BVSS teachers believe that every child can learn, and act on that belief. Our teachers strive to connect with and motivate the child – know the child, shape the child’s values and character, help the child grow as a person and bring out the best in the child. We believe that a caring teacher is also a skilful teacher – one who masters her content, and is able to engage students through thoughtful planning and skilful execution.
Staff Professional Development
BVSS has the Business Excellence Niche Standard (People) certification. It is national recognition for the comprehensive systems and processes that we have in place to achieve excellence through people – how we develop our staff.
- Professional Learning Community (PLC) Learning Team teachers work together in teams to research, learn from the best, and develop strategies to engage students. Every teacher is involved in at least one PLC team.
- Staff Sharing Session
- In-service workshops/courses
- Overseas Teacher Attachment and study programmes
Overseas Teacher Attachment Programme in Science (OTAP) 2013
BVSS places great importance in the professional development of our staff to deepen the ethos of the teaching profession, and to enable them to grow in their profession.The diagram on the left shows our learning and development processTo be a skilful teacher, our staff attends professional development courses through the following platforms :
Despite very stringent criteria for the selection of outstanding and enthusiastic Science Teachers for the programmes, we are proud that two of our teachers were selected for this programme in 2013.
|Date of Event||Names of Staff involved||Description of External Events|
|10 – 23 July 2013||Mdm Reena Lloyd||Inquiry in Rainforests: Summer Field Course for Teachers
Organisation for Tropical Studies, San Pedro, San José, Costa Rica
|22 June – 29 July 2013||Mr Quake Eugene||2013 Summer Institute in Physics and Physical Science for In-Service Teachers. University of Washington, Seattle.|
OTAP aims to expose and equip teachers with the latest developments, research and innovative approaches in the teaching of Science. Upon their return, OTAP participants are expected to apply the skills and knowledge learnt to enhance the teaching and learning in their schools.
Currently, both teachers are working to enhance teaching and learning in BVSS, by leading the development and implementation of effective pedagogies with the teachers, conducting presentations of learning points, and by developing resource materials for use by their colleagues.
Summer Institute for Physics Teachers (Physics by Inquiry)
Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
24 June – 26 July 2013
The hands-on, inquiry-oriented method of instruction used in the Institute helps to prepare teachers to teach science as a process of inquiry. Physics by Inquiry emphasizes the process of science rather than the presentation and explanation of facts. Through in-depth study of simple physical systems and their interactions, participants gained direct experience with the process of science. Starting from their own observations, participants developed basic physical concepts, used and interpreted different forms of scientific representations, and constructed explanatory models. The course has been explicitly designed to develop scientific reasoning skills and to provide practice in relating scientific concepts, representations, and models to real world phenomena. Topics covered included electric circuits, kinematics and dynamics.
The course is designed and taught by Prof Lillian McDermott, an American President Teacher winner, and her team of instructors. Further details can be found at the website: https://courses.washington.edu/uwpeg/2013-summer
Mdm Reena Sivahnanthan
Inquiry in Rainforests: Summer Field Course for Teachers
Organisation for Tropical Studies, San Pedro, San José, Costa Rica
10 July – 23 July 2013
The 2-week program aimed to improve science teaching through open-ended, inquiry-based research. Mdm Reena was introduced to tropical natural history, and the course continued by guiding her in asking questions, formulating hypotheses, designing and conducting experiments, analyzing data, and presenting and discussing results. She also received training in filming and producing videos for use in teaching. Centered at La Selva Biological Station in a lowland Caribbean rainforest and the cloud forests of the highlands around Arenal Volcano, the course included discussions of tropical ecosystems and conservation, research focused on organisms and ecological concepts, and development of teaching and assessment plans for use back in our school.
Further details can be found on these websites:
Overseas Study cum Immersion Programme to Beijing for Secondary School Chinese Language Key Personnels from 3 Nov – 16 Nov 2013.
