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Friday, May 17, 2019

Visit the 13th Private & International School Fair in Kuala Lumpur this June!

There are over 150 international schools in Malaysia today. Approximately 100 international schools have opened in the last decade, reflecting the demand of international education by local and expatriate parents alike. The number of schools started to catapult when the quota for local students in international schools was lifted in 2012. Parents today have more options than ever before when it comes to their children’s education.

However, the search for the right school can be overwhelming for parents who are new to the international school scene. Each school operates independently and differ from one another in terms of curricula offered, location, fee structure, teaching staff, ethos and learning environment. Choosing a suitable school is a time-consuming process involving research, school visits and financial planning.

Organised by Mint Communications, the Private & International School Fairs aim to help parents in their search for the right school by connecting them with leading international schools in Malaysia in convenient locations in Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Penang. The upcoming 13th Private & International School Fair in Kuala Lumpur will be held on 22 and 23 June 2019 at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre, Kuala Lumpur. Opening hours are from 11am to 7pm, and admission is free.

Visitors will have the opportunity to speak to representatives from international schools, preschools, learning centres, pre-university providers and special educational needs centres from all over Malaysia. There will also be special discounts, fee waivers and scholarship offers exclusively for visitors to the fair. In addition, the fair will feature the 2nd PISF Poetry Slam 2019 and other exciting activities!

The 2019/2020 edition of the Education Destination Malaysia guidebook will be sold at the fair at a discounted price. The guidebook is an in-depth and comprehensive guide to international education in Malaysia. It contains detailed information on schools, useful articles, infographics and insightful advice to help parents decide on an international school for their children.

Register at www.pisf.asia to receive the latest updates on the fair via email!

Event details at a glance:

13th Private & International School Fair in Kuala Lumpur
Date    : 22 - 23 June 2019 (Saturday and Sunday)
Time    : 11:00am - 7:00pm
Venue  : Mid Valley Exhibition Centre

For media enquiries, please contact the following:
Caron Lai
(Company No. 701835-T)
TEL: +603-7986 0070 FAX: +603-7986 0072
Email: caron.lai@mint-communications.asia

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Sri Emas International School Free Trial Class

Last April, Sri Emas International School had its first Open Day of the year! Over the weekend, parents and kids got the opportunity to get involved and be immersed in their unique educational experience.

Their creative workshops ranged from getting people to channel their inner Mozart and constructing a piano with just electrical components to reliving history and understanding historical beauty standards through Post-It notes!

Below are some pictures of the activities during the school's recent Open Day.

Don't worry if you missed it! Because you can always just drop by their school and get your kids to sign up for their FREE 3-Day trial classes for a chance to experience the way they teach!

To schedule an appointment, contact them through: tel (03-7865 5787) | email: enquiry@sriemas.edu.my

Thursday, May 09, 2019

How Reading Can Prepare Your Child For Exams

“What do you want the children we are teaching in school to be like as adults?”

This was the question of Leslie Mann, a training consultant at the Teaching Development Centre asked the participants on a course. Mostly composed of teachers and parents, the room was abuzz with answers like happy, curious, passionate, resilient, empathetic, kind, creative, ability to problem solve, a risk taker, a critical thinker, a lifelong learner. At no point did anyone mention a ‘good test taker’ or a ‘top-notcher in exams’.

This is what most people want for children, especially parents. However, there is a big disconnect between what the education community say and what they do. Children spend a lot of time focused on tests. The literature and research around test preparation shows that this kind of work has very little impact. In fact, some can even argue that it is detrimental in developing the attitudes and dispositions that the community wants education to promote.

Fear of tests is real and undeniably tests do, unfortunately, have ramifications for the opportunities of children. However, it has been suggested that educators take a different approach that serves both the higher goals of education to put a capable, well-adjusted adult into the world and the more immediate goal of needing to do well in tests.

This is where effective reading techniques can come in and be a helpful tool in teaching children how to overcome their anxiety regarding exams. Below are some tips on how to make reading a useful ally in achieving both test-taking goals and preparing for life, in general.


