Since the start of the year, our TF P2 students have worked hard with their weekly writing practices. They have improved in leaps and bounds. In the first part of the year, students had to tackle the challenge of how to paragraph their stories correctly. In the second part of the year, they start to add more descriptive phrases and begin using writing techniques such as characterisation and settings.

The Paper 1 component can be challenging for many students, especially for lower primary students. During their school practices or examinations, students are given a few helping phrases to guide them in their stories. Without adequate practice, students use these phrases in basic sentences. When they start the P3 year and the expectation for the Paper 1 component is higher, students may begin to dislike writing. They are expected to write longer stories in paragraphs. To score in the Paper 1 component, they are expected to add descriptions and use writing techniques. This may not come naturally to many students.

1. How can we help lower primary students write well and still develop their love for writing?

1.1 Guidance

Expecting lower primary students to write interesting compositions without guidance, is not realistic. At TF, our weekly writing practices are planned out carefully. We guide our students and introduce the writing techniques in a simple and cohesive way. Students are provided with a worksheet with helping phrases for each paragraph and questions that help them plot out their storylines. Prompts such as ‘Describe Mary’, ‘What was the setting?’ or ‘What did Mary learn in the end?’ help our students use simple writing techniques naturally.

1.2 Develop good habits

If schools do not make it a habit for students to plan out their compositions, many don’t, even in the upper levels. At TF, students learn the art of planning for compositions even at the P2 level so that as they move up to higher levels, they understand that planning out each paragraph is part and parcel of writing. We may provide the helping phrases for two paragraphs and get them to plan the rest of the paragraphs on their own with the prompts provided before they begin writing. Students are also encouraged to share their plots in class so that everyone can learn from one another.

1.3 Expand your vocabulary

To get our students to build on their vocabulary, we provide a vocabulary list for each composition. Students are not only expected to use these words in their compositions but they also have to learn the meaning of these words and be tested on them by making new sentences the following week. In this way, they can re-use these new words in other compositions or in their paper 2 components.

Now, we will take a look at an example of a P2 composition. The pictures are taken from a 2019 SA2 Top School Paper.

2. Primary 2 composition practice

Study the four pictures below. Your sentences must form a story.
You may use the helping words and phrases given.

P2 composition illustration

2.1 Helping Phrases

Use the phrases to help you write each paragraph of your story

a. Introduction

Describe the setting

  • sweltering hot afternoon
  • walked home from school
  • arrived at the void deck
  • dreaming of a shower and a cold drink

b. Rising Action

What did Peter witness?
How did he feel?

  • heard a mewling sound
  • saw a white and black stray cat
  • running up to Peter’s neighbour, Mr Tan
  • placed some cat food on the ground
  • finished eating
  • Mr Tan simply left the mess on the ground
  • his utter surprise
  • glanced at the No Littering poster near the lift
  • did not comply with the rules

c. Falling Action

What did Peter decide to do?
Why did he do it?
Did anyone praise him for his good deed?

d. Ending

  • reflected on his good deed
  • glad that he had helped keep his neighbourhood clean and free of pests

2.2 P2 Composition model – Theme ‘A Good Dead’

            It was a sweltering hot day. Peter had just finished a long, tiring day at school. As he trudged to his void deck with his heavy school bag, he was dreaming of a cool shower and a cold drink at home.

            Just as he was about to press the lift button, he heard a mewling sound. Turning around, he saw the neighbourhood stray cat. It was white and black and it was gentle to everyone. The cat ran up to Mr Tan, Peter’s neighbour. Bending down, Mr Tan patted the cat. Then, he lay some cat food on the ground for the stray cat. When the cat had finished eating, it scampered away happily. To Peter’s utter shock, Mr Tan simply left the remainder of the cat food on the ground and walked away! Peter was so shocked that he stood stock still. Then he thought, This is none of my business. I shall go home and take my shower and have a cold drink. However, when he was about to press the lift button again, a poster on the wall caught his attention. It said No Littering and explained that there were more and more pests around the neighbourhood. Mr Tan did not comply with the rules, Peter thought to himself.

            After reflecting for a while, Peter made a decision. Even though he was tired, Peter decided to clean up the mess that Mr Tan had left. He knew that if he left the mess on the ground, it would attract pests such as rats and cockroaches. He decided that the shower and cold drink could wait. He would do a good deed and clean up the mess. Using a piece of tissue paper, Peter painstakingly picked up the remaining pieces of cat food and threw them away in the dustbin nearby. When he was done, Peter heard a voice behind him.

“That was a good deed, Peter! Well done!”

Turning around, Peter came face to face with Mrs Suba, his English teacher. Mrs Suba lived in the neighbourhood as well and she was on her way home. She had witnessed what had just happened. Peter blushed as Mrs Suba praised him for being a good neighbour.

            That night, Peter reflected on the day’s events. He was glad that he had taken the time to clean up the mess at the void deck. It was important to keep his neighbourhood clean.

Don’t Miss Any Future Post!

2024 P2 English Tuition timetable

Bukit TimahTUE3.30 pm to 5.30 pm