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Lorna Whiston

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British Council Malaysia

School Holiday Programme December 2017

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Nationwide Open Day At Cambridge English For Life

Cambridge English For Life (CEFL) is having their very first Nationwide Open Day at all of its 60 centres throughout Malaysia on Sunday 29 October 2017. Children can sit for a free placement test and participate in language activities during the Open Day. In addition, eligible students who confirm a seat for the Term 1, 2018 class will receive a Free "Write It Right!" writing course. (Terms and Conditions Apply)

Cambridge English For Life has been providing English language courses to over 10,000 students nationwide for over 16 years, preparing students to sit for the internationally recognized Cambridge English exams.

This year, CEFL collaborates with National Geographic Learning to bring the latest teaching method to all of its centres in Malaysia. At CEFL, learners are grouped according to their proficiency, rather than their age. Students who are ahead of their schoolmates in English can move ahead in a class that challenges them; while students who are struggling to keep up in their English classes at school will have the advantage to learn at the level they are more comfortable in, with a teacher who cares about helping them progress to higher levels.

Looking for a center near you? Click Here or call 03-7883- 0912 for more information on the Nationwide Open Day.

Monday, October 16, 2017

December 2017 Holiday Programmes At British Council Malaysia

For the end of 2017 school holidays, British Council Malaysia has lined up a range of holiday programmes designed to build confidence and encourage creativity in kids from ages 5 to 17. This is timely as our schools have been working towards the goal of nurturing kids to become more well-rounded individuals who are able to speak confidently and write well.

Over the last couple of years, we have seen schools encouraging creativity and self-confidence through class projects that require greater teamwork. Kids are being encouraged to think out of the box with more Higher Order Thinking Skills questioning in UPSR, PT3 and SPM. In PT3, some subjects are now fully project-based culminating in a presentation by the students. The PT3 exam tests speaking and listening skills in English.

There is also a move towards more open questions in exams which require kids to be good at expressing themselves in writing. In UPSR, the English writing paper is now considered as a separate subject paper with its own grading.

Children will benefit from these enrichment courses that help develop their speaking and writing skills. The school holidays is a good time to prepare them so that they can start their next academic year in 2018 with confidence.

Check out the 5-day programmes at British Council Malaysia which have been specifically tailored, targeting children from different age groups (ages 5 to 17).
  1. World Games For Children (focusing on life skills)
  2. Confident Writing and Speaking (focusing on design, creativity and presentation skills)
  3. Creative Writing (developing skills in planning, organising and editing writing)
  4. Confident Speaking (improving public speaking and debating skills)
Click here for more detailed information on the December 2017 holiday programmes at  British Council Malaysia KL, Mutiara Damansara and Penang.

Mistakes To Avoid When Making Or Renewing Passport For Children 18 Years Old and Below

It is the peak season for making or renewing passport now with the year-end school holidays just around the corner. This post is a reminder to parents on the mistakes to avoid when making or renewing passport for children 18 years old and below. If you avoid these mistakes, you can have a  renewed or new passport in your hands in a few hours. No stress of running around or extra waiting required.

Mistake No. 1

Not bringing your child's birth certificate. You will need to bring your child's birth certificate. This is required EVEN IF your child has an identification card. This is a common mistake many parents make.

Your child is over 12  years old and is an IC holder. You think that the IC is good enough as an identification document. However, you will also need their birth certificate IN ADDITION to the IC. Possible reason is as a parent, you need to sign their application forms and the only proof that you are the parent is the birth certificate. That makes sense right?

Note that the birth certificate is required EVEN IF you are making RENEWAL of your child's passport if they are 18 years and below. Again, this is a very common mistake. You may be thinking that after all this is a simple renewal so you may not need the birth certificate. Again, the birth certificate is the document of proof of your parent child relationship. You will need it.

This mistake will save you a lot of time going home to fetch your child's birth certificate or having to return another day to queue up to make or renew your child's passport.

Mistake No. 2 

Not making photocopies of the documents required ahead of time. When making or renewing passport for your children 18 years old and below, make sure you photocopy and bring along with you

  1. Your child's birth certificate
  2. Your child's IC (if any)
  3. Your own IC 
Note: Check the link at the end of this article for documents required in special situations eg. divorced, deceased parent, children who are married, foreign spouse etc.