· Read. A lot. Children who read are exposed to a significantly wider range and greater quantity of words than students who don’t read. When it comes to developing vocabulary, it’s simple; you can’t know words you have not seen before.

· By reading whole texts, students will have a sense of how texts are organised and the kinds of features that they can expect. When they encounter a snippet of text on an exam, they can understand how this piece fits into the bigger picture and that gives them a lot of information.

· Reading supports writing. Professionally written texts are the best model for writing. Not only are children exposed to a wide range of vocabulary but also grammar structures, turns of phrase, expressions and a sense of personal style and voice.

· Use the amazing resources of your public library system. Let your child pick a book. Read it together. Help your child understand that they are in the driver’s seat of the reading process by asking questions:

Ø Why did you pick this book/ article/ comic?

Ø What attracted you to it?

Ø What did you notice as you were reading?

Ø At what point in the text did you decide whether you liked it (or not)?

Ø Were they any parts that confused you?

· Use the text as a springboard for writing. Have them write a letter to a character or as a character or keep a reading journal.

Sometimes, children are under the impression that reading is a tedious process of trying to understand a decontextualised piece of writing and answer boring questions about it. They don’t get to experience texts as a reader – as someone who has reactions, forms opinions and makes connections with other things they know and have experienced. However, with the above mentioned practices, we can help our children become better readers and test-takers. Ultimately, by instilling in them this kind of discipline, we also prepare them for other life challenges.

These tips were brought to you by British Council Malaysia. 

British Council Malaysia provides courses for kids and teens aged 5 - 17.  To learn about our courses, visit British Council at https://www.britishcouncil.my/english/courses-children

Friday, April 19, 2019

Sri Emas International School Open Day 27 & 28 April 2019

This post is brought to you by Sri Emas International School.

Our philosophy in teaching isn’t just about delivering the syllabus but at the end of the day, it’s about ensuring that they’re enjoying what they’re learning by incorporating elements that are relevant to kids these days. With that, we like you to experience what we mean in our upcoming Open Day.

Date: 27 (Saturday) & 28 (Sunday) April
Time: 9am – 4:30pm
Venue: Sri Emas International School
10am-12pm: Open Day workshop
12pm-1pm: Skills Enhancement Workshop
1pm-1:45pm: Lunch
1:45pm-3pm: Principal/Founders’ Talk
3pm-4pm: Classroom Experience For Parents

Title: Get involved with our Open Day workshops and other complimentary activities with only RM20!

Open Day workshops (Max 30 pax/day) *Pick one only

A challenge created by a few of our Science teachers, where one of them happens to be a forensics scientist, you’ll be stepping into the shoes of a detective for a day to solve puzzles and unravelling the mysteries behind them using scientific concepts.

Mozart from the future
In today’s ever-changing world, ICT has become an essential part of our repertoire. Come check out how we incorporate rapid prototyping and problem-solving skills by teaching our kids to build a mini-electronic piano from scratch!

Skills Enhancement workshops (Max 30 pax/day) *Pick one only

Sound Wave Dance workshop
Do you know that over 60% of students are kinaesthetic? This means, they retain information a lot better via bodily movements. Join us for a “Step up” and experience how we incorporate dancing to teach our kids about soundwaves in Physics.

A leader with attitude (Drama) *Only available on 28 April (Sunday)
Get involved with our Drama workshop and see how we transform a regular individual into an outstanding, expressive leader that shines with confidence!

Art.C’s Hirameki workshop *Only available on 27 April (Saturday)
Inspire and expand your imaginations by joining our Hirameki workshop! Translated as “Draw what you see”, the Hirameki is brilliant in teaching students about looking at the things from different perspectives by getting them to doddle on random blobs, colourful splashes, and smears.

