Every Fuchunian, a Discerning Reader and Confident Speaker
To develop students into discerning and empathetic readers who are able to communicate confidently in the English language
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” - Sir Richard Steele
We believe that reading is the foundation of literacy. As such, reading is a cornerstone of the programmes offered in our school. ‘Learn to Read and Read to Learn’ is the approach which our school undertakes for the learning of English Language. Within this approach, there are many pedagogical and instructional strategies which our school employs like collaborative learning, experiential learning and inquiry.
Learn to Read (Primary 1 to 3A)
In the first three years of their primary school lives, our students will be taught to decode, blend, construct meaning from visuals and texts through the various pedagogical tools employed by teachers. Our programmes like I WANT TO READ, Read@Fuchun, Share-A-Book Fridays, Characters Come Alive, NLB KidsRead, Learning Support Programme (LSP) also aim to promote the love of reading in these levels.
We also believe that experiential learning enhances the learning of the language. Many opportunities are provided for our students to experience first-hand the language read through learning journeys to Science Centre, museums and theatres. These are tied to the STELLAR titles which students learn to read as part of English lessons. The students are also encouraged to create experiences for themselves, such as blowing bubbles, making a sandwich for the giant, creating their bespoke ice cream or even growing their own butterflies before their Writing lessons. These experiences allow them to bring forth greater depth in their writing. Learning to read and edit their writing is also an integral part of learning the language. Through modifications and learning of structures, the students learn the proper structure of various text types. Trails in school (in collaboration with the Mathematics department) are also embarked upon by our students to make their learning concrete.
After mastering the skills needed to read texts by themselves, our students will be given opportunities for them to express their thoughts and articulate their opinions through various platforms in our Applied Learning Programme (ALP). Speech and Drama and Readers Theatre are some platforms in which our Primary 1 to 3 students display their oracy skills which they have acquired during the programme.
Read to Learn (Primary 3B to 6)
As the students advance in skills, they are exposed to more genres of fiction and non-fiction texts through I WANT TO READ (P4 – P6), Literature Appreciation, Buddy Reading and Oral Book Reviews. Students acquire skills like critical thinking, summarizing and discerning falsehood from truth through these programmes.
Opportunities for collaborative learning and demonstration of creativity can also be observed in English lessons through the group discussions and creation of products from the reading programmes.
It is no wonder that Descartes once said, “The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest (people) of the past centuries.”
EL Department Programmes
Learning Support Programme (LSP – for P1 and P2)
The Learning Support Programme (LSP) is an early intervention programme aimed at providing additional support to students who enter Primary 1 with weak oral and reading skills. Its objective is to equip these students with basic reading and spelling skills so that they can learn in the regular classes. Students are identified through the Early Literacy Indicators, a group screening instrument developed by MOE, at the beginning of each year. LSP lessons are conducted by trained Learning Support Coordinators (LSCs). Lessons are held daily for 30 minutes per session.
Students are grouped according to their needs for intervention. The group size is about 6 to 10 students. The 3-tiered curriculum focuses on phonological awareness, alphabetic knowledge, alphabetic principle, oral reading of connected text, vocabulary and reading comprehension. Students’ learning progress is monitored regularly. Extensive reading for the LSP learners is also conducted once every week for 1.5 hours to aid the students in their retention of what was taught in the lessons.
Reading Remediation Programme (P3 – P4)
The Reading Remediation Programme provides support for Primary 3 and Primary 4 students who still have difficulties reading the English Language despite having completed the Learning Support Programme (LSP) in Primary 1 and Primary 2. The programme exposes students to a range of word-level and text-level strategies for reading comprehension which helps them cope with learning in the classrooms. It is conducted every Monday and Thursday for 45 minutes.
Banded Remediation (P3 – P6)
Remediation is conducted for our students to support them in their learning. Students are separated into smaller progress groups so that the teacher would be better able to address the needs of the students in a targeted manner. Students will do a revision of what has been covered in their EL lessons.
Buddy Reading (for P5 to P6)
Our Buddy Reading programme aims to help our Primary 5 and 6 students improve their reading skills with the help of their buddies as well as to develop care and teamwork between the tutors and tutees. Besides having the passion for reading, students learn to read expressively and confidently with the help of their peers in a non-threatening environment. It is currently conducted every Tuesday and Thursday for half an hour.
English Booster (P6)
The Booster Programme aims to give a boost to our Primary 6 students who are going to be sitting for the PSLE. It comprises of revision lessons on grammar and oracy which are conducted by our department teachers. It is currently conducted every Friday for 1 hour.