It is not really a big deal if you forget, you can still make photocopies on the spot at the photocopy station at 60 cents per copy. This is quite convenient for forgetful folks but if you would like to save a little bit of money, make sure you get your documents ready beforehand. (this is experienced at the time of writing this post at the Jabatan Imigresen Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Kompleks Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN), No 69, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Off Jalan Duta, 50550, Kuala Lumpur)

Mistake No. 3

Not  bringing enough cash. You can always pay by credit card but it is always a good idea to bring enough cash just in case of system down time. This mistake can save you from having to run around looking for an ATM machine. The ATM machine of your bank may not be at the offices. Of course, it is okay if your card has MEPS, you just have to pay a little bit more but then ATM machines can also run out of cash. So be prepared, just in case.

Fee - RM200 if your child is 13-18 years old or RM100 for children 12 years old and below

Mistake No. 4

Arriving late. It is always good practice to arrive early for things like this. The earlier the better. You don't have to queue up at 4 am. Just arrive at opening hours is fine. Operational hours for Passport Office = Monday-Friday : 7.30 am - 5.30 pm / Friday Closed On : 12.15pm - 2.45pm (Visit the link at the end of this post for the full operational hours for all states in Malaysia. Some states open on weekends while states observing Friday and Saturday as weekend have different operating hours as well.)

Other Things You Should Know About

Clothing - You need to dress your child in dark coloured clothing for the photograph but this is not really an issue. A cute poncho to cover your kids clothing is available for young kids or jackets for older kids.

Hair - There is no need to tie  your child's hair. Just tuck long hair in behind the ears when taking photos. The officer will guide you on what to do.

Photo taking - Your child can smile while taking the photo, smile with mouth closed without teeth showing. According to the immigration website, children under 4 years old are encouraged to bring along two (2) pieces of photograph with white background measuring 35mm x 50mm

Forms - These days, you are not required to fill up any forms. All you need to do is affix your  thumb print and signature on pre prepared forms. Easy right?

Time - Making passport is a lot more painless and efficient these days. During a peak season, we managed to arrive at 7.30 am and leave with passport in hand by 11.30 am.


  1. Queue to get a number. You will be required to submit documents both photocopy AND original at this stage.
  2. When your number is called, proceed to the counter to get your photo taken and affix thumb print and signature on pre prepared forms. No form filling required.
  3. Your number will be called a second time to make payments
  4. After paying, you may go for a meal and return to the immigration office an hour later to collect your passport. Proceed directly to collection counter to collect your passport.
Useful Links from the Malaysian Immigration Office Official Website
  1. Applying for Malaysian International Passport - Fees and Documents Required
  2. Operational Hours of Immigration Office at various states in Malaysia
  3. List of Branches Address and Location
We hope this post helps parents apply for their child's passport in a painless and efficient manner with reduced waiting time. Enjoy your vacation!

Location Map for Jabatan Imigresen Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, No 69, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Off Jalan Duta, 50550, Kuala Lumpur

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Educational News Round Up October 2017

There has been a lot of interesting news for parents with school going kids so far this month of October 2017. Here's a quick look at some of them.

Starting next year, imported English textbooks will be used instead of local ones. (Star Oct 5, 2017). According to the Star article, preschoolers, Standard 1 and 2 including Form 1 and 2 students will start using the new CEFR-alligned curriculum. CEFR stands for Common European Frame­work of Reference for Languages. Parents on our Facebook group reported that their Standard 1 and Form 1 kids have received these textbooks this year but they have yet to start using them. Priced between RM78 and RM135, the books are given free on loan to students under the Skim Pinjaman Buku Teks

While on the subject of books, starting next year, work books not approved by the Ministry of Education will no longer be allowed in schools. (NST Oct 11, 2017). Perhaps this will mean the reduction in bag load. Did you know that History and Moral were not even supposed to have workbooks? That's according to this news report on the Ministry moving to end the heavy bag ordeal for pupils (Star Oct 12, 2017).

In another news, it was reported that the Education Ministry is introducing an Internet safety, online ethics, and time management module, for Years One and Two students next year. (Star Oct 8, 2017). The modules are developed by the CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) in collaboration with the ministry and will be introduced as a pilot project to a few selected schools once ready.

That's quite a lot of interesting news for the new academic year in 2018 don't you think?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Pros and Cons Of Sitting For The SUEC in Chinese Independent Schools

After completing SJKC, many students move on to SMK, Private or International Schools or Chinese Independent Schools. Each type of school will have its own challenges and special issues. This post is about UEC examinations in Chinese Independent Schools (CIS) and the questions that parents who choose this route must ponder at some point of time.

