Latest news and updates for our Kuala Lumpur Young Learner parents - January 2015

Course books for 2015

Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances, we understand that some parents have had difficulty in purchasing the course books for some levels. This is partially due to unexpectedly long delays in delivery of books to our partner bookstore, MPH, by publishers and higher than expected student registration at particular levels. We are happy to announce that the publishers have delivered some of the back order and books are now available for most levels. We are working closely with our partners at MPH to ensure that all students are able to purchase course books as soon as possible, but we request your patience while we wait for the deliveries of the last few levels.

We ask for particular patience from parents of children in LP1, UP2 and US5 as these levels have seen higher than expected registration and we expect a shortfall of books. More books have been ordered, but these may take 6-8 weeks for delivery. In the meantime, teachers are aware of the issue and will provide copies to ensure students who do not have books are not disadvantaged in class. We will continue to update you on the situation and will send an SMS blast to inform you when the books have arrived.

Books are still available for the following levels through MPH online: PS1, PS2, LP2, LP3, UP1, UP3, UP4, LS2, LS3, LS4, LS5, US2, US3, US4.

A reminder about dropping off your child

To help keep children safe, please do not drop children off for class more than 15 minutes before the scheduled start time. Parents of children left at the KL and Damansara centres more than 15 minutes before class will be called and asked to remain with their child until class begins.

Pre-School, Lower Primary and Upper Primary Meet and Greet

There will be a short 10 minute briefing for parents of Pre-School (PS), Lower Primary (LP) and Upper Primary (UP) students in our KL centre at the end of the 3rd lesson. For Sunday classes, this will take place on Sunday 18th January, and for Saturday classes it will take place on Saturday 24th January. This is a good opportunity for parents to meet your child’s teacher and hear about what will happen in your child’s class this year. To attend this briefing, please be ready near your child’s classroom 10 minutes before the end of the lesson and the teacher will invite you in when the class is ready.

A reminder about notebooks and portfolios

At the start of each year, every student receives a new British Council notebook. At the back of the notebook parents can find a record of what students have studied in each lesson and the homework assigned for that week.

When students begin their studies at the British Council they are also issued with a portfolio in which they can store the work that they do in class. Portfolios are kept by the teacher and TA for pre-school and lower primary levels, and these are sent home to parents at the end of each term. Students are expected to return their portfolios to their teacher at the start of the next term. If your child has not already done this, please help them to do it this weekend. For upper primary and secondary levels, students are responsible for their own folders and take them home after each lesson. If your child has misplaced their portfolio, please provide them with an alternative file for them to store their work in.

Upcoming holidays

Just a reminder that British Council’s KL centre on Jalan Ampang will be closed for Federal Territories on the 1st of February and there will be no classes during Chinese New Year, on the 21st and 22nd February. We wish all of our students a very happy Chinese New Year.

2015 Reading Challenge

Please look out for announcements about the 2015 Reading Challenge. This will be run from March-mid-April in our KL centre and mid-April-June in Damansara.

Helping your child to become an independent learner

One of the most important learning skills you can help your child to develop is to become an independent learner. Children who are more independent learners tend to have more self-confidence and have a greater sense that they are in control of their learning. Encouraging independent learning can happen from a young age, but it can be hard for parents who are not trained teachers to know when they are giving too much help and when they are not giving enough. If you regularly help your child with their homework, there are a few simple steps you can take to help your child become more independent learners.

  1. Help your child to answer the first question or two in an activity then allow them to do the next ones by themselves. Encourage them to get the answer themselves, but if they are struggling it may help them to point out how you would find the answer.
  2. Negotiate a time limit on how long they think it will take them to finish the rest of the activity to help them stay focused on their work. Perhaps even set a timer on your phone and encourage them to ‘race’ the clock. The time limit should be reasonable so that children can complete the activity with neat writing.
  3. If your child is used to you being with them when they complete their homework, gradually move away from them over a period of time. Helping them to start their homework and then moving to sit nearby but not with them while they finished can give them the comfort of you being there but encourage them to complete the work by themselves. Over time you can put more distance between you until they are able to work alone while you are able to get on with other things you might need to do.
  4. Set aside time after your child has finished their homework to spend some time alone and focused on them. You could play a game together or read a story. It’s a good reward for having finished their work by themselves.
  5. Most importantly, be firm. If your child won’t try to work independently or is fussing over something that they can do quite easily when you are there, let them know that you have confidence in their ability to do it by themselves but you won’t help them unless they really need it. It can be hard to say ‘no’, but it is worth it to see them become more confident and self-assured as learners and people.