Building a Bank of Stories for PSLE
A major fear of both parents and students alike is the dreaded Writer’s Block. Imagine going to your English exam, sitting down, waiting for the exam to start, and then opening the paper and reading the question to find out that you don’t know how to write about any of it. The feeling of not being inspired to write a story which answers the question is simply the worst! Students will then need to hastily ramble about anything that comes to their mind.
However, there is one way to solve this problem – by coming to the exam prepared with a Bank of Stories based on the questions the PSLE English paper typically asks you.
It is true that nobody truly knows what questions will come out during the actual PSLE English exam. However, based on the syllabus and the past year PSLE papers, W@W has conducted a trend-spotting exercise which helps parents and students alike prepare for the possible questions which will come out during the PSLE English exam. As such, all the class notes students will practice with each week prepares students for the different permutations of questions which will come out for the PSLE exam.
Students will be able to draw on this Bank of Stories and change the characters or the events happening in the story to fit the exam question posed to them. If all the groundwork has been done prior to the exam, students can simply recall how they described the characters using the phrases learned at W@W, tweaking details of the story to fit the composition question.
Furthermore, although writing these practice compositions are merely examples, students will get used to planning their essays with the Plot Curve, thinking of characters, and wrapping up their story in a satisfying way. What students learn in W@W is not limited to story titles, plots, and characters, but rather the transferable skills of clear, concise, and coherent essay writing which will serve them well way beyond PSLE, as these skills are highly important in secondary school and even employment.
In future, students will need to write various essays (personal statements, reports for the boss, emails) which have to answer a particular “question”. Learning how to write stories well will help students structure any form of writing they undertake in future and have good grammar and sentence structure.
Every week, students at W@W are given a set of notes with a particular title (which is catchy and funny so that students remember it). This title will be the story the student writes in class that day. To start out, the W@W teacher will introduce the teacher by allowing the student to become familiar with the context and essay question by relating it to their everyday lives.
The W@W class will then brainstorm ideas according to the Plot Curve as to how the story will go, and the whole class will then discuss the details to include, the characters involved and the consequences of the events happening in the story.
The last part of the lesson at W@W involves the student spending half an hour or so writing their compositions according to the Plot Curve, adding key phrases which should be included in the story. This part allows the student to put their newly-learned skills to practice, as it is important that the student learns new sentence structures and vocabulary through writing them out in complete sentences to achieve better command of the English language.
The following week, students will be asked to recall what they have learned the previous week during the Revise and Recap sessions in class. After the lessons, students are encouraged to re-read their stories again before the exam so that they can remember the key phrases they should bring to the exam with them. Reading their stories again before bedtime is a healthy habit students can develop to build their bank of stories, as they will be able to recall them naturally before the exam, the same way you still remember the plot of Cinderella or Snow White and the Seven Dwarves after having read it as a child.
Many parents and students will think that it is far easier to come prepared for a Mathematics or Science exam, as what you study is what you are going to get in the exam. The English language exam is seen as a nebulous, unpredictable force and many students are simply asked to just “do their best”, which is arguably a less effective way of preparing for the exam.
Instead, students need to get regular practice writing sample compositions and stories to prepare for the PSLE exam, as practice makes perfect. Mastering the English language and being able to write essays is a skill which can be trained, similar to how students drill questions for Mathematics and Science. It is highly important that students master the necessary skills in the English language, as these skills will be useful in future.
At WR!TERS@WORK, we are committed to providing the smoothest learning experience for your primary or secondary school child sitting for their English exam. With our carefully curated methods of teaching your child how to write, your child will be able to craft well-written essays in any genre with good grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure.
English tuition and writing courses are instrumental for students not only in school, but to prepare them for their future undertakings as good writing is a universal necessity. Enjoy a smoother learning process with WR!TERS@WORK as we reinforce your child’s language skills and provide them with a strong foundation for academic success. For more exam tips, parents and students can explore our website and watch our YouTube videos.
If you are interested in our primary English tuition and secondary English tuition in Singapore, WR!TERS@WORK has expanded to 8 convenient locations. To find the nearest location that suits your needs, please explore our options. If you have any inquiries regarding our range of programs or class schedules, please feel free to contact WR!TERS@WORK.
1. Is It Possible to Fail PSLE?
It is not possible to fail PSLE. The marks obtained in PSLE are merely used as a placement metric to determine which secondary school your child will enter.
2. How Long Should You Study for PSLE?
Parents should take around a year or two to prepare for PSLE as learning about subjects like English requires a long-term effort, as opposed to short cramming.
3. Is PSLE Compulsory?
PSLE is compulsory for everyone to enter secondary school in Singapore.
4. How To Study for PSLE?
Parents should make a list of everything a child should study for all their PSLE subjects. Engaging a tuition teacher or practicing with workbooks and past year papers may help students tackle the exam format of PSLE and feel more confident taking the exam.
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