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Friday, February 03, 2023

Five real-world skills students will learn in an English enrichment class for Secondary

This post is brought to you by British Council Malaysia.

The 21st century has seen rapid changes in the way we live, work and connect with others. More than ever, students need to be equipped with the tools to navigate our evolving and, at times, unpredictable world with confidence. That’s why our courses go beyond the syllabus, addressing the fundamentals like grammar and vocabulary, while building a whole body of skills that will set young people up for success.




Here are five of the real-world skills our Secondary courses aim to nurture.

Leadership

What are leadership skills? Authority? Taking command of a group? The ability to make quick decisions? How about clear communication, collaboration, problem solving and positive influencing? Through a mixture of teamwork and independent tasks, our experienced teachers encourage all students to find their voice, be themselves and build on their natural ability to lead.

Resilience

To succeed in anything difficult, we all need resilience. From school exams to starting university and applying for jobs, being able to withstand challenges and setbacks is essential. We support our students to embrace the struggle of learning, encouraging them to take pride in and responsibility for their own journey. Becoming an independent learner is what will sustain long-term academic performance and all-round success.

Critical thinking

One of the core skills that will set students apart in any competitive environment is critical thinking. Transference of knowledge is not enough to unlock a young person’s full potential – we want to see young learners approach their studies with intellectual curiosity, inquisitiveness, originality and analysis. Through techniques such as deep reading, we push students to question texts and express themselves with compelling, evidence-based arguments.

Creativity

Creativity has often been overlooked as a vital skill for academic and workplace success, but universities and employers are increasingly seeking this quality in the most exceptional candidates. Thinking creatively means engaging the whole brain, looking for smart solutions that others may not identify, and approaching challenges with an innovative mindset. Our focus on creativity also helps students to engage more closely with their work, and have fun along the way.

Global mindset


Our Secondary courses place a strong emphasis on helping students build a global mindset. Learning English to a high level will put young learners on the path to a brilliant future. By also fostering intercultural confidence and awareness, as well as an expanded understanding of our world, we hope to see our students grow into assertive, independent global citizens with uncapped aspirations.

About our Secondary Plus courses

The British Council aims to support teens to thrive academically and outside the classroom. Our highly qualified and passionate teachers approach this by focusing on 21st century life skills, in tandem with key exam techniques. Stimulating up-to-date topics are linked to timely world issues, incentivising students to grow their knowledge by seeing the immediate relevance of what they are learning.

Find out more about our English enrichment class for Secondary and other English courses for kids and teens.

About The British Council in Malaysia

The British Council in Malaysia offers a wide range of English classes for young children -including group courses and customised one-to-one courses. Your child will learn more than just language, they will develop skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, and making connections. Our aim is to nurture our students to become creative thinkers and confident communicators, so that they may thrive both inside and outside of the classroom. To find out more about our courses for kids and teens, visit our website or book a free consultation with our friendly consultant.

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

KF 94 masks from Korea for school and work

 


KF 94 masks - What does the KF stand for?

The South Korean standard KF94 masks have grown in popularity since the start of the pandemic. Most people are familiar with the design and shape of the KF94 masks by now though some are still unaware of what KF94 actually stand for. 

KF stands for Korean Filter, whereas 94 stands for the filtration efficacy. KF94 masks have an adjustable bridge for a more secure fit over your nose and side flaps to cover your face snugly. The side flaps help close any gaps around the face to limit unfiltered air entry.

There are many KF94 masks available locally now. However, if you are looking for KF94 masks which are manufactured and sold direct from Korea and KFDA approved (KFDA = Korea Food & Drug Administration), you can check out the Biomate KF94 mask.

Where can you buy the Biomate made in Korea KF94 masks?

The Biomate KF94 masks can be purchased direct from Korea and sent to your doorstep from Lady K House. They are suitable for students to use for school and adults to use for work as they are available in basic white and black variants. 

