Computer Coding and Math Courses For Kids

Lorna Whiston

Open Day At Lorna Whiston

Lorna Whiston

School Holiday Storytelling and Activities For Kids May June 2017

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Now Kids and Teens Ages 6-18 Are Doing Coding

Learning the basics of coding not only teaches problem solving skills, but it’s fun too! It is not only for adults or IT geeks! Now even kids and teens from ages 6 up to 18 are coding! Tech education is on the increase for kids and teens. Why? Just look around you. We are living in a world that has undergone tremendous scientific change in recent years, a world that is increasingly reliant on apps and smart devices. Every app and device rely on coding to make them work.

As technology continue to advance, more and more everyday items, jobs, and enjoyment of life benefit from coding. In other words, we need coding much more now than we did in the past. Letting kids and teens learn to code and exposing them to coding from a young age is preparing them ahead for job opportunities and employment in various sectors, all of which require coding in some form or another.

Coding can be fun for kids too. Kids can learn to make films, create video games, design web sites, and learn electronics and robotics during coding lessons. Kids will understand how the games they are playing work the way they do. They are naturally curious and want to learn how things work. Coding helps them to discover just that and enable them to go one step further to design and make their own games.

Coding class is undoubtedly a mind opening experience for kids and teens. It is a set of instructions that tell your computer to do what you want it to do. In learning to code, kids are trained to practice computational thinking skill which is a very useful life skill to have. "If I want my computer to work this way, then I have to do this....." Besides logical thinking, this encourages creative thinking and learning how to think out of the box.

Computer coding also makes STEAM education possible. STEAM stands for “Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics”. Coding and STEAM education is crucial for preparing our kids for the future.

To find out more about coding courses available for kids and teens ages 6-18, apply now for a free trial class at KidoCode, Solaris Mont Kiara.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

5 Asian Folk Tales For Preteens And Teens

When it comes to storybooks, I like the idea of exposing kids to as many genres as possible. Kids should be encouraged to pick up and read all sorts of books. For preteens or teens, there's only that many Wimpy Kids and Geronimo Stilton books they can read. While its good to read chapter books, one should not limit oneself to continue chasing the latest book from the same series. It's not easy I know. I made that very same mistake and my shelves are filled with titles from limited series.

Kids learn through reading. They learn new vocabulary. They learn to express themselves better. They learn about life. That is why I have always loved locally published books in addition to our other collection. Kids can learn so much from reading local folk tales. They will also be better able to identify with the characters and the situations describe. With folk tales, they can learn a little bit of history about the people, food and games in a local setting, which is a lot more interesting then just reading history books.

Here are 5 Asian Folk Tales For Preteens And Teens. The good news is members from our Parenting platform can get them at a discount from now till 31 July 2017.

RM19.90 Normal Price (excl shipping)
RM15.92 Member Price (excl shipping)
Author: Tutu Dutta-Yean
Paperback 154 pages
Publisher: MPH Group Publishing
RM19.90 Normal Price (excl shipping)
RM15.92 Member Price (excl shipping)
Author: Tutu Dutta-Yean
Paperback 148 pages
Publisher: MPH Group Publishing

Miyah and the Forest Demon and its sequel Rigih and the Witch of Moon Lake can be purchased separately but better read as a two part series also known as The Jugra Cronicles. Set against the backdrop of a power struggle in Tanjungpura, an ancient trading kingdom with centuries-long ties to the Han Kingdom, Hindustan, Majapahit and Melaka, this is the story of Miyah and her friends and how their sleepy village is turned upside down when politics and magic collide. Readers will be taken back to historical times when trading thrived and relationships were formed in busy ports. Fans of supernatural and fantasy genre will enjoy this two part story suitable for readers aged 11-16.

RM24.90 Normal Price (excl shipping)
RM19.92 Member Price (excl shipping)
Author: Tutu Dutta-Yean
Paperback 160 pages
Publisher: MPH Group Publishing
Eight Treasures of the Dragon is a collection of Dragon Tales from different parts of Asia.  The Dragon of the East is a legendary creature associated with fluid energy. It is said to influence weather, rain and moving bodies of water. Did you know that the Chinese Imperial Dragon has five toes, the Korean Dragon has four toes, and the Japanese Dragon has only three toes? This interesting snippet plus the magical tales of the mythical and awe inspiring Dragon found in this book will take you from Malaysia to China and India, from Singapore and Indonesia to Japan. The folklore and legends in Eight Treasures include The Dragon of Tasik Chini, Sang Nila Utama, Ho-Wori and the Princess of the Sea, The Cave of the Pearl Dragon and more exciting stories. These are timeless tales that will appeal to both young and old alike. 

