April 30, 2013"My students may need a longer runway, but they can do it!" said Miss Melison See, Principal of Metta School. From 2013, two new ITE Skills Certificates (ISCs) in Baking Practices and Hospitality Services will be offered to students with special needs at Metta School. This has been made possible with the new extension block at Metta School which offers industry standard facilities that meet the requirements of an Approved Training Centre (ATC) for these two certifications. Metta School offers special education to children aged between 7 and 21, who are diagnosed with mild intellectual disability or mild autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Students between 17 to 21-years-old undergo the Vocational Education Programme, which prepares them for the ITE Skills Certification (ISC).
April 24, 2013"Field trips reinforce what students learn in the classroom and help them develop a love for the subject," said Miss Low Siew Peng, a geography teacher at Unity Secondary School. In the new geography syllabus that was implemented in 2013, field studies became compulsory for Secondary Three students, and will apply to lower secondary students from 2014. Previously, teachers had the option of using field studies as one of the strategies for learning geography, as research had shown that field trips has a positive impact on long-term memory. "The move to have fieldwork in our curriculum challenges teachers to become learners first," said Mdm Viyaya Rani, Master Teacher (Geography) at the Academy of Singapore Teachers. To learn more about fieldwork, Mdm Rani and Miss Low embarked on a field trip to Mount Merapi in Indonesia, conducted by the Earth Observatory of Singapore. From the experience, they customised a field trip that would cater to students and shared about the inquiry process required with other geography teachers at a seminar during the MOE ExCEL Fest 2013, held on 5 and 6 April this year. "I went for the field trip because Mt Merapi is an exciting venue covered in our syllabus, and the experts from the Earth Observatory of Singapore were there to provide explanations!" said Miss Low.
April 21, 2013"Society today can be very selfish in nature. We need to learn to help others and by doing that, help ourselves," said Eliza Binte M. Hamarian, 15, a student from Bukit Panjang Government High School. During the National Secondary School Student Leaders Conference held on 17 April 2013, 680 student leaders from various schools gathered to discuss the social causes they cared about and shared ideas on how to encourage community involvement. To encourage this spirit of volunteerism and passion for social causes among youths, the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) are partnering to develop Community and Youth Leadership (CYL) schools. These schools will receive more support for ground-up initiatives and the Values in Action (VIA) programme in schools. Part of the $100 million National Youth Fund (NYF) will also be used to support these projects. "I hope that after our students graduate, they will continue to play an active role in building a more gracious and caring Singapore," said Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, who graced the event with Acting Minister for MCCY and National Youth Council (NYC) Chairman Lawrence Wong.
April 15, 2013Bindi Irwin, 14, an Australian wildlife conservationist and daughter of the late Steve Irwin, star of The Crocodile Hunter, visited the Singapore Botanic Gardens on 12 April 2014. Twenty students from Bedok Green Primary School, Queenstown Primary School and Rosyth Primary School had the opportunity to interact with her. "Bindi Irwin is a kid, just like me, and she engages us with fun and interesting facts", said Pearlyn Wong, 12, a student from Bedok Green Primary School whose interest in the environment was sparked when she first watched Bindi the Jungle Girl on the Discovery Kids channel at the age of five.
April 10, 2013From manga-art drawing in art lessons to transforming textbook content onto a virtual platform in geography fieldwork, this year's ExCEL (Excellence through Continuous Enterprise & Learning) Fest brimmed with exciting and innovative practices implemented by schools.
March 28, 2013From next year, MOE will start operating and enrol Kindergarten One pupils across its five pilot kindergartens. The kindergartens are located within HDB heartlands, with four based in primary schools, namely Blangah Rise Primary School, Dazhong Primary School, Farrer Park Primary School and Punggol View Primary School, and one in the community at Block 489C Tampines Street 45. The kindergartens in the four primary schools will take in 120 children each, while the one located in Tampines will take in 80 children for the first year. The kindergartens will operate two sessions in the morning and afternoon, with each session being a four hour programme.
March 14, 2013For Primary One and Two pupils, additional support for English literacy is being piloted in some primary schools, to help pupils who have difficulty coping with the pace of regular classroom teaching. This additional support is part of the levelling up efforts to help children succeed, regardless of their family background, starting from a quality kindergarten and then building a strong foundation in the ten years of primary and secondary education. "These low-progress pupils often lack confidence. So this additional support, conducted in a small group setting, provides ample opportunities for them to speak up," said English teacher at Da Qiao Primary School, Mrs Sangeetha Sivanesan who received training to carry out the pilot initiative. Currently, the ongoing nationwide Learning Support Programme (LSP) is conducted in 30-minute sessions daily for the bottom 10% of pupils who require help with basic literacy skills. In contrast, this additional support aims to help those who do not need to be on the LSP, but face difficulties during the regular STrategies for English Language Learning And Reading (STELLAR) lessons .
March 13, 2013'It is extremely important to help low-progress learners see, feel and touch Mathematics. Higher ability students are able to grasp concepts quickly, but low-progress learners need help in visualising concepts. This approach helps to create a motivating environment and improves the students' engagement and attitude towards learning the subject,' noted Ms Safurah, who was also the project coordinator for the levelling up effort for numeracy piloted in Bedok View Secondary School since 2012. To provide specialised help for more students to achieve a higher level of competency in literacy and numeracy, 600 teachers will be deployed to schools with needs in these areas. Coupled with key intervention strategies such as small group teaching, remediation and co-teaching; every child will have the opportunity to build their competency and confidence, regardless of their background and pace of learning.
March 11, 2013As a student with a stellar academic record, a recipient of several high-profile awards and who's actively involved in community service, H Sharanya Pillai epitomises the well-rounded student who excels both academically and in her values. Despite her family's humble background, Sharanya (middle) benefited from MOE's Financial Assistance Scheme since her secondary school days and went on to excel in her A-levels. Photo Courtesy of H Sharanya Pillai As the Community Service Director in Anderson Junior College's (AJC) Interact Club, Sharanya was heavily involved, from the planning to implementation, of numerous community service projects. One such project would be the...
March 8, 2013Many would know from their school days that germination occurs when green beans are placed in wet cotton wool. But have you ever wondered if green beans can germinate in ketchup, beancurd or jelly? Five pupils from the Infocomm Club in St Anthony's Canossian Primary School came up with this out-of-the-box idea after watching a Japanese YouTube video on unconventional Science experiments. The creative bunch was not disappointed. Their video, 'Crazy Germination', bagged the Gold Award (Primary Category).
March 7, 2013"Taking an exam scares me," says Natasha Nadya Bte Kamarun Z, 19, who received her GCE A-level examination results last Friday, 1 March 2013. One may think this is nothing surprising - who isn't nervous at the thought of sitting for an exam? But what made it more challenging for Natasha was that she was diagnosed with anxiety disorder three years ago. In her first year at Jurong Junior College, Natasha was afraid to go to school. To her, the new environment meant larger crowds, unfamiliar faces and loud noises, which tend to upset people with anxiety disorder. Medication which made her drowsy also affected her attendance and she was frequently absent during the first eight to ten months. "The A-level journey has developed me. Instead of avoiding my problems, I have learnt to overcome my fears and be more independent," said Natasha.
