English Language – Primary
The English Language (EL) Department aims to instil the Joy of Learning by providing the students with instruction that The English Language (EL) Department aims to instil the Joy of Learning by providing the students with instruction that both guides them to a high level of success and allows them a large degree of autonomy to shape their own learning. Our communicative teaching approach empowers students with the skills and knowledge needed to use language in real and authentic tasks and prioritizes personal growth over targets. We also promote group interaction and collaboration (either online or in classroom projects) as we believe that learning is not simply a process that students experience individually, but rather a journey to which all of their peers contribute and steer each other to success. Group collaboration boosts students’ self-esteem and helps them to experience joy and satisfaction in their learning. Through this multi-faceted approach, the students are provided with key skills to help them strive towards their language goals.
In the second unit of P1, students learn about adjectives to describe themselves and the people around them. Students brainstormed all the adjectives they could about themselves and made a collage
As part of a unit on description, P2 students cooked popcorn in class in order to awaken the five senses. Wow! Smells delicious!
The English Language curriculum aims to nurture our students to develop skills to become:
- Empathetic Communicators who can listen actively to different points of view and communicate effectively and confidently with the wider international community.
- Discerning Readers who are able to process and evaluate information and respond critically according to audience, context and purpose.
- Creative Inquirers who can explore diverse print and digital sources to co-create knowledge and solutions.
In line with these goals, our English Language Department offers a unique stepped curriculum that combines elements of the Singapore National Curriculum in the lower year groups with a Language Arts curriculum in the upper years of primary. Students in Primary 1 to 4 concentrate on developing the key language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing using a modified version of Singapore’s STELLAR (STrategies for English Language Learning and Reading) programme. From P5 onwards the focus of the curriculum shifts towards the application of language for different purposes and audiences therefore creating a smooth transition to the iGCSE program taught in our secondary section. This blended staging of the curriculum ensures that the students become proficient in the language in the lower years so that they are able to confidently apply language for a range of audiences and purposes in the upper years.
In P3, students embark on the Free Reading Programme which encourages students to read extensively and recommend books and stories to their peers.
“I enjoyed reading ‘Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing’ so much that I want to read other books from the same series.” Liu Junya – 3 Resilience
“My favourite character is Fudge and I am now interested in reading more books about him and see what other experiences he has.” Ng Si Oi, Aimee, – 3 Resilience
“I like Absolutely Almost because it is very interesting. I think the characters have distinct personalities and it is fascinating to read about the characters changing from time to time.” Yu Yat Hong, David – 4 Integrity
“The book Absolutely Almost is really enjoyable and fun to read. All the characters in the book have different personalities which make the book really interesting, amusing, attractive, and exciting.” Wang Zehui, Lucy – 4 Integrity
P4 students study the novel Absolutely Almost to learn about characterisation in stories.
A communicative teaching approach is used in all year groups. This approach allows students the opportunity to interact with their peers and teachers and to experience authentic language in all four major skills. First, students familiarise themselves with multiple examples of correct language use before moving onto adopting the new language themselves. It is our view that students learn by using language, not by remembering language. Accordingly, our teachers make use of rubrics and one-on-one consultations to offer students the opportunity to actively develop the language they use and provide them with a comprehensive “road-map” to success.
EL Assessment takes on different forms depending on the year group. Students in P1-P3 are assessed formatively and teachers build a portfolio of each individual child’s learning throughout the year. This portfolio is then used to give formative feedback in the form of performance descriptors and acts as a celebration of one’s learning. P4-P6 students sit both class-based assessed tasks as well as an end-of-year examination. In all year groups, we use a wide variety of assessed tasks to report on student performance to offer the students multiple ways to demonstrate their learning.
“I like how we get to learn about different places and we have learnt useful skills to use in future. I would love to plan my family’s next holiday!” Anna Ven - 5 Integrity
“We are doing a lot of research and I didn’t know that planning a trip was so difficult. I appreciate my parents for taking me on vacations.” Ryan Wang - 5 Integrity
As part of the persuasive language unit, P5 students work collaboratively in small groups to research and advertise popular tourist destinations. They design a 7-day holiday package and give a presentation to the other students in the class.
“I liked the story mountain drawing activity because I can easily express in drawing what I find challenging in writing.” Enjie Leong, Ryu - 6 Responsibility
“The story mountain drawing activity was great because I got a chance to work with friends and show my creativity.” Tsang Liang - 6 Responsibility
In the P6 Narrative Unit, students draw plot rollercoasters to plan out storylines for written narratives on the theme of Choices & Consequences.