It is the goal of the English department to develop all students into critical thinkers, effective communicators, and reflective readers. To hone their critical thinking competencies, one of the department’s two professional learning teams this year focused on using assessment for learning to get students to think critically and authentically about their writing. This was conducted through the use of the online tool Kaizena, and the team eventually presented their project at the West Zone Information and Communications Technology Community of Practice sharing session on 25 September.
To ensure that students see the relevance of their learning to their everyday lives, authentic projects are conducted for them to put what they have learnt into practice. For example, the Secondary 1 students embarked on a project called ‘Sports Speaks’, for which they embarked on a learning journey to the Sports Museum to understand the history of sports in Singapore, as well as the values that professional sportspeople exhibit. The Secondary 3 students created websites based on travel itineraries they had designed for a specific audience, thus engaging in both collaborative learning and learning by doing. They put together coherent and authentic final products—travel blogs on various destinations—that can be used in the real world. The project was made even more realistic when the students had to take on the role of designers, convincing the audience to pick their site as the best designed/planned in terms of content and layout.
Students who are highly competent in the English language are identified to take part in a journalism project in Secondary 2, wherein they contribute to a newsletter targeted at primary school students. To develop students into effective communicators, the department provides them with various platforms for them to refine their skills, such as the National Public Speaking Competition. They also have the opportunity to translate what they have learnt for use in authentic settings: some serve as emcees for school events, while others are school ambassadors who visit selected primary schools for promotional talks.
Additionally, Jurongville’s partnership with the National Library Board (NLB) is well into its fifth year. 2017 began with not one, but two talks by the NLB. The first talk of the year was the Book Buzz Talk on 20 February, during which the new NLB Associate Librarian, Ms Carmen Wang, presented on some of the latest books available at the NLB. This set the scene for a two-day mass-borrowing event, where our students browsed the display of NLB books in the school library and borrowed titles that captured their interest.
The second talk was on information literacy, conducted by Mr Roy Won. The students learnt how to use the S.U.R.E. (Source, Understand, Research, and Evaluate) method to discern between real and fake information. The school thrives on working closely with the NLB under their Read@School initiative, and if students are not sure of what to read, they can peruse the NLB’s graded reading lists or approach our friendly school librarian, Mdm Ruhana, for recommendations. The Jurongville students have no doubt shown through their enthusiastic participation in these activities that they are on the path to becoming reflective and avid readers.
Jurongville teacher presenters at the West Zone ICT Community of Practice sharing session
A talk by Ms Carmen Wang, Associate Librarian of the National Library Board
Student Voices @ JVS
These are questions that are constantly heard in the classrooms to give students the opportunity to effectively communicate subject knowledge and talk about their perspectives, reasoning and conclusion. This helps to make the classroom a more vibrant place where learning takes place through active discussions. With this concerted effort to increase student talk in classrooms, we can nurture our students to be confident and effective communicators.
At the school level, talented Secondary 1 students are identified to go for training sessions to hone their competencies in presentation skills to prepare them to be emcees or student presenters. Secondary 2 and 3 students are given the opportunity to present their views on how to improve the school through tea sessions with the principal or highlight learning points of projects that they undertake during assembly each week. They are involved in interview s of school leaders and editing articles in the publications of the school's speech day newsletter. Selected articles by studnt reporters are further featured in the student paper zbCOMMA. Inaddition, they are roped in as student presenters to give talks to Primary 6 pupils, ambassadors to host overseas visitors, as well as emcees for MOE Edusave Award Ceremony at Grassroot level.
Students given opportunities to clarify their learning with their classmates
Student leaders presenting on school vision, mission and values at school assembly
Students presenting their views on how they can improve the school
Student emcees and awardees, Grassroot Advisor Mr Ang Wei Neng at Jurong Central MOE Edusave Awards Ceremony