25 Oct, 2019
10 : 00
A fundamental aspect of Yew Chung’s philosophy is the emphasis on a holistic approach to learning and the equal importance given to all areas beyond the academic curriculum including the arts, technology, character education, and sports. In line with our Principles and Practices, nurturing each and every student’s talent to the fullest potential is a pivotal part of our ethos which our teachers equally value.
Identifying students’ talents and interests“Instead of molding students into shapes we think are fit for them, it is important to allow them to flourish into the person they are meant to be.” according to Jane Martuneac Kang, Upper Primary Learning and Teaching Coordinator. The Yew Chung (YC) pedagogy, Learning Communities and the relationships teachers develop with individual students collectively enable students’ unique talents and interests to be identified. This may be achieved in the form of daily conversations between teachers and students as a way of ascertaining what each of their interests or academic strengths are.
In addition to building quality student-teacher relationships, learners may at times be grouped according to their specific areas of interests and abilities, which affords teachers an opportunity to further engage and have a better understanding of students’ interests. This is continuous in our innovative Learning Communities, especially due to their flexible nature.
Through our Co-Curricular activities, Violin Programme and Sports activities, students at YC and YW are encouraged to explore areas of interest they have yet explored - as they stand to gain additional skills. Jane Martuneac Kang reiterated our commitment to a holistic approach to education by saying “We believe it is important to nurture the whole child to help them develop into a balanced person,” and by doing that “we are helping to developing in them a wide and diverse range of skills.”
Nurturing talents and skillsOnce students’ skills are identified, the onus is on the teachers and schools to nurture and provide a conducive environment for them to blossom in their respective areas of interest.As a result, at Yew Chung and Yew Wah, we have programmes and strategies in place which see to this. The Artist–in– Residence and Scientist-in-Residence programmes are examples of how we reinforce students’ interests in diverse fields of study. Observing and interacting with experts gives students a hands-on experience and an opportunity to further develop their skill set.
An additional way we nurture talents is by giving students the autonomy to explore a variety of options in their quest for answers. Finding answers to a question may be complex, and might require different strategies to reach. Learning Celebrations are a depiction of how when doing a research project, students “might wish to show the final project through a PowerPoint presentation, opt to make an infographic or write a book”, says Jane. This does not deviate from the curriculum being taught because “they are all following similar steps in the lead up to the final project” she stated. These methods, as chosen by the students still integrate core skills such as research, which despite their talents and interests, they will make use of in future.
By discovering, encouraging and nurturing students’ talents, we are inclined “to get the best out of them which in turn they will provide the best of their abilities for the world,” Jane concluded.