RM19.90 Normal Price (excl shipping)
RM15.92 Member Price (excl shipping)
Author: Tutu Dutta-Yean
Paperback 154 pages
Publisher: MPH Group Publishing
The phoenix is a mythical creature, a legendary bird that is often depicted as colourful, manificient and magical in many ancient and medieval literature. It is also known as Cendrawasih in Malay or called Feng Huang in China. Here the phoenix makes an appearance in 8 folktales filled with love, sacrifice, fortunes made and lost including a charming story of a Malay Cinderella. In reading the Eight Jewels of the Phoenix, you will be exposed to the richness and diversity of the cultures of Malaysia, the Philippines, China, India, Japan, Thailand and North America. The Girl With The Snow White Hair, The Princess of Mount Ledang, Chandrika and The Festival of Lights and Bawang Putih, Bawan Merah are among some of the legendary tales you will find in this book.

RM19.90 Normal Price (excl shipping)
RM15.92 Member Price (excl shipping)
Author: Tutu Dutta-Yean
Paperback 154 pages
Publisher: MPH Group Publishing
Eight Fortunes of the Qilin brings together eight legends and folk tales from countries around the Asia-Pacific Rim including Borneo, Central America, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines and Vietnam. The Qilin is a chimera, a fabulous creature said to be an omen of great fortune and blesses all who are lucky enough to gaze upon it. The legendary Princess Santubong and Princess Sejinjang are featured in it along with other folktales like Keong Mas, The Singing Bamboo, Princess Firefly, The Amber Tea-Bowl and more. As the fabled Qilin represents compassion, wisdom and respect for nature and life, these qualities are echoed in the stories. Humans, spirits and deities cross paths, and unseen worlds collide in Eight Fortunes of the Qilin. Best for those who love adventure, fantasy, magic and the supernatural.


Click here to go directly to the Books Order Form if you are unable to view the Order Form below.

Friday, July 07, 2017

5 Useful Online Malay Dictionaries Or Translators

Many kids in Malaysian schools learn 3 languages from young. They are English, Bahasa Malaysia or Malay and Chinese Mandarin. Having a good dictionary or translator helps. Here are 5 useful Online Malay Dictionaries or Translators you can use for helping your kids with homework.

Before we even start on the 5, you should know that you can easily use "Google Search" as a dictionary or translator. For example if you want to translate the word "makanan" to English. Just type in "makanan in English" and you will have your answer. You can do this to translate from any one language to another.

1. Kamus Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka from the PRPM website. The acronym PRPM stands for Pusat Rujukan Persuratan Melayu. This is by far the best and most detailed online Malay dictionary I have found online. You will find very detailed information here. You can do a normal search or a Smart Search (Carian Bestari) which is a more refined search. It is useful to favourite this site. 

Tips: #1. After getting your search results when you make a search (using "Cari", not "Carian Bestari"), try clicking on the links at the side as shown below. They will open up more detailed information about the word you searched for. I especially like the link called "Khidmat Nasihat" as it opens up questions and answers pertaining to your searched keywords. Very useful as you may find answers to your own queries listed in there.

Tips: #2. To use this site as an online Malay dictionary, click on the tab named "Gerbang Kata" to go to the ekamus dbp to find the meaning of words in Malay. The meaning of the words are very detailed as taken from the Kamus Dewan Edisi Keempat at the time of writing this post.

I am not very sure what is the difference when you do a search on the main page or when you use search on the Gerbang Kata tab, so I did a search for the word "makan" and here are the results so you can see for yourself. Meaning of the word "makan" as listed on the main search page as compared with the meaning as listed on the Gerbang Kata search results page. Both are equally detailed with examples of simpulan bahasa, peribahasa and puisi with the words "makan" in them. 

2. My Kamus is a free online dictionary that provides free online translation service from Malay to English or English to Malay. Useful to have for learners of Malay as a second language.

3. Malay Oxford Living Dictionaries which is still in Beta. I could not find some of the words I was searching for. Perhaps it is due to the fact that it is still in Beta plus it is a "living" dictionary which is updated regularly by contributors (rather like wikipedia) so it is still being developed. They have a Facebook page which is updated with interesting snippets or words from the Malay language. Useful for Malay learners generally or for looking up newer words or internet jargon words for which there is a section on. For example, Did you know that the word "selfie" is called "swafoto" in Malay? Two way translation Malay-English-Malay is available. 

4. Malay Cube helps you easily translate Malay numbers to English. It also translates words from Malay to English and from English to Malay. According to the site, the number of words available for search in this dictionary has already reached 500,000 and is still growing.

