Maths is a vital subject to master and making that big move from Primary school into Secondary is a time of uncertainty. How different will the maths be? Will your child be able to keep up, especially as you fear you will no longer be able to help? After all, how long ago was it you sat for your O level maths?
It is good to be aware of the differences between Primary and Secondary maths so you can fully prepare your child.
1. The skills needed are different
Primary school maths focusses on concepts and as long as your child could recognise which concept was being applied, they could solve the problem using a taught formula. In Secondary school, maths is taught in topics instead. They will need to learn new approaches in maths as they start Secondary 1.
2. The teachers are different
Secondary school teachers are used to teaching the Secondary school curriculum so have little understanding of the learning that went before in Primary school. When your child enters Secondary school, not only will they have to learn to adapt to a new physical environment but they’ll have to get used to new teaching styles too.
Their teacher will take the approach that they are in big school now. They will be expected to be responsible for their own learning and to ask if they don’t understand. There won’t be as much hand-holding and they will be expected to manage their own work and time. This is designed so that they can be completely independent by the time they enter JC, Poly or University, where no one will chase them for work or force them to keep up.
It’s important to be able to keep up in Secondary 1 and hit the ground running. If your child can’t, you could find that they get left behind pretty fast. And when that happens, it’s difficult to maintain interest in the subject. You may find that the passion they once had for maths in Primary school wains in Secondary school if they don’t stay proactive.
3. The exams are different
Your child may have cleaned up at PSLE and is feeling confident going into Secondary school. But do be prepared that just as the curriculum topics are different in maths in Secondary school, so future exams will be structured differently too.
Conversely, if your child found maths a challenge at Primary level, they may thrive with the different approach and topics in Secondary school. But that’s no excuse to get complacent. They still need to put in the work to keep up with the new topics and approaches to maths.
The best approach to take is to realise that the PSLEs are over now and your child’s mindset needs to pivot to attaining O Levels instead.
4. The study approach needs to be different
If your child got into the habit in Primary school of taking it easy during the term and cramming at the last minute before the exams, you may find that that approach won’t work so well for them in Secondary 1.
They will need to get into the habit of preparing ahead for their lessons so topics aren’t completely new to them when they are taught in class. So make sure they get into the habit of preparing early and that they keep on top of their maths homework too. Once they start falling behind, they’ll find it harder to catch up.
5. Your ability to help may be different
As your child progresses through Secondary 1 maths, you may find that as parents, you are no longer able to help with any questions your child may have on maths.
Yes, you went through the same topics at school, but that was a long time ago, and what you don’t use, you lose. What you may have mastered at O Level in your day may not still be with you, and you’ll have to face explaining to your child that you can’t help them with their maths anymore.
The maths may be different but the support is the same
Knowing that Secondary maths is going to be a leap, it makes sense to take additional tuition to be supported by those that know the path that lies ahead and can guide your child along it.
At Matrix Math, we have the processes in place and customised programmes designed to prepare your child for Secondary 1 maths so they always stay one step ahead.
Ask us about our Secondary 1 preparatory course today.