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Secondary 4 Chemistry and Biology: Life under the Microscope

Secondary 4 Chemistry and Biology: Life under the Microscope

In preparations for the SPM examinations next year, several Secondary 4 students have been diligently at work with their studies of chemistry and biology. Their teacher, Mr. Muhamad Shahredza (or more commonly known as Mr. Shah by his students) meets with students three times a week for each subject. Two sessions are dedicated to teaching theory while the third session provides hands-on training in the school’s science lab. The two courses have proven to be challenging subjects for many students, but Mr. Shah explains how he gets good results using teaching tools. “I use YouTube videos, especially with Chemistry concepts. It really helps to have a visual representation of what I’m teaching. Animation helps students grasp and remember lessons better” he says. “Apart from that, constant revision through exercises helps with remembering formulas” he adds. The practical experiments in the lab also help develop his students’ memory. An hour in duration, these sessions train students in the discipline of scientific investigation and procedure which is relevant to the syllabus and the study of science.

We caught up with Mr. Shah’s students during a Biology session which focused on determining the presence of starch in food samples. For this experiment, small portions of flour, fruit, vegetables and tubers were laid out. Normally yellow in color, diluted iodine drops were carefully applied to each food sample. If starch is present, students will observe the iodine turn dark blue. 

During a recent chemistry experiment, students tested the reactivity of Sodium (Na), Potassium (K) and Lithium (Li) with water. The experiment was performed in a safety chamber behind protective glass while students wore safety goggles, gloves and lab coats as they handled the laboratory materials.

Secondary 4 student Law Dickson credits his sister for inspiring his interest in Biology and Chemistry, while classmate Koh Chen Xi saw the two science courses as a way to develop his ambitions as a chef. Chen Xi adds that he makes up funny names from the first letters of new concepts to help him remember information better.

Fellow student Naik Hsing Wei appreciates how both Biology and Chemistry have helped her better understand how life functions. To his credit, Mr. Shah has guided his students in their exploration of Biology and Chemistry as vehicles for understanding life around them.

INCS Open Day: Your Child’s Learning Potential Is Limitless

INCS Open Day: Your Child’s Learning Potential Is Limitless

INCS opens its doors each month for guests to visit the school campus during its Open Day event. The Open Day gives prospective students and parents an opportunity to speak with teachers and learn more about the school’s courses, curriculum, fees and extra programs beyond academics like team sports and the performing arts.

Teachers and staff conduct tours of the school leading small groups of parents and their children to see the music room, art room, cafe, ICT room, assembly hall and other facilities. Administrators are on hand to answer any challenging questions from parents.

After touring the classroom facilities, guests can wander to the sports and recreational areas where several games and activities have been prepared. Here kids can take part in an obstacle race, play futsal, shoot basketball and try out the archery range. 

Afterwards, visitors are invited back indoors to a children’s workshop on financial literacy. Young learners can enjoy activities involving cash transactions and earning play money prepared for the workshop. The class provides a glimpse of the practical lessons offered by the school as part of its primary and secondary programs.

During a recent Open Day, an elderly Mr. Leong visited INCS with his granddaughter. “I consider myself very fortunate among my generation,” he said. ”We didn’t have much, but I managed to graduate from university despite significant struggles. Today, look at the great facilities and resources available here. I want my granddaughter to have the best. I hope to give her what I didn’t have growing up so that she can achieve her full potential when she grows up.”

According to Ms. SP Lee, the school’s president, parents can quickly size up the school and our teachers and see if we are good match for their needs. Kids know instantly if they like the school or not, and INCS manages to win many families over during the Open Day event.

The school offers ‘trial classes’ where prospective students can attend classes for 3 days before deciding to register. If you would like your child to participate in a trial class, call us at +6012 268 1258 or stop by for a visit. Our next Open Day at INCS will be Saturday 24 August.

Practical Life Skills: Mechanical Club in Session

Practical Life Skills: Mechanical Club in Session

It’s a curious scene: a group of students gathered over a pile of plastic PVC pipe and random L and T-shaped pipe joints interspersed with an assortment of hand tools. What exactly is going on here? 

The odd collection of pipe fittings and tools is the work of Mr. Afizi who has organized today’s activities as the faculty adviser of the Mechanical Club. After briefing his students, the class breaks off into teams which get started on the pile of plastic parts. There’s lots of giggling and excitement as students examine with curiosity at the various tools and fittings. Mr. Afizi keeps a watchful eye on his students to ensure that everyone remains safe. 

“This is a typical session of the Mechanical Club. They’re learning how to fabricate a simple shoe rack from PVC pipe,” explains S.P. Lee who serves as President of INCS.

The chatter has grown softer, more orderly as teams settle down to focus on their plans of execution and individual task assignments. Everyone wants to contribute to their team’s project, as the assortment of plastic parts has gradually transformed into rectangular structures. 

“Can you hand me that part?” 

“I think this one goes here.” 

