More support for teachers in schools piloting subject-based banding
Additional help from MOE includes learning communities and training workshops
The Ministry of Education (MOE) has been providing additional professional development support for teachers in the 28 schools that will be piloting the full subject-based banding system (SBB) next year.
Full SBB was announced earlier this year to replace the current streaming system, which sorts students into Express, Normal (Academic) or Normal (Technical) based on their Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results.
With the new system, students will take subjects at different levels based on their strengths. The system will be rolled out in all secondary schools by 2024.
In a press release yesterday , MOE said that the additional support will ensure that teachers are well-equipped to implement the various aspects of full SBB and manage the needs of a broader range of students.
Some of the support includes subject-specific Networked Learning Communities (NLCs), training workshops and collaborations with teaching leaders and mentors.
MOE said that they have extended the NLCs to teachers from the pilot schools to encourage the sharing of best practices and teaching approaches in the classroom.
In these learning communities, MOE headquarters' master teachers, who are teaching leaders and mentors, and curriculum planners will support teachers in identifying and addressing their needs for a particular subject, said the ministry.
MOE has also developed new workshops for the teachers, to enable them to teach and manage more diverse classrooms.
DIFFERENT LEARNING NEEDS
These include workshops on strengthening positive classroom culture, tailoring instruction to meet different learning needs and ways to assess students' learning.
Ms Chionh Chew Peng, head of the English Language department at Yuying Secondary School, which is one of the pilot schools, told The New Paper that the teachers have benefited from the programme.
She gave the example of the Literature department, which, through the programme, has been exploring innovative teaching methods including the object lesson approach.
She said: "For example, in teaching the theme of transience, students were asked to hold items such as ice cubes over time to draw connections to familiar concepts such as the passing of time, fading memories and the impermanence of life. Such methods allowed students to translate abstract concepts into concrete experiences."
She added: "SBB celebrates the strengths and interests of the individual student.
"For subjects that are fairly new to them, innovative teaching methods help to arouse the innate curiosity of students and heighten their appreciation of the subjects."