  • The masks are available in 10s, 50s, 100s, 150s and 200s. 
  • The masks are KFDA approved and also Sirim Certified. 
  • It has 4 filter layers and is soft and comfortable. 
  • The masks are individually packed for hygiene and convenience.


Buy Now: Kids Masks/Adult Masks
Use Discount Code mumgatherxoxo for 5% off your purchase together with FREESHIPPING1 for freeshipping on your purchase. Both codes can be used at the same time
(Expiry date for codes is 28 February 2023)

What is the size of the kids Biomate masks?

Buying masks for kids is more challenging than buying masks for adults because kids faces have very different sizes since they are  growing rapidly. It is important to check out the sizes of the kids masks before you purchase.

Know the size

The Biomate KF94 masks is 173 x 70 mm in size. They are suitable for children from age 7 to 12. They are available in white and black making them appropriate and suitable for school or tuition setting.

While it is fun to occasionally have cartoon masks for festive or other occasion, for long term use, it is better to have white masks which do not use any colour or dye.

Inside Biomate KF94 mask factory

Have you ever visited a mask factory? Check out how the Biomate KF94 masks are produced in the cleanest of environments in the following video.




This post was brought to you by Lady K House


Saturday, January 07, 2023

What you need to know about the UASA


Students in Std 4, 5, 6 and Forms 1, 2 & 3 sit for the UASA for the first time this month (January 2023) and there has been a number of questions on this on our Facebook group. This post hopes to answer some of those questions.

FAQ on UASA

1. What is UASA?

UASA
stands for Ujian Akhir Semester Akademik. As the name suggest this exam or evaluation is held at the end of the academic session. 

2. Why is the UASA held in January?

As the name suggests, the UASA is an end of academic session test. It is not to be confused with end of the year test. Currently the academic year ends in February, which is why the UASA is being held in January.

3. Is the UASA something new that is recently introduced?

No, the UASA is not recently introduced. In fact, it was announced in June 2022 by the former Minister of Education.

Read more about it here: https://www.bharian.com.my/berita/nasional/2022/06/961988/ada-ujian-akhir-sesi-sekolah-rendah-menengah-rendah

Later on in November, the Lembaga Peperiksaan uploaded a video on the introduction to the UASA and explained how it was going to be implemented starting from 2023.


4. Are students in Std 1 - 3 required to sit for the UASA?

No, the UASA is only for students in the following categories

Primary school - Std 4, 5 & 6
Secondary school - Form 1, 2 & 3

5. Is the UASA supposed to replace UPSR and PT3?

No. After UPSR and PT3 were abolished, schools conducted School Based Assessments or PBS (Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah) where students are assessed regularly not only in academics but also in non-academics through PAJSK (Pentaksiran Psikometrik dan Pentaksiran Aktiviti Jasmani Sukan Kokurikulum)

The UASA is to further strengthen the PBS by having written examinations at the end of an academic session.

6. How is the UASA different from UPSR and PT3?

The UASA is not a centralized examination. However, the MOE will prepare a question bank for schools to generate their own testpapers. Schools also have the autonomy to choose their own dates to hold the examintions, within a given time frame. The UASA exam is not centralized because the exams will be held at different times and the papers will not be exactly the same. However, the exam is a unified exam because all schools will use the same pool of questions to generate their exam papers.

Another difference is students will only be tested for the academic year alone. For example, in PT3, students will be tested for what they have learned from Forms 1 until Form 3 whereas in UASA, students will only be tested for that year alone. eg Form 2 only or Form 3 only etc.

7. Who prepares the test papers? School or MOE?

Schools will generate their own test papers by selecting from a question bank prepared by the MOE. The MOE will prepare a question bank for 5 subjects in primary school. 

  • Bahasa Malaysia
  • Bahasa Inggeris
  • Matematk
  • Sains
  • Sejarah
As for Secondary school, MOE will prepare a question bank for 20 subjects. Schools will then choose and prepare papers on those subjects that they are offering.

