With the reveal of the SA1 examination results and the weighted assessment scores, it is a crucial time to pinpoint areas that your child needs to improve in to prepare for the second half of the year.
While examinations are not completely indicative of your child’s skills and knowledge in each subject, they do serve as a good baseline to identify what your child needs in terms of academic support.
With children now undergoing Home-based Learning (HBL), it is all the more crucial that these young ones learn to be responsible for their own learning (of course, with guidance/push from their parents and knowing that support is available to them if only they ask).
So what can you as a parent do?
Here are 4 things you can do to help your child prepare for the second semester:
1. Review SA1 Examination Papers/Weighted Assessments Closely
If your child was able to take home his or her SA1 examination paper, take some time to sit down WITH your child. Together, identify where most of the marks were lost and discuss why your child had answered incorrectly, or if your child knows where he or she went wrong.
Was it carelessness, a lack of understanding or simply not applying the right technique? This forces children to reflect on their thought process and answering method.
If you are not familiar with the examination format or what your child is weak in, fear not. Reach out to your child’s teacher or tutor for help (preferably with reference to your child’s SA1 or weighted assessment). As specialists in the field, a teacher or tutor would be able to help identify what went wrong. At the same time, you can seek guidance as to what your child should be doing at home to work on his or her weaknesses.
2. Adjust Expectations, Goals and Revision Strategies
Bring out the goal setting sheet that you and your child might have prepared at the end of last year or the start of this year and compare the results your child has attained in the SA1 to this list.
Is your child meeting originally set mid-year goals? Or, perhaps, is your child on track towards attaining year-end goals? The SA1 and mid-year weighted assessments are meant to serve as a checkpoint or a half-way mark to spot problematic areas early. If your child seems to be rather far off from a goal set earlier, should tweaks be made? While aspirations are necessary, it is also crucial to be realistic.
Perhaps, instead of changes to the goals, your child might need to review his or her revision strategy. Is your child studying hard, but not smart? Has your child been applying the techniques taught in the practice assessments? Together with your child, make adjustments to your child’s revision technique and timetable.
3. Attempt the Examination Papers Again
I know this sounds like an odd suggestion, but this actually is a good review method.
Your child’s teacher would have gone through all the answers in class and your child should have already clarified any doubts about questions which were answered incorrectly.
Attempting the examination paper (or sections of it) again will give your child the opportunity to correctly apply the skills taught and to cognitively reinforce important strategies and techniques. Being able to turn wrongs into rights—weaknesses into strengths—will also be a great confidence boost for your child.
4. Give Plenty of Encouragement
Many parents often ask their child:
“So did you have the best score in class?”
“How did the rest of the class do?”
“Why didn’t you score as well as (insert name of smart kid)?”
It is human to make comparisons, and frankly, many of us were brought up this way. In a country where meritocracy is one of our core values, we strive to instil in our younger generation the desire to be the best.
However, with mental wellbeing increasingly being under the spotlight, it is important to provide children with plenty of encouragement to help spur them on without damaging their self-esteem.
Ultimately, the end goal here is to help your child achieve his or her best and learn some life skills along the way (learning from mistakes, reflecting, turning weaknesses into strengths, rising from adversity and failure). Establish a common understanding about this with your child (and any other secondary support) to set out on the journey to improvement.
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LiteracyPlus’ Enhancing English Language Skills (EELS) and Strategies to Excelling in Mathematics (STEM) programmes are skill-based and taught by experienced teachers in a systematic and structured manner. This approach equips our students with the necessary strategies to tackle examination questions with confidence.