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English & Literature

Welcome to the English language and Literature Department!

In line with the school's three key strategic thrusts, the teachers in the department have drawn up a comprehensive work plan. Here is an outline of the objectives and programmes planned for the students in Riverside.

Department Vision

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Empowerment through mastery, confidence and competence in English Language

Mission Statement

To create a rich English-speaking environment where pupils can become effective communicators

Department Objectives

  • To enhance and engage pupils using creative pedagogies and differentiated teaching
  • To enrich the learning of English Language through a varied curriculum
  • To evaluate pupils through holistic assessment for and of learning
  • To empower pupils to carry out self-directed learning


Programme and Highlights

Key Initiatives of Riverside's English Language & Literature Department

Igniting the passion for English Language & Literature

  • Adapting authentic materials: To make language learning interesting and relevant to pupils, EL teachers at Riverside expose pupils to a wide variety of authentic written, audio and online content. Language skills are not taught in isolation or by rote but rather, through the engagement of multi-modal texts such as poetry, short stories, essays, news articles, movies and songs; group presentations and comparative analysis of sources.
  • Harnessing ICT: Integral to language teaching is the use of ICT. We acknowledge that our pupils belong to an entirely different generation - the digital generation where information is packaged with multi-media and comes in bite-sizes. To capture these digital natives' attention and interest, EL teachers harness ICT platforms like the Internet, search engines, online forums and podcasting to make EL learning a more enriching experience. Pupils respond positively to ICT initiatives and appreciate their teachers' efforts to bridge the generational gap.
  • Creating a rich language environment: Apart from conducting daily lessons, the EL & Literature Department organises post-examination activities to enhance and reinforce pupils’ learning. In addition, the inaugural EL Festival launched in Term 4 2013 will enable pupils to go through a fun and engaging half-day programme where they would play language games, learn drama and play-acting, as well as, be exposed to story-telling and different genres of books.
  • Participating in external activities and competitions: At Riverside, we encourage and provide pupils with opportunities to hone their language skills beyond the school They can part in the Commonwealth Essay Writing Competition and Julia Gabriel Debating Competition from Secondary 2 onwards; various national Scrabble competitions such as the Lim Boon Heng Scrabble Championship; and the BBC Knowledge Challenge. Students also have the opportunity to participate in media workshops organised by The Straits Times and meet celebrities.

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Students taking part in BBC Challenge
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Visual Literacy Post-Examination Activity
The Strait Times Media Workshop.jpg

The Strait Times Media Workshop
Comic Strip Design Competition.jpg

Comic Strip Design Competition
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Crossword Puzzle Challenge

Julia Grabriel's Debating Competition

Dual-pronged assessment - formative and summative evaluations

While the ‘O' level and ‘N' Level examinations focus very much on pen and paper evaluations, the EL & Literature Department provides a wide variety of assessment modes, both formal and informal to assess pupils for learning and of learning. There is consistent dialogue between teachers and pupils to enable an effective feedback loop; infusion of reflective practices into pupils' daily class work; and a good balance of teacher and peer assessment for all modules taught. As such, pupils at Riverside undergo a rigorous curriculum and emerge as confident speakers and writers through a nurturing learning environment.

Language Enrichment for all levels and streams

At Riverside Secondary School, we no longer confine language exposure to reading of print media. We believe that media and visual literacy are essential language competencies that must be mastered by our pupils during their secondary school years.

Our weekly silent reading period has been revamped to become the Speak English Effectively & Knowledgeably (S.P.E.A.K)

  • Segment 1: Oral examination skill
  • Segment 2: Everyday communication skill

Preparing Riversidians for the 2010 English Syllabus GCE 'O' and 'N' Level Examinations

From 2013 onwards, Secondary 1 to 4 pupils will be sitting for the 2010 English Syllabus GCE ‘O’ and ‘N’ Level Examinations. This new examination comprises 4 components:

Express and Normal Academic streams:

  • Paper 1 – Editing and Writing
  • Paper 2 – Visual Stimulus, Comprehension and Summary
  • Paper 3 – Listening Comprehension
  • Paper 4 – Reading and Spoken Interaction (Oral)

Normal Technical stream:

  • Paper 1 – Form Filling and Writing
  • Paper 2 – Graphic stimulus and Comprehension
  • Paper 3 – Listening Comprehension
  • Paper 4 – Reading and Spoken Interaction (Oral)

The new assessment closely aligns the test components in the Express and Normal Academic streams but with clear difference in question types and readability standards of the test passages; while the Listening Comprehension component is completely new.

For the Normal Technical stream, there is greater emphasis on the pupils’ oral capabilities with the introduction of the new ‘Spoken Interaction’ segment combining picture and general knowledge discussion.

The English Language & Literature Department ensures all daily assignments, school tests and examinations which are closely aligned to new assessment requirements and formats so that our pupils will be fully exposed and prepared to perform well at the national examinations from 2013 onwards.