The defining features of the HKUGA Primary School English Department are that students thrive in a student-centred and innovative learning environment. This environment supports our students to develop their interest in and love of literature and reading. Through discussion, games, and group activities, students have the opportunity to use and develop their English in authentic situations in/outside the classrooms.
Aims of our English Language Curriculum
- To provide every ESL child with opportunities for extending their knowledge and experience of the cultures and show respect for different cultures;
- To help children prepare for their further studies and work in the English medium as good communicators who are able to cope with daily demands of communication in the modern world;
- To extend "Reading to Learn" to "Language across the Curriculum“;
- To foster personal and intellectual development and to be enthusiastic about learning through the medium of English;
- To promote STEM education and IT in Education; and
- To diversify life-wide learning experiences.
Students develop the skills of reading, writing, listening, speaking and knowledge of grammar through a broad and balanced curriculum with well-scaffolded learning materials. Each unit revolves round a particular theme or topic which provides a strong context for all learning activities. Reading texts, with grammar items carefully embedded, serve as the input and context for subsequent listening, speaking and writing tasks.
Each unit begins with clearly-defined learning outcomes to allow learners a clear picture of what they will be learning and achieving. Students return to these outcomes at the end of each unit to reflect on “What Went Well” and how to move forward with “Even Better If” planning.
Experiential and hands-on activities enrich students’ learning experiences by making them memorable, authentic and contextualized. Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham comes alive when P.1 students make green eggs and ham with the support of their teachers and parents. How to use imperatives in instructions become entrenched when P.4-6 students create board games, demonstrate cooking a recipe and organise game booths respectively. Students gain first-hand experience of using English during their visits to our sister school in Singapore and our trip to Cambridge.
Innovative teaching strategies such as the incorporation of coding in the teaching of writing using Scratch Jr in P.2-4 strengthen students’ ability to plan, visualise and organise their writing in a systematic manner. Lego WeDo allows P.3-4 students not only a tactile but also a collaborative learning experience for the learning of the Life Cycle and Natural Disasters units. Virtual reality tours and iBooks further enrich the students’ experiences when learning about inspirational people like Anne Frank. The judicious use of various eLearning platforms and Apps allows English lessons to be interactive and individualised while promoting independent learning.
Our Focus on Developing Reading
Key Stage 1 students “learn to read” through storytelling, shared reading and guided reading lessons. They are provided with ample opportunities to practise their reading strategies which will promote their fluency, expressiveness and confidence in reading.
Key Stage 2 students “read to learn” through reciprocal reading and independent reading. By reading a variety of non-fiction text types such as newspaper articles, webpages and biographies, students learn to apply strategies such as skimming and scanning, looking for main ideas and supporting details and applying their inferring skills when reflecting on Question-Answer-Relationship (QAR).
Reading is an integral part of our everyday teaching. Supported by theme-based readers readily available in each classroom, online reading platforms such as Bookflix and Epic, students are provided with opportunities to interact with reading materials at any time. Eagerly anticipated annual events such as Pyjama Reading Day and the Character Dress-up Day strengthen students’ interest in reading with full participation by both teachers and students.
Our Students and Teachers
With open-minded, life-long learners as their teachers, students learn and use English in a warm and safe environment. They become increasingly confident and highly participative through using authentic language in well-scaffolded tasks. As the students are applauded for effort, not simply achievement, they learn to accept failure as a natural part of learning and how to move forward with their learning using their Growth Mindset.
As students’ reading and learning experiences become broader and more diversified, they see the value and the importance of English as a means of “learning across the curriculum” and that they acquire a tool not only for learning but also for understanding and communicating with people from other cultures.