Students in CIS sit for the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC). Some Chinese independent high schools opt to teach the national secondary school curriculum (in Malay) alongside the independent school curriculum (in Chinese) and require students to sit for PT3, SPM or STPM in addition to the UEC.

Credit: The following is published with the permission of the parents who posted this topic on our Malaysia Secondary School Parents on Facebook group recently.

Common Question:

My son is studying at a Chinese independent Secondary school. I have no idea what is the choice of further studies after his SPM exam. His school offers both UEC & SPM exams. Should my son consider continuing higher secondary until UEC exam or just take the SPM results for studying in college, Foundation or switch to A level?

This question was raised recently on our Facebook group. We are reproducing the question and answer on this blog to reach out to more parents. We feel this is a really beneficial and useful topic for parents with kids studying or those who are thinking of sending their children to Chinese Independent Schools in Malaysia.

There are pros and cons of sitting for the SUEC in Chinese Independent Schools.

Pros of sitting for SUEC
  1. If you are undecided to proceed with what course, there's no harm to continue sitting for the SUEC in the meantime
  2. When you sit for the SUEC, you will have no trouble adapting because of the familiarity in environment
  3. If you leave after SPM you wont be given a certificate in CIS. You will only receive a school leaving certificate which rather defeats the purpose of studying in a CIS
  4. It is way cheaper compared to doing Pre-U, GCE A levels, AUSMAT and etc to prepare yourself for further studies
  5. A shorter course period, you will need just another 10 months and you can start immediately once school begins session in January
  6. The UEC paper may be accepted internationally in most universities
  7. It depends on each CIS. In some CIS subjects would be taught in English, in some others it is fully Chinese (for example main subjects like advanced maths/ physics/chemistry may be taught in English except Biology but you could still opp to answer the Biology paper in English during SUEC through self learning).
Cons of sitting for SUEC
  1. There will be more subjects to handle
  2. The paper is tougher especially for science stream students
  3. Not many reference books are available
  4. You have to cramp all subject from Sr 1-3 in 10 short months
  5. The homework load is really heavy 
  6. It is 100% exam based

Monday, October 09, 2017

Roald Dahl Themed Children's Workshop For Kids Aged 7-9

Upcoming Event at Enhance Academy, Klang

Children's Workshop for kids from 7 - 9 years old on Saturday 28 October 2017 from 11am to 1pm

Hi there parents,

Wow, it is already October. Time has passed by quickly and our children are now sitting or about to sit for their year-end examinations. Soon, it is time for them to relax and to enjoy some of the things that they didn't get to do during their busy school year. Now it is time for them to be kids and have fun, learning English through play in a way that is so different to what they are used to.

Here is a chance for you to let your children do just that. This coming 28 October, 2017, Enhance Academy is conducting a Children's Workshop specially for members of our parenting platform.

The good news is many games and fun activities have been planned for kids from Std 1 to Std 3 aged from 7-9 years old. The Children's Workshop will have a Roald Dahl creative theme to it. They will use activities like treasure hunts, speech and drama combined with Enhance Academy's style of creative writing to let kids learn English in a fun environment.

Your kids can choose to either join the class and games and activities or just the games and activities. There will be a games corner for kids coming in late or for those who prefer to just join in the fun and games without participating in the class. Games and activities include a Who wants to be a millionaire grammar quiz and puzzles. Prizes will be presented to the winning team.

You can invite your child and his or her cousins or friends along so they can have fun together. Coffee and snacks are provided. Moms and dads who are accompanying the kids can wait at the center or drop and shop at the Aeon Bukit Tinggi Mall which is just across the road. (See location map below).

The even better news is, this workshop is complementary for members of our parenting platform! Seats are limited so hurry and leave your name on this comment thread on our Facebook group to register for this event. Registration is on a first come first serve basis.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Preparing Your Kids To Embrace Technology And The Digital Future

Technology is disrupting and replacing traditional business models we were so familiar with. We live in an era where we can hail taxis from an app and where solid objects can be printed using a 3D printer. With the advancement of technology, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and 3D Printing, new jobs are created in new sectors while old ones become obsolete. More and more new graduates are starting their career by creating or joining start-ups where tech knowledge is essential.

Are We Preparing Our Children Enough To Embrace The Digital Future?

We must prepare our children for the future of digital technologies and new jobs in the creative and tech sectors. In fact, digital  advancement is already here and growing at an incredibly fast rate. One way is to encourage and equip kids with the skills necessary to be confident in using technology. We should not hold on to dated concepts just because the new digital learning of the 21st century is unfamiliar and therefore rather intimidating to us.