5. Lexilogos Malay Dictionary is another alternative for searching for the meaning of Malay words or for translations. It allows you to pick the dictionaries eg Cambridge, Glosbe or search engines eg Google, Bing, or get results from Wikipedia or Google Search easily from the same page. It also has suggested links to more dictionaries. 

These 5 online Malay dictionaries or translators is very useful indeed to any student both primary and secondary and to parents helping their kids with homework. Remember to bookmark this page for your easy reference. 

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

The Importance of Penmanship in SJKC

Guest Post: This post was written by Joanne Lee, a mother of two and an avid member of our Facebook group, The Malaysia Primary School Parents on Facebook. Come join us for more modern-day parenting discussions.

Parents who have their first child attend Primary 1 will undergo some sort of culture shock. It could be how difficult the latest syllabus is, the frequent loss of stationery, bringing home classmate’s homework, etc. Discovering these little “surprises” is part and parcel of parenting life.

This post will touch on another such surprise: how important penmanship is in SJKC schools.

If you have not come across a penmanship horror story, count yourself lucky. Many parents find themselves shocked by the fact that teachers deduct marks for how a student writes their ABC’s in exams!

In this image, you will see mark deductions of the upper case W’s on the left and 1 instance of the lower case y on the far right. Each mistake costs 1 mark.

The straight y is considered uppercase Y in the syllabus. Regardless of what font you use on your gadgets, only the y with a g-hook is considered as lowercase ‘y’.

Some schools even took the extra step to whiteout the y’s in their computer-typed exam papers and replace each y by hand. Here’s the same image you saw at the beginning of this article, enhanced, and with the y’s circled out for you.

As for the W, the middle stroke has to be of the same height as the left and right sides. They also cannot be curved.

The same rules apply to uppercase M’s. The middle stroke must touch the ground, so to speak and only the lowercase m can have curves (i.e. it shouldn’t look like McDonald’s ‘M’).

When writing your a’s, o’s and g’s, close up the curves and make sure the stem for lowercase a is obvious.

The hook for g should also be apparent.

Dot your i’s and j’s clearly and don’t replace dots with dashes.

Some schools require the lowercase k to be written a certain way (see the third k). Others just want your child to focus on the height of the k to indicate whether it is a big K or small k.

You will need to check with your child’s class teacher on any other handwriting quirks your child will need to pay attention to e.g. writing the n, r and v clearly. The emphasis will be different in different schools.

But why? And is this really necessary?

The focus on this penmanship is not brought about by overzealous teachers who have unusual or high expectations of 7 year olds. It is in fact a direct order from the Ministry of Education and PPD for teachers to stress on penmanship among lower primary students.

During exams, teachers are required to deduct 1 mark per each wrongly written letter. This is independently confirmed by multiple SJKC teachers from a few states.

In fact, one teacher from Klang told me that by the end of Primary 1, the students are expected to already know how to properly write the letters. Penmanship penalties are thus harsher with older students. In this teacher’s school, the student will lose the allocated mark for the question if any of their letters are not up to par (if it is 3 marks, and you write the ‘y’ wrongly in the answer, you lose the full 3 marks).

Note that not all schools are this strict. Some SJKC schools group penmanship together with punctuation marks, or put a cap on how many marks can be deducted for each wrongly written letter, per section.

There also seems to be more emphasis on penmanship in English compared to BM. Again, this differs from school to school (I suggest you speak to your child’s class teacher if you have concerns on what to help your child focus on).

All teachers are expected to stress on the importance of penmanship during regular lessons (you may want to ask your little one to confirm this.) This may be part of the reason why your child spends quite a bit of time finishing up their homework.

Why all this new fuss about penmanship?

This isn’t new. It has been going for at least 6-7 years, around the time the KSSR syllabus change took effect. The aim is for all students to have neat and legible penmanship.

Teachers who mark UPSR papers lauded this effort because, understandably, marking papers with poor handwriting can drive an examiner up the wall. All the work to prevent this from happening in the future starts from Primary 1.

Some of the teachers I spoke to brought up stories of their colleagues who teach lower primary receiving complaints from parents because of this over-emphasis of handwriting particularly during school exams.

This puts teachers in a tough spot because they have received orders and guidelines to implement this focus on penmanship. More often than not, parents were not clued in on the matter and naturally complained because they feel blindsided by this. Having early awareness on this matter can help prevent incidents like this from happening.

So what can I do as a parent?

(1) Work together with your teachers to work on your child’s penmanship, from before Primary 1 itself. It is for their own good, years down the road.

(2) Regularly remind your child to pay attention to the strokes, curves, bends and staying inside lines. Some children require more guidance and practice than others. Teachers do not have enough time to devote to helping each and every student, which is where parents can chime in. You may even find your little one resisting writing practices because how do you expect a 7 year old to sit still for long, right? Hang in there.

