The NET Section, Education Bureau
C M Y CM MY CY CMY K
NET Cover_issue 42_v12_OUT.pdf 1 16/8/2022 4:47 PM
Newsletter Editorial Team Adys Wong (Editor)
Winnie So (Editor) John Hone
Proofreading Team Stephen Cooley Richard Cowler Kamla Dilrajh Julien Hawthorne Ritika Sethi
This newsletter is prepared by the NET Section, EDB. All comments and suggestions on the newsletter can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1Message from the Chief Curriculum Development Officer of the NET Section
2Values in Action
Values in Action at AOG Leung Sing Tak Primary School
The English Room of Tomorrow
Positive Education in Action
Engaging Students at Tak Sun Secondary School through Audio Drama
8Reading across the Curriculum
Using Augmented and Virtual Reality to Add Excitement to Reading across the Curriculum (RaC)
10Motivation & Community Participation
Using Enriched Visuals to Promote Motivation & Community Participation
Developing Empathy and Understanding Different Perspectives
13Teaching Drama through Zoom
Teaching Drama through Zoom and Publishing my First Children’s Book — The Litter Bug
English is and should be FUN!”
16English Fun Day
Other Learning Experiences (OLE) Day — S1 English Fun Day
18Learning through Play
Fun in Learning through Play
The NET Section, Education Bureau
C M Y
CM MY CY
NET Cover_issue 42_v12_OUT.pdf 1 16/8/2022 4:47 PM
some fun, positive and innovative approaches are taken forward to enliven English learning and help students make progress in learning the English language.
Everyone loves a good story and the three episodes of Season 4 of the Let our Imagination Run Wild storytelling series, including the latest episodes on ‘Isis and the Seven Scorpions’, ‘Hercules and the Nine-Headed Hydra’ and
‘Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea’ are now available on the NET Section webpage. We understand the needs of English teachers in identifying quality English multimodal resources for their teaching and students’ self-learning, and these episodes on Culture and Civilisation Heritage are produced to reinforce the development of positive values, attitudes and behaviour through introducing myths from different cultures. The themes of these episodes are respectively kindness, courage and co- operation, each with a focus on the selected language features, songs and games. Teachers are encouraged to make effective use of these multimedia resources and to integrate them into relevant modules, units and themes to enrich students’ English learning experience.
Please check our website to keep up to date with news of learning and teaching and to keep track of the latest developments in the NET Section.
Chief Curriculum Development Officer, NET Section The dedication of education professionals and their
extraordinary pedagogical innovation have been central to re-envisioning the classroom as a space no longer bound by constraints on time and location.
Collaboration, resilience and empathy, to address the impact of the pandemic, are at the heart of many stories found in schools and in our office.
Some of these inspiring stories are told in this issue of the NET Scheme News, including the move to blended learning and creative use of digital tools such as Augmented and Virtual Reality to promote Reading across the Curriculum. You will also read about how
Let Our Imagination Run Wild
Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat.
Message from CCDO (NET)
THE ENGLISH ROOM OF TOMORROW
Assembly of God (AOG) Leung Sing Tak Primary School believes students learn best when they feel safe, valued and happy. Therefore, it has in place a set of values that are unique to the school in that they have been developed by parents, staff and students.
They underpin the school’s vision and are all linked to the ten priority values (perseverance, respect for others, responsibility, national identity, commitment, integrity, care for others, law-abidingness, empathy, diligence) as outlined by the Education Bureau.
Principal, Ms Cheung says, “The vision of the school is to provide meaningful learning and teaching experiences that allow teachers to integrate different subject areas through project-based learning.” She says it is important for students to be active learners, collaborate with their classmates and build confidence in how they see themselves as learners. This enables students to use different kinds of thinking and research skills.
The school promotes collaborative leadership and this includes a close partnership with Advisory Teacher that focuses on school-based curriculum development.
The teachers have been working closely with me and joining the NET Section’s professional development opportunities that provide English teachers with the skills and understanding required for effective programme development and implementation. Such opportunities further address the English teachers’ professional development needs and enhance their collaborative decision-making skills. The teachers believe that the more they can do as a team the more they can accomplish. The school also
develops strong partnerships with parents and shares expectations through parent workshops about how they can help their child learn to read at home.
