We understand that starting primary school can be an anxious time for children and parents. There will be big changes such as new routines, new friends, new school environment and having to meet certain expectations too.
If you’re a parent preparing your child for the K2 to P1 transition, we want to assure you that many parents share similar concerns about this new milestone.
We address some of the key questions parents in Singapore have as their children graduate from their childcare centres.
Top Questions Parents Ask about the K2 to P1 Transition
1. My child still can’t sit still and focus on doing her work. What if he/she is like this in primary school?
Children are naturally active, curious little explorers. It’s normal that he/she prefers to run around instead of sitting down for long stretches. If he/she is already enrolled in a preschool, there will be scheduled time for sit-down work and movements.
At home, you can start a routine with her that includes sitting at her desk to do some activities like drawing, writing and reading. The duration should be kept short and at the child’s comfort level to begin with (e.g. 10 minutes). Observe your child and gradually increase the duration over time.
Preschool teachers may flag their concerns should they notice that a child is always hyperactive, fidgety and restless, as it may point to behavioural concerns.
2. How can I make sure that my K2 child is academically-ready for P1?
Being ready for primary school is not something that happens overnight or when the first day of primary school starts. In terms of schoolwork, how much is a K2 child supposed to know before entering primary school?
For Mathematics, children should be able to count to 10. Understanding simple addition and subtraction concept within 10 would be good too.
For English and their Mother Tongue Language, children should be able to read sight words and simple sentences.
3. Does my child need to be able to read fluently before entering Primary 1?
Being able to read is one of the top concerns parents have. As such, some send their children to phonics or reading classes, hoping to get them ahead. If your child is already attending childcare in Singapore, reading and literacy is part of the curriculum, pegged at an age-appropriate level.
Firstly, understand and accept that every child learns at a different pace. Exposure to books can start from babyhood onwards.
By 6 years old, a child should be able to read sight words and simple storybooks. Being able to read the Harry Potter series is not realistic for a K2 or P1 child – parents will need to manage their expectations too.
Developmentally, children who are 7 and above will experience a surge in linguistic abilities and with that, parents will observe the jump in developmental for writing when they are in Primary 1.
4. My child is very anxious about primary school and is not looking forward to it at all. What can I do?
Having an open discussion without judgement to understand his/her concerns would be a good start.
Is your child worried that he/she wouldn’t be able to see his/her best friends from kindergarten? Is he/she scared about buying their own food?
The transition from K2 to P1 is a big deal after all. Give your child lots of encouragement and share your own primary school experiences with them. Assure your child that he/she is doing a good job preparing for the next chapter, addressing his/her worries as best as you can.
If he continues to display great displeasure after several weeks of P1, it would be good to speak to his P1 teachers to find out what he’s like in class and if they have anything to flag out. Keeping open communication with your child’s teachers gives your child the positive support to adapt and cope better with this transition too.
5. My K2 child still can’t tell the time or count money. Is he/she too slow?
Telling time requires a child to be able to read numbers and know the 5 times table. Likewise, for counting money, it requires math concepts.
Some of the best childcare curricula in Singapore integrate both topics for their K2 syllabus to equip children with what they will need to know when they start primary school.
Preparing our K2 children for their transition to P1
Families in Singapore hope to choose the best childcare that fits their requirements and budget.
At Little Footprints Preschool, our carefully planned curriculum is designed to equip young learners in preparation for formal school.
Our core programme encompasses Language and Literacy to develop communicators who are confident in both reading, writing and speaking. Our bilingual programme incorporates fun ways of learning Chinese through theme-based, experiential methods.
To prepare our K2 children, we run a P1 Preparation Programme at the end of the year to introduce them to the primary school routine in a primary school setting. This includes key skills such as handling and counting money for recess.
Apart from academic readiness, children need to be emotionally prepared and socially ready for primary school too. Book a school tour to find out how Little Footprints Preschool prepares children for their primary school journey.
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