42 Secondary Schools Offering Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Applied Learning Programme (STEM ALP)
42 secondary schools are offering the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Applied Learning Programme (STEM ALP). This programme will provide learning opportunities for students to apply their knowledge and skills in science, mathematics and technology to solve real-world problems. By 2017, half of the 124 mainstream secondary schools will offer the STEM ALP to our students.
The objective of STEM ALP is to help students appreciate the relevance and value of what they learn in the curriculum and develop stronger motivation and purpose to acquire knowledge and skills. The skills and competencies include:
- Scientific inquiry and literacy;
- Reasoning and problem solving;
- Design thinking;
- Computational thinking; and
- Data analysis and the use of technology
In addition, the STEM ALP provides students an early exposure to STEM-related applied learning and careers and helps to ignite students’ interest to pursue STEM-related courses in Institutes of Higher Learning, and a career in the STEM-related industries.
To support schools in developing and implementing quality STEM ALPs, MOE has partnered STEM Inc., a newly-established unit under the Science Centre Singapore comprising about 50 personnel. Some of STEM Inc.’s personnel also have industry experience, and will work with schools to create meaningful and enriching learning opportunities for students. Through the partnership with STEM Inc., MOE supports schools in the following areas:
- identifying and developing the school’s programme;
- co-developing lessons, resources and materials;
- co-teaching lessons; and
- facilitating partnerships between schools and industry partners to offer students opportunities to better understand the STEM industries.
The list of 42 secondary schools offering the STEM ALP is in Annex A.
A total of 23 schools will be recognised for their efforts and achievements in delivering a holistic education to students at the Ministry of Education (MOE) Work Plan Seminar (WPS) on 23 September 2014.Lee Hsien Loong Award for Innovations in Normal Course
Bukit Batok Secondary School, Si Ling Secondary School, and Yio Chu Kang Secondary School will receive the Lee Hsien Loong Award for Innovations in the Normal Course. These schools had demonstrated innovation in teaching and learning, school management and organisation, as well as student development. This has led to significant benefits in the all-round development of their students in the Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical) Courses. Details of each school’s innovative approach are in Annex A.Best Practices
Twenty schools will be recognised for 68 Best Practices in five key aspects - 18 for Teaching and Learning, 13 for Character and Citizenship Education, 15 for Student All-Round Development, 15 for Staff Well-Being and Development, and 7 for Partnership. These schools’ best practices are recognised for their effective programmes, processes, and systems that have led to good education outcomes for their students. Details of some of the schools’ effective practices and systems are in Annex B.
Teachers play an important role in building our nation by bringing out the best in every child. The Ministry of Education (MOE) will further strengthen efforts to grow our teachers by providing opportunities at every stage and in every way to deepen their skills and expertise. Through this, MOE aims to strengthen a culture of learning among our teaching force, a culture of teachers growing teachers, and in the process, nurture a pipeline of teacher leaders who are accomplished in their profession and able to lead fellow educators.Strengthening Training for Beginning Teachers and Deepening Mentoring Capacity in Schools
MOE will strengthen the support for the development of Beginning Teachers. Pre-service training at NIE and the subsequent mentoring for Beginning Teachers will be more tightly integrated. Beginning Teachers will be given more time and space to learn on the job, benefit from mentorship, and hone their craft.
MOE will strengthen the quality of mentoring in schools by:
- Developing a course for all mentors to strengthen their mentoring skills; and
- Strengthening manpower support for schools so that mentors have the space and time to coach their younger colleagues.
MOE will create more opportunities for specialisation for teachers in the primary schools and support educators who want to deepen their expertise.
First, MOE will strengthen the expertise and skills of our lower primary (Primary 1 and 2) teachers in working with younger children. This could be through an inaugural NIE Advanced Diploma in Teaching Early Primary School Years, which began its run this August, or through a network learning community that has been set up for these teachers. Lower primary teachers will be better equipped to cater to younger students’ socio-emotional learning needs, and ease their transition from pre-school to primary education.
Second, MOE is moving towards subject specialisation in the teaching of primary English, Math and Science through the training and deployment of our primary school teachers. To develop deeper content mastery and pedagogical skills, MOE will provide support through in-service courses for content and skills-upgrading in English, Math and Science. The pre-service training for new primary school teachers will also be reviewed to focus on building a strong foundation in two subject areas instead of three. This will allow primary school teachers to develop deeper content mastery and more effective teaching methods so that they can design engaging lessons that lead to better learning for their students.
Third, MOE continues to enhance the knowledge and skills of our teachers, the Allied Educators (Learning and Behavioural Support) [AEDs(LBS)] as well as educators in Special Education (SPED) schools in supporting students with special educational needs. This includes the implementation of a revised NIE programme in special needs for our teachers this March, and the NIE inaugural Advanced Diploma in Special Education in August for AEDs (LBS) and SPED educators.Developing Teacher Leaders
To enable our more experienced teachers to continue to grow in their job, AST and schools will continue to facilitate various platforms and programmes such as Professional Learning Communities in schools and other cluster and zonal level learning platforms.
MOE will grow the Subject Chapters or professional networks established by the various teachers’ academies and language centres and led by a core team of the best and most inspiring Master, Lead, and Senior teachers and Specialists from MOE and NIE to further deepen the knowledge and skills of teachers in respective disciplines or learning domains. These learning networks enhance teachers’ curriculum depth, pedagogical skills and assessment literacy, and provide opportunities for teachers to share, collaborate and co-develop new and better ways of teaching.
To widen the reach and impact of highly skilled teachers in lifting up the practice of the entire teaching fraternity, MOE will continue to develop and appoint more Principal Master Teachers, Master Teachers, Lead Teachers, and Senior Teachers in recognition of their key roles in leading professional learning and in deepening the culture of teachers growing teachers. In this regard, MOE will work with schools and clusters to actively encourage more teachers to deepen their skills and take up these appointments.
Appointed Senior Teachers and Lead Teachers have the opportunity to attend Teacher Leaders Programme which is designed to further deepen their professional knowledge and skills. MOE will look to raising the apex grade for the teaching track to recognise the national role of Master Teachers in developing and raising the competencies of the entire teaching service.
MOE will continue to strengthen professional development opportunities and support our teachers to be lifelong learners, so that they too can be role models of lifelong learning for our students. With more skilful, caring and effective teachers in every school, we will be able to bring out the best in every child.