Staff Professional Development
Our school strongly believes that the quality of our school experience cannot exceed the quality of our teachers. Staff professional development is hence taken seriously and recognised as a key lever in enabling the school to achieve its vision and strategic goals. The Staff Professional Development (SPD) committee comprising the School Staff Developer, 2 Lead Teachers and 4 Senior Teachers has been instrumental in driving professional development 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 regularly, in addition to the ad-hoc staff PD day during term time for just-in-time learning of new initiatives. At the year-end staff PD day in 2017, the SPD Committee facilitated the roll-out of the Singapore Teaching Practice (STP) in our school - a model that makes explicit how effective teaching and learning can be achieved through knowledge bases and pedagogical practices, anchored on the Singapore Curriculum Philosophy.
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. All our teacher leaders are trained as Instructional Mentors to establish a culture of mentoring. Our school also has a structured process for peer observations. Teachers open their classrooms to one another and share their application of learning as their colleagues visit and observe their 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 2017 for the second year running.
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. Some PLTs also collaborate with external partners in learning, for example, the Math PLT collaborated with CPDD Math Unit on piloting ICT resources created for independent learning. The PLTs share their learning at our year-end Staff Professional Development (PD) Day and have also presented their work at various external platforms such as International Conference of Teaching and Learning with Technology (ICTLT) and AST Teacher-led workshops/Edulab. For MOE Innergy Awards 2017, our Geography and History/Social Studies PLT won a Bronze and Commendation award respectively.
In September 2017, the Director-General of Education, Mr Wong Siew Hoong, chose CVSS as one of the schools to visit to have a better understanding of how PLC is carried out in schools. He was briefed on our PLC journey and noted the choice given to teachers to join a PLT of their interest. He also observed several of our PLTs in action and was impressed with the quality of conversations among the PLT members.
Key Learning Programmes
- Assessment Literacy - Our school has embarked on a 3-year Assessment
Literacy Project 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. An
Assessment Project Team (APT) comprising members from the SPD Committee was
formed has been helping teachers develop assessment competencies and implement
assessment principles in the classrooms.
- Whole School Approach to
Effective Communication (WSA-EC) - Our
school has come on board the Whole School Approach to Effective Communication
(WSA-EC) journey with the support of the English Language Institute of
Singapore (ELIS) since 2017. The aim is
to develop teachers’ ability to communicate effectively in English, so that
every teacher will be 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. A WSA-EC Committee was formed and EC
Champions from various IP departments were appointed to drive the project
through participation in ELIS training workshops and organising school-based
customised programmes to meet teachers’ and students’ needs in EL and all
- Thinking Routines – Our school has adopted Making Thinking Visible
as a key pedagogy for some years and all teachers were familiar with at least a
few thinking routines. To sustain this
endeavour, all teachers attended a Thinking Routine workshop at the mid-year
staff PD day as a refresher course to learn a new thinking routine and revise
the familiar ones. A thinking routines
handbook was also compiled by the SPD committee for teachers to make quick