Hi! I hope everyone had a lovely break and is now ready for the school year ahead! Below are some tips that students need to look out for when planning their compositions (based on the new format).

PSLE Composition

Three pictures given with a theme.
Student may use one, two or all the pictures in his story


1) Read the theme carefully.

Many students look at the theme e.g. on Celebration and assume that a birthday is the best option. I usually tell my students to think outside of the box and get creative. A celebration can be about winning a special competition or contest…a grandparent’s 90thbirthday, or even celebrating the recovery of a best friend involved in an accident. Another way is to add a twist to the theme. If it is a birthday celebration, the party can be interrupted suddenly by a humorous incident or even a mishap. This allows the child to have a more interesting content in his composition. With the theme given in the new format, unlike the old one, it somewhat restricts the student in writing what he wants to or knows.


2) Choose the pictures wisely.

Whether a student chooses one or all of the pictures, he should not write just one short sentence based on any picture chosen. This is a surefire way to go out of point. For example, if a student has chosen to use just one picture (a picture of a present) out of the three and only writes:

“I gave a broad smile as my friends handed me my presents.”

Then not mention the present again in the compo, can be considered out of point. By just choosing one picture the student must ensure that it is an important part of the story. So, how many pictures should a child use? A good writer will be able to weave a story around all three pictures and not go off point. An average writer should use at least two to weave his story according to the theme.


3) Style of Writing.

By the start of the P6 year, students should already be using more complex sentence structures in their writing and know certain idioms, metaphors and phrases to suit certain themes. Less narration and more description is needed in composition writing and it is a good time now to reminding students of that. A good variety of introductions and endings is also needed to suit different themes and the start of the year could be a good time to prepare. For ideas on Introductions or Endings, please look at my blog post in October 2014.