The most common question that Sophie gets asked these day is, “Are you looking forward to Primary One?” But instead of answering with an enthusiastic yes, she would have her reservations and mixed feelings about this next milestone. For some reason, she think that the teachers will be fierce and she’ll be faced with endless days of homework.
Thankfully, there’s the Primary One orientation two weeks where she visited her new school and met her classmates.
On the day of the orientation, I briefed Sophie on what to expect and told her that I may be away from her for the parents briefing and talks. Since she didn’t have any friends attending the same school, I encouraged her to get to know one or two new friends and to remember her name. We packed along a small bag with her stationary, water bottle and a purse with $2 in case the teacher was going to give them some thing to do when they went to their class.
When we arrived, we went to find Sophie’s class list before proceeding to the hall where the children had to join their class. I sensed Sophie’s anxiety when her eyes darted around to find a familiar face in the crow especially when some of the kids were calling out to their friends as they entered the hall. I lingered around for a while to settle her feelings before leaving her with her new class.
For the parents, we had to attend a talk by the principal where he shared about the vision and mission of the school. And like many schools in Singapore, they adopt a holistic approach where the students are groomed for life and. It just for academic success. And as a SAP school. They emphasis on incurring Chinese values such as 孝顺 (respect for elders), 好学 (studious) and 守礼 (quick to comply) as well as instilling in them a strong sense of responsibility and integrity.
There was also talks by the head of Primary One and Two level on how they will help the a Primary Ones transit , as well as presentations by parent support group head on how parents can play a more active role to support our child’s learning in and outside of school. Overall, I felt more confident knowing what to expect and how to ease Sophie in her transition to make it an enjoyable journey of her lifelong learning.
Next it was time to hit the bookshop! Since Alexis was overseas, I couldn’t do a tag team and had to queue to buy her textbooks and uniform separately which I see many parents doing. And though it took some time for he purchase, the whole process was systematic and efficient as the books are all packed if you choose everything on the booklist. We also took the optional Chinese flash cards and dictionary but later learnt it’s hardly used in class >.<
While waiting in the queue, Sophie excitedly told me that she made one new friend and the teacher took them to tour around the canteen, assembly area and classroom.
For the uniform purchase, the vendor opened a class so that the kids could try the sizes before joining the queue. And as expected, Sophie has to take the smallest size and it still looked oversized on her. I told her she better eat more to fill up her skorts, else it will drop to the floor by the time she walks from the home to school!
The orientation concluded after three hours and both of us left feeling more assured of what to expect in the first few days of school. Oh and I had a mild panic attack when I heard the school is not allowing parents to come into the school in the first few days of school. So it’s going to be a drop off with a hug and kiss and see you when school ends kinda arrangement. The principal assured us that our kids will be fine and well taken care of by the teachers as well as their P4 buddy during recess. So guess it’s the inevitable time for us to learn to slowly let go as our kids gain greater independence in Primary school.
Our Primary One journey starts in about a month’s time. We can’t wait for this exciting milestone and meanwhile I’m prepping Sophie to learn how to count money, read the analog clock, start a routine and teaching her how to deal with issues like bullies, etc.
Do send us any advice you may have for Primary One and all the best to you if you’ve got a budding Primary One for next year too!