Classroom Experience For Parents (Max 30 pax/day) *complimentary

If you’re wondering what goes on daily in our classes, come check out our Classroom Experience for Parents where you’ll sit in a class as a student and experience our way of teaching!
Subjects on that day: English & History

Other complimentary activities:
·         Principal/Founders’ Talk
·         Campus Tour


*Workshops are on a first come first serve basis only.
*Attendees are required to make the payment during the day itself where failure to do so will result to a voided registration.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Parents and Kids Learning Coding Together

The digital and technological world is moving at a faster and faster pace. As parents, we need to keep ourselves updated so that we don't get left behind and outdated. Our kids grow up in a digital world so online learning and coding comes more naturally to them whereas we have to sometimes struggle to understand new technologies like smarthouse or chatbot. Then there are terms that are new to us like pygame, jquery or uiuxdesign. If we do not come from a programming background, these terms sound really unfamiliar to us.

How can we play catch up with these new technologies? One way is to learn together with our kids. This will increase our bonding with them. Not only, that, it will help us understand their present day lingo better. We will also be able to help them should they encounter any problems at home while learning. You can even have an active discussion or debate with your kids on how to resolve some of the coding issues you encounter during learning.

There's no age in learning code. Kids from as young as 5 can learn coding too and so can parents! You are never too young or too old to learn. KidoCode, a community that provides computer programming, math, and digital art courses for students of all ages can attest to this.

As the center is open from 10 am to 10 pm daily including weekends and public holidays, you will often see parents and kids learning together side by side. This is not unusual at the centre and is very inspiring. Students can come at any time, any day, no scheduling required, and parents love this! They can drop their children anytime or join their kids when they are able to. In addition, students have remote access from home enabling them to continue to learn on their own motivation with or without their parents.

To experience a class at KidoCode, register for a free trial lesson here.

This post was brought to you by KidoCode, Mont Kiara.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Fun With Phonics

Phonics can be confusing for parents who didn’t learn to read and write English that way, and many parents are uncertain how best to help their children, but rest assured there is a lot you can do. 

Believe it or not, there really is a system linking English spelling and pronunciation together and phonics teaches children that system. Rather than teaching them letter names, phonics teaches them the different sounds that individual letters and groups of letters make when they’re written down so that children can blend the units of sound together to read whole words. This is a tried and tested method. By the end of primary school, children who learn to read with phonics can attain a reading age 3.5 years ahead of those who do not. 

The Best Way To Help Your Children Is To Learn With Them

Phonics may seem a bit overwhelming to you at first but the best way to help your children is to learn with them. Check which sounds they’ve been learning in class and start by watching some phonics videos online with them. This will refresh their memories and show you what and how they’ve been taught. The Alphablocks is an excellent BBC series of phonics videos available on YouTube as is Geraldine the Giraffe – a series made by a British school teacher. 

Help Your Child Practice Using Their New Phonics Knowledge

After watching a video, set your child a task to help them practice using their new phonics knowledge. First, they need to practise saying the sound and identifying words that contain it. So you could send them on a treasure hunt where they have to find things around the house that begin with or contain the correct sound. For example, if they’re practicing /p/ as in paper you can ask them to find five things that begin with the same /p/ sound. As they collect items, encourage them to say what they are to check if they begin with the correct sound. You could also ask them to draw five things that begin with the sound or to make five models out of Playdoh of things that begin with the sound.

After saying the sound, children need to practice writing it

After saying the sound, children need to practice writing it and at this stage it’s important to refer to the written form as a letter shape rather than using its letter name which can be confusing. So, you might say something like “Can you write the /p/ letter shape?” while making the /p/ sound - as in the beginning of the word paper.

A variety of arts and crafts activities can make this stage fun and stimulating. For example, you can use a glue stick and some dry rice or glitter and ask your child to write the letter shape with the glue stick then sprinkle on the rice/glitter to reveal it. You can ask your child to make the letter shape with Playdoh or you can fill a tray with shaving foam and ask them to write the letter shape using their fingers. Equally, you may want to make letter shapes that you can keep so that you can help your child to practice reading simple words when they reach that stage in their phonics journey.

Download some phonics apps onto your smartphone

If your child enjoys technology, you could download some phonics apps onto your smartphone. Both Jolly Phonics (the British state school standard phonics system) and the Alphablocks available both for iOS and for Android devices have fun and well-designed phonics apps. If you are not familiar with the letter sounds yourself then these apps can help you to learn phonics skills as well, so you can support your children.

