WALS2012: School Visits

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International delegates who are interested to learn more about Singapore schools, may opt to register for the school visit programme which will be hosted on the third day of the conference - 30 November 2012. Listed below are the three school options to choose from. These three schools are active in developing professional learning communities in their schools through Lesson Study. Please note that the school visits will take place during the school vacation period and there will not be any live lessons to observe. There will however, be the opportunity to dialogue with the school leaders; listen to teachers’ presentations and get insights into the Lesson Study experiences in the schools. Visitors may also look forward to learn more about the Singapore education system in general, the special programmes and initiatives conducted by the schools, and learn more about both the physical and IT infrastructure of the schools. The itinerary for the school visit is as follows:

How to register for school visit programme?

To register for the school visit programme, simply login to www.walsnet.org, register for the conference and select from one of the drop-down options under the “School Visit” category.

A: North Vista Primary School

B: Broadrick Secondary School

C: Hillgrove Secondary School

North Vista Primary School

North Vista Primary SchoolNorth Vista Primary is located in East Singapore and was established in year 2008. It is characterised as a vibrant elementary school which envisions the development of a “Community of Learners @ the School of the Future”. The school propagates the notion of Community of Learners which is undergirded by the view of the child as protagonist; the teacher as researcher; the environment as a third teacher and parents/community as partners.

The school’s curriculum is inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy. Teachers engage in curriculum design using the “Understanding by Design (UbD) framework and develops interdisciplinary themes based on the International Baccalaureate programme. To support teachers in their curriculum design endeavours, teachers engage in Action Research, Learning Circles and Lesson Studies. These platforms provide the opportunity for teachers’ reflection and continuous learning.

To learn more about North Vista Primary, visit their website at this link: http://www.northvistapri.moe.edu.sg/

Broadrick Secondary School

Broadrick Secondary SchoolBroadrick Secondary is a government school located in Central Singapore with a vision “to nurture achievers with strength of character”. It serves students between 13 to 17 years old and offers a wide variety of co-curricular activities which includes Air-rifle, Taekwondo, Concert Band, the Performing Arts groups. Broadrick Secondary received the MOE Academic Value Added Award in three consecutive years from 2009 to 2011. This award recognises the school’s capacity in supporting students to achieve higher academic results in comparison to their results in pre-secondary education.

Recently, a programme initiative called “English Breakfast with SPICE” was developed. This morning assembly programme integrates, English language learning with Character Education and promotes reflexive thinking. Exposing students to latest news headlines and important current affairs issues, the programme aims to raise students’ awareness of both local and global issues. With the inclusion of an online reflection platform, students are also encouraged to pen their views on the topics that resonate with their hearts.

Broadrick also strives to be a strong Professional Learning Community where professional development (PD) is both teacher-led and teacher-driven. To encourage teachers to collaborate, research, use data and inquire about their own instructional practices as well as students’ learning behaviours, the school has embarked on a school-wide Lesson Study approach. Broadrick taps on the elements of Lesson Study to build cultural norms that underpin school improvements. Currently, there are 14 Professional Learning Teams (PLT) that are actively engaged in professional inquiry using Lesson Study. These groups present their results and findings at the school’s annual Learning Symposium and selected projects also present at WALS conferences. To deepen and sustain the Lesson Study approach in the school, in-house training by expert teachers and E-learning are provided to allow teachers to learn at their own pace and comfort. Topics on Web 2.0 tools which stresses on independent and collaborative learning as well as Assessment for Learning are also covered during PD sessions to help teachers design more engaging and student-centric lessons.

To learn more about Broadrick Secondary, visit their website at this link: http://www.broadricksec.moe.edu.sg/

Hillgrove Secondary School

Hillgrove Secondary SchoolHillgrove Secondary is a government school located in Western Singapore. The school serves students from Secondary 1 to Secondary 5 whose ages range between 13 to 17 years old. The school’s vision is to develop every Hillgrovian into a person who “Continually learns with passion and the spirit to do one’s best, Cares for the needs of self, peers, family, others, environment and Singapore, Makes a difference through the use of knowledge, talents and leadership.”

Emphasis is placed on developing an inclusive, caring environment undergirded by firm discipline. The school has embarked on strategies such as Circle Time, class “Big Breakfast” and Restorative Practices to foster a positive, family-like school culture. There is focus on developing 21st century skills with all students required to complete interdisciplinary projects and given at least two overseas learning opportunities trips to expand their worldview. In 2012 for example, the school sent a delegate of teachers and students to Japan in collaboration with Mutsumi Junior High School.

Some of the special programmes offered by the school include: Mathematics Olympiad, Public Speaking Period, Flight and Aviation Programme, and Careers Day.

At Hillgrove Secondary, each and every staff member plays a pivotal role in enhancing student learning through the school’s learning community. Professional Development opportunities for teachers are aplenty and one of the central tenets of the PD programme is teachers’ growth-in-practice through Lesson Study. Through close collaboration with regional educational consultants like Mr. Masaaki Sato (Japan) and Assistant Professor Eisuke Saito from the Singapore’s National Institute of Education, the school strives to use Lesson Study to grow the Learning Community amongst its staff members.

To learn more about Hillgrove Secondary, visit their website at this link: http://www.hillgrovesec.moe.edu.sg/

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