NLB-KidsRead (for P1 – P2 students)
NLB KidsRead is a collaboration between the National Library Board (NLB) and our school to introduce a multitude of books to the students each week. The objective of this programme is to excite the students about reading and story-telling. Students have the opportunity to listen to stories told by teachers and parent volunteers and participate in exciting activities related to the stories. It is currently conducted every Monday for 1 hour.
I WANT TO READ (P1 to P6)
Our very own school-wide reading programme aims to inculcate the love of reading in all our students. It is tiered and tied to our STELLAR curriculum. For Primary 1 to 3 classes, students are brought to the library whereby a specially curated set of books has been picked out for the students based on the STELLAR titles which they are reading. After which, the students will complete various interesting activities like Acting Out the Character in the book, creating paper apples (with mini book reviews) to add onto the reading tree in the library, or reading their favourite part to their peers.
Primary 4 students read one book per month with their class and they will complete a mini book review either orally, drama or other written forms like enjoyable crossword puzzles. Books are then rotated among the classes to ensure that there is a variety of fiction and non-fiction titles for the students to dig into.
Primary 5 and 6 students have access to the What’s Up Newspaper which is issued every month for 10 months. Teachers will read certain articles with the students and complete activities based on the current affairs with the students in lessons. They are also encouraged to write a journal based on one of the articles that have been discussed in class and use the Head, Heart and Hands framework to reflect on the article. Students also have access to the online portal of What’s Up and can read the digital copy of the newspaper if they are unable to access the physical copy.
Students are encouraged to read each day before school starts. Read@Fuchun begins each day before school starts. Book Trucks with books are rolled out for students who do not have access to books to loan each day. Fun activities are also carried out in the library like Don’t Judge A Book by its Cover where books are wrapped up and students get to choose a random book to read. The element of surprise often encourages the students to read more books!
Share-A-Book/Article Fridays allows for an integration of reading and oracy skills when the students share about the book or an article which they have read in the newspapers with their peers. There is a sense of ownership and it promotes confidence when students get the opportunity to present their ideas and articulate their thoughts in front of their peers. Teachers also jump on the bandwagon and show the students how the sharing session can be done.
Speech and Drama Programme (P1 and P2)
As part of our efforts to develop our pupils into lifelong learners who are able to articulate their thoughts fluently, drama and oracy are incorporated into our Primary 1 and 2 English Language lessons. As such, our Applied Learning Programme (ALP) – Speak Up! for Primary 1 and Primary 2 classes comprises of Speech and Drama lessons conducted during English Language lessons.
Our students’ passion in drama is kindled through active participation in lessons. Their confidence and self-esteem can be observed through accurate voice projection and body posture demonstrated in English Language lessons. Our students’ creativity, imagination and thinking skills are developed through role-play, hot seating and improvisation. As the students go through the lessons, they are likely to improve their spoken English, appreciate and be more enthusiastic about the English Language.
The Primary One students go through about 15 hours of lessons and the final product will be a class performance while the Primary Two students go through about 20 hours of lessons which culminate in a stage performance to showcase the skills they have learnt.
The sessions often start with simple breathing, vocal and physical warm ups which move on to vocal dynamics and articulation activities. The students also work in groups for oral discussion on the emotions of the characters in a given story and create body movements and facial expressions to match the emotions. Sound effects using body rhythms are also encouraged wherever possible. Poetry appreciation, dance creation, mime, tableau theatre and, of course, acting are some of the modules that are incorporated in the programme.
Casting is usually done with the recommendation of the teachers. Blocking and dramatising the story are usually facilitated by the trainers after students explore and propose suggestions for their roles and parts. Feedback and affirmation are given during the rehearsals for the students to reflect and improve upon. After weeks of rehearsals, the students always rise to the occasion and put up a stellar performance for their parents, teachers and peers.
Readers’ Theatre (P3)
Readers’ Theatre is incorporated in our Primary 3 English Language curriculum whereby students are introduced to oral reading strategies and vocal techniques to help them develop fluency and expression in speaking. They are then given scripts and collaborated to read cohesively in groups. The English teachers provide feedback to each student during rehearsals to develop them into confident and fluent speakers.
At the end of the term, every student is given the opportunity to perform in front of their classmates and teachers. These performances enabled students to build self-esteem and confidence in public speaking and inspire other students to become fluent speakers.
Literature Appreciation Programme (LAP)
Our Primary 4 to 6 students are introduced to various genres and themes related to world issues like poverty, discrimination, survival and dreams. They explore themes and discussions or debates with their peers are carried out in class related to the book that they have read. Following which, our students choose to create their own product which can encapsulate their learning at a glance. Some of these assignments include the designing of a movie poster, creating a book jacket, or thinking of questions to quiz their peers.