March 4, 2013"I'm interested in how the world works. It gets me all excited! It's my passion," said Gina Wang, 19, a student from Innova Junior College, when speaking about Geography, her favourite subject. The GCE A-level examination results were released on 1 March this year. About 90.6% of candidates achieved at least three H2 passes, with a pass in General Paper or Knowledge and Inquiry. Gina received three As for her H2 subjects, as well as two Bs and one C for her H1 subjects. During primary school, studying was not foremost in Gina's mind. She obtained a PSLE score of 189 and enrolled in Springfield Secondary School. It was only at the upper secondary level that things began to change for her.
February 21, 2013A new version of the Kindergarten Curriculum Framework (KCF) will guide pre-school educators and parents by providing a set of learning outcomes for children upon completion of Kindergarten. "The thrust of what we are trying to do is to make sure that everybody meets a certain standard," said Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Law and Education Indranee Rajah at a visit to Ascension Kindergarten on 20 February. She also emphasised the importance of developing confidence and social skills during pre-school years. Pre-school centres are strongly encouraged to use these broad teaching and learning guidelines in designing and implementing an age appropriate curriculum, so as to prepare children for further learning when they make the transition to Primary One.
January 28, 2013Literacy strategies are taught to Primary One and Two pupils in the Learning Support Programme (LSP). LSP is an early intervention effort for those with weak oral and reading skills in the English Language. According to the recently released results of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2011, the percentage of Singapore students who performed below or just attained the 'low' benchmark decreased from 24% in 2001 to 13% in 2011. The effectiveness of the LSP is supported by the significant progress seen in academically-weaker students.
January 25, 2013The method of retelling a story is a reading comprehension strategy used at upper primary level, which engages pupils in a range of language and cognitive processes as they apply major skills such as listening, reading, speaking and writing. It is one method of the holistic approach recommended by the STrategies for English Language Learning And Reading (STELLAR) programme, developed and based on research and pedagogical approaches. "The STELLAR approach has made the learning of English very fun and when pupils enjoy the lessons, they learn better," says Mrs Siti Ardah Hazry, who teaches English to Primary 5 pupils of Northland Primary School.
January 17, 2013Like other subjects in MOE's school curricula, the Social Studies curriculum is regularly revised to ensure that it is kept up-to-date with changing global and national circumstances, and appropriately pitched to a more curious and knowledgeable student population. For secondary school students, Ms Azlinda bt Samsudin, Head of Department for Humanities at Sembawang Secondary School, notes that it is important that they learn how to discern the credibility of the information they obtain, identify the difference between opinion and fact, and have the critical mindset to analyse the information they receive. Such life skills are indeed part and parcel of the revised Social Studies curriculum for secondary school.
January 16, 2013Minister for Education, Mr Heng Swee Keat, encouraged graduating students to seize every opportunity for lifelong learning and innovation. Minister Heng mingles with students and parents at the Singapore Institute of Technology ceremony celebrating the graduating first cohort on 11 Jan 2013. Armed with a business diploma after graduating from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, one would expect Lai Sook Yi to further her studies in a related field. Instead, she decided to blaze a new trail to do something she had always enjoyed. Even in her polytechnic days, Sook Yi worked as a course coordinator at the Bake-it-Yourself bakery during...
January 15, 2013Safarah Bte Asmadi (left) graduated from SIT last year and is currently working at Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. Her interest was piqued by her uncle's (right) stories and experiences in the marine industry. When Safarah Bte Asmadi was young, she was inspired by her family's stories and experiences about life in the marine industry, especially those of her uncle who worked as a boat launcher for 16 years. It had also been her mother's dream to work in the marine industry. However, due to an unfortunate accident 21 years ago, her mother was paralysed from the waist down...
January 15, 2013A dramatised exchange between two pupils at Tampines North Primary School is a typical example of how the Social Studies curriculum is taught with a fresh approach in primary schools today. "Younger pupils love dramatisation, whether it's acting or watching their friends act," teacher Mdm Irma Darny Swadi says. Mdm Irma was also involved in the planning of the revised Social Studies curriculum in 2006 and 2012, and the updated curriculum developed by MOE aims to leverage on this natural curiosity and enthusiasm of children, to engage them in real-world issues, both past and present.
January 3, 2013School-based Student Care Centres (SCC) extend the learning environment beyond schooling hours and enhance social, emotional, recreational, physical and intellectual development of pupils. Working parents can set their minds at ease, knowing that their children are taken care of. The formation of 14 new SCCs in January 2013 will bring the total number of SCCs to 80, which is more than 40% of primary schools in Singapore. Two are Special Education (SPED) schools, Chaoyang School and Grace Orchard School.
December 31, 2012Giving study tips and helping friends through tough, stressful times both in school and outside of it, while maintaining high academic standards, Pei Zhen personifies the ideal Edusave Character Award (ECHA) recipient. Marsiling Secondary School student, Soon Pei Zhen, is one of a new breed of students who excel not only in their studies but also look beyond themselves to help others in need. Giving study tips and helping friends through stressful times both in school and outside of it, while maintaining her own high academic standards, Pei Zhen well deserves the Edusave Character Award (ECHA). The award is given...
December 28, 2012Minister for Education, Mr Heng Swee Keat at the 15th Appointment and Appreciation Ceremony for Principals held on 27 December 2012. Principals lead schools, and this is not an easy task. They make a multitude of decisions everyday; from the safety and conduct of students to the well-being of staff. As education leaders, principals are the main interface between ground reality and desired future. At the same time, these leaders shape the quality of education by attending to multiple demands from different stakeholders. At the 15th Appointment and Appreciation Ceremony for Principals held on 27 December 2012, 60 principals received...
November 21, 2012Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Education, Ms Indranee Rajah, at the Kindergarten Learning Forum on 20 Nov 2012. Humpty Dumpty might not have fallen off the wall if it had been strong and stable. This is the interesting lesson that pre-schoolers at the Ascension Kindergarten learn even as they play. When the children learnt that Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall, the teacher guided them in building a wall that is strong and stable for Humpty Dumpty to sit on and not fall off. To further stretch the children's imagination, the teacher even created models...
November 21, 2012Senior Parliamentary Secretary (SPS) for Ministry of Education and Ministry of Communications and Information, Ms Sim Ann explaining the support for special needs in schools. How and when do we assess children for dyscalculia (a math learning disability)? What can we do to help them? These were some questions raised at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) Maths Learning Differences and Dyscalculia Conference 2012 held on Saturday, 17 November 2012. Experts presented and discussed research, to help teachers and parents better support children with such learning difficulties. "We want every student, regardless of their abilities, to be an engaged learner...
November 16, 2012Minister for Education, Mr Heng Swee Keat, graced the "Our Singapore Conversation" on 9 Nov and encouraged educators to improve constantly as Singapore's prosperity cannot be taken for granted. One of a series of dialogues that MOE is organising for our educators... We called for our educators to come together as part of "Our Singapore Conversation", to share one another's aspirations and dreams for Singapore, especially in education. And in response, some 80 staff and educators from the MOE family gathered last Friday, ready to spend the afternoon engaging in the issues that matter most to them. There was a...
Learning Values through Daily Life Experiences - A New Syllabus for Character and Citizenship Education in 2014
November 15, 2012Education Minister Heng Swee Keat visits Yangzheng Primary School, one of the eight schools involved in the pilot of the new CCE syllabus to be launched in 2014. Learning values will now be more authentic for students as, under the new syllabus for Character and Citizenship Education (CCE), daily life experiences are used as learning contexts. At a visit to Yangzheng Primary School yesterday, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that the new syllabus will be launched at the Primary and Secondary levels in 2014. This aims to engage students better as they learn values that will stand them in...
