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English Department

Pupils waiting eagerly for the lessons to begin!.jpg

The English Department aims to imbue in every Junior Josephian the joy of learning the English Language through the development of reading, speaking, writing and aural skills. 

Key Programme/Strategies:


The Strategies for English Language Learning and Reading (STELLAR) programme is implemented from Primary 1 to 6. As part of the STELLAR programme, our EL teachers are equipped to teach language skills using effective and engaging strategies which are developmentally appropriate for our students.
At the Lower Primary levels, the Shared Book Approach and Modified Language Experience Approach (MLEA) is carried out from Primary 1 to Primary 3.

Shared Book Approach
There are two parts to the Shared Book Approach (SBA). In the first part, the teacher introduces and shares a Big Book with the students. In the second part, the teacher teaches language items, structures and skills explicitly, including concepts of print, phonics and grammar. There is also a range of follow-up activities like speech and drama, music and art for teachers to select according to the students’ learning needs and interests.

Modified Language Experience Approach

In the Modified Language Experience Approach (MLEA), there is a shared experience that is linked to the Big Book which has been read during SBA. 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 in SBA.
With the help of the teacher, the students come up with a piece of class writing which becomes the basis for group writing before the students go on to individual writing. At the Upper Primary Levels,  Sustained Silent Reading, Supported Reading, Know-Want to Know-Learnt, Retelling and Writing Process Cycle are carried out from Primary 4 to Primary 6.
Sustained Silent Reading
Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) is a regularly scheduled, fixed period of time in which everyone in the room reads a book of his choice quietly and uninterrupted. This provides students with authentic 
opportunities to enjoy reading while practising their silent reading skills.

Supported Reading
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
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 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.

Language Activities & Sentence Manipulation
Oral and written activities are planned to provide students with explicit instruction in oracy, word study, genre, grammar and language use at the various levels of language (word part, word, phrase, sentence, text,
inter-textual). These activities usually relate to the text or the theme of the text that students are reading.

Writing Process Cycle
Building on the principles of the MLEA, the Writing Process Cycle (WPC) 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.

Literacy Support Programmes
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 department to support students both at the lower primary and upper primary levels.
These include both MOE and school-based programmes such as the Learning Support Programme (LSP), Reading Support Programme (RSP), School-based Dyslexia Remediation (SDR) and Reading Remediation Programme (RRP).



Primary 1 – Primary 2

Learning Support Programme (LSP)
An early intervention programme for students who enter P1 with weak literacy skills  identified through MOE’s screening process.

Reading Support Programme (RSP)
A reading support programme for P1 and P2 students with weak literacy skills but do not meet the LSP criteria in the MOE’s screening process.

Primary 3 - Primary 4

School-based Dyslexia Remediation (SDR)
A two-year intervention programme for P3 and P4 students diagnosed with dyslexia through assessments by MOE’s psychologists.

Reading Remediation Programme (RRP)
A remediation programme for P3 and P4 students with weak literacy skills but not diagnosed with dyslexia.

English Recess Reading Programme 
The English Recess Reading Programme, conducted by parent volunteers, aims to develop reluctant readers at the P1 to P4 levels to be confident readers, as well as inculcate in them the love for reading. The Programme is conducted from Mondays to Fridays during the respective levels’ recesses. At each session, our boys have opportunities to learn new vocabulary as well as hone their comprehension skills.

Personalised Digital Reading Programme
This year, we have adopted myON which provides a digital literacy platform to enable our students to read and engage with digital texts. myOn provides our boys with unlimited access to thousands of enhanced digital books, fiction and non-fiction, in a variety of formats-- picture books, graphic novels, chapter books, and titles for avid as well as struggling and reluctant readers. Through this platform, we hope that our students will be motivated to read widely. 

Learning Journeys
Pupils enthralled by the hatching eggs.jpgHappy faces with Mr Dinosaur@Science Centre.jpgTo provide authentic learning experiences in the learning of EL for the lower primary students, learning journeys are organised as an extension to their learning of selected STELLAR units. Primary 1 and 2 students visited the Science Centre to experience close encounters with live specimens of frogs and tadpoles as well as earthworms and mealworms. As part of the learning process, students are required to write about their experiences during the learning journeys.



RHB-The Straits Times National Spelling Championship 2015Our Big Spell Winners!.jpgTan Yin Da Dilan of 5 Xavier, Khoo Kai Jun Aloysius of 5 Xavier and Khoo Kee Suen of 6 Joseph made it to the Zonal Round. Dilan was among the Top 8 Finalists at the above competition. He was invited to participate in the RHB Spelling Masters in Kuala Lumpur.

Wits and Words 2015Our debaters before the start of the competition.jpgJerome Wang of 5 Xavier was named Best Speaker in all 3 preliminary rounds, as well as in the quarterfinals of the Debate competition, organised by the Debate Association, in collaboration with MOE. The debate team comprises Kaosigan K Yoganathan (6 Patrick), Alden Ler (6 Patrick), Josh Jordon Gan (5 Joseph), Patrick Neo (5 Patrick) and Jerome Wang (5 Xavier).

P3 & P4 English Storytelling CompetitionOur Storytellers.JPGTo provide the opportunity for our boys to be confident speakers, the English Department held an internal round of storytelling competitions involving all P3 and P4 students. The first round of the competition was held in front of their classmates. Students had to prepare a story based on a given theme. Each class then selected 2 boys to represent their class in the finals of the competition. The finalists from each level used not only their vocal talent but also their creativity to come up with props and IT-based visuals telling their stories. The results are as follows:


Name of Pupil



Harjas Singh Sidhu

3 Michael


Ivan James Payamel

3 Matthew


Dharshan Mikhail Nathan

3 Anthony


Name of Pupil



Luke Tan

4 Xavier


Freeman Ong

4 Xavier


Rajendran Krishnan

4 Joseph

YMCA-PESA 2015YMCA-PESA.jpgHarjas Singh Sidhu of 3 Michael came in third for the 29th YMCA Plain English Speaking Competition 2015 Finals (Lower Primary Category). We would also like to acknowledge the efforts of Dharshan Mikhael Nathan (3 Anthony) who also represented our school in the Lower Primary Category; Freeman Ong Ding Yao (4 Xavier) and Luke ChristianTan (4 Xavier) in the Upper Primary Category. Freeman also qualified for the Semi-Finals.