By Singapore Teaching Centre, British Council

03 April 2023 - 09:00

How can I help my child with English composition for PSLE?

The Primary School Leaving Examinations, otherwise known as PSLE, may not take place until later this year – but it's never too early to start building a solid English language foundation for your child to excel. At the British Council in Singapore, your child can learn the essential skills they need to pass the English language component of their PSLE with flying colours, while setting them up for future academic excellence and success. 

As part of their PSLE, your child will be required to complete a written composition of at least 150 words. This will be based on a topic provided by the examination, accompanied by three pictures that are related to the topic. Your child will need to come up with their own interpretation of the topic, using any or all of the pictures as inspiration.  

Helping your child to succeed in their PSLE and beyond with primary school English tuition is a core component of the British Council’s Upper Primary English language course. Designed for children aged 10-12, the course will guide your child along a clear pathway to exam success. The course focuses on core English skills such as the rigorous development of spoken and written language, combined with detailed comprehension of varied and rich texts. Students will learn to tackle exam questions with confidence, led by our team of highly qualified and passionate teachers. Your child will take part in collaborative activities, critical-thinking tasks and student reflection, all of which contribute towards improved classroom performance and life-long success. 

Learn more on our English courses for Upper Primary

While our Upper Primary English language course will help your child to learn the necessary skillset to pass their PSLE, there are steps that you can take at home to help build their confidence and abilities. Read on to learn more. 

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Read extensively

Encourage your child to read as much as possible. The more language they absorb, the more developed their abilities to write and comprehend will be, especially if you ask them to reflect on the text they've just read. 

Practise writing

Try to focus on the areas that your child may need strengthening. Go through old compositions to see where they excel and where they may need improvement. Ask them which skills they feel less confident in, and target them specifically.

Review grammar and vocabulary

Reading will help to improve your child's understanding of grammar, while also expanding their vocabulary. Helpful online programmes such as Grammarly can pick up on things if you don’t feel confident in spotting errors.

Plan their composition

When you're able to help your child plan in advance, you give them the tools they need to thrive in their exam. Teach them that a strong composition will have several elements, including an introduction, problem, suspense, climax, and solution. 

Learn more on our English courses for Upper Primary

Practise time management

Not everyone thrives under the pressure of a timed exam, so practising working to a deadline will help to improve your child's timekeeping – while also helping them to stay cool while the clock is ticking. 

Practise past papers

PSLE exams from previous years are available online. You can use these to recreate exam-like conditions for your child, to test all of the skills mentioned above – from writing to timekeeping. 

Give feedback

Remember to give feedback in a kind and constructive manner, as this will help your child to be more sure about their English language skills. Provide them with lots of encouragement, and highlight those areas that show improvement to help build their confidence. 

With the right amount of preparation, encouragement, and confidence, your child will have the language toolset they need to be successful in their PSLE English composition exam. As listed above there are many ways that you can support your child during the lead-up to exam time – and our professional teams at the British Council are always willing to help students to thrive in their PSLEs through our Upper Primary English language course. 

To find out more about our Upper Primary English language course, click here.