Primary 5 SA1 English Results and some advice

As I previously mentioned, the current P5 batch will be the first to sit for the new PSLE format. They will have the least amount of time to prepare for the new components in the exam

By now, they would have had practice in all the components – editing, synthesis etc.

They would have had their first Writing and Oral examination (in the new format).

Thus, this is an essential time for parents to take note of their children’s performance.

Are they comfortable with writing? Are their marks in the range of 26-34? 

Are they fearful (not nervous – that is a normal reaction) of the oral component? 

Do they lose a lot of marks in Paper 2? Are they getting at least a 70/95? Is their total score an A (75 and above)? 

If you feel that your child is not performing up to his potential, then its ideal to start trying to make some changes. The writing and oral components are new and honestly more difficult to score than the current PSLE. The students now have two questions to select from (a picture and a continuous writing). They can fit in a variety of themes in the continuous writing question. However, the new format allows little freedom for this. Students must be knowledgeable in phrases and writing techniques for every theme. Working on a theme every month will help the child build on his or her vocabulary and knowledge on the different possible scenarios to create for one theme.

The P6 students this year have 3 parts in the Oral component making them work harder to perfect each part but easier to score a higher grade. The P5 students will have two but much harder to get top marks unless a child is very strong in reading and extremely comfortable discussing a number of topics with an adult. Practice here is important. Use any picture to bring up a conversation and then ask questions (usually 3 for the exam) in relation to the child’s response.

As for Paper 2, the comprehension OE questions may be easier to manage for the students, but the Visual Texts section is now challenging. Two heavy texts and questions that are not straight forward with very close answers to choose from, can blindside even a very good student. More and more books are being published on the new format. Work on the visual texts with your child methodically. Teach them to read SLOWLY, absorb and understand, highlight their answers to the questions BEFORE selecting the choices given. In the beginning, this will be slow work. That is fine. You are training your child to develop a skill that will help him or her habitually work this way on Visual Texts. With experience, your child will work faster and will be aware of the pitfalls in this section.

Also, it would be wise to check that your child’s tuition teacher or tuition centre is aware of the changes and following the new syllabus. Ideally, the person you want working with your child now will see him or her through to the PSLE 2015. There will be very little time when the P6 year begins. If your child is performing not up to standard by end of P5, the P6 year can be a stressful one for everyone.

Enjoy the June holidays! : D