Primary schools to have more breaks

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Primary schools start to implement measures in hope that students concentrate more and have a better life at school.

In a move to improve student's quality of life, primary schools will start to introduce additional breaks between lessons this year.

Channel NewsAsia covers the initiative that aims to help students be better prepared for the time spent learning.

Primary schools such as St Andrew's Junior School will be changing its school hours, where students will start school 10 minutes later at 7.30am and end school at 1.45pm in an effort to provide a better learning environment.

Mrs Wong Bin Eng, the Principal of St Andrew's Junior, expressed her belief that such an arrangement will allow students to be better prepared for the day of school.

Besides the change in start and ending timings, students at St Andrew's Junior will be given an additional 10-minute break around noon on top of their 25-minute recess.

The 10-minute break provides students with the opportunity to socialise and chat with each other, as well as refresh them so that they remain attentive and more engaged in classes. Teachers from the previous period help to ensure the safety of the children by staying in the classroom during the break.

Mrs Wong explains the rationale behind such a move, "The students are now coming to school later, and that would mean that they will go home later. We are looking into the well-being of the students and we want to make sure that they don’t become too hungry when they reach home a bit later.”

The Ministry of Education has allowed schools to have the flexibility to decide on what time students start school.

Other schools such as newly-established Punggol Cove Primary School will also have an extra 10-minute break for students during orientation in the first week of school.

Mr Dennis Yap, Principal of Punggol Cove Primary state that, “They are Primary One students who are placed in a new environment. During breaks, we will teach the children how to stretch or they can have a snack if they’re feeling hungry. It helps with their concentration in class.”

The orientation week also has students being taken on a tour of the school's premises. The tour includes talks on road safety as well as safety at play.

Students will also be able to "curate" their own school library, where they are able to choose the books they want to be placed in it. Further measures include a higher teacher to student ratio, with 3 to 4 teachers to a single class, and only 5 classes in total.

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