EL DEPT2

English Language

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go."

-Dr Seuss-

Mission and Vision:

We believe that every Blangahnite can and wants to excel in their learning of the English Language.
We want every child to develop a strong foundation in the English Language.

We aspire for our students to have strong language and literacy skills, love reading and be empathetic communicators as well as confident writers. 

Our Curriculum

We seek to provide every Blangahnite with a joyful learning environment and inculcate the love for reading in them.

The school uses STELLAR (STrategies for English Language Learning And Reading) in our curriculum. Age-appropriate materials are used together with research-based teaching strategies to engage every Blangahnite in the learning of the English Language.

Our school-based curriculum is designed to nurture the Joy of Speaking and the Joy of Reading in each child.

The Joy of Speaking

We encourage all our students to express themselves confidently, authentically and empathetically. Our oracy curriculum nurtures basic oracy skills at the lower primary level and spiral progresses through the upper primary years to nurture more complementary skills such as performance and critical thinking skills. At the heart of our oracy curriculum is the belief that oracy development should take place through authentic and experiential learning. At each level, students will experience the following learning modules:

P1 Choral reading & Show-and-Tell
P2 Reader’s Theatre & Pick-and-Tell
P3 Broadcast Journalism & Literature Dramatisation
P4
P5 Debate

The Joy of Reading

Our students are exposed to a variety of texts and reading materials. We encourage all our students to make reading their passion and increase their knowledge about the world around them.

At upper primary, we provide Blangahnites with opportunities to respond to children’s literature creatively and learn to appreciate their own as well as the culture of others. Our students learn about how authors make characters come alive. They also learn how to develop and share their opinions.

We invite local authors to conduct talks as part of our “Authors’ Talks Series”. In these sessions, our students meet with the authors face-to-face and hear first-hand their inspiration behind their books as well as their personal experiences. “What do you use to draw your pictures with?”, “How long do you take to write a book?” and “What advice would you give me if I wanted to be a writer?” “Why is Sherlock Sam always wearing a shirt with ‘Ad” on it?” These were just some of the questions that Blangahnites posed to our visiting local authors, Mr Quek Hong Shin, A.J. Low and Ms Sharon Ismail.

Alois, a Primary 6 student, shared, “I never thought I would get a chance to see the author up close!” Nabilah, another Primary 6 student, added excitedly, “I was really excited when Ms Sharon Ismail picked me to ask a question and she answered it!”

Authors Talk

Besides Sharon Ismail and A.J Low, Neil Humphreys, one of Singapore's most prolific writers, conducted an assembly talk where he shared with the school his secret to writing a good story, which was to use their personal experiences. In addition, Neil conducted a two-day book signing session where he interacted with our students during their recesses.

In his parting encouragement to our students to aspire to be the best they want to be, Neil said, “I was once you, and so anybody from any background, from any school, can become a writer or author, if they really want to.”

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We also organise Dr Seuss Day in March to celebrate the authorial legacy of Dr Seuss and his widely-loved children books. Our MOE Kindergarten preschoolers, primary one, two and three students are introduced to Dr. Seuss and his zany writings, from Horton Hears A Who to Yertle The Turtle. Read more about our Dr Seuss Day celebrations here.

Dr Seuss 1
Dr Seuss 2

Our Stretch Programmes

Reaching the sky through Scrabble & debate competitions

Our students are given opportunities to enhance their love for the English Language through Scrabble and debating. They get a chance to participate in national competitions such as Wits & Words (Debating) and Scrabble. In 2019, our students did us proud by clinching the Silver in the Bowl Category of the Inter-School National Scrabble Championship. In 2020, four students from our Scrabble Club emerged finalists at the first ever Online Inter-school Scrabble Competition organized by Mattel. Two students, Mikhael Chan and Dusan Darius Eddy emerged first and second runner-up in the competition!

Scrabble 1
Scrabble 2
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Scrabble 3
Scrabble 5

Debating is a strategy we employ for our High Ability English Learners to stretch their oracy and critical thinking skills. At the upper primary levels, students are given the opportunity to pit their wits against each other in argumentative debate on topics such as eSports, kid influencers, as well as the banes and boons of video games. In 2021, our Primary five debaters emerged one of the Top 4 teams at the Wits & Words Inter-School Debate Competition (Divison II). Read more about their success here and here.

Nurturing the love for creative & journalistic writing

2020 was a year like no other. But the challenges that Covid-19 measures brought about, especially the Home-based Learning (HBL), did nothing to dampen our students’ spirits in coming together to pen down their stories and experiences during that period at home. Our students on the English APEX programe met weekly via Zoom to pen our inaugural issue of BRavo! – our BRPS student e-newsletter, for the students, by the students. Guided by Mr Roger Jenkins, a renowned Singaporean storyteller and drama coach, our APEX students shared tips on surviving HBL, lessons learnt from Covid-19, anecdotes of their fondest memories of the unprecedented year and creative acoustic poems of a pandemic. Read our first ever issue of BRavo! here!

We have also focused on creative writing to stretch hone the talents of our students. In 2019, Neil Humphreys and Jon Gresham, director of the Singaporean literary community, Singlit Station, ran a series of writing workshops for some of our students. During the writing workshops, students learnt about the elements of good writing and focused on making their characters come alive. Imaginations ran wild as our students wrote their short stories! Aarav, a Primary 5 student, said, “I felt that the lesson was the most engaging and funny! His stories made me laugh like a mad man! Now I’m looking forward to the next session.”

Jon Gresham encouraged the students, “Do not be afraid to get things wrong and be messy. You can revise and fix it later.”

Neil
Jon

Staging the performing arts

Beyond writing, we also use drama, music and movement to inculcate in each child the importance of creativity, excellence and confidence in using the English Language. The importance of drama and the performing arts in education is significant as it can be the agent through which a variety of emotions can be learned, rehearsed and practised. At times, our students can find it challenging to express their emotions, so drama provides the outlet for them to explore a wide range of feelings.

In 2019, eight drama students from Primary 3 to 5 participated in the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) 2019 celebration entitled Play! at Tampines Hub on 6 July 2019. Under the guidance of Ms Ruth Leong, students crafted a fractured fairytale based on the two Asian stories – The Firebird and the Story of Nian. The play was selected for public performance.

In this story, students showed how man and beast could live harmoniously together if they sought first to understand each other and then were proactive to help one another. In that way, the orchard was nurtured into prosperity and both Nian and the man were never poor or hungry again.

Two of our students were awarded the SOTA Arts Development Award 2019. We congratulate Tiara Ketysha and Nur Humaira for their remarkable achievements in theatre!

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Our Support

We provide language and literacy support to our Primary One and Two students who need the additional boost. In Middle Primary, selected students are also supported under the School-based Dyslexia Remediation Programme (SDR) as well as the Reading Remediation Programme (RRP) so that the students can acquire reading, spelling and comprehension skills.