We can empower our kids with tech knowledge by paving the way for them to learn technical stuff like coding, robotics and the computer sciences, even if we don't know how.

When Can Kids Start To Learn To Code

You want your kids to be ahead of the curve by preparing them for the digital future but just when can kids start to learn how to code. How do you help them when you don't know a thing about coding yourself?

Some call coding the new literacy. Did you know that kids as young as 6 can learn the foundations of computer coding even before they start primary school? Learning how to code can be fun for kids too. Kids can learn to make their own games instead of merely playing them. They can get "behind the scenes" to understand how these games work through the use of certain computer commands. They need to have lots of patience, perseverance, creativity and problem solving skills in order to get the games and apps to do what they want.

Preparing For The Growing Technology Driven Job Market

Learning to code is not about preparing your kid to become engineers or computer scientists. Nowadays computer knowledge and skills is applied to almost every industry and career you can think of including service providers, retail, manufacturing, consultants and more.

You should start your kids young, If you wait till they have completed their secondary school, they are already behind the game in this day and age.

Coding is no longer for nerdy kids. Coding is for Cool Kids!

Try Out A Free Coding Class

Will your kids enjoy a coding class? Why not let them tryout a 3 hour free trial class at KidoCode, a computer programming and mathematic school for primary, secondary and high school students, from ages 6 to 18 at Kuala Lumpur. Apply here to join the free trial class.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Vocabulary For Creative Writing

With much more emphasis being placed on writing in our English exam papers now, let's have a look at some fresh writing ideas. When it comes to writing, the importance of vocabulary must not be overlooked. Students who have limited writing vocabulary will find it hard to write essays or short stories.

There are many different ways to say or describe a thing, person, place or situation. You can replace bland or boring words with better word choices to make your writing really stand out.

Here are 28 commonly used words in writing. You can use this quick cheat sheet of powerful words to replace these words. These other more exciting vocabulary will improve your writing instantly. Next time you write, try using the suggested words on the following infograpic instead of the words on the list below.
  1. New
  2. Next
  3. Things
  4. Feel
  5. Seem
  6. Best
  7. Young
  8. Just
  9. Almost
  10. Right
  11. Old
  12. Long
  13. Important
  14. Other
  15. Sad
  16. Happy 
  17. Good
  18. Bad
  19. Like
  20. Nice
  21. Only
  22. Real
  23. Sweet
  24. Funny
  25. Little
  26. Big
  27. Pretty
  28. Smart
Moms and dads helping their children with English writing homework can use this cheat sheet too!

Image Credit: 28 Boring Words Alternatives - Improve Your Writing Infographic by Jack Milgram

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Parents Workshop: Tips To Help Your Child Become Better Creative Writers

UPSR 2017 has just concluded. Did you know that with effect from the year 2016, the English paper for the UPSR examinations was broken into two separate grades. The abbreviation UPSR stands for Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah, which is the Primary School Achievement Test taken by all Malaysian students sitting for national examinations at the end of their sixth year in primary school before they leave for secondary school.

English Paper 2 which is the writing paper is now graded separately. Not only that, the number of multiple questions for Paper 1 has been reduced while subjective questions requiring writing skills are now included in English Paper 1.

This means overall, a lot more emphasis is now given to writing skills in the UPSR examinations.

On our Facebook group, we have two groups of parents. One group have kids sitting for UPSR in public schools. They are concerned about this new emphasis for kids to write creatively in HOTS (High Order Thinking Skills) types of questions. The other group of parents have kids who are transitioning to private or international schools. They may skip UPSR but they are also faced with the issue of making sure their kids can switch to an environment which require more creative writing in English.

Either way, as a parent, you may wish to support and help your kids to write more creatively. Whichever group of parents  you belong to, you will find this parents workshop useful for you to get ideas on how to help your child write better.

In conjunction with their 20th year Anniversary, Lorna Whiston Taman Tun Dr Ismail is offering this Parents Workshop on Tips to Help Your Child Become Better Creative Writers to 20 lucky parents for just RM20 per person. We are now taking registrations for parents in our group. Parents, please go to this thread to leave your name in the comments section to secure your place. The workshop is on Wednesday 4th October, 2017 from 9.30 am to 11 am at Lorna Whiston Taman Tun Dr Ismail. It is for parents with kids aged 7 to 10 because it is ideal to pick up writing skills from young.

