Singapore’s Ministry of Education announced in 2019 that mid-year tests for Primary 3 and 5 pupils will be eliminated, as well as no school exams for Primary 1 and 2 children, which went into effect at the start of the year. There are no tests in school? This is certainly something to rejoice over, as it means that children, parents, and even teachers will have one less thing to worry about.
Why aren’t there any school exams?
The Ministry of Education intends to move away from grades and toward a more comprehensive learning environment. After all, as adults, we understand that life is about much more than our grades. Additional to a paper exam, there are many other techniques to measure learning. Some people, though, are concerned that this could be an issue. How would parents assess their children’s academic progress? Would parents discover that their children are struggling too late, allowing them to miss out on valuable opportunities to change course and assist their children in improving? While it is critical to look beyond grades, parents must also maintain track of their children’s academic progress so that it is never too late to provide a helping hand.
What you can do to keep track of your child’s academic development in the absence of tests?
1. Discuss your children’s school day with them.
Many parents lament the fact that when we ask our children how their days were, they only respond with “Okay” or “Fine.” Instead of asking them a broad Yes/No inquiry about their day, ask them to tell you about a specific lesson or learning point that they found particularly interesting. It’s a good idea to start by asking them about non-academic topics, such as what they did for recess and whether they enjoyed it. Many students also enjoy discussing their extracurricular activities, which provides a fascinating glimpse into their school lives.
2. Keep an eye on your kids’ homework.
Physically checking in on their schoolwork by glancing through their marked assignments is also vital. The greatest way to evaluate your children’s learning is to observe how they perform on a daily basis. Is it true that they’ve been getting a lot of errors? What types of errors do they make? If your children’s books have a lot of red markings, try not to get angry or irritated, since this will quickly put them on the defensive and destroy their positive attitude toward learning. Rather, sit down with them and try to figure out why they make certain mistakes. Is their writing sloppy? Is there something the teacher stated that they misunderstood? Is it possible for them to improve their spelling? It’s far easier to catch tiny improvements on a frequent basis than it is to cope with a large backlog later in the year.
3. As a parent, change the way you evaluate learning.
Younger children are often able to answer questions vocally but struggle to put their thoughts into paper. This is a normal and developmental process, and it is the fundamental reason that lower primary exams have been eliminated. Many children can understand concepts and ideas in their thoughts, but their inability to write or spell what they are thinking holds them back. There’s no need to be concerned; most children, especially those born later in the year, will catch up on their own. Tutoring sessions, such as the SCC lessons, can sometimes provide a boost. The structure of MOE’s lower primary curriculum is closely tied to SCC learning methodologies, which helps students quickly acquire the application of numerous rules and abilities. This means that parents may trust experts to oversee their children’s education.
4. Keep in touch with teachers on a regular basis.
Many schools now have individualized applications that allow instructors and parents to communicate easily. This means you have a direct route to your children’s teachers, allowing you to clear up any questions or inquire about their progress. Although most schools hold regular parent-teacher conferences, you can also contact your children’s teachers through phone or email if you have special concerns about their education. Ask clear questions, such as, “Does my child speak up in class to answer questions?” Rather than nonspecific questions about how your child is doing in school, ask, “Does my child pay attention during lessons?” However, keep in mind that teachers have a lot of huge classrooms to manage as well as their own families. Make sure your queries are succinct and direct. Only communicate with them during business hours, and be patient if they take a while to respond.
There are no tests, but periodical assessments are required.
Even if formal examinations aren’t held, many schools nevertheless use some type of summative assessment. Quizzes, shortened examinations, project work, presentations, and other sorts of assessments may be used. These are more comprehensive and provide a more accurate picture of your children’s development.