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English

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To prepare our North Stars to be future-ready, 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 effectively. Our English Language and Literature programmes are designed to hone these skills to mould our students to become confident, resilient and responsible citizens. Using the thematic approach, our instructional programme develops essential attitudes, dispositions and skills in our students progressively over four to five years.

Signature Programme in Oracy Skills
Oracy refers to the ability to express oneself fluently and grammatically in speech. It involves the life skills of active listening and effective communication. Oracy is a vital skill needed to help students succeed in the workplace and in life. Our signature programme which focuses on oracy skills aims to provide our students opportunities to do both. Integrated into the English Language and Literature curricula, different aspects of oracy skills are emphasised over four to five years to help students build up their confidence and competence in these areas. Varied and engaging activities such as drama and debates are used to motivate students and enliven learning.

 

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EL Structured Reading Programme

In 2018, the department piloted the EL Structured Reading Programme (SRP) to help students keep up-to-date with global current affairs. Alternating with CCE SRP, fortnightly department teachers specially curated news articles and created extension activities for the programme to enhance students’ reading experience, making it more meaningful and purposeful.  It was indeed heartening to see students and teachers engaged in lively classroom discussions centring on the news articles.



CVSS Good English Movement (GEM)

As part of the post-exam programme, the lower secondary students gathered together to celebrate the achievements and progress that they made in the learning of English Language and Literature in the academic year. Outstanding works of students were affirmed and showcased - the NSLF winning performances were reprised to enthrall the audience; the Reading Star! Challenge achievers and 15-word Story Challenge winners were acknowledged. 

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Affirmation for avid readers via the Reading Star Challenge!


Literary Experience and Exposure

To extend students’ learning beyond the classroom, the department organised suitable activities and learning journeys to expose students to a variety of literary experience and art forms. This year, selected Secondary Three students and Drama Club members attended ‘Shakespeare in the Park – Julius Caesar’ by the Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRP). In October, a learning journey was organised to view the National Library Board’s Exhibition on ‘Early Advertising in Singapore’. The guided tour allowed participants to acquire a deeper understanding of advertising and its impact on society, while learning more about Singapore’s past.  

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Enjoying Shakespeare in the Park - Julius Caesar! (by Singapore Repertory Theatre)


Visiting exhibition on early advertising in Singapore (National Library Board)

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Our North Stars did the school proud at the 2018 National Schools Literature Festival (NSLF) by clinching 1st place in the Book Trailer segment and joint 2nd place in the Choral Speaking segment.  


The Book Trailer segment of the competition requires teams to interpret and craft a trailer for a chosen text, giving enough information about the plot, main characters and its themes such that the audience would be enticed to read the book after the performance. This year, our school also took part in the Choral Speaking segment for the first time. This involves an ensemble using various voice combinations and contrasts to bring out the meaning and tonal beauty of a passage of poetry or prose.


Choral Speaking team (Sec 1s)


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Book Trailer team (Sec 2s)


A key takeaway was seeing the students emerge from the experience feeling enriched, inspired and heartened that their months of training had borne fruit. Throughout the event, they also displayed a great amount of resilience, teamwork and sportsmanship. Their exemplary attitude and values indeed exemplify our North Star spirit.


Teacher Development

 
Our team of teachers are committed to enhance and hone our pedagogy. This year, our subject based EL Professional Learning Team (PLT) embarked on a lesson study project to develop strategies to enhance the teaching of narrative comprehension. The team also had the opportunity to share their project and findings at the year-end Staff Professional Development Day with colleagues from other departments.