Level Four Integrated Programme picks up the pace, focusing on the technical requirements of writing and comprehension in most Integrated Programmes. Argumentative writing is established in a structured and technical manner, replete with a range of highly structured techniques to improve the coherence and flow of writing. Texts are deconstructed using a variety of frameworks, including text frames, stakeholder analysis, positioning and arrangement of views, and rhetorical devices, while a reconstruction model enables students to apply insights into their own writing. Critical literacy skills are utilised to analyse and evaluate textual effects, logical flow, use of evidence, and overall argumentation.
Year 3 to 4 IP English
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The L4IP programme focuses on equipping students with
- The skills required to tackle school assignments and exams
- Broad real-world knowledge
- The necessary preparation for their transition from Year 4 to 5, where they will be required to take the General Paper (for JCs) or the Theory of Knowledge (for IB)
These aims will be achieved through our lessons, where we
- Cover the main curriculum that includes Comprehension, Essay Writing, and Critical Analysis practices
- Provide personalised feedback by marking and reviewing students’ work
- Encourage students to share their school assignments with us, clarifying any doubts they have and allowing us to review what they plan to do
- Provide additional notes tailored specifically to the needs of the student
Argumentative Essays: Deep explorations of content topics to establish insightful content knowledge across a wide range of relevant issues. Students learn and utilise a range of critical techniques and to improve the structure, logical flow, use of evidence, and overall coherence of their writing. Frameworks for clear thinking about an issue or a debate are established.
- Content: this includes topics and themes that are taught in school which revolve around real-world issues such as science and technology, the media, the arts, crime and punishment, discrimination, the environment and many others. Students will learn about the recent developments around these topics, understand why they are controversial, and be given concrete examples about these issues. We also encourage students to conduct their own research on top of the notes that we give them so as to generate interest in the topics and take more ownership of their learning.
- Learning about such topics and being equipped with specific examples is a fundamental requirement of students in school, especially for their major exams. Students are frequently required to debate such topics in school, whether in written or oral form, and so the content they learn here will provide them with the necessary substance to tackle such debates. This content is also essential for students when they move on to Year 5 and 6, where they will cover the same themes and topics in the General Paper and the Theory of Knowledge. Students who are already equipped with this knowledge will have a head start in these subjects and find the transition to Year 5 and 6 much smoother.
- Essay skills: Focusing on the different elements of an effective essay, students will learn how to construct PEEL body paragraphs, introductions and conclusions. We help students understand these components by providing them with scaffolded exercises that utilise exemplars to illustrate what the end product should resemble, examples containing shortfalls that students tend to commit, and guiding questions that prompt students to analyse these exemplars and examples. Following these exercises, students will then practise writing their own paragraphs.
- These essay skills are standard expectations in Secondary School, Junior College and even further education. While most students are already aware of essay structure (Introduction – PEEL – Conclusion), the common problem that they face is how they can execute it effectively, which is what we address using our scaffolded approach. Ultimately, these essay skills take time to develop and master, and doing so certainly requires significant and tangible practice, which we provide in class or as homework.
Comprehension: Critically deconstruct, analyse and respond to complex argumentative or opinion-editorial texts, including the use of language and literary elements and rhetorical devices. Accurately analyse literary devices, use of language, textual features and their specific effects on the reader. Paraphrasing skills and techniques are persistently reinforced.
- Students will be exposed to the various question types that they also see in school, and be equipped with the proper answering techniques required to tackle these questions. The objective is to familiarise students with the expectations set in school, such that Comprehension becomes an exercise grounded more in practice than in luck.
- The Comprehension practices that students receive here include the following question types: Direct-sourcing, Paraphrasing, Inferential, Text-framing, Positioning, Use of Language and Literary Devices, Summary.
- While the Comprehension practices certainly address the same question types that students can expect to tackle in school now, they also expose students to a variety of real-world topics and present various opinions towards such topics, which will provide students with further contextual knowledge of the world.
- Furthermore, students will continue to see similar question types as to move on to Year 5 and 6, so the amount of familiarisation that they receive now will also be imperative to the way they approach such questions later.
Summary: Accurately and critically source points in information-dense texts, including opinion editorials and journalistic writing. Paraphrase idiomatically in context and in a concise manner, employing critical strategies to ensure the retention of rich meaning.
Critical Writing: Create insightful, coherent and information-rich argumentative responses or application question evaluations, ensuring that responses are coherent, substantiated, and convincing.
- Students will learn how to respond to a given prompt or text critically by
- determining the arguments it makes
- recognising any logical fallacy committed and
- structuring a substantial paragraph that reflects their opinion towards those arguments.
- In our curriculum, significant scaffolding will be provided to ease this response process, with our worksheets placing an emphasis on the different steps on separate weeks. This scaffolded approach will see students enhancing their ability to pick out central arguments more quickly and analysing their strengths and weaknesses based on the use of rhetorical devices and any slips in logic.
- Students will also learn how to use local and global trends and examples to support or dispute claims made by an author. Similar to how we develop essay skills, students will be presented with critical reading and writing exercises containing effective response exemplars and guiding questions to help them evaluate what goes into these responses.
- In schools, students will be given tasks, assignments and exams evaluating these specific skills, whether they are in the form of an oral debate, video recording, Response Writing or the Application Question.
- At Academia, we offer students a very practical approach to critical analysis by equipping them with specific methods that they can use to assess ideas critically, coupled with the actual practices that students need by putting pen to paper in class.
- Additionally, the practices that students do here also prepare them for the immediate future. For instance, the approach that students take in answering the Application Question here is the exact one that they are expected to adopt in Junior College for the same component.
- Looking beyond education, critical literacy is essential in almost any setting, whether it is for analysing industry and political trends in the future, or an opinion piece published in the media. The skills that students pick up now – recognising strengths and weaknesses, logical flaws, substantiating claims with evidence – will be continuously relevant and essential.
The Academia Advantage
Liberal Arts Programme: Texts are intentionally architected using various critical approaches to immerse students in topics across a range of social, political, economic, cultural, technological, religious, environmental and ethical (SPECTRE) disciplines with saliency and recency, in addition to high corporate value.
Global Writing Style: Students are immersed in a high-capitalist, globalised style of writing that enables them to navigate all forms of writing in the Anglophone cultural capitals of the world — London, New York and Singapore.
Competitive Performance: A competitive training culture managed in a structured and psychologically safe manner under the auspices of a 360 coaching approach ensures that students are able to manage increased performance demands with self-awareness and sustainability.
Timed Practices: These take place periodically, usually before a major exam such as the Mid-year exam and End-of-Year exam. Their objective is to simulate an exam environment where students can apply the skills they have acquired in their weekly classes while getting accustomed to the timed conditions. The scoring system and time given will reflect exactly what students get in school, allowing them to have a good gauge of where they currently stand, what they need to improve on, and how time management affects their performance.
Critical Literacy: Students are well-equipped to successfully critically analyse texts, including their inferred meanings, textual effects and use of language at the highest examination levels.
Metacognition: Students possess awareness of texts, their abilities, and learning objectives in various objectives, endowed with the skills and strategies to allocate their time, energy and resources efficiently across a range of diverse assessments and projects.
Optimised Flow: Students successfully enter psychologically optimised flow states at peak performance, enjoying high-functioning mental states in all conditions.