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In alignment with the school motto, the Student Development Team (SDT) carefully designs a ‘Realising the Star Within’ learning experience to support the delivery of the North Star Education Programme (NSEP) for the holistic development of students. It seeks to provide varied and authentic opportunities for North Stars to develop their character, social-emotional competencies and the emerging 21st Century Competencies. To achieve studentcentricity, specific learning experiences are designed to meet the developmental and progression needs of North Stars at each level.
The STAR Programme
A signature level-wide programme as part of providing a ‘Realising the Star Within’ learning experience for all students in each level. This level-wide programme is developed to enable each North Star realise his/her potential to the fullest.
In 2017, all students went through level-wide activities as part of our STAR Programme during the last three days of Term 1.
Sec 1: Seek Out Your Strengths
The Sec 1 Star Programme was designed to enable our North Stars to discover and develop their strengths and talents, as well as communication skills through various engaging workshops, hands-on activities and games. Students also learnt good social skills, including giving compliments, making positive self-statements and how they could disagree with others in an appropriate manner. They were, therefore, able to communicate more effectively and build stronger relationships with one another. The programme culminated on the third day when our North Stars were expected to apply all that they had learnt in an Island Conquest. In this structured experience, they had to collaborate in their teams by leveraging on one another’s talents to conquer the island! It was evident that they had great fun discovering their own strengths, affirming their friends and bonding with their classmates in the three days.
Sec 2: Take Responsibility
To raise the awareness of our North Stars of the responsibility they have in contributing to a green environment, the school arranged for talks and workshops conducted by NEA and Sustainable Living Lab, as part of the Green Compass Programme (GCP). Students tried their hands at upcycling by creating new artefacts from used items, such as used papers, old clothes and plastic bottles. To better appreciate the natural environment, students also travelled to Sengkang Floating Wetland for their Science Outdoor Learning Experience (SOLE), where they learnt about the Singapore Water Story and the Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Water Trail. They investigated the water quality and understood the importance of maintaining good water quality and the biodiversity in Sengkang Floating Wetland. North Stars also went on National Education Learning Journeys to ‘Reflections at Bukit Chandu’, Kranji War Memorial and the newly re-opened ‘Surviving the Japanese Occupation: War and its Legacies’, where they learnt about the Japanese Occupation in Singapore during World War II. One of the highlights was participating in a ceremony to honour the men and women from the Commonwealth who died in the line of duty during World War II. That solemn moment certainly got our North Stars reflecting upon their roles as responsible citizens of Singapore!
Sec 3: Adopt an Enterprising Spirit
Our Sec 3 North Stars embarked on a local adventure camp at the Boys Brigade/Girls Brigade Sembawang Campsite. Students were provided with authentic opportunities to step out of their comfort zone and develop resilience in overcoming challenges. The various individual challenges included Zip-line, Abseiling, and the Challenge Rope Course. These high elements challenged the students to overcome their fears with the support and encouragement from peers and teachers. Another important component of the camp which promoted teamwork and collaboration is the teambased activities, such as Hike ‘N Hunt, Problem Solving, Tent Pitching and Field Cooking. Through these activities and social interactions, our North Stars rediscovered themselves and their friends in the new environment and through these authentic experiences. Despite lacking creature comforts, the North Star spirit remained high throughout the three days; it culminated on the second night when everyone gathered around the campfire to put up their creative class performances. The students certainly had a memorable and enriching camp, where many stepped out of their comfort zone to embrace new experiences and challenges!
Sec 4 & 5: Ready For The World
This is a programme specially designed for the graduating students with the aim of equipping them with the necessary knowledge, life-skills and attitude to be ready for the world after graduation. Day 1 was focused on helping students discover who they are. The North Stars went through workshops to develop their self-awareness, self-esteem and also their personal ‘brand’. They also had a lively interaction with an alumnus of CVSS, Mr Darren Lee, who shared vivid analogies to inspire his juniors. Day 2 provided our North Stars with opportunities to explore options for post-secondary education and career pathways. This was first done through an interview with alumni who are professionals from different sectors, such as banking and aerospace. Whilst the Normal Technical course students embarked on a learning journey to the Lifelong Learning Institute to explore career choices, the remaining students attended talks on courses that they were interested in, conducted by invited speakers from various post-secondary educational institutions. On the final Day 3, North Stars were led through an exciting structured experience, called “Modern Ninja Warriors”, to strengthen the ‘Entrepreneurial Dare’ in them. As the scores of the teams were projected “live”, they tried their best to improve their scores continually by changing their mindsets and engaging in collaboration and teamwork.
North Star Pledge
The North Star Pledge was conceived and introduced to develop in our North Stars a growth mindset and strengthen their resilience through four simple yet impactful “I will” statements. These statements were crafted to embody the essence of our school culture and ethos. This pledge is taken by the students at the start of every school term to frame their minds and guide their behaviour. It is our desire that our students would be ingrained with this positive mindset to live it out in their daily lives, so that they can learn, grow, succeed and shine as a North Star.
Social Skills Training
2017 is the first year our school embarked on social skills training to give our North Stars a social skills boost. This involved explicit skills teaching and reinforcement to develop pro-social and effective learning behaviours in students, on top of the school-based CCE curriculum. The skills taught covered themes of relationships, self-management and learning. All our Secondary One students went through three skills-Making positive self-statements, Giving Compliments, & Disagreeing appropriately, while selected Secondary Two and Three classes were taught other relevant skills depending on areas of need. Although the students felt a little awkward when they were first given the opportunity to practise these skills, they enjoyed the activities, such as role play and games, which allowed them to internalise the newly acquired skills better.