2018 PSLE English Situational Writing Question


An often neglected component of the PSLE English paper is Situational Writing.

At 15 marks, Situational Writing comprises 27% of Paper 1 or 7.5% of the full English paper.

The marking rubric for Situational Writing looks like this:

Task Fulfilment (6 marks)

  • Awareness and understanding of the purpose, audience and context

  • Reporting of key information

Language and Organisation (9 marks)

  • Accuracy in language with respect to grammar, expression, spelling and punctuation

  • Linkage and sequencing of ideas, facts and information

Situational Writing may appear to be more straightforward than Continuous Writing, but securing the full 15 marks is a feat few students can lay claim to.

Without going into too much detail, Situational Writing for Primary School Level can generally be categorised into two types - informal writing and formal writing. As you might have guessed, formal writing is the one students have more difficulty with.

As it so happened, the 2018 PSLE Situational Writing question asked for a report, which of course, has to be written in formal language...

We've written up a sample response with annotations in order to highlight what is needed to secure a perfect score. Share if you find it useful!

2018 PSLE Situational Writing Question

The pictures below show an incident that happened during school recess. Study the pictures carefully.

Your Task

Imagine you are Peter, the prefect on duty.

Write an email to the Disciplinary Master of your school, Mr Tan, to inform him about the incident.

You are to refer to the pictures and information provided for your email.

In your email, include the following key information

  • the date of the incident

  • where the incident took place

  • two reasons why John was unhappy with Gina

  • how Gina responded to John's comment

  • why you approached John and Gina

You may reorder the points. Remember to write in complete sentences.

Sample Response

Dear Mr Tan,

[Salutation for formal correspondence]

I am writing in my capacity as prefect to report a quarrel that took place between two students at the school canteen today, 26 September 2018.

[Summary statement about what report is about]

[Questions answered: date of the incident, where the incident took place]

At 10.15 am during recess, I witnessed Gina Oh from Primary 6 Hope approach John Doe, also from Primary 6 Hope, at the front of the queue at the noodles stall.

[Pertinent details: Time of the incident, identities of the people involved]

Gina asked John to let her order first because she was hungry. When John said no, Gina pushed him aside roughly. John got angry and told her off, saying that he was first in the queue and that he had nearly lost his balance when Gina pushed him. Gina, however, was unapologetic and accused John of lying instead.

[Transposing visual information into the textual information]

[Questions answered: two reasons why John was unhappy with Gina, how Gina responded to John's comment]

That was when I intervened to prevent the fight from escalating. After separating them, I took down their names and informed them that I would be reporting the incident to you.

[Questions answered: why "I" approached John and Gina]

Please let me know if you require me to furnish further information on the incident.

[Not making any presumptions about what actions the Discipline Master might favour]

Yours sincerely,

Peter Lim

Primary 6 Joy

[Standard sign-off]

#EnglishSituationalWriting #Englishcomposition

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