ASK’s Singapore work visit – Day 2 Impressions
Anglican High School: Where Talents Soar
Our second day started with a school visit to the Anglican High School (AHS). Our tour started in the Heritage Center of the school, where one of the students introduced us to the school’s legacy. AHS was founded in 1956 by the Chinese-speaking congregations of the Anglican Diocese of Singapore. It was the only Anglican school in Singapore with Chinese as its medium of instruction. After the introduction, the vice-principal Mr. Khan and the head of professional development introduced us in both the fundamental elements of AHS, as well as the structured way of continuous developments of the 100+ faculty.
AHS is an autonomous, Special Assistance Plan (SAP) and Government-aided secondary school. Sport is an important element of the educational setup at AHS, acting as a Center of Expertise for other schools. The vision of bringing the best out of every child is leading for the school and its teachers. Teachers are being assessed based on the learning outcomes of the student. The faculty of the school has numerous possibilities to further develop, and the school facilitates in providing 100 hours a year for development, including staff retreats. New teachers are supported by experienced mentors for the first two years. We have learned a lot from the visit and are thankful for the open discussion with the management of the school. The heart of the vice-principal is 100% at his students, especially when they are traveling, it keeps him awake at night. Real commitment!
Brainpower generated in the classroom
Dr. Anita Nazareth, senior consultant at Singapore Education Consulting Group, presented us the model of the 21st Century School with the 3 pillars; Learning, Literacy and Life Skills. The need for constant change in the world, but especially related to the continuously changing needs of Singapore (industry towards knowledge society), will enable students to enhance their capabilities and ability to transfer competencies to changing contexts. Flexibility and adaptability are key competencies. Critical in the process of change are (1) strong educational policies, (2) teaching and learning strategies, and (3) technology infusion for enhanced learning outcomes. We had a long discussion on the 21st Century Skills with the main question: “how can we adjust this model to the needs of a local context, e.g. for the MENA region”. This is one of the subjects we will work on in the coming months.
Communicate, contextualize, and systemise Change
Mr. Nicholas Tang, senior consultant at Singapore Education Consulting Group introduced us to professional development of teachers and leaders in Singapore. Mr. Nicholas’ interest in school improvements led him to start the Teachers Network, which pioneered peer learning as the dominant form of professional development for teachers in Singapore. His expertise in adult learning was recognised by the Government and he was responsible for the training and upgrading of the Singapore workforce. His framework focuses on the key areas to improve the quality of education; teacher competence, curriculum, and school leadership. To improve the competencies of the 21st Century learner, the right pedagogy should be defined, followed by the Attitude, Skills & Knowledge (ASK) of the teachers, and the ASK of school leaders. During our discussion we were able to build on the AHG school visit’s main learning points, with more in-depth background information, provided by Mr. Nicholas.