Writing techniques are a great way to boost a P5 and P6 composition. Metaphors, Creative Similes, and characterisation are some examples of writing techniques. We touch on different writing techniques during our Composition writing twice a month. Then, we go more in-depth about writing techniques during the lessons in the school holidays.

However, during every composition lesson, we emphasise to our P5 and P6 students the 3 pillars of how to score for composition – Theme development, Characterisation, and Language.

Mastering the use of these 3 pillars is something that we teach our students to do every time we write a composition in class. It does not require any memorisation, just simple regular practice.

This year a few of our P6 students had Composition as their WA1. One of those students, K, scored 35/40 for her composition. It made me very happy but not just for the obvious reason of her scoring a good mark. K joined TF in the later part of 2023 in her P5 year. She was already a good writer but sometimes inconsistent.

For her P5 SA2, unfortunately, her score was in the 20s for her composition. She was clearly disappointed in her score and when we went through together her P5 SA2 Composition, I explained to her that she was off point and had not used theme development. We replanned out her P5 SA2 composition again and she understood where her mistake was.

Since then, she has been making sure to add Characterisation and Theme development in every composition that we write in class and did well for her WA1! While good grades are important, it makes me happy when my students learn from their mistakes and bounce back from disappointment.

The PSLE year is not an easy road. It should begin for many students in their P5 year. Mastering techniques and rules, especially in languages takes time and sometimes even trial and error. However, I often tell my PSLE students that the most important thing to remember in their PSLE year is to learn from the mistakes that they make.

K has kindly agreed to share her WA1 composition. It was last week’s composition theme for our TF P6 students. In class, we discussed how K developed the theme in her Composition and her interesting use of Creative Similes in her story. Below is her WA1 composition. In the first paragraph, K used both characterisation and theme development. Below is also the list of Creative Similes that she used.

List of Creative Similes

  • like pools of misery
  • the long-awaited school bell sounded like the cry of an angel
  • regret hit me like an arrow, digging its way through my lungs and piercing my heart
  • I entered and lay writhing like a worm on the floor
  • Her eyes were burning with anger and she looked like a bull ready to charge
  • I ran to my room whimpering like a wounded puppy

K’s P6 WA1 composition on the theme of ‘A last minute rush’

school building

My name is Phoenix, and my name represents a mythical bird rising from the ashes. If you think I am strong and invincible, you are wrong. I was always late for anything and everything, I was a couch potato and played video games all day long. I also had a bad habit of delaying hard work, never taking a project seriously and always rushing.

“Okay class, today I will give out your Science project…” Mrs. Lim’s shrill voice snapped me out of my daze. I groaned. My head was on my table, my eyes were like pools of misery. At last, the long-awaited school bell sounded like the cry of an angel. Without a second thought, I clambered out of the class and made a beeline for home, visibly brightening at the thought of watching television.

As soon as I arrived, I kicked off my shoes and promptly sat on the sofa. My mother sighed wearily. As soon as I turned the television on, my eyes were drawn to the blast of colours that captivated me. During the following days, this cycle repeated itself. I had grown to become a zombie, constantly gaping at the television and hunched over like a question mark. As a month passed by, I still had not done my project!

 The very day before the project was due, I put my nose to the grindstone, fighting against sleep and weeping bitter tears. Why had this happened? I thought sourly to myself. This project which was worth half of my grade was only a flimsy claw machine! On the day of the presentation, all of my classmates were beaming with pride. Unlike their cheery faces, my eyes had dark circles, and I was as pale as a ghost. Regret hit me like an arrow, digging its way through my lungs and piercing my heart. I sank to my knees as the teacher frowned upon my project when it failed. When I received my grade, a big fat angry ‘F’ took my breath away. My paper was a sea of red. I ran back home with a heavy heart, cursing when I could not get the key through the keyhole. I entered and lay writhing like a worm on the floor. Tears and snot streamed down my face. My blood ran cold when I saw my mother pick up the report slip. Her eyes were burning with anger and she looked like a bull ready to charge. “In your room. Now!” she cried. I ran to my room whimpering like a wounded puppy and sank to my knees once more. If my misery had been a fire, it was a candle, compared to my growing flame of despair. I produced my phone and began deleting all my video games tearfully. Then, I gave my mother the television remote control and told her to keep it away from me. This last-minute rush had caused me such pain.

In the following days, I would write on bright pink notes with big black bold letters to remind myself of projects. I abandoned my devices and started to turn over a new leaf. When I received another Science project, I worked day and night tirelessly adjusting and perfecting it until it shone. When Mrs. Lim graded my work, my face was as cheery as my friends’ faces. Again, my report slip was a sea of red, although it was now marked with an “A”. I jumped for joy as a smile was plastered on my face. All the butterflies in my stomach were now replaced with fireworks. When I arrived home, I was still grinning like a Cheshire cat. My mother beamed and hugged me. Our happiness could not be described by mere words. I knew I had finally lived up to my name, rising from ashes and overcoming bad habits. I now know that time is important and that we should not waste it. I promised myself every day that I would never end up in such a last-minute rush. I glanced at my report book, tracing all the marks with my index finger, the pages smooth and comforting. I hugged it to my chest and knew that my good marks would have always been a dream if I had not stopped my bad habit of rushing.

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2024 P6 English Tuition Timetable

Bukit Timah THU3 pm to 5 pm
Bukit TimahTHU5 pm to 7 pm
Bukit TimahSAT1 pm to 3 pm
Bukit TimahSAT3 pm to 5 pm
HougangWED5 pm to 7 pm
HougangFRI3.30 pm to 5.30 pm
HougangSAT1.30 pm to 3.30 pm
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