STELLAR which stands for Strategies for English Language Learning and Reading provides a framework for the teaching and learning of the English Language (EL) for Primary One to Six. The Lower Primary STELLAR Pedagogical Model consists of three features for the development of a strong foundation in EL namely:
- The Shared Book Approach (SBA)
- Modified Language Experience Approach (MLEA)
- Learning Centre Activities (LC)
The Shared Book Approach (SBA) aims to develop the love for reading and to explicitly teach the language items, structures and skills through word study as well as phonics, grammar, vocabulary and drama. 29 Big Book titles will be used as the main teaching resource. Pupils will be given accompanying learning sheets for each title so that they can practice the various skills taught.
For the Modified Language Experience Approach (MLEA), scaffolding and guidance will be provided by the teachers so that the shared experience attained during the SBA can be further developed and translated into group as well as individual writing. The Learning Centres will promote differentiated learning among the pupils in the class so as to enhance literacy skills like reading and listening skills further. The Upper Primary STELLAR Pedagogical Model consists of:-
- Supported Reading (SR)
- Know-Want to Know-Learnt (KWL)
- Writing Process Cycle (WPC)
- Retelling (RT)
- Differentiated Instructions (DI)
Supported Reading (SR) provides a bridge between teacher-supported reading aloud and independent silent reading. It provides opportunities for pupils to make predictions, read assigned section silently, discuss the text and difficult words as a whole class, led by the teacher. This strategy is usually carried out for narrative and information texts.
Know - Want to know - Learnt (KWL) is used mainly for non-fiction texts such as information reports. This strategy helps pupils to extract information and relate it to what they already know about the topic. Teachers guide pupils to organise, access and remember information. This enables pupils to understand and follow the logic of information presented in a text, recognise information that is repeated and distinguish between main ideas and details. The teacher’s support is gradually reduced as the pupils learn to be more independent in extracting information from what they read.
Building on the principles of the Modified Language Experience Approach (MLEA) at the Lower Primary, Writing Process Cycle (WPC) continues to provide pupils with guidance in the processes of planning, writing and reviewing before they apply these skills in writing, independently. At the Upper Primary, the focus is more on the creative aspects of writing and encouraging the voice of the young writer.
Retelling (RT) is a reading comprehension strategy that engages pupils at different levels of language: from interpreting meaning at the whole text level, to individual words and phrases and back to the whole text again. It provides opportunities for pupils to engage in a whole range of important language and cognitive processes including recall of events/ information, main points and characters, text structures and language features. It also provides opportunities for all of the major language skills to be applied - listening, reading and viewing as well as speaking, presenting and writing - as pupils actively make meaning of texts and share their understanding with their peers.
For Differentiated Instruction (DI), pupils are provided with differentiated support at various points of instruction to optimise their learning. Appropriate activities are designed to support, reinforce and extend their learning. Hence, through STELLAR, language skills are integrated and the various literacy skills are enhanced through daily practice as our pupils move towards further independence.
Some of the big books used
Individual Writing - Smarty Pants
Learning Support Programme
In 1992, MOE introduced the Learning Support Programme (LSP) in all primary schools. It is an early intervention programme aimed at providing additional support to pupils who enter Primary 1 with weak English language and literacy skills.
Identification and Placement
- Pupils are identified for the LSP through a systematic screening process.
- The Early Literacy Indicators (ELI), a screening test developed by MOE, is administered to all pupils in P1 at the beginning of each year.
- The ELI is a paper-and-pencil test which assesses basic language and literacy skills.
- The ELI is administered and scored by the school’s Learning Support Coordinator (LSC).
- Pupils scoring low levels on the ELI are placed in the LSP.
- Pupils attend a 30-minute LSP lesson daily.
- Pupils are taught in groups of 8-10. The small group size gives each pupil more opportunities for practice and participation.
- Pupils receive regular one-to-one coaching by dedicated parent volunteers and teachers to build their reading skills.
Discharge from the programme
Pupils are discharged from LSP when they meet both of the following criteria:
- A pass in the school’s English Semestral Assessment
- Attainment of age-appropriate reading age