It has been quite some time since I’ve updated my blog. Busy times! In the blink of an eye, the PSLE is approaching at lightning speed..again!

I have had a number of new students from the beginning of the year, most of them in Primary 5. As always, the transition for them can be overwhelming and daunting. (I’ve posted my reasons why in previous posts).

The first CA can be a shocker for both students and parents but the key to success is perseverance, practice and patience.

By the time the SA1 comes along, your child should be in the range of 70-75 (& of course above). All my students have improved accordingly. After the CA1, they scored between 60-69 for the main paper. Their SA1 results, however, improved to the range of 70-82 for total. Their grades in the main paper sections had improved to a the range of 64-72.

SA1 is a combination of all the different components. So, this is your chance to see which areas he has lost his marks in. If the school does not give you the Composition grade, try subtracting what you know from the total and make a guess.

Bear in mind, every component is important, even Oral. It could make the difference between an A and a B grade. This is why I focus on every component during my lessons.

If your child did not do as well as you had hoped for, do not despair. The goal of P5 is to work up to P6 and the PSLE. This is the year to get some help for your child if needed before the mad rush in P6. Or if outsourcing help is not your cup of tea, get him to switch off the television, computer, ipad and do some grammar, vocabulary, synthesis and comprehension cloze exercises. There are plenty of good books on the market – e.g. from Longman and Casco. Answers are at the back of the book and you only need to look up the rules online to explain them to him.

Primary 4 

The aim for the P4 SA1 results should be 85 and above. Anything lower than that, should be noted and parents should begin to work on the weak areas, be it grammar, vocabulary or writing.

During this June holidays, start your child practising on Synthesis and Transformation, short Comprehension Cloze passages and writing compositions with a Situation Outline only (no Pictures). Your child should begin to be able to create story ideas and develop characters without the use of pictures as a guide.

This is the year to rectify the common grammar mistakes your child makes because there will hardly be time to do so in P5. A good grammatical foundation is essential to your child’s English Language.

Revise Simple Past Tense, Present Perfect, Conditional Tenses (Zero to  2nd Conditional ), Question Tags, Active and Passive and start introducing lists of Phrasal verbs to learn. Your child must know his Past Participles very well because it is frequently used in English grammar and later in P5/6 it is found in synthesis, SPG and in almost every component.

Phrasal Verbs

These websites  have thorough lists of Phrasal verbs and their meanings:



Conditional Tenses

Zero : If Present tense + Present Tense
1st Conditional : If + Present Tense + will (shall/may/can)
2nd Conditional : If + Simple Past (subjunctive) + would (should/could).

I use the Casco Primary English book (get the P5 one) for my lists of Simple Past tense, Past Particples, Active Passive and Question Tags. The Longman Effective Grammar book is great for drilling grammatical structures and spotting the areas where your child needs more practice.