A holistic English Language curriculum, which builds a strong foundation in the language among our students while providing them with a rich language learning experience to develop a love for learning the language.
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 experience. 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).
STELLAR PEDAGOGICAL MODEL
The Strategies for English Language Learning and Reading (STELLAR) is currently being implemented from Primary 1 to Primary 6. STELLAR aims to strengthen both language and reading skills as well as promote a positive attitude towards reading in the foundational years. As part of the STELLAR programme, our EL teachers are equipped to teach language skills through authentic children’s literature using effective and engaging strategies which are developmentally appropriate for our students.
LOWER PRIMARY STELLAR
The Lower Primary STELLAR Pedagogical Model consists of the following strategies:
- Shared Book Approach (SBA)
- Modified Language Experience Approach (MLEA)
- Learning Centre Activities (LC)
Shared Book Approach (SBA) provides a shared reading experience for teachers to model the reading process and for students to participate actively in the reading. During the first reading, the teacher reads a big book together with students, discussing concepts of print as well as questions about the book being read. In subsequent readings, the teacher teaches target vocabulary and language structures explicitly, as well as other target skills such as concepts of print and phonics. Based on the book being read, teachers may also carry out a range of follow-up activities like speech and drama, music and art.
Modified Language Experience Approach (MLEA) provides students with a shared experience that is linked to the big book read during SBA lessons. 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 during the SBA lessons. This will be translated into a piece of class writing with the help of the teacher, which becomes the basis for a piece of group writing before students go on to individual writing.
Learning Centres help to reinforce the language skills that students learn during SBA and MLEA lessons. Differentiated activities are planned for the students in the different learning centres where they have the opportunity to relearn, revisit or extend what they have learnt at their own pace.
UPPER PRIMARY STELLAR
The Upper Primary STELLAR Pedagogical Model consists of the following strategies:
- Sustained Silent Reading (SSR)
- Supported Reading (SR)
- Know-Want to Know-Learnt (KWL)
- Retelling (RT)
- Writing Process Cycle (WPC)
- Differentiated Instruction (DI)
Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) is regularly scheduled, in which everyone in the classroom reads a book of his/her choice quietly and uninterrupted for a fixed period of time. This provides students with authentic opportunities to enjoy reading while practising their silent reading skills.
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 (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 (RT) 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.
Writing Process Cycle (WPC) builds on the principles of the MLEA and 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 (DI) provides students with differentiated support at various points of instruction to optimise their learning. Appropriate activities are designed to support, reinforce and extend students’ learning. in reading, writing, oracy, word study, grammar and language use.
BUILDING A READING CULTURE
To promote a love for reading and build a reading culture in the school, students are being exposed to a variety of print resources and engage in reading activities through various platforms.
Extensive Reading Periods are scheduled for students to ‘drop everything and read’. Teachers may also conduct reading activities based on the books students are reading during this period.
Book Talks are conducted during morning assembly to introduce students to different genres as well as to popular authors to stimulate students’ interests in reading.
Storytelling Sessions are conducted in the school library during recess. The read aloud sessions are particularly popular among the lower primary students who enjoy listening to stories being read to them.
Mass Borrowing Sessions are organised in the school canteen regularly to make books accessible to students. Apart from mass borrowing sessions of books from the school library, the school also collaborates with NLB to organise mass borrowing of NLB books in the school.
Class Libraries are created in every classroom containing a collection of both fiction and non-fiction books to expose students to different genres of books that are appropriate for their levels.
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 school to support students at the lower primary, middle primary and upper primary levels. These include MOE programmes such as the Learning Support Programme (LSP), School-based Dyslexia Remediation (SDR) and Reading Remediation Programme (RRP), as well as school-based programmes such as the Reading Support Programme (RSP) and Extended Support Programme (ESP).
Students who demonstrate a good aptitude in language skills will be selected for the Literature Enrichment Programme for Primary 3 to Primary 6 students. The year-long programme aims to develop students’ literary skills of reading and responding critically and personally to a selected novel for the level.
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.
DEVELOPING GENERAL KNOWLEDGE AND KNOWLEDGE OF CURRENT AFFAIRS
To increase students’ general knowledge and knowledge of current affairs, different magazines and newspapers are adopted by the different levels as an educational supplement for the students. The articles in the magazines and newspapers serve as authentic reading materials for the learning of EL as students engage in discussions and reflect on the articles they read.
Fact Feed is a platform for Primary 1 to Primary 3 students to share on articles they read in the National Geographic Kids Magazine which they subscribe to. During a Fact Feed sharing, students share fun facts about a topic to the whole school. Students are expected to go beyond presenting facts given in an article and do their own mini research on the topic to be included in their sharing.
News Buzz is a platform for Primary 4 to Primary 6 students to share on articles they read in the What’s Up Newspaper which they subscribe to. During a News Buzz sharing, students share about a current affair they read to the whole school. Students are expected to go beyond stating facts of an article and share different points of views as well as their personal reflection on the issue.
To help students develop good speaking skills and social interaction skills, lessons are scheduled for students come together in groups regularly to talk about a given topic.
At Primary 1 and Primary 2, students learn basic conversational skills like eye contact, voice projection and turn taking using talking sticks. At Primary 3 and Primary 4, students learn to express their opinions, agree or disagree with others as well as ask questions using talking tickets. At Primary 5 and Primary 6, students learn higher-level conversational skills like initiating, supporting, challenging, paraphrasing and summarising using a talking card game.
To promote the development of oracy skills among students, a whole-school oracy programme is implemented from Primary 1 to Primary 6 through different oracy platforms at the different levels:
Primary 1 – Show and Tell
Primary 2 – Pick and Talk
Primary 3 – Storytelling
Primary 4 – Dramatisation
Primary 5 – Oral Persuasion
Primary 6 – Argumentative Speech
Apart from providing students with opportunities to develop speaking skills, the programme also helps students to develop their confidence as they put up a performance for their peers through the various platforms.
TEXT TYPE IT!
To help build students’ knowledge of different text types and develop new media literacies and ICT skills, the Text Type IT programme is implemented from Primary 1 to Primary 5. Students make use of ICT tools to create different text types at the different levels as part of their writing process.
Primary 1 – Procedural Text using Microsoft Word
Primary 2 – Personal Recount using Microsoft Word
Primary 3 – Information Report using Microsoft Word
Primary 4 – Explanation Text using Google Document
Primary 5 – Literary Recount using Google Document
To provide authentic learning experiences for the lower primary students, learning journeys are organised as an extension to their learning of selected STELLAR units. As part of the learning process, students are required to write about their experiences during the learning journeys.
Primary 1 students visit the Singapore Zoo to learn more about various animals and their habitats as part of the STELLAR unit ‘Walking Through The Jungle’.
Primary 2 students visit the Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom to experience close encounters with butterflies and other insects at the different stages of their life cycles ad part of the STELLAR unit ‘A Butterfly is Born’.
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 EL related games and activities are organised for students during their recesses to provide them with fun language learning experiences.