Many parents get a big shock when their P5 child comes home with the results for their first weighted assessment. The sudden drastic drop in grades could drive some parents into a panic, thinking that their child’s academic competence or learning attitude has worsen. However, this is actually very normal and quite expected as your child goes through this crucial transition period from P4 to P6.
Here are the 4 main reasons why a child’s grades drop when they enter Primary 5.
Increase in content knowledge across subjects
Though the number of subjects does not increase, the amount and depth of information and content knowledge increases [across all subjects]. With the introduction new topics and new concepts, students are experiencing a huge jump in the amount and difficulty level of content compared to previous years. The curriculum they face is now more challenging and demanding, with some of the subjects having additional components and more complex questions which require specific sets of comprehension and answering skills and learnt concepts.
Increase academic expectation of the children
At Primary Five, there is an unspoken expectation for P5 students to be PSLE ready. With less than two years left to PSLE (that’s less than 1.5 academic years left!), schools will start to prepare their P5 students and get them ready to be accustomed to the demands of the PSLE examinations. On top of having to keep up with the more challenging and demanding curriculum, with the assumption that the student has mastered their academic foundation, students are expected to be able to answer certain questions well, equipped with the right set of skills and are familiar with certain test questions.
Increase in commitment and responsibilities e.g. CCA
At P5, too, is when students are expected to bear a heavier CCA workload. As their P6 seniors step down, leadership responsibilities are handed over and entrusted to them. They are also given more opportunities to participate in national or international competitions and other activities. With all these tasks at hand, they are expected to also stay back in school for any CCA training that they have.
Balancing a busy schedule
At only 10 – 11 years old, your child is given the huge task of balancing schoolwork, CCA club activities, tuition, family time, and yet still expected to complete their pile of assigned homework on time. Without proper time management, students may not be able to keep track of the workload that they have and will not be able to assign enough time to complete them.
If a child does not meet the mentioned categories, they will struggle to keep up with their own academic expectations. This would then affect their confidence, leading to an avoidance of responsibility. Yes, just like adults!
Though many parents know how busy their children can get, they often overlook the amount of stress their P5 child is going through. There is an assumption that these young children are able to cope with the mental, physical and emotional pressure that they face daily and still produce consistent grades.
As parents in this progressively competitive world, we should empathise with our children. What they need most is your support and guidance through these tough final years of Primary School.
For tips on how to motivate your child to study again, read our post on How to Keep Your Child Motivated when Studying: 4 Tips for Parents here