With Malay language generally being a weak link at most international schools, SJIS leads the way with its own method of teaching and its supplementary texts that were put together by the Malay department.
“We combine the standards expected from our national schools as well as the Cambridge syllabus.”
The Malay language teachers also put in a lot of effort to improve the standards of Malay. “Our national language needs to be emphasized more so that the student are more fluent in it.,” says Puan Nor Afiqah .
Malay department teachers, Nor Afiqah, S. Halimatun and S. Syahbandi.
The stellar results produced by the school are the fruits of all this hard work.
SJIS had 53 students who received A*s, 36 with As, followed by 9 with Bs and and 1 student receiving a C grade. But more than that, the euphoria was for three students who scored full marks.
The SJIS library usually a scene of studious quiet and calm was a buzz of happy activity as students collected their results with three top students, Lee Jia Xun, Amelie Koh and Chan Kun Lam scoring perfect 100 scores for their oral and written papers.
“I could not believe I scored a perfect 100,” says the self-effacing Year 11-1 student, Lee Jia Xun who admitted to working hard to get a good grade. “I worked hard, spent time doing past year papers and practising my spoken Malay in front of my parents and sister,” admits Lee. “I wanted a good grade but did not expect the perfect 100 score.” Lee’s sister, Lee Zhi Yan , also a former SJIS student helped him with his spoken Malay, offering him tips.
“To ensure that we did better than what was expected, our teachers set us work that was far was higher and expected from our standards,” said Lee
who is happy with his perfect A*.
Lee is not complaining, in fact it is motivating him to keep working hard for all his other papers as well.
Lee, who like most other students arrived from a Chinese primary school found speaking and writing Malay a challenge. SJIS to overcome this challenge, decided to put together their own text-books supplementing the Cambridge-issued Malay books.
“The IGCSE books are generally easier but we decided to bring up our students’ standards by giving them exercises that were more difficult. This was to build up their confidence,” says the subject lead Puan Halimatun Saadiah. With the schoolwork decidedly more difficult than the actual exams, most students find it a breeze to sit for their exams. Echoing the same sentiments, Mr S. Syahbandi added, that to prepare the students, they spent a lot of time doing revision work, past-year questions and word drills.
“We work on their vocabulary when they first join us,
and add on the grammar and sentence construction
as they get more confident with their Malay,” noted Mr Syahbandi .