Primary 4 marching onto Primary 5: Changes you need to know for English

Hello everyone! Happy 2018! Hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday. For the first blogpost of the year, I’d like to spotlight on a particular level - Primary Five. 

Primary 4 marching onto Primary 5: Changes you need to know for English

What's the big deal with Primary 5 English?

The Primary Five year is in my opinion, one of the most challenging years in a child’s Primary school life. The start of the year for any Primary Five student is likely to be the start of a stressful time - intellectually, physically and emotionally. This is largely due to the fact that students will be introduced to a more challenging and demanding curriculum, with additional components, in the English language. It is thus not an understatement to say that there is a significant jump in the difficulty level of your child’s work when they start Primary Five.

However, fret not! The aim of this blogpost is not to stress parents and students out but rather to inform you of the changes as your child transits to Primary Five so that you are aware of what to expect.

Below is a table summarising the changes you can expect to see in your child’s Primary Five English curriculum.

English Paper 1 P4 to P5 Components with Changes
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Paper 3 and Paper 4 P4 to P5 Components with Changes

As you can see above, there is quite a whole lot to digest for a new Primary Five student. However, like I’ve mentioned earlier, there are certain things a child can do to adapt to Primary Five better.

1. Read widely, especially non-fiction sources such as newspaper articles

One salient point of the Primary Five English curriculum is that a lot of the time, passages  which students are exposed to (Comprehension, Comprehension Cloze, Grammar Cloze, Editing) tend to come from non-fiction sources such as newspapers and magazines. This means that students who are accustomed to seeing fictional passages will find the shift to non-fictional passages hard to digest. As a result, they lack the stamina to fully comprehend such passages. Therefore, I strongly recommend students to expose themselves to a wider variety of texts to prepare themselves for this transition. The wider one reads, the more comfortable he/she will be with non-fiction text types. In the process, he/she will also be exposed to thematic vocabulary too! 

2. Set aside time for Grammar and S&T drills

Grammar and S&T questions get more complicated in Primary Five but diligent revision of the various grammar rules and consistent practice will help the student to gain a stronger foothold in these components, bearing in mind that grammar and S&T are one of the easiest sections to secure marks for. 

3. Put in effort to gain a good understanding of each component and its demands

As outlined in my table above, the components students will see in Primary Five are not completely new to them (with the exception of Situational writing). Rather, the difficulty level and weightage of the components have increased. Therefore, it will be beneficial if the student is clear about what is expected of him/her to score for each component- especially for Composition Writing and Orals. This will help him/her to narrow down on specific areas to work on in order to do well for each of these components.

4. Set goals after each major examination

The significant jump from Primary Four to Five will also mean that setting realistic goals will help you stay focused and keep track of your progress. Instead of setting an overall score one wishes to achieve, do set goals for each individual component. Always revisit the goals set after receiving the results of each major examination to see what has been done well or can be improved on. 

Remember, Primary Five is a lead up to the final examination which all Primary school students will face - PSLE. Different children will take different amounts of time to adapt to the Primary Five year. The start is likely to be onerous for all but knowing what you’re in for as well as having perseverance will help you get through it! :) 

If you need that extra help to bridge the gap from P4 to P5, find out more about our P5 classes now! (new classes available at Beauty World Centre and Clementi Branch)

Ms Siow Specialist English Teacher

About the Author: Ms Delia Siow is a dedicated teacher who is committed to providing an environment where a child can grow and thrive. She enjoys developing strategies to help students learn in a fun and meaningful way. Through her lessons, she hopes to help students lay a sound foundation in grammar and gain independence in their work. She strongly believes that good grammar is essential in students to gain proficiency in the language and finds joy in watching the bricks of their strong grammar foundation take form.