FMS(S) Teaching & Learning Framework & PETALSTM Framework
The FMS(S) Teaching & Learning Framework (please see Fig. 1 below) is aligned to MOE's PETALSTM Framework which aims to promote engaged learning through the following five dimensions: Pedagogy, Experience of Learning, Tone of Environment, Assessment and Learning Content.
Fig. 1 FMS(S) Teaching and Learning FrameworkTM
Our Teaching and Learning Framework seeks to achieve the student outcomes in the 21st Century Skills and Competencies Framework by MOE (please see Fig. 2 below) through the innovative use of Pedagogy, selection of relevant Learning Content, supported by Assessment as, for and of Learning, so as to promote a meaningful Experience of Learning in a positive Tone of Environment.
Fig. 2 21st Century Skills and Competencies (MOE, 2010)
*Pedagogy that is based on Pupil Readiness and Learning Styles
FMS(S) believes in using a repertoire of pedagogy to create diverse experiences for our pupils and to enhance their learning. We adopt learner-centred pedagogies such as Cooperative Learning, Multiple Intelligences and curriculum frameworks such as Understanding by Design to promote engaged learning. Such careful selection of different pedagogy enables the school to match particular learning goals to our pupils' needs. At the same time, they provide enriched learning experiences for our pupils to become self-directed and collaborative learners, which are essential 21st century competencies and skills to acquire in the globalised economy.
Information Communication Technology (ICT) is actively used by our teachers as a pedagogy to promote self-directed learning and collaborative learning during lessons. The Lower Secondary and Secondary Three N(T) pupils are empowered to use their ICT skills taught in the Create and Construct using ICT Programme (CCITP), to produce media objects using Macromedia Flash, Macromedia Dreamweaver or Adobe Photoshop. ICT is also further integrated into the curriculum through various LMS (Learning Management System) platforms e.g. LEAD (whole school), Edu Online (MTL Department) and HeyMath! (Mathematics Department).
The use of varied instructional models and strategies is carried out in tandem with the adoption of the DISC Personality Profile. Our teachers are trained to interpret class and individual pupil profiles, which are factored into their instructional planning. This is premised on our belief that our pupils' learning would be maximised by learning activities that cater to their profiles.
*Selection of Learning Content that is relevant and meaningful
*Promoting a meaningful Experience of Learning
With a wide academic ability range, FMS(S) recognises the need to modify and adapt the curriculum to the different levels. This on-going process involves tailoring environments and practices to create learning experiences that aid pupils' learning and mastery of skills.
For example, our top Secondary One and Two pupils are placed in the Olson Scholars Programme (OSP) to undergo a rigorous curriculum which has been re-designed to make inter-disciplinary links, and which enable them to study various subject areas in greater depth. OSP also takes the pupils' learning out of the classrooms through research opportunities with institutes of higher learning and the school's strategic partners in the relevant industries.
The Interdisciplinary Understanding by Design Project on River Studies for the Secondary One pupils seeks to enhance the pupils' ability to make inter-links between two subjects: Geography and Science. The pupils are involved in authentic tasks as they carry out a comparative study of two rivers in Singapore. The pupils are taken out of the classrooms to make observations, take measurements using portable data loggers, record and synthesise their findings and finally form reasoned conclusions on the impact of the environment on our waters. These processes are intended to develop the pupils' critical and inventive thinking as well as ICT skills.
The EL Department's Watch a Play enrichment programme for the Secondary Two pupils seeks to expose our pupils on various genres of writing such as a musical or play as well as educate them on the etiquette required of them when watching a performance. In 2010, the pupils watched the play version of ‘To Kill A Mocking Bird' at Drama Centre and in 2011, the pupils were invited by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Simei to watch the musical ‘West Side Story'.
The Research and Design (R&D) and Aesthetics Coursework Programmes provide our Secondary Three pupils with the opportunities to explore inter-relationships and inter-connectedness in subject specific knowledge. Pupils learn through analysis and problem-solving, and learner autonomy is promoted as the pupils propose, and decide on the design of authentic tasks. They are also trained to apply creative and critical thinking skills, learn cooperative learning skills, develop self-directed inquiry and improve communication skills.
Our Outdoor Education Programme (OEP) aims to enrich every pupil's mental, physical and emotional well-being through the medium of experiential learning in the outdoors. The OEP consists of 4 components: the OEP in the Outward Bound School leadership programme for the Secondary Two pupils, the OEP through CCAs, the OEP in the training of Student Leaders, and the OEP for At-Risk/N(T) pupils.
Another defining feature of our effort to provide our pupils with meaningful Experience of Learning is our Week of Holistic Enriched Experiential Learning (W.H.E.E.L.) Programme. W.H.E.E.L. consists of progressive and differentiated curriculum programmes for different levels such as Arts and Culture education for the Secondary One pupils including sculpture walks, visits to the art museum, wayang kulit performances, Outward Bound School leadership training for our Secondary Two pupils, Overseas and Local Service Learning as well as Work Attachments for our Secondary Three pupils, and Career Guidance Talks for our Secondary Four and Five pupils.
*Assessment as, for and of Learning
Assessment of learning is a critical process of teaching and learning. The information gathered from assessment is used to provide feedback to the teachers, and the teachers to the pupils to communicate areas for improvement such that assessment for learning can be achieved.
In the Humanities department, peer assessment is practised as pupils carry out peer marking and communicate feedback for improvement to their peers. This is the essence of assessment of learning which is the belief that all children can improve, and to promote further learning by using evidence about what a child has already mastered in his/her learning.
There are varied modes of assessment and authentic assessment tasks such as Oral and IT presentations, R&D and OSP (Science) projects. In Aesthetics Education, pupils complete customised assessment tasks in each module at the Lower Secondary levels. The final task comprises a product e.g. performance or creation. Assessment as Learning is also practised as pupils are trained to reflect on how to improve and self-direct their learning. For example, assessments which include processes such as journaling are carried out in Aesthetics Education, to promote reflection on the pupils' own learning.
*Creating a Positive Tone of Environment
A conducive learning environment where pupils are engaged in learning is created when the tone in an environment is emotionally safe, open and respectful. FMS(S) believes in establishing a quality learning environment where effective learning can take place. Teacher-pupil relationships are enhanced through the Character and Leadership (CLE) Programme such as Fairfield Connect (Class Contact Time) and One Seven (Teacher-Pupil one-to-one interaction time). The CLE department works closely with other departments in the area of integrating values education into the design of their specific curriculum to promote the affective development of the pupils.
Special learning spaces such as the 21st Century Competencies Hub @Fairfield, the Ideation Room for Design and Technology and the Broadcast Studio for Media in English Programme serve to support learning through an improved physical tone of the learning environment.