(3) Some teachers may be more strict than others, to the point of scolding a student when they repeatedly make the same mistake in their handwriting. Stay positive, encourage and help your child to perfect their handwriting. Children are far more resilient than we think.

(4) Don’t be hard on teachers. They are after all, operating on instructions by their higher ups. It is better if you work together with your children’s teachers as a team, rather than against them. After all, we’re on the same team -- we all want what is best for the next generation.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Tugasan Geografi PT3 2017 (Geography Assignment for PT3 2017)

It's back to school after the Hari Raya Holidays today and back to work for the Form 3 students who are sitting for PT3 this year, 2017. Today, the Form 3 students received their Geography Assignment for PT3 2017 (Tugasan Geografi or Kerja Kursus Geografi PT3). 

The "Tugasan" (Assignment) is as shown above and translated below. The rest of the post is written in both languages English and Bahasa Malaysia.

This year for the geography project, the PT3 students are required to sketch out a topograpic map of either their residential or school location. According to wikipedia, a topograpic map is "a type of map characterized by large-scale detail and quantitative representation of relief, usually using contour lines, but historically using a variety of methods. Traditional definitions require a topographic map to show both natural and man-made features."

The topographic map for this assignment is to include physical or natural characteristics as well as man-made features. 

In addition to sketching out the maps, students are required to interpret it by shading and describing areas that have potential for development, the obstacles for development and come up with proposals and efforts that may be required to overcome those obstacles.

Finally students are required to present the results of their report.

Below is a screenshot of the KL Topograpic map taken from google search just to give you an idea of how a topographic map should look like. The map below shows physical features but not man made ones.

Below are some sites that have sample answers or tips for the Geografi Assignment for PT3 2017. (It will be updated as more sites put up their samples so favourite this page for your easy reference)

Geography is 100 percent project based. There is no paper to sit for in PT3, only completion of this assignment within the given time frame is required. The assignment was given out today (3rd July 2017). Expected date of completion is 31st July 2017.

Lorna Whiston TTDI Open Day July 2017

Hi parents,

Lorna Whiston Taman Tun Dr Ismail is having its Open Day on Saturday 22nd, July 2017. The Open Day will be a good opportunity for parents to discover more about the courses that Lorna Whiston offers for your kids.  This includes all English Language courses, Speech and Drama Classes and Public Speaking Programmes

You can tour the premises together with your kids and visualize the learning environment. During an Open Day you can get a good feel of the environment, the premises and the staff. Not only that, usually you will get extra discounts and offers if you sign up on Open Day.

Open Day Offers

Here are some of the extra bonuses that await you at the Lorna Whiston TTDI July 2017 Open Day
  • Voucher for Parent Workshop worth RM75 plus goodie bag
  • Lucky Dip for discount valued up to RM100 off first term's fees
  • Refer a friend to enrol for Language programmes and walk away with a pair of RM10 gift voucher from MBO Cinemas
  • Special Discount and Activities from Dr Seuss and Usborne children's Books
Make sure you have a good look around the centre and speak to the teachers and management to find out more about their English only environment and teaching methodology, syllabus and books. Don't be shy to ask questions and explore. That is what an Open Day is for, to get as much information as possible.

Find out about the courses and get expert opinion on what course suits your child best. This is your chance to get up close and personal to the centre and its educators so make the most of it by being prepared and asking the right questions. Are the teachers friendly and qualified? Is the centre clean and secure? Will your child enjoy being at the centre? Visiting a centre is the best way of getting to know it. Lastly, don't forget to enjoy yourselves. Usborne Books is  holding a book fair with special discounts and activities for your kids during the Open Day. See you there!

The Lorna Whiston TTDI Open Day is on Saturday 22nd July, 2017 from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm. Call 03-7727 1909 to book a tour for you and your child.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Computational Thinking And Adaptive Learning System

What is Computational Thinking (CT) and Why Kids Should Be Trained To Practice It

Computational thinking is a problem solving process that begins with logical ordering of the problem at hand, followed by analyzing the data available leading to creative solutions or results by using a series of ordered steps. (In computer applications, this series of ordered steps is called algorithms). Computational Thinking or CT is required for the development of computer applications, naturally but not only that, CT can be used in problem solving for math, science as well as the humanities. 

In the 21st Century, Computational Thinking is as important as reading, writing and mathematics.

In short, CT involves step by step problem solving and designing solutions through the understanding of human behaviour. Students who learn CT are often better able to see a correlation between the different subjects they are studying or a relationship between school and life outside the classroom. The ability to relate school to life in general by using Computational Thinking is what makes CT an interesting and useful skill that all kids should have. 

