"Mom, today my headmistress (in the private school) ended her speech with YOU ARE AN AWESOME GENERATION," my daughter told me.
"Mom, can I drop Chinese subject if I go to (the private school) next year?" my form 3 son pleaded.
"Is ok one lah...even the Chinese (subject) teacher here is very friendly and doesn't simply scold us..." my daughter told him.
I can sense the positive energy in this school My daughter told me all her teachers are friendly and approachable even though some are quite strict when teaching. They have the ability to bond with the students. I met a few of them during the recent teacher-parent conference. All of them speak good English, including her Science, Math & Geography teacher. All her teachers are experienced except for her science teacher who is young and new. Even so, as long as she is passionate and knows her subject well, it is alright with me.
Can sit for 'O' Level and SPM! My daughter is studying both KBSM/national syllabus and IGCSE/'O' Level (Science, Math & English). This is the very first year the school implemented the new dual system. Just like those Independent Chinese Secondary schools that prepare students for 統考 & SPM, my daughter's school will prepare them to sit for 'O' level in form 4, and SPM in form 5. I am happy the English standard is much higher than the public school.
Good for PBS (no more PMR) There is a new cabinet in my daughter's classroom for students' PBS related school work until form 3. There will be no more PMR for those who are in form 1 this year, and students will be graded by each subject teacher based on the new School Base Assessment - PBS (Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah). It is said to be a holistic approach in which students are evaluated based on a few aspects: Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor. Problem is, when my daughter was in the public school, some subject have no teachers at all, some subjects have changed teachers a few times, how can the PBS be implemented smoothly?
Small class size is ideal for PBS My daughter's class has 24 students as compared to 42 in her former school. Small class size is definitely more ideal, especially for this new system (PBS) which requires more personal attention from teachers. There are also a lot of individualgroup projects and students are required to make presentation in class. A few teachers have noticed my daughter's artistic ability... perhaps it is due to the small class size too.
Embracing technology More slide presentation are used by teachers in this school. My daughter's Mandarin teacher showed me some samples and I'm sure it will make learning more interesting. Oh ya, everyday parents will receive emails from teachers on what they've taught in class, and homework for the kids.
School is not only about academic achievement. I want my kids to be in a POSITIVE, CARING and RESPECTFUL learning environment.
Extra curricular activities and other non-academic related subjects should be emphasized too. Even though my daughter does not enjoy her Structured Performing Art (yet?), I told her to treasure the experience and isn't it fun to learn some drama, hip hop step etc? In fact, her school has a big swimming pool and it is compulsory to attend swimming lesson too (for one term a year).
Secondary school life should be one of the best time in life. I hope one day my kids remember not only their school friends, but also cherish good teachers who have encouraged them to unleash their potential and inspire them to be a better person.