Values Education is at the core. Therefore, there are some specific features of ‘Values in Action’
in the English curriculum. The foundation of building resilience is in showing students how to build healthy relationships, social and emotional competency, problem-solving skills and a sense of
purpose and future. The school’s curriculum structure and focus is based on developing students to be lifelong learners, and aims to do this by providing the building blocks of skills, strategies and attitudes for future learning.
To ensure students receive a range of best possible teaching and learning practices in English literacy, the school provides a variety of approaches. P1–3 use Reading across the Curriculum, Supported Reading, Shared Reading and Storytelling. Values are included through the focus on respect for self and others in the family and community, celebrating what it means to be unique, and being hopeful for the future and the environment.
The English Project-and-Inquiry Based Curriculum (EPIC) in P4 - 6 uses the Development of Text Sets (DTS) programme to provide links to the values of self- management and goal setting, relationships, empathy and social awareness of their community and citizenship.
The integration of different curriculum areas through a common topic and project is more meaningful and allows for the students’ personal growth. The school- based English curriculum advisory teacher, Ms Vivian Fung, believes “It is more natural and the activities are linked to the 21st century skills. They need to set learning goals, collaborate, respect their classmates’ opinions and identify their own emotions and moods when working through the projects. They learn by working in groups on a project where they help each other. They have various opportunities to make choices about their learning. They are not on their own.”
Sue Bowden, Advisory Teacher, NET Section
Values in Action at AOG Leung Sing Tak Primary School
Values in Action
P2 students learning how to appreciate their uniqueness and respect for one another
A professional learning community on common study themes
Students showing their understanding and skills in different ways
THE ENGLISH ROOM OF TOMORROW
Our English room has gone through quite a renovation over the past year. What started as an idea has since evolved into something that can now be considered a future classroom. Welcome to English Adventure Land.
What once was a traditional classroom has since been transformed into a jungle adventure land with a vast imitation tree with leaves and plants creeping off the ceiling. Gone are the desks and chairs. Gone are the old boards and stationery. Gone has the use for shoes!
SMART TVs, Surround Sound, atmospheric lighting, a treehouse, and foam floors have taken their place.
Instead, a reading corner, a learning area, a cinema setting, and a play park are all situated within 700 square feet.
Our school believes in innovation. We were early adopters of STEM in the curriculum, and we are constantly looking
for new ways to incorporate technology and modern teaching methods. Our belief and intention are to utilise the English room in a way where it can be used by everyone and promote English usage across the school.
The tremendous challenge educators and students face when they enter the room is that the concept of learning in a classroom setting has to be entirely altered by removing desks and chairs. We believe this allows for a greater exchange of information as teachers utilise their environment and students, immersed in this experience, respond accordingly.
English Adventure Land is in its infancy, and we are still learning how best to incorporate the use of the room into the whole English curriculum across the school. This, we imagine, will be an organic process that will happen over time as we all return to some normalcy in the midst of the pandemic.
One thing is apparent, though – the English room is the talk of the school!
Samuel Brotherwood, NET, and Nelson Fung, EPC, LST Leung Kau Kui Primary School (Branch)
In the 2020/2021 school year, we participated in the Sayings of Wisdom Writing Contest. Our aim was to foster positive values and attitudes through English Sayings of Wisdom (SOW). We extended students’ development in Values Education through the exploration of the four SOW themes: A Grateful Heart, Cherish What We Have, A Proactive Attitude and An Optimistic Mind. Students demonstrated their understanding of a chosen SOW by writing stories related to their daily lives that were as authentic as possible so that they would be more meaningful.
Our school wide project, ‘StarWay to SFACS’, is a reward programme which encourages students’ good behaviour and attitudes at home, at school and in the community. At the beginning of the year, each student receives a ‘StarWay to SFACS’ handbook divided into six categories; the five core values of Catholic education and a page for positive language, with examples
of positive attitudes and actions provided. If students demonstrate these positive attitudes or behaviour, they receive a stamp. At the end of the year, students are rewarded according to the number of accumulated stamps. The aim is to encourage students to reflect, improve and develop positive values and attitudes.
Our school motto ‘Love God, Love Our Neighbours and Serve Our Community’, is closely related to character strengths such as Love, Kindness, Spirituality and Perspective. We express these through charity work to ‘give back
to the community’ by visiting the elderly, holding food drives, and fund raising. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the format of our activities has been adapted, but nevertheless, the original intention remains the same.
