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Primary 1 registration exercises - game changer

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Re: Primary 1 registration exercises - game changer

Post by NYY1 » Fri, 29 Jul 2022 6:04 am

Lisafuller wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 5:25 am
I have to disagree, kids in local schools for the most part have completely lost their love of learning because they have been trained to only chase grades. My daughter graduated from Raffles Institution last year after spending her entire life in raffles family schools. The kids there were miserable, incredibly intelligent, but miserable.
malcontent wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 12:04 am
Fortunately my daughter excels in STEM and has had near perfect results, so she is content… but has no life, no passions, just studies 24/7.
Unfortunate and I can't refute if it is mostly true, but it is definitely not true for all, even those in the most "famous" schools. My observation is that most kids that were placed into a secondary school that was commensurate with their innate ability love school and learning. Many I know in so called top schools (others' words, not mine), rarely have to study and can still get near perfect marks. Just do the homework and they get it. On the other end of the spectrum, there are others that entered via DSA and scored well below the COP, but they still love going to school. They know they are never going to top the class, but that's fine with them.

Ultimately, there is no doubt that the broader environment has in impact, but what is said and done at home can override any of that. Even when parents don't excessively or directly push grades or comparisons vs. peers, taking about how great any school is can influence what kids think or what they derive value from. Yes, we can be proud and excited if our kids get into School A or School B, but the minute they think anything else is of lesser value or of lesser opportunity, there is a problem.

I know many parents, even parents of kids in the most competitive schools, that go out of their way to make sure grades are not the only thing kids focus on. No system if perfect, the main thing is that you need to recognize the weaknesses of any system and make sure the student builds up other areas or avoid the pitfalls.

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Re: Primary 1 registration exercises - game changer

Post by NYY1 » Fri, 29 Jul 2022 7:26 am

One thing I think many here don't understand is how competitive the US system is. Undoubtedly, on average it is a less test driven system and there are more kids that do what they like on a day to day basis. They finish HS and go to whatever uni they can get into.

But those kids exist here too! It's largely one's own mindset and who they associate with whether they need to chase the next level/rung of schools or programmes.

What is true is that the kids there aiming for the elite US universities are largely playing the same game as the top students here. Tons of AP courses, extracurriculars, etc, etc. Some attributes the US focuses on may be better in the long run, but the race is much the same if you chose to enter.

All of the kids I know that got into Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Chicago, etc were all under a lot of pressure and stress in the teenage years until the offer letter arrived. It's just that the competition is different as near perfect marks and a high SAT score don't give you much of a chance anymore (perhaps no chance). These are a baseline/expected requirement that everyone has.

So in the end it's not the system but how we decide to play the game and what we value.

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Re: Primary 1 registration exercises - game changer

Post by malcontent » Fri, 29 Jul 2022 9:52 am

In SAS a small minority of kids always get top results and really strive for it, but there is no broad peer pressure. Up to 8th grade there are no grades, only ratings like: did not meet, approaching, met, exceeded. Most kids at SAS are content as long as they get met, and even those who don’t get met the first time will get the opportunity to re-do the work and get met, and the vast majority do. There is no stigma around this.

I don’t know any kids at top local schools are able to avoid the extreme workload, even if they are gifted, it’s still a lot of work and my daughter is often having conference calls with them into the wee hours. Maybe those special few who don’t need to study exist, but it’s few (if any) from what I’ve seen at my daughter’s school. Maybe because she is also in the top class at a top school? I can tell you that we don’t push her at all - in fact we tell her grades aren’t everything and encourage her to relax… but it doesn’t help… it is all about the system she is in — the peer pressure.
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

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Re: Primary 1 registration exercises - game changer

Post by malcontent » Fri, 29 Jul 2022 10:50 am

NYY1 wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 7:26 am
One thing I think many here don't understand is how competitive the US system is. Undoubtedly, on average it is a less test driven system and there are more kids that do what they like on a day to day basis. They finish HS and go to whatever uni they can get into.

But those kids exist here too! It's largely one's own mindset and who they associate with whether they need to chase the next level/rung of schools or programmes.

What is true is that the kids there aiming for the elite US universities are largely playing the same game as the top students here. Tons of AP courses, extracurriculars, etc, etc. Some attributes the US focuses on may be better in the long run, but the race is much the same if you chose to enter.