Details of the Parent Workshop
Title: Tips To Help Your Child Become Better Creative Writers
Date: 4th October, 2017
Time: 9.30 am to 11 am
For Whom: Parents with kids aged 7 to 10
Fee: RM 20 *subject to 6% GST
Number: Limited to 20 pax.
Venue: Lorna Whiston Taman Tun Dr Ismail
Address: Units 8 & 10, Jalan Wan Kadir 1, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: Tel 7727 1909 or email ttdi@lornawhiston.com.my
Our Facebook group members, please proceed to this thread to leave a comment.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Deepavali School Holidays 2017

When is Deepavali in 2017?

This year, 2017, Deepavali falls on Wednesday 18th October, 2017.

When is Deepavali School Holidays 2017?

For Schools in Group A observing Friday and Saturday as weekend including Kedah, Johor, Kelantan and Terengganu, Deepavali 2017 School Holidays is on 15,16,17, and 19 October 2017. Add the weekends and you will have a stretch of holidays from Friday 13th October to Saturday 21 October 2017, a stretch of 9 days all together.

For Schools in Group B observing Saturday and Sunday as weekend including Perlis, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Labuan & Putrajaya, the 2017 Deepavali School Holidays falls on 16, 17, 19 and 20th October 2017. Include the weekends and you have a stretch of 9 days of holidays from Saturday 14th to 22nd October 2017.

Melaka has an extra holiday on 13th October for Birthday of YDP Melaka while those in Pahang may have a longer stretch of holiday if they take another day off on 23 October since 24 October is the Birthday of Sultan of Pahang.

It is now a practice to have longer holidays for the festive season also called Cuti Perayaan and shorter holidays during the year end.

Source of Information: Lampiran C of Surat Siaran Takwim Penggal Dan Cuti Persekolahan Tahun 2017 dated 13/12/2016 from Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia official website.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Computational Thinking Helps Kids & Teens in Problem Solving

Computational thinking is a skill that every child should learn. Kids will benefit from knowing how to think this way. It will help them to understand and master technology and solve every day problems in almost any area.

Why Kids Should Learn Coding

When kids learn coding, they have to practice computational skills in order to solve problems. In coding, kids will learn Decomposition, Pattern Recognition, Abstraction and Algorithm. Although these may sound like really big words and rather technical vocabulary but they are really very simple and useful concepts that can be applied in problem solving in any area.

If you take a closer look at the meaning of these words in computational thinking context, you will instantly see how knowing and practicing these methods will help children in school and life in general

The 4 cornerstones of computational skills.
1. Decomposition – breaking down a complex problem into smaller tasks that are more manageable

2. Pattern Recognition – looking for trends or patterns within problems that will help us solve problems more effectively and efficiently

3. Abstraction – pulling out patterns to focus on how to solve the problem by ignoring unnecessary details

4. Algorithm – a set of steps to follow in order to solve problems

How Coding Helps Your Child Solve Problems

Decomposition, Pattern Recognition, Abstraction and Algorithm. These thought patterns when practiced frequently enough will help a child view problems in a new and different light.

They will learn how to break down problems into smaller sub-problems. They will be better able to focus when they look for similar patterns while removing distractions before finally arriving and following ordered steps to solve problems. It is a very useful skill to have for everyone. Training a child to think in this manner from young has long term benefits that will be useful for the rest of their lives.

How Computational Thinking Helps Your Children Succeed In The Digital Age

Our children are born and grew up in the digital age where their daily lives are greatly influenced and depend a lot on technology. Many digital conveniences they grew up with are as a result of creative computational thinking and coding. It is therefore inevitable that they should at least have some awareness of how coding makes things work around them.

When they grow up, a lot of job opportunities and career options will benefit someone who is computer science savvy. They don’t have to be a computer engineer or technician but having computing knowledge and computational thinking skills will go a long way in helping them in employment in any field or area.

When And How To Start Learning Computer Programming and Coding

In KidoCode, kids & teens attend classes in computer programming where children as young as 6 can start to learn coding. Learning is personalized and adaptive to each kids understanding and knowledge. These kids & teens are learning Code & Math using Python Programming Language, Web Development, Game Development, Mobile Development, and Electronics & Robotics.

