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Model Composition - Regret

Motivating students to use better language is daunting - despite the scaffolding, some simply choose not to do so, prefering to coast by. This is only worsened when the school endorses their actions, giving them inexplicable high grades. Below is the work of one student who needs to be repeatedly reminded the importance of consistently putting in the effort.

Original Composition

“Hey bestie, have you done the Geography slides?”I asked, knowing that Sara always did her work on time and helped me with the topics I did not understand.


“Yup why?”Sara replied cheerfully.

Just then, Sara noticed that my wrist was empty. 

She asked,“Where is our friendship bracelet? Why are you not wearing it?”

I chucked and exclaimed,”Oh, I forgot to wear it back this morning after taking it out last night. Anyway, back to my main point, can you share your Geography slides with me?I haven’t finish it and I am only left with twenty minutes before Geography starts.”


Sara hesitated for a while before sharing it with me on one condition - I must not copy the slides. I confidently reassured her and gave her a thumbs up while she walked away. Then, I quickly opened my chromebook to do the slides. I was in a rush as I was short of time.

I muttered,”It would be fine if I just copied her slides. Anyway she would surely forgive me as usual. She always said it’s fine when I did the same the previous times.”

I did not think too much into it and copied the slides exactly. Soon after, it was Geography.

Sara came back and asked,”All good?”

I replied,”Yeap! Thanks for the slides”

Then, the teacher started class and called out by register number to present the slides. As I was before Sara, I presented the slides first. The moment it appeared on the screen, a gasp escaped her and she was mouthing four words-I cannot believe you. Even though I saw her, There was nothing I could do to change the fact that I was already presenting so I just continued to do so. I was filled with guilt and regret for what I did. Sara continued to sit there quietly without complaining to the teacher.

When it was Sara’s turn, she had nothing to present as I already took her slides. She did not want to risk getting me in trouble so instead, she was going to take the blame.

Before she could speak and explain to the teacher, the teacher shouted, narrowing her eyes and furrowing her eyebrows, ”I expected better from you Sara! I can’t believe you didn’t do your homework, I gave you this work two weeks ago! I’m so disappointed in you!”

I wanted to defend her but I was afraid I would get scolded too. Some of our classmates started whispering to each other. Tears started to well in Sara’s eyes. I could see her holding back her tears. I stared at her and did not know what I should do. I just mouthed her a sorry. After that, she went back to her seat with her head hung low. When Geography class ended, Sara ran out of the classroom while wiping her tears flowing down. I followed her as she sprinted into a toilet cubicle.

I was unsure on what to say.

What if I anger her more?

I took a deep breath and asked,”Are you okay?”

There was a long silence. I wanted to comfort her more but based on the silence, I guessed that she was really mad at me. I paced up and down, waiting for her to come out. After ten minutes, I decided to go back to class. On the way there, I decided to make a u-turn to the teacher’s room.

I told the teacher about what really happened. She stood there, shocked and replied,”How could you do that! Instead of telling the truth, you stole Sara’s slides!You should have known better!I do not want to see this happening again! For now, I would issue you one green form!I don’t think you would want another one right?”

I replied back,”Yes, I do not want another one.I am so sorry.”

After that, I ran back to the toilet cubicle to apologize to Sara but she was not there. When I was walking back to class, I saw her. I sprinted to her and told her,”I am so sorry for what I done to you. I should not have done that, I know my mistake now. I shouldn’t have betrayed your trust.”

Sara just ignored me, without even giving me a glance. I tried to chase her but it did not work. After that, I tried to buy her her favourite food from the canteen but she just pushed me aside and talked to her other friends. I was hopeless. 

What else could I do?

On my way back to class, I heard some of my classmates talking about what happened to Sara and even laughed about her. Not long after, we had another class. As the teacher did not come to class yet, I stood up and got to the front of the classroom.

I gathered everyone’s attention and announced,”Sara did her work and I copied it exactly. It is my fault that I didn’t do my work and took advantage of her. I really hope that you all would stop talking behind her back.”

I went back to my seat and hoped that Sara would know that I am truly apologetic for what I did. Then, someone was headed towards my table. I looked up and realized that it was Sara!

I told her,”I am so sorry for what I did to you. I know that I should not have done that and I know that I betrayed your trust. I really hope you could forgive me. I would do anything as long as you would stop avoiding me.I hope that we are still friends.”

Sara gave me a wide grin and replied,”I forgive you but it might take a while for you to earn back the trust and of course we are still friends!”.

I gave a chuckle and we walked back to the classroom together.

We should not take our best friend for granted, when they are friends with you, you should cherish it as they find you someone worthy to be friends with and let them trust you fully. We are not suppose to treat them like dirt. We should treat our friends with care and respect if you want them to treat you back the same way. Once you gain back someone’s trust, do not lose it again. Do not let them think they made the wrong choice.


Model Composition

The classroom buzzed with quiet chatter as students prepared for their Geography presentations. The atmosphere was thick with anticipation, a low hum of energy that felt like electricity in the air. Sara and I sat side by side, our desks practically touching. 

