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

English Language and Literature

English Language

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:
  • Journal
  • 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 approaches:

Whole School: Reading & Media Literacy 
Whole School: Journal writing
Sec 2: Food Trail
Sec 3: Wet Market Trail
National Schools Literature Festival
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Literature in English

Through the 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.  

  • Wonder by R. J. Palacio
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  • Something Old, Somethinallg New, Something Borrowed: An Anthology of Singapore Plays by Ken Mizusawa
  • The Play of George Orwell's Animal Farm adapted by Peter Hall

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:

  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Fiela's Child by Dalene Matthee
  • A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller
  • Off Centre by Haresh Sharma