How to help my child improve composition for Primary English?

Comprehensive Guide to Mastering PSLE English Composition: A Unique Perspective


English, as the lingua franca of the world, is the cornerstone of a well-rounded education. In Singapore, its importance is underscored in the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) and Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board’s (SEAB) curriculum, particularly in the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) English syllabus. Parents often ponder, “How can I help my child improve their composition for Primary English?” This article provides a detailed exploration of the PSLE English composition syllabus, offering a unique viewpoint and comprehensive advice.

PSLE English Composition – What are the Requirements?

The PSLE English Composition component tests a student’s ability to articulate ideas and express them effectively in writing. MOE SEAB examinations aim to instil in students a robust comprehension of English grammar, vocabulary, and a diverse range of themes. Pupils should be able to create well-structured narratives, express their ideas coherently, and use appropriate language for different contexts and audiences.

An important aspect of the PSLE English syllabus is to develop critical thinking skills. The goal is not only to learn the language but also to use it as a tool for thinking, problem-solving, and expressing creativity.

Pros and Cons of the PSLE Primary English Composition Framework

The PSLE English Composition framework is a meticulous system with a clearly defined scoring rubric. Its rigorous standards ensure pupils have a deep understanding of the English language and can apply it effectively in different contexts.

The pros of this system are numerous. It provides a structured approach that helps students understand what is expected of them. It encourages creativity within set boundaries, enabling pupils to express their unique voices while adhering to the standards of good writing. This system also promotes critical thinking as students have to choose suitable ideas and examples, organise them logically, and articulate them persuasively.

However, this framework’s cons must also be acknowledged. The stringent guidelines may stifle some students’ creativity, as they might feel compelled to conform to the expected norms. The immense pressure to perform well can also lead to unnecessary stress among students, affecting their overall learning experience.

Ways to Improve Composition Skills for Primary English

Despite these challenges, parents can take several steps to help their child excel in PSLE English Composition. The journey may be arduous, but with determination and the right strategies, it can be rewarding.

  1. Encourage Reading: Reading is crucial for vocabulary building and improving comprehension skills. Children exposed to a diverse range of genres and writing styles develop an appreciation for good narratives and a deep understanding of sentence structures, grammar, and punctuation.
  2. Practice Writing Regularly: Like any other skill, writing improves with practice. Encourage your child to write regularly. They can start a journal or write stories about their daily experiences. This will enhance their creative thinking and help them to become more comfortable with expressing their thoughts in writing.
  3. Teach Planning and Organising: Good essays don’t just happen; they are a product of thoughtful planning. Teach your child to brainstorm ideas, organise thoughts, and plan their composition before starting to write. This will help them to structure their composition logically and write more coherently.
  4. Use Real-Life Experiences: Drawing from real-life experiences can make compositions more relatable and engaging. Guide your child to include personal experiences, observations, and lessons learned in their stories.
  5. Provide Constructive Feedback: Be your child’s first editor. Read their compositions, providing constructive feedback. Highlight the good parts and discuss areas needing improvement. Encourage them to revise their work, fostering a mindset of continuous learning and improvement.
  6. Enrol in Writing Courses: If your child needs more guidance, consider enrolling them in writing courses. These courses can provide expert guidance, teaching pupils how to weave engaging narratives, employ diverse sentence structures, and use descriptive language effectively.
  7. Relax and Have Fun: Remember, writing should be an enjoyable process. Encourage your child to explore their creativity, express their thoughts freely, and take pride in their work. This will foster a positive attitude towards writing, reducing stress and enhancing learning.


Helping your child improve their composition skills for the PSLE English examination is a worthwhile endeavour. Although the journey might be challenging, it fosters not just language skills, but critical thinking, creativity, and a lifelong love for learning. As parents, your role extends beyond providing resources and guidance; it involves fostering an environment that values continuous learning and the joy of self-expression. With the right approach and a deep understanding of the MOE SEAB examinations’ objectives, your child can indeed excel in their PSLE English Composition.