8. Is it true that a pass in Sejarah is required to advance to Form 1?

There has been some rumors that a pass in Sejarah is now required or at least a TP4-TP6. We do not know the answer to this but like all other rumours, common sense should prevail. There is no confirmation for now. However, there is no harm to err on the caution side because Sejarah is a required pass subject in SPM. Wouldn't it be better to start preparing and building a student's foundation from young ie during the primary school years? Sejarah should not be ignored since it is a required pass subject in SPM.

9. Will there be marks given for the papers?

Students will be graded in a similar fashion as PBD (Pentaksiran Bilik Darjah) ie within a score range from TP1 to TP6 (TP = Tahap Penguasaan or Mastery Level). 


10. Will the UASA be used to decide if a student will be required to attend remove class?

In the past, SJKC and SJKT students were required to get a minimum of Grade D in UPSR to advance to Form 1 directly.

After the abolishment of UPSR and before UASA began, students were required to achieve Mastery Level TP4 to TP6 in their school assessment for Bahasa Melayu (BM) language subject in order to move up to Form 1. Pupils who attained TP1 to TP3 in the assessment will be further assessed in the Bahasa Melayu Assessment Literacy Test (UPLBM). Those failing the UPLBM are required to take a one-year transition class (Kelas Peralihan) to improve their knowledge of Bahasa Melayu before entering secondary school.

We believe that it will be the same for UASA in that students must achieve at least TP4 in order to advance to Form 1.

Whatever it may be, the most important thing is to prepare your child well in Bahasa Malaysia. Bahasa Malaysia is another required pass subject in SPM. Don't put it in the back burner just because they are studying in SJKC or SJKT. It is very important to make sure that they have a certain mastery of the language especially if you intend to send them to SMK so that they can have a smooth transition from and all Chinese/Tamil speaking environment to all BM speaking environement in secondary school. Do not neglect BM and you won't have to worry about this aspect at all.

11. Where can I get  more details on the UASA?

You can go to the Lembaga Peperiksaan website to download the Administrative Guidelines for UASA.

12. What is the new format for the exam papers?

Below are the formats for the UASA papers, You can view the videos from DidikTV by KPM or see the attached formats by Lembaga Peperiksaan.

Format for the UASA BM paper Std 4,5,6



Format for the UASA Bahasa Inggeris paper Std 4,5,6

Format for the UASA Matematik Paper for Std 4,5,6


Format for the UASA Sains paper for Std 4,5,6


Format for the UASA Sejarah paper for Std 4,5,6



Please go here to download the full explanation of the format for the UASA Std 1, 2, 3 primary school papers including the Tahap Penguasaan TP1 to TP6 definitions.
Buku Format Instrumen Pentaksiran Dan Pelaporan Ujian Akhir Sesi Akademik Sekolah Rendah (Tahun 4,5 dan 6)

As for secondary schools, the MOE will prepare the question bank for the following 20 papers.

Format for the secondary school UASA Form 1, 2 ,3 papers can be found here:
Buku Format Instrumen Pentaksiran Dan Pelaporan Ujian Akhir Sesi Akademik Sekolah Menengah (Tingkatan 1,2 dan 3)

Where can I buy UASA workbooks?

A check on a couple of physical bookstores shows it is not available. However, we found it in a few online bookstores

UASA Workbooks for Primary Std 1, Std 2, Std 3



Go to Funbooks On Shopee to view these UASA workbooks from Penerbitan Ilmu Didik


Go to Bookstation on Shopee to view these UASA books from Penerbitan Pelangi

UASA workbooks for SJKC Std 4, Std 5, Std 6



For those who prefer Lazada, you can also search for UASA books on Lazada.
Tip: Try searching for the keywords using the publisher names like  "Sasbadi" or "Pelangi" may yield better results than "UASA workbooks".

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Boost your child’s reading skills in our English class for Early Years

This post is brought to you by British Council Malaysia.

Our aim is to help your child succeed at every stage of their academic journey. In kindergarten, that means preparing little ones to develop a love for reading and be confident communicators from an early age.