To include English in our positive education programme, we made use of the large bulletin board near the English Corner. We put up inspirational quotes and phrases in a captivating board display. When students walk past it in the corridor every day, they can reflect on the values and relate them to their own lives. Some teachers ask their students to recite these quotes.
Over the years, the objectives of education have shifted. Schools don’t just aim for students to achieve their academic potential. Rather, developing students as caring, responsible and ultimately productive members of society has become one of the key foci.
One of the major goals of our school is to teach students that we all have control of our mindset and attitude. It is not what happens to you that matters; it is how you choose to respond. How to respond correctly is a choice that we can all make and this is a simple power each and every one of us has.
Our school believes that character strengths are essential to living a good life. If we are actively aware of our character strengths, we are more likely to flourish. We have the power to positively influence our well-being by focusing on and developing our highest character strengths. Hence, as part of our school-based three-year plan, we are determined to enhance Values Education and Positive Education through incorporating 24 characteristics (character strengths) inside and outside the classroom.
Students recycling used red packets
‘StarWay to SFACS’
To encourage, support and guide students to develop a positive learning attitude, we decorate the hallways of each year level according to different themes. This year, we are happy to say, that on every floor of the school, we have installed permanent hallway board displays relating to the 24 character strengths. We strongly believe that students should learn about their strengths and reflect on how they can use them (or how they have been using them in the past) to achieve results inside and outside of school.
Teachers play an important role in cultivating Positive Education and Values Education and need to know what to foster and how to deliver it to students. ,
In the 2020/2021 school year, we conducted a workshop focused on Positive Education with the support of our
Advisory Teacher (AT), Ms Joey Venter. We looked at the importance of giving formative feedback to support developing character strengths through metacognition. Formative feedback should not only inform students about their performance but also provide advice regarding areas for improvement. In this workshop, the English team played the role of students while the AT and NET played the role of teachers. We conducted a micro lesson through which we collaboratively modelled providing students with positive feedback.
Prior to the workshop, we had created a Strength Wall with a photo of every ‘student’ on it. At the beginning of the workshop, we randomly handed out some character-strength words to each ‘student’ and asked them to stick the different character strengths under the photos of the ‘students’ that they thought demonstrated those strengths. Then, the ‘students’ were divided into small mixed ability groups to create a poster on healthy food. The assignment itself was not the focus. It just represented an everyday lesson in real school life.
During this session, we provided written positive feedback on sticky notes, e.g. creative artist, patient listener, strong leadership, good collaboration, etc. At the end of the lesson, ‘students’ were asked to stick the strength words they had received under their photos and to reflect on the strengths they had already developed and the strengths that they were still working on.
In a real classroom, each student’s strength wall would grow over the term. This is a term-long project for the teacher to work together with each student to identify their character strengths and decide how to use them to their advantage either at school or in everyday life.
With such support over time, students would develop the necessary character strengths to set them up to become caring, responsible and productive members of society.
Yuki Kwan, NET, St Francis of Assisi’s Caritas School
Tak Sun Secondary School is a local school for boys, most of whom are often seen doing sports during break times.
To further unleash the potential of our students, we applied for the school-based support from the NET Section, hoping we could enliven our English lessons.
The first thing that came to mind when it comes to making our English lessons more interesting is drama.
It is a form of entertainment that requires engaging the whole body, making it a good outlet for our students’
kinesthetic way of learning. Furthermore, boys are exploratory and always willing to do something.
Rather than drilling students with grammar, we need a meaningful context with a clear purpose for our students to practise English. Along with asking them to read and write English properly, we want our students to speak it with confidence.
Engaging Students at
Tak Sun Secondary School through Audio Drama
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, we teachers turned to a different form of drama: ‘audio drama’
(or radio drama). Though we could not ask students to perform live on stage, we could at least set up an environment where they could still demonstrate their creativity by juxtaposing sound effects with dialogue and learning about the textual features of a script and the performance skills required of audio drama. We chose to integrate audio drama into a unit work on Technology and so the theme of the students’ audio drama is ‘robots in school’. The scripts and recordings of the students’ audio dramas make up the written and spoken outcomes, and main assessments, of the unit on Technology.
Students performing a particular scene
during class time
Students working in pairs, practising hot-seating with
One of the members of the Regional NET Coordinating Team, Mr Richard Cowler, has been most generous in giving us advice on how to make drama work during this pandemic. My colleagues and I have had many co-planning meetings over the last months to prepare our unit of work. We strongly believe that it was worth it.