Mr Eugene Quake
Our Senior Teacher (Chinese Language), Mdm Gao Yi, attended the programme.The Programme aims to:
- Broaden the educational and cultural knowledge of our teachers;
- Provide a networking platform for Chinese teachers in both countries;
- Observe and learn pedagogies and assessment approaches in Chinese language classrooms;
- Deepen the content mastery of our teachers.
The Overseas Study cum Immersion Programme comprises lectures; school visits; a school attachment which allows for lesson observations and the opportunity to experience teaching in Chinese classrooms; and visits to places of cultural significance.
W4 Cluster Overseas Learning Journey to Chengdu China, 20th – 25th October 2013
Mdm Cheng Sze Mei (HOD/MT) attended this trip. The trip aims to:
- To deepen the understanding of the educational system in China and the contextual shaping of the education goals and directions
- To collaborate with schools in Chengdu in future educational initiatives and pedagogical strategies especially in the teaching of Chinese Language
- To immerse in the rich Chinese culture in Chengdu, China
Restorative Practice Workshop by Greg Jansen & Rich Matla from New Zealand (through ASCD)
Our staff attended the Restorative Practice workshop organised by ASCD on 15 November 2013. They learnt practical responsive pedagogy to strengthen their teaching and learning relationship with their students. They have learnt how to engage their students positively to bring about their holistic development.
The fundamental premise of restorative practices is that students are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes when those in authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them.
Collaborations with Institutes of Higher Learning & Professional Bodies
- Mathematics Department: collaboration with National Institute of Education (NIE). This is a 4-year (2012-2016) Design Experiment Project for Normal Academic students (DENA) to develop lesson packages for the Sec 1NA students.
- Science Department: collaboration with Gifted Education (GE) Branch to develop a programme to challenge high-ability learners. The programme affords pupils the opportunity to experience inquiry as scientist would. One of the key features of this programme is the progressive introduction of science process skills.
- English Department: collaboration with Curriculum Planning and Development Division of MOE (CPDD) on Project En-ELT – this is a Lesson Study research collaborations with CPDD on Retelling, Process Writing, Reciprocal Teaching and Creative, Critical & Inventive Thinking help students learn the importance of collaborative learning to become effective readers and writers.
- PE Department: collaboration with the Physical Education and Sports Science Department from NIE in conducting the Asia-Fit study which research on the physical activity profile of youths in major Asian cities.
- Mother Tongue Languages Department: collaboration with Educational Technology Division of MOE (ETD) and NIE on project ReACT – Redesigning for Assessing Critical Thinking . Our teachers will attend workshops conducted for Action Research, Effective Classroom Teaching Strategies and consultation hours with NIE professors to level up their competencies to develop and assess students’ critical thinking skills.
- CCE & Student Management Department – the school worked with ASCD to mount Restorative Practice workshop by Greg Jansen for some of our teachers. Among other things, they learned to use circle time and reflection to build positive Teacher-Student Relationship.
Professional Sharing by Our Teachers
As part of the teaching fraternity, our teachers regularly contribute to the professional development of other teachers by sharing at external platforms. Some of the examples of sharing done by our teachers in 2013 are shown below:
|S/N||Staff Participation in Sharing at External Events (Seminars/Conferences/etc)||Date of Event||Names of Staff involved||Description of External Events|
|01||Teacher-led Workshop at AST||11 April 2013||Chester Ong, Kelly Au, Lee Poh Tin, Nur Illya||Sharing on Alternative Assessment in Mathematics|
|02||MOE ExcelFest 2013||5 April 2013||Azri||Sharing on Strategies for Supporting Students with ADHD|
|03||Launch of Nutrition and Food Science Syllabus||20 & 21 Mar 2013||Ratna||Facilitator for the discussions and FinancialLit Learning Trails|
Recognition of Our Staff Contributions
ACADEMY AWARDS FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 2013 (ASSOCIATE AWARD)
Mdm Quek was conferred the
Associate of the Academy of Singapore Teachers Award
in 2013 for her contribution to the professional development of teachers.
The Academy Awards for Professional Development gives recognition to the important role that our education officers play in the professional development of teachers in the fraternity.