Values-In-Action (Learning for Life Programme)
Since 2014, the Values-In-Action (VIA) Programme has been an integral part of the school’s Learning for Life Programme (LLP). The programme aims to nurture in our students the joy of lifelong learning and to develop in them a stronger intrinsic motivation to learn. The school’s VIA programme supports students’ development as socially responsible citizens who contribute meaningfully to the community, through the learning and application of values, knowledge and skills. VIA fosters student ownership over how they contribute to the community.
The school’s Values-In-Action programme hopes to develop in students lifelong skills and achieve the following objectives, where students are able to:
- Plan and implement ideas;
- Speak confidently and be an effective communicator - this includes championing for a cause and communicating at various levels;
- Reflect on their VIA journey so as to be a more empathetic and caring citizen; and
- Deepen their social and civic responsibility.
The VIA journey
In light of the Covid pandemic, VIA activities took on a different form in Term 3 this year. The school, in partnership with various beneficiaries and social agencies, planned various ways for students to have a meaningful VIA experience. Activities included online sessions with various beneficiaries, video making and care packages.
The theme for the Secondary 1 VIA programme is “Environmental Awareness”.
The Secondary 1 students had a virtual learning experience about Singapore’s marine environment. An education partner, shared with the Secondary 1 students the aspects of caring for the coastal environment. Throughout the terms the students learn about Singapore’s rich biodiversity and how to ensure its survival. To sum up their learning reflection logs were done up and students designed posters that promoted environmental awareness.
The theme for Secondary 2 VIA programme is “Singapore’s Ageing Population”, which focuses on the societal needs of the elderly in Singapore.
With Safe Management Measures (SMM) in place, the Secondary 2 students got creative as they thought of ways to engage the VWOs and beneficiaries. Secondary 2 classes came up with online activities to engage the elderly in the time of Covid19 where interaction and extended care to the elderly, needy and vulnerable are of utmost importance. Secondary 2 classes planned proxy activities centered around online instructional videos like basic exercises and use of technology - all with the aim of improving well-being of the elderly in various Senior Activities Centre. The videos and activities was then sent to the senior activities centres tagged to the classes.
The theme for Secondary 3 VIA programme is “Working for the Good of Society".
Looking at wider societal issues, some Secondary 3 classes came together and gave coordinated care packages to migrant workers, the elderly and the needy. Activities were also designed with the theme of ‘working for the good of society’ in mind. Other classes taught sign language to the elderly; and planned and played games with children. Instructional videos, games, and relaxation tips were among some of the activities planned by our students to help others. The VWOs engaged included Methodist Welfare Services (MWS), Welcome Into My Back Yard (WIMBY), Fei Yue Service centre and Harvest Care Centre.
Secondary 4 & 5
Graduating students completed their VIA journey with the Capstone Project. A culmination of all their VIA experiences and learning, this final VIA project consolidates students’ understanding of societal issues. This provided the platform for students to give back to the community.
Secondary 4 and 5 students took ownership over their capstone project as they deepened their engagement with the beneficiaries partnered in Secondary 3. Our graduating students were encouraged to think critically, solve challenging problems and develop lifelong learning skills of goal setting, self-sufficiency and teamwork.
On 31 August 2020, our GEMS had the privilege to listen to a live interview session with Mr Cai Yin Zhou, a social entreperneur, who is also a former student of the school. Students learnt about the experiences of being a social entrepreneur and how to organize events and initiatives that advocate a cause. The personal sharing gave students insight from the ground and ways to initiate positive VIA experience.
The latter part of the money was spent putting the finishing touches on their activities.
To conclude VIA Day, an in-depth reflection facilitated by form teachers, brought students through their VIA journey to be caring citizens and make a positive difference to society.