There is a need to adapt the language of education to this way of thinking and our classrooms are slowly heading towards that direction however at the moment the best way to practice Computational Thinking is by attending classes on Computer Science, Computer Programming and Coding organized by experts in the industry.

Another intriguing way of learning that some of these Computer Programming classes offer is student-centric learning through Adaptive Learning Systems.

Some of these centres offer a student centered personalized learning environment where a student learns at his own pace using artificial intelligence technology while at the same time interacting with other students in controlled learning team collaborations. Adaptive learning environments gives a child a more controlled studying environment and therefore more confidence when learning objectives are achieved. Parents are able to support learning at home by checking in through their children's progress and homework online in the comfort of home.

Find out more about a comprehensive computational thinking and programming curriculum using adaptive learning systems for a personalized computer science education. Call KidoCode @ Solaris Mont Kiara at +603 6411 0968 or attend one of their free 4 hour demo sessions today. 

Below are the latest dates for the free demo sessions. Click here to sign up.

June 6 – June 11
June 13 – June 18
June 20 – June 25
June 27 – July 2

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What Parents Need To Know About DLP

Today we signed a letter of declaration and acknowledgement to allow our boy to join the DLP (Dual Language Programme) to learn Maths, Science and Information Technology in English in school. We also acknowledged that the programme will continue its run up to Form 5 or Form 6 and we agree to remain committed towards the DLP programme throughout its entire duration.

The fact that we have to sign this letter shows that parents consent is required for the programme. Not only must parents give consent in writing to the school, the school must meet certain criteria eg. the HM and teachers must be willing to implement, the school must have competent teachers and adequate resources and the Bahasa Malaysia standard of that school must be higher or equal to the national average.

Many parents are excited and eager to join a "DLP school" but just what exactly is a DLP school?

We still have many parents asking "What is DLP?"

Parents should note that a "DLP school" may not mean that ALL classes conduct Maths, Science and IT in English in the approved school. They may have some classes where the subjects are taught in English and other classes teaching in Bahasa Malaysia or other languages. That is what the "Dual" in Dual Languages Programme mean ie that these subjects are taught in TWO languages and parents have an option to choose. 

Although DLP is fully taught in our kids school, they continue to receive the Math and Science books in BM for safekeeping....

We do not have statistics but judging from the discussion going on in our FB group, we do know that many parents are keen and are moving towards registering their kids in schools participating in the DLP programme. You can check our old post for the list of schools participating in the pilot programme and the list for the second cohort. By next year, 2018 the programme will be in its third year and it will be available to students from Std 1 up to Form 3.

An important thing to note is there are no SJKC in the list because SJKC is against the DLP Programme
This means that if you are in SJKC, you will not have the chance to participate in the DLP programme. Perhaps you can move on to join a SMK (Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan) that participates in the DLP programme? However, as some parents in the group pointed out, perhaps the original SK students who graduate from primary school or SK doing DLP may have a better chance to get into the DLP classes of the feeder secondary school. That is one possible scenario you need to think about and it makes sense too.

All is not lost for those from SJKC. 76 SMJK received the green light to run the DLP in 2017. You can read more about SMJK in our old post here: Information on SMJK in Malaysia.

On the other hand, though there were some Tamil NGOs which said No to the DLP programme initially, there are about 47 SJKT in the 2017 list. However there were calls to revoke the approved Tamil schools while the Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan maintains that the Dual Language Programme (DLP) is not being forced upon any student or school. There are no secondary Tamil schools. 

To sum it up...

In short if you are in SK running dual programme, you can continue to a SMK running the dual programme.

If you are in SJKC that does not run the DLP, you can continue to SMK running the DLP (but there is a chance you will be given lower priority compared to students who had been under the programme all along from SK.) However, you can join the SMJK which runs the DLP.

If you are in SJKT, you can consider a SMK running the DLP (but there is a chance you will be given lower priority compared to students who had been under the programme all along from SK.)  There are no Tamil secondary schools in Malaysia.

Parents should understand what DLP is about and do proper planning if that is the path they wish to choose for their kids. Personally, my older one did Math and Science in English AND Chinese for a couple of years and later on in Chinese alone dropping English up to UPSR while the second did Math and Science fully in Chinese. They are now doing Math and Science in English in a school running DLP and they have no problems switching from Chinese to English. I suppose it helped that we have always taught them Math and Science concepts in English at home even though the language they used in school was Chinese.

The views expressed in this post are the author's own personal view and may not necessarily reflect or represent any school or authority.

After UPSR in SJKC

We often find posts about UPSR preparation but no one shares what happens after UPSR. Today, I'm going to share what happens after UPSR to provide some cheer to the hardworking kids and parents preparing for UPSR 2017.

