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Feedback From Parents of P2 & P4 Students

Dear Parents of Primary 2 & 4 Students 
Some of you have responded to the Parents Survey which was uploaded online from Mon, 29 Aug 16 to Sun, 4 Sep 16. 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. We would also like to thank those who have shared your concerns and have provided some suggestions. For those pertaining to specific teacher or class, as names have not been provided, kindly contact the teacher directly so that he/she can get back to you on your concern. For those pertaining to school improvement, 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:  
    School Bus Services during Non-standard Hours
    The school has noted the transport constraints for students who are staying back in the afternoon for optional programmes and activities. In view of that, the school has worked out with the bus company to offer an alternative arrangement which is subject to cost and the number of students taking the same route. Parents may approach the Bus Vendor directly to check if there is sufficient demand for the company to start a bus service for non-standard hours.

    It remains a challenge for the school to find bus operators who can offer more competitive bus fares. The school hopes more vendors will bid for the contract in the next bidding exercise. Meanwhile, parents may consider engaging other bus operators if they are able to find one that charges less than the school’s vendor. 

  1. Shelter from Main Gate to School Compound
    The proposed construction of a covered walkway linking the Main Gate to Foyer was approved by MOE in late 2015. Arising from the need to further resolve concerns on fire safety with the authorities, the construction has been held back. The school is following up with MOE Estate Management Section to expedite the construction of this covered walkway. 
  2. School Facilities & their Maintenance
    The school is equipped with facilities such as the Indoor Sports Hall (ISH) and the Indoor Basketball Court (IBC) which enable students to continue with lessons and activities, be it rain or shine. Though the ISH is equipped with good lighting and S-fans, its windows are opened when activities are conducted there over an extended period of time. As for the IBC, it is also an open area with ample natural lighting. On days when it is dark (such as early morning when there are dark clouds or when it is about to rain), lights in the IBC will be switched on.

    Currently, part of the school field has been used to build the new MOE Kindergarten Annex Block. From 2017 onwards, the rest of the field will be made available for students’ use during their CCA, PE lessons and recess.
  3. Student Safety
    Student safety is one of the primary focus of the school. Staff and Parent Volunteers are deployed on duty in the morning, during recess as well as after school at various locations to ensure that there is at least one adult available to direct traffic, supervise students while they are playing or to assist them in buying food.

    In view of their safety, strangers are not allowed to enter school premises without permission. Hence, parents are not allowed to eat in the school canteen with students as it would be a challenge for the school to determine their identities. Students are also discouraged from loitering outside school after school hours. The school rosters staff to conduct random patrol in its vicinity.

  4. Canteen Food
    The school has a School Canteen Committee 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. 

    Currently, the menu served is based on HPB guidelines and includes the four food groups. The frozen mixed vegetables sold in the canteen meet the Healthy Meals in School Programme (HMSP) guidelines and the School Health Executive (SHE) does regular checks on the food sold. The prices of the set meals, $1.20 for a normal portion and $1.50 for an upsized portion, are also in line with the average price of a set meal sold in primary schools. The school will continue to monitor the price, portion and type of food sold to ensure canteen food remains healthy and affordable for students.

    The school is also aware of the need to have more stalls to meet the needs and demands of its expanding student population. Hence, it places advertisements regularly to invite interested parties to be stallholders in the school canteen. Pending availability of suitable applicants, the school hopes to open more stalls in 2017 which will significantly reduce the queueing time for students to buy food.

  5. Co-Curricular Programmes: CCA & Enrichment
    When planning for the range of Co-curricular Programmes, be it modular CCA or enrichment programmes, 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.

    As the school continues to expand, more CCA will be included. Additional sports CCA will be created as the school continues to expand. Students will also participate more in inter-school competitions.

    The planning and implementation of these programmes are constrained by availability of manpower and facilities. 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 staff availability so that students’ learning and well-being remain topmost priorities. As such, for each programme, even for those that are run by external coaches or vendors, teachers are always present to ensure students’ safety and to facilitate their learning.

    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 before they start modular CCA in P3 and formal CCA from P4 onwards. The carrying out of CCA (modular CCA for P3 and standard CCA for upper levels) 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, they will hold their sessions outside curriculum time. 

  6. Academic Standards and Expectations
    All subjects adhere to MOE’s syllabus and assessment guidelines. The respective departments map out the skills and concepts to be taught over the course of six years and introduce 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.

  7. Curriculum Coverage and Lesson Delivery
    The teachers adhere to the termly Schemes of Work (SOW) planned by the respective departments. These SOW outline what is to be covered every term, taking into consideration the spiral progression of skills and readiness of students. This is to ensure due coverage of topics and skills prior to each assessment. Having said that, teachers do customise their lessons to cater to the learning needs of the students in their class.  Parents are encouraged to check with their child’s teachers if they would like to know more about the lessons. 

  8. Oral Assessments
    The weighted oral assessments are currently conducted once per semester to allow sufficient time for assessment of all four language skills in a year. Besides the afore-mentioned, students’ oral skills are assessed formatively during language lessons and feedback would have been given to students to address their learning gaps.   Having oral assessment every term would result in over-testing and lead to undue stress for students. At the same time, it would also mean a reduction of curriculum time as time would need to be set aside for assessment.   Parents who wish to have termly updates of their child’s progress in speaking are encouraged to speak to his or her child’s language teacher directly.

  9. Spelling
    In weeks where there is a test or examination or suspension of timetable, there will be no spelling tests.

  10. Learning Journeys and their Objectives
    Each of the Learning Journeys is carefully planned by the teachers to provide students with opportunities for inquiry learning, character development, cultural immersion or for development of social etiquette. They complement what students learn in school and provide a holistic education that goes beyond mere textbook knowledge.

    Prior to each Learning Journey, parents would be issued a letter delineating the objectives. To make their child’s learning more fruitful and meaningful, parents are encouraged to find out from their child after the trip what they have seen and learnt and help them consolidate their learning. 

  11. McOnline Assignments for E-learning
    McOnline Assignment Schedules were sent out to all students and parents at the start of each term. Parents are encouraged to work with the teachers in ensuring your child completes his/her e-learning timely.

  12. Library Visits
    The school has factored in library periods within the curriculum since 2014. All classes have library periods on a fortnightly basis either during English or Mother Tongue lessons.  

    Besides allowing students to borrow or return books, the teachers could also choose to read or recommend interesting books to their students during library periods. Hence, students could choose to borrow and return books during class library periods, during recess or after school.

  13. Communication Channels and updates on Students’ Learning
    Teachers provide parents with progress updates during Parent-Teacher Conference (PTC) which the school organises in Terms 1, 2 and 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 Students 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. 

    All teachers would also have given their email addresses to parents at the beginning of the year in their letter of introduction. 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. Some teachers may also choose to use Class Dojo to communicate with the parents.

  14. Responding to Feedback and Suggestions
    The school adopts an open-door policy and welcomes feedback and suggestions. When reviewing feedback and suggestions from parents, the school takes into consideration the following:
    • Implications to curriculum which is guided by subject syllabuses.
    • Age-appropriateness and suitability in terms of developmental stage of students and possible progression.
    • Implication to students' well-being.
    • Available resources in the areas of funding, time, facilities and manpower.
    • Sustainability and scalability when the enrolment increases.
    • School's focus and direction.
    • Avoiding duplication of what is offered commonly in other organisations.

While it values all suggestions, some may not be feasible due to various reasons like resource constraints. Should any parent require clarifications, he/she is encouraged to find out from the school directly.

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!