Research contributed by Jerusha Lee and Ta Susiwati.
For many children, transitioning between Primary 4 and Primary 5 can be an unexpected shock. If your child is going to Primary 5 this year, you may find your kid struggling with homework and tests when previously he or she has been a straight-‘A’s student. Before you berate your child and turn to extra tuition sessions in frustration, read on to find out:
- Why Primary 5 is so much more difficult than Primary 1-4
- How to prepare your child to breeze through Primary 5
Why is Primary 5 So Difficult?
Increase in Subject Depth and Breadth
Students who are taking Higher Mother Tongue and have not been doing so in Primary 1-4 will struggle with having to double their vocabulary and immersing themselves in the language. Even without Higher Mother Tongue, all the other subjects (English, Math, Science, Mother Tongue) pile on more topics and require students to show understanding, think critically, and apply their knowledge rather than merely regurgitating facts.
Increase in CCA (Co-Curricular Activities) Involvement
In addition to achieving stellar grades, students also need to excel in their CCA and Community Involvement. Very often, leadership roles fall on Primary 5 students as their seniors in Primary 6 are quickly unloaded of responsibility in order to prepare for the PSLE. This may be a chance for your child to shine, but it also means that they have to be prepared to sacrifice even more time and energy to their CCA.
The Direct Schools Admission (DSA) programme offers an alternative means for students to enter top schools – through excellence in CCA. While this is an alternative for academically weak students, it also pressures students to excel in all facets of their school life. Can your child juggle all these commitments at once?
Lack of Interest in Learning
While your child may have been able to do well in Primary 1-4 even without much interest in the subject, the Primary 5 syllabus demands more from students. For English, your child not only needs to grasp grammar rules, but also form sentences to convey his opinions clearly. For Chinese, an appreciation of the language is required.
Now that you know why Primary 5 is so much more challenging than Primary 4, you’ll be able to help your child better understand what is expected so that he or she will be less confused and frustrated. With the right mindset and actions, your child can breeze through Primary 5 with confidence and ease.
How to Prepare Your Child for Primary 5
Instead of pushing your child to learn and understand all the new things being taught, make sure your child has a solid foundation of what he/she has learned in Primary 1-4. When learning new topics, it also helps to point out how they are relevant to what they have learned previously.
Apply what has been learned in school to real life
This can apply not just to Primary 5, but any level of learning as well. By showing your child how textbook knowledge can be applied to real life, you can engage them in what they’re learning. Our ebook, Breeze Through Primary 5 with Fun 5-Minute Tasks, contains over 70 different ideas for bite-sized learning activities around the house, in the neighbourhood, while travelling, and more.
Remember: at this crucial phase in your child’s learning journey, it is important to believe in them, listen to them, and encourage them even if their grades may not be as good as they used to be. With your help, your child will be able to breeze through Primary 5 and have confidence for their PSLE in the following year.
Tags: Upper Primary (10-12)