Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thank you

Thank you for organising the class party. "Don't Forget the Lyrics" was a great idea. Really appreciate the pupils who went the extra mile to look for the songs, download the lyrics and design the PowerPoint slides.

Thanks for the gifts and cards too. Owen, I like your card - so innovative. :) I like all the other gifts too. Thanks for ordering the pizzas and bringing the chips, for putting up the singing item - you're the most united class and for being so considerate during the class party. A big thank you to you all! Have a good holiday tomorrow, but don't forget to do PP9.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Curiosity Kills the Cat by Jeremias Shae

The sun was setting. The crimson sky was turning dark as beautiful, flashing lights lights dotted it. The cool night air made me shiver. My friends and I were camping in the heart of the forest. The trees looked ominous and frightening. Their leafless branches were shaped like the claws of a beast. The holes made by bugs were like eyes, staring at us like we were their dinner.

"Hoot, hoot," an owl howled. Our teeth chattered in fear. A howling wind made a ghostly wail. Chills went down our spines.

Problem 1: Zack, Jason and I were wandering far from our campsite. We saw a deserted mansion, looking like it was haunted. As frightening as the house might be, curiosity got the better of us. As we crept into the the mansion, the doors opened with an eerie creaking sound. We walked in unsteadily, our legs feeling like jelly. After a few steps into the mansion, the old willow door slammed. "Nice one, Zack," I said. Zack was always playing pranks, being the class clown. "But it wasn't me this time," Zack said with fear in his voice. Jason grabbed the gold-pained maple bars of the door. Complication 1: "The door's stuck!" he shouted, face as pale as a sheet of paper.

Fortunately, we had all our camping tools with us, even our sleeping bags. We had brought everything along with us as we were not going to let our expensive items get stolen or our sleeping bags blown away by the wind at the campsite.

I took out a hammer from the toolbox which had all the tools we needed to set up the tent with. "Stand back," I said, determined to escape. I smashed a hole in the window and we jumped out from it. "That was a close one!" Jason sighed, relieved that the terrifying experience was over.

The doors of the mansion flew open again and this time, we zoomed off. Problem 2: After ten minutes of running, I realised I had a problem. I was far from the campsite. In fact, I did not even know where I was and to make matters worse, I was alone. The three of us had been separated while we were running for our lives. Complication 2: I took out my cell phone to call my friends, but unfortunately, there was no reception.

I was alone, cold, hungry and cut off from the outside world. I was wondering around, animals all making their mating calls. I totally freaked out. My heart was slamming against my rib cage.

"Jerry!" I heard someone call my name. I looked around, my heart in my throat, legs like jelly, face pale. I saw a shining light and I regained hope of finding my friends and getting out of here.

"Jason, Zack!" I cried out in joy. My two friends had found me. I was full of joy, but moments later, I realised our predicament. Problem 3: We were still far from our campsite. We continued wandering, with our last hope of finding our destination. Hope was completely regained again as we found a compass lying on the ground. Complication 3: However, the dust-covered device was in no working condition. I looked up in the sky, praying to God, asking for a sign.

I remembered suddenly that the brightest star in the sky showed us where North was. Our campsite was in the east. I scanned the sky, finding the northern star. I found it! "So if north is there, east must be here!" Zack said, pointing to the left.

We ran towards the east. Tears streamed down our faces, hoping that this was for real - the chance to find our campsite and go home in the morning.

Outcome: We praised God - He gave me the hint of finding our way back. We were safe under the covers of our tent. For a second while we were stuck, I began to lose hope, thinking that we would be stuck in the forest forever and to survive, we had to eat leaves and twigs.

Conclusion: I realised how important it was to remember what we had learnt at school, like how I remembered the brighest star in the sky led to the north. I also truly understand what the saying "Curiosity kills the cat" really meant. This incident was really terrifying, but at the same time, both enjoyable and educational.

The memory of this incident will be forever stuck in my mind.

Friday, August 20, 2010

How did it go?

How did the oral go today? Sorry I could only wish Group 1 well. Hope everyone excelled. :)

Do revise for the prelim on Monday.

What you can do this weekend:
1) Review the grammar, vocabulary, editing and synthesis sections in the 19 Practice Papers, CA1 and SA1 papers, especially those you made mistakes in before.

2) Do your corrections for Prelim Practice Paper 8 and Prelim Mock Exam, referring to the answer keys only when necessary.

3) Ensure you know the spelling of words that appeared in the editing and vocabulary sections of your practice papers

4) Read through your notebook.

