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English Language & Literature

Department Vision

Department Vision/Mission

We are a collaborative, innovative and passionate department that empowers students to use the English Language as a tool and Literature as a medium to develop critical and creative thinking for social good.


To develop:

  • Self-directed and empowered learners
  • Critical and creative thinkers adept in the use of English Language
  • Passionate lifelong learners of the English Language and Literature


Department Programmes/Highlights


Department Programmes/Highlights

Literature Seminar

The Gifted Education Branch English Department organises the Literature Seminar with the aim of stimulating pupils' interest in Literature by exposing them to literary issues that are beyond normal curriculum and classroom content, and enabling them to enrich their knowledge of the literary discipline. The Seminar provides pupils exposure to literary discussion and performances, facilitated by academics and literary practitioners, which are at an advanced level. The Seminar also serves essentially as a platform to showcase commendable projects that have been completed by high-ability learners in literary inquiry.


Commonwealth Essay

Open to all Commonwealth citizens aged under 18, our essay competition offers young people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to make their voices heard on a global platform, to engage with issues important to them and to express their aspirations for the future. Each year, participants demonstrate their ability to stimulate and provoke discussions about important Commonwealth and global issues from a young person’s perspective and to showcase their critical and creative skills.

Creative Arts Programme

The CAP is jointly organised by the Gifted Education Branch, Ministry of Education and the Department of English Language and Literature, National University of Singapore. It comprises a Creative Arts Seminar and a Mentorship Attachment. - See more at: https://www.moe.gov.sg/education/programmes/gifted-education-programme/special-programmes/creative-arts-programme#sthash.N1rqmMUU.dpuf

Talent Development Programme

The English Department aims to nurture the writing skills of selected students through workshops and mentoring. Lower secondary students who display a flair for writing will have the opportunity to develop their own personal voice through creative writing. They will develop a clearer understanding of the fundamentals of basic writing techniques and the impact of the techniques on their own voice. Through individual mentoring, peer critique and a variety of creative writing exercises, students will then create their own stories that will be printed in an in-house publication or as an e-book.

At the upper secondary level, students will have the opportunity develop their writing further through the platform of social advocacy. They will be taught the skills of research writing, through individual teacher mentorship. Under their guidance, the students will conduct research on social issues that they are personally interested in. This will provide them with the avenue to express their personal voice, and to develop empathy for various social causes through the process of their research and writing. 

(a) Reading :  


Magazine Subscriptions:

  • Sec 1 & 2 : Reader's Digest
  • Sec 3 & 4 : Newsweek 

Pupils encouraged to read during Reading period which is twice a week for half an hour each session.

Each pupil subscribe to one magazine from Jan to Sep.

This programme is monitored by EL teachers who use the worksheets to check on their reading and form teachers who are with them during Reading period.


(b) Cedar Lit Up : 

This 2-day literature programme held in May 2009 was meant to generate students' interest in Literature and to expose them to local writing. 


The objectives of the programme were as follows :


  1. Discover the joys of reading Literature and to become aware of new ways of perceiving the world around them;

  2. Articulate perceptive and logical thinking when discussing and writing about Literature;

  3. Select and interpret relevant material judiciously and to express ideas in clear and coherent English;

  4. Research independently and apply critical thinking skills when selecting relevant prose and poetry;

  5. Interpret and express an understanding of a poem or prose into a alternative form like drama;

  6. Understand the importance of the contexts in which literary texts are written and understood. 


The programme included the following activities :


  1. Pupils were invited to create their own short stories and poems.

  2. Provide pupils with samples of local work and show them how the place and social context of the writer had influenced the literary work. 

  3. Pupils were invited to a tele-conference with local writer Wena Poon and discussed some aspect of good writing techniques.

  4. Local writers invited to share their writing experiences with pupils (Haresh Sharma and Alvin Pang)

  5. The programme culminated with an evening of performances featuring the works of students. 


(c) Research Skills Programme


The Library Department conducted a sharing session for all Secondary One students. Students were taught how to access information on the web and to be more critical about the information that they receive. The objectives of the programme included:


  • 1. Locating useful information on the web
  • 2. Assessing the credibility of a website
  • 3. Evaluating the authenticity and currency of the information
  • 4. Respecting intellectual property


The programme which was conducted by pupils for pupils was well-received.


(d) UK Literature Trip - A Portrait of All Things English

26 Secondary 3 Literature students went for a 10-day trip to the UK to gain greater insights into English Literature. The objectives of the programme were to allow pupils to:

  • 1. Engage personally with texts, showing a strong intellectual and emotional awareness of themes, characters, settings and contexts.
  • 2. Recognise and appreciate ways in which the writers use language. They will comprehend the importance of society and how it directs the novelists and playwrights to write the way they did.
  • 3. Articulate perceptive and logical thinking when discussing and writing about Literature
  • 4. Research independently and apply critical thinking skills when selecting relevant prose and poetry
  • 5. Heighten an awareness and appreciation of art within historical, cultural, social and environmental contexts.
  • 6. Understand how history, social trends and cultural differences impact on art practices.
  • 7. Appreciate different ethnic cultures.
  • 8. Learn beyond the classroom of the school.