11 words your kid should know before entering Primary 1

11 words your kid should know before entering Primary 1

Is your child ready to enter primary school? Here is a list of words they should know before entering primary school.

Your child is off to Primary 1! Seems like only yesterday you held an infant in your arms…

Chances are you will need the tissues more than your precious one will. Your child would probably have had a few years in preschool and is now officially enrolled in a primary school of your choice.

Here are 11 words to think about so that your child can adapt to the new school environment at Primary 1.

1. His / her full name

You might have gotten used to calling your little one by a pet name. Buggy Bear or Lily Billy might be cute at home, but your child must be aware that this is just a name for Daddy, Mummy and grandparents to use at home.

In school, he/she must get used to being called by his/her full name, or even a Chinese name during Mandarin lessons.

If his/her name is a little longer, as a parent, you might have shortened it. Try to remind your child of his full name (as in the Birth Certificate) so that he/she responds when called upon in class.

2. Toilet

“I want to wee wee’” is fine but great if your child can clearly articulate the need to go to the toilet, even if just to wash hands. “May I please go to the toilet?” is a good way to start.

Most schools will orientate pupils early. They will know where the toilets are located and to use the one for their gender, look for ‘Boys’ and ‘Girls’.

3. School, Classroom

Your little one should know the name of the school. After all, your sunshine will be spending 6 years there.

Also, it will be great if your little one is familiar with classroom (P1/1 or 1A or even 1 Shark) and his/her desk.

During orientation, your child will be introduced to the different parts of the school.

Do not worry if your child has to go to different classrooms for certain lessons, most schools ensure that the teacher picks them up from their main classroom.

Your child will not lose his way and get lost in school.

4. Teachers

Your bright child might have more than one teacher. Usually the main subject teachers are the same so your child has one teacher for English and Math.

However, your child might have different teachers for specialised subjects like Physical Education, Music or Art.

It will be useful for your child to be able to understand that he/she has different teachers and remember their names over time.

5. School Bag

Packing your child’s bag should be a daily affair and done together in the evening. Let your little one use the school timetable as a guide to get his/her school bag packed.

A great way to ensure responsibility and to check that their homework is complete! Also ensure all stationery is packed, and pencils sharpened.

Bear in mind that children lose their stationery all the time. Be patient. It might just turn up a few weeks later!

6. Water Bottle

Singapore’s weather requires everyone especially children to be well hydrated. Your child must have a water bottle with him/her. Label it with the child’s name and class. He/She is no longer in preschool.

Don’t forget there are 1,200 pupils in the school so including the class in labels is essential. Water coolers are available everywhere in schools for easy top ups.

7. Recess and Canteen

Your little one must know the canteen and the stalls there. It’s perfectly alright if your child wants to eat chicken rice every day. Let him.

Most primary school canteens serve healthy food and avoid selling too much fried food or soft drinks. Muslim pupils should take note of halal and non halal stalls.

Your child’s buddy will help him/her during the first few weeks. The word ‘recess’ might be new to your child. Let him/her know that that refers to time to eat, play or go to the library.

8. Money

Most schools realise that it is really early for your adoring one to have to deal with money. Hence, they usually have an older child as a buddy to help yours with buying food during recess. The canteen vendors are extremely patient and help little ones with their change as well.

Just ensure your little one has $2 to $3 a day and is able to keep his or her wallet safely. Don’t worry if it’s misplaced, it might turn up at the ‘Lost and Found’ corner in school. Primary school pupils consider it an honour to be able to return a lost wallet.

Remember that your child will start coming home with unnecessary stationery and other small tokens from the school book shop if he/she has too much money to spend. Encourage your child to save his/her money as early as you can.

9. Assembly and the School Hall

Every morning, your child has to assemble in the school hall. Your child will be taught to sing the national anthem and recite the school pledge.

Lining up in rows is important and your child should be familiar with his class and join the class as soon as he/she reaches the school hall. Don’t worry there will be many capable prefects and teachers to help out.

10. School Bus

If your child is taking the school bus, the school will have in place processes for Primary 1 pupils to board buses first and to board the correct bus.

Don’t worry too much about this as it is usually a straightforward procedure and your child is in safe hands.

11. Asking for Help 

Let your child know he/she can ask for help. Try to minimise help needed e.g teach your child how to tie his/her shoelaces or open his/her own water bottle.

During lessons, he/she can raise his/her hand and ask for permission to go to the toilet etc. However, during recess or outside the classroom, your child should learn to ask for help from any teacher in school.

Teachers are more than willing to help your little one with just about anything they need! Just greet the teacher and ask them politely.

You are a calm parent!

Your little young man or woman will be in safe hands. It is important to be calm and speak confidently and politely to staff in school. They truly care for your children and will do their best for them. Believe in them and trust them.

Enjoy the P1 orientation day and first few days at school. Just make sure that you have enough tissues!

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Written by

Rosvinder Kaur

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