The Student Development Team (SDT) aims to promote the holistic development and well-being of all students by providing carefully-designed programmes that are aligned to the school motto of ‘Realising the Star Within’ and support the delivery of the North Star Education Programme (NSEP). With its focus on student-centricity, the SDT designs specific learning experiences to meet the developmental and progression needs of our North Stars at each level and seeks to provide varied and authentic opportunities for our North Stars to develop their character, social-emotional competencies and emerging 21st Century Competencies.
The STAR Programme
The STAR Programme is a signature level-wide programme designed as part of providing a ‘Realising the Star Within’ learning experience for all students at each level. This level-wide programme is developed to enable each North Star to realise his/her potential to the fullest. All students went through level-wide activities as part of our STAR Programme during the last three days of Term 1.
The Secondary 1 North Stars embarked on a 3-day journey to find out more about themselves and their friends over the course of the CVSS STAR Programme. The main objective was for them to seek out their strengths via a variety of platforms. Students explored and learnt more about their personal strengths, abilities, leadership styles and personal social-emotional competencies as they interacted with their peers in rich, fun and engaging activities that encouraged them to practise respect, empathy and resilience in all they did. They attended workshops, completed personal profiling exercises, learnt more about their peers and their own personal strengths through discussions and round-table sharings. They also participated in mass and team challenges, where they learnt to harness their strengths and synergise them with those of their peers. Additionally, in learning to seek out their strengths, our Secondary 1 North Stars also picked up and practised four different sets of social skills designed to help them develop strong social-emotional competencies. Under the guidance, support and encouragement of their teachers, our North Stars learnt, practised and exhibited invaluable skills in a variety of scenarios that helped them build stronger self-awareness and more meaningful social relationships with their peers, seniors and teachers. In all, our Secondary 1 North Stars grew immensely from the programme, realising the strengths and shining qualities within them.
Take Responsibility was the theme for the Secondary 2 students and they were virtually always on the move for the three days of the STAR Programme. They went on learning journeys conducted by the Humanities and Science departments and worked on upcycling projects conducted by our VIA committee to demonstrate and reflect on how they can act responsibly towards their community and the environment, as part of the VIA Green Compass Programme.
For the Humanities NE learning journey, they visited the Old Ford Factory and Changi Museum to learn more about events during the Japanese Occupation and took part in a remembrance ceremony at the Kranji Memorial to show their respect to the brave heroes who sacrificed their lives during the war. From this experience, North Stars reflected on their roles as responsible citizens of Singapore.
As part of the Science Outdoor Learning Experience (SOLE), students visited the Energy Efficiency Centre and the ‘Make The Future Festival’ to deepen their understanding of Science concepts, where they also learnt about the importance of conserving energy in Singapore. Through this learning journey, students are educated methods in generating electricity to play an active role as an energy ambassador!
As part of the Green Compass Programme (GCP), engaging workshops and hands-on activities were conducted for the students to be advocates of green values and practices within the community. Students were provided with authentic opportunities to do so, such as creating new artefacts from used items like used old newspaper, unwanted old clothes, empty milk/ juice carton and plastic bottles.
The Secondary 2 STAR Programme certainly provided our North Stars with varied and authentic opportunities to take responsibility towards our environment as well as being responsible citizens of Singapore.
Our Secondary 3 North Stars embarked on a local adventure camp at the Water-Venture Sembawang Campsite. Through their active participation in various challenging activities, the students were presented with authentic opportunities to step out of their comfort zone and develop their resilience in overcoming challenges. Our North Stars took part in activities such as kayaking, raft-building, navigation and a night walk. These activities challenged them to conquer their fears and overcome challenges with the support from peers and teachers.
During the camp, our North Stars also improved their collaborative skills and learned to work as teams by taking part in tent pitching and team-bonding activities. Through these activities and interaction, our North Stars rediscovered themselves and their friends in a new environment and at the same time, forged closer bonds with one another.
Despite lacking basic comforts, our North Stars maintained their high morale throughout the three days. Their high spirits were on display especially on the second night when everyone gathered around a makeshift campfire to put up their creative class performances.
Our Secondary 3 North Stars certainly had a memorable and enriching camp, where many stepped out of their comfort zone to embrace new challenges and develop their resilience to face future challenges with renewed vigour.
‘We want to shine like a star in the sky, we want to show the world what we can be, we will stand tall and proud as the Star of the North, a World Ready Youth!’
The last stanza of our school song serves to remind our students our school vision for each of them to be ‘A World Ready Youth’. Guided by the theme of ‘Ready For The World’, our Secondary 4 and 5 students participated in a 3-day seminar where they were equipped with knowledge, life skills and attitudes to be ready for the world after graduation. The students took part in experiential learning activities to understand their strengths and learning styles, learn to develop their personal brands and learn interview skills to prepare for life after secondary school.
For the first time, all students from the graduating batch had the opportunity to go on a learning journey at a post-secondary institution to learn more about post-secondary courses and options. Separately, a Parents’ Forum was also organised for the parents where they learnt tips on post-secondary course selection and had their questions answered by experts at the panel discussion. The programme ended on a high as the students were given the opportunity to apply what they had learnt in a learning carnival known as The Ninja Warriors where they pitted their skills against their peers by tapping on their strengths, applied problem-solving skills and worked as a team.
North Star Pledge
The North Star’s Pledge was first implemented in 2017, with a mission to instil a greater sense of ownership and cultivate a strong positive mindset amongst our North Stars. After a year of implementation, recitation and review, 2018 saw a revised version of the pledge that now captures the heart of what we hope our North Stars possess according to our school ethos. In reciting the pledge every Monday during morning assembly, our North Stars are reminded of the best that they can be – that is: to have a positive disposition towards learning and finding their purpose; to have a mindset of excellence to pursue their personal best; to have the courage to grow and lead meaningful and purposeful lives; and to have the desire to shine and lead the way for others like the immovable, guiding light of a North Star.
Reciting the North Stars' Pledge as one
Social Skills Training
‘Social skills are sets of behaviours that enable individuals to interact with one another in ways that are socially acceptable as well as personally and mutually beneficial, or beneficial to others.’
Elliot & Gresham, 1993; Hensley, Powell, Lamke, Hartman & Graveve, 2007
In alignment with the school Culture and Ethos, the SDT embarked on Social Skills Training to equip our students with essential skills that would help enhance their social skills as young adults. All Form Teachers were trained to teach Social Skills and our North Stars were explicitly taught the skills that were specifically identified by the teachers of each level to help them develop pro-social and effective learning behaviours on top of our school-based CCE curriculum. The Secondary One students were taught the skills of Making Positive Self-Statements, Asking for Help, Disagreeing Appropriately and Giving Complients during the STAR Programme while the Secondary Two, Three,
and Five students were taught the skills of Making An Apology, Organising
Tasks and Time, and Reflecting and Improving respectively during CCE
lessons and Form Teacher Time (FT Time). The students and teachers have given
feedback that they found the skills learnt useful and looked forward to
learning more social skills in time to come.
(pictured: Teachers undergoing social skills training)