English Language

Guiding Idea

A dynamic English Language curriculum which builds a strong foundation in the language among our students while providing them with a rich language learning environment to develop a love for learning the language.

Curriculum

To help students achieve the learning outcomes of the English Language (EL) Syllabus, the department strives to implement a curriculum that builds a strong foundation in the language among our students while providing them with a rich language learning.

The EL curriculum is one that is both systematic and holistic, where there is a balance between contextualised learning and explicit instruction. In making decisions about the curriculum (what to teach, when and why), the department is guided by the EL Syllabus Aims,  Principles of Language Teaching and Learning (CLLIPS) and the Teaching Processes (ACoLADE).

Through the EL curriculum, students will develop their receptive skills (listening, reading and viewing), productive skills (speaking, writing and representing) as well as knowledge about the language (grammar and vocabulary).

Pedagogy

The Strategies for English Language Learning and Reading (STELLAR) programme is currently being implemented from Primary 1 to 6. As part of the STELLAR programme, our EL teachers are equipped to teach language skills using effective and engaging strategies which are developmentally appropriate for our students.

At the lower primary levels, the Shared Book Approach, Modified Language Experience Approach and  Learning Centres are being carried out from Primary 1 to Primary 3 (Semester 1).

LOWER PRIMARY STELLAR STRATEGIES
Shared Book Approach

There are two parts to the Shared Book Approach (SBA). In the first part, the teacher introduces and shares a Big Book with the students. In the second part, the teacher teaches language items, structures and skills explicitly, including concepts of print, phonics and grammar. There is also a range of follow-up activities like speech and drama, music and art for teachers to select according to the students’ learning needs.

Modified Language Experience Approach

In the Modified Language Experience Approach (MLEA), there is a shared experience that is linked to the Big Book which has been read during SBA. The shared experience provides the context and content for students to think and talk about, using the target language structures and vocabulary they have been exposed to in SBA. With the help of the teacher, the students come up with a piece of class writing which becomes the basis for group writing before the students go on to individual writing.

Learning Centres

The language skills learnt in both SBA and MLEA are reinforced in Learning Centres (LC). Activities are planned and differentiated for the students in three main learning centres – the Reading Centre, the Word Study Centre and the Listening Centre. Students have the opportunity to relearn, revisit or extend what they have learnt at their own pace and in differentiated ability groups.

At the upper  primary Levels,  Sustained Silent Reading, Supported Reading, Know-Want to Know-Learnt, Retelling, Writing Process Cycle and Differentiated Instruction are being carried out from Primary 3 (Semester 2) to Primary 6.

 

UPPER PRIMARY STELLAR STRATEGIES
Sustained Silent Reading

Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) is a regularly scheduled, fixed period of time in which everyone in the room reads a book of his/her choice quietly and uninterrupted. This provides students with authentic opportunities to enjoy reading while practising their silent reading skills.
Supported Reading

Supported Reading (SR) provides a bridge between teacher-supported reading aloud and independent silent reading. It provides opportunities for students to make predictions, read assigned section silently, discuss the text and difficult words as a whole class, led by the teacher.
Know-Want to Know-Learnt

Know-Want to know-Learnt (KWL) is used mainly for non-fiction texts. This strategy helps students to extract information and relate it to what they already know about the topic. Teachers guide students to organise, access and remember information and the teacher’s support is gradually reduced as the students learn to be more independent in extracting information from what they read.
Retelling

Retelling is a reading comprehension strategy that engages students at different levels of language: from interpreting meaning at the whole text level, to individual words and phrases, and back to the whole text again. It provides opportunities for all of the major language skills to be applied as students actively make meaning of texts and share their understanding with their peers.
Language Activities & Sentence Manipulation

Oral and written activities are planned to provide students with explicit instruction in oracy, word study, genre, grammar and language use at the various levels of language (word part, word, phrase, sentence, text, inter-textual). These activities usually relate to the text or the theme of the text that students are reading.
Writing Process Cycle

Building on the principles of the MLEA, the Writing Process Cycle (WPC) continues to provide students with guidance in the processes of idea generation, idea selection, idea development, idea organisation, review and editing before they apply the skills in writing independently.
Differentiated Instruction

Through Differentiated Instruction (DI), students are provided with differentiated support at various points of instruction to optimise their learning. Appropriate activities are designed to support, reinforce and extend their learning.