November 2, 2012Senior Parliamentary Secretary (SPS) for Ministry of Education and Ministry of Communications and Information, Ms Sim Ann admiring an art piece done by SPED schools. Over 1,600 Special Education (SPED) educators came together at a SPED Conference held this morning at the Singapore Expo as a fraternity to reflect on key developments in the SPED sector and to celebrate the achievements of outstanding teachers and innovations at SPED schools. Running into its second year, the theme of this year's conference was 'Growing Within, Reaching Beyond'. It was an opportune time for SPED educators to gather as a community to be...
November 1, 2012Learning will be fun and engaging at Crest Secondary School, when the school officially opens its doors to receive its first batch of students in January next year. The school is the first of two Specialised Schools for Normal (Technical) students, catering to their learning needs and interests to maximise their potential. At its first Open House for invited students held yesterday, the vibrancy of the school could be felt all around. The school's facilities are also unconventional, with learning stations set up to provide students with an authentic, practice-oriented learning experience.
October 16, 2012At MOE's Primary Education Review and Implementation (PERI) Seminar and Exhibition, held on 10 July 2012 at Republic Polytechnic, keynote speakers Dr Susan M. Brookhart and Dr Ng Seok Moi shared their views on how formative assessment and developing higher-order thinking skills can enhance learning in primary schools in Singapore.
October 10, 2012Most people still assume that formal education in Singapore means progressing seamlessly from primary school, to secondary school, culminating in tertiary education. But take a closer look at this year's recipients of the Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship to Encourage Upgrading (LKY-STEP), and it becomes clear that some of them are not your "typical" students and that the path to educational success and personal fulfillment doesn't always follow a straight line.
October 9, 2012Jordan Kuek Wei Jie received the Lee Kuan Yew Award for Outstanding Normal Course Students (NA) this year. He is now pursuing a diploma in aerospace engineering at Temasek Polytechnic. Another award-winner this year is Lim Han Long, who received the Lee Kuan Yew Award for Outstanding Normal Course Students (NT). He has entered ITE College West, where he is currently pursuing the NITEC in Electronics.
May 2, 2012Imagine a secondary school with specially constructed facilities such as a teaching kitchen, hotel room, restaurant, supermarket and mechanical workshops, all contained within the school premises. When Singapore's two specialised schools for Normal (Technical) students (SSNTs) open over the next two years, that's exactly what they will be, providing a brand-new learning environment, with customised infrastructure catering to the learning of N(T) students.
April 17, 2012For parents who wanted to know the latest developments in the local education landscape, this year's MOE ExCEL Fest was an event not to be missed. Held on 30 and 31 March at Suntec International Convention & Exhibition Centre, the event was centred on the theme of "Nurturing the Whole Child, Opportunities for All". From sharing sessions such as on character building, to seminars such as on choosing a secondary school, different expert speakers reminded parents that they needed to put their child's interest at heart.
February 29, 2012Professor Lee Wing On, Dean of Education Research at the National Institute of Education (NIE), has been teaching values education for over 20 years. He is also an advisor to MOE's Character & Citizenship Education Curriculum Development Steering Committee, and foresees "better and more coherent programmes aligned to the school's mission and vision".
January 16, 2012The search for a suitable kindergarten or childcare centre is no elementary matter for parents, who might consider issues such as teaching standards, class size and programmes, cleanliness, safety and how well the school is managed. To help parents with this process, in November 2010 MOE launched SPARK, or the Singapore Pre-School Accreditation Framework. This is a quality assurance framework aimed at raising the standards of local pre-schools and giving parents an objective guide to the island's pre-schools.
December 6, 2011They teach in class and add a dose of real-life to school, but they aren't teachers. Instead, Allied Educators such as Mr Richard Ooi, Mr Abdul Hadi Bin Baharudin and Mr Melvin Au are giving pupils the benefit of their former work experience in both the classroom as well as in shaping the character of their young charges.
November 1, 2011Broken pencils, a self-centred cat and 'sashy' ambassadors offer lessons in kindness at three schools that have launched programmes to promote acts of caring. And thanks to a new fund from MOE and the Singapore Kindness Movement, students and teachers will have more support and resources to champion a culture of kindness in their schools.
October 18, 2011How can you help your child make the transition from kindergarten to primary school? Mdm Jackie Kok, Principal of Gongshang Primary School, shares some observations and advice on how parents can make the start of school life an exciting and engaging time for every pupil.
September 24, 2011Schoolchildren from the primary, secondary and pre-university levels can now chart their education and future career choices through ecareers.sg, an online portal that serves as a one-stop resource centre for various occupations, personality profile development and even a personal archive and planner.
August 11, 2011After charting zero defeats throughout the season, Bukit Panjang Government High School wrapped up the year with a 3-0 win over Xinmin Secondary School to clinch the National C Division Boys' Volleyball Championship.
August 9, 2011Unity Secondary School scoops up both the boys' and girls' titles in the National C Division Basketball Championships. But whereas the girls cruised to victory with a 73-51 win over Anglican High, the boys faced stiffer resistance in a match against Catholic High School that ended 63-59.
July 12, 2011After months of rehearsals and rigorous training, students from all over Singapore unleashed their talents at the opening ceremony of the 3rd ASEAN School Games. The evening of music, dance and drama was also the scene of new bonds, friendships and experiences that would be forever cherished.
July 7, 2011Putting the spotlight on the potential and power of new media tools, the New Media Academy recently wrapped up a three-day fiesta of digital magic and creative learning at Innova Junior College.
May 10, 2011Two records are broken in a day as Timothee Yap of Hwa Chong Institution races to gold in the A Division 400m Hurdles at the 52nd National Schools Tracks and Field Championships.
April 28, 2011Children with autism benefit from the attention provided in classes with low teacher-student ratios. Providing further support in this regard is a recently announced High Needs Grant that provides for more teacher-aides in special education schools such as St Andrew's Autism School.
April 12, 2011Two secondary students from low income families are aiming high thanks to assistance schemes by their schools and MOE for deserving youths in need. With less to worry about on the financial front, students can set their sights on overcoming academic challenges and exploring the world around them.
April 5, 2011Pupils will have more space to exercise their bodies and much more opportunities for mental exploration and creative expression, as MOE rolls out facilities to support a holistic primary education experience. In this photo essay, we offer a glimpse into the future of primary education in Singapore through schools with redesigned classrooms as well as enhanced infrastructure for physical activities and the performing arts.
March 3, 2011Schools are beefing up their facilities to deliver a more holistic learning experience for primary school pupils. But as parents heard at a recent MOE Seminar, families, too, have a vital part to play to make the transition from kindergarten to Primary 1 a process that cultivates a love for learning and discovery.
January 21, 2011From 'great to excellent' was how international management consultants described Singapore's education system and its progress in a recent report on the world's school systems. The country's drive towards excellence in education has seen a shift over the decades from a survival phase to one that seeks to maximise the potential of every student. This achievement, according to the report, has come from efforts to raise the calibre of teachers and principals as well as the encouragement of innovation in schools.
