Creative Writing for Primary School: Focus on the Theme

Focus on Theme

In any piece of writing, we need to have a theme and ensure that we focus on the theme closely. Therefore, for this post, we are going to delve into the topic of the themes of the PSLE continuous writing section, and how we can focus on the theme to write better.

A bit of background first. In the old syllabus, the continuous writing question focuses on topics. However, in the new continuous writing format for PSLE, the question is based on a theme rather than a narrower topic. Hence, it is important to have an undivided focus on the theme throughout the essay.

Focus on the Theme

How can we achieve this? Let us look at the 2016 PSLE as an example. The theme for continuous writing is “the secret”. Firstly, your child needs to understand that a secret means something which is kept hidden from one or more persons. The essay therefore needs to focus on this – which character or characters are kept in the dark.

As the story progresses, the focus on the theme must always be kept in mind. Think about how the theme affects the main characters. Also, think about whether the premise changes at the end of the story. For example, in the case of “the secret”, the end result could be that the secret is still kept or that it is finally revealed. We will explore more about creating conflicts and developing plots latter in our series.

To ensure that your child does not go out of theme, ask your child to check at the end of each paragraph if it still focuses around the theme. By doing so, you can be assured that there is focus on the theme.

Remember, keeping your child’s writing with the theme in mind is key to scoring good marks. No matter how good your child’s language is, going out of theme is going to have a big impact on his marks.

Remember to read keeping checking our blog for more advice on writing. Also, remember to ‘like’ our FB page for more news and other important information.

In our next blog, we will be talking about how to create conflicts, develop plots as well as improve their writing. Look out for it!

Focus on the theme

Follow One Course Until Successful

12 Tips to improve your child’s Creative Writing!

creative writing

A couple of months ago, we posted a set of creative writing tips together with our marketing partner, LearnSuperMart.  However, they were edited for a Facebook audience and some details had to be left out. Some parents have asked us for the version that has the full details. Hence, we are pleased to present the full set for your reading pleasure.

We hope that with this full set, you’ll be able to understand the requirements of the continuous writing component of Paper 1, and help your child understand how to tweak his writing to ensure the requirements are met. With these tips, we are confident that your child will be able to improve on his creative writing. At the same time, please check our webpage every now and then for more information and tips. If you prefer frequent and bite-size tips, do like our Facebook Page.

Introduction to this Creative Writing series

The first three tips of this series will focus on helping your child prepare for writing. Before your child starts writing, it is important that he reads and understands the question before proceeding. He needs to brainstorm for ideas, ensuring that his story answers the question and engages the reader. As such, we will be discussing how your child can stick to the theme of the essay question and suggest different ways to generate ideas. Most important, we will be teaching how to give your child’s essay an overarching emotional tone that will help his essay stand out.

After that, we will focus on some techniques of writing – from writing about emotions to improving the climax and coming out with fantastic conclusions.  We are confident that these techniques will help your child develop his writing and help him score better in the next essay he writes.

Finally, we will a little technical and focus on how to improve your child’s language by focusing on varying sentences. As a bonus, we are also going to touch on the marking rubrics as well as common marking comments that may help you understand how your child’s teacher marks.

There is just one more thing we would like you to read before you forge ahead with this series. Please download the PSLE English syllabus. It will be most helpful to you to understand these tips. The English syllabus can be found here.

  1. Focus on the theme
  2. Creating conflicts
  3. Controlling your emotions
  4. (I)nner Sensations
  5. (D)ialogue
  6. (E)motional Expressions
  7. (A)ctions
  8. Stretching the Tension
  9. A Perfect ending?
  10. Varying Sentences I
  11. Varying Sentences II
  12. Understanding your teacher’s marking

Without further ado, let us proceed to the series!

Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s contribution to English

This post is a little special. Instead of talking about the English language or technology in education, I am going to talk about Lee Kuan Yew.

It is not a tribute because I am not going to jump on the bandwagon of the hundreds, if not thousands of blogs, that speak glowingly of his achievements. That is something that most Singaporeans recognise. His immense drive and vision have brought Singapore to where it is now. Let us not trivialise his achievement.

Instead, what I am going to talk about is his contribution to how English has thrived in Singapore. Read More…

What is STELLAR?

This programme is designed specifically for Singapore children by Singapore teachers.

STELLAR stands for Strategies for English Language Learning and Reading. It was rolled out in 2006 and after nine years, all the primary schools use for all levels. STELLAR is an instructional programme and not a syllabus, and therefore it offers materials and strategies rather than an outline of teaching outcomes. As a result, some parents complain that it seems unstructured. Read More…

How to improve your child’s vocabulary: Part One

Have you ever instructed your child to learn a new word and when you test him a few days later, it has mysteriously vanished from his memory?

The reason for this is that many children do not use strategies for vocabulary development. In fact, the meaning of the word is just one of the many pieces of knowledge that an English language learner needs to store in his vocabulary bank. On top of this, there are other components to learn to use English fluently in reading and writing, in different contexts.

Read More…

The classical way to ace your writing

There are many schools of thought on how to write a great story. Indeed, it is hard to pinpoint what makes some books become classics or best sellers while some books end up out of print and forgotten.

Despite what I just wrote, there are certainly some elements that are critical to what is considered good writing. In this post, I am going to focus on classical Greek theatre and discuss how Greek classics can help modern writers, like our children, improve on their plots and storytelling.

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Are handhelds good for your child?

Nowadays, when you go outside, you will see a lot of children glued to a tablet or smartphone (usually an iPad or iPhone). They are watching it while eating their meals or even while walking. This generation is very different from when we were children. While these handheld devices can hold the focus of our children, let us consider if they can help our children’s learning.

Many people use tablets as educational tools, from national schools such as Crescent Girls Schools to private enrichment centres such as RG Channel Future School (yes, that is us). Many parents also use handhelds devices to entertain and educate their children. They download educational apps or allow their children to watch educational videos. If children ask parents questions they cannot answer, they also use the internet for research or encourage their children to look it up.

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Study Skills – A Summary

Study Skills is something that is important for all students to have knowledge off. It provides guidance, help and makes them more efficient and effective in their journey of learning.

This November and December, we have been conducting a Study Skills Clinic with our long-time partner. We been in over 10 different centres island-wide delivering our take on study skills and how students can make use of these skills to improve their studies.

Read More…

Improve Your Kid’s English through Journals

The November and December holidays are upon us. Many parents bring their children to a trip, either as a reward or as an opportunity to unwind. Does this mean that learning stops since it is the holidays?

At RG Channel, we believe that there should be continuous learning. The holidays can be an opportunity to improve your child’s English. But it should be done in a fun way so that it does not become ‘homework’. This is a great chance to get your children to write a travel journal during their trip overseas; this activity will help your children write better and have the chance to reflect on their experiences while travelling.

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Comprehension Strategies

The new school year brings new promise to all children. They can wipe the slate clean and start afresh in a new year. With new hope, we should encourage our children to do even better for the new year.

From our experience, a common weakness for many children is Comprehension Cloze. Comprehension Cloze is challenging especially for children who are weak in English. This is because they do not understand the strategies to answer questions. There is a general idea that students can deduce the answers by finding clues. However, what sort of contextual clues there are and how children can identify them is always a problem they cannot overcome.

Read More…