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Joy of Learning

Chairperson: Mr Tan Wee Boon
Vice-Chairperson: Mrs Lai Yee Tyng
Strategic Thrust: Soar to Greater Heights in Academic Excellence

Hougang Secondary School -  Best Practice Award (Teaching and Learning)

In the external validation of our school this year, Hougang Secondary has achieved a Best Practice Award in Teaching and Learning. This recognition endorses the good practices that the school has put in place in the area of teaching and learning (T & L)  to cater to the holistic development of our students.

The school believes in helping every student achieve academic excellence to qualify for a course of choice in an Institute of Higher Learning. We have identified and implemented strategies that are customised for various student segments in achieving outcomes of academic excellence.  One of our strategies is that of close monitoring of Academic, Behavior and Character indicators of every student for prompt actions to be taken. This is made possible with our fortnightly level meetings, termly “Every Student Counts” exercises and enhanced by the Year Head System. HS has achieved a credible track record of sustained value–added results for both express and normal academic streams at the National Examinations over the last few years.

The school believes in equipping our students with 21st Century skills that will help them to thrive in the work force of the future. Our T&L practices and processes are aligned to our holistic developmental framework to develop every Hougean to become a GRIT STAR. This is done through equipping students with  Self-Directed Learning and Collaborative Learning skills and attitudes in addition to  delivering  engaging instructional programmes and activities to  build concepts and knowledge.

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The school strives to design and conduct engaging instructional programmes and activities to build students’ knowledge and skills.

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Our instructional programmes also infused strategies to build Self-Directed Learning and Collaborative Learning skills and attitudes.

Recognising the importance of English Language (EL), the school has adopted a school-wide approach to improving EL proficiency by promoting English Communication skills using authentic learning as a platform. The school has implemented our Applied Learning Programme “English Communication Skills through Authentic Learning” where real-life learning and the act of acquiring communication skills is seen to be inseparable from the daily task of communication. There are a few programmes that we have planned for the students in the different levels.

The Secondary 1 students were exposed to personal recounts and narrative texts in their English Language lessons in Semester 1. This was in line with the writing focus in the school’s English Language curriculum. The students were then given the authentic platform to observe, take note and give an account of what took place during one of the school events identified, namely the annual Life Run and Racial Harmony Day. The students then work in groups, to encourage collaborative learning, to submit a photo blog that is to be uploaded on McOnline. They are to include photographs and the write-up that they did based on their observations in this photo blogging task. This photo blog was not assessed.

An example of a Photo Blogging project.

The Secondary 2 students were exposed to persuasive texts in their English Language lessons in Semester 2. The ability to write Argumentative Essays would be a required life skill that all students would need to possess beyond their secondary school years. As they would need to be exposed to issues and themes to give them enough content material for their essays, ALP will support this by providing them with a platform that would allow sharing to take place. We have a ‘Live’ broadcast at the school canteen for the different classes to share with their audience what they have gathered from their research on a Wednesday afternoon. This programme is known as Wednesday Afternoon ‘Live’. This broadcast was not assessed.

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A Wednesday Afternoon ‘Live’ Broadcast.

The Secondary 3 students would have been exposed to the different types of persuasive writing when they were at lower secondary. Hence, at Secondary 3, the focus would be to hone their writing skills and encourage them to discover their individual writing style. Apart from content mastery, they would also need to be able to present their views using a persuasive tone. Hence, in order to provide students with the authentic platform to apply what they have learnt in class, mini debates would be carried out in class during the Extended Curriculum Time at the end of the year. This would support what they have been taught and practised in class into action. The best debaters in class would then be selected to represent their class for the inter class debates. From here, the school would then be able to select the best speakers to represent the school in a debate competition that would usually be held at the start of an academic year. This debate will not be assessed.

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Winners of an external debate competition.

In 2016, we are currently partnering Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) for a 4-part Journalism Workshop at the News Centre itself. This is to familiarise students with the journalism process as we aim to impart journalism skills to selected students in the lower secondary classes. The workshops would include a news room tour where the students get to learn what takes place before a news broadcast. They also learnt first-hand from veteran journalists on the elements of a successful news report, interview skills as well as photojournalism.

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A Journalism Workshop at Singapore Press Holdings.

Finally, in order to provide that platform for students from the different levels and streams to gain the confidence in speaking in front of the whole school, we have embarked on a GRIT Moment sharing that is to be done after the morning Flag Raising Ceremony. Selected students would share a short reflection of their experiences that echoes any of the school’s core values of ‘Gratitude, Respect, Ingenuity, Trustworthiness and Grit'.



A student sharing her GRIT Moment.