January 11, 2011Teachers play a crucial role in imparting essential English language skills as well as serve as role models for children from non-English speaking environments, according to Mdm Low Khah Gek, Director of Curriculum of Planning and Development at MOE. In this interview, Mdm Low shares what MOE is doing to boost the effectiveness of English teaching in Singapore schools.
January 6, 2011Why is English still an important language and what is MOE doing to help Singapore students master English? MOE Director of Curriculum Planning and Development Mdm Low Khah Gek shares in this interview, the first of a two-part article, why English remains a priority in education and the steps taken to maintain and raise English standards in schools.
December 28, 2010Marking a year of progress in education on many fronts, here's a round-up of some of the far-reaching initiatives announced by MOE in 2010. Parents and pupils alike can look forward to schools that nurture creativity through art and music, greater support for language learning as well as a new and bigger spread of choices in post-secondary and tertiary education.
November 18, 2010In a dramatic turnaround, the Institute of Technical Education men's team bounced back from a first-quarter deficit to beat Ngee Ann Polytechnic 81-55. With the win, ITE placed themselves in the driving seat for the Polytechnic-Institute of Technical Education (POL-ITE) basketball title with four wins in four games.
November 9, 2010Secondary students now have the option of learning the lingua franca and cultures of the Middle East by taking Arabic as a third language. Attending classes at the MOE Language Centre, some 170 students tackle the intricacies of a tongue with a unique script and sounds, and get to immerse themselves in a world of ancient civilisations and proud heritage.
IVP Track and Field: Dipna Lim Prasad and Valerie Pereira almost break national record in scintillating 200m duel
November 4, 2010At the recent Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic (IVP) Track and Field Championships, two young athletes from NTU almost made it into the record books when they came within milliseconds of shattering a 26-year-old national record.
October 19, 2010From history books to the record books, Rainer Ng is a young athlete with a broad and balanced range of interests. A familiar name now, thanks to his silver medal in the 50-metre backstroke event at the Youth Olympic Games, Rainer's achievements in the pool are the result of much personal sacrifice as well as a steely determination to give his best in both the sporting and schooling arenas.
September 16, 2010MOE Senior Specialist for CCA (Dance) Mr Peter Gn has had a full and colourful career with MOE, having choreographed for major events like the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF), National Day Parade and other key MOE events. His job also requires coming up with innovative programmes for students and teachers in dance CCAs, and forging alliances with local and international dance groups and organisations to create new platforms for dance performance.
August 19, 2010July 31 and August 1 marked an important weekend for some 20 students from APSN Chao Yang Special School and MINDS Fernvale Gardens School - they performed alongside their counterparts from mainstream schools at Ngee Ann City for the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF). This is the fifth year that the SYF has included students from special education schools, as part of an initiative to promote better understanding and foster friendship between students with special needs and students in mainstream schools.
July 27, 2010Primary education in Singapore is carried out over six years and is aimed at building strong foundations in languages (English and Mother Tongue), Mathematics and Science. Students also undergo lessons in moral education, physical education, and learn about art and interpersonal skills. The following suggestions may be helpful in giving parents mental preparation as you try to ensure that your child's education gets off to a good start.
July 5, 2010It's that time of the year again for Pri 1 registration. While it is known that all schools in Singapore have their own own strengths, parents may still cling to their opinions about their preferred school, thus stirring more anxiety around the registration process.
June 10, 2010The answers are out there, as Secondary students took to the field this June to discover how a good grasp of History and Geography helps one make sense of the world around them. The students emerged from a 3-day MOE Humanities Camp with first-hand insights and a deeper appreciation of the tools and techniques that historians and geographers use to understand the past and plan for the future.
June 4, 2010Continuing her interview on the sports in education, Ms Sum Chee Wah, MOE's Director of Education Programmes talk about boosting the professional development of PE teachers, promoting sports and the Olympic spirit through YOG-related programmes and how these activities make winners out of every participating student.
June 2, 2010Sports and games form a vital component of students' physical and mental development, and MOE therefore seeks to instill a love for sports as well as healthy sporting values among young people. In this interview, MOE's Director of Education Programmes, Ms Sum Chee Wah, shares her views on the role of sports in education as well as how the ministry is developing Singapore's young sporting talents and encouraging greater participation in physical activities.
May 24, 2010The barriers between mainstream pupils and children with special needs are being broken thanks to early intervention, better training for teachers and facilitated integration programmes. Many of these initiatives hail from research and proposals developed by the Psychological Services Branch of MOE's Education Programmes Division, where Dr Sharifah Mariam Aljunied works to find ways of helping more special needs pupils fit in better and learn alongside their mainstream peers.
May 21, 2010Bowling is one of the latest sports to get its own Joint Sports Academy, giving promising athletes from primary schools all over the island a centralised facility to train, compete and hone their abilities. For one young bowler, the chance to receive systematic coaching and pit her skills against older players has strengthened her resolve to aim higher and honour the warm support she gets from her schoolmates.
May 13, 2010Helping students become assured in speaking and adept in listening is a key goal of CL 'B' lessons at St Hilda's Secondary School, a CL 'B' centre for schools in the east zone. Audio clips and other examples from real life allow students to tune in to how Chinese Language works in authentic settings. Teachers also guide smaller classes where they can work on the difficulties faced by individual learners and more easily encourage the students to communicate using the language with their fellow schoolmates.
April 27, 2010Strength and rhythmic grace rule on the parallel bars and balance beam during the final rounds of the 2010 B Division Artistic Gymnastics Championship. We present a photo story of the action in tucked dismounts, wolf jumps and other backbending routines.
April 22, 2010The shattering of an 11-year-old 1500m record by Zachary Ryan Devaraj was one of the highlights of the National Inter-School Track and Field Championships, which took place on 14 April 2010. In this photo story, we bring you the highlights and moments of intensity that the athletes and spectators shared on the track at Chua Chu Kang Stadium.
April 8, 2010Special Education pupils such as Nurul Arina bte Abdullah sit in class alongside their normal peers, thanks to early diagnosis of their impairment and appropriate intervention strategies. Through satellite partnerships between Special Education schools and their mainstream counterparts, hearing impaired pupils get a shot at independent learning and a chance to lead a normal life and realise their academic potential.
February 5, 2010Find out more about what goes on at MOE's Pre-School Education Branch, through the eyes of Ms Carol Loi, Senior Head for Pre-School Administration and an active parent with young children.
December 31, 2009
From changes that add a holistic depth to primary education to a choice line-up of pathways for post secondary students, 2009 has been a busy one for the Ministry of Education (MOE). The seeds for a more well-rounded learning experience in primary schools were planted, while new institutions were launched, signalling exciting times ahead in local education.
2009 was also the year we celebrated the exuberance and talents of our youth, who wowed the crowds at the Asian Youth Games with their dazzling performances, inspiring volunteerism and outstanding sportsmanship.
As the new year begins, Schoolbag takes a look at some of the landmarks of Singapore education during the past 12 months.
December 24, 2009144 primary school athletes received certificates that marked the end of two years of intensive training to develop their sporting talents under the MOE-Junior Sports Academies (JSA) programme.
December 22, 2009
Most of us are familiar with the usual 'O' level subjects such as Mathematics and Chemistry. But what about an 'O' level subject in Physical Education (PE)?
Believe it or not, that's just what about twenty students at North Vista Secondary School sat for this October in a very special examination. For the school, it was also a major milestone as this was the first time that the students were taking their 'O' levels in a subject that develops and challenges both their physical and mental prowess.
