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Summary of Changes to the Primary Math MOE Syllabus in 2021

At the time of this post (18 January 2022), the 2021 Primary Math Syllabus have been updated up to Primary 2 (P1 & P2).

With the MOE Math syllabus coming in at 36 pages, we thought that you might appreciate a summary of the changes, as listed below.

Implications of these changes

While it may seem like there are many changes in the Syllabus, what is really happening is a 'push-down' effect. Many topics that were previously taught in P2 and P3 are now pushed down to P1 and P2 respectively.

While this may inevitably increase the 'difficulty' of the syllabus at the lower levels, the intended objective is likely a smoothening of the 'learning curve' to avoid big jumps between the levels, especially between P4 to P6.

For example, in the topic of whole numbers involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, we see that problem sums are no longer limited to "1-step word problems". This means that students can be exposed to more complex problems at a younger age. This change encourages students to think deeper and learn to apply concepts to solve problems, which sets them in the right direction as they progress to the higher levels.

On the flip side, an increase in the number of topics lead to a heavier study load, which must be managed by the students, with the aid of teachers and parents. There should be closer monitoring and guidance, to prevent situations of 'lagging behind'. This can lead to an 'bottleneck' that cause students to lose confidence and interest in Math early on.

An Expected Cascading Effect

While the updates for higher primary levels have not been published, we expect the same push-down effect to happen across all levels. Assuming that the topics tested at the PSLE level do not increase drastically, this potentially translates into more time available to polish up on problem solving skills - an area that is challenging to all students.

If the syllabus changes concern your child and you found this post useful, bookmark this page or subscribe to our Ace Clinic Education mailing list. (Click on the link and scroll to the bottom)

Stay tuned and we will be sharing the changes from the upper levels once they are available! 😄

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