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Feedback from Parents of P2, P4 & P6 Students
Dear Parents of Primary 2, 4 & 6 Students
Some of you have responded to the Parents Survey which was uploaded online from Sat, 18 Aug 18 to Mon, 27 Aug 18. We would like to thank those who have written compliments about the school programmes and your appreciation for the teachers who have taught your child. We will relay your messages to the relevant teachers if the names of teachers were indicated. We would also like to thank those who have shared your concerns and have provided some suggestions.
When reviewing feedback and suggestions from parents, the school takes into consideration the following:
- Implication to students' well-being.
- Implication to curriculum which is guided by subject syllabuses from MOE.
- Focus and direction of the school.
- Availability of resources in the areas of funding, time, facilities and manpower.
- Age-appropriateness and suitability of programmes in terms of developmental stage of students and possible progression.
- Sustainability and scalability of the programmes planned.
The school will review the feedback and implement viable solutions where possible. Below are the school’s responses to some of the more common concerns raised:
1. Canteen Food & Snack Break
The school has a School Canteen Committee (SCC) that oversees the management of the canteen stallholders. It takes reference from MOE, National Environment Agency's (NEA) and Health Promotion Board's (HPB) stipulated guidelines in managing the stallholders.
All schools are on board HPB’s Healthy Meal School Programme (HMSP) which stipulates the serving of canteen food from the four main food groups; namely brown rice and wholemeal bread; fruits; vegetables; and meat and others in recommended portions for every main meal served. Under the programme, HPB advocates students to eat healthily and have a balanced diet.
In our school, set meals of Small, Medium & Large size are available at affordable pricing of $1.20, $1.50 and $1.80 respectively. Students may then select any of these healthy set meals to meet their individual requirements. It remains a challenge for canteen vendors to see how they could further reduce the food prices given the rising cost of ingredients. The school will continue to monitor the price, portion and type of food sold to ensure that the canteen food remains healthy and affordable for students.
2. School Bus Services
School bus operators are usually invited to submit their bids to the school on a competitive basis based on their understanding of the school’s requirements & needs. The school will then select the bus operator who can best meet the needs of the school and the students. Individual bus operators usually submit the bid based on a number of considerations such as bus capacity, number of students taking school buses, distance travelled, insurance premium, operating costs, etc. Thus, school bus fares are expected to vary from school to school. The school will definitely find bus operators that can offer more competitive bus fares and seeks the understanding of parents in this matter.
3. Co-Curricular Activities (CCA)
When planning for the range of CCA, the school takes a long-term view and seeks alignment in its offerings so that what students learn at one level is further developed and honed as they progress to the other levels.
The planning and implementation of these programmes are constrained by availability of manpower and facilities. Over the years, the school has added new CCA progressively (about 2 new CCA each year since the inception of the CCA programme in 2015). As the school has now reached its full cohort of students and teachers, the inclusion of more CCA may be considered. Students may also be participating in more inter-school competitions. However, students’ safety and quality of the programmes cannot be compromised at the expense of providing more choices. The school strikes a balance between breadth of options and resource availability so that students’ learning and well-being remain our topmost priorities. The school may continue to expand its range of CCA within the constraints of space.
What is unique to the school is that all lower primary students are involved in co-curricular enrichment programmes that are carried out within curriculum hours. These programmes help to provide broad-based experiences of the different CCA offered by the school before they start to choose one from P3 onwards. The carrying out of CCA for P3 to P6 students during curriculum time also enables all students in the school to have a CCA.
While CCA is conducted during curriculum time, parents can be rest assured that the school does not take away curriculum time from other subjects. In fact, it adheres to MOE’s guidelines for subject period allocations. For CCA that require additional training sessions to prepare students for external competitions, additional after-school practices are carried out.
4. Physical Activities & Use of School Field
Besides Physical Education (PE) lessons during curriculum time, the school has put in place structured and unstructured recess games from Mondays to Thursdays. It has also organised Games Carnivals for students to apply their learning in PE in the various games.