Everybody is welcome to come and join the 3 hours FREE Trial Class where kids & teens get to experience coding in Python and create their first mobile application. Click here to register for the trial class.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

All You Need To Know About Psychometric Tests (Part 3)

Guest Post: This post was written by Joanne Lee, a mother of two in response to questions asked by members of our Facebook Group, The Malaysia Primary School Parents on Facebook. Come join us for more modern-day parenting discussions. 

This is Part 3 of the three part article on this topic.

Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Why conduct so many tests so many times?

This was one of the questions bugging me, and I found the answer in the same guide. We’ve already got two theories by two professors in the core of these psychometric tests, why not add one more?

The third is by Donald Super, and it involves the development of self-concept. Basically, people grow, change and mature throughout their lives and thus, career development is a lifelong process. He identifies 5 life and career development stages.

Image Source

  1. Growth stage (from newborn to 14 years old)
    1. Fantasy stage (4-10)
    2. Interest stage (11-12)
    3. Capacity stage (13-14)
  2. Exploratory stage (ages 15-24)
    1. Tentative stage (15-17)
    2. Transition stage (18-21)
    3. Trial stage (22-24)
  3. Establishment stage (ages 25-40)
    1. Trial stage (25-30)
    2. Stabilization stage (30-40)
  4. Maintenance stage (ages 40-64)
  5. Decline stage (ages 65+)

You can read more about the theory and the identifying characteristics of these 5 stages here.

Based on the above timeline, year 3 pupils are in the Fantasy stage, Year 6 at the Interest Stage, Form 1 at the capacity stage and Forms 3, 4 and 5 at the tentative stage.

It makes sense to gauge a child’s aptitude and personality traits at those intervals. If the Form 4 and 5 seems overdone, note that back in 2015, the tests only go up to Form 3. Form 4 and 5 only begin testing last year in 2016. I have yet to find the reason behind extending the tests to cover two more years.

How do I get access to my child’s aptitude test results?

Thanks to another resourceful member in our FB group, we found this link where parents can check their children's aptitude results. (Tip: When checking results, you will be asked a few questions for verification. Be patient and try again if what you entered does not gain you access. Other combinations of questions may do the trick).

In any case, parents can can make a trip to the school office or talk to their child’s class teacher to ask about the test results as well as obtain advice on how to further hone their child’s case, interest and natural preferences.

Monday, September 11, 2017

All You Need To Know About Psychometric Tests (Part 2)

Guest Post: This post was written by Joanne Lee, a mother of two in response to questions asked by members of our Facebook Group, The Malaysia Primary School Parents on Facebook. Come join us for more modern-day parenting discussions. 

This is Part 2 of the three part article on this topic.

Read Part 1 here.

What You Need To Know About Secondary School Psychometric tests (6 tests)

In secondary school, psychometric tests are carried out in Form 1, 3, 4 and 5. These tests are more detailed.

Form 1: Inventori Minat Kerjaya (IMK) & Inventori Tret Personaliti (ITP)
Form 3: Inventori Minat Kerjaya (IMK) & Inventori Kecerdasan Pelbagai (IKP)
Form 4: Inventori Tret Personaliti (ITP)
Form 5: Inventori Minat Kerjaya (IMK)

Here’s a better way to look at all these tests.

Image Source

Inventori Kecerdasan Pelbagai (IKP)

By Form 3, students will get a more thorough aptitude test known as Multiple Intelligence Inventory (Inventori Kecerdasan Pelbagai). Think of this as a sorting hat (yes like in Harry Potter) that will put a student into one of these 9 categories.

This is part of a larger infographic, which you can check out in detail here.

The name Howard Gardner which you see in the image above is a Harvard professor who came up with the Theory of Multiple Intelligence.

Basically, the gist of the theory is that there is more than one way to define a person’s intellect. You might not do well in an IQ test, but that doesn’t mean you are not intelligent in another aspect. In fact you may do particularly well in 1 of these 9 constructs.

Format for Inventori Kecerdasan Pelbagai (IKP)

Of the 9 constructs of intelligence, verbal-linguistics, math-logic and visual-spatial are tested in Paper 1. The questions are in multiple choice.

In Paper 2, the other categories are tested, together with 10 visual-spatial questions.

Understanding the results from IKP

From this guide on administering and implementing psychometric tests for Form 3, the following scoring table summarizes how the scores are analyzed.

(Source pp 17-19)

Personality Tests

Beginning from Form 1, the ITP and IMK tests are administered.

Inventori Tret Personaliti

ITP tests allow teachers to identify and understand the personality of students and to decide the best way to “intervene” during the teaching and learning process. These tests also help the students identify their own potential as well as a possible career path that is suitable for their personality.

