Project Based Learning
PCF Radin Mas Blk 21 has taken a Project based approach since 2008 For example, follow-up activities are carried out after a story session. The children are brought on field trips and carry out hands-on that are related to the story. After understanding the interesting content of the book, the teachers reinforce topic taught through practical sessions and storyboarding.
In-house training of teachers is done routinely to ensure high competence and proficiency of the educators at the centre. Going the extra mile to maximize communication with parents, teachers at the centre take the initiative to organize parent-child outings during festivities E.g. Lantern Festival 2012.
The centre has adopted St Luke’s Hospital, and collaborates with them to organize joint activities. During Racial Harmony Day, the children were given the opportunity to mingle with the elderly, and bring a happy and festive celebration to the elderly. The children interacted with them and brought joy to the lives of these elderly folks.
Mixed Grouping for K1 and K2 classes
Children from K1 and K2 classes are partnered in a buddy system, so the younger K1 children will have an older brother or sister to look up to. The system has proven to be a success as the more matured K2 children have shown to take pride in their responsibility to become good role models to their fellow juniors, so much so they have snack time together as well. During lessons, mixed grouping is also carried out to facilitate interactive learning. There are 2 permanent teachers stationed in a class throughout the year. The teachers are bilingual in order to synchronize lessons effectively with the mother tongue language taught at the centre.
Integrating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into Lessons
The centre advocates the use of technology to be integrated into the child’s learning journey. ICT has proven to bring about a bountiful of benefits, such as providing a rich and versatile resource for children to work together. Children are able to co-create their innovative learning experiences and share it with their peers. For instance, for the theme on “Singapore Icons”, the children learnt how to source for information on the internet using search engines. Through this activity, the children gathered and analyzed content and data, which were presented in a table format. Following that, they also had a chance to put turn their ideas into reality by making sculptures of what they thought was a Singapore Icon.
Using the Innovation Grant, the centre invested in 10 electronic tablets to further enhance the opportunities for children to interact and improve their language. During free play period, the children can use these tablets to surf on Kids YouTube which is Child Content Friendly and play educational language games. The centre also uses a computer program, Online Star4 whereby the children can revisit the content learnt from home.
Although currently in the trial phase, the teachers have only positive comments of the DIY Content Generator Software that allows them to customize the content in the game template. It has proven to be a powerful tool to integrate ICT into lesson plans for the benefit of the children’s learning. For one activity, children match a country’s flag to the corresponding currency, national flower or political leaders. This raises their general knowledge of countries around the world and broadens their world view and perspective of worldly issues. Once a particular theme is covered, the content can be changed to that of a different topic, say cooking recipes. After that, there are print outs for the children to reinforce what they have learnt. To push for further in depth thinking, children will describe the photo in their own words to facilitate confidence building while articulating their thoughts.
In line with its belief of integrating learning with technology, the centre has a well-established Facebook page: Radin Mas Twenty-One where teachers post class activities online as a means of communications with tech savvy parents as well. PCF Radin Mas Blk 21’s Facebook Webpage: http://www.facebook.com/pcfrm21?fref=ts
Instilling Core Values in Everyday tasks
During Snack time, the children serve one another, instead of waiting to being served. The children are engaged to concentrate and work hard at completing a task, intrinsically motivating them to perform well and see meaning in what they do. The children also express their gratitude upon being served, and appreciate one another. Through these everyday tasks, the children become more aware of their surroundings and grow to become caring individuals who are able to show thankfulness through verbal and non-verbal communication.
Outdoor Space Utilized for Motor Skills Development
The centre has a good outdoor space where children can participate in structured physical education lessons every week. The physical activities are designed and refined by the teachers to be appropriate for the child’s age. This ensures that the children will be able to master a new skill by the end of the week, for instance skipping, shooting a ball in a hoop, etc.
In 2013, the centre will adopt the ProFLAiR program aimed to help children who are weaker in the English Language to be up to par with their peers. The centre is also embarking on an Innovative garden project, entitled “Community In Bloom”, which will reach out to the community at large to care for a Growing and Living Garden. The centre hopes to attain 2 plots of land for this prospective landscape project in 2012.
Awards & Achievements
Teacher Ash has received the prestigious PCF Teacher’s Award 2012 for her commitment and dedication toward bringing holistic education to life at the centre.
The centre has also participated in the NEA Dance Performance 2012, coming in as a Finalist. The children had crafted artsy trees of their own to be used as props for the concert.
Other than that, the centre has achieved the Innovation Award – Finalist.