Any parents with girls in SMSS?
Looking forward to sharing sessions
Sandra, the school is excellent for students who have a less than stellar PSLE results, the teachers work really hard and make time to coach the students when they need it. The normal academic students who have worked hard are selected for the through train, ie no N levels but a five year O level program. It has been very successful, the students making it to JCs and poly's of their choices. To me this is the heart of the school. They truly want to see every student progress, not just the academically strong ones.
The thing about the Spore, we hear so much about the premier schools, about students with great PSLE scores getting into top schools but the fact remains these are the top 5% ....... so what about the 95% ? Are they failures because they can't get into the top schools ?
My own daughter (from ST Margs Pr) had an average PSLE score, enough to get her into Express but nothing to rave about. In Secondary school she found her footing, became a Prefect and got on the Prefectorial Board, was selected to join the NW-CDC leadership program that pushed her to work with other student leaders. Her class teacher, a veteran St Margs teaching staff, took my daughter under her wing and mentored her personally. Certainly there were times when we questioned if we were doing enough, should we do more or should we just let go and teenagers can be contrary people, totally emo, complete human puzzles ! Thankfully the teachers were always available and open for discussions.
We have never tuitioned our kid's to death. They only had Chinese as we do not speak the language well enough to help them, my older daughter had Math tuition only for P6 as she was falling behind. As well, we believed that too much tuition would make our kids over-dependent and less confident of their own abilities or efforts to succeed.
At her O Levels, with no Tuition, with only supp classes and help from her subject teachers, their strong encouragement and her understanding she had to work to get good grades ..... she scored 7 As (4 of them A1s). She was the top O level student for Bio and Chemistry that year. MT score was excluded as she did a CLB which is a pass or fail grade and not counted in the overall score. After points for community service and leadership, her total LIR5 was 5 points, strong enough to get her into a mid-tier JC or any Poly course of her choice. Considering how far she had come from her PSLE we were so happy for her !!
Our observations about At St Margs - the pace of competitiveness was mangeable, it did not overwhelm or become selfish and kiasu ..... and generally students had the space to find their specialities or talent. We felt our daughter's years in St Margs Sec were lessons in perseverence and made her believe the key for success was within herself ! Till today, her confidence and faith in herself stems from her Secondary 4 O level year - if she is willing to work hard, anything is possible.
Whether at St Margs Sec or any other secondary school, a child has to *get* to succeed in school they must make the effort (without any prompting from parents), that teachers do recognise students who work and reward them with special assignments or leadership roles. These rewards have the power to make the student feel valued and motivate them to do better. While strong school culture and environment can help, ultimately the students are pretty much their own *drivers* in deciding how they want their secondary schools years to be. Parents are relegated to the backseat as elements of positive encouragement, support and be listening ears when needed, chauffeur, cooks of nutritional soups and the ocassional message therapist after the NAFA physical tests !