Reading is a foundational skill for learning; early support will help children to enjoy a positive start in all subjects, while contributing to their all-round, holistic development. Through reading, children discover their creativity – demonstrating an increasingly imaginative and inquisitive understanding of the world around them. We also see benefits like improved concentration, critical thinking, and emotional growth, readying them to become independent learners.



Let’s take a look at what parents can expect from our Phonics course.

Phonemic awareness

Children will develop a grasp of phonics and will be provided extra support to progress to reading fluency. Our friendly and dedicated teachers will focus on blending phonics – the building blocks of early literacy.

Letter formation and handwriting skills

Your child will become more familiar with sight words and letter formation. In a step up from pencil grip and letter formation activities, they will practise writing sentences of what they say to develop their language ability.

About our Phonics course for Early Years

This enrichment course is designed to give your child the tools they need to develop their love for reading and writing and eventually meet the new challenges of their first school year. The 10-week course consists of 15 hours of learning. Find out more about our courses for kids and teens.


About The British Council in Malaysia

The British Council in Malaysia offers a wide range of English classes for young children - including group courses and customised one-to-one courses. Your child will learn more than just language, they will develop skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, and making connections. Our aim is to nurture our students to become creative thinkers and confident communicators, so that they may thrive both inside and outside of the classroom. To find out more about our courses for kids and teens, visit our website or book a free consultation with our friendly consultant.

Sunday, January 01, 2023

Helping your daughter to handle getting periods in school

 This post was brought to you by Lady K House.

Preparing your child for first period

Many girls are getting their period at a younger age, some as young as 8 years old. As parents, we should prepare our girls as early as possible. The best way to prepare them is to chat with our daughters about puberty and the changes their body will be going through. This is important so that they will be prepared and not get caught by surprise or fear. 

It is never too young to start these kinds of conversations matter of factly. There is nothing to be shy about. Even dads can do this, especially single dads. You don't have to leave this to mom. Any parent can help to prepare their child to expect their first period. Let them ask questions and be clear and straight forward with your answers. 

Next, you can prepare a First Period Kit consisting of:
  • Cute pouch
  • Sanitary Pad
  • Extra set of panties
  • Hand wipes
  • A small diary to record period dates
  • A small gift

How to handle getting period in school, teasing, stains and cramps

Most primary school children would already have gotten their periods by the time they reach the age of 12 before they advance to secondary school. This means that they will have to handle getting periods while they are at school from a very young age. They may have to handle getting periods while school is in session along with any teasing, staining or cramping.

Here's how we can prepare them to handle getting periods in school
  • Prepare a pouch with extra pads, panties and wipes for their school bags
  • Educate them on the proper and hygenic way to dispose of a pad
  • Teach them to inform teacher if they need to rest due to bad cramps
  • Ask them to ignore teasing and it will cease. Bullies like to tease only if they get a reaction. If the teasing is bad, tell them to inform the teacher
  • Wear a comfortable leak free pad and safety pants during period days to prevent stains 

Lady K recommends



As parents we want the  best for our children. Similarly we want the best pads available for our daughters. Pads that are comfortable, leak free and formulated without harsh chemicals. This is important to prevent rash or uncomfortable itching on sensitive skin during period days. 


Lady K recommends Korea Rael Organic Cotton Cover Sanitary Pads. RAEL is a number 1 best seller in Amazon. It is designed for women by women. It is crafted with a plush organic cotton cover and a super absorbant core to protect the most sensitive skin and prevent allergies. Inpsired by a rising trend in Korea, this unique hybrid between an overnight pad and a period underwear provides the ultimate period protection for day and night.

A good starter pad for kids, preteens, teenagers and including mom!

We are currently having a giveaway for readers. Hop over to our page for a chance to try out this number 1 best seller in Amazon and win prizes too!


Tuesday, December 13, 2022

How to help young children learn English

One of the best things you can do for your children is to teach them English from an early age. From social confidence to brain development, academic results to employment potential, the benefits are almost endless. Here’s how to introduce English for children through games and fun activities.



