HOD CCE’s Message
The mission of our Ministry of Education (MOE) is to mould the people who will determine our future. The wealth of our nation lies in our people’s commitment to country and community, their willingness to strive and persevere, their ability to think, achieve and excel.
To achieve the mission, MOE believes in providing our children a balanced and well-rounded education, develop them to their full potential, and nurture them into lifelong learners and good citizens, conscious of their responsibilities to family, community and country.
Bendemeer Secondary School crafted our Vision in the direction of nurturing “Active Learners and Responsible Citizens”. We also aspire to build character and help our students develop their fullest potential in their own way.
Our character development efforts are grounded on our School Values – Integrity, Care, Respect, Responsibility and Resilience. These had been our evergreen school values in our recent history. In 2020, we had several rounds of staff engagement sessions to review the relevance of our school values in today’s context. Consequently, ‘Harmony’ was introduced as the sixth school value. This also aligns our school values with MOE CCE core values (click link).
Introducing CCE 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside-down and posed new challenges to everyone. However, it also presents many new exciting opportunities to learn and grow.
Globally, we face more anxiety and stress, more uncertainty about what lies ahead, and a more extensive digital life. In order to prepare our students to navigate the complexities of today’s fast-changing social paradigm- both online and offline, and make learning more authentic, relevant and purposeful, MOE has refreshed the teaching of Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) and rolled out the new curriculum — “CCE 2021”.
The goals of CCE 2021 are Good Character, Resilience and Well-Being, Active Citizenship, and Future-Readiness, which are in line with our aforementioned mission and vision. We would also see the following key changes introduced by CCE 2021 to attain its goals:
Making CCE more relevant and applicable
CCE will be further integrated into lessons and activities, such as Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs), camps and outdoor activities. Students will go through key student development experiences beyond the classroom from primary to pre-university, including new cohort Learning Journeys. In line with ongoing efforts to redefine CCA experiences, we will be exploring opportunities to work with other schools on CCAs with small enrolment, and schools that are looking to provide students with more opportunities for social mixing.
Strengthening Mental Health and Cyber Wellness Education
Students will be better equipped to ensure their well-being, understand mental health problems and know when to seek support. This aims to nurture in them empathy and care towards people with mental illness.
In this digital era, where students are spending a greater amount of time online, it is important for our students to be equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and dispositions to thrive in an interconnected, diverse and rapidly-changing world. With National Digital Literacy Programme (NDLP), students will see themselves employing technology more purposefully for learning. The refreshed CCE curriculum will teach students to critically evaluate information that they read online. In addition, time spent on discussion on cyber wellness issues during CCE lessons will be increased by 50%, on average.
Cyber wellness lessons will also be taught through authentic scenarios such as interactive video discussions.
We have also established a peer support structure in support of CCE 2021. This is a two-tier approach, where Tier 1 comprises every student as a Peer Supporter, and selected ones be specially trained as Peer Support Leaders at Tier 2, with trusted adults as additional support.
Learning from Contemporary Issues (CI)
In Bendemeer, we are privileged to be one of the pilot schools for teachers to receive training by the MOE Character & Citizenship Education Branch (CCEB) in 2018 on the facilitation of discussion on CI, and teachers have started this facilitation in the classrooms in 2019.
This heads start benefitted teachers to be more apt at facilitating the discussion of CI. The refreshed CCE curriculum will include fortnightly discussions on CI. These discussions include topics relevant to students’ lives, such as bullying, online media, and race and religion that would provide authentic contexts for the learning of values and social-emotional competencies. These issues would be multi-faceted and evoke varied views and perspectives.
Moving forward, we strongly believe that “every teacher a CCE teacher”. While it is important to engage students to actively participate in CCE, it is equally crucial for us to invest in the professional development of teachers as well. By 2022, there will be specialised CCE teachers in all secondary schools to support and be a role model for other teachers in facilitating complex topics in CCE.
Education and Career Guidance (ECG)
One of the goals of CCE 2021 is to prepare our students for the future and therefore we continue to place more emphasis on our Education and Career Guidance (ECG) programme. To help students make informed choices of their education and career options, students can expect useful career talks and workshops. Our school has strong structured support to help our students with their post-secondary applications – especially for the Early Admission Exercise (EAE) to polytechnics and ITE. EAE is an aptitude-based admissions exercise that allows students to apply for and receive conditional offers for admission to polytechnics or ITEs prior to receiving their N or O-Level examination results. (click link). We are heartened to share that since 2016, through our concerted efforts, we have a steady increase in the number of students who applied for EAE. We have also attained an average success rate of more than half of the applications for both Poly EAE and ITE EAE in the past 4 years.
Values in Action (VIA)
Another goal of CCE is to inculcate values and build competencies in our students to help them grow to be good individuals and useful citizens. Our school’s CCE curriculum includes school-based CCE lessons, Values in Action programme (VIA) and other learning experiences planned to achieve the CCE vision and student outcomes.