July 30, 2009It was a night to remember. With a scrumptious dinner, dazzling performances and engaging games, the 2009 Asian Youth Games (AYG) Closing Ceremony provided close to a thousand youth athletes and officials an opportunity to come together and revel in their achievements and the friendship fostered.
After nine days, nine sports and 455 medals later, the inaugural AYG in Singapore came to a successful end on 7 July. While some athletes have excelled and others have had disappointments, their biggest achievement lies in the way everyone had embraced the spirit of Olympism and displayed true sportsmanship throughout the period of the Games.
While the Closing Ceremony held at Swissötel marked the end of the first ever youth multi-sports event in Asia, for the young athletes, this is just the beginning of an exciting journey ahead in sports.
Here's a closer look at what went on during the Closing Ceremony.
July 16, 2009
"It's my personal mission to make people laugh," declares Eugene Ng Ming Teck, recipient of the Outstanding Youth in Education Award (OYEA) 2009, "because when they laugh, it shows that they're happy, which in turn gives me joy."
This Jing Shan Primary School teacher loves using drama and "over-the-top" ways to make both pupils and colleagues laugh in school. He has assumed the roles of the God of Fortune and Big-headed Doll during the school's Lunar New Year celebrations. And he was not only part of the team that created Liger, the school mascot (a cross between a lion and tigress), he's also donned a furry "liger" suit complete with a long tail to play the role. "The children loved to pull my tail," he kids.
But what Mr Ng has accomplished as a teacher is not just entertaining his pupils - he also opens their eyes to the world beyond the school and how they can contribute to it.
July 14, 2009
"You never know what might hit them, or when - that's why I like to expose young people to as many activities as possible," says Mr Muhammad Rezal bin Ramli, one of the three recipients of the Outstanding Youth in Education Award 2009. What might hit them, he hopes, is a spark of interest or a cause, which would move the individual deeply to pursue it in what Mr Rezal calls "auto mode" - as an integral and natural part of his life.
For Mr Rezal, a geography teacher and Head of Student Leadership (Internal) at Ping Yi Secondary School, he was "hit" twice - first by tchoukball (a sport similar to handball) when he was an undergraduate, then by community service in 2006. In fact, he was so crazy about the former that he borrowed and set up the equipment in his university classroom, hoping to interest his friends in a game. Although no one took up his offer, Mr Rezal made a note of the game for future reference. After all, it would be suitable for schools as it is a non-contact sport, and can be attempted by players of all shape, size and ability.
July 7, 2009
For those unfamiliar with Pri 1 registration, you may have some questions on your mind. To help you out, here are a few FAQs:
July 1, 2009
You could feel the pulsating music and high octane energy the moment you stepped into the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Responding readily to the emcees’ request for “Let’s hear you scream!”, and participating wholeheartedly in the “wave” and mini-cheer contests, the audience was primed for an exciting line-up at the opening ceremony of the inaugural Asian Youth Games (AYG) 2009. Themed “Asia’s Youth, Our Future”, the AYG is the first multi-sport event for youth in the history of the Olympic Council of Asia. From 29 June to 7 July, it brings together some 1,400 outstanding athletes aged 14 to 17 from 43 National Olympic Councils (NOCs).
The climax of the ceremony was the arrival of the AYG torches at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. In the lead-up to this, the torch relays had passed through Singapore’s heartlands and Orchard Road on 28 June, as well as over 45 schools on 29 June. At 8.45 p.m. yesterday, the torches finally arrived at the Stadium, carried by Singapore’s own young athletes: swimmer Tao Li, bowler Remy Ong and shooter Jasmine Ser.
Accompanied by rapturous applause and cheers, the trio ran in unison up the stage and stepped toward the cauldron. As the platform slowly elevated the athletes and cauldron, they dipped their torches into the cauldron and lit the AYG flame just before 9pm. The simultaneous burst of pyrotechnics accompanied the electrifying start to the 1st AYG 2009 in Singapore.
Here's a closer look at some of the exuberant performances by Singapore students that marked the occasion.
June 16, 2009
Some say patience is a virtue.
Not for Yvonne Tan Hui Juan. For within the short space of one year and defying all expectations, the Pri 6 student from Yew Tee Primary School smashed her way from obscurity to be selected for training with the Singapore Badminton Association Junior Squad.
It's no mean feat, as Yvonne was the last participant to join the first batch of players from the MOE's Junior Sports Academies (JSA) programme in February 2008. But how this rapid rise in the court rankings occurred is itself a series of serendipitous events well worth telling.
June 13, 2009
Come join us this July in a celebration of our youth's vibrancy. As part of the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF), our students will be putting up a dazzling array of performances that will be a showcase of their talent, enthusiasm and energy.
Tickets have gone on sale at SISTIC for the Choral Presentation, Concert Band Presentation, Singapore National Youth Orchestra Concert, and the SYF Festival Orchestra Concert. There are also opportunities to revel in the beautiful music and the visual extravaganza of dances at the various free SYF outreach events.
June 2, 2009
A crescendo of lively squeals and noisy cheers fills the air as over a hundred pupils take their turn at five game stalls set up in a school sports hall that has been transformed into a carnival of colours.
At one stall, a pupil is visibly excited as he attempts to beat the clock by reading all the words on a given list within a short 30 seconds. Across the hall, another pupil has her brows in knots as she tries to figure out what letters represent the sound of a word being read to her by another schoolmate.
May 21, 2009
Jasper Lim is a young and talented exponent of Chinese martial arts.
Unfortunately, it's a skill that he would have loved to trade for a place in a Normal Academic (N(A)) class when he entered secondary school. For despite winning first place in an inter-school Wushu competition during Pri 6, Jasper's PSLE results were only good enough to qualify him in a Normal Technical (N(T)) course.
"When I was in primary school, I didn't study hard," admits Jasper.
Applying the discipline that honed his wushu skills to his studies, Jasper drew up a strict timetable to keep himself focused on his schoolwork. His hard work paid off when he was allowed to transfer to the N(A) course after half a year at Pioneer Secondary School.
April 24, 2009
"Why, not happy ah? Want to 'coral' is it?!"
No, this isn't about aquariums or environmentalists. It's a line from a video advertisement by Shuqun Primary School pupils that took one of the top prizes at this year's Schools Digital Media Awards. Of the 458 entries in digital video, animation and audio, 65 were honoured with prizes that recognised their creativity, ingenuity and team work.
March 18, 2009A quick glance at school buildings in Singapore might leave the impression that not much has changed in the last decade or so - but zoom in close on some primary schools and you might see a landscape that's surprisingly different from what most of us think a school looks like. Different types of classrooms and spaces are popping up, and learning doesn't have to take place only in a typical classroom set-up.
Looking at the design of primary school facilities was one of the priorities raised by the Primary Education Review and Implementation (PERI) Committee, which made its preliminary recommendations to MOE in January 2009. The idea is that primary schools ought to have spaces that facilitate engaged learning, both academic and non-academic. For example, they could have:
- Redesigned classrooms that encourage greater interaction and self-discovery;
- Outdoor experiential learning facilities for hands-on learning;
- Special rooms and facilities to support the new Programme for Active Learning, which would provide all pupils with the opportunity to participate in sports and outdoor education, and performing art and music.
