out, and the weaker students to ask. We always found that the first (most important) thing to do in any class, is to ask. Once students gets past the fear of raising their hands, they will improve tremendously. Clearing doubts and gaining confidence are right up the tree of learning.

At Primary 4, students are caught between gaining confidence and also being socially accepted by their peers. That’s two opposing problems that any child can have. Without confidence, they might end up being an outcast with their peers. This age are critical ages where students feels aware of their surroundings. Capable of having great friends and socializing. They are like mini adults, a bit insecure of what next and hoping what they do will be acceptable to everyone.

Primary 5 levels

The Penultimate year. And the lead up to their first biggest obstacle. Primary 5 levels has always been the year where students start developing problems in their studies. There are a few reasons for this. Foremost being the jump in curriculum requirements, being the preceding year to PSLE. It has to naturally be harder than Primary 4, and a need to shift the gears to get ship shape in preparation for Primary 6 and the forthcoming PSLE. It is also the year that students have to start maturing and getting their focus on the essentials. But on the other hand, the distractions comes in thick and fast. Their CCA’s will take up a bigger chunk of their activities, a wider social network, more distractions and the mentality that this is the last year before they have to sit down and study hard for PSLE.

So how do we tackle these problems next year?

The first biggest change will be to make sure that our students feels that Primary 5 is definitely harder than the previous year. They have to feel that their stresses are building up and suddenly, have to wake up and not take things for granted. Introduction to harder sums and harder concepts immediately will set off that tone. The game is on.

Our students are divided into two distinct groups. The first are our senior students that have been with us longer than 1 year. The second are the new students that joined in within the last 6 months. The senior students will always get a pep talk before Primary 5 starts, of what to expect, of the differences between Primary 4 and their need to up their game for Primary 5. These students would be quite tuned to our ways and being on the same frequency, they will be able to get a foothold on the new requirements.

The second group, the new students, are the ones that will take a longer time to get up to the higher speed. Mainly because they are still not fully prepared for the change, plus not familiar with our methods of teaching. Of these students, we identify again two main types of students. Those that have a firm grasp of the fundamentals, and those that lack it. The latter being the ones that will find it an uphill battle throughout Primary 5 if not dealt with properly. So again, we have to tackle this group with a custom way of teaching them. We always identify this group very on in their lessons with us. Once identified, they are required to stay longer hours than the norm. They are also given extra classes, with the tutors’ priority of getting their problems resolved, instilling fundamentals that they lacked from previous years and the third most important resolution, being taught in front of their class.

Primary 6 levels.

The senior year. And PSLE. This is where our hard work with the Primary 5 students pays off. Our senior students are the examples for newcomers and set the tone for hardwork, total concentration, and hours behind the books to achieve their grades.

This year’s Primary 6 have taken up the above and did their utmost. They started the year off with extra lessons. Within a short span of 3 months, their lessons went from 1.5 hours to 4 hours of constant lesson time. They went from learning new topics to doing the complex problem sums from those topics. The newer students felt the heat from the senior students and upped their game, and most importantly, put in the effort to sit themselves down and stretched their brains. They were given assessments, then on to time trials and finally, full exam papers. Way before any real exams even began in school. To be ahead of the curve is the aim.

So what new things do we do for the new Primary 6?

Next year, there will not be much changes for both Mathematics and Science. Our programmes are pretty solid for these two subjects at Primary 6 level.

However, for English, we will be aiming to improve one aspect that we have not been happy with this year. The knowledge that we could impart to the students can be improved. For example, our lessons are now based on four main components of grammer, vocabulary, creative writing and comprehension and a smaller component of knowledge. We have always wanted to cultivate knowledge in our students. Reason? Because English is a communication device. It is not useful until it becomes a tool for communicating. But one cannot communicate when one does not have knowledge. A sentence is useless if it does not contain information.

The more knowledge acquired, the more can be communicated. With this, we would like to improve the general knowledge of students, and with the knowledge, appreciate the use of English to tell their peers what they have learnt. With communication and constant socializing, their English will improve.

Wong Kin Leong

eduKateSG Tuition Centre

Tampines St73

The Sail Marina Bay

Contact Us

eduKate Tuition Centre: For tuition classes on PSLE Syllabus, GCE O levels, IGCSE, IP, IB Subjects Maths, English and Science at Tampines Tuition Centre, Punggol Tuition Centre, and Marina Bay Tuition Centre, kindly contact:



Office Hours:

  • PUNGGOL +65 8222 6327
  • TAMPINES +65 9247 8997
  • OFFICE +65 6638 8814
  • MARINA BAY +65 9181 1929

or email us at

  • admin@edukatesg.com

Our addresses for eduKate Tuition Centre:

Punggol 33, Punggol Field, Singapore 821211

Tampines 6 Tampines St 73, Singapore 528825

Marina Bay, 2 Marina Boulevard, Singapore 018987

Secondary English Tuition at Punggol

English Tuition in Punggol, student attempts the GCE O level past year papers
Punggol Tuition. Student attending English Tuition classes in Punggol working on Comprehension for GCE O levels past year exam papers

Secondary English tuition at Punggol. English Classes conducted in a small group format in accordance to latest SEAB GCE O level syllabus.

Call/SMS/WhatsApp Kin Leong +65 9181 1929

Synopsis:

English Tuition Coursework includes Comprehension, Composition and Editing in Paper 1 and 2 of GCE O level examinations.

The Class

In continuation to the updated SEAB Secondary English syllabus, the next level of critical thinking skills are taught in our English class, plus inclusion of current affairs and general knowledge, de rigueur requirement for the O level examination.

We teach the standard required by SEAB GCE O levels.

The English class incorporates latest 21st Century outline of SEAB to do well in GCE O-level English Language examinations. Current GCE O level English examination requires the skill set of well-rounded and knowledgeable candidates that can voice themselves properly and appropriately during their examination. This is in line with the government’s directive to educate students to be global citizens and entrepreneurs.

Setting themselves from the ordinary requires the ability to show clarity in thought, skilful use of concepts, analysing the material presented, synthesize a consistent idea, to evaluate and prioritise options, organise workflow and concluding/summarise a subject matter properly.

The ability to provide logical inference maturely and formulate a balanced judgement are character skills that would produce an effective examination script required by the syllabus.

We do all this in our Secondary English tuition classes for Punggol/Sengkang.

Our Job

Our job is to build the core level of competence in our student’s English Language proficiency, moving onto teaching a diverse knowledge base where our Secondary English course will train and enrich the exemplary individual to do well in the O levels.

Punggol English and Mathematics Tuition
Punggol English and Math Tutor Kin Leong at Brighton Beach, Melbourne, Australia. Can’t help taking photos with these awesome iconic bath houses.
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