All of the kids I know that got into Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Chicago, etc were all under a lot of pressure and stress in the teenage years until the offer letter arrived. It's just that the competition is different as near perfect marks and a high SAT score don't give you much of a chance anymore (perhaps no chance). These are a baseline/expected requirement that everyone has.

So in the end it's not the system but how we decide to play the game and what we value.
Yes, the US education system is cut throat competitive at the tippy top… but that’s not what most people are striving for in the US, so I don’t know what you mean by baseline/expected requirement that everyone has. Who is everyone?
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

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Re: Primary 1 registration exercises - game changer

Post by NYY1 » Fri, 29 Jul 2022 11:55 am

malcontent wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 10:50 am
NYY1 wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 7:26 am
One thing I think many here don't understand is how competitive the US system is. Undoubtedly, on average it is a less test driven system and there are more kids that do what they like on a day to day basis. They finish HS and go to whatever uni they can get into.

But those kids exist here too! It's largely one's own mindset and who they associate with whether they need to chase the next level/rung of schools or programmes.

What is true is that the kids there aiming for the elite US universities are largely playing the same game as the top students here. Tons of AP courses, extracurriculars, etc, etc. Some attributes the US focuses on may be better in the long run, but the race is much the same if you chose to enter.

All of the kids I know that got into Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Chicago, etc were all under a lot of pressure and stress in the teenage years until the offer letter arrived. It's just that the competition is different as near perfect marks and a high SAT score don't give you much of a chance anymore (perhaps no chance). These are a baseline/expected requirement that everyone has.

So in the end it's not the system but how we decide to play the game and what we value.
Yes, the US education system is cut throat competitive at the tippy top… but that’s not what most people are striving for in the US, so I don’t know what you mean by baseline/expected requirement that everyone has. Who is everyone?
The point is your kid seems to care a lot about what schools she's in, what class she's in (ie top), etc. With this mindset, she will feel the same anywhere (trying for ivy, ivy+, UC etc).

Options? Accept not being in the top class. Go to a less demanding school. There are plenty of kids here that are not at the top and don't feel pressure. There are also kids in the top schools that aren't worried about their ranking vs peers and they don't feel pressure (and have time for other interests).

Students in both places can have the same mentality. It can either be die die must go here, must be this, etc. Or, you can go to school, do your best, and be happy with it.

You can't control the environment around you but you can control what you think.

Edit: "Everyone" is the kids applying to Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Chicago, etc. Near perfect grades and high SAT scores are a commodity for this group.
Last edited by NYY1 on Fri, 29 Jul 2022 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Primary 1 registration exercises - game changer

Post by NYY1 » Fri, 29 Jul 2022 12:30 pm

malcontent wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 9:52 am
I don’t know any kids at top local schools are able to avoid the extreme workload, even if they are gifted, it’s still a lot of work and my daughter is often having conference calls with them into the wee hours. Maybe those special few who don’t need to study exist, but it’s few (if any) from what I’ve seen at my daughter’s school. Maybe because she is also in the top class at a top school? I can tell you that we don’t push her at all - in fact we tell her grades aren’t everything and encourage her to relax… but it doesn’t help… it is all about the system she is in — the peer pressure.
There are kids that qualified for so called top schools by scoring 260+ (old PSLE system) with no tuition. There are also kids that get there by taking multiple tuitions, sometimes even all four classes. Similarly, there are kids that maintain high ranking GPAs/MSGs in secondary school by revising forever. And there are kids that rank there by doing all the work (which takes time) but not much else.

And there are kids that know it's OK not to get an A or A1 in a subject or two. Or kids that qualified for any school but elected to go elsewhere.

All of this plays into how stressful or how enjoyable secondary and JC life is.

I understand why there is a race. There's only so many spots in local medicine/law/computer science and prestigious overseas universities, etc.

But in the end it's whether the individual allows themselves to be all consumed by the process or not.

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Re: Primary 1 registration exercises - game changer

Post by malcontent » Fri, 29 Jul 2022 4:25 pm

Yes, my daughter is consumed by it… despite our telling her not to be. It’s what she cares about, it’s what she wants. But the real question is, would she care and want it so much if she was attending SAS?