Why children need to learn English

Let’s begin by discussing why English for children matters in the early years of their education.

Over one billion people speak English around the world. And, unusually, more people speak English as a second language than as their mother tongue. English is the language of international business, diplomacy, education, finance and even aviation. In other words, it’s an essential life skill for the 21st century. However, these aren’t the only benefits of learning English for kids. Learning languages as a child is also very good for your brain.

Young children have an amazing capacity to absorb a vast amount of new information in their brains. This means that when it comes to languages and skills, they are able to pick them up more easily than adults. Research from Lund University in Sweden has proven that learning a second language can even make brains grow larger!

Children who learn English also have the opportunity to practise their communication skills. Through playing word games, speaking in front of a group and practising conversational routines, they gain social skills and confidence.


How to start teaching English at home

It’s never too early to start teaching English to kids. In fact, the earlier you start, the better!

However, it’s important to choose the right approach. Children at an early age have short attention spans and aren’t used to rigid classroom rules. Instead, you should make English for kids an enjoyable experience, with short activities and fun songs, stories and games.

In the next section, we’ve shared some tips for teaching English to early years children.


Tips for teaching English to young children

  • Treat English as a fun game. Play word games, paper games or even playground games in English. Keep it short and sweet: ideally, your child should think of English as a fun activity that you do together, just like going to the park or doing crafts.
  • Make English part of your daily routine. With small children, it’s best to learn little and often. And by incorporating English into your everyday life, you’ll create an immersion effect. Students often get better results when they learn English through immersion such as cultivating a habit of reading books together or discussing their day.
  • Tell stories. Young kids love reading, hearing and telling stories. So it’s a great way to start teaching English at home! Initially it’s a good idea to read to your child but gradually they should be given the opportunity to read the story to you. You can do this by taking turns to read different pages in the book.
  • Be careful and don’t be too pedantic. Remember, your goal is to make English for children seem playful and natural. Don’t worry about correcting your kid’s tenses or explaining conditionals to them! If you correct them too much, you may run the risk of stifling their confidence.
  • Use songs and music. Most children love singing or playing music. Plus, singing is a great way to remember new words or practise correct pronunciation. There are lots of videos for early years English online which use actions and pictures as extra language support. Try these ones on the British Council LearnEnglishKids website: https://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/listen-watch

English classes for young children

As well as learning English at home, you might decide that your child would benefit from an English class for kids.

These classes can speed up your child’s learning because they are taught by expert instructors and provide more opportunities to practise communication skills in a group. However, it’s still important to keep chatting, playing and singing at home!


About The British Council in Malaysia

The British Council in Malaysia offers a wide range of English classes for young children - including group courses and customised one-to-one courses. Your child will learn more than just language, they will develop skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, and making connections. Our aim is to nurture our students to become creative thinkers and confident communicators, so that they may thrive both inside and outside of the classroom.

To find out more about our courses for kids and teens, visit our website or book a free consultation with our friendly consultant.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

2023/2024 School Holidays Calendar

 


We have so many school holidays and yet the strange thing is we keep on looking out for more! For example, we have a 3 week holiday in December 2022, a 5 day Chinese New Year holiday in January 2023 and another 3 weeks end of academic year holiday in March 2023. So many holidays and yet, the first question that parents often ask is "Is the school holiday schedule for next year out yet?" 

It is finally uploaded on the MOE site. Now parents can do planning for 2023/2024. 

The academic year remains the same which means that the school year will begin in March 2023 and the calendar is now  called the 2023/2024 academic calendar. Below is the calendar including the Festive calendar for 2023/2024.You can download it in pdf format from the Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia website here: Kalendar Academik Sesi 2023/2024

Below is the academic calendar for 2023/2024 for Group A schools ie schools in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.

The first day of school for Group A schools is 19 March 2023.

Below is the academic calendar for 2023/2024 session for Group B schools ie schools in Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan & Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya.

