In the English Department we aim to instil in students a love of both Literature and Language. Our students are introduced to Literature in all its forms and from around the world. We study Poetry, Drama, The Novel, Short Stories and Non-Fiction, giving students the opportunity to understand and enjoy the ways in which writers create their works, as well as learning how to analyse and evaluate language and meaning. We give our students the opportunity to explore how language is used for a variety of purposes: to inform, persuade, instruct and entertain.  Students are also given a range of tasks to explore and develop their own linguistic styles and skills.

Curriculum Overview

In Grade 7 and 8 we introduce students to a range of literary and linguistic genres and text types. Students of both years study Poetry that will allow them to engage with different cultural experiences. They also study a Media unit that introduces them to the world of mass communication. Appreciation of the Novel is a primary focus, as is the study of extracts from the plays of William Shakespeare. The skills developed lead to the Cambridge IGCSE English Language and English Literature curriculum in Grade 9 and 10. Students are awarded two grades: one for Literature and one for Language.

The culmination of the English programme is the study of the IB Diploma in Grades 11 and 12, where native speakers of English choose a Language ‘A’ course in either English Literature, or English Language and Literature. Both Higher and Standard levels are offered. As well as the Language ‘A’ option, there is a Language ‘B’ alternative which is designed specifically for students for whom English is a second language. This curriculum is also available for study at both Higher and Standard levels.

Our Approach to Learning

In Grade 7 and 8, we focus on skill building, including study skills, in order to equip students with the tools needed to be successful in the examined courses. Across all grades, close reading, analysis and evaluation are embedded into the teaching of each unit. Drafting, editing and proofreading are instilled as part of the writing process. Our students are encouraged to read widely in order to develop the skill of reading for understanding, and to develop their appreciation of language and its ability to convey a range of meanings. Speaking and listening activities are an integral part of the teaching. Students work in pairs, groups and individually as part of a process which will develop deeper levels of insight, while encouraging collaboration as well as independent thought. We also teach research skills throughout the Grades, culminating in students’ ability to produce independent coursework in Grade 11 and 12.

Experiential Learning

Grade 7 classes recently studied a novel set in World War One, Private Peaceful, by Michael Morpurgo. As part of their study they made a couple of videos, one of which shows the aftermath of a gas attack. Both these short scenes show how the students are engaged, in different ways, leading to a greater understanding of some of the issues canvassed in the story. Watch them here: 


The English Faculty is led by Mrs Pauline Bull: Pauline.bull@sji-international.com.sg


  • SJI International, 490 Thomson Road, Singapore 298191
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