Park ViEw Primary School
Primary 1 and 2
STELLAR stands for “Strategies for English Language Learning and Reading”. Instead of using traditional textbooks and workbooks, the STELLAR programme emphasises foundational skills in grammar and vocabulary and enriches pupils’ learning through the use of stories and texts that engage and stretch their imagination.
Through the reading of engaging stories in class, pupils get to speak extensively, discussing and sharing their views with the teacher and their peers. This builds pupils’ confidence in speech and writing, and enhance their learning of the language.
The lower primary strategies include Shared Book Approach (SBA), Modified Language Experience Approach (MLEA) and Learning Centres (LC).
Shared Book Approach (SBA)
In SBA, the teacher first introduces and shares a Big Book with the pupils. Then, the teacher teaches language items, structures and skills explicitly, which includes concepts of print, phonics and grammar.
After which, teachers will select a range of follow-up activities such as drama or art and craft according to their pupils’ learning needs.
Modified Language Experience Approach (MLEA)
In MLEA, there is a shared experience that is linked to the Big Book that has been read during Shared Reading. This shared experience provides the context and content for the pupils to think and talk about, using the language structures and vocabulary they have been exposed to in SBA.
The pupils will come up with a piece of class writing in which the teacher transcribes the pupils’ inputs. This will then become the basis for group writing, when the children work in small groups, before they go on to individual writing.
Through MLEA, pupils also learn about cooperative learning as they work together in mixed-ability groups.
Learning Centres (LC)
In the learning centres, the language skills learnt in both SBA and MLEA are reinforced. There are usually three main learning centres – the Reading Centre, the Word Study Centre and the Listening Centre. Pupils have the opportunity to re-learn, revisit or extend what they have learnt at their own pace and in differentiated ability groups.
Primary 3 and 4
At P3 and P4, pupils will be able to consolidate and extend skills already learned in P1 and P2 as well as acquire new skills and knowledge about how language works. There will still be opportunities for cooperative learning but more emphasis will be placed on independence in listening, reading and viewing as well as speaking, presenting and writing.
The strategies at P3 and P4 include Support Reading (SR),
Know - Want to know – Learnt (KWL), Retelling (RT), Language Activities and Sentence Manipulation and Writing Process Cycle (WPC).
Supported Reading (SR)
In Supported Reading, pupils make predictions, read assigned sections of the text silently, discuss the text and difficult words as a whole class, led by the teacher. This strategy is usually carried out for narrative and information texts.
Know - Want to know - Learnt (KWL)
KWL helps pupils to extract information and relate it to what they already know about the topic. Teachers guide pupils to organise, access and remember information. This will enable pupils to understand and follow the logic of information presented in a text, recognise information that is repeated and distinguish between main ideas and details. As the pupils learn to be more independent in extracting information from what they read, the teacher’s support is gradually reduced. KWL is used mainly for non-fiction texts such as information reports.
Writing Process Cycle (WPC)
WPC provides pupils with guidance in the processes of planning, writing and reviewing before they apply these skills in writing independently. The focus is more on the creative aspects of writing.
Multi-Disciplinary Project Work (MDPW) and SCAMPER Comes Alive! (SCA)
In line with MOE’s focus on ‘Teach Less, Learn More’, the school believes in maximising pupil engagement and providing experiential opportunities for self-directed learning and collaborative learning. As such, the P3 and P4 pupils embarked on a Multi-Disciplinary Project Work (MDPW) entitled ‘Animatopia’ and ‘SCAMPER Comes Alive’ respectively in Week 9 and 10 of Term 1.
For ‘Animatopia’, pupils were taught how to write a recount on a trip to the zoo, an information text on their chosen animals as well as do an oral presentation on ‘Conservation of my Favourite Endangered Animal’.
The P4 pupils learnt how to write an Information Report on the game prototype which they have created with their group members. Pupils will then present the game prototype with their classmates.
Primary 5 and 6
Retelling is a reading comprehension strategy that engages pupils 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 pupils to engage in a whole range of important language and cognitive processes including recall of events/information, main points and characters, text structures and language features. It also provides opportunities for all of the major language skills to be applied - listening, reading and viewing as well as speaking, presenting and writing - as pupils actively make meaning of texts and share their understanding with their peers.
Language Activities and Sentence Manipulation
Oral and written activities will provide pupils 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).
At the upper levels, the focus is on writing. Teachers aim to teach pupils skills in developing their plots and actions as well as to use more descriptive phrases in writing their stories.
A writing handbook was developed by the EL department which pupils use for reference. For each writing lesson, pupils use a mindmap which incorporates the Six Thinking Hats to plan their stories.
Oral Communication Skills (OCS)
The department has also developed an OCS package which provides a structured approach for pupils to tackle the two components in the PSLE oral examination. The package highlights the guidelines to take note of and the techniques for the two components. For the component on Stimulus-based Conversation, pupils were taught how to use the DEW (provide Details, Elaborate and explain Why) strategy to discuss a given picture. Pupils were further taught how to describe each focal point using the TREES (Thoughts, Reasons, Examples, Experiences, Suggestion) strategy.