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English

To be future ready, it is imperative for our students to be aptly prepared. They need to develop critical 21st century competencies so as to be able to think critically and independently, make informed decisions and communicate their ideas across effectively. They must also be concerned citizens who are knowledgeable about Singapore and the world around them and demonstrate a sense of civic responsibility. Our programmes are designed to cultivate these values and hone these skills to mould our students to be confident, resilient and responsible citizens. Using the thematic approach, our instructional programme develops the skills, attitudes and dispositions of our students progressively over four to five years.  

Sec1_StarReader_achievers_17.JPG CVSS Reading STAR! Programme
Recognising the importance for our students to read widely and to be exposed to texts that are rich in linguistic features, the CVSS Reading STAR! Programme was conceptualised. The department curated and procured age and level appropriate literary texts for our Secondary 1-3 students to encourage them to read, discuss and engage with the books through a variety of fun and exciting activities. The Reading Star! Challenge Card was also created and piloted with the Secondary One cohort to motivate them to experiment with a diverse range of reading materials.

National Schools Literature Festival (NSLF)
The National Schools Literature Festival 2017 saw some 50 schools take part in its various competitions. Our team of Secondary 2 students took part in the Festival’s Book Trailer competition where teams reenacted a scene from a literature text. The objective was to present their text in the form of a trailer that would persuade the audience to read that literature text. Our team impressed the judges with their book trailer on George Orwell’s Animal Farm and was awarded Runner-up in the category.  

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National Story Challenge

Our school also participated in the annual National Story Challenge where over 50 school teams competed to tell the best stories. Working within a time limit of only 15 minutes, students had to improvise with a given title and story conditions, to tell a tale that was original, entertaining and versatile. It was definitely a challenge of wits and creativity and we are proud of our North Stars who rose to the challenge valiantly. Two of our individual participants and one team from the group category made it to the semi-finals and one other team in the group category emerged as one of the six finalists, beating over 30 other teams. As team member, Bryson Chua (2E3) aptly put it, “It was nerve-wracking to improvise without a script and come up with an impromptu skit in front of a panel of judges. The amazing chemistry among my team members as well as the encouragement from the teachers helped us overcome the overwhelming pressure. It’s truly an invaluable experience.”  

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Teacher Development

 The Whole-School Approach to Effective Communication in English (WSA-EC) The department is excited that our school has joined the WSA-EC programme, an initiative mooted by the English Language Institute of Singapore (ELIS). It is indeed heartening as this is a step in recognising that “developing a high level of English Language competency in our students cannot be the work of the EnglishWSAEC_18.JPG
 teachers alone. It is the responsibility of every teacher who teaches subjects in English. Teachers must use good English when they question, speak and write in the classroom. They are the best role models for our children if our young are to be effective communicators ...” (Mr Lee Kuan Yew, excerpt from his speech in 2011) EC Champions, comprising key personnel and experienced teachers from various departments, have been appointed to attend key training and cascade their learning.

On 21 June 2017, at our Staff Professional Development Day, our EC Champions conducted a subject literacy workshop, together with ELIS’ Senior Specialist, Dr Alison Tan, to share ideas and strategies with the staff on ways to strengthen language and literacy in various subjects. In September, the EC Champions also attended the ELIS Conference to learn from the WSA-EC journeys of other schools. We can look forward to the roll out of engaging activities and programmes in the coming months to realise the objectives of WSA-EC.