The school has made multiple attempts to ensure that the field is safe enough for students. It has currently barricaded an area which is deemed safe as it has fewer potholes & unevenness and students can play on it during recess. Some PE & CCA sessions are also held in that area. We will continue to work with the relevant authorities to ensure that the whole field will eventually be ready for students.
5. Academic Expectations, Assignments & Homework
All subjects adhere to MOE’s syllabus and assessment guidelines. The respective departments have mapped out the skills and concepts to be taught over the course of six years and introduced them to students in a structured and progressive manner. This is to ensure breadth and depth of coverage at appropriate junctures so that students are developmentally ready to learn them. Various strategies and techniques for the respective subjects will also be taught explicitly to aid students in coping with the requirements of the different components.
In terms of practice papers and homework, some parents have requested for more while others wanted less. As the process of learning is cumulative and progressive, when assigning work, teachers have to calibrate it against the students’ readiness, progression as well as the level of proficiency needed for the task.
Parents are encouraged to check their child’s Student Handbook for the daily list of homework so that they could monitor their child’s progress in his/her learning. If your child has issues with the amount of homework given, do work with the respective subject teachers to see how best your child can be supported in his/her learning.
6. Learning Journeys and their Objectives
Each of the Learning Journeys (LJ) is carefully planned by the teachers to provide students with opportunities for inquiry-based learning, character development, cultural immersion and development of social etiquette. They complement what students learn in school and provide holistic education that goes beyond mere textbook knowledge.
There is a wet weather plan for all LJ package in lieu of inclement weather where the students would still do up part of the package in the confines of the classrooms. The school is unable to postpone the LJ to another date due to the availability of these external venues and the impact it has on the curriculum.
7. Wearing of Ethnic Clothes during Celebrations
While the school does not encourage students to come in ethnic clothes during commemorative events and festive celebrations, the school has not short-changed students in terms of the learning during the respective events. The school focuses on the programme and the values inculcated during the commemoration and celebration.
8. Students’ behaviour outside school
Our Discipline Mistress/Master and Teachers have spoken and reiterated much about the school values and the expected behaviour of our students in and outside the school. Besides Assembly Talks, there are lessons carried out by our teachers to teach character and civic responsibility in our students. The school will continue to remind our students to be mindful of their behaviour and to act responsibly at all times. We will also enlist the help of parents to monitor their child especially after school and to reiterate what the school has taught.
9. Communication Channels and updates on Students’ Learning
Teachers provide parents with progress updates during Parent-Teacher Conference (PTC), which the school organises at the end of Term 2 and Term 4. Teachers would also contact parents directly at other times when the need arises. Beyond the PTC, parents are free to approach teachers should they have concerns or if they would like to check with the teachers on matters concerning their child.
The main mode of communication between parents and teachers would be via the Student Handbook. Students have been trained to note down the homework which is written on the class notice board. Parents are encouraged to work with the teachers in training the children to take responsibility for their learning.
In addition to giving parents their email addresses at the start of the year, all teachers are also on board the use of ClassDojo to communicate with parents. However, in the event of an emergency, parents can still contact teachers by calling the General Office. The admin staff will relay the message to the relevant teacher.
We do seek parents’ understanding that teachers may not answer parents’ queries outside office hours (after 6 pm and on weekends) as these are protected time for teachers to be with their family. We also hope that parents continue to be open to contact the teachers via the various channels mentioned above. At the same time, we also seek parents’ patience should the teacher be unable to respond promptly to the queries posted via the portal as at times, the notification function may not work well on certain devices and the teacher may have missed the message altogether.
Lastly, the school does act on feedback given by students or parents. Parents are encouraged to alert and check with the relevant teacher to verify the information shared by their child should they have any concerns. This would allow the teacher to do the necessary investigation and avoid unnecessary misunderstanding between various parties.
Thank you once again for sharing your feedback and suggestions. The school values your inputs. Let’s continue to work together to bring out the best in every child!
Mrs Lee-Koh SC