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A Year By Year Guide

All parents are worried in one way or another about their child succeeding at school. The formative years of schooling are an essential foundation for setting your child up for a life-long educational journey. It is easy to get wrapped up in achievement being assessed only in terms of grades such as A, B or C, but what about the other markers of progress in school. Many parents neglect the more rudimentary, and often more vital, skills that are imperative for your child to succeed in Primary School.

Here are the key stages of development your child may be struggling with at Primary School:


  • Being resilient and positive away from home or yourself.
  • Use effective communication with peers and teachers.
  • Developing fine motor skills such as cutting and holding a pencil.
  • Follow directions and rules.

Year One

  • Listen carefully to instructions.
  • Verbalise their thoughts and emotions.
  • Identify and name letters of the alphabet.
  • Good focus for task completion.
  • Grade appropriate reading level.
  • Possess and develop basic skills needed for reading.

Year Two

  • Legibly print their work using appropriate tools.
  • Spell most Dolce sight words correctly.
  • Add and subtract basic numbers from 1 to 10 without intervention.
  • Enjoy and participate positively in group activities.
  • Read to a level that enables their comprehension of class materials.

Year Three

  • Write legibly using cursive or print handwriting.
  • Able to write full, cohesive sentences.
  • Read high-frequency sight words easily.
  • Can apply phonics rules to their reading.
  • Solve math story problems.
  • Add and subtract both one and two digit numbers without intervention.

Year Four

  • Follow all classroom behaviour instructions.
  • Use time management skills effectively.
  • Read at appropriate year level and develop a sound vocabulary for reading.
  • Be an efficient time manager for class task completion.
  • Feel confident with all mathematical functions including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  • Improved handwriting and beginning to use pens when appropriate.
  • Able to independently study for small pieces of individual work.

Year Five

  • Able to recall facts and information with good amount of detail and share this with peers and teachers.
  • Confidently work in groups and contribute useful information.
  • Write complex sentences and use paragraphs to organise thoughts.
  • Share information through presentations or speeches confidently.
  • Recall facts over a period of time and organise them logically.

Year Six

  • Read curriculum materials easily and follow instructions on more complex assignments.
  • Able to produce content that is at least an A4 page long that includes original ideas and opinions and is broken up with complex sentences and paragraphs.
  • Analyse facts to draw own conclusions or opinions.
  • Handle more complex mathematical problems beyond basic computations including geometry, basic algebra and problem solving.
  • Developed a solid vocabulary for both reading and writing.
  • Sound spelling skills including etymological, morphemic and phonological understanding.

Do you suspect your child may be struggling with mastering any of these milestones?

If so try approaching their classroom teacher to get ideas for how to assist them. Alternatively, contact a tutor who will be able to work with your child’s individual needs and build on their skill levels to improve their achievement.