The first day of school in 2023 for Group B schools is 20 March 2023.


The Festive Calendar 2023/2024 is below. A few festivals like Christmas 2023 and Chinese New Year 2024 happen to fall during the school holidays. 

Apart from asking about the school holidays schedule, parents have been wondering whether the start of school would revert back to January instead of March. The Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia just answered this question in their latest Facebook post dated 10 December 2022.  which is reproduced below. 

In the post, they explained a few issues:

  • Schools to start a week later in March 2023. The first day of school has been pushed further to 19 or 20 March 2023 instead of 12 or 13 of March 2023 to facilitate the SPM examinations. However, even with this push back, schools is still able to maintain the minimum number of days required in a year.
  • The decision to revert the school calendar back to January has been deferred. It would take 3 years from 2023 to 2026 by reducing holidays etc to revert back to January. Therefore, in consideration of the economic impact of this to the nation and the wellfare of teachers and students, the decision to revert the school calendar has been deferred.
  • SPM will not be in November or December due to floods. Previously SPM was conducted in November or December but it has since been postponed to February or March due to flooding. KPM notes that by holding the exams in February or March, the waiting period for university students is shortened, however they will constantly monitor the preparation of the academic calendar for the next year to ensure the smooth flow of teaching and learning.







Friday, November 25, 2022

Six lower primary English books recommendations for your list

This post is brought to you by British Council Malaysia.

You want your child to not only develop their comprehension skills, but also grow as a passionate reader.

Reading is foundational for a child’s communication skills. It helps to build language and inspire new curiosity about the world around them. It can also be a great delight for both children and parents to engage in together. In this article, we will take a look at some of the ways you can nurture your child’s reading comprehension at home, including six book recommendations to add to your list..


Strategies to boost your child’s reading comprehension

Because every child is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to reading development. Children will respond to reading methods in different ways and make progress at different rates.

As a first step, one of the best ways to help your child connect with the words on the page is with phonics instruction. You can guide them in pairing letters with the corresponding sounds, allowing your child the chance to make their own attempts at pronunciation. Segmenting (splitting up the separate sounds) and blending (joining them together to form the whole word) can be useful tools.

As your child learns, encourage them to ask questions. By giving them the space to feel their way around the text and express curiosity, you will help them to get creative and think independently. In turn, ask them open-ended questions, like 'what do you think will happen in the story?' Enjoy watching them use their imagination while they gain practice in organising and vocalising their thoughts.

Of course, one easy strategy for improving your child’s reading comprehension is to allow them to choose stories that will captivate them. Encourage them to pick books that match their interests and carve out time each day to lose yourself in them together.

Six of our favourite children’s books

Need some ideas? Here are some top recommendations from our teaching staff for Primary.
  •  If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't! by Elise Parsley is a simple story about a show-and-tell that’s excellent fun for young children to interact with.
  • Letters to Pluto by Lou Treleaven, Jon’s teacher has started an interplanetary penpal programme. A wonderfully creative book that features some unusual words to play around with.
  • Geronimo Stilton series by Elisabetta Dami. This hugely popular series takes children on worldwide adventures with consistent characters and plenty of wordplay.
  • The Legend of Spud Murphy by Eoin Colfer is a lively and humorous book about two boys condemned to step foot inside their local library. Filled with everyday scenarios, it’s a great option for reluctant and keen young readers alike.
  • Rainbow Magic by Shirley Barber is a classic fairytale filled with beautiful illustrations and creative devices that will ignite the imagination.
  • Kid Normal series by Greg James is a fun story that tells us we don’t need superpowers to be a superhero. A thought-provoking sentiment for children to explore between laughs.
About The British Council in Malaysia

The British Council in Malaysia offers English courses for kids and teens. Your child will learn more than just language, they will develop skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, and making connections. Our aim is to nurture our students to become creative thinkers and confident communicators, so that they may thrive both inside and outside of the classroom.

To find out more about our courses for kids and teens, visit our website or book a free consultation with our friendly consultant.



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