PSLE season is here! How will you prepare your child for the Science and Maths papers?
Science and Maths are two subjects PSLE students often struggle with. Find out how you can help your child with his Science and Maths PSLE revision.
The PSLE is around the corner and Primary Six students in Singapore are actively getting ready for their exams. Parents are usually quite concerned about their children's PSLE performance because the understanding is that the scores determine which (good) secondary schools they can get into. However, what this mindset does is create a lot of stress for both parents and children. The Ministry of Education (MOE) realises this, and is trying to re-angle the purpose of the PSLE, hopefully reducing the amount of anxiety and stress for both parents and children in the process.
Education Minister Heng Swee Keat recently said that the PSLE will not be abolished as "it is important in setting a local and international benchmark for what 12-year-olds can achieve. However, the shift to using letter grades instead of exact scores, "is a way to plan for the next stage of a student's learning journey."
This learning journey is one that goes beyond the confines of the classroom and into the "real world". It is a process of acquiring skills and knowledge to help your children face the challenges of adulthood -- and this is what the PSLE aims to assist children with.
Imparting real-world knowledge
Science and Maths are two disciplines that are given a lot of focus when it comes to PSLE revision -- and it's not hard to understand why.
Just imagine if your child didn't have a basic knowledge of Science and Maths while growing up. He wouldn’t be able to understand why bread turns to toast in the toaster without knowledge about electricity. He wouldn’t be able to get the correct change at the school canteen if he didn’t understand simple maths concepts.
And when he grows up and ventures into the adult world, a good understanding of both Science and Maths will impart him with important skills such as problem solving, logical and critical thinking that will benefit him both in his work and life in general.
When it comes to Science and Maths PSLE revision, students often practise sums, equations and formulae repeatedly.
While this enables them to familiarise themselves with, or even memorise the solutions to Maths or Science problems, does it really help them understand the “hows and whys” of what they are learning?
It also throws them off balance when presented with questions that don't follow the standard "routine". Michelle Choo, Mathematics educator and author of PSLE Strategise and Score, says that to properly master Math and expertly solve any problem, students need to understand the basic underlying concepts of this subject, regardless of the format the problem is presented in.
Ms. Choo further explains that while understanding the basic concepts of Maths is crucial, creative problem solving which requires thinking out of the box is equally important. To gain this skill, students need to be exposed to non-routine situations and appropriate mental strategies.
So how can parents help their children establish a strong foundation by picking up key strategies and ace PSLE?
High quality educational solutions
Marshall Cavendish Education is a recognised and well-trusted name in the Singapore education circuit. This is not surprising given that for more than 40 years, Marshall Cavendish Education has helped young learners just like your own children to perform exceptionally well through high quality educational solutions.
All Marshall Cavendish Education materials are based on up-to-date, contemporary research, specifically tailored to Singapore's education system and are therefore widely adopted by schools in Singapore.
With this track record of excellence, it is no wonder that the experts at Marshall Cavendish Education are considered subject matter experts too when it comes to helping parents prepare their children for the PSLE exams. Let's take a look at how Marshall Cavendish's PSLE Maths and Science assessment books could help your child with his exams, and promote creative "out of the box" thinking at the same time.
Maths problem solving from any angle
Many students have the ability to solve Maths problems easily, but only when presented in a familiar way. However, when faced with the same problems presented in a different way, they struggle.
Marshall Cavendish Education understands this tendency and as such, they focus on heuristics when it come to solving Maths problems. Heuristics refers to the different strategies that can be adopted to solve un-familiar or non-routine Maths problems.
Marshall Cavendish Education's new series of Maths assessment books -- Problem Solving Beyond the Classroom (skill-based) and My Pals are Here! PSLE Maths (guidebook with specimen papers) -- are specifically designed to help students with problem solving. These books use heuristics to equip students to solve mathematical problems, by introducing several effective problem-solving strategies.
The books present a variety of non-routine problems to encourage students to analyse and consider suitable alternative strategies to be used.
The following features will also guide students along:
- Worked examples with step-by-step explanation
- Guide for PSLE Math revision and practice for problem-solving questions
- Detailed answer key
Here's what a mum has to say about these books:
I like that these books cover non-routine questions and also contain worked examples that are very detailed. I would definitely recommend these books to other parents. -- Angeline Tan
Teaching children process skills
One of the most important skills children are taught at school is the ability to think. While all subjects share in helping children to accomplish this goal, Science contributes unique skills such as hypothesizing, manipulating the physical world and reasoning from data.
According to Education experts, the scientific method, scientific thinking and critical thinking have been terms used at various times to describe these science skills. Today the term "science process skills" is commonly used.
Singapore's Primary Science syllabus acknowledges the need for children to develop Science process skills among others, and as such "emphasises the need for a balance between the acquisition of science knowledge, process and attitudes."
Singaporean parents in general believe their children could do with a boost in process skills. This is why the second edition of Marshall Cavendish's Science PSLE Revision Guide is especially designed to help pupils develop a deeper understanding of key Science concepts and hone their application of process skills.
The 2nd edition of their Science PSLE Revision Guide has a whole section dedicated to sharpening students’ process skills. This section outlines the 14 process skills (thinking and practical) essential for Science learning.
This guidebook is suitable for independent revision as it also comes with:
- Topical revision notes and revision checklists to chart the course of revision
- Features to help students identify common major Science misconceptions and mistakes
- A practice examination paper (with detailed answers) for self-assessment
- Detachable thematic maps for quick revision
- Case studies that highlight the process skills required and detailed solutions to challenging non-routine questions
It's safe to say that this revision guide is the most complete handbook developed to prepare students for success in their Science PSLE.
Here's a parent's testimonial:
The book provides an in-depth coverage of the curriculum and really appeals to kids who love to read! -- Lim Sun Beam
Parents, if your child is doing his PSLE this year, help him achieve success in his Science and Maths papers by getting him the Marshall Cavendish Education Science and Maths revisions guides. And if your child will be sitting for his PSLE next year, give him a head start in Science and Maths with these books.
How has your child been going with his or her Science and Maths PSLE revision so far? Have you tried Marshall Cavendish Education's revision guides? Let us know by posting a comment below.