Fifth grade (called Grade 5 in some regions) is a year of education in many nations. The fifth grade is the fifth school year after kindergarten. Students are usually 10 – 11 years old. Depending on the school district in certain parts of the United States, it is the last year of elementary school, or, in some parts of the United States, fifth grade is the first year of middle school.
While courses of study are not regimented nationwide across either country, some conventional expectations of subject matter are generally taught in this grade:
- In mathematics, students usually master long division and work with multiplication of vulgar fractions and decimals. Sometimes this also includes initial exposure to ratios and percentages. Pre-Algebra is sometimes offered as an honors course. Fifth graders may also work more on more advanced long division, such as dividing in the double digits, hundreds, and thousands.
- In language classes the study of grammar begins. This begins as early as the third grade in some schools.
- In social studies, the study of history and geography are furthered. In Ontario, this grade focuses on the history of the student's province (as opposed to fourth grade which covers the student's municipality, and sixth grade which focuses on the country).
- In physical science, the states of matter are introduced, and an introduction to the basics of machines. This could be also introduced as early as the third and fourth grade.
- In life science, the structures and mechanics of plants and animals are illustrated.
- In music, classes may start or continue recorders (sometimes called the flutaphone). The band and choir program usually starts at that age.
- In P.E. (physical education) or health education, schools start sexual education or gender-specific health education. Basic psychology is started to be taught at that age such as the concept of reward and punishment, motivation, and influence.
Throughout Brazil, the ages for elementary school were recently raised from 8 to 9 years, and the minimum age required for the fifth grade was changed from 9 to 10 years old.
In England and Wales it is called "Year 6" and the pupils are usually 10 to 11 years old.
In England and Wales, this is the last year of Primary education before students go on to Secondary School. Often it is the seventh year of school; the years being called "Reception", "Year 1", "Year 2", "Year 3", "Year 4", "Year 5" and "Year 6".
In Ireland the equivalent is 5th Class or Rang a cúig for 11 year olds. It is the seventh and second last year of Primary School.
Its equivalent is the CM2, last year of primary school.
However in NZ some primary schools continue to teach Forms 1 and 2 or Years 7 and 8, with children continuing straight to High school at Form 3 or Year 9. Intermediate schools, teaching forms 1 through 2 or Years 7 through 8 are quite common and in Rural areas Area Schools can be found teaching all classes from New Entrants to Form 7 or Year 1 to year 13. Middle schools, teaching forms 1 through 4 or years 7 to 10 are rare.
In Barbados at 10 to 11 years, students will take a placement edu to determine which secondary school they would attend. This is known as the common entrance examination. Forms 1-3 are called lower secondary school, with ages ranging from 11 to 14 years old. The students do basic subjects.