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Primary English Curriculum Philosophy

Primary English Curriculum Philosophy
Beaconhouse Primary English curriculum is a coherent and structured programme of study. It is the
use, and enjoyment of English language and literature, communicated orally, visually, and in writing,
for a range of purposes and audiences and in a variety of text forms. Based on the communicative
model of language teaching, grammar is taught in context, and emphasis is on interaction and
communication [1].
English Curriculum foresees and caters to the needs of our students who will be living in a
technologically rich, and increasingly diverse society, and an interdependent community of nations in
the 21st century [2]. It is guided by culturally sensitive material and teaching practices that include
a rich selection of diverse literature, writing traditions, themes that value students’ experiences and
broadens their global perspectives and attitudes. The curriculum fosters thoughtful and respectful
consideration of alternative viewpoints and ideas, personal ownership of learning, and individual
construction of personally meaningful knowledge [3]. We believe that these processes are essential
tools for communication, self-discovery, and knowledge acquisition. When students engage with,
and respond to a variety of literature, they develop an awareness of the human condition, gain
empathy, and discover a sense of personal empowerment that allows them to become active
participants in society.
English language strands (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) are intrinsically
connected. Concepts and skills are intertwined in order to challenge and support student learning
within the English language classroom and in other disciplines. Reading and Writing are taught as
‘Whole Text Knowledge’ (the emphasis here is on reading the whole text. Understanding, responding
and composing a whole text/continuous writing), ‘Sentence Knowledge' (focuses on how English
works - the structure of the language, grammar and punctuation) and ‘Word Knowledge’ (looks
more closely at the words that make up the English language and word recognition, spelling,
phonics and vocabulary are explored). Students read and write, view and discuss, interpret and
perform in order to deepen understanding, communicate meaning, and apply learning to other
contexts [4].
Being aware of the critical role of a supportive environment in the acquisition of a language, BSS
emphasis is on creating an environment where students can learn English through a multiplicity of
means, both within and outside the classroom [5]. Students and teachers alike are encouraged to
use context embedded language, thereby familiarizing students with the use of the language in its
various academic forms; thus, creating an ‘English speaking’ environment.