Advice needed from Parents of Sec 3/4

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Advice needed from Parents of Sec 3/4

Postby nz » Fri May 03, 2013 5:31 pm

Hi,
I need advice from parents with children in Sec 3 or Sec 4, esp. those who are very familiar with the syllabus. If the child is away from Singapore, will it be very tough to catch up when he/she rejoins at Sec 3? Thanks.

nz
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Re: Advice needed from Parents of Sec 3/4

Postby slmkhoo » Fri May 03, 2013 5:47 pm

nz wrote:Hi,
I need advice from parents with children in Sec 3 or Sec 4, esp. those who are very familiar with the syllabus. If the child is away from Singapore, will it be very tough to catch up when he/she rejoins at Sec 3? Thanks.

I do not have kids in those years in Singapore, but I have a 14yo who will be returning to Singapore this year in July and I have been trying to help her bridge the gap. We have lived overseas for the past 10 yrs. In terms of catching up, it really depends on what the child has been studying overseas. Foreign curricula differ a lot, and could be more advanced than Singapore in some areas and behind in others. I would also say that returning in Sec 4 would be a bad idea if the child intends to take 'O' levels as there may not be enough time to adjust. Which country would your child be studying in before returning to singapore?

slmkhoo
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Re: Advice needed from Parents of Sec 3/4

Postby nz » Fri May 03, 2013 6:01 pm

slmkhoo wrote:
nz wrote:Hi,
I need advice from parents with children in Sec 3 or Sec 4, esp. those who are very familiar with the syllabus. If the child is away from Singapore, will it be very tough to catch up when he/she rejoins at Sec 3? Thanks.

I do not have kids in those years in Singapore, but I have a 14yo who will be returning to Singapore this year in July and I have been trying to help her bridge the gap. We have lived overseas for the past 10 yrs. In terms of catching up, it really depends on what the child has been studying overseas. Foreign curricula differ a lot, and could be more advanced than Singapore in some areas and behind in others. I would also say that returning in Sec 4 would be a bad idea if the child intends to take 'O' levels as there may not be enough time to adjust. Which country would your child be studying in before returning to singapore?


Hi,
Thanks for reply. Australia. I am looking at how to bridge the gap so that my child can rejoins smoothly at Sec 3. How about yours? Any ideas typically what are the subjects we have to focus on?

nz
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Re: Advice needed from Parents of Sec 3/4

Postby slmkhoo » Fri May 03, 2013 6:11 pm

nz wrote:Hi,
Thanks for reply. Australia. I am looking at how to bridge the gap so that my child can rejoins smoothly at Sec 3. How about yours? Any ideas typically what are the subjects we have to focus on?

I can't give you specifics as my kids are studying a US curriculum. Basically, what I have done all these years is to get a set of Singapore textbooks and a couple of assessment/workbooks every year and compare topics covered in school vs Singapore, the depth and detail covered, and the style of questions. We try to do the patching up during vacations or as add-ons to what they do in school.

The transition back is unlikely to be very smooth no matter what you do, which is why it's probably better to return at the beginning of Sec 3 to give more time for catch-up and adjustment. You should ask the school for assistance too - they can possibly send you materials and test papers to help you figure out what you are aiming for. You may also want to find out if the school wants your child to take placement tests on return. My daughter is returning in the middle of Sec 2 and is going to be tested on English, Maths and Science.

Hope this helps.

slmkhoo
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Re: Advice needed from Parents of Sec 3/4

Postby nz » Fri May 03, 2013 6:16 pm

slmkhoo wrote:
nz wrote:Hi,
Thanks for reply. Australia. I am looking at how to bridge the gap so that my child can rejoins smoothly at Sec 3. How about yours? Any ideas typically what are the subjects we have to focus on?

I can't give you specifics as my kids are studying a US curriculum. Basically, what I have done all these years is to get a set of Singapore textbooks and a couple of assessment/workbooks every year and compare topics covered in school vs Singapore, the depth and detail covered, and the style of questions. We try to do the patching up during vacations or as add-ons to what they do in school.

The transition back is unlikely to be very smooth no matter what you do, which is why it's probably better to return at the beginning of Sec 3 to give more time for catch-up and adjustment. You should ask the school for assistance too - they can possibly send you materials and test papers to help you figure out what you are aiming for. You may also want to find out if the school wants your child to take placement tests on return. My daughter is returning in the middle of Sec 2 and is going to be tested on English, Maths and Science.

Hope this helps.


Hi,
Thanks so much for the information. Will check it out with the school.

nz
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Re: Advice needed from Parents of Sec 3/4

Postby slmkhoo » Fri May 03, 2013 7:49 pm

Another thing you can do is get the Singapore school to give you a reasonably detailed description of the syllabus of the last year your child attended up to and including the year when you child will be returning to Singapore. You might be able to make a case for your child to be accelerated in some subjects (particularly Maths) in Australia, but that will depend on how flexible the school is. The school my daughters attend is very flexible as it has very few students, so one daughter has been accelerated in Maths while the other has been able to repeat a course at our request because she struggled so much the first time round.

The other thing I want to add is that it is important that your child is mentally prepared for the change to Australia and back. Often, changing away from the Singapore system is easy but changing back is tougher, and some kids will resent that. If you encourage him to see it as a positive challenge rather than something negative, the battle is half won. Although we have lived overseas for 10 yrs, my kids have been in Singapore school for short periods from 1-5 mths 3 times, and they have coped OK. However, only one of them ever had to take a major exam (PSLE) in Singapore which only involved 3 subjects and at a lower level; 'O' levels will be a much tougher adjustment.

slmkhoo
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