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English Programme


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Mission / Objectives of Department

The department is committed to developing all students of the school to be effective and competent communicators who appreciate the English language and its literatures and cultures and are able to use the language creatively, critically, effectively and ethically. The department also strives to develop all teachers of the English Language and/or English Literature to possess subject mastery and deliver effective and innovative teaching strategies that will imbue a love of learning for themselves and their students alike.

Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment

Students are expected to acquire different learning objectives at various stages of their secondary school course. Generally, these objectives fall into four broad domains of learning: 

  • Communication and Language Development
  • Thinking Skills
  • Learning How to Learn 
  • Language and Culture    

Through the use of innovative and engaging pedagogies like Differentiated Instruction, the Gradual Release of Responsibility and Learning Study teachers aim to achieve these objectives and develop 21st century competencies in the learner.   

The learner’s progress is assessed holistically and classroom assessment is generally divided into three types: assessment for learning, assessment of learning and assessment as learning. The department also aims to provide varied and authentic learning experiences that are both meaningful and engaging for the learners.

Programmes and Activities

1) Oral Communication Programme

The oral communication programme in Dunman Secondary is a rigorous 4-year programme that aims to build confident speakers through the provision of varied learning platforms and opportunities. 

The programme consists of:     
  • Sec 1: Oral communication course & EL ambassadors programme 
  • Sec 2: Readers' Theatre Values-In-Action programme
  • Sec 3: EL ambassadors programme 
  • Sec 4/5: Individual oral consultation sessions 

Due to the constraints of COVID in 2020, our Sec 2 students were unable to showcase their Reader’s Theatre performances to our external partners. Instead, they channelled their love for the language and desire to make a difference by putting together the Dunman Dictionary.   

Click here to view their masterpieces.

2) MEDAL Programme for lower sec students

MEDAL: Mastering English, Drama, the Art of Communication and Literature. The MEDAL programme in Dunman Secondary School is a reaction to the challenges that students still face in learning, mainly language competency and independent thinking. In 2007, a half-year programme called MEL, Music-English Language-Literature, was rolled out to allow students to acquire a love for Literature and language through Music. The students performed musicals of Singapore folklores in Secondary One. Following several critical observations, the programme was refined and thus, the birth of MEDAL- a comprehensive two year programme.

With the rationale in mind, MEDAL represents an integration of the performing arts into the Lower Secondary curriculum so that language learning is made meaningful. MEDAL also proves to be an instrument for the explicit teaching of 21st century competencies as students evolve to become critical and inventive thinkers who collaborate and communicate effectively in their exploration of set socio-cultural contexts.

The MEDAL curriculum is paced. The Secondary One students explore language and Literature texts such as Little Ironies and are given platforms to share their critical appreciation of texts and poems with their peers. At Secondary Two, students explore language through Drama with greater demands to performance delivery and language. MEDAL is exploratory, an effort to "open a new frontier in our exploration of good teaching". (Palmer) It will not be a stranger to established teaching practices. What it will develop into is practical and effective pedagogy bearing semblances to the old but fuelled by the hearts of its teachers to cultivate thinking learners.

3) Reading Programme

Every morning before the commencement of the flag raising ceremony at the parade ground, all students engage in silent reading. Each level has a subscribed reading text and these subscribed text also serve as a learning resource during the EL curriculum time.


1) Learning Journeys

The department strives to enrich the students' learning experience beyond the confines of the classroom and learning journeys will be planned for the students along the year as and when appropriate. 

2) Speak Good English and Live(L)it Week

During the annual Speak Good English Week and Live(L)it Week a plethora of exciting activities are lined up for the students to encourage them to converse and write good and proper English and to spark a love for Literature. Some of these include cohort-based language games and activities, talks by local writers, book fairs by vendors and internal competitions. The yearly affair culminates with the much anticipated event: Books Come Alive@Dunman. Dunman undergoes a vibrant transformation each year when students and teachers alike don the outfits of famous characters from literary books, impersonating their chosen characters both in appearance and behaviour.

3) Competitions and courses

  • Commonwealth Essay Writing Competition: Selected students will participate in this competition. 
  • Other ad-hoc external and internal competitions. 
  • Sec 1 Oral Communication course conducted by an external vendor after school.