It doesn’t take one long to realize that Primary school education has evolved (and is still continuing to evolve) way beyond what parents were used to during their own days as students going through the Singapore education system.
It has become quite essential that children are properly prepared for Primary school education in the early years before they first enter Primary school. Failure to do so will result in a high level of stress for both parent and child as early as the first few semesters of Primary school life.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) offers a framework for Pre-schools, and even standards for operators to follow. The framework outlines the objectives of pre-school education for children to:
Know what is right and what is wrong
Be willing to share and take turns with others
Be able to relate to others
Be curious and be able to explore
Be able to listen and speak with understanding
Be comfortable and happy with themselves
Have developed physical co-ordination and healthy habits
Love their family, friends, teachers and kindergarten
While kindergartens (catering to 5 and 6 year olds) have to be registered with the MOE, the kindergartens themselves are operated entirely by the private industry and their syllabus and course materials are not regulated by MOE. This flexibility resulted in significant disparity across kindergartens in terms of the level of depth and breadth of coverage of material used for preparing children for Primary One. Not all kindergarten prepare children in the same manner for Primary school. Even within the same chain (eg. PAP’s Children Foundation PCF) of kindergartens, the comprehensiveness can be very different depending on the what parents are willing to pay for.
It is therefore important for parents to familarize themselves with the Primary One syllabus in order to know how well the kindergartens are actually preparing their children for formal schooling.
Here is a set of articles which are some of the things you can do in preparing your child for Primary school education.