February 27, 2009
Teachers aren't the only ones who can make a difference in schools. Mr Loo Sin Yew isn't a teacher, but at Balestier Hill Secondary School he's earned the admiration of both colleagues and parents for his willingness to go beyond his regular duties.
This was topped by his receiving an Excellent Service Award from SPRING Singapore in 2008, one of just seven award-winners from schools who received the award at Star level. Yet the modest corporate service officer says, "I was wondering what I had done to earn a nomination. I feel that all I've done is just part of my duty." It took some cajoling on our photographer's part to convince the quiet, reserved man to have his pictures taken.
February 24, 2009
Mention 'student discipline' in school and you'll immediately get a reaction from students. In fact, they'll probably make every effort to avoid anything to do with the term.
So when Mr Ganesan Arumugan, Discipline Master at Northland Primary School, heard he had been awarded the 2008 Excellent Service Award from SPRING Singapore, he could hardly contain his incredulity. Moreover, he was one of seven award-winners from schools who received the award at Star level.
"I never thought I'd get something like this because I'm the Discipline Master," says a bemused Mr Ganesan, who is also the Head of Department for Pupil Development. "I thought parents wouldn't like me because I'm firm when I'm dealing with them, or that students will hate me because I'm always telling them off."
December 23, 2008here.
An earlier version of this article was published in Lianhe Zaobao on 22 May 2007. For a Chinese version of this article, click here.
"The games I enjoy are bing zhua zei (cops and robbers) and laoying zhua xiaoji (the eagle catches the chicks)." "Mum enjoys going to WuJie Lu (Orchard Road). She says that is where she goes to guangjie (do shopping)." "Dad wants me to go next door to borrow the equipment we need for a barbecue party. How can I say this to the auntie next door in Chinese?"
It may not sound quite right to some ears, but these examples show how children actively build up their knowledge and fluency in the Chinese language. Many kids today grow up speaking English at home, so it's no mean feat to get them to use Chinese phrases and words readily in their daily routine.
If we want our children to reach their full potential, learning and practising Chinese must go on even after classes end each day. Children learn best in a supportive social environment with many opportunities to apply what they have learnt. With this in mind, the new primary school Chinese Language curriculum recognises the value of the broader community in fostering a lifelong habit of learning Chinese.
December 9, 2008
This is the ninth article in Schoolbag’s series of 10 features on the new primary school Chinese Language curriculum. Read the previous ones here.
An earlier version of this article was published in Lianhe Zaobao on 15 May 2007. For a Chinese version of this article, click here.
Mention “assessment” and pupils and parents alike will shudder at the thought of tests and examinations. Dreaded they may be, but exams remain vital tools to gauge the relative abilities of pupils. However, it’s also important to point out that written tests and examinations don’t provide the whole picture.
Learning is a continual process. Thus, instead of relying solely on formal exams, schools are increasingly turning to continual modes of assessment. Project work, learning portfolios, class reports or even classroom quizzes and group discussions complement written tests to give a more comprehensive view of pupils’ abilities. Pupils also get to display their strengths in different areas and feel less pressure from examinations.
November 28, 2008
November 19, 2008
If you know of exceptional young teachers who have demonstrated great efforts in motivating and inspiring our youth, The National Youth Council and The Ministry of Education invites you to honour their achievement by sending in nominations for the Outstanding Youth In Education Award.
The Award gives national recognition to young teachers who are actively involved in youth development and the role they play in moulding the future of our nation. These role models are educators who personify youthful idealism, energy, enthusiasm and play a critical role in developing our youths beyond the formal curriculum.
November 6, 2008
This is the eighth article in Schoolbag's series of 10 features on the new primary school Chinese Language curriculum. Read the previous ones here.
An earlier version of this article was published in Lianhe Zaobao on 8 May 2007. For a Chinese version of this article, click here.
Using mobile phones and computers, and surfing the Internet are second nature for children today. They grow up playing and communicating with friends and family using all sorts of digital devices.
So it's no surprise that when these same children enter the classroom, they readily learn through information technology (ICT). Leveraging on this interest, MOE has developed a comprehensive set of Digital Instructional Resources (DIR) to help teachers use IT in Chinese Language teaching. Designed to make learning more interesting for pupils, these wide-ranging interactive multimedia materials cover various aspects of the curriculum and complement the content of existing textbooks and activity books.
November 4, 2008
This is the seventh article in Schoolbag's series of 10 features on the new primary school Chinese Language curriculum. Read the previous ones here.
An earlier version of this article was published in Lianhe Zaobao on 1 May 2007. For a Chinese version of this article, click here.
How can you write if you know neither the words nor what to write about?
The ability to pen your thoughts is vital to mastering any language, including Chinese. But before a child can do so, he or she must be able to recognise the characters that make up the language, as well as understand how to use them in speech and writing.
That is why the new Chinese Language curriculum seeks an appropriate balance in its emphases on reading, writing, listening and speaking. Far from neglecting written composition, the curriculum provides a firm grounding in the skills needed to write in Chinese, be it letters to loved ones or sharing personal stories in essays.
October 28, 2008
This is the sixth article in Schoolbag's series of 10 features on the new primary school Chinese Language curriculum. Read the previous ones here.
An earlier version of this article was published in Lianhe Zaobao on 24 April 2007. For a Chinese version of this article, click here.
In his poem 'The Reading Mother', American poet Strickland Gillilan compares the superficial beauty of material wealth to the spiritual riches of a child whose mother reads to him. It's a concise reminder that the joy of reading a good book with one's family can foster good reading habits in children.
This applies to reading in Chinese too. Long wordlists and supplementary assignments used to dominate Chinese language learning in the past. But MOE's new Chinese language curriculum allows schools to make reading a core activity for pupils. And besides reading clubs and other school-based reading activities, parents too can play a vital role in getting their children to love reading in Chinese.
October 21, 2008
This is the fifth article in Schoolbag’s series of 10 features on the primary school Chinese Language curriculum. Read the previous ones here.
An earlier version of this article was published in Lianhe Zaobao on 10 April 08. For a Chinese version of this article, click here.
Chinese is both an ancient and living tongue, but how do we keep the language alive at home when many families now speak mainly English instead of Mandarin or Chinese dialects? With these and other changes in the social environment, many children are growing up unable to understand or communicate in Chinese until they go to school.
With this new challenge to educators, MOE’s new Chinese Language curriculum for primary schools now emphasises the acquisition of oral communication skills as the foundation for subsequent learning. At the lower primary levels, students start by listening to their teachers speak on interesting topics that grab the students’ attention and broaden their views. Next, students imitate the speaker and practise expressing themselves verbally. This allows teachers to gauge if a child has listened attentively and understood a particular topic or passage.
Beyond this, students can build up their verbal skills through four fun teaching activities: role-play, reciting, songs and exercises in public speaking.
October 21, 2008
"To teach is to learn twice" - this dictum rings especially true for Mdm Diana Ng Yee Ping, as she discovers each day how her career choice is shaping the future of young lives in school. A teacher at Coral Secondary School, Mrs Diana Lim (as she is known to her students and colleagues) is also a born-again student who is pursuing post-graduate studies to boost her effectiveness in class.
Given her dedication and contributions, one might have thought that Mrs Lim was born to be a teacher from the very beginning. But for this 40-year old who teaches General Science and Biology, teaching was a mid-career switch that has now yielded a wonderful reward: the 2008 President's Award for Teachers.
