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What will your child learn for Mathematics in Upper Primary?

14 Oct 2016

  • Have fun learning math

    Teachers make use of everyday experiences, learning aid and pictorial representations to help students understand abstract concepts in learning Mathematics

  • what will your child learn in lower pri2

    To make learning fun and engaging, teachers design activities for students to learn together.


Find out more about what your child will learn in Mathematics class in upper primary. 


The aim of primary Mathematics is to enable all children to acquire and apply mathematical concepts and skills for everyday use. These skills will then be applied to support further learning in Mathematics, develop different levels of thinking, reasoning, communication, application and metacognitive skills, through a mathematical approach to problem solving. When your child is equipped with these skills and holds a good grasp of mathematical concepts, he/she will be confident in their use and may have a deeper interest in Mathematics kindled.

The content can be broadly described along three categories: Numbers and Algebra, Measurements and Geometry, and Statistics

Primary Four

Numbers and Algebra:  Your child will learn to read, write, compare and order numbers up to 100,000 and round off numbers to the nearest 10 or 100. He/She will also learn factors, multiples, and multiplication and division algorithms (up to four digits by one digit). He/She will be taught to solve 3-step word problems involving four operations. 

Example of a 3-step word problem involving four operations

A factory manufactured 8,000 T-shirts of three colours: red, blue and green. There were 500 more red T-shirts than blue T-shirts. The number of green T-shirts was 4 times the number of blue T-shirts. How many green T-shirts were there?

For the topic on Fractions, your child will learn mixed numbers, improper fractions and fractions as part of a set of objects. He/She will learn to add and subtract fractions with not more than two different denominators.

Your child will learn to compare, order and convert decimals to fractions, and vice versa. Rounding off decimals to the nearest whole number, one and two decimal places will also be introduced at this level. Besides addition and subtraction, he/she will also learn to multiply and divide decimals by one-digit whole numbers.

Measurements and Geometry: Your child will learn to measure time in seconds. The skill of finding one dimension of a rectangle/square will also be introduced at this level. Your child will also learn to find the area of figures made up of rectangles and squares.

As for Geometry, your child will learn about the eight-point compass, symmetry as well as measuring and drawing angles. He/She will be able to relate quarter, half and complete turns to angles in degrees.

Statistics: Besides completing a table from given data, your child will learn to read and interpret data from tables and line graphs.

Primary Five

Numbers and Algebra:  Your child will learn to read and write numbers up to 10 million and round off numbers to the nearest 1,000. He/She will also learn about the order of operations, including the use of brackets. He/She will be taught to solve word problems involving four operations. 

Example of a word problem involving four operations

Mary and Joy had savings of $445 in total. After Mary spent $20 and Joy spent $45, Mary had 4 times as much money left as Joy. What was the amount of Mary’s savings at first?

For the topic on Fractions, your child will learn to add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions involving mixed numbers and improper fractions.  He/She will learn to convert fractions to decimals, and learn to convert a measurement from a smaller unit to a large unit in decimal form and vice versa.

Topics on Percentage and Ratio will be introduced at this level. In the topic of Percentage, your child will learn about discounts, GST and annual interest. For Ratio, he/she will learn about equivalent ratios and solving 2-step word problems involving ratios.

Measurements and Geometry: Besides learning the concepts of the base and height of a triangle, your child will also learn to find the area of figures made up of rectangles, squares and triangles. How to find the volume of a cube/cuboid and of liquid in a tank will also be taught at this level.

As for Geometry, your child will learn about the properties of angles (such as angles on a straight line, angles at a point, vertically opposite angles) and properties of triangles (isosceles, equilateral and right-angles triangles), parallelograms, rhombuses and trapeziums.

Statistics: Your child will learn about averages and how to compute them from a given set of data. He/She will also be taught to solve word problems involving averages.


Primary Six

Numbers and Algebra:  Your child will learn to solve multi-step word problems involving fractions and four operations.

Example of a word problem involving Fractions and four Operations

The apples collected from an orchard are sorted into 3 sizes: large, medium and small. fraction 2 over 9 of the apples are medium and fraction 3 over 5 of the apples are small. The rest of the apples are large. There are 817 more small apples than large apples. How many small apples were collected?

 (Reproduced by permission of the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board)

In the topic of Percentage, your child will learn about real-life examples of percentage change (increase or decrease), and explain how the changes are calculated.

For Ratio, your child will learn about the relationship between fractions and ratio, and solve word problems involving changing ratios.

Example of a word problem involving changing ratios

The ratio of the number of P5 pupils to the number of P6 pupils taking part in a game is 2:1. All the P5 pupils taking part in the games are girls. Among the P6 pupils taking part in the game, the ratio of the number of girls to the number of boys is 4:3. There are more P5 girls than P6 girls taking part in the game. How many girls are taking part in the game?

(Reproduced by permission of the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board)

The concepts of speed and average speed will be introduced at this level. Your child will be able to describe a journey in terms of distance, time and speed and solve 3-step word problems.

For the topic on Algebra, your child will learn simple algebraic expressions (such as + 3, a - 3, 3a,  algebra a over 3 ).

Measurements and Geometry: Your child will learn to find the area and perimeter of figures made of squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, semi-circles and quarter-circles. For Volume, he/she will learn to find the length of one dimension of a cube/cuboid given its volume, and the other two dimensions and the area of a face given its volume and one dimension.

Your child will have the opportunity to use the properties of triangles and special quadrilaterals (such as squares, rectangles, triangles, parallelograms, rhombuses and trapeziums) to find unknown angles.

For Nets, he/she will learn to visualise and identify nets of 3D objects (prisms, pyramids, cubes and cuboids) or solids which can be formed by a given net.

Statistics: Your child will have the opportunity to discuss examples of data presented in pie charts and make connections between pie charts and other graphic representations of data.