So, learn with your children, get creative and try to choose practice activities that your child will enjoy. Good luck!

These tips were brought to you by British Council Malaysia. British Council Malaysia provides Phonics courses at the KL and The Curve branches. Further course details can be found at https://www.britishcouncil.my/english/courses-children/phonics

To learn about our courses for children aged 5 – 17, visit British Council at 

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Join the 2nd PISF Poetry Slam 2019 Today!

Are you passionate about writing poetry and public speaking?

If the answer is yes, the 2nd PISF Poetry Slam 2019 is the perfect platform for you to showcase your talents!

The 2nd PISF Poetry Slam 2019 will be held at the 13th Private & International School Fair in Kuala Lumpur on 22 & 23 June 2019 at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre. The competition aims to promote the creative use of the English language through the medium of poetry.

The competition is divided into two stages which includes an online submission of poems and live performance. Participants first need to submit a poem revolving around the theme, People Who Inspire Me. Those whose poems meet the requirements will be shortlisted to perform at the 2nd PISF Poetry Slam 2019 in front of a live audience.

The competition is open to individuals and groups in two categories, Category A (11 to 12 years old) and Category B (13 to 14 years old). Last year, the inaugural PISF Poetry Slam received over 150 entries from almost 40 private, international and national schools in the Klang Valley.

Send your entries for the 2nd PISF Poetry Slam 2019 today and stand a chance to win attractive cash prizes!

Find out more about the competition below:


Watch the highlights of the inaugural PISF Poetry Slam 2018 below:

This is a sponsored post.

Sri Bestari International School Info Days on April 6 and May 11, 2019

Sri Bestari International School Info Day

Sri Bestari International School is having is Info Days on the following dates and time:

Saturday, April 6, 2019 from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm

Saturday, May 11, 2019 from 11.00 am to 12.00 pm

You may have heard of the term Open Day and Info Day but do you know the difference? The difference is Open Day is usually carried out during term holidays whereas Info Day is carried out while school is in session so that you can see and visualize your child in the school.

You can also ask questions during the Info Day as teachers will be available to explain everything you need to know about the school including the school fees and teaching approach. One of the things you can ask about  is Sri Bestari International School's thematic learning approach, My Little MBA (Mind Blowing Adventures).

Mind Blowing Adventures at Sri Bestari International School

At Sri Bestari International School, students are not taught subjects separately in classrooms where students cannot see how each subject is related to another in the real world. Instead, a thematic approach is used to teach students various inter-related concepts that students encounter in day to day living.

Sri Bestari uses the My Little MBA (Mind Blowing Adventures) thematic approach to teach students while emphasizing three important components

1. Financial Literacy,
2. Communication and Negotiation Skills and
3. Product Science

Holistic Learning Based on Themes

English, Math, Science and Mandarin are combined during thematic learning to teach children concepts.

For example, when learning about currencies used in Singapore and Malaysia 

- students learn how to add and convert currencies when buying products in Singapore (Maths)
- they learn how to converse in Mandarin when they role play how to buy goods in Singapore (Mandarin) 
- they learn how to communicate when buying goods and learn about the famous landmarks in Singapore (English)
- they also learn the weight of money and products in Malaysia and Singapore (Science)

Each theme is presented in all of the learning areas (Math, Science and the languages) so that children are able to make meaningful connections between the lessons and the real world. These themes are relevant to children’s real-life experiences making it easier for them to build connections between prior and new knowledge.

Children are encouraged to be responsible for their own learning by allowing them to actively search for multiple resources that are related to the topic. This encourages them to think critically on how one activity is related to another.

In a nutshell, My Little MBA is a  programme for children to learn about the value of money to help them understand the reason why certain products of the same category are more expensive than others. Children are taught the differences in pricing (financial literacy) and the factors that contributes to these differences. The ultimate aim is to help children understand their needs vs their wants before demanding for things. The children learn through the integration of English and Mandarin as the medium of instructions ( via role play , songs and presentation) so that they are able to articulate their opinions through  these languages . The understanding of currency exchange will help the children to gain insights and to compare the products sold by our neighbouring countries (imported products ) .

