School sets up English hub

SK Taman Permas Jaya 3 pupils collecting soil for their plants.

JOHOR BARU: A primary school in Taman Permas Jaya here has adopted a learning-with-nature approach to spark pupils interest in the English language.

The English hub project was the brainchild of SK Taman Permas Jaya 3 senior assistant (curriculum) Noraihan Jahuri who was transferred to the school in July.

She saw a need to do something to improve pupils’ standard of English as their performance in the subject was not up to the mark.

“I proposed the idea of having a garden with a pond and the headmistress, Rohana Chik, was receptive.

“With her help, we immediately got started on the project.

“We had a pond made and filled it with fish and plants, with information boards in English.

“We also allocated an area in the school yard to plant chilli and other vegetables as well as a mock tree to teach the children about the life cycle of a butterfly.

“We hope to use these creative ways to encourage them to learn and speak proficiently in English.

“Learning through hands-on experience rather than just in the classroom is more fun and we hope to get the pupils interested enough to retain what is taught,“ she said.

Noraihan said the idea for the project came to her after the school’s chilli crop, which was planted before the movement control order, had wilted when the school closed during that period.

She said in conjunction with the school’s National Month celebration, the Year Six pupils were each tasked to plant and care for a vegetable of their choice.

“This way we can also beautify the school at the same time.

“The whole school as well as the pupils’ parents were excited over the project and many donated soil, fertiliser, equipment and vegetable seeds,” she said.

Year Six pupil Genevieve Grace Murphy, whose hobby is gardening, said the project was a fun way to learn about nature and improve her English.

“I hope to speak more fluently in English with my classmates.

“Usually we are quite shy about conversing in English,” she said, adding that she grows cucumber and mustard greens at home.

Another Year Six pupil, Thaqif Asiq Yunus said he was excited about the project as he often spent time tending to his indoor plants at home.

“I even brought my own spade and some vegetable seeds to share with my friends.

“My parents are both plant lovers and taught me how to care for plants.

“I hope I can make them proud by successfully growing my own plants and learn to speak confidently in English as the same time,” he said.

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