3 Tips to Prepare for English Composition in Upper Primary

December 12, 2022

Once they enter Primary 3, your child will be exposed to a new examinable section of the English Language syllabus: Composition Writing. While children with a natural flair for creative writing or written communication might take to this new segment more easily, it doesn’t mean that other children need to be left behind.

Working on communication and writing skills can help your child produce a good composition that answers the question, helps them effectively convey their ideas to the teacher or examiner, and ultimately scores well.

Read on for 3 important tips to help your child prepare for compo writing in upper primary.

1. Know how to break the question down into keywords

While English compos do have some focus on creative writing, it’s important to remember that it is ultimately about answering the questions or themes being addressed within the exam. Your child’s critical thinking, reading comprehension, and analytical skills will thus come into play as they need to know how to properly break down the questions posed into keywords.

For example, if the question is “Write about an incident with your family that made you happy”, they will need to understand 3 key parts:

  • What “incident” means
  • That the story or narrative has to include their “family”
  • That it is a “happy” situation rather than a sad or confusing one

Knowing what question they’re answering ensures they won’t go off-topic in their composition, which can lose them valuable marks regardless of a good command of English. Being able to fully understand the question can also help assuage examination stress, as they feel confident in their ability to answer the question.

2. Adopt a clear structure when writing

At the primary school level, English compositions do not need to include sophisticated argumentative or expository aspects. They can simply follow the 5-part structure of an Introduction, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Conclusion. Adhering to this simple structure ensures your child covers all aspects of their composition in a clear and readable manner, and improves the overall quality of their writing and communication.

To help your child familiarise themselves with compo writing, practice doing outlines based around these 5 components. This will help your child better understand what each section requires, and avoid mistakes such as a lack of conclusion, abrupt transitions, or no clear climax to the story.

3. Don’t be afraid to use simple language

As your child’s vocabulary grows, they might want to include more of the new words, idioms, or phrases that they have learnt into their English compo writing. While this can certainly earn them some points for vocabulary, they should also remember that they are writing to communicate with the teacher or assessor, not to impress. Using clear and simple language for the bulk of the composition will help keep their writing readable, and they can still pepper in more flowery expressions here and there to give it a bit of their own one-of-a-kind artistic flair.

Improve your Child’s English Composition Writing Skills with MindChamps

Give your child the skills they need to succeed in their English Composition with MindChamps. Our English enrichment classes for Primary School students adopt a holistic and all-rounded approach to improving your child’s Writing, Language Use and Comprehension, Listening Comprehension, and Oral Comprehension skills in English.

On top of focusing on content-based knowledge such as vocabulary and grammar, our English tuition classes equip your child with the analytical and critical thinking skills they need to succeed in the subject and boost their competency and confidence in the language. Through our unique research-backed pedagogy, we nurture the skills your child needs to develop a Champion Mindset and lifelong love of learning that will last through their Primary School years and beyond.

Find out more about our enrichment programmes in Singapore including creative writing courses in English, phonics enrichment classes, and dedicated PSLE tuition classes for Upper Primary children. Get in touch for more information on our programmes, courses, and pedagogy.