Typically, UPSR takes place in early September. It used to be over in just 3 days, now it is 4-5 days, an extra day for SJKC and SJKT students. Imagine all that studying and preparation over in a couple of days. Parents have to make sure kids are well enough and don't fall sick during that period. That itself is a form of stress.

In many SJKC, UPSR preparation starts in Year 4. That's when you have extra after school compulsory tuition (which you can choose to opt out of). There will be lots of practice doing UPSR exam papers in workbooks that have titles like "pra-UPSR", "Score A" (it used to be Score 7As, now its Score 8As). Preparation heats up in Year 6 when there will be motivational talks by the school with parents in attendance. Later on, there will be seminars and motivational camps in school just for the kids. By year 6, it may be harder to opt out of the compulsory extra school tuition after school hours including Saturdays. 

Then BOOM! the UPSR is over in a little over a week. After that kids continue to attend school till around end of November when they break for the year-end. So what do these kids do from second week of September till the last week of November? That's about 2 1/2 months. Do they go to school to play or ponteng classes?

This is what my kid did after UPSR.
  1. Take part in sports competition. The school organized inter-class competition for games and sports like badminton, football and basketball. Anyone can register and compete for fun.
  2. Take part in concert/competition. The kids were encouraged to take part in concert/competition by performing musical instruments, singing or dancing and acting. 
  3. Prepare for school graduation concert. They kids practiced for their graduation concert. Everyone has a role to play including singing in a choir made out of the whole P6 students.
  4. Take part in drawing or art competition.
  5. Organized a school fun fair. The kids got together in teams to run games/competition stalls or sold stuff. They were to treat it like a business so a lot of planning is involved including calculating how much money they have to come up with for prizes and gifts and the returns from what they will charge for games at their stall. They had to go from class to class to present and garner interest and participation in their stalls. The kids love this and many start planning what stall or games they want to run even from the start of the year. They have to take care of their stall on fun fair day and after that they calculated to see which team made the most money. This is done to encourage enterprise skills. 
  6. The kids went on organized school trips with their other P6 school mates.
  7. Of course, they also "lepak" in class when teacher was busy or not looking by having someone guarding the door while they played music videos when teacher was away (in other words, they had fun just like any school going kids)
  8. Oh and there are still tests for other subjects like RBT (Rekabentuk dan teknologi), TMK (Teknologi Maklumat dan Komunikasi) and other subjects that were not tested during UPSR.
  9. They also started studying some Form 1 work 
They had so much fun! That made up for all that time when they could not attend their PE or gym or art classes because they had to study. Many parents complain about the fact that gym classes are replaced by academic lessons but many fail to mention this part. In short, after UPSR, they did and learned everything they could not earlier during the year, sports, finer arts like drawing, music, singing, dancing, speech and drama, enterprise sklls, presentation skills, performing and just having fun plus they did not forget their studies.

Yes, SJKC is very much focused on academics. Yes, the kids work really hard for UPSR but then hey, they also play very hard afterwards.

So to all parents with kids sitting for UPSR this year, ie 2017. Encourage your kids to work hard now and ask them to hang on there for just a few months more. After that they can do and learn all the things that they miss out on. They will make up for it. Oh yes and pray there are no leaks in the papers. My other kid was unfortunate to have this special time cut short by a whole month due to paper leaks a couple of years ago.

Good luck!  All the best for UPSR 2017 students.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Hari Raya Aidilfitri School Holidays 2017

The Ministry of Education Malaysia just announced an extra holiday on 23 June, 2017 for Category B Schools in Malaysia. Category B Schools are schools which observe Sat and Sun as weekend ie schools in Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Labuan & Putrajaya.

This extra holiday is to be replaced on Saturday, 17 June, 2017.  See images below. Source of image is
Surat Siaran Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia Bilangan 7 Tahun 2017 Cuti Berganti Sempena Hari Raya Aidilfitri Tahun 2017

Meanwhile, below is the Cuti Perayaan or Festive Holiday as set by the Ministry of Education earlier. Image sourced from Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia website under the heading Surat Siaran Takwim Penggal Dan Cuti Persekolahan Tahun 2017

Hari Raya Aidil Fitri School Holidays 2017 for schools in category A and B

Category A Schools Hari Raya Aididl Fitri School Holidays 2017
- schools in Negeri Kedah, Johor, Kelantan and Terengganu will be off from 23 June 2017 till 1 July 2017 ie 9 days in total

Fri 23 -  Sat 24 June Weekend (2 days)
Sun 25 - Mon 26 June Hari Raya (2 days)
Tue 27 - Thur 29 June School Holidays (3 days)
Fri 30 Jun - Sat 1 Jul Weekend (2 days)
Total = 9 days

Category B Schools Hari Raya Aididl Fitri School Holidays 2017
- schools in Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Labuan & Putrajaya. will be off from 23 June 2017 till 2 June 2017 ie 10 days in total minus 1 replacement school day on 17 June 2017 = 9 days in total.

