The Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) Department supports the school mission: We Learn, We Grow, We Achieve. Our primary focus is to guide our students to learn to be responsible to self, family and community, and to understand their roles in shaping their future and the future of our nation. Hence, all our CCE Programmes in OEPS are anchored on building positive self, positive relationships and positive experience for our students. To ensure a holistic approach to CCE, we have unpacked what we do under the six pillars of: Pupil Development, Pupil Leadership, Pupil Discipline, Pupil Support and Pupil Well-Being.
Our students are taught the school values, Excellence Through Diligence, Different Yet One and Integritiy In Us through many platforms. One such platform is Good Things@Opera, our weekly assembly programme, which is planned to incorporate talks, skits and performances on the teaching of values and skills that will help our students to dvelop good character and attitudes.
Values education programmes are carried out at both school and cohort levels. For example, the Attitude of Gratitude (AOG) programme carried out at school level advocates to students the importance of showing appreciation to others (non-teaching staff, family, teachers and peers) and doing their part by being respectful and responsible. Besides making cards as a form of appreciation for the non-teaching staff, the students make a consicous effort to keep their classrooms clean on a daily basis during the Let’s Clean Up Drill.
Values-in-Action programmes at each level takes students through a process of understanding the needs of others and how they can come together to meet that needs. For example, P4 students are given the opportunitity to be OEPS Ambassadors by hosting kindergarten students from Bethesda Kindergarten and Sparkletots after a series of lessons on learning how to communicate and engage their young guests. Similarly, P5 students host a group of elderly who resides in Chai Chee estate to show their care to the senior citizens.
In line with our efforts to raise awareness on community and national issues, the school has also embarked on Singapore Conversations, a programme geared at engaging our upper primary students to discuss contemporary issues. For example, students took part in discussions on the the importance of observing personal hygiene and social responsibility through teachable moments such as the recent Covid-19 outbreak and the wipe-down routines during recess times.
Form Teacher Guidance Period (FTGP) is conducted every Monday with lessons on teaching social-emotional competencies explicitly to our students. They learn important life skills such as taking personal responsibility, showing respect for self and others, caring for others and the environment, working as a team, showing determination to achieve one’s goal and showing resilience when faced with challenges. Students who demonstrate good values are affirmed as good role models during morning assembly and given due recognition like character badges to inspire the rest of the students.
Heritage Tours to Little India, Chinatown and Kampong Glam are conducted for P4, P5 and P6 cohort respectively with the aim of providing first-hand experience on the rich and diverse culture of the three main races in Singapore. It helps our students to understand the importance of being respectful to promote harmony in multi-racial Singapore.
The school believes that every child can Learn to Lead, Lead to Serve with a structured training and mentoring programme. Our student leadership programme is anchored on growing servant leaders. With that in mind, the school has created a wide range of student leadership roles encompassing different duties and responsibilities both in class, school and community. Students are identified early and undergo training to equip them with the values, skills and knowledge on how to be a caring, confident and responsible leader. They are then given opportunities to put into practice the skills that they have learnt at the induction Training and the Leadership Camp, as well as authentic learning experiences to carry their duties to serve their peers and the school.
Our student leaders have been actively involved in hosting guests from kindergarten schools, St Andrew’s Autism School and overseas schools from Thailand and China. Our student leaders who have graduated from OEPS have also been actively coming back to serve the school by giving talks to their junors. Student Leaders who do well are awarded the Opera Leader Excellence Award in recognition of their exemplary contributions to the school.
The school believes in Discipline With Dignity and adopts the Restorative Practices approach to teach our students to be self-disciplined. Students are taught about choices and consequences and the importance of taking personal responsibility for their actions and behaviours in and outside school. They are taught to Stop, Think and Do Right to help them make responsible decisions in daily situations.
In line with Discipline With Dignity, behavioural cases are managed with an educative approach by focusing on teaching our students to improve their social-emotional competencies. This is done by taking students through the process of writing reflections whereby they learn to understand their behaviour (self awareness), the impact of their actions on others (social awareness), how to improve their behaviour (responsible decision making), how to work with family, teachers and peers (relationship management) and how to manage and monitor their own behaviour (self-management). The reflections written by students are discussed and shared with parents to rally more support for the student in his journey towards self-discipline.
The school believes every student is an individual with unique quality and needs. The Many Hands approach helps the school in identiying the needs of our students early and exploring options on how the needs can be met so that they can learn, grow and achieve. Given proper support and coping skills, they can learn to manage themselves better, overcome challenges and work towards achieving their goals. Through their interactions, form teachers make efforts to build good rapport with their students.
Efforts are also made to guide students on self-management. Those who need a more intensive support are referred to the We-Care Support Team comprising our Allied Educators (AED) – AED Teaching & Learning, AED Counsellors and AED Learning & Behavioural Support. The school works closely with parents and together, with this concerted effort, we send a strong message to the child that he is not alone and the school cares for him.
The school believes that students will be happy if they are happy in school even when they are faced with obstacles because they have their teachers and friends who care for them and spend time with them. With positive relationships and positive experiences, we also aim to develop in each student a positive self with grit to overcome challenges and with gratitude to bring cheer to others around.
The school plans programmes and activities to promote positive Teacher-Student Relationship (TSR) and Student-Student Relationship (SSR). There are ample opportunities for teachers and students to interact and bond together. For example, the school adopted the Circle Time strategy to get students to share about themselves and learn about their peers in a relaxed setting. Form Teachers accompany students on learning journeys and school events so as to facilitate bonding time. Lessons in class are infused with group activities to promote social interaction and interactive learning. The school also taps on community resources to plan level-specific programmes to meet the needs and interests of the students. For example, the school partnered with Health Promotion Board to promote healthy eating habits.
Respect Thy Elderly Programme
Keep School Clean Movement
As part of the termly Keep School Clean Movement, our pupils practised personal responsibility by cleaning and clearing their desks and lockers. To end the term on a positive note, pupils also wrote about the experiences that made them happy.