“Let me hold that for you.” 

“Can you cut this piece here?” 

With a smaller student population, INCS manages student clubs very differently from government schools. “Here, club activities are incorporated into the regular school timetable. Students don’t have to stay back after school so it’s easier for them and less tiring,” explains S.P.

“We also invite students from primary and secondary classes to attend club sessions together. We rotate and vary the student clubs that are offered each semester.”

“Our activities are designed to give students practical, everyday life skills. We may introduce art or woodworking as well as learning song and dance” she adds. “Other times, we might sponsor uniformed bodies like Girl Guides and Boy Scouts.”

Students gather around their completed projects for photos. Participants were able to follow Mr. Afizi’s instructions, cut the PVC pipe to correct length and assemble the parts in an orderly manner. The finished racks are currently in use in the student lounge area for all to examine and admire.

 

Find out how your child can also learn practical life skills through our student clubs by calling us at +6012 268 1258 or visiting our campus during school hours for a free consultation.

 

RBT Course Sparks Creativity and Teamwork

RBT Course Sparks Creativity and Teamwork

For anyone who enjoys making things with their hands, the RBT course offers a fun way to learn practical skills and trying out creative ideas. It’s like art class with a more practical purpose to the exercises. RBT combines design with elements of carpentry, handicrafts, electronics and home economics. Students learn to exercise their ingenuity and handiwork creating a variety of functional projects. 

RBT or Reka Bentuk dan Teknologi is the subject of Design and Technology, an elective course which was introduced into the Malaysian National School Syllabus in 1989. Together with ICT (or Information and Communications Technology which focuses on digital literacy), RBT was part of Kemahiran Hidup, the subject of Living Skills. 

At INCS, RBT classes are both theoretical and practical which means that lessons about what materials to use or how to solve certain problems are supported by hands-on projects where students practice what they’ve studied.

In addition to learning about the technical aspects of design and how to solve everyday problems around the home, the course also teaches collaboration, communication and entrepreneurship. Supporting soft skills that are practiced like presenting design solutions and drafting proposals will prepare them for future working life.

The practical exercises and coursework all lead to the final project which students must present at the end of the year. Secondary 3 students must prepare a product proposal, develop a functional prototype and present their work to the class. Four Form 3 students shared their experiences of the RBT course. Elisa, Nurin, Rachhitaa and Kahlia worked on a project where they recycled old jeans into useful everyday products like bags, slippers and wall hangings used for storage.

“I feel that it really helps my creativity,” said Kahlia who enjoyed the task of writing a project brief because it allowed her to sketch out her ideas of the product along the way. “I think RBT can really help those who want to start a business because it introduces entrepreneurial skills,” says Elisa who loves the final assembly phase where they sewed the fabric sections together.

Both Rachhitaa and Nurin felt that the RBT course helped them to communicate their ideas better and enjoyed sessions where they could share their ideas with their team.

Students who will be considering taking the Form 3 RBT course next year have much to look forward to and will enjoy the same sense of pride and craftsmanship that our four young friends have.

Financial Literacy for Kids

Financial Literacy for Kids

Malaysians today enjoy a higher standard of living than ever before, but as personal incomes have increased so too has personal spending and debt. In response to the threat of mounting individual debt and bankruptcy, many families are appreciating the importance of teaching their children basic lessons of financial discipline and money management. 

From its inception, INCS recognized the importance of financial literacy as part of a practical, modern education and embedded a proven programme into the fabric of its curriculum. Every student from Primary 1 to Secondary 4 receives one lesson each week on an aspect of financial management. The lessons are structured, interactive and conducted in a way for children to easily grasp concepts related to finance and basic management of family resources. The teaching approach and content were developed by MoneyTree (M) Sdn Bhd which is dedicated to providing financial education to children and teens.

During one session involving students from Primary 2 to 5, the class of 20 students diligently attended to their workbooks under the guidance of their teacher, Madam Kokila. A fundamental part of any financial literacy class starts with lessons of how to save money and use of a budget to manage spending. Students learn to utilize a series of ‘money jars’ as a practical home-savings system. 

Despite their young age, these students were able to able to understand the uses of different bank accounts such as savings and current accounts. Many in Madam Kokila’s class were inquisitive and excited by the subject matter. 

Asked what he liked best about the financial literacy class, Adam who is currently in Primary 4 replied, “I feel that it will be pretty useful for when I grow up.” Ai Woen and Mia who are both from Primary 3 enjoy the interactive games where they can handle paper notes freely.

 

The concepts introduced are basic at the early levels, but the lessons grow in complexity with each primary and secondary level and will serve these students well when they embark on their professional careers. With ongoing support and guidance, INCS students are being trained to make sound decisions and avoid the all too common pitfalls of chronic overspending and debt, the dreaded offspring of financial illiteracy.

To learn more about the Financial Literacy programme, stop by the school in Bukit Jelutong during normal school hours, or call us at +6012 268 1258 for further details.