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Sch-based Eng Curriculum

Our English teaching programme is based on three key principles: enhancing the students’ language proficiency, expanding their life experience and extending their learning capacity. Encouraging our students to develop a lifelong reading habit is a vital part of this programme.

Key Stage One (P1 – P3)

We aim to develop a love of reading in our students from an early age. To help achieve this objective, lessons in Key Stage One (P1 – P3) are based on the Big Book Approach in which the class reads a number of attractive storybooks. We are now using the Integrated English Language Programme (IELP), an integral component of the Education Bureau’s overall strategy for language education. IELP is organised by the Hong Kong Council of Early Childhood Children and Services, with the aim of enhancing students’ reading skills and cultivating strong reading habits.

Storybooks are used as the principal educational focus instead of textbooks and are read by the whole class, applying the Shared Book Approach. Writing Process Activities and other interactive language activities are integrated into lessons. We make intensive efforts to support the reading process through singing songs and participating in different activities in class.

Key Stage One teachers are consistently impressed by how much the students enjoy these lessons and by how well they learn the key language aspects. The students’ grasp of linguistic skills is significantly enhanced by IELP. Students can grasp key grammar points easily when they read storybooks aloud and a strong focus on phonics provides both a clear understanding of the necessary sounds and letter identification ability. This is the key to further strong progress and advancement through the various stages of reading. IELP provides valuable opportunities for developing writing skills, with students being required to complete class writing or group writing after learning all the language foci. We find that the students are eager to express their ideas during the writing process and they enjoy seeing their writing displayed in the classroom. When a new book is introduced, the students are eager to find out what happens and they are enthusiastic about taking readers home, to read to their parents. Teaching in this context is a stimulating and enjoyable experience for the teachers.

Our reading inspires the students to talk about their own experience. Being able to talk confidently is very important!  To give each student more chances to talk about books and enhance their speaking abilities, we do guided reading with students in groups after shared reading. 

 

Students are divided into 4 groups according to their reading proficiency we know after the reading assessment done at the beginning of the year. 2 groups do the guided reading with teachers, 1 group do the silent reading on their own by picking any interesting books in the English room and the last group do the self-directed learning (SDL) with a school-based booklet designed by our teachers. They are allowed to choose the activities they want to do including making crafts, undergoing e-learning with iPads and doing pair work with peers like playing board games and having language competitions etc. 

 

During the guided reading section, each group of students read with a teacher, either NET or LET. We usually start with a discussion around the theme, inviting students to share what experiences they have with the topic, what we might learn or find out in the story. We help the students to become familiar with it by describing the characters and themes, and identifying sentence structures. We guide them to use phonics skills to read some of the trickier words in the book. We also encourage them to predict possible outcomes for the story. Guided reading lets students feel actively involved in the lesson

Key Stage Two (P4 – P6)

An important initiative in recent years has been the development of a school-based literacy curriculum for Key Stage 2 (P4 – P6), designed to help students read and write much more effectively. Literacy curriculum modules have been created for each of the three years, with plans, materials and learning activities covering a wide range of topics.

There is a strong focus on reading in the literacy curriculum. Each module focuses on a specific topic and includes readers and videos to provide information and ideas, which help students to prepare for writing a composition on the topic. Students are guided to undertake online research to obtain further material for their writing and class activities include brainstorming sessions on each subject. The curriculum covers a wide range of topics and text types. Subjects covered include cultural norms in different countries, tourism, heroes, dream jobs, festivals and memorable experiences. The text types that students learn to write include articles, leaflets, stories, blogs, reports and biographies.

The literacy curriculum helps Key Stage 2 students to improve their reading and writing skills in a number of ways. Researching the topics encourages students to read more widely and the modules provide a clear structure for each type of writing, vocabulary suggestions to make the writing more descriptive and colourful, and practical information about relevant grammatical elements. Teaching reading and writing this way provides very clear benefits: most students are capable of producing clearer, better-structured pieces of writing that address the topic and contain a range of appropriate vocabulary. The students enjoy learning about new subjects and have been very receptive to the way the information and ideas are presented.

Textbook

All the Key Stage 2 classes are working on the same up-to-date textbooks, Living Oxford English. Living Oxford English is part of the Oxford University Press series of primary courses that are designed to help teachers and students understand and benefit from the latest trends in English Language teaching and learning. The objectives of the Living Oxford English course include nurturing learners’ creativity, collaboration skills and problem-solving abilities. It is also designed to enhance students’ global awareness.

BYOD (bring your own device) classes

BYOD (bring your own device) classes, which were first used in P5 in the 2020-21 school year, will be expanded this year. There will be two BYOD classes in P6. Students in these classes will use e-books on iPads instead of conventional textbooks in class. Lessons will include a range of e-learning activities and language games using different e-platforms. The non-BYOD classes will also do more e-learning this year. Teachers will assign e-activities and games for students to do at home.

E-reading platform – Raz-Kids

A key aspect of our work to encourage students to read more, and to get more out of what they read, has been our use of Raz-Kids, an online reading platform. The Raz-Kids guided reading programme includes interactive e-books, downloadable books and quizzes. All the books on the platform are carefully and clearly graded, so it is simple to find appropriate books for each class level. Raz-Kids has inspired many students to read – and enjoy – a large number of books.

Parents frequently express their amazement at the change in their children. They regularly report that children who had never previously suggested reading aloud, now insist on reading their storybooks at home. The students’ vocabulary retention, confidence in reading aloud and speaking skills have all been greatly enhanced. In addition, seeing their children’s enthusiasm for reading in English means that parents see this as a pleasurable and enjoyable activity and they become actively involved.

Reading strategies

This year we are planning to restructure the framework of reading strategies for all six years, to ensure that the strategies used provide the maximum benefit for students at every level. The English Panel will work with the Chinese Panel and the School Librarian on this project.

Holistic Innovative Educational Approach

More broadly, we have adopted the Holistic Innovative Educational Approach, with the aim of developing students’ communication skills. Through participating in a wide range of activities, such as discussions, barrier games, matching, board games and other language games, students are provided with a platform to communicate effectively with others. They are thus more likely to regard English as an effective means of communication with others and to enjoy learning English. Their confidence in speaking in front of audience is strongly enhanced.

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