Social Studies / National Education
Citizenship Education is part of holistic education and entails a whole-school approach, involving students, parents, teachers and community. Pei Hwa continues to promote Citizenship Education through the infusion of National Education (NE) messages into all subjects, the commemoration of the 4 core NE events – Total Defence Day, International Friendship Day, Racial Harmony Day & National Day, Social Studies curriculum, heritage room visits and NE learning journeys.
Instill a love for home and to prepare our pupils to be informed, concerned and participative citizens who will serve the nation.
To allow for emotional engagement in NE, the school ensures all Head, Hands and Heart are covered and uses the school-wide instructional approach: A3 approach (Acquisition, Affirmation and Application).
In the Acquisition, there is explicit teaching of National Education as for students to contribute, they first have to understand their country (Head) – the history, the fight for independence and how far we have come as a nation, from third world to first world. To allow Application of learning, the school provides students with authentic and engaging NE related experiences (Hand) and these experiences help them develop an appreciation (Heart) for their country. Following which, for Affirmation, pupils are affirmed for their involvement and contributions through opportunities to reflect and engage in discussions as they share how they have a part to play in nation building.
This is in line with the school’s ST 2 objectives where “Every student is an upright, contributing leader with strength of character” and in line with the CCE department goal of developing “a love for home” in our children so that they will be “useful citizens who will serve the nation”.
There has been a structured approach established to focus on school values, SE competencies, 21 CC and NE messages at each NE commemorative event. This structured approach is used in planning and implementation of NE commemorative events to scaffold learning so that students can better internalize what has been taught.
· 4 Core NE Events
The NE Events move beyond awareness building but engage heart more deeply by providing students with authentic experiences to promote active participation instead of just formal lessons, classroom lessons or assembly talks. Through such emotional engagement in planning and implementing NE events, students regard NE as an integral part of school life and such experiences empowers students to want to contribute to shape Singapore.
· P4 NE Chingay Show and P5 NE Show
The NE shows have been organised to provide a cohort experience for our P4 and P5 pupils to immerse “live” in the full spectacle of the Chingay and NDP and to achieve the following objectives:
1) Provide a unifying experience amongst each cohort of pupils on what it means to be a Singaporean and evoke in them a sense of pride and patriotism;
2) Develop in pupils a sense of commitment towards the nation and the community
3) Provide learning opportunities for pupils to understand the significance of National Day and Chingay
· Learning Journeys across Levels
Although the syllabus content is core to the learning of SS, learning journeys organised at each level further enrich the study of SS. Learning journeys are organised at least once a year to enable pupils to contextualize their learning experience in authentic real-world settings. The table below shows the learning journeys according to the various levels and its learning focus and the learning journeys are tied with Project work.
· Heritage Room Visits
The P1 Heritage Room visits introduce students to the rich heritage of PHPPS while the P6 visit is to endear them to the school and encourage them to be loyal to the school. Surveys are conducted after the visit to the heritage room to assess if students understand the importance of the visit.·
Collaboration with Departments
IP department – English: NE is infused in the academic curriculum. Tapping on the school’s perspective taking, communication and data mining skills on top of the P4 SS content knowledge of who the early migrants were; their life in Singapore and their contributions to nation building. Students take on the roles of pioneers like Raffles, early migrants from different races, town planners, coolies etc. and share their thoughts through techniques like hot seat, freeze frames, drama, oral presentation and diary entries. Such experiential learning allows students better relate to and identify with the Singapore story by seeing and experiencing in, not just through the academic perspective but also a personal one.
Non – Core department – Aesthetics: P5 students watched the LKY musical to give them a new perspective on Singapore’s founding fathers and the decisions, conflicts and choices that went into making Singapore what it is today. After the LKY musical, students used what they have learnt to create their own LKY reader’s theatre to depict the facets of LKY’s life – family life, education, lawyer practice, political battles, national building, death and legacy etc. To create such topics, students research on the LKY topics, evaluate information, take part in group discussions. Through such engaging and authentic experiences, it sparks student’s imagination about Singapore’s past, present and future and students develop critical thinking skills, look at multiple perspectives which encompass skills in SS and arrive at a deeper understanding and appreciation of Singapore story.
- Social Studies (SS) Curriculum
Inquiry is the key pedagogical tool used for the learning of concepts, skills and exploration of topics in SS. Each level is framed by a focus question to engage pupils in thoughtful inquiry.
Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School came in as the top 3 schools in Singapore in the Youth Aspiration for Singapore Campaign voting of values and visions.