This is all about making our students’ learning fun and meaningful.
It has already been six months since our first co- planning meeting with Richard. There has been a lot of ups and downs in implementing drama in our classes, given that this is the first time we are doing it. We had to improvise and modify our initial ideas in the lesson to cater better to our students’ needs. We can see that our students enjoyed the lessons. Having said that, our unit plans still need a lot of tweaking and we look forward to having more on-site professional workshops to refine our teaching strategies.
Christopher Jose, NET, Tak Sun Secondary School
Students taking turns as ‘robots’, putting themselves in different
Students enacting a scene from
Students engaged in team-building
A teacher demonstrating the use of sound effects
to a class
A student enacting a scenario by only using sounds
made by objects
For the lower primary students at S.K.H. St. Andrew’s Primary School, a new literacy programme has been in the works. This new literacy programme, a collaboration between the NET, English Panel heads and English teachers, was created to motivate students and get them excited about reading in English and learning from errors. Based on this rationale, we created our lessons which focused on our students’ needs and the incorporation of technology like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) that are becoming more available. We gave students the opportunity to use such technology by creating purposes for them to gather information and solve problems. Here are some examples of the lessons that took place during the year.
to Reading across the Curriculum (RaC)
After reading the story ‘Wild School’, P1 students had the task of helping the animals find clothes for a party that took place in the story. Students utilised an AR app to
‘open’ the closets that were placed around the school and students had to note the name and the colour of clothing items so they could help the animals attend the party.
Teachers and parents helping students with the AR activity
P2 students using AR to learn about the Ant’s life cycle and making their own mini science book about ants
P1 student sharing with the teacher what he has learnt from the animal card
Using Augmented and Virtual Reality to Add
Reading across the Curriculum
In P2, students did an extended reading activity in which they helped the Spider from ‘Spider in a Glider’
who wanted to join an insect party but did not know if she was an insect or not. To answer this question, students had to access a video via QR code on their iPad, watch it, and conclude that spiders are not insects by listing out the difference between the two on their activity sheet. In order to cheer the spider up, students made a colourful spider web with pipe cleaners strung on a paper plate, which they uploaded to Padlet for everyone to see.
For P3, we gave students the task of joining Flamingo’s Bingo game. The problem for the students was that they were not animals. To experience what it is like to be an animal, they had to use a VR app to transform themselves into an animal of their choice. Students then recorded themselves saying what their name was, what kind of animal they were and why they wanted to join
Flamingo’s Bingo game. Once the students finished recording their response, the video was air dropped onto the teacher’s iPad, and at the end of the lesson the students’ recordings were shared for everyone to enjoy.
It was encouraging to see all teachers, students, and parent volunteers immersed in the activities, and even the students who often lacked interest during English lessons took part in the activities. Parent volunteers who provided help during the AR lessons responded positively and asked whether they could volunteer again. Overall, it was a precious and motivating experience for everyone, and we are going to continue to explore more approaches to using AR and VR to make reading and RaC exciting and engaging for our students.
Lau Pui San, EPC and Jackson Hung, NET, S.K.H. St. Andrew’s Primary School
Ng Cheuk Lam (left) and Wong Cheuk Wai showing their spider webs
Principal, Mr Tam (right), Ms Lai and students from P1 and P2 participating in the AR video
Using Enriched Visuals Using Enriched Visuals to Promote Motivation &
to Promote Motivation &
Community Participation Community Participation
Using Enriched Visuals to Promote Motivation &
The main concern of every teacher, when introduced to any new bright and shiny ideas, is how will this add to what I am doing without taking away much needed time and attention from my core duties? As a practical- minded NET, and believer in research based pedagogy, I have some practices that have grown out of a need to manage multiple demands related to teaching and learning, and one of these is the use of a welcome board and theme related name tags that I prepare before the start of the year.
Motivation & Community Participation
The welcome board presents images of all of the staff members and often includes an expression of that year’s school planned priority, such as Positive Education. The pictures on the name tags that students in Key Stage One may wear around their necks or place on their writing surfaces are related to the theme I have chosen for the welcome board. Students find these name tags on their ever-changing seating in the English room. As they offer a surface for stickers for individual behavioral rewards, they also serve as a form of encouragement for individual students.