5) If you haven't completed your mind map, please do so as it helps to consolidate your learning.

6) After you have finished the paper on Monday, check for mistakes. Underline keywords. For cloze and comprehension, make sure you have answered in the correct tenses.


Question tags

positive (+) in one clause, negative (-) in the other

1) You have (+) done your homework, haven't (-) you?
2) You come (+) to school by bus, don't (-) you?
3) You saw (+) the burglar, didn't (-) you?
4) You hardly visit (-) your grandmother nowadays, do (+) you?
5) Henry seldom falls (-) ill, does (+) he?

Be careful with cases 4 and 5. The first clause looks positive in each case, but it is actually negative. Explanation: "hardly visit" means "do not often visit" and "seldom falls ill" means "does not often fall ill".

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oral Tips - Final Words

1) Use the given five minutes wisely. Read aloud softly. If you do not know how to pronounce any word, please break the word into its syllables during this preparation time.
Next, look at the picture and prepare your speech. Remember DIEO.

2) Enter the room confidently. Approach the examiners with a smile and greet the examiners cheerfully upon reaching them.

Say, "Good morning, teachers. My name is __________. My index number is __________. May I be seated please?"

3) Examiners will tell you when to start reading.
Remember to read expressively and pronounce each word clearly and carefully.
Remember the end consonants.

4) Picture Discussion (E.g. Parents' Copy Picture 4)

E.g. This picture shows a scene at a park. The sun is peeking out from the clouds. It is a great day for outdoor activities.

A) A family has laid out a mat on the grass patch. The members are enjoying a scrumptious feast. From the smiles on their faces, they are delighted with their sandwiches and seem totally oblivious to their surrounding.

B) Next to them, a little girl is pointing at a kite that has been trapped in a tree. She is also shouting desperately for help. She is probably the daughter of the two adults in the family. She seems to be upset as her pleas for help have been ignored. If I were her, I would approach the adult man on the mat, who is presumably her father, and get his attention. The kite is too high for her to reach and it is wise for her to ask someone to help her.

C) On a path next to the grass patch, a boy has fallen off his bicycle. Perhaps he has been cycling too quickly. He is injured rather seriously and blood is trickling down from his knee. From his facial expression, I deduce he is feeling miserable and has difficulty standing up.

D) A man is cycling towards him at a seemingly rapid pace. The man seems to be very anxious as he is perspiring heavily and has a worried expression on his face. He could be the father of the injured boy and is hurrying over to the boy to render help. Alternatively, he could be a passer-by who is cycling too quickly to stop. He could be afraid of colliding into the boy on the ground.

E) I hope the family could be more aware of their surrounding instead of being engrossed in their food. There are many opportunities for them to show their concern and help.

In conclusion, the park is a suitable place for various activities. However, we should always consider the safety and well-being of other park users in our actions and ensure that the park is conducive for relaxation.

You are awarded marks for language, so do use appropriate vocabulary and ensure accurate grammatical structures. Speak consistently in the present tense.

5) The examiner will prompt you that the conversation is about to begin.
Be interactive and introduce connected points on your own.
Smile and have eye contact.
Be enthusiastic so that the examiners will not be bored.
You may want to inject humour if possible.

E.g. Parents' Copy Practice 4 again

Q: Do you go out on family outings?

A: Yes, I do. My family loves the outdoors so we usually go to the park. The park we frequent most is the Botanic Gardens. When we are there, we sometimes play soccer or simply lie on a mat to relax. As my little brother is only three years old, he loves playing with bubbles. Occasionally, we bring a bubble machine and we will have a competition to see who can poke the most bubbles.

We also go to the Jacob Ballas' Children's Garden on the grounds of the Botanic Gardens. There, we learn interesting facts about plants, like what they need to photosynthesise. My parents will patiently read the signages with us and at home, they conduct a quiz to ensure that we have assimilated the information. At the Children's Garden, there is also a water play area. Again, my little brother loves playing here. Once, he ran right into a fountain of water fully clothed. He was all drenched but he did not seem fazed at all. Instead, he ran right into another fountain and giggled in merriment as he got wetter. In the end, the whole family decided to join in the fun and soon, we were all soaked in water. It was truly a memorable outing.

Q: Do you think it is important to spend time with the family?
A: Yes, I think it is important to spend time with the family. Spending time together will strengthen our bond. It helps us know each other better. We can also encourage each other to excel in each other's area of interest or talent. If we are weak in a particular area, our family members can be there to fill in the gap. I think we can count on our family members more than we can count on our friends. There is somehow a tie that exists in the family that is hard to explain.

