Applied Learning Programme (ALP)
Learning Science – the I³ (Inquiry, ICT & Innovation) Approach, is a consolidation of the school’s multi-pronged efforts to infuse inquiry-based pedagogy, seamless learning and innovation into the design of the Science Programme.
Inquiry – Making Thinking Visible
In support of the first tenet of the school vision “Thinkers.Learners.Leaders.”, specifically “Critical Thinkers with an Inquiring Mind” – a key 21st century competency, the school leverages on the Visible Thinking Routines from Harvard University’s Project Zero initiative, to explicitly teach pupils how to think critically and inventively and apply these skills in their day-to-day learning.
Making thinking visible in the classroom provides pupils with vivid models of what the process of good thinking looks like and shows them how their participation matters. Through the use of thinking routines, we want pupils to learn to ask thoughtful questions, to construct careful explanations, to explore new viewpoints, to see the complexity and multi-dimensionality of the topics they study. It is hoped that through this, pupils will be able to bring their experiences and learning from the classroom into their daily lives.
Since 2012, the school has incorporated Visible Thinking routines into the Science Curriculum. It was introduced to the Science department with the intention to develop a thinking-based curriculum focusing on teaching for understanding to address the lack of depth in the understanding of science concepts. Following the successful infusion of thinking routines into one science topic in one P5 class, this was subsequently scaled to the whole P5 level in 2013, and extended to levels in 2014-2015.
ICT – Seamless Science
Learning is seamless as it taps on the mediated 1:1 technologies to enable pupils to learn beyond the classroom (anywhere) and outside of curriculum time (anytime). Pupils are issued with a tablet during Science lessons, with each tablet equipped with a suite of software applications. Mind-mapping and animation applications, as well as the camera, note pad and search functions available on the tablet are tapped on to help pupils capture their thinking processes through the thinking routines that they practise, organize their learning and reinforce their concepts.
Integrated Project Work (IPW) is a platform that we have created for our P5 pupils to experience the process of innovation through investigative case based learning, which is linked to the Science theme of Systems. Through IPW, the pupils synthesize knowledge from various areas of learning and inventively apply it to real life situations.
For pupils with greater interest and/or aptitude, the school provides platforms and development opportunities through the Sony Creative Science Challenge and the Science Olympiad.
The Sony Creative Science Challenge allows our pupils to use their imagination and creativity to make toys that demonstrate scientific principles. It has helped to develop and promote interest as well as creativity in science among the pupils.
Science Olympiad training and competition provides the platform for our upper primary (Primary 4 to Primary 6) pupils who demonstrate interest and ability in Science to engage in scientific investigations involving advanced science concepts. It fosters scientific inquiry, habits, attitudes and dispositions of scientists in pupils as well as other important 21st century competencies such as critical and inventive thinking and effective communication skills.
Learning opportunities to support the I³ approach for those who exhibit greater interest and/or aptitude include:
1) I³ in Science Activity Cards (ISAC)
1.1 The school taps on the Science Activity Cards that are issued by the Science Centre as a means to extend the pupils’ learning beyond the classroom and curriculum. The tasks are varied, exposing and requiring the pupils to practise each of the 3 ‘I’s independently in their own capacity and guided and mentored by the teachers. The objectives of the ISAC are to stimulate interest in science activities among pupils, enable pupils to carry out self-directed activities in the areas of interest in science, and provide opportunities for pupils to develop initiative and creativity. There are at least 16 different Young Scientist badges, which can be earned. But in Jing Shan, we are focusing on Young Zoologist for Primary 3, Young Botanist for Primary 4, Young Water Ambassador for Primary 5 pupils and Young Ecologist for Primary 6 pupils which are in line with the Science curriculum in school.
2) I³ in Sony Creative Toy Science Challenge (ISCTSC)
2.1 The school taps on the Sony Creative Toy Science Challenge that is organised by the Science Centre to extend the pupils’ learning of science concepts and make practical applications of science concepts learnt in the creation of a toy. Winning teams of the in-house competition are then selected to participate at the national level.
3) I³ in Science Olympiad (ISO)
3.1 The school identifies and trains pupils under the mentorship of experienced Science teachers to participate in the various Science Olympiads organized annually, specifically Raffles Science Olympiad, Raffles Girls’ Secondary Science Olympiad and Singapore Primary Science Olympiad.