The four grand prize winners of the contest
(front row, from left) Denisse, Kavinisha, Yee Tong and Cheng Ken proudly
holding up their certificates. With them are (back row, from left) Martin and
Contest encourages pupils to
hone their story-writing skills in the English language.
NOTHING is impossible. That
was what pupil Choong Cheng Ken learnt from his experience participating in the
Step Up Story time contest organised by The Star.
The bespectacled 11-year-old
from SJK (C) Keh Seng, Melaka, was one of the four grand prize winners of the
“When you put your mind and
soul into achieving something, you will get it. Never give up even if you don’t
know what to write about at first,” he said after the contest prize-giving
ceremony held at Menara Star recently. He also added enthusiastically that he
would participate again if the opportunity arose.
The other three lucky winners
were Denisse Khong Shin Whye from SK Methodist Girls School, Penang, Kavinisha
Suresh from SK Bukit Raya, Selangor, and Pang Yee Tong from SJK (C) Notre Dame,
The Story time
contest, which ended on April 24, was open to primary school pupils in Years
Five and Six nationwide.
Pupils were required to pick
one to four pictures from The Star and, based on the chosen pictures,
weave an interesting tale in 80 to 100 words.
Grand prize winners of the Story
time contest won a two-day, one-night holiday stay for four and theme park
tickets for two, sponsored by Resorts World Genting.
Goh and Chew (fifth, sixth and seventh from left) posing with teachers from
schools with the top five highest entries.
Ninety consolation prize
winners, from both national schools and vernacular schools, walked away with a
theme park ticket each, also sponsored by Resorts World Genting.
The schools with the top five
highest entries received books sponsored by Scholastic Asia.
In her speech, Resort
Communications & Public Relations vice-president Katherine Chew said that
she was delighted to be part of an initiative that promoted education in a fun
“Resorts World Genting has
always been passionate about contributing to the development of children – and
in this case, helping them to improve their English by taking part in a writing
contest. It is a meaningful and significant way of teaching our young minds.
“Contests such as the Step
Up Story time contest contribute to the development of young ones.
Storytelling plays an important role in early literacy development.
“Most importantly, I would
also like to thank the teachers for guiding pupils to write well and submit
their stories. Teachers deserve applause for all their hard work. Without them,
none of this would have been possible.”
Scholastic Asia education
sales manager (Malaysia) Karwai Goh said he hoped students would be able to
benefit from joining the contest.
“I like this contest by The
Star as it really cultivates students’ interest in writing.
“We hope to nurture students’
skills in reading and writing. If a child is able to read, then the child can
source for information on his own.”
“Educators play a very
important role in terms of motivating students and inspiring them, but we also
need to provide them with the correct tools,” he added.
Also present at the event was
Star Media Group executive editor Brian Martin and NiE editorial manager Sharon
Fellow grand prize winner
Kavinisha exclaimed: “I am excited and happy!”
The Year Six pupil said that
when writing, pupils should not be focused on one point alone but to look at
“Be creative and open,” she
She said participating in the
contest had taught her new words in the English language.
“I had fun writing for this
contest. English is important as it is an international language,” she added.
Delighted with her daughter’s
win, Sunita Gopalan, 39, said she hoped the win would encourage Kavinisha to
Consolation prize winner,
Kerosshan Paramasivam, 12, was thrilled to have gained a new experience.
A bookworm who possesses five
shelves of books in his room, the SK Mahmud, Raub, Pahang, pupil wrote a tale
of a girl who grows up to become a guitarist.
“I want to participate again!
It is a good contest for pupils who love English and wish to learn the
“It is an international
language. In many countries, people may speak in their mother tongue but will
communicate with others in English because it is widely spoken,” he added.
His mother, Rajeswari
Saundrapandian, 46, said the contest was a good opportunity for Kerosshan to
“More students should take
part in contests like this; it is a good platform for them to learn English.
“The NiE pullouts are really
good, there are a lot of activities for students. Teachers and parents should
make use of them,” she said.
Contest judge NiE freelance
trainer Teh Soo Choon said that criteria she looked for when vetting through
the entries were creativity and organisation.
“The pupil who has thought
through a story is organised as it will have a clear beginning, middle and end.
“Then, I also look for the
‘wow’ factor. Unique stories stand out because of the way they are presented. I
look for storylines that would impress the reader, such as humour or a twist.
Pupils should not just pick
up a pen and simply write, Teh said.
“When they do this, there
will be no structure to their stories and the sentences are not properly
linked. Pupils should be made to think through their stories first.
“Each story should have a
good and clear introduction. The main characters should be properly introduced.
The middle should have the bulk of the story, and finally, there must be
“The essays of grand prize
winners were well-structured and had good use of vocabulary. Although it was
just 100 words, they managed to put across a story well.”
SJK (C) Notre Dame English
panel head Gan Kai Jun said that since her pupils were not exposed to English
competitions, the contest was good exposure.
“The winners from my school
were very surprised and happy to win a prize. This will encourage them to write
English teacher Harlina
Hamdan from SK Bukit Raya said that the winning pupils from her school were
excited and could not wait to enjoy themselves at the theme park.
“Step Up Story time is
a good contest that encourages pupils to write because it gives them a chance
to write interesting stories based on their own experiences and to compete with
other pupils at a national level,” she added.
The Story time contest
template was published in Step Up on March 14 and 16. The template was
also in the Newspaper-in-Education (NiE) pullout on March 15.
Step Up is a 24-page bilingual
pullout with fun workbook exercises and activities for primary school pupils in
Years Four, Five and Six.
The pullout comes in two
versions - a Bahasa Malaysia version and a Chinese version. Each version
features translation of difficult English words.
The pullout features
syllabus-based content and is endorsed by the Education Ministry. Full results
will be published at http://contests.thestar.com.my/stepupstorytime/
on July 19.
Source from : http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2017/07/16/stepping-up-creativity/
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