Citizenship & Character Education
Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) in Lianhua Primary School (LHPS) is integral to the holistic development of our students, leading to positive life outcomes. LHPS CCE provides an integrated approach to addressing our students’ development of values, character, social-emotional well-being and citizenship dispositions in a coherent and holistic way.
LHPS CCE Philosophical Foundations
The following philosophical foundations are fundamental to the broad approach towards the design and enactment of LHPS CCE, in alignment with the Singapore Curriculum Philosophy.
- The Individual
- Every child has the potential to flourish and live fulfilling lives – as individuals, family members, friends, community members, and citizens of Singapore and the world.
- We can consciously build our character, and who we choose to be, as we engage and interact with one another and the environment around us, and as we encounter life’s ups and downs.
- Every context and experience of life, whether planned or unplanned, holds immense possibility for developing our character and citizenship competencies and dispositions.
- The key to living a fulfilling life is to develop a sense of purpose, knowing we can have a positive impact on others or do something constructive to contribute to society.
- Schools serve a critical function as they provide rich learning platforms and opportunities for students to be equipped with the knowledge, moral and civic values, skills and dispositions to understand who they are and who they can become. Through a variety of learning activities within and beyond the classroom, students experience being part of something larger than themselves and become cognizant of their roles and responsibilities in their families, communities, the nation and beyond.
- School leaders, key personnel and teachers play a key role in CCE. Their conviction and commitment to be role models influence the effectiveness of school efforts for the development of character, social-emotional well-being and citizenship dispositions in our students.
- Teachers have direct influence over their students and need to be reflective practitioners. Using developmentally appropriate, process-based pedagogies, they need to be able to facilitate their students’ learning, practice and internalisation of moral and civic values, and social-emotional competencies.
- It takes a village to raise a child. Schools partner with families, and the broader community in the upbringing and education of our children to grow in character, and play an active role in society, the nation and beyond.
LHPS CCE Curriculum Frame Guiding Principles
We place students at the heart of all our efforts in CCE, catering to their developmental needs and their social-emotional well-being, as we nurture their character growth and help to socialise them into morally upright individuals, and responsible and active citizens.
The essence of student-centricity is to seek to understand students’ needs and interests when designing learning experiences, focusing on student engagement and voice. In this way, we empower them to derive personal meaning from their learning experiences.
We also focus on understanding the purpose and impact of what we do for our students, and regularly take stock of our efforts. We continue and strengthen the approaches that are effective, and modify or discard those that are not.
We design and carry out programmes and learning experiences within and outside the classroom with intentionality, and do not leave learning to chance. This means that we articulate with clarity the intended learning outcomes that develop the desired values, social-emotional competencies and citizenship dispositions in our students, and purposefully apply pedagogical approaches that are developmentally appropriate, engage students cognitively and affectively, and have an impact on their learning.
CCE cannot be perceived in a silo or taught as a subject. Instead, the educational experience that we provide in our schools, for our students, needs to facilitate the development of character and citizenship dispositions, and social-emotional well-being, in a coherent way across the total curriculum. As such, important aspects of CCE, such as Mental Health (MH), Cyber Wellness (CW), Sexuality Education (SEd), Family Education (FE), National Education (NE) and Education and Career Guidance (ECG), are integrated within a whole-school approach. This is essential for students to internalise the necessary values, attitudes and competencies to become self-directed learners, confident people, active contributors and concerned citizens, which are the desired outcomes of education.
Effective CCE implementation also requires conviction and dedicated support from school leaders, all key personnel, teachers and other staff. For this reason, LHPS has established and internalised a shared vision and purpose for CCE through a process of dialogue and meaning-making. We aim to build and use a common language to communicate and reinforce consistent messages on what it takes to foster dispositions of character and citizenship and apply social-emotional competencies in the process.
LHPS CCE Goals
LHPS CCE aims to develop in our students:
- Good character:
- Resilience and social-emotional well-being:
- Future readiness:
- Active citizenship:
Have a sound moral compass and a strong sense of right and wrong, think critically and ethically, be discerning in judgment, take responsibility for choices and actions, be caring towards others and strive for excellence;
Have a balanced sense of self, form healthy relationships, be resilient when faced with challenges, find meaning in life, and have a sense of gratitude and appreciation;
Have a sense of purpose in life, develop the dispositions of adaptability and lifelong learning so as to be able to navigate education and career pathways purposefully and take on the challenges of the future, including the world of work and life; and
Develop a strong national identity based on a sense of belonging to the nation, a sense of hope in themselves and the future, an awareness of the reality of Singapore’s vulnerabilities and constraints, and the will to act on improving the lives of others, and building a future for our nation.