Unfortunately, some people do not think it is necessary to spend time with the family. I know of parents who work very hard, seemingly to provide for the family. As a result, they do not spend enough time with their children. This is deplorable as many social problems are results of the lack of parental guidance or discipline. Perhaps that is also why more children are labelled as Beyond Parental Control.

Recently, in the news, there was a feature about a girl who was abandoned by her mother. Her mother had her out of wedlock and had been leaving her with various family members while she worked. Currently, the girl is left with her step-aunt who is only 18 years old. The girl had never met her father. I felt very sad when I read about this case.

To conclude, I will reiterate that spending time together with the family is very important for the reasons I have already mentioned and I am very glad that I have a closely-knitted family who treasures time with each other.

I pray that you will all have good results. Do practise, practise and practise! Do all the 15 practices in the Parents' Package. That will give you the confidence you need. God bless you with good results.

(I will be in another school on Thu and Fri as oral examiner so I can't be in Fairfield to give you support, although I would very much like to. However, I will be praying for all of you. I would have liked to go through PP8 and the mock exam with you before Mon but I have meetings on the afternoons of Thu and Fri. So, please refer to the answer keys that I will be dishing out tomorrow. Revise all the past PPs and school papers and complete your mind map.)

Monday, August 16, 2010



I received a strange request from some of you to suggest songs for relaxation. Here are some suggestions:
1) Most classical pieces have the ability to soothe
2) Disney songs
3) Christian songs

I guess there is a generation gap as we are almost two 12-year cycles apart. :)

Lastly, revise your notes for oral and practise using the Parents' kit. All the best!

Friday, August 13, 2010


1) English Practice Paper 8
2) Revise and write notes on your revision
3) Memorise verb forms for test on Tue
4) Revise for oral exam (Go through all the pics and conversation topics - Get someone in your family to converse with you; record yourself reading and see how you can improve - most of you need to work on pronouncing end consonants and being expressive)

1) There will be a mock English exam on Monday. Study hard!

Past Perfect Tense

The past perfect tense should be used when there are two actions. It is used for the action that occurs first.

E.g.1) I brushed my teeth. I left the house hurriedly.
"I brushed my teeth" occurred first, so we should write:
After I had brushed my teeth, I left the house hurriedly.
Before I left the house hurriedly, I had brushed my teeth.

2) I did my homework. I went to bed.
Logically, "I did my homework" occurred first, so we write:
After I had done my homework, I went to bed.
Before I went to bed, I had done my homework.
By the time I went to bed, I had done my homework.

To + infinitive

"To" is usually followed by the infinitive (base form).
E.g.He seems to like ice-cream.
You have to take your medicine three times a day.

Instances when "to" is not followed by the infinitive.
1) I am looking forward to meeting you/ I am looking forward to watching the movie with you.
2) I prefer swimming to jogging.

A clause is a part of a sentence that contains its own verb.
E.g."She went to the market early as she wanted to avoid the crowd.
"She wanted to avoid the crowd" is a clause. It has its own verb -wanted.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010



1) Text
Formal / informal

2) Number your points and ensure you have included all the points

3) Align salutations and signing off to the left.

4) There should be at least 2 paragraphs.

5) Re-read what you have written and check for spelling or grammtical errors.


1) SPCOC - Need to include problem and complication! Think of something creative.

2) Use vivid descriptions.

3) Check for spelling / grammatical errors.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


1) English Practice Paper 7
2) Composition 9 (PSLE Booklet)
3) Situational Writing 4 (PSLE Booklet)

You Reap What You Sow by Ian Harijanto

"All right! Let’s head out!” Mr Tan said. I quickly ran up the bus and grabbed the window seat. Soon, my best friend Hezekiah arrived and sat next to me. Immediately, we struck up a conversation. During the journey, we talked about one subject in particular. We were discussing what our English teacher, Mrs Gan, had told us about. It was this phrase “You reap what you sow”.

I could not fully comprehend and Hezekiah was no different. I shrugged at the thought as we had arrived at the beach. When we were very near the beach, I felt the sea breeze and it made me all energetic again. Once we were at the beach, Mr Tan gave us a quick briefing of what we had to do. Mr Tan said, “You’ll have to pick up all the rubbish on the beach that you can find. No fooling around. While you’re doing that, I’ll be enjoying myself picking up seashells!”