The key programme embedded in VIA is the Learning for Life Programme (LLP), which seeks to provide a variety of rich learning opportunities for students to become co-creators of knowledge. As an education method, service learning provides students with the opportunity to gain character, develop a sense of ethics and modify their value system if need be. Students can also acquire and develop skills that will endear them to becoming an effective leader as well as expand their career awareness. Through civic engagement, community partner collaboration and personal reflection, the LLP will also prepare students for a life of active citizenship.
LLP is carried out across the 4/5 years. At the first tier, the structured program outlined by the school will ensure that all students have the opportunities/autonomy and ownership progressively to chart their progress in being active contributors and citizen leaders. The second tier involves our student leaders carrying out a student initiated and directed service learning project. All CCAs are also required to lead their own student-initiated service learning projects that preferably lavage on the students’ skills and abilities acquired through the respective CCAs. This we hope will further deepen the schools’ efforts to cultivate an attitude of life-long volunteerism.
Bendemeer adopts a whole-school thematic approach to VIA, where different subjects are integrated into the different level VIAs. This is to let students see the relevance of their academic curriculum and its applications in daily lives. The themes for the different levels are as follows:
Sec 1 – Love Our School
Students are involved in showing their appreciation to the school community through a series of tasks which integrate subjects such as Biology, Mother Tongue (MT), Geography,
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Craft and Technology. Some of these tasks include writing appreciation cards to the school staff, planting and harvesting the plants to be used in culinary dishes prepared by these students for the school staff on Appreciation Day.
Sec 2 – Love Our Community
To better understand the aging population in Singapore, students acquire basic skills to interact with the elderly at St. Luke’s ElderCare (SLEC) and are provided with opportunities to plan games and activities appropriate for the elderly during their visit to the eldercare centre. As a continuation after the visit, students will have to propose ideas with the integration of content knowledge learnt from subjects such as Physical Education (PE) and MT for games and performances to be carried out on Intergenerational Games Day which oversees students hosting about 200 elderly.
Sec 3 – Love Our World
Students progress on to carry out overseas service learning in Batam or Bintan from 2016 to 2018. Through various tasks incorporating hard and soft skills such as learning a new language and craft learning, students learn to apply content matter such as MT, Art and Science to plan activities for their chosen beneficiaries overseas. This VIA was discontinued after review in 2019. This was due to curriculum changes and global issues at that point of time.
From 2019 onwards, for Sec 3 VIA, CCE department collaborated with Social Studies (SS) to get students to think about the issues faced by Singapore via Inquiry-Based Learning. This also opens up their perspectives on issues faced by the world. Each stream was given a theme to work with (Keeping Singapore Safe for Sec 3Express, Healthy Living for Sec 3NA, Environment for Sec 3NT) and students can choose to explore the different issues within the theme.
The classes which did Healthy Living found out more about how to encourage healthy habits in young children like eating a balanced diet, taking care of their teeth and eyes. Those doing Environment shared with the elderly on the importance of conserving our environment and took them through an upcycling workshop. Students doing Keeping Singapore Safe shared with the elderly on how to keep themselves safe like being aware of scams, road and fire safety.
Our students engaged the children at Big Heart Student Care and elderly at St. Luke’s Eldercare for half a day and after which they came back to do a reflection and share among the various classes.
Sec 4/5 – Love Our Environment
The Sec 4/5 LLP reiterates the importance of learning for life and our school values for our graduating students as they progress on in their education journey.
In the first phase of our LLP, our students learnt about the rich heritage of Singapore as they research and present to their peers on a selected landmark namely Farrer Park, Kandang Kerbau Hospital, Tekka Market, Fort Canning, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore History Museum Building and Waterloo Street’s temples (Sri Krishnan Temple and Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple). Through their research project, students gained meaningful insights of the history and significance of these landmarks which contributed to the development of Singapore. In the second phase, our students journeyed through the school’s signature event aka the Milestone Walk to cover the route of these landmarks. Through the knowledge and up-close experiences of these landmarks, our graduating students had a better understanding and appreciation for these landmarks and the importance of continuing their learning to protect Singapore’s development. Metaphorically, the Milestone Walk celebrates our students’ milestone as they overcome their personal difficulties to complete the walk dutifully with perseverance.
The Road Ahead
As the saying goes: “It takes a village to raise a child.” We look forward to partnering with families and the broader community in the upbringing and education of our children to grow in character, and play an active role in society, the nation, and beyond. Our Parent Support Group (PSG) and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will continue to be our valued partners to raise this child hand in hand through bonding activities and the FamilyMatters@School scheme.
Welcome to the Bendemeer Village!
Mrs Eileen Ho
Bendemeer Secondary School