To this, I have to say no. Different atmosphere, expectations, outlook, peer group and focus… the pressure just isn’t there. My daughter is motivated by competition, and there just isn’t nearly as much at SAS. That is just a fact. Would she be as academically strong as she is today? Certainly not. Would she be less stressed and more well rounded than today? She certainly would.
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

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Re: Primary 1 registration exercises - game changer

Post by NYY1 » Fri, 29 Jul 2022 6:51 pm

malcontent wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 4:25 pm
Yes, my daughter is consumed by it… despite our telling her not to be. It’s what she cares about, it’s what she wants. But the real question is, would she care and want it so much if she was attending SAS?

To this, I have to say no. Different atmosphere, expectations, outlook, peer group and focus… the pressure just isn’t there. My daughter is motivated by competition, and there just isn’t nearly as much at SAS. That is just a fact. Would she be as academically strong as she is today? Certainly not. Would she be less stressed and more well rounded than today? She certainly would.
Regardless, I'm sure she'll do well in the long-run. I guess there's 1.5 more years to go, so just try to enjoy what's left. Personally, I believe these highly sorted cohorts (elsewhere in Asia besides Singapore) can be very powerful, but the kids need to learn how to manage themselves. Uni is really an extension of the same; all high achievers competing for certain jobs, so hopefully take this time to understand how to get the most out of oneself within reason and remain happy/find joy in other things besides the papers.

Regards...

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Re: Primary 1 registration exercises - game changer

Post by malcontent » Fri, 29 Jul 2022 9:00 pm

NYY1 wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 6:51 pm
malcontent wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 4:25 pm
Yes, my daughter is consumed by it… despite our telling her not to be. It’s what she cares about, it’s what she wants. But the real question is, would she care and want it so much if she was attending SAS?

To this, I have to say no. Different atmosphere, expectations, outlook, peer group and focus… the pressure just isn’t there. My daughter is motivated by competition, and there just isn’t nearly as much at SAS. That is just a fact. Would she be as academically strong as she is today? Certainly not. Would she be less stressed and more well rounded than today? She certainly would.
Regardless, I'm sure she'll do well in the long-run. I guess there's 1.5 more years to go, so just try to enjoy what's left. Personally, I believe these highly sorted cohorts (elsewhere in Asia besides Singapore) can be very powerful, but the kids need to learn how to manage themselves. Uni is really an extension of the same; all high achievers competing for certain jobs, so hopefully take this time to understand how to get the most out of oneself within reason and remain happy/find joy in other things besides the papers.

Regards...
We are trying to get her to enjoy it, but alas, she is studying as I type this, and will be doing so until I go to bed. This will repeat again tomorrow and the next day… and repeat again next week. She has learned how to manage herself and her time, but is that enough?

I certainly haven’t seen high achieving graduates from top universities getting all of the top positions in companies. Not sure where that idea comes from, but it certainly would be a wrong expectation on their part. While it might get their foot in the door, but their career progression depends much more on soft skills than academics. I’ve seen this play out countless times at my employer. Being smart just isn’t enough, in fact, it can get in the way. The one thing I have seen time and time again, the cream always rises to the top, no matter what the alma mater.
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

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Re: Primary 1 registration exercises - game changer

Post by NYY1 » Fri, 29 Jul 2022 9:13 pm

malcontent wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 9:00 pm
I certainly haven’t seen high achieving graduates from top universities getting all of the top positions in companies. Not sure where that idea comes from, but it certainly would be a wrong expectation on their part. While it might get their foot in the door, but their career progression depends much more on soft skills than academics. I’ve seen this play out countless times at my employer. Being smart just isn’t enough, in fact, it can get in the way. The one thing I have seen time and time again, the cream always rises to the top, no matter what the alma mater.
The foot in the door part is what I meant about the continued race/competition in uni for post university placement. Still, I 100% agree with what you write about progression.

The good thing is many smart kids will learn how to deal with this when they start working. They may have to learn the hard way once but it is not an uncommon issue to deal with or overcome. All that being said, I do believe there is a push to get the kids to realize this earlier and develop the non-academic skills more in school. Some parents that grew up in the highly sorted systems have realized the above and are trying to make life and the progression easier for their kids than it was for them.

