Differences Parents Must Know Between Primary & Secondary Math

Are you unhappy with the stream your child was posted to for secondary school? Fret not! There is always a chance for you to switch streams even in secondary school. We detail this, and more about adapting to secondary school in our newest blogpost.

I. Introduction

It is almost the start of anoth­er school year and your child has received their Sec­ondary school post­ing results. If you are not sat­is­fied with the school or stream your child has been post­ed to, you would be hap­py to know that this is not the end of the road. There is always a chance for your child to switch schools and streams which usu­al­ly hap­pens at the end of Sec­ondary 1 and is depen­dent on the aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance of your child in Sec­ondary 1. In oth­er words, do well for Sec­ondary 1 and your child will get the sec­ond bite of the cher­ry. They would be in good stand­ing to switch schools and streams. For more infor­ma­tion on this, you would need to con­tact the par­tic­u­lar school and enquire what their require­ments and process­es are like.

Whether or not you are con­tent with where your child is at cur­rent­ly, we are sure you would like your child to have a smooth tran­si­tion into Sec­ondary school. For this pur­pose, it would be impor­tant for you and your child to appre­ci­ate the dif­fer­ences between Pri­ma­ry and Sec­ondary school.

Pri­ma­ry school and Sec­ondary school are remote­ly the same. We are not just talk­ing about the mul­ti­tude of sub­jects a Sec­ondary school stu­dent has to take, but are also high­light­ing the dif­fer­ences in con­tent and focus of the three main sub­jects: Eng­lish, Math­e­mat­ics and Sci­ence. For the pur­pos­es of this arti­cle, we will only touch on Math­e­mat­ics. Watch out for our cov­er­age on Eng­lish and Sci­ence in our future arti­cles.

II. Secondary and Primary Mathematics

1. More than just skills based

Unlike Pri­ma­ry school math­e­mat­ics, Sec­ondary school math­e­mat­ics is more than just skills based. At the Pri­ma­ry school lev­el, stu­dents need only solve prob­lem sums using heuris­tics. At the sec­ondary school lev­el, stu­dents will still need to solve prob­lems. How­ev­er, part of being able to solve prob­lems hinges on their mas­tery of math­e­mat­ics vocab­u­lary and ter­mi­nol­o­gy. For exam­ple, stu­dents would be intro­duced to whole num­bers, ratio­nal num­bers and prime num­bers. Ques­tions would revolve around what these num­bers are and how they dif­fer from each oth­er.

2. More topics

In addi­tion to the top­ics learnt in Pri­ma­ry school, Sec­ondary one stu­dents will be taught a range of new top­ics which they have nev­er encoun­tered. These top­ics include:

Primes, HCF and LCM
Approx­i­ma­tion & Esti­ma­tion
Alge­bra & Alge­bra­ic Manip­u­la­tion
Lin­ear Equa­tions & Inequal­i­ties
Func­tions and Lin­ear Graph

3. More challenging problem-solving skills

Gone are the days of solv­ing prob­lem sums using the mod­el method. In Sec­ondary one, stu­dents would learn the Alge­bra­ic method and will begin to use this method almost exclu­sive­ly to solve more chal­leng­ing prob­lem sums. While alge­bra has been intro­duced in Pri­ma­ry six, stu­dents from Sec­ondary one onwards would need to learn how to present their work­ings and solu­tions accu­rate­ly. Marks will be deduct­ed if the Alge­bra­ic method used does not show clear rea­son­ing and math­e­mat­i­cal think­ing.

An exam­ple of a prob­lem that requires the use of the Alge­bra­ic Method is as fol­lows:

III. TTA is always here for you

Two students at Think Teach Academy with tutor

The pur­pose of this arti­cle is to out­line some key dif­fer­ences you should know about Sec­ondary and Pri­ma­ry school math­e­mat­ics. As with any­thing that is new and unfa­mil­iar, it would nat­u­ral­ly appear daunt­ing. But rest assured that it would get eas­i­er once your child begins to get the hang of things.

The issue is just that your child would be enter­ing a new phase of his or her life with a new school, new friends and new teach­ers. Add on CCAs and the ~9 sub­jects he/she would have to under­take and we have got­ten our­selves the hall­marks of the ulti­mate stress test.

Should you want to give your child a smoother tran­si­tion into Sec­ondary school life, you can always count on Think Teach to be here for you. At the Sec­ondary school lev­el, we offer expert tutor­ing in Eng­lish, Math­e­mat­ics and Sci­ence. Sim­ply enquire with us to find out more about the nature of our class­es, the sched­ule of our class­es and the pro­file of our teach­ers.

The learn­ing jour­ney con­tin­ues and we will always ensure we give you and your child the best.

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