Format for Inventori Tret Personaliti (ITP)

The ITP tests for 15 constructs with 10 items for each construct. The total questions to answer is 150 questions. The time given is only 30 minutes so students are answering 5 questions per minute. Check this link out to get an idea of the type of question. 


Understanding the results from ITP
If you want to know what the scores represent, check out Slides 19 to 33 of this powerpoint.

Inventori Minat Kerjaya (IMK)

The IMK tests is based on another theory by another professor, John L. Holland. This theory links vocation (career) choices to personalities. What you choose as your career is an expression of your personality. There are 6 themes in the Holland codes, which are:

Format for Inventori Minat Kerjaya (IMK)

The IMK tests for 6 constructs with 30 items for each construct. The total questions to answer is 180 questions. The time given 30 to 40 minutes.

Understanding the results from IMK

Based on their answers, students are then sorted into the following career interests.

Screen Shot 2017-09-06 at 5.40.22 PM.jpg

Source: Pg 31-33

Friday, September 08, 2017

Your Kid Can Be Addicted To Games. What Should You Do?

Our children of today grow up in a digital world, a world filled with apps and where many are connected socially online. Playing games, looking up for information and sharing online is a norm to them. They grow up with handheld cell phones, tablet computers and many other conveniences of the digital world which allows them to play games with and be connected to friends.

Should parents forbid online time and game playing?

Placing limits and controls should be done to a certain extent but to forbid entirely is not realistic, not when the school uses the internet to hand out homework, not when communication between school clubs and members or between friends is largely done online through whatsapp groups or FB Messenger service. It is inevitable that our children will eventually find their way online. Placing too many restrictions will make a child resentful and left out. What we should do instead is to channel their love for games and curiosity about how things work into coding activities instead.

What can parents do to prevent excessive gaming and possible addiction?

  • put the PC or device in a common area in the house
  • keep all devices away at night before sleep
  • educate children about online safety and dangers of addiction
  • wherever possible have children do their homework away from the presence of devices unless it is required for the homework
  • watch out for signs of addiction
  • channel creativity and love for play into coding activities instead

Why channeling to coding activities help

It does not mean that a child who spends a lot of time online is necessarily addicted to gaming. There is a world of difference in a child who plays games for 2 hours compared to a child who learns how to create or make digital games or apps for 2 hours. They both spend 2 hours online.The digital world and digital devices or the internet are not the necessary evils. It is how we use it. We can choose to use it positively or negatively. We can choose to use the computer positively by allowing and encouraging kids to use computers in a positive way.

Just as the digital world is the norm to today's kids, coding is increasingly becoming the new literacy, as essential as learning the alphabets and math. Letting your kids learn to code instead of spending endless hours gaming is positive. Letting your child learn computational thinking in a structured and guided environment is positive. Allowing your kids to find out how things like apps and games work is positive. Let them learn how to create games instead of just playing them. Show them that the computer and other devices can be useful as an educational tool and fun too instead of only for games.

To open their minds to this possibility, you can start by sending them for a free 4 hour long coding activities class at KidoCode. Solaris,  Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. Click here to claim your free trial class.

All You Need To Know About Psychometric Tests (Part 1)

Guest Post: This post was written by Joanne Lee, a mother of two in response to questions asked by members of our Facebook Group, The Malaysia Primary School Parents on Facebook. Come join us for more modern-day parenting discussions. 

This is Part 1 of the three part article on this topic.

All you need to know about psychometric tests

Around this period, some parents may have received a notice from their school, informing them about a test called a psychometric test. Your notice may look something like this and if you are wondering what this is all about, read on.

Image Source

What are psychometric tests?

Don’t worry, they aren’t academic tests. Schools started running psychometric tests in 2009 as part of the UPSR schedule. Nowadays they are carried out during the schooling year for most of or the entire month. The image below shows what the schedule looks like for 2016.

For 2017, click here.

What are these tests for?

At the risk of oversimplifying this, these tests are to find out what your child’s strengths, interests and inclinations are (basically what the students like to do and are good at). The information can help teachers help students fully realize their potential based on their personality traits.

About Primary School Psychometric tests (2 tests)

Ujian Aptitud Am

In primary school the tests will be carried out at Primary 3 and 6. These tests are known as Ujian Aptitud Am (or general aptitude tests). The General Aptitude Test in Year 3 measures the student’s natural ability to learn or do something easily and quickly. The student will be tested on their analytical and verbal skills.

