Staff Professional Development
The Staff Professional Development (SPD) Committee aims to develop passionate and professional staff who lead, care and inspire with the desired Singapore teacher outcomes for the 21st Century in line with the Teacher Growth Model. The SPD committee, which comprises the School Staff Developer, 2 Lead Teachers and 6 Senior Teachers, has been instrumental in driving professional development (PD) of staff alongside various structures, systems and processes that have been put in place over the years.
Staff Professional Development
The SPD committee organises a mid-year and year-end Staff PD Day, in addition to the ad-hoc staff PD workshops during term time for just-in-time learning of new initiatives. In 2018, one of the areas of focus was the adoption of the Singapore Teaching Practice. Through conversation packages, teachers were engaged in examining students’ motivation to learn and using questions effectively in the classroom. The SPD committee works with the Student Development Team (SDT) and the ICT committee to ensure that teachers experience a holistic PD programme each year. Teachers went through a two-day social skills training in March and two sessions of Education and Career Guidance (ECG) workshops in February and July. These workshops organised by the SDT help to equip our form teachers with the knowledge and competencies to build social skills in our students and better guide them in ECG.
Beginning teachers and their mentors
As one of the prototype schools under the MOE Skilful Teaching and Enhanced Mentoring (STEM) programme, the school continues to place a strong emphasis on the quality of the induction and development of beginning teachers. 5 of our teacher leaders were trained as Instructional Mentors to journey with our beginning teachers and build them up to become competent and confident teachers. Our school also has a structured process for peer observations. Teachers open their classrooms to one another and pick up good practices as they observe their peers’ lessons. Our Lead Teachers lead the school in pedagogical innovation and are also actively engaged in professional learning beyond the school at zonal and national level. One of our lead teachers, Ms Teng Siew Lee, has been conferred the Associate of Academy of Singapore Teachers award in 2018 for the third year running. She will be appointed as Master Teacher and will serve at the Academy of Singapore Teachers from 2019. Congratulations to Ms Teng!
Professional Learning Community
Since 2010, the school has established itself as a Professional Learning Community (PLC), which is a whole school approach to enhancing student learning through teacher collaboration in professional learning. In their Professional Learning Teams (PLT) which meet once a week, teachers share best practices, generate ideas, research an area of interest and collectively strengthen their professional practice. The PLTs share their learning at our year-end Staff PD Day and have also presented their work at various external platforms such as the International Conference of Teaching and Learning with Technology (ICTLT). Our Malay Language PLT attained a Bronze for the MOE Innergy Awards 2018, which serve to recognise school-based innovations in the education service.
Hands-on activity at the year-end Staff PD Day
Key Learning Programmes
· Assessment Literacy - Our school has completed a 3-year Assessment Literacy journey with MOE Curriculum Planning Office (CPO) since 2016 to implement a whole school approach in developing staff competencies in assessment, with the focus on Assessment for Learning. The Assessment Literacy Team comprising members from the SPD Committee has been ably helping teachers develop assessment competencies and implement assessment principles in the classrooms. All teachers also attend AST assessment literacy modules as well as school-based assessment workshops. CPO officers visit the school every year to provide consultancy and advice in our progress.
· Whole School Approach to Effective Communication (WSA-EC) -Our school has been on the WSA-EC journey with the support of the English Language Institute of Singapore (ELIS) since 2017. Trained teachers are able to more effectively guide and support students to achieve the desired learning outcomes, communicate subject knowledge more clearly and effectively to students, and ensure students effectively communicate subject content knowledge and clearly articulate their perspectives, reasoning and conclusions. The PD focus is on language and literacy in subject classrooms, opening up talk for learning, and integrating talk with writing. The WSA-EC Committee, comprising EC Champions from various IP departments, drives the project through participation in ELIS training workshops, sharing of strategies at PD day, and organising school-based customised programmes and activities to meet teachers’ and students’ needs in EL and all English-medium subjects.
· Thinking Routines – Our school has adopted Making Thinking Visible as a key pedagogy for some years and all teachers are familiar with at least a few thinking routines. To sustain this endeavour, all teachers who just joined our school are given the opportunity to attend a Making Thinking Visible workshop at the British Council. Teachers also learn from their fellow teachers how they use thinking routines in their classrooms through peer lesson observations.
· ICT – With the rollout of the Student Learning Space (SLS), teachers are trained to make use of this platform to engage students in learning using technology. A workshop was conducted in June to familiarise teachers with SLS. Through the active learning process, teachers learnt how to activate learning, promote thinking and discussion, monitor and provide feedback to their students with the use of technology.