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Is my child prepared for primary school and meeting learning milestones?
Asked By : MummyGinny
Words from the Expert:

Question: How do I know if my child is academically prepared for primary school and if they are meeting age-appropriate learning milestones?

Answer from the Expert:

Assessing your child's academic preparedness for primary school and their progress in meeting age-appropriate learning milestones is crucial for their educational journey.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) Kindergarten Nurturing Early Learners (NEL) framework provides valuable guidance for children at the age of six. However, it is important to recognise that academic milestones alone are not sufficient in today's rapidly changing world. The development of social-emotional skills and 21st-century competencies is equally important.

Below is a concise guide on how to evaluate your child's readiness using the Kindergarten NEL framework for six-year-olds, while emphasising the importance of 21st-century skills:

1. Literacy and Language Skills:
Assess your child's literacy skills by observing their ability to read and comprehend more complex texts, express ideas through writing, and engage in conversations with clarity. You can encourage a love for reading, provide opportunities for writing practice, and engage in meaningful conversations to foster their language proficiency.

2. Numeracy and Problem-Solving:
Observe your child's numeracy abilities, including their understanding of numbers, operations, and problem-solving skills. Look for their ability to apply mathematical concepts to real-life situations, analyse problems, and think critically. You can support your child by engaging them in activities that promote logical thinking, spatial awareness, and mathematical reasoning.

3. Mother Tongue Languages (MTL):
If your child is learning a Mother Tongue Language, assess their proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Observe their ability to communicate fluently, understand cultural nuances, and appreciate literature. You can also encourage exposure to the language through reading, conversations and cultural activities to further enhance their MTL skills.

4. Discovery Skills:
The Kindergarten NEL framework emphasises the development of discovery skills, including science, social studies and the arts. Observe your child's ability to explore, ask questions, and make connections across different subjects. You can continue to develop these skills by encouraging hands-on experiments, discussions, and artistic expression to nurture their curiosity, critical thinking and creativity.

5. Social-Emotional Development:
Nurturing your child's social-emotional skills is vital for their overall development. Observe their ability to collaborate, empathise with others, manage emotions and communicate effectively. Do support your child by encouraging opportunities for teamwork, teach problem-solving strategies, and promote a positive and inclusive learning environment at home.

6. 21st-Century Skills:
In addition to academic skills, today's education also focuses on developing 21st-century competencies. These include critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, and digital literacy. Observe your child's ability to think critically, generate ideas, express themselves confidently, work well in groups and utilise technology responsibly. You can engage them in activities that foster these skills, such as project-based learning and using educational apps and tools.

As a parent, your support is vital in developing these areas. Create a conducive learning environment at home, engage in conversations, and provide enriching experiences that align with the NEL framework. You can continue to encourage independent thinking, problem-solving and collaboration. Do support their social-emotional growth by being an empathetic listener, teaching emotional regulation and reinforcing positive values. Remember that every child develops at their own pace, so it is important to consider your child’s individual differences from others. Balancing academic milestones, social-emotional development, and 21st-century skills will help ensure that your child is academically prepared, well-rounded, and equipped for the challenges of primary school and the evolving world beyond.

The Expert:

Ms Iris Lim
Principal of Chiltern House Preschool
Chiltern House Preschool