Play, Passion, Purpose
‘Play, Passion, Purpose’ is the school’s motto which encapsulates the school’s vision of ‘Hearts of Service’, ‘Minds of Inquiry’, Joy in Learning’ and ‘Confidence in Life’.
Our school vision ‘Hearts of Service. Minds of Inquiry. Joy in Learning. Confidence in Life.’ encapsulates the philosophy with which our students will approach lifelong learning and learning for life.
Through ‘Hearts of Service’, we want our students to be empowered leaders who will nurture students to lead by serving others, school and community; to volunteer and pay it forward; and to do their part to make a difference to self and others.
‘Minds of Inquiry’ is about developing the attitude and habits of mind in seeking knowledge and understanding, and to possess the analytical and problem-solving skills in order to become effective agents of self-directed and collaborative learning.
‘Joy in Learning’ is about having engaged learners who will learn through curiosity and discovery. It aims to provide the platforms for our students to learn by sharing, creating, playing and enjoying authentic experiences.
With ‘Confidence in Life’, we hope that our students will be able to gain self-confidence through the identification of their strengths and talents, and to be aware of their own aspirations, in order to ignite the intrinsic motivation in themselves and others, and therefore be able to express themselves well and confidently.
Figure 1 : Play, Passion, Purpose Framework
‘Play, Passion, Purpose’ is a school customised curriculum that includes school experiences in play, passion and purpose.
- School Experiences Through Play
- School Experiences Through Passion
- School Experiences with a Sense of Purpose (Volunteerism)
LHPS designs a school-based curriculum to let students learn through play. Play allows a child to learn to make sense of the world around them. Through play children can develop social and cognitive skills, mature emotionally, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments. Programme for Active Learning (PAL) is one of the many ‘play experiences’ our students go through. PAL is a programme for our Primary One and Primary Two students which provides opportunities for students to discover new interests, develop character and enables them to develop social-emotional competencies.
Passion Project is a student-centric tool which encourages the students to discover their passions, strengths and source of motivation. Every child is different and very few schools are able to reach out to the true potential of each child. Through this project, every child is given the opportunity to seek joyful learning by exploring their interests and discovering their passions. Through play, girls and boys in the school will experience different domains of learning, which include technology, arts, music, sports, nature, dance, languages and even mathematics.
Making use of the new-found passions, passion-seekers are then challenged to go on a deep learning journey and to inspire others by sharing their passion and journey. Some of them actually went on to find a purpose by using their passions to make a difference to others. These challenges build on the child’s resilience and confidence.
Volunteerism is the word used by the school to encourage our students to create in life a mission to make a difference to others in a self-directed manner.
In the previous years, students were given plenty of Values-in-Action (VIA) projects to lead and to participate in, such as the Runninghour, the Marine Life Conservation, the Green Schools Projects, and the Community Outreach.
Community Outreach During Chinese New Year
Bringing Joy to Others
2021, however, was a year in which the Covid situation disrupted most the schools’ plan for VIA projects. Many projects were shelved due to the restrictions in interactions among students and external agencies.
For Lianhua Primary School, we took a different approach for VIA. Students were called to exercise daily VIAs in the classroom and other school experiences, whenever possible, in the form of an initiative named ‘Lianhua Superhero Mission – Making a Difference’. Students were encouraged to contribute positively to the class and the school in order to create a culture of care among the students. Conversations between the Form Teachers and the students further enhanced their understanding and conviction to be a contributing citizen in Lianhua.
It was therefore not surprising to see students volunteering in various ways, ranging from helping to take care of the school gardens, to using their spare time to make encouraging notes and cards for the medical frontline staff.
In June this year, one of our Primary One students, started a ‘Care and Share’ corner with her own savings in order to help the needy residents in her estate. Shakthi from Primary One Resilience was so inspired by the Project SMILE that she decided to pay it forward to the society in her own way. Now, Shakthi is an inspiration to all of us. She captured the spirit of Volunteerism so well that we hope more of her generation will be like her one day.
LHPS CCE Roadmap
The LHPS CCE Roadmap helps the school, the staff and the students to make sense of the CCE experiences in the school. It aims to build and use a common language to communicate and reinforce consistent messages on what it takes to foster dispositions of character and citizenship and apply social-emotional competencies in the process.