“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” - Winston Churchill
Curiosity, Care and Connections
Happy new year to all. To our new Primary 1 students and parents, a warm welcome to the Hougang Primary (HGP) family!
At HGP, our vision is to nurture every child into a future-ready thinker with a heart for others. The massive disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated and amplified the complexities and uncertainties that the future presents. However, like any crisis, the pandemic has also given educators and parents the opportunity and impetus to reimagine, redefine and redesign what learning truly means for our children. For example, the interruptions to physical schooling has strengthened our conviction, confidence and capabilities in online pedagogy. Today, it is an essential supplement to brick-and-mortar classroom instruction, with the power to make learning more enriching, engaging and empowering. By exploring and acquiring knowledge beyond the traditional confines of the textbooks, tests and classrooms, students are better able to take ownership of what they learn, developing into active and inquisitive learners ready for the future of learning and work.
As Singapore continues to emerge stronger from the pandemic in 2022, we hope to seek and seize new opportunities to provide our children with a well-rounded, student-centric learning experience at HGP. In line with our school vision, we will sharpen our focus on three broad areas: (i) cultivating curiosity in HGPians, (ii) strengthening the culture of care among students and staff, and (iii) forging closer connections with our key partners.
(i) Cultivating Curiosity in HGPians
Curiosity is a key ingredient in self-directed, life-long learning. The journey into online learning has greatly expanded and deepened our educational beliefs that our children’s natural sense of wonder is critical to helping them uncover new knowledge and discover their joy of learning. In 2022, HGPians can look forward to two Independent Learning Periods (ILP) in class per week, which aim to provide unstructured time in the curriculum for students to consolidate their learning, consult their teachers, or simply connect with their areas of interest such as Art and Craft and Music. With the potential safe resumption of after-school co-curricular activities (CCAs) and learning journeys, our children will also be able to benefit from experiences beyond the classroom and develop a greater sense of purpose and interest in what they learn.
(ii) Strengthening the Culture of Care Among Students and Staff
Nationally, there has been a growing concern over the psychological impact of the pandemic, which is exacerbated by the ongoing curbs on group-based and social activities to keep schools safe. To counter this, it is important to ramp up our efforts to safeguard the mental health and social-emotional well-being of both our students and staff. In 2022, the school will continue to strengthen the culture of care undergirding our programmes. An additional form teacher guidance period (FTGP) will be set aside weekly for teachers to check in with the children and flag out any areas of concern early. A peer support structure will also be instituted to encourage students to look out for one another. For our staff, we will invest time and effort to streamline the school programmes, in order to help them achieve better work-life balance and improve their mental wellness.
(iii) Forging Closer Connections with Key Partners
Communication is key during a crisis, to build and engender trust among stakeholders. We will continue to connect with our key partners, especially parents, through multiple touchpoints. These include existing communication channels such as emails and Parent Gateway circulars, as well as more interactive platforms like level-wide parent briefings and the parent-child-teacher conferences. As part of our continual outreach to the different stakeholders, the school is also launching an e-newsletter in 2022 to capture and share inspiring and heart-warming stories of both students and staff.
2021 has proven to be a watershed year, punctuated with changes to the safe management measures and disruptions to the traditional schooling experience that all of us were accustomed to. At the same time, it was also a defining year of new opportunities for our staff, students and parents. We look forward to 2022 and beyond with renewed hope and optimism, by building on the key tenets of curiosity, care and connections in designing, implementing and evaluating our school programmes. Wishing everyone a safe, smooth-sailing and successful year ahead!