Singapore's Primary school system is divided into two blocks:
1. Lower Block constituting Primary 3 and 4
2. Upper Block constituting Primary 5 and 6
It is well-known that all Primary 6 students write the Primary School Leaving Examination or PSLE, one of the most crucial exams in a student's academic journey. Of the five PSLE subjects students write, PSLE Science is considered the toughest and most complex.
All Science concepts are introduced in the Lower Block. In addition to being interconnected, the topics in Primary Science are grounded in scientific principles, processes, and thinking skills. Students learn everything they need to know about Science in the Lower Block.
In this article, we explore how parents can help their children learn Science in Primary 3, the first grade where the subject is introduced in Primary schools.
What to Expect From Primary 3 Science
In Singapore, the country's Ministry of Education drafted the syllabus for primary school Science. Primary Science is divided into two sections:
1. Biology (the study of living things) constitutes 70% of the syllabus.
2. Physical Science constitutes 30%.
If your child has just entered Primary 3, you will want to make yourself aware of the Science topics covered in this grade. It is also imperative that you refer to the materials provided by the school, as each school may choose to handle Lower Block science topics slightly differently.
Let's look at what your child will learn in Science in Primary 3.
List of Topics Covered in Primary 3
|Diversity||Diversity of Living & Non-Living things
Classification: Living & Non-Living Things
Diversity of Materials
|Classification and Characteristics of Living Things
||Life Cycle of Plants and animals
The life cycle of a plant
Germination (conditions for germination)
|Interaction of Forces||
||There are interactions between humans and living and non-living things in the environment.
We can interact with the environment and have a positive or negative impact.
Plants and their parts
Body system – skeletal system, muscular system, digestive system, respiratory system, and circulatory system
Different parts/systems interact to perform functions as well.
Science, as a subject, can be quite intimidating for any Primary 3 student, given the vastness of the syllabus. On the other hand, parents can feel inadequate in helping their children deal with the subject's intricacies, especially if they lack a strong science background.
However, there is really no need to worry. As a parent, you can follow many ways to help your child learn and master Primary 3 Science without difficulty. Here's what you can do.
5 Ways to Help Your Child With the Topics & PSLE Science Questions
1. Understand the fundamentals and concepts of science
This is the rule of thumb to master any subject, whether Maths or Science. Moreover, rote learning will never work for PSLE Science. Understanding the fundamentals will lay the foundation to deal with a tougher Science syllabus in the senior Primary years.
In Primary 3, Science is taught in a way that's fun and engaging for your child. However, if they do not understand the fundamentals, they will find it challenging to connect between concepts and explanations. Consequently, they find it challenging to face difficult PSLE Science questions in booklet B.
2. Conduct simple science experiments at home
If your child's school is inculcating the basics of Science through experimentation, well and good. If not, you can conduct some of those experiments right from the comfort of your home. Primary 3 science is fairly easier than the syllabus taught in higher classes. This is the right time for parents to foster a love for the subject by using age-appropriate videos and online learning resources. This hands-on experience will help them master the PSLE answering technique, which is crucial for their later years.
3. Prioritise conceptual understanding
If your child is into rote learning, Primary 3 is the stage to nip it in the bud. Memorizing and re-writing the facts will not help in Science. It will only help to a small extent as far as PSLE Science questions and answers are concerned. In the exam, a good chunk of the questions focuses on conceptual understanding and real-life application of the concepts. If your child cannot do this, they will not be able to achieve desirable results.
4. Learn the art of chunking
Chunking is the method of processing large amounts of information and dividing it into manageable groups. Each group of information is related to each other, effectively reducing the number of "things" one must remember. Chunking is a great technique for PSLE Science revision. It relies on several techniques like the use of Acronyms, Acrostics, and the use of associated concepts and numbers.
5. Make practice a daily habit
Practice, practice, practice. Revise, revise, revise. These are the best techniques to perfect the ace P3 Science SA1 and P3 Science SA2 papers. Consistent practice enables students to identify keywords in questions like explain, compare, elaborate, or illustrate and respond accordingly. As parents, you should also assist your child in applying their knowledge to answer the question concisely. Every child will be able to excel in Science with wide exposure to various questions and hands-on practical sessions.
Primary 3 is the right stage to introduce your child to foster your child's love for Science. There's so much you can do to nurture that love. Read, learn, and experiment with your child. Help them schedule revisions and revise every single day. Such an approach will bear amazing results in the long run.
However, do bear in mind that it is not ideal to overload them with work or encourage them to follow rote learning. Both approaches are detrimental and could kill your child's love for the subject.
You can also subscribe to StudySmart, our intelligent AI-powered app, to personalize your child's PSLE Science revision. Click here to subscribe to StudySmart today.