Welcome to 2019, and Term 1!
Happy New Year!
To returning families – Welcome back! To new faces, thank you very much for choosing the British Council. We look forward to working with you in the future, and hope that everything has got off to a good start.
If we can help in any way – answering questions, providing more information etc. – please contact our Customer Service Team.
Our calendar of events for Term 1 is now ready for downloading here. There is the Speech Competition and the parents’ welcome talk, so there is a lot to look forward to!
Parents’ Welcome Talk
For all parents of PP1-6 level students, there will be a talk during the last 15 minutes of your child’s lesson on Saturday, January 26 and Sunday, January 27. We ask that you could kindly be on time to this, as there will be little space in the classrooms, and we have lots of information to give you.
The teacher will be able to introduce themselves to you, give information about the Primary Plus course and studying at the British Council. We will also give advice on how you can support your child outside the classroom.
We look forward to meeting you all!
Speech Competition 2019
We are having a new Speech Competition at the Damansara teaching centre!
Is your child able to speak confidently? Or would you like to inspire them to speak more naturally? Then join this new challenge. Open to all students, for primary, the challenge is for students to record short (30-second to 1 minute) report or interview. Secondary students write and give a 4-5 minute presentation in pairs or groups of three. Teachers (or classmates) choose a group winner and those students are entered into the live finals in the final week of Term 1 (March 16 to 22).
We have two Parent workshops this term. Workshops take place from 12:30 - 1:15 pm and space is limited, so we recommend parents arrive on time to get a seat. There will also be some fun activities for children while parents attend the talk.
The first parent workshop, which will be in Week 4 (January 26 and 27) will be an Introduction to our young learner English courses at the British Council. We will provide you with important information about the British Council, our teachers, our classes and how you can help your child get the most from their lessons. All parents are welcome.
The second workshop, in Week 8 (March 2 and 3) will be on the topic of How to help your child learn through fun games at home. We will provide you with useful tips on how you can help your child learn outside of the classroom in a fun and motivating way. This workshop is suitable for all parents.
Fostering a Love of Reading
If you want your child to grow up to be a successful reader it is important to start out on the right track. In the years before a child starts school, the inaction of parents can have a lifelong impact on their children’s literacy skills. Parents can have up to six times more impact on primary age children than teachers.
The first step is to foster a love of reading in your child. There are a number of ways to do this. Storytime creates positive associations with reading. People who were read to as a child are much more likely to be enthusiastic readers in later life. You must also be a role model. Let them see you reading the newspaper or a novel and they will follow your lead.
Singing nursery rhymes and fingerplays with infants introduces them to the concept of stories. The actions are fun and help with meaning. Rhythm, repetition and melody make them easy to remember and accelerate speech development as they try to mimic you. Research has also shown that rhythmic awareness helps children in learning to read.
Children live in a world of imagination and will quickly learn to love stories. Develop your skills as a storyteller. Alter your voice for different characters, use emotion for sad or scary parts of the story and add sound effects. You can also adapt the stories to your child’s liking by giving it a happy or sad ending or even make up your own stories with your child as hero! They will have their favourite stories and ask to hear them again and again. Eventually they will be able to tell you the story.
It is also important to introduce your child to picture books from an early age. The bright colours and beautiful illustrations reinforce the idea that books are fun and help them to understand the story even before they can read. Board books and bath books are durable and can be handled by babies. Touch and feel, lift-the-flap and pop-up and puppet books all add another level of excitement. Exposing your child to a variety of books is key. They may prefer fiction, non-fiction, comics or magazines. It is essential to give them freedom of choice, while ensuring the book is a suitable level for them.
Children who have been introduced to the magic of books and stories have the intrinsic motivation to become successful readers.