To know more about My Little MBA concept and Sri Bestari International School, contact  info_sbis@bestari.edu.my  or call +603-6273 1072.

This post was brought to you by Sri Bestari International School. Sri Bestari International school is located at Persiaran Margosa, Bandar Sri Damansara, 52200 Kuala Lumpur

Monday, April 01, 2019

Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2019

Recently I won two tickets to the Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2019.

The tickets were sponsored by OPPO Fans Club Malaysia. They also had a balloon at the festival.

The 2019 Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta was the 10th. I had always wanted to go but never found my way there because of fear that the crowd would be too large, the parking and jam would be real bad etc. Those were my thoughts.

I wanted very much to bring my kids but since the next day was a back to school day and they would be having tests etc, I went with my sister, my brother in law and their Taiwanese friend instead. It was a good opportunity to show him some Malaysian sights and eat Malaysian food.

The Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is open to everyone for free. However, you can purchase tickets to be at the launch pad (called the Blue Zone). At the launch pad, you can observe the pilots set up their balloons from close up. They may even oblige by letting you climb into the baskets for a photo or two.

You can purchase the Blue Zone tickets for morning or evening. For the morning tickets, you can watch the pilots set up and see the balloons take flight (RM20). There are two types of evening tickets, one that comes with a kit of night glow sticks (RM50) and the other without (RM30). We got the RM30 one.

Our tickets were the night glow tickets. What time should we go? Since we were very much afraid of the jam, we decided to arrive there at 5.30pm.

Upon arrival, we found that there weren't enough signages to point us to the Blue Zone and ticketing area but it is very straightforward. You just park your car when you arrive at the location and keep walking and asking. You will find it. It was quite a long queue to get the extra tickets and by the time we got it, it was just nice to watch the pilots set up their balloons. It was really fun and quite an experience. Kids should enjoy this very much. Even adults too.

After the balloons were up, we went for dinner. There were many stalls set up nearby at the eating area. They also provided lots of dustbins and sinks with water taps so the place was clean. There were plenty of choices and stalls.

Finally we went back to the blue zone for the night glow activities. Unfortunately, there was a strong wind blowing and they had to call off the balloons. Only the gas lights and fireworks at the end remained. We didn't stay for that.

With hindsight. in future, I would go for the morning show. In the evening show, the balloons were on parade but they did not take off but hot air balloons belong in the sky don't you think? We would definitely want to experience the excitement of watching them take off one by one after the set up.

Another note. There were 20 balloons but we managed to see only half of them because the zone cannot fit all of them at once. The other half was being set up half way when the winds arrived so too bad, we didn't get to see them.

It is worthwhile to get the tickets as the launch area is less crowded and you can watch the activities from very close up.

Future plan: Plan to arrive around 6.30am to avoid jam. The parking is not so bad when you plan to arrive early. There is ample parking. Purchase tickets online to avoid queue.

Enjoy watching the balloons set up and take off, followed by brunch. That is half day of fun for the family.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

PT3 2019 Project Dates for Sejarah, Geografi, RBT and ASK

PT3 2019 candidates are required to do some practical projects as part of their PT3 2019 assessments.

The breakdown of the marks and dates are as follows:


20% Project
80% Written Examinations

Dates: May - June


20% Project
80% Written Examinations

Dates: June - July

RBT or Rekabentuk dan Teknologi

30% Project
70% Written Examinations

Dates: March - August

ASK or Asas Sains Komputer

30% Project
70% Written Examinations

Dates: March - August

You can download the project guidelines for all of the subjects above here. Some of the guides are 30-40 pages long.

The written examination format for PT3 2019 for all subjects including Sejarah, Geografi, RBT, ASK, BM, BI, BC, Mathematics, Science etc can be found here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

How to Support Your Child in Learning English

As parents we want to support our child's learning as much as we can. In a multilingual society, it is important that we help our children learn English as they grow and mature as they will be learning several languages all at once.