Each board is planned to also double the following year as a motivation board within the English room. The first Positivity Board, with the race track and the cars, began as a welcome board in the main hallway by the office and stayed there for one year. The following year it was moved to the English room where the race cars were assigned to respective classes and used to encourage good behaviour in the lessons. If a group met their collective commitments to looking, listening and participating (as assessed by the NET and LET at the end of each lesson), they could roll a large dice and advance their race car to compete with the other five classes using the English room. This enhanced their motivation to behave well and positively engage in the lesson.
The MTR board worked in the same way. It spent one year in the hallway as a welcome board and then was moved to the area in the English room where students line-up before leaving. When the class performed well, they could choose a station, and after earning three stations, they could choose a train (teacher) to place on the board. The current welcome board, about astronauts and taking risks, will be moved into the English room at the beginning of the new school year and will serve again, like the others, to motivate positive classroom management. Astronauts (images of all teachers and some students) will be awarded and moved to some objective location, like the moon, to create a ‘game’
aspect for motivation.
Next year, the new name tags will have the theme of the new welcome board and will continue to provide multiple pedagogical purposes in lessons. I hope this brief description helps to motivate other teachers to follow my practice, as it helps me in many ways to enhance success and positivity in the school and the English room. The kids respond well to it and my classroom management has been enhanced, in large part, due to these investments in name cards, boards and game design. The teachers have also come to enjoy their participation in the school’s visual welcome to students.
James Francis, NET, Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Li Chi Ho Primary School
Developing Empathy and Understanding
Many schools are incorporating values education into their curriculum these days and there are various ways of doing it. For example, we could give students reading texts about how to be responsible, show them videos about national identity, organise a seminar about the importance of perseverance, and so on. Yet very often we tend to indoctrinate students with these values and they are just at the receiving end of it. One of our school’s major concerns this year is to instil positive values in students. English teachers decided that they wanted to teach students the importance of empathy but instead of just giving students reading texts related to empathy, we thought: “Wouldn’t it be more interesting to give them an opportunity to do hands-on activities and see what it’s like to empathise with someone?”
I was invited to open my S2 classroom to teachers from various government secondary schools. The lesson was an extension of the textbook unit ‘Looking Good,’ where students were introduced to the idea of body image. This was a unit that we had been working on to extend and enrich student learning through the NET Section’s ‘Read to Speak’ “Seed” Project. Students were given opportunities to examine the issue of body image in the authentic context of social media, and think critically about how it affects teenagers’ perceptions of body image.
Prior to the lesson, in a flipped learning task, students answered questions about some multimodal texts on this topic, including infographics, news articles, a video, and some teenagers’ opinions about how body image has affected them. In the lesson, I checked to make sure that students had already read the texts and
then they worked in groups to analyse the teenagers’
thoughts and feelings using an Empathy Map. This is a thinking tool with different grids that allow students to put themselves in other people’s shoes to analyse not only what they say and do but also how they think and feel. Students then gave advice to the teenagers in the texts and evaluated each other’s advice. Throughout the process, they had to work together to write their analyses on some Post-it notes of different colours and paste them on the Empathy Map. I gathered some of the best-written notes and pasted them on another Empathy Map, which was posted on the board.
I summarised the students’ comments on the topic and asked them to work in groups in other lessons to design a 3-Day Challenge on ‘Looking Good & Feeling Great’, and the whole class had to choose the best design and take the challenge as a class project.
Upon reflection, I realised that giving them an opportunity to practise empathy was actually easier than most of us would think. Many teachers may find it difficult to teach values, rather than imparting knowledge to students.
Nevertheless, from my experience, I believe that if we can design an activity that allows students to actually put values into action, we may be surprised by what they can do and we may discover that the learning of values can be made explicit.
Yvonne Lee, Deputy English Panel Head, Queen’s College
Developing Empathy and Understanding
This March, my drama team performed my original story,
‘Lost and Found,’ live via Zoom as part of the Hong
Kong School Drama Festival.
We were honoured to win awards in all categories, including the coveted Adjudicator’s Award.
Teaching drama on Zoom has been an educational and rewarding journey for everyone involved. Although it is a clear departure from the traditional stage-centric idea of drama, this new medium has allowed my students to express their creativity in new ways. I encouraged my students to take ownership of their learning and to have greater autonomy when performing their roles. They helped with the design of the props and costumes, expressed their ideas for the plot, language, and characters, and chose their own roles. One student expressed that she would like to have a non-performing role as a prop designer and backstage manager, which taught me that not every student wishes to be in the limelight. Some students prefer to work diligently behind the scenes. I encouraged students to design their own Zoom ‘character’ profiles and backdrop pictures. Many students also designed pictures of the ‘battle’ in Scene 1, which I compiled into a video montage, complete with sound effects, and played during the show.