The moment we heard that, we all chorused in complaint as Mr Tan skidded off towards the sea. I thought to myself, “Man, we have to do all the work and he gets to enjoy himself.”
I strolled over to take the garbage bag and started picking up all the rubbish that inconsiderate people left. As I picked up the endless amount of garbage, I saw something small moving in the distance. At that moment, I actually thought, “Cans can’t move around!” At that thought, I laughed heartily to myself. I ran over, ignoring all the rubbish scattered on the ground. As I moved closer, I saw that it had two pincers and it turned out to be a crab!

I watched it for a considerable amount of time and then, a nasty thought filled my mind. I instantly looked around for a wooden pole. When I finally found one, I rushed over and was jubilant to find that the crab was still there and not moving. I crept over stealthily, raised the pole and did an overhead swing. It landed perfectly on the crab shell and it created a dent on it.

It scampered back to its underground tunnels and it seemed to wince in pain. I laughed at that sight and continued picking up the rubbish. When I returned to where my friends were, I told them my story. Surprisingly, they did not believe what I had said and told me to prove it to them. I scanned the ground for holes that represented the entrance to the crabs’ underground tunnels. I soon spotted some and I stuck my hand in, trying to draw out a crab. After I had dug my hands in the sand for a considerable amount of time, I felt a sharp pang of pain and let out a loud shriek! I instantaneously pulled my hand out of the soil and what I saw shocked me.

The crab that was on my finger had a dent on its shell. It was the one that I had whacked before. Now it was my turn to wince in pain and I reckoned that it felt satisfied to have got its revenge. In the distance, I heard one of my enemies doubling over in laughter. The word spread like wildfire and soon everyone was present.

Finally, I heard my teachers’ voice ordering, “Move aside! Move aside!” When he saw me, he asked with concern, “What happened? Hurry up and get that crab off your hand!” He used a stick to probe the crab and soon, the crab was off my hand and it hurried back to its tunnel.

My finger was bandaged and as Mr Tan bandaged my finger, he forced the circumstances out of me. I was ready for the inevitable and prepared to face the music. Mr Tan glared at me with dagger eyes and started his ear-piercing speech.

After the lecture was over, Mr Tan asked me what I had learned and I told him that we should not disturb nature. I also learnt that retribution would come back and haunt us if we did wrong. There was something else I learnt which I kept to myself. Now, I could finally comprehend the phrase “You reap what you sow”. This would be a lesson that will stay etched in my mind as I had learnt it the hard way. It would help me in making my life’s decisions for years to come.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sounding the Alarm by Ben Lim

“Dad! I told you a million times we shouldn’t come to this horribly crowded place. Just moving an inch takes half an …..” I groaned and moaned as patience was not one of my virtues.

Last Saturday, Dad brought me to Jurong Point to buy groceries at the Fair Price supermarket. I dreaded that place as it was usually crowded. It was my worst nightmare! As I was complaining, I sensed frustration emanating from my father. He had become increasingly infuriated with my bombardment of complaints. He bellowed in my face, “You’d better shut that dissatisfied mouth of yours before I make sure it can never be functional!” I knew better than to disobey Dad when he was in such a foul mood, so I dragged my lethargic legs across the floor as I followed him through the boisterous crowd.

After spending an hour and a half at the supermarket, Dad and I made our way to the cashiers. To my utmost horror, there was an unbelievable 5-metre beeline in front of every cashier! Irritated to the point of explosion, I blurted out, “Not again!” Dad threw me an utterly stern look. Instantaneously, my lips sealed so tightly as if they were fused.

Out of the blue, an ear-piercing blare of the fire alarm reverberated throughout the mall. The once joyous place turned into a sight of hell. People went helter-skelter. Screams of terror filled the air. Panic-stricken shoppers scurried to any emergency exit they could access. It was total mayhem.

Mustering all my courage, I tried to stay calm as I was advised during the last fire drill in school. Dad, however, was “ice-cool” throughout the whole ordeal. He ordered me to call for help as he listened closely for any announcements made.

Suddenly, something swift and sinister caught my eye. He stood out from the crowd almost perfectly. He was clad in black and carried a black bag and suitcase. He seemed to be in a hurry to escape from the building, not because of the fear of a possible fire, but of the fear of being caught. I came to the conclusion that the man had most likely stolen something valuable from the supermarket, then triggered the fire alarm so that it would be a diversion for his escape. Excited about the impending adventure, I quickly told Dad my theory. To my surprise, Dad accepted what I had guessed and urged me to report the ominous-looking man to the authorities. As I called the authorities, I continued to spy on the strange man. He dashed, he jumped and he rolled across the floor. Lo and behold! He was trapped by his own escape plan! Being overwhelmed by panic, the shoppers had occupied every single possible exit to safety.