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Re: Primary 1 registration exercises - game changer

Post by Lisafuller » Sat, 30 Jul 2022 4:21 am

NYY1 wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 5:43 am
malcontent wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 12:04 am
I don’t know how local students manage to get into the CCA they have an interest in. My daughter has had a horrible experience with it… no chance to do what she wanted or interested in — the number of available spots are extremely limited and reserved only for with natural talent so the school can compete… so no opportunity for her whatsoever! In secondary it was so bad, she was rejected for every single CCA she tried to get into and was forced to accept a nonsense CCA that she had no interest in. For JC it’s been a similar experience. They just don’t have enough spots for the popular CCAs.

Based on everything I’ve experienced in the local system, I can only imagine SOTA is extremely hard to get into, only the best of the best? I have no idea if it’s true, but things here are so predictable.

Fortunately my daughter excels in STEM and has had near perfect results, so she is content… but has no life, no passions, just studies 24/7.
Sorry about the CCA experience. There is no doubt that the popular ones are hard to get into. Basically, all of the UGs are overflow for kids that likely didn't get one of their choices. Personally, I don't think the UGs are that bad, and the most important thing is that the kid has a good attitude and makes the most out of whatever opportunity he/she has. If there's a complaint that all of the time could have been spent on something the kid was more interested in, then I can't refute that.

For better or worse, no matter how smart or high ranking these kids are, many won't get their university of choice (here or abroad) or their first job of choice. So need to learn how to deal with it instead of just complaining all of the time. A few kids I know did not get their choice CCA but when they look at all of the other things they got (academic programmes, leadership appointments, etc), life is not too bad (they are quite fortunate).

I'm not sure on SOTA's admission odds, although I see you posted something else.
You’re right about the UGs. In most local schools, UGs are filled with two kinds of kids, the first are the kids who unfortunately didn’t get into any of their other choices, and the second are the kids who are there simply to fulfill the CCA requirement and appreciate it for the low commitment level required. Most meet once a week for two hours while the more intense sport CCAs can have trainings every day.

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Re: Primary 1 registration exercises - game changer

Post by Lisafuller » Sat, 30 Jul 2022 4:25 am

NYY1 wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 6:04 am
Lisafuller wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 5:25 am
I have to disagree, kids in local schools for the most part have completely lost their love of learning because they have been trained to only chase grades. My daughter graduated from Raffles Institution last year after spending her entire life in raffles family schools. The kids there were miserable, incredibly intelligent, but miserable.
malcontent wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 12:04 am
Fortunately my daughter excels in STEM and has had near perfect results, so she is content… but has no life, no passions, just studies 24/7.
Unfortunate and I can't refute if it is mostly true, but it is definitely not true for all, even those in the most "famous" schools. My observation is that most kids that were placed into a secondary school that was commensurate with their innate ability love school and learning. Many I know in so called top schools (others' words, not mine), rarely have to study and can still get near perfect marks. Just do the homework and they get it. On the other end of the spectrum, there are others that entered via DSA and scored well below the COP, but they still love going to school. They know they are never going to top the class, but that's fine with them.

Ultimately, there is no doubt that the broader environment has in impact, but what is said and done at home can override any of that. Even when parents don't excessively or directly push grades or comparisons vs. peers, taking about how great any school is can influence what kids think or what they derive value from. Yes, we can be proud and excited if our kids get into School A or School B, but the minute they think anything else is of lesser value or of lesser opportunity, there is a problem.

I know many parents, even parents of kids in the most competitive schools, that go out of their way to make sure grades are not the only thing kids focus on. No system if perfect, the main thing is that you need to recognize the weaknesses of any system and make sure the student builds up other areas or avoid the pitfalls.
You seem to be very knowledgeable about schools here and I tend to agree with most of your more technical posts, but in this one sense I believe you’ve got a very different understanding from me. Most of the kids that my daughter knows go to elite schools in the country, whether or not that may be raffles. Practically all of these kids are incredibly intelligent and do very well at school, but they absolutely hate it. The stress is far too much and the intensity and rigor of their courses is simply crazy. The result is very burnt out, stressed kids who dread school and develop a very unhealthy relationship with grades. And this manifests in things like teen suicide, which you may not hear about in the media, but absolutely exists. The schools keep it very hush-hush, but the kids in the school all know about it.