Here are some tips we found from the British Council Malaysia Resources, Articles and Tips for Parents and Educators.

1. The best age for a child to start learning languages is from age 6 to 9

Children of this age are very eager to learn and experiment with languages. At this age, children learn intuitively by engaging all their senses. They are not afraid to make mistakes. Knowing this as a parent helps because it means we do not have to stress grammar mistakes as they are not going to be able to tell the difference between a past participle or a gerund anyway. There's no fun in that. We can teach them in other ways by making learning fun.


2. Make learning English fun!

If we are not going to stress on grammar mistakes, how can we help our child learn English? There are a variety of ways to make learning English fun as suggested by the British Council. They include teaching English through games, videos, songs and story books. We can help to point out new words and phrases as they go through these fun activities.

3. Do not continually point out your child's mistake

Instead of correcting our children's mistake, we should try "recasting". "Recasting" means repeating their sentences but without a mistake. In this way they will learn the correct form and eventually start speaking or writing correctly without prompting.

4. How to help your preteen and teen child learn English

As children grow, we should continue to support their learning. Preteens and teenagers learn languages differently. At this age, they are more analytical. Even though they are learning several languages at the same time, a teen can use their knowledge of their own language (whether it is Chinese, Malay or Tamil), to help them learn English.

Now, this is the time to introduce grammar instruction to them. At the same time you can teach them studying skills, time management and note-taking. This will not only help them in learning English, it will be useful when they apply it to other subjects too.

5. Encourage your child's self awareness

As they grow, your child will become more self aware. You can help your primary school going child by asking them questions that make them think.

"What causes their problems in writing?"
"What can they do to improve?"
 "What do successful writers do?"
 "Can they use any of the same techniques?"

 Asking analytical questions like these is not only helpful for learning English, it is important for every area of their lives and useful as a skill from primary to secondary school.

These tips were reproduced with the permission of British Council Malaysia.

The British Council offers a variety of courses for Young Learners from age 5 all the way until age 17 and topics revolving around grammar, formal language structures and study skills are all taught according to the ability and learning styles of the various age groups. Furthermore, soft skills are also taught during classes through group activities and games.

The new term at British Council will start on 23 March 2019. You can drop by the centres or visit www.britishcouncil.org/children to find out how they can help your child develop a love for English.

How to Find Chinese Character Stroke Order Using Yellow Bridge

One of the challenging things parents have to do is trying to teach their children a language which they themselves have no knowledge of. This is even more so for Chinese Mandarin. Learning Mandarin is like no other language. There are all those Chinese characters that you need to know. Not only that, you have to know how to write them correctly, stroke by stroke.

If you have no knowledge of Mandarin, it can be quite challenging trying to help your child with Chinese Mandarin homework. This is where apps and Chinese online dictionaries come in handy.

Here's an online dictionary which you can use to find the stroke order for Chinese characters but just how do you do that. It is quite confusing to use if you have no knowledge of Chinese whatsoever. This mini tutorial is to help parents find the stroke order for Chinese Mandarin characters so they can help their children and in the process learn some Chinese too!

Here are the steps:

Step 1: Open up this link: Yellow Bridge You will see the following page. Click on "Chinese-English Dictionary & Thesaurus.

Step 2. Next, you will arrive on this page. Type in the word you want to search in the "English to Chinese" search bar. The example I have used is "book"

Step 3: You will be presented with a list of words related to your search term. Select the one you want. I have selected the single character 书 . Click on the character.

Step 4: Click on the "Strokes" tab to view the stroke order for the word.

Step 5: By default, the animate mode is selected. Your Chinese character will auto play. Select "trace outline" if you want to practice writing the strokes using your mouse. That's it! You have learned a new Chinese character stroke and will be able to teach your child how to write the characters correctly. In Chinese Mandarin, children are often tested on the order of strokes too so this it is very important to get it right.

Finally, I recommend returning to the main screen to click on "Animated Stroke Order Rules" to learn the basic rules for writing Chinese character strokes. This will help you a lot in future exercises. Happy learning!

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