Format for Ujian Aptitud Am

The test takes 1 hour and there are 80 questions to complete. There are 30 questions in BM, 30 questions in English and 20 Math questions that require analytical and problem-solving skills.

Take a peek at this aptitude test for Primary 3 carried out in 2015.

In the next part of this article, we will explore the Secondary School Psychometric Tests followed by the Conclusion on Why We Conduct These Pyschometric Tests and How To Get Access To Your Child's Test Results in Part 3. Stay tuned.

Read Part 2 here and Part 3 here

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Enhance Academy Brings English Education To Klang Folks

We did a poll recently on our FB group about secondary school choices and here are the interesting results of the poll.
  • 199 parents plan to send their kids to SMK
  • 196 parents plan to send their kids to International School
  • 96 parents plan to send their kids to private school doing national syllabus
  • 62 parents plan to send their kids to SMK Cluster schools
  • 56 parents plan to send their kids to Chinese Independent schools
  • 40 parents plan to send their kids to alternative learning centres
  • 34 parents plan to send their kids to SMJK
  • 185 parents have other plans eg homeschool on their own, plan to migrate overseas or have not decided
Interestingly this shows that many parents have plans to switch to English environment in secondary schools. The parents on our platform also continually seek out DLP (Dual Language Programme) schools. Schools that are under DLP will be given the option to teach Science, Mathematics, Inform­a­tion and Communications Tech­no­logy, as well as Design and Technology either in English or in Bahasa Malaysia, Tamil or Mandarin.

The Importance Of Learning English

It is quite clear that parents realize the importance of learning English and are looking into ways to prepare their kids from young. English is an important international medium of communication. Having a good command of English helps you to communicate more effectively with others. You will be better able to share your views and opinions. This is very important in business communication. 

How To Prepare Your Child For Private or International Schools or national schools doing DLP 

Did you know that 4 out of 6 subjects in SK (or 6 out of 8 subjects in SJKC) in UPSR which is the first Primary School Achievement Test taken by all students before they enter secondary school are language subjects?

This is because language is the basis of learning and communication. Mastering your languages helps you in understanding your Maths, Science and other non-language subjects.

If you intend to send your child to an English based school, then it is essential that you plan ahead by giving them extra classes in English. One way is to send them to English enrichment centres.

Today, we would like to introduce you to one such centre called Enhance Academy.

About Enhance Academy

Enhance Academy is a specialized English language centre catering for learners from Pre-school age up to Pre-University and Adult Learners. Their tagline is
  • Enhance Your English
  • Enhance Your Confidence
  • Enhance Your Future
What You Can Expect From Enhance Academy

  • Enhance Academy uses up-to-date techniques to teach Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening Skills.
  • All their teachers in every centre are foreign teachers and university graduates with formal teaching qualifications
  • They have a highly creative learning environment with well-resourced facilities
  • Lessons are dynamic, innovative and student centred 
  • Courses are designed for learners' individual needs
Where Can You Find Enhance Academy Centres

Currently Enhance Academy has centres in

  • Straits Quay, Tanjung Tokong, Penang
  • Butterworth, Penang
  • Bukit Mertajam, Penang
  • Bayan Baru, Pulau Pinang
Enhance Academy caters for learners from Pre-school age onwards

Enhance Academy brings English Education to Klang folks with their latest centre in the Klang Valley. Below is the location for Enhance Academy, Klang. This is good news for Klang parents. Now you don't need to travel very far to get your child quality English education.

Enhance Academy, Klang 
The Landmark, TB- MTBBT 2, 2-2, Jalan Batu Nilam 16, Bandar Bukit Tinggi 2, 41200 Klang, Selangor, Malaysia
Tel: 60 3-3318 8806

Enhance Academy Klang classroom

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

2018 Public Holidays In Malaysia

This is the time of the year when public holidays and school holidays for the following year is often announced. The 2018 public holidays in Malaysia is out! School holidays 2018 is not out yet but will probably follow soon. Meanwhile, check out the School Holiday Programmes for August 2017 here.

With this calendar, you can start to plan your vacations for 2018. That's the reason why most people are waiting for the calendar right?

Source for the information on 2018 Public Holidays in Malaysia is the official site Bahagian Kabinet, Perlembagaan dan Perhubungan Antara Kerajaan, Jabatan Perdana Menteri. You can visit the website to download the pdf version of the 2018 Public Holidays In Malaysia.

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