Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tackle Primary 5 SA1 like a Boss

A couple of days ago someone asked me online; actually it was a P6 boy *smile*, "What are your expectations for him (for SA1)?" and I replied that I have no expectations which is the truth.

This is because much like what was expected when a child enters Primary 3, there will be a drastic change in their academic achievements in Primary 5 but the difference will be greater as the level of difficulty for each subject went a few notches higher.  Instead of being graded against a full marks of 20, this year it will be against 40 which means that marking will be more stringent as they (God knows who?!?!) thinks that at this stage the 11 year olds are able to demonstrate higher-order thinking (what in the world is that!??!) and to analyse the questions in depth so that they can give a "solid solid" (dialect slang) answer thus earning them full marks.  Woah!  I get dizzy just by typing this out, what ever happened to "one plus one equals two"?  Higher thinking??? In depth analysis??? Are we still talking about a Primary school student???

Having said that, all is not lost... that is IF your child's foundation is strong, otherwise they really really have buck up and to put in a lot of effort this year in order to catch up with their peers.

No joke about that!  With Maths problem sums getting lengthier and trickier (see below an example of Maths problem sum and you will see why the child needs Higher Order thinking), Science covers Primary 3 to Primary 5 syllabus plus the questions involves more than one concept (I guess here's where the "In depth Analysis" comes in), English Cloze Comprehension passage with no helping words and we haven't even talk about Chinese, which is a killer to most students.  I'll be happy if the boy don't flunk any of the subject this time!

A friend shared this P5 Maths question with me
If you read my earlier post We Survived P5 Term One you will know that the boy has tons of homework daily.  It did not stop nor did the load get lesser during the exam weeks, it's like the teachers are out on a vengeance to either kill the child's passion for learning or to drain their energy out so they all look like zombies from The Walking Dead.

And because of that it leaves us with practically no time to do any revision.  What ever posts you've seen in my instagram for our #30minrevision were what we did.  The last revision we had was in mid April, 2 weeks plus before the 1st SA1 paper . Can you feel the level of my anxiety going up?

Since his school does not have CA1 or Continuous Assessment 1, I still do not know how he is faring in Primary 5 which makes it a nail-biting wait till end of May to see his SA1 results.  Anxiety level going further upwards... I think I have chewed off all my fingernails!

The reality is that there is nothing this Mama can do except venting her frustrations and unhappiness as she stomps around the house ranting about not able to do revision, scolding the boy for taking forever to finish his homework and getting into every one's nerves.  DinoPapa has full confidence that the boy knows his work and will be able to score well in the exam, he failed to pass some of his confidence to me *sigh*

There are no yardstick for me to compare with or set as a target for him to achieve, so how can I have any Expectations?

Well, despite my stress and roaring "Time NOT Enough", the world still continue to revolve with the boy being oblivious about the VERY IMPORTANT exam that is drawing near!  While most of the kids are putting in efforts into their study, revising and doing assessment books during the weekends, he did not do the same, instead he read and re-read his story books, request to play games on the iPad or watch tv.  Don't get me wrong, I did force him to study but all I receive are Justice Bao's face or lackluster attitude which irks the hell out of me!  The most heart breaking moments was he had a major meltdown, he threw his books, broke his pen and wailed... he was feeling so overwhelmed, so so tired and drained!

So we told him that if he is confident that his work is ok and no additional revision is required than we shall stop doing that BUT he has to bear all the consequences when SA1 results are released.  He happily agreed with a sigh of great relieve definitely and this is what he has been doing since days before the exam weeks.

However the Mum the Worry Wort kicked in on the 2nd week and I gently told him to revise his Maths, go through the Maths textbooks and worksheets to refresh his memory, ensure that he realized his mistakes he made and ensure that he knows the correct solution/method so that he will not make the same mistakes again.  Surprisingly, he turned off the tv immediately and went off to study, no tantrums no stomping off behaviour.

Hide in air con room, made himself comfy and study
Yes, I do not have any expectations for the boy because there are so many factors that obstructs our route to our desired goals.  I just hope that the teachers have done enough to prepare him and the rest of the class for the exam. 

Today is the last day of SA1, the boy is exceptionally chirpy, he laughed more, joked more and walked with a skip, he even went to bed happily.  This is what I love to see in my 11 year old.  This should be the way he feels and behaves every day, this should be how every single kids should be every single day!

So while he sleeps peacefully (smiling in his dreams I bet!), I awaits for the day when SA1 results are being released and hope that I will not have a heart attack.


  1. I feel you! Cos I have a P5 girl as well.

    1. I am really lost, not sure how to support him other than not doing anything to give him stress but by right that is not the way because we know practice makes perfect and improvement. Now how to??? *sigh*

  2. I dread P4. I really do. *Sweat* If I even survive through SA2.

    1. Your girls's school is extreme >.< I dread P6!