Despite being rated as a world class education system for many years running, our Singapore brand of education has not slowed down in its quest to continue improving and being relevant for the VUCA environment. In June 2017, our teaching fraternity celebrated and welcomed the “birth” of our very own Singapore Teaching Practice (STP), a gift to all Singapore educators. The STP is meant to be an enduring Model of Teaching and Learning to provide the professional language and common reference point for Singapore educators to examine our beliefs about education, our pedagogical practices and also to plan for our professional development.
I am proud to say that at Zhonghua, we, too, have been inspired to continuously re-examine our educational beliefs and practices. We welcome the STP as it resonates strongly with our own school ideals. We want our teachers to develop professional excellence and to experience the Joy of Teaching so they in turn can bring about the Joy of Learning among the pupils. We also want our teachers to help build Entrepreneurial Dare and Strengthen the Singapore Spirit among the pupils so our charges can have skills and competencies that will help them thrive in a complex future. Making continuous improvement is an uphill task…but we are motivated by the promise of the view from the top for our pupils.
Joy of Learning will come when our pupils find meaning in their learning and are motivated and challenged. In planning for our total curriculum we endeavour to seek out and plan our learning activities according to our pupils’ needs and interests so they will take ownership of their learning and are more intrinsically motivated to improve and to build self-confidence.
Entrepreneurial Dare involves allowing our pupils the space to play, to take risks, to learn from their mistakes and from one another and be confident in expressing their views. We believe that activities that promote play while learning will make our pupils unafraid to fail and confident to try new things.
Strengthening of the Singapore Spirit is about allowing our pupils to work with people around them in a culture of care and mutual respect so our pupils can learn to appreciate diversity and deepen their sense of belonging to their community.
For 2018, we will continue our journey of making improvement…..of making learning joyful and meaningful for our pupils. Indeed our children’s learning should be looked upon as a journey that is helping them to prepare for their tomorrow. As we plan for the development of our children, we continue to remind ourselves to not be too over-focussed on the finishing line such that we fail to help our children find joy in their journey of learning.
Mdm Rostinah Mohamad Said