Illustration regarding P6 English tips to give students a head start in their PSLE year

P6 students are back to the school since last week and their PSLE year is underway.

For the next 9 months, these students will go through the highs and lows of their most important primary school year. They will need to juggle extra work, examinations, expectations and stress. So how can they prepare for the school year ahead? Here are 5 tips to help your child get a head start in PSLE English.

1. Know your strengths and weaknesses

The PSLE English paper consists of a number of components and sections; from Oral to Writing to Paper 2. Being aware of how you perform as a student, for each and every section will allow you to pay more attention on the areas that you need to work on.

Children sometimes, are unable to identify the areas that they are strong or weak at. Parents or tutors can begin the year by pointing out their strengths to them. For example, a strong grammar foundation or clear and concise language use in Situational Writing pieces are plus points. This will further encourage the child to perform at their best when working on these components.

On the flip side, parents and tutors can also point out certain areas that the child needs to pay special attention to. This will allow the child to accept the fact that more practice needs to be done for these components and he or she will need to be more careful when tackling these components during examinations.

2. Practice makes perfect

Now, that you know your strengths and weaknesses in the PSLE English paper, let us look at how you can improve on those areas. The PSLE year is a short school year, filled with examinations. To improve on those weak areas, focus on working on them as soon as possible. Everyone takes time to improve on areas that they are weak at. Regular and consistent practice is the only way to improve.

Parents can help by providing assessment books that target English components. At the centre, we use the Top School Papers, as well as targeted assessment books and worksheets. Synthesis and Transformation, Comprehension Open-ended and Cloze books and worksheets are consistently worked on in our P5 and P6 classrooms. Individual feedback and corrections are also given weekly as every student is different and requires different support, encouragement and advice.

3. Do regular writing practices

The writing components are often the most difficult to practice at home. While I know of a number of parents who are present in their children’s educational lives and provide support and coaching at home, many parents who are not trained teachers, often find it difficult to give a score for their child’s writing pieces.

If the writing components are real areas of concerns, do seek help if possible. There are many centres that focus only on writing components.

Improvement in these components also take the longest to achieve in my opinion. This is why we have weekly writing practices in all our classes from P2 – P6.

If your child is already a proficient writer and would like some ideas on what topics that they can work on, do check out our lists of past years Preliminary composition questions.

4. Read up on current news

Keep abreast of current news in the world and in Singapore. This is essential for the Oral component. Showing some general knowledge about current events, especially when related to the Oral theme, will garner marks for the students. Aside from the Oral component, many of my students use current or past news articles as ideas for compositions.

This week, my P6 students worked on An Unexpected Situation. We talked about the year that there was a major MRT breakdown on the morning of the PSLE oral. (article here)

Parents can help their children by sending or printing out articles for them to read. They can even discuss current events over dinner or watch the evening news together. Ask your child for their opinions. They may surprise you. I am sometimes surprised during oral testing that even my quiet students have strong and matured opinions on certain themes when questioned.

5. Start now

As mentioned above, the PSLE year is a short one. From experience, stress will start to build close to their SA1 exams and will continue relentlessly till the PSLE. Students will be inundated with school work and pressure from school teachers. Time will be short.

Starting to work earlier on in the year will allows students to pace themselves and build up confidence.

In recent years, many schools did away with the CA1 or termly WA and began testing mid-year. This year, however, almost all of my P6 students will have their CA1 or WA after Chinese New Year. Thus, we are now hard at work preparing for this upcoming examination.

I hope that you found these 5 tips helpful and we wish all P6 students a great start to their last academic year in primary school!

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Primary 6 English tuition class schedule

DayStart timeEnd time
Wednesday - FULL3.00 pm5.00 pm
Wednesday - FULL5.00 pm7.00 pm
Saturday - FULL9.00 am11.00 am
Saturday - FULL11.00 am1.00 pm