St Andrew's Secondary School > The Saints' Experience > Academics > English and Literature

English and Literature


We aim to design a model English Language programme tailor-made to meet the language-learning and usage needs of young men in the 21st Century where they are constantly bombarded with messages across the different media.

Our mission is to develop life-long learners who are confident and able users of the English Language. Through this mastery of the language, our students will become:
  • Creative (yet structured) writers; 
  • Confident (yet sensitive) speakers; 
  • Careful (yet curious) listeners; and 
  • Critical (yet open) readers and viewers.  

As concerned citizens and active contributors, our students will be able to express their ideas articulately and convincingly.


Our English lessons are designed around two key features:
  • A Lang-Lit Approach: Our students will be exposed to a wide a range of rich English texts (of different genres) and learn how the writers use language to effectively communicate their ideas.
  • Explicit Teaching of Grammar: Our students will receive instruction in the fundamental concepts of Grammar that will contribute to their mastery of English. 

As far as possible, the boys are provided with authentic learning experiences where they will be involved in applying the language skills learnt to meaningful projects by harnessing the power of ICT. 

These lessons are supported by the following supplementary programmes:

Drama in Education
Our students learn the basics of drama in lessons conducted within curriculum time. Through this course, they will become more confident, expressive users of the English Language and learn to appreciate the key art form of drama. They will also learn key life-skills such as working with others and respecting differing differences. 
Immersive Reading Programme
Through our collaboration with the National Library Board, our boys enjoy the privilege of having the library brought to them during Mobile Library visits. In addition, we help our students subscribe to magazines that enlarge their store of general knowledge while providing examples of excellent writing. 
Debate Programme
Our students learn the art of debating from excellent speakers of English who serve as role models of good spoken English. The boys learn to structure their argument and confidently stand by their view points, ever ready to convince the opposition.
ICT Projects
Through the use of ICT, our students become Net-savvy citizens who have a global audience for their presentations. They will acquire key Web 2.0 skills and learn about Internet etiquette so that they can be responsible and effective contributors to the global community.  
Language-based Competitions
We seek to send our students to participate in all levels of competitions such as PESA, the Julia Gabriel Inter-School Debate Championships, the Commonwealth Essay Writing Competition, the Inter-School National Scrabble Championships and NEmation.


Our boys interviewing Ms Jaslin (VP) to produce a bilingual promotional video for Gala Night 
Julia Gabriel trainer conducting debate training
Teacher and boys preparing a “murder” scene for them to write about 
The boys make and fly a kite as an activity for their reading of Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Our boys getting interviewed by a production crew for OKTO programme, O Singapura 

English Literature

Through the English Literature, we hope to inculcate in our boys a respect for the importance of reading widely and deeply, and to develop their ability to appreciate the subtle nuances that texts carry.

As teachers of English Literature, we believe in acting as role models displaying love for the creative play of language found in literary texts. We hope to open our students’ eyes to the value of reading as an experience that enhances our understanding of others and ourselves.

Our Literature lessons are designed around two areas of focus:

  • 5 Areas of Study in Literature:  
    • Plot: Elements of Plot; Conflict; Relationship between Scenes and text; Plot and Subplots; Narrative Structure; and Plot Devices
    • Character: Roles and Purposes of Character; Characterisation; Character Traits; Character Development; and Relationships
    • Theme: Central Ideas; and Main Concerns
    • Style: Diction; Sound; Point of View; Irony; Tone; Form; and Figurative Language
    • Setting & Atmosphere: Time; Place; Physical Details; Situations; and Mood
  • 3 Principles of Literature Teaching and Learning: 
    1. Personal Engagement
      • Engage with texts; develop individual responses to texts; and share and evaluate different viewpoints and perspectives
    2. Critical Appreciation
      • Use of key literary skills to analyse texts; and develop critical responses that are substantiated by textual evidence  
    3. Meaningful Connections  
      • Explore connections between literary texts and students’ own lives or the rest of the world via texts set and written in different contexts and from various parts of the world 

Lower Secondary Programme

Lower Secondary students go through a two-year programme where they are introduced to a wide variety of literary devices and themes through a study of texts in the three genres: prose, poetry and drama. They are also equipped with essay writing skills to respond to unseen prose and poetry.  

Upper Secondary Elective

The Upper Secondary Literature Elective is a two-year course where students prepare for the two main components of the N and O level Literature Paper:

Paper 1
Students to study a novel (where school selects a title from a list recommended by MOE) and answer an essay question set on it.

Additionally, students are trained in practical criticism through the study of poetry and short prose. Students learn to independently examine the techniques and devices used by writers to portray characters, explore themes and stir the emotions of their readers. 

Paper 2
Students study a well-known play (where school selects a title from a list recommended by MOE) and answer an essay question and passage based questions set on it. 


Mind Map of character study from The Crucible
Mind Map of a theme from The Crucible
Our 4 Express team (right) emerged victorious over Nan Hua High in National Schools Literature Festival Set Text Debate 
Our 2NA boys displaying their winning projects (based on Animal Farm) at the National Schools Literature Festival Book Parade Competition