Upper Primary: 5-6

Welcome to upper primary at Richmond Primary School.

There are a number of transition points for students as they move through their school experience. These transition points are linked to neurological developments, social and emotional developments and academic expectations.

Major transition points include:

  1. Kindergarten
  2. Pre-primary – Year 2
  3. Year 3-4
  4. Year 5-6
  5. Year 7-10
  6. Year 11- 12

What social and emotional changes can you expect in years 5-6?

Growing importance of friendships

In upper primary students will continue to explore and develop friendships. Friendships are becoming an important source of support. Students will need assistance in reflecting upon their friendship choices and their ability to objectively manage friendship issues.

Working in a group

Upper primary students will be encouraged to appreciate diverse perspectives. Their ability to work collaboratively and to develop their social skills will be fostered by activities that require group planning and decision making, and interaction with people inside and outside their classroom. They will be given increased responsibility for managing and organising activities, individually and in groups of varying sizes. Students will learn to become confident, resilient and adaptable in a group work situation.

Development of their own identity

Students will learn to better recognise their emotions and express them appropriately.  They will recognise personal qualities and achievements, work independently and show initiative. Students will begin to understand themselves as learners and they will develop reflective practices. The ability of students to draw on a wider range of sources of information will also be enhanced by introducing them to experiences beyond their immediate environment including those of people from other times, places and cultures. These learning experiences should emphasise and lead to an appreciation of both the commonality and diversity of human experience and concerns. Student will begin to development more complex thoughts and opinions about the world around them.

What academic changes can you expect in years 5-6?


Students will be encouraged to persevere and demonstrate resilience when faced with difficulties. They will be supported to become more adaptable, persist in challenging areas and identify their strengths to build self-confidence. Students will experience both success and failure in their development. In response to this they will begin to, independently and more consistently, gather information, formulate options and choose a pathway to growth when faced with challenges.


Our upper primary school students will develop organisational skills such as using a diary and a school timetable. They will have more specialist teachers and will need to organise their work, arrive for each class with everything they need and break long term tasks into manageable tasks with an assignment plan. It is important that students begin to take responsibility for their own organisation rather than relying on teachers/parents to complete these tasks for them.

Reflection & goal setting

Our upper primary students will be asked to reflect upon their own learning, identify points of need and be encouraged to seek support or advice when needed. Feedback should be viewed as an opportunity for students to reflect upon their learning.


Upper primary students will begin to develop homework habits such as using their diary, creating a homework space at home, completing long term tasks in manageable chunks, managing commitments and communicating with their teacher in times of need. Upper primary homework will be purposeful and directly linked to curriculum. Any required assignment will be posted on Connect.

Developing skills to be a lifelong learner

Metacognition (the ability to reflect about your own learning) is an important process that empowers students to take more control of their own learning. Ultimately, as a lifelong learner, we develop the ability to formulate questions about the world around us, gather information from a variety of reliable sources, synthesise this information and develop our own understanding. Lifelong learners are also able to identify methods that best help them to achieve this. In the upper primary we will be helping students to develop the skills about how they can ‘learn how to learn’ and which techniques work best for them.

The specific programs implemented in years 5-6 at Richmond PS to support these developments include:

  • Student leadership program
  • Specialist teacher model
  • Timetabling
  • Student diaries
  • Study notes
  • Implementation of the online CONNECT communication tool with students (and parents)
  • Physical work storage techniques
  • Values based behaviour management program
  • WALT (What am I learning today?) and WILF (What am I looking for?) teaching techniques to develop student self reflection
  • This article is based on: SCSA – WA Curriculum – General Capabilities Personal and Social Outcomes; SDERA – Year 6 focus area 1 – Resilience and Wellbeing
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