Quality of the service's amenities (1=Poor,5=Excellent) 4
Affordability of the service (1=Expensive, 5=Affordable) 3
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YMCA Learning Centre is located within the YMCA Building in Orchard Road. It is three minutes’ walk from Bras Basah MRT stations and six minutes from Dhoby Ghaut station. If you come via Cityhall MRT station, there are a number of bus services which you can board from the nearby Capitol Building and alight right outside the YMCA Building.
On this particular Saturday morning, I was invited to observe the Maths Booster Class for Primary 2 and 3 levels. It was a class of three students – two from P2 and one from P3. These students had taken a pre-admission diagnostic test to allow the Centre to determine their competency levels in the subject. Students of similar competency levels are then grouped together to form a class.
The teacher started the lesson by working through the first few questions together with the students, in a step-by-step manner. In the process, the teacher engaged the students by asking them questions to check the students’ understanding and interpretation of the questions. From the students’ answers and the type of questions they raised, the teacher was able to clarify any misconceptions which the students might have had. Younger students are often easily distracted and I was impressed how the teacher patiently coaxed the students back to concentrate on their work when the conversation digressed to the rainy weather outside and why they prefer using one ruler over another.
After working out the guided questions, the students would go on to complete the rest of the worksheet on their own. The teacher would take note of the level of support they needed to complete the worksheet – fully guided; partially guided; not guided. These remarks, together with the worksheet scores, are compiled and communicated to the parents on a weekly basis, giving parents a more comprehensive update of their children’s progress in the subject.
The YMCA Math Booster programme follows closely to the MOE syllabus and adopts the MA+RIX method (developed by ex-MOE teachers) to impart heuristic problem-solving skills to students. Students master the problem sums according to the topics as well as types of questions, understanding how to apply concepts to similar maths problems. In class, they work through customised worksheets which are designed according to the MA+RIX framework.
The Booster programme is offered to K1 to P6 levels. Fees for lower primary (K1 to P3) are $280 per month for 4 weekly lessons; $320 for upper primary levels (P4 to P6). Each lesson is 2 hours in duration and class size is capped at 5 students. There is also a one-time administration fee of $32.10.
For students who need the extra help in their Maths school work, it is worthwhile considering the YMCA Booster programme. Besides adopting a framework developed by ex-MOE teachers, it is also reasonably priced. While other enrichment centres also charge similar fees, the smaller class size at YMCA Learning Centre will definitely benefit the child who requires the extra attention and personalised guidance.