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Re: Primary 1 registration exercises - game changer

Post by Lisafuller » Sat, 30 Jul 2022 4:28 am

NYY1 wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 7:26 am
One thing I think many here don't understand is how competitive the US system is. Undoubtedly, on average it is a less test driven system and there are more kids that do what they like on a day to day basis. They finish HS and go to whatever uni they can get into.

But those kids exist here too! It's largely one's own mindset and who they associate with whether they need to chase the next level/rung of schools or programmes.

What is true is that the kids there aiming for the elite US universities are largely playing the same game as the top students here. Tons of AP courses, extracurriculars, etc, etc. Some attributes the US focuses on may be better in the long run, but the race is much the same if you chose to enter.

All of the kids I know that got into Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Chicago, etc were all under a lot of pressure and stress in the teenage years until the offer letter arrived. It's just that the competition is different as near perfect marks and a high SAT score don't give you much of a chance anymore (perhaps no chance). These are a baseline/expected requirement that everyone has.

So in the end it's not the system but how we decide to play the game and what we value.
Fair enough, in any school, country or system you will see kids all over the spectrum. Some are very committed to getting good grades and participating in extracurriculars, while others could care less. I think the point here isn’t that these kids exist, but rather that the system breeds more of one kind of kid in Singapore, and that’s the first. In the US the kids who are very involved in extracurriculars are high achievers, but they also tend to have a much better work life balance, so much so that most of the time they are able to hang out with friends regularly and even take up part-time jobs outside of school. In singapore, you’ll hardly ever see any kid in secondary school holding a part-time position outside class. Their schedules simply don’t allow for it.

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Re: Primary 1 registration exercises - game changer

Post by Lisafuller » Sat, 30 Jul 2022 4:29 am

malcontent wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 9:52 am
In SAS a small minority of kids always get top results and really strive for it, but there is no broad peer pressure. Up to 8th grade there are no grades, only ratings like: did not meet, approaching, met, exceeded. Most kids at SAS are content as long as they get met, and even those who don’t get met the first time will get the opportunity to re-do the work and get met, and the vast majority do. There is no stigma around this.

I don’t know any kids at top local schools are able to avoid the extreme workload, even if they are gifted, it’s still a lot of work and my daughter is often having conference calls with them into the wee hours. Maybe those special few who don’t need to study exist, but it’s few (if any) from what I’ve seen at my daughter’s school. Maybe because she is also in the top class at a top school? I can tell you that we don’t push her at all - in fact we tell her grades aren’t everything and encourage her to relax… but it doesn’t help… it is all about the system she is in — the peer pressure.
That system sounds awesome! I do wish that more schools in Singapore I would adopt an approach that moves away from tests and grades. I’m sure this is easier said than done, but it would be nice if more kids could share this experience.

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Re: Primary 1 registration exercises - game changer

Post by Lisafuller » Sat, 30 Jul 2022 4:32 am

malcontent wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 10:50 am
NYY1 wrote:
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 7:26 am
One thing I think many here don't understand is how competitive the US system is. Undoubtedly, on average it is a less test driven system and there are more kids that do what they like on a day to day basis. They finish HS and go to whatever uni they can get into.

But those kids exist here too! It's largely one's own mindset and who they associate with whether they need to chase the next level/rung of schools or programmes.

What is true is that the kids there aiming for the elite US universities are largely playing the same game as the top students here. Tons of AP courses, extracurriculars, etc, etc. Some attributes the US focuses on may be better in the long run, but the race is much the same if you chose to enter.

All of the kids I know that got into Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Chicago, etc were all under a lot of pressure and stress in the teenage years until the offer letter arrived. It's just that the competition is different as near perfect marks and a high SAT score don't give you much of a chance anymore (perhaps no chance). These are a baseline/expected requirement that everyone has.

So in the end it's not the system but how we decide to play the game and what we value.
Yes, the US education system is cut throat competitive at the tippy top… but that’s not what most people are striving for in the US, so I don’t know what you mean by baseline/expected requirement that everyone has. Who is everyone?
Exactly. It will always be competitive if you’re striving to be the cream of the crop, but most kids in the US aren’t and don’t want to be, they are perfectly content going to a state college and they go on to do well in life, because the system allows it.

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