It’s often said that the jump from primary to secondary is so significant that students often have difficulty coping with the new environment and increased academic rigour. The good news — this change can be managed if you have the right tools on hand.
This week, we sit down with Shuli Sudderuddin, Academic Director of Secondary and Junior College Programmes at The Learning Lab, United Square, to understand the common challenges lower secondary students may face.
One easy way to stay on top of school work is to get into a habit of constant revision! Reviewing what has been covered in school (and by tutors!) each week can be a lifesaver because it means that your child does not have to rush through revision just before the exams.
Building a strong foundation in basic skills is also extremely important. Your child can easily create “muscle memory” for exams by memorising formulae that help him or her answer Math and Science questions or templates for English essay structures for argumentative or expository writing.
For your Secondary 1 child, the jump from primary school to secondary school can be daunting — your child has to manage and cope with seven or more subjects.
Hence, the immediate challenge here is time management.
To meet this challenge head on, your child can collate and write his or her deadlines and project due dates out ahead of time. This so that your child's assignments don’t take him or her by surprise.
Even revision can be done on a schedule — putting hours or specific days aside for different subjects will ensure that each area of study gets its due attention.
Watch the video below as Shuli shares important tips to help your child tackle common challenges in lower secondary.
Of course, all this is meaningless without a healthy mind and good spirits.
Whether your child is in lower or upper secondary, his or her early teenage years can struggle with issues between friends or crises of self-confidence. Getting your child to maintain an open communication with you and his or her teachers can provide him or her with support system during this important time.
At the same time, you can also use car rides or mealtimes to find out more about your child's day in school.
Shuli adds, "Most of my lower secondary students maintain full lives by finding support in their families and friends when things get tough for them. My favourite way to touch base with my students is to ask them questions during breaks in class or after class. We chat about everything from what TV shows they are watching to their latest stresses in school! We sometimes believe that our families don’t understand us (myself included!) but they can be surprising sources of helpful tips and listening ears."
Secondary school programmes at The Learning Lab help your child to master key exam skills, enabling them to tackle a range of question types and difficulty levels. A robust and relevant curriculum helps your child to engage with exam needs whilst gaining a broader view of global events and engaging in critical thinking.