These are the things I do everyday concerning my girls who are studying at Raffles IS...
1). Going To and Coming Back From School
Everyday I have to accompany Along and Ain waiting for their school bus at the lobby downstairs. Most of the time carrying the sleepy Apit . Ya la takkan nak tinggalkan dia tido sorang-sorang kat dalam rumah unless the father is around. At 3.15 - 3.30 pm, I have to wait for Along and Ain downstairs to make sure they get down from the school bus safely. Here, if the kids go to school by bus, they mustn't be left unguarded for both the waiting for or getting down from the bus. What's interesting here is...if they are late in the morning, the school bus will wait. The bus will also wait until parents arrive before letting the kids get down from the bus. Ya la kan...what's the 8000 dhs per year per student for if not for the waiting...he he
2). Everyday Homework
Ini baru homework Ain yang Grade 1 tu, belum lagi homework Along yang Grade 4. Along pun everyday ada homework at least one. So far the most given homework is for the subjects English and Maths. That's fine. When they come back to Malaysia, these two are also important subjects to be learned.
3). Reading Journal
Picture 1 - Along (pink) and Ain's (green) reading journals that I or their father has to check and sign everyday.
Picture 2 - The reading journal's entry. Everyday from Sunday until Thursday Along and Ain have to record the pages/book/article that they have read. Ibu or Ayah's duty is to check whether they really read and then sign. Sometimes I even ask Along and Ain to narrate to me what they have read. Every Thursday, the teacher will check and sign.
Picture 3 - Among the story books that Along has read, either on loan from the school library or own personal book.
Picture 4 - One of the books that Ain reads for her reading journal, on loan from the school library.
4). Reading with Ain/for Spelling Test
Once a week, Ain will be given a high frequency words list. This is to ensure each Grade 1 student practices pronouncing the words as well as spelling them right. Every Tuesday, the teacher will give a spelling test for the words given on the list for that week. So, I have to go through the words list with Ain and make sure she pronounces the words right. Sometimes, I ask her to spell the words orally.
5). Homework Diary (and checking homework)
Picture 1 - Along's homework diary. She brings home this book everyday.
Picture 2 - See everyday she has homework and must jot down there in the respective entry for parents to check and sign. So, every night I've got to check her homework before signing it. If Ayah is around, he will do that job.
Picture 3 - Sometimes a circular on a certain class activity will be attached to a homework diary.
Picture 4 - Grade 1 students are not given a homework diary but just a Post Box. The teacher will put all homework or any circular for parents in this Post Box folder. Sometimes the kids are not aware of what their teacher puts inside the folder. Well...Grade 1 students, what do you expect. That's why every parents are expected to check this folder everyday without fail.
6). Preparing for once a while class/school activity
Once a while, a circular or two is given out to inform parents of certain activities that are conducted in class or school. For this week, Along and her classmates are invited to wear anything spacey to school as it is the end of a topic Space for her Science class. They may even dress up like an alien if they want to this Thursday (Nov 6). Well...I've no idea at all to help Along come up with a space outfit...Hmmm friends out there, have you any idea? I welcome ideas, please...!
WHAT ACTUALLY I AM TRYING TO SAY...
I just don't understand why some people or 'those' people keep complaining that their kids are not given homework, no teacher teaching, can't learn properly because not enough facilities, not up to the expectation and bla...bla...bla...I believe those are all last year's history since it was the school very first year. How can you evaluate a big thing in ONLY one year? Kalau buat research pun tak valid.
Syukur Alhamdulillah...I've never heard of such things since Along and Ain started schooling here in September. What I know is that Along and Ain are happy with the school, the environment, the friends and most of all the teachers. Unless there's a criminal case or a really poor performance in this school, do I have a reason to take them out of here? I as a parent always have to find time to check Along and Ain's books and homework everyday, every night (when 'those' people keep claiming that their kids are not given homework, not up to the so-called 'expectations'...? Hello, are you sure you have checked each and every book of your kid every night?? )
And I am very impressed that Ain's class teacher, Ms Claire, is a masters' holder in education. In Malaysia, a masters holder teach college or university students but here a masters holder is teaching my Grade 1 kid! Isn't that good enough?? Along's class teacher, Ms Kelly, though not a masters holder, is a very experienced teacher with years of experience teaching in a few other countries. So what more should I expect from the school? (Or what MORE should 'those' people expect from the school???!!!)
A lot of activities and meetings with parents have been conducted since the semester started last September. I believe the school is striving hard to be as good as its counterpart in its origin country. There, the school is established and has a good reputation. I believe in the years to come, this school will also get its good name here. Just give them the chance, time and parents' support.
p/s - Probably, I am not good enough to evaluate a school or education. Or maybe I am not the so-called 'elite' people who think that their kids are just too good to be schooled in a certain school. But I'm glad that I am not a 'lalang'. Who am I to judge a school...but excuseeee me, I AM a teacher. Fullstop.