October 16, 2008
From language and literature to attending chapel, the speakers at a recent MOE-NLB Seminar for Parents addressed common concerns faced by parents of secondary school students.
Here's a recap of some of the queries posed during the Q&A session and the joint responses by Mrs Patricia Chong, a MOE Parent Ambassador, and Mrs Mary Koh, Principal of Greendale Secondary School. Read Part 1 of the Q&A (about school admission and cut-off points) here.
October 14, 2008
From cut-off points to choosing between IP and normal schools, a cascade of questions greeted the speakers at a recent MOE-NLB Seminar for Parents. Held in September at the Woodlands Regional Library, the event provided about 100 participants with information and advice on selecting a secondary school to suit their child's needs and interests.
After her presentation, MOE Parent Ambassador Mrs Patricia Chong, together with Mrs Mary Koh, Principal of Greendale Secondary School, patiently tackled questions from parents about the options available for secondary school education. Here's a selection of questions and the answers given by Mrs Chong and Mrs Koh.
October 7, 2008
What do you do with a boy who “could not care less”? Who keeps failing his maths and science and makes mischief in class? Who skips school for days and whose folks have never attended a single parent-teacher meeting?
The easy way out would be to give up on him, but Mrs Lee Kok Hong was moved to give a little extra time and care to this boy. Learning that he came from a broken home, suffered from leg injuries and had no one to turn to, the Temasek Primary School teacher effectively became his godmother in school. She lent him a listening ear and guided him back to class, earning for her efforts a solemn promise that he would pass his Mathematics and Science at the PSLE.
Mrs Lee’s concern for this pupil’s education and emotional plight sums up her passion for her pupils and firm belief that “teaching is not just about providing book knowledge.” Her outlook is no doubt shared by the two other winners of the 2008 President’s Award for Teachers, who with Mrs Lee received the award from President S.R. Nathan on 1 September at the Istana.
September 26, 2008
CCAs extended to P1 and P2 students to better develop leadership qualities and mould their characters. Innovative pedagogical approaches both in and out of the classroom to develop lifeskills and values in the young. Single-session primary schools that allow creative and flexible time-tabling within the curriculum, and schools possibly starting the day slightly later.
These were the broad directions of the review at MOE’s annual Work Plan Seminar on Thursday, 25 Sep 08 where Minister Ng Eng Hen said more could be done to inculcate lifeskills and values in the young, starting from primary education.
September 18, 2008
Step into Mrs Eileen Ong-Chua Li Ling’s Mathematics class and you can expect a life-changing experience. For apart from helping pupils make sense of numbers and equations, Mrs Ong (as she’s known to her colleagues and pupils) peppers her lessons with anecdotes from real life that drive home lasting values and formulae for a fruitful future.
Mrs Ong’s winning blend of maths and motivation has touched so many lives that the Haig Girls’ School teacher was named one of three recipients of the 2008 President’s Award for Teachers. This annual award honours teachers who have demonstrated outstanding passion, innovation and dedication, and is based on nominations by students, parents and fellow teachers.
September 16, 2008previous ones here.
An earlier version of this article was published in Lianhe Zaobao on 10 April 08. For a Chinese version of this article, click here.
“Look, Ma! I can write ‘hand’ in Chinese! Today, Mrs Lee also taught me to recognise the characters that form the word ‘homework’. It’s so easy to remember just by learning the parts that make up each character!”
Hands up, all who’d welcome such enthusiasm from your child after school everyday. Thanks to the new Primary 1 and Primary 2 Chinese Language curriculum, such scenes could be happening in homes already. For primary school children, even those from English-speaking homes, learning Chinese can now be both easy and exciting, as well as an experience that they truly relish.
So what’s changed?
September 12, 2008
In some fairy tales, dreams do come true. At the LSP (Learning Support Programme) Fest on 22 August, the student playing Goldilocks stood up with bold assurance to address her schoolmate playing Little Bear - who would’ve thought that this budding young actress had not been able to read at all when she started primary school a year ago? Likewise, no one would have guessed that the Bee who engaged the Ant in a chirpy chat was played by a once shy and withdrawn little girl who rarely uttered a word.
As they brought their favourite stories to life with colourful costumes, lively acting and a palpable sense of enthusiasm, these Pri 2 pupils exuded confidence and verbal fluency in English. Their achievement on stage during the LSP Fest is a tribute to the success of the LSP, which provides specialised support for Pri 1 pupils with weak English speaking and literacy skills.
September 4, 2008
This is the third article in Schoolbag’s series of 10 features on the primary school Chinese Language curriculum. Read the previous ones here.
An earlier version of this article was published in Lianhe Zaobao on 3 April 2007. For a Chinese version of this article, click here.
Vive la différence! Why should all schools be the same? Every child is unique and would learn more avidly if his or her education is tailored to draw out his or her full potential.
The good news is that primary schools now have more flexibility when it comes to teaching the Chinese language. The new Chinese Language curriculum not only brings changes to key learning processes and outcomes (as we saw in previous articles), it also allows schools to adapt part of the curriculum to the specific needs of their students. Depending on how they best learn, students might find themselves poring over colourfully illustrated guidebooks, exploring the flavours of rare Chinese herbs or pursuing a story as a student reporter.
August 28, 2008
“But it’s homework!” That’s what your children might insist the next time you catch them blogging on the Internet instead of slogging at their worksheets. And they’d probably be right. There’s no escaping technology in today’s connected world, and Singapore schools are gearing up to give students a head start on the skills and tools they’ll need in a society that values creativity and connectivity.
Blogging was just one of the new waves in the education landscape highlighted at this year’s International Conference on Teaching and Learning with Technology (iCTLT). More than 1,800 international delegates gathered at Suntec City to hear how teachers and schools across the world are using new technologies to enhance the learning experience.
August 18, 2008
This is the second article in Schoolbag’s series of 10 features on the primary school Chinese Language curriculum. Read the first one here.
An earlier version of this article was published in Lianhe Zaobao on 27 March 2007. For a Chinese version of this article, click here.
Parents may naturally think that their children’s experiences in school are, when you get down to the basics, just like their own. But times have changed, and we educators must likewise adapt to a new generation of learners so that we can remain effective teachers.
When it comes to teaching the Chinese language, one major change is that unlike in earlier decades, many children now grow up in families speaking mainly, or even only, English. Thus, we are seeing more fresh Pri 1 students who have no exposure to the Chinese language. However, there are also students who have some foundation in the language.
How then can we teach all our Pri 1 students and bring them up to speed together?
August 8, 2008
- Choosing a secondary school and supporting your child in secondary school
- The secondary school system
- Tips for parents to encourage reading
August 5, 2008
This article is the first of a series of 10 features on the new Chinese Language curriculum. The series was first published in Lianhe Zaobao from March 2007. For a Chinese version of this article, click here.To understand the new Chinese Language modular curriculum for primary schools, you can start by looking at the four principles that anchor the curriculum:
- “Listen and Speak More”;
- “Recognise Characters Effectively”;
- “Follow on with Reading and Writing"; and “
- “Enjoy Chinese Language Learning”.
