Tuesday, 21 May 2019

The Last Train Before PSLE

It is a yearly cycle. After getting the Primary 6 SA1 results, some parents panic. With only 4 months left before the Primary School Leaving Examinations (in late September), some parents fear that their children will fail the PSLE. And some children do. It is only a logical conclusion.

Yet one wonders whether parents had seen the impending signs and opportunities to intervene in the previous 18 months. If we liken a class of students to a moving train and the periods when they do not study in the classroom to train stops, we should realise that these periods of no teaching in the classroom are the best opportunities for the underperforming students to catch up with the curriculum. Many parents overlook the 2 main train stops – the Primary 5 June holidays and the Primary 5 December holidays. Unfortunately, some parents wait until the P6 train, calling loudly for help in the last 9 months. Tutors like myself face the challenge of teaching both past and present contents weak students have yet to master. This is especially true of Mathematics, where mastery of advanced concepts are linked and dependent on the mastery of Math contents studied in previous years. Today, the bulk of my P6 Math students are these – passengers who board the P6 Math train 4 to 9 months before the PSLE. 
For more information, please click this link.

So how does one catch up with the curriculum during these train stops (ie. P5 and P6 school holidays)? Well, simple. Teach your child the relevant parts or the entire of P5 and P6 syllabus. The PSLE tests the contents of the 2 year syllabus. How do you do it? Buy the activity books used in schools and lead your child systematically through it.  Ensure that your child completes not only these activity books but also the practice exam papers too. Where possible, give your child a headstart by teaching him Math content that the school teacher will cover when school reopens. This may boost your child’s confidence, motivation and mastery of Math.

If you can’t do it, get a private tutor to lead your child in this journey and ensure that you are updated of your child's progress. For those who need more help, you can click on this link. Remember that there is still hope. For those taking their PSLE this year, the last train is here - the June holidays. Take advantage of it.

About the author of this article - Shaheed Salim
Trained at NIE, Mr Shaheed Salim was a former school teacher. Throughout the years, Shaheed has experimented with numerous teaching strategies for teaching English, Math and Science. His systematic and progressive teaching strategy for mastering comprehension has been very popular with schools; The Ultimate Guide For Mastering Comprehension books have been used by thousands of students since 2001; this is just one the many teaching strategies he has created. An experienced and effective teacher, students love his classes because they are not only learning and improving; the fun factor is pretty high. Able to read the internal fears of students rather well, Shaheed addresses them positively and helps students overcome them. Tuition is not just tuition for Shaheed Salim; for him, it is a opportunity to make a positive and transformative impact on students’ lives. Many uninterested students have become enthusiastic learners through him.