The Unparalleled Importance of Science
Singapore has always been a ‘pro-science’ nation. The long-standing emphasis on Science is an important building block in transforming the country into a global science and research hub. From the numerous specialised science institutions, incubators and think tanks to the plethora of science course offerings at the tertiary level, Science is a key area of investment. This national emphasis has also allowed Singapore to consistently top international assessments rankings such as PISA and TIMSS. As such, many parents have engaged private Science tutors, from Primary School to Junior College, to give their children the competitive edge!
Results in the Red? School Results are a Litmus Test
Science, however, remains a challenging subject for students to excel in. Part of the problem is the late introduction of the subject at Primary 3. This deprives students of internalising crucial concepts at an early age. Furthermore, students have to cope with the increased academic workload. This is a late introduction and for some students, it is a race to master scientific concepts and skills before PSLE. There are as many as 5 content areas including:
- Diversity – Living and Non-Living Things
- Cycles – Plant and Animal Life Processes
- Systems – Biological Systems
- Interactions – Magnetic Forces and Friction
- Energy – Heat and Light
The heavy content of the subject adds pressures to students who may feel inundated with content. Thus, students’ academic results and band during Subject-Based Banding at Primary 5, is usually indicative of how well your child is coping in Science.
Weaker students are intimidated by the precision, complexity and the interplay of scientific concepts when studying. These misconceptions, if not corrected early, may perpetuate at higher levels of the subject, jeopardising their performance at national examinations. These doubts breed apathy and indifference towards the sciences which provides promising career prospects. In this regard, our private tutors can intervene early and clear all their doubts by reinforcing scientific concepts so as to help them gain newfound confidence in the subject!
Examining Every Parent’s Pain Points about Science
Given the national importance of Science, we have distilled the top 4 specific parental concerns about Science which include but are not limited to:
- Parents’ understanding of scientific topics is outdated or inadequate.
- Science being a challenging and competitive subject, requiring extra hours to master concepts and sharpen scientific skills.
- Outstanding performance in Science being a prerequisite for the admission into a choice tertiary institution and course, securing future prospects.
- Pressure to pursue a career in science and the desire to give children a competitive edge.
To excel, your child should have a private science tutor as early as possible. The tutor should be well-versed with the latest syllabus for both primary and secondary level, and hail from the science field. With science offerings in upper secondary splitting into different branches – such as Physics, Chemistry and Biology – it is important to invest in a competent private science tutor to kindle a passion in the sciences.
Planting New Seeds: Applied Learning and STEM Approach
In the recent decade, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has mooted an Applied Learning and STEM (an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) approach. This essentially means that assessments have shifted from theoretical memorization and regurgitation to an inquiry-led approach. The table below is a comparative scale of the amount of teacher’s involvement to the amount of student self-direction. Less teacher intervention equates to more self-directed learning.
Source: MOE Primary School Science Syllabus (Latest) (Page 14)
Source: MOE Lower Secondary School Science Syllabus (Latest) (Page 12-13)
MOE adopts an inquiry-led framework as part of its Applied Learning approach for both Primary and Lower Secondary Science. The 5 features of Applied Learning include: Question, Evidence, Explanation, Connections and Communication. These are sequential steps in the line of enquiry that have been revamped in order to allow students to formulate hypotheses and derive their conclusions. This fosters the scientific spirit of inquiry and integrates different disciplines such as Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
At Nanyang Academics, we strive to develop self-directed learners and effective collaborators. Our private science tutors strike a balance on the Applied Learning scale, taking that into consideration when designing effective science lessons for students. Since there is a heavy emphasis on inquiry skills. Our Science tutors serve as guides, developing their scientific process skills through active experimentation and meaning dialogues. This is far more beneficial than traditional instructive methods.
4 Reasons why Private Science Tuition is the Solution!
Finding the right private Science tuition provider acts as a catalyst to learning. Given how Science is inquiry-led, a personal science tutor offers the following benefits:
- Undivided attention. Students have the undivided attention of a personal tutor, something that they simply cannot get from school.
- Spotlight on weaker topics. Engaging a private Science tutor gives you the assurance that their topics that your child struggles with is adequately addressed.
- Ongoing Assessment. With the introduction of Subject-Based Banding (SBB), students have to consistently perform well in order to remain or be promoted to a higher band. Tutors are able to constantly monitor and assess a student’s progress after each lesson or topic.
- Comfortable Learning Environment. Students are well-adjusted to their homes, having all the comfort and convenience they need in order to focus. Studying in a classroom with other students may be distracting and potentially disrupt learning.
4 Ways of Igniting Scientific Learning
There are plenty of ways in which we can help your child excel in science, just to mention a few, here's the list:
- Real World Application. Stimulate interest among students by providing them multiple opportunities to hone their inquiry skills and to be creative and intuitive. Science tutors explain complex ideas using practical, everyday objects students are used to
- Visual Learning Aids. Some students struggle with understanding intangible concepts that are invisible to the naked eye. As such the use of visual aids, such as videos and illustrations, will strengthen the concept understanding
- Keyword Emphasis. Often, markers look for specific keywords that precisely articulate a certain concept or process. This can be a useful technique of answering questions and helping students to score well.
- Concept Reinforcement. Students have a stronger foundation in the basics of science when they constantly revisit and refresh previously taught concepts. This creates a good revision habit which is needed every once in a while.
Science Pathways in Higher Institutes of Learning
In the Education Minister’s 2019 speech at Science Centre Singapore, he emphasised the strong focus on STEM education in the syllabus. The STEM and Applied Learning approach extends to higher institutes such as the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), two of the newest tertiary institutes dedicated to Science. Investing in a good Primary or Lower Secondary Science tutor translates into financial savings when considered how much extra tuition is required if your child only starts before national examinations such as the GCE-N Level, GCE-O Level or GCE-A Level.
Nanyang Academics: The Catalyst for Commendable Results!
We fully understand the stress and struggle to thrive in science, whether in Primary School or Lower Secondary. Nanyang Academics has effective private Science tutors to impart vital scientific skills and passion to every child, no matter their current academic standing. Do not wait and let misconceptions take root! Take action and request for Science Tuition today!