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Bringing out the leader in every child

31 Mar 2017

P5 via 5 (1)

Some days during recess time at Horizon Primary School, Primary Four and Five students would take turns to inspect the toilets. Why so?

As part of a Fresh Me Up Project, a cohort-wide project for Values-in-Action to instil independence, the students would ensure that the toilets are clean, before they proceed for their recess break. And if they discover faults, they would report it to the general office.

The students are also in charge of coming up with the checklist they use during their inspections, as well as posters that advocate restroom etiquette.

The objective of the routine is also for students to learn to be proactive and take charge of their own lives. “We want them to learn that if they are able to do something that’s within their control, they should do the task instead of waiting for an adult to help,” explains Mrs Wendy Chew, Head of Department for Character and Citizenship Education at Horizon Primary School.

The project is part of the six-year I-LEAD programme, where students learn important life lessons and values throughout their primary school lives.

Primary Two students also learn how to perform household chores such as folding laundry and washing the dishes, so that they can help their parents at home.

The wide-ranging I-LEAD programme is not just about technical life skills though. Students also learn values such as compassion and respect, as well as life skills such as time management and prioritising important tasks. Teachers would help the students internalise the skills through role-playing, story-telling and songs.

“We want every child to be a leader – and the definition of a leader is that everyone will be leaders of themselves, not leaders in terms of appointment.  Our parents have been supportive of the programme and they see their child practicing what they have learned,” says Mrs Chew.

For some students, they have discovered positive ways to apply what they have learned outside of school.

For Primary Five student Nynn Loh, she has learned to be more proactive in her relationship with family members. “Sometimes when I had disagreements with my brother, I would complain to my parents,” she shares. “But now, I try to be proactive and sort things out with him amicably.”

Nynn’s schoolmate Nicholas Lim shares that through lessons in school on household chores, he has also learned to empathise with his busy parents. “If my parents want me to help them out at home, I’ll gladly do so in whatever way I can,” the Primary Five student shares. “It’s about putting myself in their shoes – they are working hard for us.”