Literacy Support Programmes

To ensure that all students are able to read independently according to their appropriate reading age, various literacy support programmes are being implemented by the department to support students both at the lower primary and upper primary levels.

These include both MOE and school-based programmes such as the Learning Support Programme (LSP), Reading Support Programme (RSP),  School-based Dyslexia Remediation (SDR), Reading Remediation Programme (RRP) and Extended Support Programme (ESP).

LEVEL EL LITERACY SUPPORT PROGRAMMES
Primary 1 – Primary 2 Learning Support Programme (LSP)

An early intervention programme for students who enter P1 with weak literacy skills  identified through MOE’s screening process

Reading Support Programme (RSP)

A reading support programme for P1 and P2 students with weak literacy skills but do not meet the LSP criteria in the MOE’s screening process

Primary 3 - Primary 4 School-based Dyslexia Remediation (SDR)

A two-year intervention programme for P3 and P4 students diagnosed with dyslexia through assessments by MOE’s psychologists

Reading Remediation Programme (RRP)

A remediation programme for P3 and P4 students with weak literacy skills but not diagnosed with dyslexia

Primary 5 - Primary 6 Extended Support Programme (ESP)

An extended support programme for students who are diagnosed with learning difficulties and need support at P5 and/or P6

Extensive Reading Programme

As part of the extensive reading programme  to promote reading among Primary 1 to 6 students,  each class is given a set of books every semester to be rotated among the students in the class.  Each set contains both fiction and non-fiction books which have been carefully selected to expose students to different genre through books that are appropriate for their level. Apart from reading the books during the Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) periods, students also engage in various reading  activities  and discussions based on the books they read.

NLB Read@School Programme

To further promote a love for reading among students, the school is collaborating with the National Library Board (NLB) on the Read@School Programme. As part of the programme, mass borrowing sessions are being organised to provide students with access to the wide variety of books that the NLB has to offer. At the same time, various classroom-based activities are being carried out for the Primary 1 to Primary 6 students to engage them in reading activities and discussions based on books they are being introduced to. Students are also given opportunities to find out about their reading interests through an online reading profiling tool and they are provided with reading lists to ensure that they are reading books appropriate for their levels.

Newspaper Reading Programme

To introduce the habit of reading newspapers to Primary 4 to Primary 6 students, the What’s Up newspaper is being adopted as an educational supplement for the students. Apart from exposing students to current local and global affairs, the articles in the newspaper serve as authentic reading materials for the learning of EL, as students engage in various reading activities and discussions during EL lessons based on the articles in the newspaper.

Literature Programme

Students who demonstrate a good aptitude in language in skills will be selected  to participate in the Literature Programme for Primary 3 to Primary 6 students which aims to develop students’ literary skills of reading and responding critically and personally to texts. Through the programme, students develop their ability to analyse, interpret and evaluate texts; use language critically and creatively; as well as develop and communicate critical and personal responses to the different novels that they are reading.

Learning Journeys

To provide authentic learning experiences in the learning of EL for the lower primary students, learning journeys are organised as an extension to their learning of selected STELLAR units. Primary 1 students visit the Singapore Zoo to learn more about various animals and their habitats and Primary 2 students visit the Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom to experience close encounters with the butterfly at the different stages of its life cycle. As part of the learning process, students are required to write about their experiences during the learning journeys.

EL Fiesta

The EL Fiesta is being held in the school every year to provide all students with opportunities to experience language learning in a fun yet meaningful way. Different school-based and classroom-based activities are organised around a different theme every year to provide students with a variety of rich language learning experiences. Some of the activities include book talks on different genres, scavenger hunts to spot language errors in posters around the school, language board games competitions during recess, readers theatre, dramatisation, script writing and creative writing.

 

External Competitions

Students who demonstrate their talents in specific language areas are exposed to external competitions to develop and showcase their talents. Students benefit from the exposure as well as the training provided to them in preparation for the competitions. The following are some of the external competitions which our students have participated in.

 

2014

  • National Spelling Championship

(Participation)

  • Plain English Speaking Award (PESA)

(Bronze Honour Roll)

  • Commonwealth Essay Competition

(1 Gold,  5 Silver, 4 Bronze)

 

2015

  • National Spelling Championship

(Participation)

  • Commonwealth Essay Competition

(2 Gold,  1 Silver, 7 Bronze)

 

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