The New School Term Post-Circuit Breaker - What Does This Mean For My Child And How I Can Help?

5-minute read

Posted on: 23 May 2020
Last updated: 23 May 2020


While school resumes for graduating batches on 2 June 2020, other cohorts will take on a rotating schedule. As for Junior Colleges and Millennia Institute, arrangements will be made in the schools for 50% of their students to be back in school at any time period. 

Source of information: Channel News Asia  


Possible impact of alternating schedule

  1. 1. Effects on next-to-graduating cohorts

Students who are currently in Primary 5, Secondary 3 and Junior College Year 1 are likely to feel the impact further down the road. Typically, at least 60% of the examined syllabus is covered in the next-to-graduating year. With this year’s schedule affected by COVID-19, most schools may be behind schedule. It could mean that these students will have to cover more content next year, with lesser time for consolidation compared to previous batches.


  1. 2. No mid-year examinations or weighted assessments 

Timely milestone checks are crucial for teachers to assess depth of understanding and for students to uncover strengths and weaknesses. With mid-year examinations originally announced to be removed from some cohorts in 2019, most schools would have planned for weighted and topical assessments. 

However, these assessments are now postponed due to COVID-19. Work done by students may not have been fully marked, problem areas fully discussed and feedback duly given, compared to physical lessons. Even though some schools did arrange for online assessments, these assessments could be lacking in the repertoire of questions due to constraints of the learning management system and mass testing. Thus, students may have accumulated a backlog that could be overwhelming.

In addition, the current P5 cohort will be the first batch to have the new PSLE scoring system implemented. In the new system, students are no longer benchmarked against their peers but evaluated based on their individual performance. To achieve a Grade 1 for each subject, students are required to score above 91 marks in the PSLE. Thus, this could add on to the pressure this batch of students are feeling. 


How can parents help?

  1. 1. Help your child take small steps to develop independence in learning. 

Independent learning develops the intellectual curiosity in your child and encourages them to express their creativity. Important life skills such as resourcefulness and time management can also be cultivated during the process. Some examples include:

  • – Guide your child to come up with a timetable to structure his/her timing during HBL weeks. Include sufficient break times and activities to wind down.
  • – Cultivate in your child good learning habits – be resourceful and find out answers to their queries from peers or teachers or credible online sources such as Khan Academy. 
  • – Advise your child to take initiative to schedule consultation timings with school teachers when school resumes. Provide your child with the contact details and let them initiate the conversation with the teachers.


  1. 2. Simulate examination condition at home 

If your child is in P5, S3 and J1 and feel the need to do a checkpoint assessment before moving on to further concepts in Term 3, you can consider conducting mock examinations in a conducive environment at home, keeping to the time limit stipulated in the actual examinations. You can find past year examinations papers from online sources such as KiasuExamPaper

For parents who are looking for online simulations with professional marking and advice, you can choose to fill up this request form here  and we will send you the link to our free online assessments. These assessments are carefully crafted to evaluate a students’ understanding for the subject and it comes with a personalised summary report. 


  1. 3. Communicate with your child

Your child might be facing stress from all the changes and uncertainties, it is important to make sure he/she is coping well with what the school has planned. Check-in with your child regularly and engage in simple activities and exercises together to relax.


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