July 28, 2008
July 25, 2008
July 23, 2008International Conference on Teaching and Learning with Technology (iCTLT), an exhibition open to the public will showcase some of the best education practices found in this digital-learning age. Schoolbag takes a quick preview of what some schools will be showing off during the exhibition from 5 to 6 August 2008 at Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
July 18, 2008
July 16, 2008
July 14, 2008
July 4, 2008
July 2, 2008
June 23, 2008ExCEL Fest 2008 at the Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
May 29, 2008
May 2, 2008Direct School Admission - Secondary Exercise (DSA-Sec), to take to the stage as well as pursue her studies at St Margaret's Secondary School.
April 9, 2008Direct Polytechnic Admission (DPA) exercise.
April 7, 2008
April 4, 2008
March 19, 2008School of Science and Technology, Singapore (SST), which will offer “a new option for students who are likely to be university-bound, but who want a solid academic foundation and immersion in real-world applications,” said Minister for Education, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, at this year’s Budget Debate.
February 11, 2008
February 6, 2008
February 4, 2008
January 25, 2008
December 24, 2007
December 18, 2007
December 13, 2007
December 11, 2007If you still think that the way to academic and career success is a single straight and narrow path, think again. As the world becomes more complex and multi-faceted, Singapore is likewise charting a broader choice of educational routes. In this brave new era of World•Singapore, young Singaporeans will be able to fulfil their personal potential while meeting the challenges of a world steeped in culture and competition.
October 24, 2007
October 22, 2007
October 19, 2007
October 3, 2007Liberal arts training, specialised programmes or technical skills - the jury is still out on the exact nature of Singapore’s fourth publicly-funded university, and possibly a fifth. But the good news is, Singaporeans can now look forward to more university places, more universities, and a broader range of courses to choose from.
October 1, 2007Malay and Bahasa Indonesia - these are two languages that we may hear more students speaking in the near future. At the National Day Rally 2007, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about how Singaporeans need to equip themselves early with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively engage regional and global counterparts. In particular, Singaporeans should make the effort to learn Malay and Bahasa Indonesia to better understand our neighbours and seize the opportunities available in the region.
September 24, 2007On 30 August 2007, four teachers (out of 1,320 teachers nominated) were conferred the President’s Award for Teachers - the highest accolade in the teaching profession. Learn more about each of these dynamic and creative individuals and how they’ve connected so well with their students
September 24, 2007
September 24, 2007
September 24, 2007
September 14, 2007
Think National Education and most people think of dry historical facts about Singapore, recited ad nauseam till one passes out from sheer boredom. Such misconceptions will surely be dispelled by the plethora of lively games, activities and approaches that were on show at the Network Conference held at Suntec Convention Centre on 14 August 2007. From fun-filled educational tours to digital games to World War II military paraphernalia, there was something for every school and teacher to make stories about Singapore come alive for their students.
Even graffiti art was par for the course. Mohamed Kamal Bin Dollah, a graffiti artist and part-time lecturer at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts as well as founder of Bob Associates, took part in the accompanying exhibition, explaining how he teaches students graffiti art and helps them to create wall murals in their schools based on NE-related themes - graffiti-style, but with the school’s stamp of approval, of course. In the process, he also teaches “art and crime”, educating students on the difference between art and vandalism, and cites the 1994 story of the caning of Michael Fay, whom many students today are not aware of.
September 12, 2007
Adults may take the ability to read for granted, but it doesn’t always come easily to children just starting out in formal education. For primary school teachers who come across pupils who face problems with reading, there’s a certain urgency in wanting to help them before they get so demoralised that they give up on school altogether.
Enter the Learning Support Coordinators (LSCs), a specially trained group of teachers who carry out reading intervention strategies to help weak readers close the gap in their learning.
September 11, 2007
“Did you recognise my voice?” “Don’t you think I was the perfect hero?” Students who visit the MOE Malay language website Nadi may hear a familiar voice or two relating stories from long ago, or spot their friends and schoolmates in the video clips. That’s because so many schools and pupils have chipped in to submit their stories, clips and other creative works to the revamped website.
For example, Nadi (which means “pulse”) receives regular contributions from teachers who send in pupils’ compositions and school news. These contributions not only boost the website’s content, they also provide a useful channel for pupils to get access to good ideas and assignments. What’s more, pupils can learn about the latest happenings about their peers in other schools.
September 3, 2007The excitement was palpable as students who were viewing the gallery engaged in animated conversation. As they moved from exhibit to exhibit, the guests were filled with awe and fascination at the artworks in their spectacular mélange of colours and textures. The exhibition, titled ‘AEPtitude’, is a biennial event organised by MOE to showcase works by Art Elective Programme (AEP) students. AEPtitude was held from 26 July to 6 August at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.
August 27, 2007Sony Creative Science Award (SCSA).
August 10, 2007
“Because I am a woman, for every one dollar that a man earns, I get 71 cents,” opened Jazlyn Chua of Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC). “I don’t stand for that, and I hope you don’t either!”
Jaslyn’s impassioned plea, as the second proposition speaker for “Affirmative Action in Response to Historical Injustices”, exemplified the vocal prowess and reasoned precision shown at the grand finals of the 2007 MOE Invitational Debating Championship (MIDC). The students certainly didn’t pull any punches when it came to scrutinising the issues in lively verbal exchanges.
August 5, 2007
“Fewer labels, less confusion” says one parent. “Makes no difference to me - my child is already studying Higher Mother Tongue, and she’s in the Express stream,” says another. These were some of the typical parents’ reactions when they learned that from 2008, the Special stream will be merged with the Express stream.
Perhaps the parents’ nonchalance is understandable with the diminishing differences between the two streams over the years. When the Special stream was introduced in 1979, it was then meant to be a separate course for the top 10 per cent of the PSLE cohort. These students could offer Higher Chinese Language at Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools, where students study English and Chinese as first languages.
Over the years, however, the prerequisites for offering Higher Chinese Language - and Higher Mother Tongue in general - have been gradually relaxed to cater to a changing education landscape.
July 16, 2007A national-level award, the Public Service STAR Service Award is conferred annually on public officers for their excellence in service delivery. Three 2007 winners from MOE - Mrs Ng Wei San, Mdm Noraini Yusoff and Mr Choo Boon Chiao Albert - received their awards on 10 July 2007. Here, they share why providing good service is an important element in their job.
July 9, 2007A China Everyday programme where old boys share accounts of life and culture in China, a student-produced podcast, and an international science fair - these are some of the initiatives in our schools that have brought about a more lively approach to learning, and helped these schools to win MOE’s Thinking Culture Award 2007 (TCA).
July 6, 2007
How can educators use interactive digital media (IDM) to enhance learning? That was the central question explored at the 2007 Curriculum Forum, where principals and vice principals were treated to a kaleidoscope of presentations by schools and organisations about exciting IDM-based teaching resources, from games and podcasting to interactive textbooks.
Held on 7 May 2007 at Republic Polytechnic (RP), and jointly organised by MOE, Republic Polytechnic and Infocomm Development Authority, the theme for this bi-annual event was “Engaging Learning - IDM Limited and Unlimited”. Participants caught a glimpse of some of the imaginative possibilities IDM offers that can enhance teaching and learning, while they were also reminded of the challenges that come with the proliferation of IDM.
July 6, 2007'Redesigning Pedagogy: Culture, Knowledge and Understanding Conference 2007' in Singapore, there is solid empirical evidence from both Singapore and overseas to show that the student-centred approach works better in the longer term.
July 4, 2007