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School Distinction Awards 2014

Introduction

Punggol Primary School (PPS) aspires to be “A gracious community of confident and innovative life-long learners”. To achieve this, the staff makes it their mission to ignite the joy of learning in the pupils, based on their firm belief that pupils will love learning when they have positive experiences and enjoy themselves in the process of learning. At the same time, the school is committed to inspiring its pupils to care for and share with the less fortunate so that they grow up to be leaders with the heart for others. At PPS, we hold by our philosophy that “Every Individual Matters”. By that, we mean that every child is important and every stakeholder – school leaders, teachers, support staff, parents and members of the community, has a role to play in nurturing the child.

Distinctive/Significant Features

School Culture
The school core values of Self-discipline, Teamwork, Affection and Responsibility, (collectively known as the STAR values), form the foundation that underpins the school’s positive culture. Role modelling begins with school leadership and permeates to staff and pupil behavioural expectations.

Guided by the school values of Affection and Teamwork, the school has strong culture of care and collaboration (affectionately known as the Punggol Spirit), which has been nurtured over the years by previous school leaderships. School Leaders and staff treat each other and the pupils with respect, and they actively seek ways to understand the pupils’ needs and build a positive teacher-student relationship. These include Breakfast with Principal, FGDs and one-to-one conversations.

The Punggol Spirit is also the driving force that rallies the staff to work as a team for the benefit of the pupils. This is perpetuated by the consortium structure, which is the main mechanism that drives staff and pupil programmes in the school. For example, in looking after the well-being of the pupils, staff practice “many helping hands approach” in which Consortium Level Heads work with teachers, HODs, school counsellor and parents to help every child in need. With every teacher a member of a Professional Learning Team, teachers share openly and work collaboratively to improve their teaching and the pupils’ learning. With school practices such as Huddle Time and Work Life Champion, teachers feel they have friends among their colleagues.

All Round Excellence in Student Development
PPS aims to develop every Punggolite to be a Gracious Citizen, a Confident Leader, an Innovative Team player and a Life-long Learner through a broad-based curriculum. This student-centric curriculum begins from its student well-being processes. Making reference to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory, the school has put in structures to provide a caring psychosocial environment by addressing the pupils’ basic needs before addressing their growth needs. To help pupils self-actualize their potential, the school develops its pupils holistically by developing them in the Cognitive, Leadership, Aesthetics, Physical and Social and moral (CLAPS) domains.

With a belief that “Every child has talents and interests” the school conducts Pupils’ Expectations Survey where pupils indicate the programmes they would like the school to organise for them. The school also actively seeks out talents in the various domains through its Talent Management programme and consciously provides platforms for pupils to showcase their talents. These include providing a wide selection of CCAs and enrichment programmes, ensuring every child is developed as a leader and providing every child with the opportunity to participate in a competitive sports through its flagship S.T.A.R.S. (Social-emotional learning and character building Through Active paRticipation in Sports) programme.

Curriculum Innovations
PPS Teaching and Learning (T & L) programme is guided by its T & L framework premised on the belief that “Every child can learn and excel” and anchored on learner-centred theories. The school customises the curriculum according to three developmental stages and four learner types - Excellent Learners, Successful Learners, Reluctant Learners and Struggling Learners. This is based on pupils’ ABC (Affective, Behavioral and Cognitive) needs survey, pupils’ past performances as well as teachers’ observations.

Adopting Inquiry-Based Learning as the overarching pedagogy, the various departments adopt a six-year progressive plan and employ a range of pedagogies to engage the pupils. These include the DFE strategies which the teachers collaboratively designed to meet the needs of the four learner types. Leveraging on its in-house Green curriculum, the school develops an emerging niche through its signature GreeNovation programme where the focus is on tackling environmental issues through innovation for a sustainable future. In this programme, lessons incorporating 3R messages are integrated in English, Math, Science, MTL, PE, Art and Music with the support of ICT. To develop critical and innovative thinking in problem solving, the school designs and implements Authentic Problem Based Learning (APBL) for P3 to P6 pupils where problems based on Science concepts are crafted with the integration of the other subjects. Pupils work collaboratively and present their team solutions to their peers in line with the PPS Outcomes of Innovative Team players and Confident Leaders.

Key Challenges/Future Directions
Having achieved good outcomes, the imminent challenge is to sustain and improve its performance. To do this, the school will leverage on the school’s culture of care and collaboration to augment a culture of excellence in which staff see improvement as a habit rather than a destination. The school believes that staff innovations will ensure school’s continuous growth and improvement. Another key area is staff capacity building. With staff movement and renewal, the school will have to strengthen its Knowledge and Information Management system to ensure that tacit knowledge of experienced staff is coded and made explicit for the benefit of newer staff joining the school.

School's Contributions
PPS has actively shared its best practices with the local and international teaching fraternity in the areas of staff well-being and development, holistic assessment, innovative teaching and learning programmes and Knowledge and Information Management system at multiple platforms. The school was also the Centre of Learning for Science in N3 and S1.