Irate, the man in black pushed through the crowd, but could not get far. With no other choice, he took out a knife and swayed it menacingly in the air. My suspicions were confirmed – he was a criminal! People of all ages backed off, trembling in fear. Now, the people had two causes for worry – the fire and the apparently insane man!

In the frenzy, an elderly man fell onto the ground, unconscious. At this moment, a police officer appeared out of nowhere and confronted the perpetrator. Instinctively, the criminal stabbed and swayed but was finally subdued as more police officers arrived.

Dad, the other shoppers and I were led out of the shopping mall as police officers cordoned it off for further investigation. By now, recordings from surveillance monitors had determined that there was no fire and that the fire alarm was indeed set off by the suspicious man.

News of the day’s events was widely publicized. There was a short feature of how my instincts about the crime led to the timely arrival of the police. However, I did not bask in the glory of my feat. I only had one wish in mind: May world peace be possible one day.

Bullying by Julian Goh

“Ring” The long awaited recess bell rang as throngs of eager students made a beeline for the canteen. Whereas for me, I was morose by the thought of missing my break and now found myself dragging my lethargic legs towards the most dreaded place in the school, the Staff Room, where my incensed teacher would give me a piece of her mind for not doing my homework.

Drifting away in my thoughts, a clamorous shriek, followed by some faint sobbing woke me from my reverie. My suspicion aroused, I took a quick glance around my vicinity. From the corner of my eye, I caught sight of a big burly boy and a small-sized boy. The big boy stood there menacingly, arms akimbo, as lewd profanities spewed from his mouth which the defenseless boy curled up like a millipede and was crying profusely.

I was shocked by the scene that unfolded before me and finally decided to take matters into my own hands. Being a good Samaritan, I approached the bully and to my horror, I realized that it was John, the notorious “baddie”. I chided him for bullying a little boy but he gave me a scornful look and passed a scathing rebuke. Feeling unjustified, I held my anger and asked the little boy, “What did he do to you?”

In between sobs, the little boy replied, “He extorted money from me and I have been giving him my allowance for the past three days.” Bewildered by his unacceptable behaviour, I decided to put a stop to it. I said, “Why don’t we have a challenge? If I win, you must let the boy go.”

“Fine! Let’s fight!” John replied. At the back of my mind, I knew that I would lose so I decided to use an excuse.

I thought hard and could feel my mind gears whirring as a plan formulated in my head. I replied, “Since this is the World Cup period, let’s have a penalty shootout!” Being a soccer fanatic, he instantaneously nodded his head. We proceeded to the field with the little boy in tow. After playing for a while, it was over. The little boy was freed. John shot me a dejected look as he walked away in sorrow.

Like a bolt out of the blue, the recess bell rang again. I stood rooted to the ground and my face turned as pale as sheet. As if the Earth was getting warmer and warmer, I started perspiring profusely when I recalled that I still had to pay a visit to the staffroom and face my teacher. Nevertheless, I mustered all my courage and decided to face the music. When I saw my teacher, her face turned a bright shade of ruby red. She towered over me and demanded an explanation for being late! After relating the incident to her, she calmed down and praised me for being helpful. She even said that on account of what I did, she would not scold me for not doing my homework and gave me a chance. After that, she confronted and berated John and even took disciplinary action against him.

As I walked back to my classroom, I reflected on the things that happened in the short duration. Even though I got a hurtful scolding from John, the teacher let me off the hook and even praised me! This was indeed a blessing in disguise.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Vocab p. 162-165.

Keep pressing on!

PSLE Oral is coming!
Keep reading aloud. Take any picture and talk about it.
During the conversation segment, pls remember to give specific examples and personal experiences. For example, instead of just saying that you like documentaries because they are interesting, you may talk about a specific documentary that you have watched. Talk about the content of that documentary and what you have learnt.

Do memorise some descriptive words and phrases that you have learnt for the compo exam next week. We will talk more about composition and situational writing on Thu.

Happy Founder's Day.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Busy indeed

Sorry guys. I've been having meetings or workshops in the afternoons and the only time I have online, I need to clear the numerous emails that I receive. Will try to make the postings more regular.

Please hand in Practice Paper 6 tomorrow. Daniel, pls submit your composition on the crab incident too!

PSLE is drawing very near. PSLE Oral is in 18 days' time. We need to get all our gears whirring. You will reap whatever you sow (as Ian's recent composition will remind you). Press on and I am praying for you. Take good care of your health too.