Sat 17 June Replacement School day (-1day)
Fri 23 June Extra Hari Raya Holiday (1 day)
Sat 24 June Weekend (1 day) *as weekend overlaps with Hari Raya
Sun 25 - Mon 26 June Hari Raya (2 days)
Tue 27 - Fri 30 June School Holidays (4 days)
Sat 1 - Sun 2 Jul Weekend (2 days)
Total = 10 days - 1 day = 9 days

In short, schools in Category A will be off for a 9 day stretch from 23 June till 1 Jul 2017 while schools in Category B will be off for a 10 day stretch from 23 June till 2 July 2017 with the need to replace one day of schooling on 17 June 2017. 

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Parent Workshop: Tips & Strategies For Getting Your Child To Speak Up

One of the most important life skills a child should have is the ability to speak clearly and confidently. Speaking up confidently and with clarity not only helps our children do well in school, it will help them succeed at work in later life.

Parents who want to  nurture their children's speaking skills should arm themselves with strategies to get their kids to speak up confidently.

The ability to express themselves well will help your child at school or at home
  • while having conversations with their peers and teachers
  • during class presentations or annual concerts and performances or school assemblies 
  • during school plays, dramas or story telling competitions
  • during social situations like birthday parties or family gatherings
This June, Lorna Whiston is having a workshop for parents who wish to help their children express themselves better.

Tips & Strategies for Getting Your Child to Speak Up! is for parents with kids of all ages. Whether your child is a shy child, a child who mumbles during speech, a child who is not comfortable in speaking up in social situations or during group presentations in class, or perhaps you would like to get some extra tips to help you turn your child into a confident and self assured public speaker, this workshop is for you. It will help you find out how to help your child improve on their daily communication skills and speak up with confidence.

The course will be conducted by Ms Jill Coombs. Jill holds a Master's Degree in Theatre Arts and a PGCE in English and Drama from London University. She has 30 years experience working in communication through education and theatre arts. Her experience in theatre arts include working with various international touring theatre companies and acting for stage and television. She has taught children of all ages from pre-school to universities in England, the USA, Spain, Japan and Malaysia.

Course Details:

Title:  Parent Workshop on Tips & Strategies For Getting Your Child To Speak Up
Date: 20th June 2017 (Tuesday)
Time: 9.30 am - 11 am
Fee: RM 50 for Lorna Whiston parents/Parents of our FB groups
        RM 75 for public
*Fees will be subject to 6% GST Contact: Call 03-7727 1909 or email

Parents of our FB groups, please go to this thread to register.
(RM53 for Parents of our FB groups). Plus, receive a Free Trial for Speech and Drama or Public Speaking,

Friday, May 26, 2017

MIT & Google Programming Classes for Kids & Teens

It is very interesting to watch the discussion on our Facebook group. We go back and forth from term tests to school holidays and back to tests. It is a fact that many parents build their schedules around their kids’ schooling agenda.

Right now, it is that time of the year again for mid term school holidays which is just around the corner.

The Malaysian public school holidays fall on 26 May to 10 June for Kedah, Johor, Kelantan, and Terengganu and 27 May to 11 June 2017 for all other states in Malaysia. A total of 16 days in all. What will you do with the kids during the 16 days?!

Parents mark your calendar and make your plans. One good way is to send kids off to get some extra exposure and to pick up new skills in a totally different environment from what they experience in school. Check out the upcoming coding classes and trial classes offered by KidoCode. KidoCode specializes in computational thinking and coding courses for kids and teens mainly focusing on Code & Math, Electronics, Mobile App Development, and Web Development. 

Let your children learn through adaptive learning system that allows them to learn according to their level of knowledge and understanding. You can start the classes at KidoCode anytime especially this school holidays as they have flexi scheduling. You can come anytime, any day! They are open from Monday-Sunday, from 10am – 10pm, even Public Holidays! You don’t even need to inform them that you are coming! How convenient is that? 

Free Trial Classes are available from Tuesday – Sunday and you can schedule your appointment on the following dates or on the link to sign up for a free trial class.

May 26 – May 28
May 30 – June 4
June 6 – June 11
June 13 – June 18
June 20 – June 25
June 27 – July 2

KidoCode is located at Solaris Mont Kiara. For inquiries, you can reach them at +603 6411 0968 or at

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Aku Negaraku New Patriotic Song To Be Sung During School Assemblies

With effect from 22 May 2017, the "Aku Negaraku" song will be played at all public school assemblies in the following order.