Teaching Drama through Zoom and
Publishing my First Children's Book _ The Litter Bug
Students also learned how to add and change their scene backdrops, which added great holistic value to the authenticity and overall storytelling experience.
I recorded students’
vocals in the TV room at school for both of my original drama songs,
‘Laser Eye’ and ‘Don’t Lose Sight,’ which added a wonderful effect and was a fun experience.
Later, I gathered feedback in an evaluation form and set homework to create an imaginary ‘Scene 4’ in the form of a picture / comic strip. It was good fun all around with lots of happy memories!
Publishing my debut book for children, ‘The Litter Bug,’
on 3 June this year, was an amazing experience. The whole journey took over 18 months from start to publication, and resulted in a book of 16 chapters, 104 pages, and over 18,000 words! My sincere hope is that students of all ages can enjoy and
relate to the adventures of Bud the Litter Bug and feel inspired to continue their studies in English and develop a greater love of reading. Furthermore, it is hoped that the book can raise children’s awareness of the critical issues of littering and environmental protection.
My colleagues and I are now looking at ways to integrate the story and its themes of nature, magic and adventure into my school’s English curriculum for next year. Here’s the book description:
Bud, the junk food guzzling schoolboy, drops litter everywhere and anywhere and worst of all...he doesn’t even care! One Saturday afternoon, he enters a strange sweetshop called Strangely Sweet and is transported on a terrifying yet magical journey across Hong Kong with a mysterious woman called Helen, her faithful friend, Skye, and a host of motley creatures from the dark and dirty alley. If you love magic and adventure, then this book is for YOU!
Sam Barbour (aka Teacher Ham), NET,
Buddhist Lim Kim Tian Memorial Primary School
Teaching Drama through Zoom
As a former NET and the current EPC at TWGHs Kwok Yat Wai College , I’ve always treasured the ‘fun’ elements in English language learning. From my experience, I totally understand the importance of making the learning experience ‘different’ from traditional classrooms to successfully enhance students’ motivation.
Who enjoys sitting and completing grammar worksheets every day? Who loves endless highly controlled writing tasks where all creativity is killed? Who is fascinated with learning English in a highly exam-oriented way?
Wouldn’t it be ideal if we can all have a bit of fun while learning this amazing language?
Yes, English is and should be FUN!
It is always been my greatest belief that learning through enjoyment is the most effective and memorable way to engage students. Educators are human so we should understand how we all once felt when we were young.
I still vividly remember the drama shows, poetry and singing performances I participated in when I was a student. These are precious memories that are going to stay with me forever, and most importantly, they played a major role in making me the confident person I am today.
Today, I am honoured to play a part in creating these special memories for our vibrant youth. Our future leaders need a platform to unleash their talents and shine in their own unique ways. Everyone deserves to be recognised and appreciated, so it is our mission as teachers to make this happen.
English is and should be FUN!
In the past couple of years, our school has been taking a whole school approach to uplift the English learning atmosphere by creating many opportunities for our students to experience the fun in learning this global language.
The phrase ‘whole school’ is not an exaggeration at all!
It was not only the teachers of different disciplines who supported the English department, but also our Vice Principals and even our honourable Principal. Our talented school management team never hesitates to go the extra mile to support English learning. Dressing up in colourful costumes with English teachers for events such as Halloween and English Fridays is a piece of cake to them!
This year, we took our creativity to the next level by introducing the theme ‘Movies and Music’ for our English Week in June. Our whole management team turned themselves into Hollywood singers and actors overnight for students to guess who they were! Their singing and dancing created this astonishing ‘wow effect’ in the audience. Our students were highly engaged and captivated by the sensational performances and activities run by our world renowned ‘Hollywood stars’!
Our students were also trained to be little actors and actresses acting out famous movie scenes for the audience to guess their movie names! Our students definitely deserved to have a blast after our long- awaited, full day, school resumption!
The immense support from the whole school is a strong message to the students and parents of how creative and stimulating English learning can be! We are the greatest role models to encourage and empower all students of different abilities and characters.
