“School programmes such as CCE and NE help us to explore concepts or values such as goodness or kindness that can serve as our moral compass to better prepare ourselves for what may come in our future. Through these programmes, we get to see how the lives of others may be and be more conscious of them. Having such information available to us can help us grow into a more understanding society. Being more sensitive to other cultures, traditions and ways of life are all skills of kindness that cannot be cultivated unless they are tended to consciously.
From these character-related school programmes, I feel that my peers and I are more familiar with one another and our surroundings. We are able to recognise better where we must remain especially respectful to others and know when to stand up for our own beliefs.”
Year 4 Euclid, 2020
CCE in Edgefield
At Edgefield Secondary School, we believe that character and citizenship education (CCE) is a shared responsibility, and every interaction with our students, a CCE touchpoint. Developing our students who understand, care about and live out core values such as sincerity, honour, compassion and moral courage is our key focus. We have four CCE goals: ‘Good Character’, ‘Resilience and Wellbeing’, ‘Active Citizenship’ and ‘Future Readiness’.
Through the CCE curriculum and a supportive system of pastoral care and guidance, our students grow into responsible young adults, anchored on sound values, and are ready to navigate the challenges of this increasingly complex world with tenacity; at the same time, their heart is also with the community through their readiness to serve.
The CCE curriculum comprises core modules with thematic focuses such as being a positive influence, mental health, citizenship dispositions and the importance of family as our foundation. Student learning is also enriched further by Guidance Modules (Cyberwellness, Education and Career Guidance, and Sexuality Education, and a wide array of National Education and Values-in-Action programmes.
In addition to the common curriculum, we enhance the students’ learning experiences through the following signature programmes and distinctive pedagogical approaches, so as to sharpen their edge over others whilst building a strong foundation of social and emotional competencies, civic literacy, global awareness and cross-cultural skills in our students.
CCE GOAL #1: GOOD CHARACTER
To build the moral competence of our students, the CCE team explores various facilitative discussion tools so that our students are cognisant of multiple perspectives, and are capable of rationalising cogent arguments or making values-driven decisions.
CCE GOAL #2: RESILIENCE AND WELLBEING
Drawing from leading research on resilience and personal wellbeing, the Pursuit of Happiness taskforce at Edgefield Secondary has identified two inextricably connected and mutually reinforcing factors that determine one’s degree of happiness in life: quality relationships and a healthy identity.
Based on research, the dispositions of empathic compassion, gratitude, resilience and optimism are paramount to the wellbeing of students and in forming a healthy identity. These dispositions will enable them to form quality relationships over the course of their lives.
In order to provide students with the opportunities to grow in this direction and to plant the seeds for their future development, the 2021 Secondary One cohort will be the inaugural batch of students to undergo the Character Strengths workshop to build their self-identity. Over the next few years, they will also be engaged in a wide tapestry of school activities that will help cultivate the necessary key dispositions.
CCE GOAL #3: ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP
“In an increasingly interconnected world, the ability to voice opinions and inspire change is becoming more appreciated. This is why advocacy holds such prominence. Advocacy develops us to be contributing members of a gracious society. As we practice advocacy, we are shaping ourselves to be adaptable leaders with a mind for the community. I have learnt many things on my journey as an Advocate. I have learnt the importance of a cohesive team, the power that can come from a few altruistic hearts as well as the more technical aspects of running projects and campaigns. But perhaps more importantly, I have learnt that rather than being more or less needy, the people around me have different needs. Looking back on my time, I can safely say that I am proud of what I have accomplished and will continue to be passionate in the future as an Advocate.”
Lim Wei Wen
Year 3 Einstein, 2020
At Edgefield Secondary School, values in action are not limited to community involvement programmes. We want to groom compassionate leaders in action and to this end, we offer students the opportunity to be active citizens and conduct service activities that span from the hands-on to thought leadership. The figure below is our guiding framework:
Values in Action (VIA) are learning experiences that enhance students’ development as socially responsible citizens through ownership of their contribution to the community. Through VIA, students are guided to take ownership of an issue they care about, exercise social responsibility in their spheres of influence, and play their part through meaningful contribution to the community.
Adopting a modular approach where students exercise autonomy in choosing a social cause that they personally feel for, students then form groups to tackle this issue. Using thinking routines learnt across curriculum and co-curriculum areas (e.g. convergent and divergent thinking skills from the Future Ready Programme), students study the issue at hand by talking to community stakeholders to discover the problem before coming up with solutions to solve that problem.
In this way, students are encouraged to be change-makers and compassionate leaders as they work in teams and be involved in inventive thinking as well as cooperative and collaborative learning as they plan and lead their VIA projects.
In this process, students
Our VIA Advocates in Action, Working on the Empathy Map
Our VIA@Home Pledge Cards
• discover what they care about in the community,
• engage with stakeholders about the issue and problem at hand,
• dream of possible ways of contributing to the community,
• design solutions to make a difference and
• deliver through action- or advocacy-based projects that lead to a positive change in the community.
CCE GOAL #4: FUTURE READINESS
We care about our students’ post-secondary education pathways, and we want them to make informed decisions about the future career or discipline they want to venture into. The Education and Career Guidance team at Edgefield Secondary School runs several topical workshops for both students and parents, in addition to the elective modules for students and learning journeys to Open Houses. Experienced working professionals are also invited to the school for career talks. Close guidance is given to students when they apply for future courses and work attachments.
Contributing also to the realisation of the fourth CCE goal is the school’s signature Future Readiness Programme. Find out more about the programme here.