Lazily twirling a pencil between my fingers, I stared at the unfinished slides but I brushed off the worry like dust from an old book. 

“Hey bestie, can I take a look at your Geography slides?” I asked breezily but I already knew that she had - she was punctual and meticulous, and was diligently reviewing her notes. . More importantly, she always had my back, a lighthouse in my sea of procrastination. 

She chuckled and rolled her eyes. "You are going to be the death of Mrs Ho," she replied, "Don't copy or we'll get into trouble." 


She continued her preparation for the presentation, getting everything in order, just like the rest of the class. I glanced at her slides, feeling a slight twinge of guilt as a dilemma flickered in my mind. But the thought quickly vanished as I rationalised - just half of it. Mrs Ho would not notice.

I began copying, my fingers flying across the keyboard, the faint echo of my callous action lingering in the back of my mind and just as I finished up, Sara looked up and gave me a reassuring smile.There was a tiny stab on my conscience but Mrs Ho was ancient; she certainly would not be able to tell.

Before I could further justify my actions, Mrs. Ho entered the room wearing her usual gentle smile. "Alright, let's begin with the presentations," she announced. I felt a slight flutter of nerves but quickly dismissed it, confident that everything would go smoothly.

I was called to present first.


As I began my presentation, the words flowed effortlessly from my lips, earning approving nods from Mrs Ho and our classmates. But with every murmur of admiration, Sara's face fell, her smile rapidly fading, replaced by a look of hurt and betrayal. A sharp pang of guilt hit me in my stomach and I struggled to maintain my composure.

"That's very impressive! We all can learn a little from Zenia!" Mrs. Ho's voice rang out at the end of my presentation but her compliment could not quell the wave of dread that had washed over me. Returning to my seat admidst the applause was a torturous walk of shame. Sara's face remained solemn, her eyes betraying a storm of emotions brewing beneath the surface. 

A frosty atmosphere thickened between that space between Sara and me, like a wall of impenetrable ice had sprung up. It was imperceptible to everyone else but she had shifted her desk away ever so slightly, but it was as if a chasm now separated us, a chasm of my own doing. 

"Are you - " I whispered but stopped, my voice barely audible over the din of the classroom.

She did not even look at me, her eyes staring straight ahead, vacant, as her lips trembled. Her turn drew closer and with each passing moment, her vulberability grew as she resigned herself to mindlessly and hopelessly leafing through her notes. The weight of my thoughtlessness pressed down on me like a leaden blanket.

"And finally, we have Sara."

She rose from her seat, glancing at me briefly with her eyes brimming with unspoken pain, before shuffling to the front of the room.

Sara began her presentation, her voice steady but lacking its usual confidence. It was as if she were going through the motions, her mind elsewhere, lost in a maze of hurt and betrayal. 

I was watching the unraveling of our friendship.

As Sara's presentation came to a close, there was a palpable silence in the air; nobody dared to utter a word. Mrs Ho pursed her lips and though it would have been impossible in an already silent class, a hush fell over all of us. "I'll see you after school."Mrs Ho's words were curt but they were pregnant with disappointment 


I waited anxiously outside the staff room, the knot of anxiety in my stomach tightening with every breath. When she emerged, her eyes downcast and her steps hesitant. The moment she saw me, she made a dash for the nearest restroom, her hurried footsteps echoing in the empty hallway. I followed close behind, my heart pounding in my chest as I tried to keep pace with her frantic movements.

As Sara locked herself in one of the cubicles, the sound of her sobs echoed off the tiled walls. I stood outside the door, my hands trembling with uncertainty and all I could do was listen helplessly as Sara continued to control her crying in futility.

It was then that I knew what I had to do. With a heavy heart and a lump in my throat, I made my way to the staff room. It filled me with dread but I had to confess. The words spilled out in a rush and Mrs. Ho listened in silence. She did not looked surprised at all. "I was waiting for this," she said matter-of-factly. It turned out that her disappointment in class was reserved for me. "Just so you know, Sara had not said a word."

In that moment, the weight of my guilt became unbearable.


The next day, when I walked into the classroom, I found Sara sitting in a different seat, her usual spot now occupied by someone else. The sight struck me like a physical blow. The day dragged on and in the many moments of reflection that I had whenever my eyes laid on Sara on the opposite end of the classroom, I was forced to confront my selfishness and the fact that the damage had been done, irreparable and unforgivable. 

Our paths crossed during recess as we passed each other in the hallway but nothing more than a nod of acknowledgement was exchanged; the easy camaraderie and playful banter we had once shared were replaced by an awkward silence, a painful reminder of the friendship I had lost.

But I had lost more than just a friendship—I had lost a part of myself, the part that had once believed in the power of forgiveness and redemption. Perhaps Sara would eventually forgive me but I knew, as I stood alone in the wreckage of my own making, no amount of remorse or regret could ever undo the damage I had caused. Perhaps one day - someday, somehow - I could find a way to make things right.

With some pivoting, the model composition can be used for

the following questions and themes

A change for the better (PSLE 2023) / A Promise (PSLE 2021) / A mistake / Friendship

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