Back to 6th grade: changes, assessments, tips

The start of the 6th grade is synonymous with many changes for the brand new schoolboy. From the schedule to the new premises and different teachers, we will have to quickly adapt to this new organization.

  Back to 6th grade: changes, assessments, tips

Back to 6th grade: what's changing?

important stage, the back to school in 6th grade is the major shift in a schooling now placed under the sign of autonomy. Many things change: your child is less supervised than in primary school, has new subjects, several teachers, many more homework er new classmates. Not to mention a heavier and less regular timetable and above all, national evaluations which begin in the second half of September. Evaluations-assessments to measure the level of skills of very young junior high school students and adjust the pedagogical axes to be developed from the start of the year.

Year 6 Assessments: Which Subjects, When?

From the start of entering 6th grade , college students spend assessment tests. The purpose of these assessments: to measure their level in French (comprehension of long texts) and in mathematics (problem solving), two main subjects in which French pupils have largely regressed. In this regard, the number of children who enter secondary school with mediocre reading skills is still too high, and even more worrying are the proven cases of illiteracy.

How to help your teenager prepare for their return to 6th grade?

1- Teach him to organize himself

Entrance to college marks major changes at the organizational level. The child is no longer in primary school where he had only one teacher or mistress, the same classmates for several years and where he studied in the same classroom every day. From now on, the 6th grade student has a teacher for each subject, a timetable , which sometimes varies from week to week, different classrooms which may be in several buildings, new classmates , hours of permanence, a correspondence book and the material that he will have to bring according to each course. ' The first few weeks, we tried to be as present as possible: we always kept an eye on his agenda, we helped him revise his lessons (even if he often knew them inside out), we checked that he did his bag and his homework correctly, we made sure he didn't forget an important check...', recalls Annie, mother of 12-year-old Gabriel. “It is also important to teach him to anticipate from one week to the next and to prioritize his homework”, she advises. What if your child forgets to mark their homework? No worries. Most colleges now have a 'interactive textbook' where are noted all the homework to be done, the marks for the tests, the planned outings... It is also a platform on which the parents can contact the different teachers in case of problems. In all cases, switching to 6th gear allows empower him : forgetting his math book and having a punishment will serve as a lesson for him for the next time.

Another piece of advice, don't don't overload extra-curricular activities : the child is naturally curious and will surely want to multiply the activities. However, remember that he has to adapt to a new rhythm, manage the different homework and a sometimes heavy schedule. The ideal? No more than two extracurricular activities, for example, a sport to let off steam and learn to channel your energy and a more cultural activity (such as music, theater or drawing) to promote your concentration and creativity. With the arrival at college, the child needs decompression time during which he does nothing and releases the pressure.

2 - Help him manage the workload

As much as possible, set aside your parental anxieties and avoid anxiety-provoking phrases like ' this year, it's serious business! ', ' you are interested in working ', or ' you are going to have a lot of homework '. Unnecessary pressure for the student, especially since there may be a gap between the grades of primary and that of 6th grade. For good reason, the child may have difficulty assimilating the working methods of his new teachers (for example, some ask to do documentary research at the CDI or to make summaries of documents, things that are often new for the college student). we had to learn to put the grades into perspective, so as not to put more pressure on him. We gave him time in the first quarter to adapt to the new ways of working ', specifies Annie. Also think that the grading system can differ according to the teachers: a 13 for one teacher can be considered as a very good mark and for another, very average. But if, from the second term, your child Always chain bad grades, ask for an appointment with the teacher in question and discuss it together: does he have a problem of organization? Does he rather have a problem of memorization? Does he lack self-confident and panicking at every check?

3 - Show him the places upstream

To reassure him, show him places uphill . Take your child to see the college if possible before D-Day and the route he will have to take (take the trip with him by bus if he has to use school transport or on foot). On the first day, the head teacher will do a tour of the premises, often with the parents and may even hand out a map of the school. The teachers are also more understanding and know that the child needs time to familiarize himself with his new environment. So there is no reason to dispute it if it arrives late for the first few weeks. ' In my son's college, the 6th graders stay in the same classroom: it's the teachers who follow one another lesson after lesson. Less stress for new middle schoolers! “, says the mother.

4 - Help him face others

Having to be around other, older children can also be part of the child's anxieties. Indeed, in CM2, the child is one of the 'big boys' of primary school and suddenly, he becomes the 'little one' of middle school again. He may thus fear being teased, being considered a 'baby', or being bullied or even hazed by his elders. Here again, the educational team is there to manage the playground and detect any problems. If you have the slightest doubt about his well-being at school, contact the head teacher - who has a good knowledge of the class and the students, and who will be able to mediate between the different teachers - or the adviser. principal of education (CPE).

5 - He no longer has his friends in his college, what to do?

His primary school friends go to another school and he finds himself alone? If the first days can be difficult, reassure him: children are naturally sociable and have tendency to bond quickly . Especially since schools often organize events at the start of the year to mix classes and encourage meetings (sports lessons between several classes, setting up drawing workshops, lunchtime theater, cross country, school outings or integration trip, etc.). This is what Annie confirms, ' Gabriel didn't know anyone at his establishment. A few days after the start of the school year, his college organized an 'integration stay': two days in the south of France with all the 6th graders. Verdict: he came back delighted with his trip and made plenty of new friends on the occasion.'