Who knows? Perhaps, one day during Chinese week, even though I am the English Panel Chair, I’ll dress up as ‘Li Bai’ and do a Chinese poetry performance on the stage! Anything is possible because learning has no limits!
Let’s have a look at some of the highlights of our extraordinary English activities where our whole school was unprecedentedly involved in making a difference!
English Panel Chair, Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Kwok Yat Wai College
Other Learning Experiences (OLE) Day Other Learning Experiences (OLE) Day
– S1 English Fun Day – S1 English Fun Day
Activity 1 - Massian Café
The café provided students with the opportunity to use functional English in a role-play between S6 and S1 students. After ordering a drink of their choice, students read the tasks inside their cups whereby they had to find certain articles in magazines on which they then based their informal conversations.
Activity 2 - Hotseats Dice Throw Conversations
S1 students were given a limited time to ask and answer questions about English Sayings of Wisdom (SOW) before a bell rang. They would then move seats to discuss a new topic with a new student. Students enjoyed discussing many of the topics and themes related to SOW during this activity.
Our school’s S1 English Fun Day took place on 10 June.
The event was organised by Miss Lyndsey Martin and Miss Christine Theron, and was conducted by S6 students. S1 students participated in 6 different English activities throughout the day, demonstrating their English communication skills while making great memories with new friends.
Activity 3 - Tabletop Games
S1 and S6 students learnt to play a range of different games using English instructions and phrases to interact in their small groups. Much fun and games were had during the tabletop games activity.
Other Learning Experiences (OLE) Day – S1 English Fun Day
English Fun Day
Activity 4 - Sport Quiz Competition
Teamwork and precision were the name of the game for the Sport Quiz Competition activity. S1 students had to work together to answer a range of MC English sports questions in order to defeat their opposition and dribble their way to victory!
Activity 5 - Massianville Tourist Information
Working in pairs, S1 students practised giving and taking directions to find specific locations on their maps. S6 students were available to assist those students that took a wrong turn.
Activity 6 - Carnival Game Booths
S6 students hosted the booths, introducing S1 students to a range of competitive games ranging from Daily Routine Bingo to Animal Similes. S6 and S1 students enhanced their communication skills through learning and playing the new games.
Our S6 team of helpers with the NET teacher, Miss Martin
S1 Students reflecting on their day and giving feedback Lyndsey Martin, NET,
I remember my exact reaction at that moment last year when a letter came through from the EDB NET Section regarding the “Seed” Project – ‘Learning through Play’.
It was to ask my EPC if we could sign ourselves up! As we all know, the traditional day-to-day classroom setting can be a bit bland, so the idea of being able to add a
‘Montessori’ element to the classroom would be great fun!
Our school signed up to pilot and take part in the project for the P3 students, and all the P3 local teachers were incredibly supportive and excited. The chosen unit was ‘The Pirate, Parrot and Fun at the Bun Festival’. The
‘Learning through Play’ team from the NET Section came up with incredible fun and creative ideas for each of the stations. Materials were sent to us in advance so we understood what each of the stations entailed.
They came to our school with our Advisory Teacher and held regular meetings with us to provide us with the information, advise us about any changes and to assist us with the room set-up. The English room on the ground floor was instantly transformed into a fun learning zone which consisted of four stations, Book Nook, Writing Table, Atelier and Small World Play.
For this project, we had to make slight changes to our scheme of work and the usual lesson routine but it all worked out absolutely fine. The local teachers and I regularly discussed any changes made to the lessons and used trial and error to figure out what could be improved in each lesson so students were able
Fun in L earning through Play
to gain the most benefit. It was very satisfying to see students enjoying themselves, and interacting with one another as they continued to astonish us with their English speaking levels – a different sight from our usual English lessons.
In each of the lessons, we had to observe how the students interacted with one another using their social, emotional, cognitive, self-management and literacy skills. We also had to stand back and listen to how they interacted, note down what they said to each other and to use these quotes for their assessment portfolios which were written up at the end of the unit. The
‘Learning through Play’ team provided us with examples of comments and a report card generator that could be used in the portfolio and this undeniably lessened
our workload. The entire experience has been extremely worthwhile; seeing how excited students were, having fun with their classmates and learning at the same time, especially when it is evident that the entire project has facilitated their final General English writing tasks. Now, we are currently on another unit, after having completed three units, and students are still requesting to go to the English room to have more learning-through-play lessons!
Donna Choi, NET,
Alliance Primary School, Whampoa