  1. Negaraku
  2. State Anthem
  3. School Song
  4. Aku Negaraku

The song was officially launched at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Damansara Utama on 22 May 2017.

You can download the full Aku Negaraku song from the Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia website in several versions including the instrumental version.

Other places to download include Spotify or Smule for those who love to sing along. Just search for "Aku Negaraku Hafiz Suip Jaclyn Victor"

Students from SMK Bandar Utama waving the flag as the song is played during the launching ceremony - Photo Credit KPM Facebook

Watch the YouTube video on the launching of the Aku Negaraku song below:

Aku Negaraku is composed by Andi Mok and its lyrics are by Shazee Ishak and Ad Samad

Aku Negaraku Song Lyrics Below:

Aku Negaraku

Ku sedar tanah air aku bertuah
Di sini tempatku berjasa
Ku sedar sempurna hidupku di sini
Malaysia ku terhutang budi

Aku Negaraku
Aku Negaraku
Sememangnya Negaraku maju
Negaraku tanah tumpah darahku

Aku Negaraku
Di hatiku negaraku
Selamanya aku negaraku
Negaraku tanah tumpah darahku

Kita bersama membina masa depan
Semangat setinggi angkasa
Kita bersama bersyukur pada Tuhan
KepadaNYA kita berserah

Repeat (Chorus)

Ku laungkan namamu ke seluruh dunia
Malaysia aku bahagia

Repeat (Chorus)

Aku Negaraku

You can singalong to the Aku Negara song with lyrics included in the following 46th National Teacher's Day celebration video.

Mandarin Speech And Drama Class For 4 to 8 Year Olds

Is your child struggling in learning Mandarin. Does she get bored with rote learning? Does he have trouble conversing in Chinese Mandarin and mispronounces his words? Does he have trouble stringing up a sentence in Mandarin?

If so, why not try out a new unconventional way of learning Chinese Mandarin that is both fun and engaging for kids from 4 to 8. Check out the following weekend Mandarin Speech and Drama course for children.

Course Details:
Course: Mandarin Speech & Drama 
Time: Saturdays 4-5.30 pm 
For Whom: Kids from age 4 to 8 especially those from non-Chinese speaking environment at home
Venue: Thumbs Ink Sdn Bhd
Lot 100-1. 013, Level 1, The School, Jaya One,
No. 72A, Jalan Universiti, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel : 03 - 7496 9053 H/p: 016-6646521
Free Trial on 17th June 2017 then 1st lesson starts 1st July.
Sign up Form for free trial class.

Note that this is not a short term holiday course or programme. It is a long term weekend speech and drama class conducted in Mandarin. Pronunciation and sentences are focused upon and given emphasis in this class. It is specially designed for kids who do not have the language environment at home, to give them the opportunity to speak up and converse with other kids. 

Kids will learn a different drama script per term. They will learn proper and accurate mandarin pronunciation, correct sentence forms as well as expression and movement through speech and drama. In addition they will have fun learning to make props and creating the backdrop for the drama they will produce and take part in each term. As the speech & drama programme is conducted with a new script per term, kids are encouraged to join the programme from the first lesson. The new intake starts on 1st July 2017.

Try out a class today. Free trial class for term starting July is scheduled on 17th June 2017. The link to the signup form for the free trial class can be found under the course details as shown above.

Monday, May 22, 2017

PT3 And UPSR 2017 Bahasa Malaysia Workshops

PT3 2017 Dates = 9-11 October 2017
UPSR 2017 Dates = 11-14 and 18 September 2017

The above are the dates set by the Ministry of Education Malaysia for the UPSR and PT3 examinations this year. Now, is not too late to brush up your child's Bahasa Malaysia if they are weak in this subject.

BM World which offers the first specialized Bahasa Malaysia programmes in Malaysia is conducting 
PT3 and UPSR workshops to students who will be sitting for the UPSR Bahasa Malaysia paper and PT3 2017 this year. This workshop will help students to prepare themselves to face the final exam and also learn the techniques and ways to score in the Bahasa Malaysia paper.

Exam tips, tricks and techniques are very useful skills to learn and workshops like these often focus on these areas which students sometimes lack.

Below are details of the programme. Call the BM World nearest to you to find out more. 


Date : 10-11 June 2017 (UPSR)
           1-2 July 2017 (PT3)

Time : 9 am-5 pm

Venue : Hall Excel Edu International Sdn Bhd
             No 20, Jalan Usj Sentral 3, Persiaran 1,
             46000 Subang Jaya, Selangor.

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