The following is the Composition (Continuous Writing) question from the 2020 PSLE English Language Paper 1, according to a number of our students who took the exam, as well as other sources. (Disclaimer: We did not set this question, neither do we claim that what is written below is exactly as was seen in the Paper 1 Exam. We welcome any feedback on the question below, should your information differ.)
Write a composition of at least 150 words about something that was lost.
Image 1 - A mobile phone on a bench
Image 2 - A teenage boy heading to the information counter
Image 3 - A missing cat poster
Students are required to use AT LEAST 1 of the images in their composition. The use of more than 1 image does not necessarily mean higher marks for the student. As such, it would make sense for the student to focus on building a solid plot on a single image.
This year's topic seems fairly straightforward, especially since a number of primary schools previously presented the topic of “Lost and Found” or similar in school assignments and tests this year. However, given that the majority of students would be able to comfortably deliver a story about a lost item (or pet, as in Image 3), high-achieving students would really need to distinguish themselves from the pack in order to secure the highly coveted A*.
For example, the most obvious route most students might take would be to choose Image 1 and simply write about absentmindedly leaving behind a mobile phone on the park bench and being lucky enough to receive the kindness of a good Samaritan who goes out of their way to return the phone. The potential A* scorer would now have to think doubly hard to whip up a storyline to wow the unsuspecting examiner! In addition, the student must flaunt a wide descriptive vocabulary and avoid repetition of words and phrases, but must also take caution to choose their words accurately and appropriately to bring their story to life.
With their storylines, students find it challenging to come up with unusual yet logical pathways for the development of their plots. In terms of vocabulary, it is easy for students to memorise strings of bombastic words and elaborate phrases, but they will always have difficulty applying the language to their story if they are unable to imagine what the word means (e.g., how is ‘stumbling’ different from ‘scrambling’?) unless I act out these actions and expressions for the class.
Nov/Dec 2020 English Creative Writing Holiday Workshop (P5 & P6)
This year, we are collaborating with an experienced Applied Theatre Practitioner and Drama Educator, Ms Shalyn Yong, to present a Holiday Workshop on Creative Writing Skills (for 2021 P5 & P6). Fun drama-based activities combined with effective written exercises will allow students to explore plot and character development in a relaxed learning environment and hone their creative thinking & problem solving skills as well.
If you are interested to find out more about this new Holiday Workshop that is in the works and, perhaps, to secure a place for your child, please get in touch with us at +65 81386011, or leave us your details on our website.