The primary years are very much considered to be the formative years for a child and it is from Year 1 to Year 6 that the academic foundations are laid, which will hopefully provide a springboard for a successful career. Without a firm understanding of the core subjects, it is very difficult to achieve high grades in the secondary section, which also lasts for 6 years, which is why you need to choose a school with a good record of academic excellence.
Encouraging the Enquiring Mind
It is critical that from an early age, a child is encouraged to ask questions and if you enroll your child in an international primary school in Thailand, for example, you can rest assured that active learning is practiced and the students are encouraged to be inquisitive. It is really the role of the early learning program (3-6 years old) to instil a love of learning in the children, which should stay with them for all their lives.
Certainly, for math and the sciences, the primary years are critical and should a student fail to grasp the principles of physics, for example, they would have difficulty when the subject matter is more complex. End of term grades should reflect excellent term work and any weaknesses should be promptly addressed; there are tuition agencies online where your son or daughter can receive one on one tuition from a remotely located tutor. Primary school is all about discovery and any hidden talents should be explored, whether in sports, the arts, or the sciences, which might lead to a great career choice. Rather than focusing on winning all the time, we should learn to be OK with failure.
International schools have long been using the project-based approach, which gives the students essential life-skills and encourages teamwork and creativity. A typical project would be on a topic chosen by the group, which guarantees a high level of interest and they would have to:
- Decide which format the project will take – This could be a digital presentation, with a slideshow, or it could be displayed on boards, or even acted out in a drama performance.
- Decide who does what – Each student must play a vital role; data collection, resources and props must all be covered.
- Practice Presentation – This is a very important aspect of the project for two reasons; first it gives the students hands-on practice to present their findings, plus the presentation cements the new knowledge by teaching it to others.
- Work as a Team – There would be a team leader and the teacher would take on the role of facilitator, rather than instructor. Each student would present some of their findings and the audience (the other groups) would prepare questions to ask. When four teams present four different projects, the class would learn a lot more than if they followed a coursebook.
If you are looking for the right primary school for your son or daughter, visit the Office of Primary Education (OPEC) website in Thailand, where you will find a list of international and private primary schools.