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The Transition From Primary To Secondary School (Part 1)


The PSLE is done and dusted. It is now time for your 12-year-old child to bid farewell to the primary school – the second home which he or she has grown so accustomed to over the past 6 years. Ahead lies an uncharted path for your child – a seemingly challenging route on which he or she will embark on the secondary school journey while navigating the tumultuous teenage years.


Transitioning from primary to secondary school is a major milestone for every child. Meeting new friends and learning new subjects can be daunting for many children. The greater workload in terms of subjects and co-curricular activities can put some of them on edge. However, the start of secondary school life heralds an exciting beginning from where children develop into young adults. They will learn to make more important decisions and take responsibilities for them. Parents can play a significant role during this period, and here are some tips.


Setting Realistic Aims

Parents can aid the child in setting an aim and helping the child to realise the importance of scoring well in the PSLE to be able to get into the preferred secondary school. As all parents know, the preparation for PSLE starts years before Primary 6. The mastery of a subject takes time and a strong foundation in the earlier primary years will serve the student well in the final examinations. To get a feel of the standard of the national examinations, the questions found in Singapore free test papers provide an excellent gauge. Students can also stretch their abilities with more challenging questions found in top school papers.


Sharing Personal Experiences

Besides allowing the child to understand the objectives of PSLE and setting an attainable aim, parents can also prepare him or her for secondary school by sharing personal experiences such as how to cope in a new environment and how to deal with stress. Sharing can be through personal stories and interesting anecdotes to allow the child to get to know more about secondary school life in a relaxing way.


Attending Open Houses

Attending open house events of secondary schools is also a good way for the child to get to know about the facilities available, the types of co-curricular activities offered by the school and even how senior students interact with one another while volunteering their time for the event. It offers an excellent opportunity for the child to tour the grounds and help him or her to shortlist the schools that they hope to get into.


Understanding Academic Matters

New subjects such as Geography, History and Literature are offered at secondary levels. Even for a student who has performed relatively well in the PSLE, the introduction of completely new subjects can feel overwhelming. On top of that, the way that subjects like Mathematics and Science are taught in secondary schools follow a different set of guidelines as stated in the syllabus. Students have to retain their knowledge of the mathematical concepts taught in primary levels, for these will be used in secondary level topics as an extension of the development of mathematical skills. However, the questions will obviously no longer resemble Primary 6 Maths questions which the students have solved so many of. Similarly, the topics taught for Science at the secondary levels will be more in-depth and advanced. Definitely, observation and deduction techniques used for Singapore PSLE Science questions will also be required for secondary levels Science. Students have to learn concepts and theories at a more advanced level. Parents can prepare their children mentally by explaining to them about secondary levels subjects and how these subjects may be of interest to them.

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