Thursday, 24 December 2015

"Strong Foundation, No Tuition, No Enrichment" Strategy in Primary School (Part II)

"Strong Foundation, No Tuition, No Enrichment" Strategy in Primary School (Part II)

Natalie has just proven that it is totally possible. 

It took me 8 years to find out if this strategy works. I believe that learning starts from young and not just when they enter primary school. 

I have been missing in action for nearly a month because I have decided to give myself a break from everything- ranging from cooking, blogging, cleaning, etc.... Finally, exams are over for Natalie and we got back her results (or is it mine?). 

Anyway, we are super happy about her results. She did very well for this year. Several reasons why i said she did well. I just want to share my happiness here (I'm not trying to boast ok?) :)

Non academic achievement:
1) 1st in gym talent(Class)
2) 2nd in gym talent (Level)
3) Recognised with Resilience Award.
4) Recognised with an award for showing Respect 
5) Recognised with an award for showing Integrity. 

1) Band 1 for all subjects in her SA2 and for her overall results for P2.
2) She had a remarkable improvement in her mandarin. She was only half a mark behind the top student for Chinese. 
3) Her overall average percentage is above 90 marks.
4) Awarded the Edusave Good Progress Award.

More importantly, she did well because she recognized that her hard work and consistent work is the recipe for good results. 

You have no idea how ecstatic she was when she received her results for Chinese. Chinese has always been her weakest subject and the subject that she has no confidence in. 

However, for this SA2, she worked so hard for it. She made notes (Yes, for chinese.. unbelievable!), she redo all the tests that were given for the whole year. She re-learn all the Ting Xie for the whole year and got me to test her. She really made sure that she understood and learnt how to write every single word in the textbook and in the ting xie list. More impressively, she completed 4 assessment books within the month that she was preparing for her exams. 

I totally didn't force her to do at all. I guided her to the steps of how to improve her mandarin, but it was totally up to her to decide whether to do it or not. I needed to push her a bit initially. But once she got into the momentum of revising for exams everyday after school, she just took off on her own. 

Anyway, I would probably do another post on our strategy of revising Mandarin. It is really about hard work. I am so glad that it paid off because we all know that hard work doesn't pay off all the time. So I'm just so glad it did this time. 

She scored 69/70 for the main chinese paper and an overall of 96/100 for SA2. Amazingly, out of the 3 subjects, she scored the highest for chinese in SA2. Previously, she was mostly in the range of band 2. When she got back her results, she couldn't believe it and I couldn't believe until I saw her actual exam script.

Perhaps, because of her tremendous improvement in her mandarin, she is awarded the Edusave Good Progress Award. She will receive her award from a Minister soon.

It is not so much that she won the award, but the award is a recognition of her hard work and a great encouragement to her.    

Hence, for a child who has no tuition nor enrichment, and solely based on her hard work (and mine, of course), she really did do well academically. More importantly, as a parent, I am proud to see her develop and achieving in different aspects of her school life. 

Well, having said so much as her doing well despite the fact that she had no tuition nor enrichment, not every child is the same. I'm glad Natalie did well but I am not sure if my number 2 who is going to P1 next year will do as well. But my hubby and I have discussed this issue seriously and we have come to an understanding that we will stay tuition/enrichment free for as long as we can for each child (as long as they are not failing too badly). We always don't want to stress our child too much. Afterall, 一山还比一山高。 [ There is always another higher mountain.] 

So our attitude is: 
So what if a child is top of a class? 
So what if a child is top of a level?
So what if a child is top student of Singapore? 
There is always someone better. 
So why compare and subject the children to the "race"?  

Perhaps, it's just all in our mind, the mind of the parents. 

After all, quoting my hubby:

" 我们的孩子又不是要考状元."
Our children are not trying to scholars of the Imperial Examinations  (in ancient China). 

And yes, we all hope our children do well, but academic achievement is just one aspect. We should not define our children based on their results. What is more important is giving them a happy childhood and educating their heart. Doing well is really just a bonus for me. 

Afterall, it's getting the children to adopt the right attitude in life that is the most important. It is the right attitude that will bring them far. 

Image result for It's all about the attitude


  1. Argh my comment got lost. Anyways I was saying that Natalie is a very bright little girl! It's not often that a 8 year old can be so self-motivated and sensible. You are very lucky. Unfortunately this no tuition and no enrichments system doesn't apply to everyone. Some kid really do need them even to get a minimum passing mark! :)

    1. Yup, I totally agree with you that some kids really do need help to cope with the work in school. I'm lucky that Natalie is "kiasu" and hence motivated. But I feel that what is more important is the attitude of the parents. Some of the parents really have very very high expectations of their child and many, many ( I mean seriously MANY) parents send their kids for tuition and lots of enrichment because they want to achieve the distinction. Many kids are going for tuition nowadays not to get a pass but to get a distinction. Therefore, I just hope to encourage parents not to stress and push their child too hard to chase after distinction. I'm sure my #2 will not do as well as Natalie, but I will insist on no tuition because cultivating the love for learning is more important than just the results. :)