When its comes to preparing for the composition paper, naturally we advise that students get as much practice writing as possible. The best scenario is that students will be writing for their own benefit. Whether it be a book diary, a holiday journal, postcards, letters, or short stories - putting pen to paper in a non-school setting can allow students to take risks with their writing. That's where the magic lies!
The types of writing stimulus on the paper itself will be limited to a few things:
Students will expect to know the conventions of whatever piece of writing they choose. For regular readers, a lot of this will come naturally, though some practice can always help. For example:
Dialogue with speech marks and correct punctuation for a story
Use of longer sentences, adjectives and sensory language for description
Use of shorter sentences to build suspense of tension in a story.
Use of 1st person (for diary or memory) or 3rd person (story or imaginative writing)
Using a variety of punctuation marks suitable for purpose of writing. (eg. question marks in a letter)
Adding clauses into sentences to turn simple sentences into complex ones
Use of formal language in a letter
Use of structure in all pieces (beginning, middle and end)
The most important thing is that students should write without feeling constrained, so whatever form of writing they feel most comfortable with is the one they should go with. Above all this is a chance for students to show off their creative abilities. There is no set formula!
That said students will be universally marked on spelling, punctuation and grammar and an additional 10 marks will be available for all students in this area, so brushing up on some commonly seen mistakes is always a good idea (apostrophes, use of commas, capitalisation, common mis-spellings).
For some help developing your child's composition skills at this level, don't hesitate to get in contact.