Our Distinctive Programmes
Orators@Waterway, our school’s Applied Learning Programme, is a key programme aimed at nurturing our students into gracious persons, engaging communicators and confident leaders. Recognising the need for our students to be socially and culturally competent in an increasingly globalised world, we seek to equip them with the listening, thinking and speaking skills critical for thriving in the 21st century.
Students will receive training in areas such as drama, storytelling, topical sharing, news writing, literature appreciation, persuasive speaking, debating, and interview skills – all with a view to enable our students to use the English language and their body language skilfully to communicate their ideas. Within a secure and encouraging environment, each student is progressively groomed to reach his or her personal peak of excellence.
At the lower primary level, they learn to interact with others in a positive, respectful and culturally appropriate manner; conducting themselves well, practising active listening, maintaining eye contact with their communication partners and speaking clearly.
At the middle primary level, they learn to structure their presentations, to effectively engage their audience, and to speak with poise and confidence as they present to the crowds.
At the upper primary level, they are given the platform to showcase good speaking and presentation skills when they stand in front of the camera to share interesting Science facts as part of their broadcasting project. They brainstorm, plan, write their own script, shoot footage and edit their video from pre to post production.
Upper primary students who display strong verbal talent will have the opportunity to further develop their oral competencies and critical thinking skills through participating in the Debate Enrichment Programme. During the programme, students learn to frame their thoughts using clear deductive reasoning, put forth persuasive arguments and rebut their opponents’ arguments. In the process, they strengthen their communication, collaboration, and information skills and become more self-directed learners.
Growth and benEfit mindset
A Growth Mindset refers to the belief that a person’s abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work. According to Dr. Carol Dweck – the professor of psychology who coined the term and studied the scientific effects of a Growth Mindset for thirty over years. While someone with a fixed mindset believes in innate strengths, someone with a growth mindset believes that the brain is malleable and hence effort and experience can lead to higher achievement outcomes. Students who believe that they can learn more and can become smarter through hard work and perseverance indeed learn more, learn faster and learn more thoroughly. Such students perceive challenges and mistakes as opportunities to improve their learning and abilities. As such, they have a love for learning and the resilience necessary for great accomplishments.
The school values of Self-discipline and Integrity underpin a Growth Mindset.
Technology is used to enhance the learning of our pupils. Starting from Semester 2 in the P1 year, ICT lessons are conducted for 2 periods a week. Over the course of their 6 years at Waterway Primary School, pupils will learn how to use application software to source, integrate and synthesise information for learning as well as presentations to engage an audience when presenting. They will also learn cyber wellness to develop their instinct to use technology ethically and to keep themselves safe when using the internet.
Waterway Primary School adopts Flipped Classroom, an approach used in many parts of the world, to promote learning beyond the classroom. Teachers prepare lessons and upload them for pupils to learn at their own pace or to relearn the lessons when needed. Teachers may also direct pupils to access some resources on the internet which can then be used for lively discussions in the classroom. While some of the learning is done outside of class lessons, teachers can use classroom lesson time to focus on higher order or more complex learning processes such as applying, analysing, evaluating, creating, etc. How Flipped Classroom helps learning in school is shown in the video.
An example of flipped classroom learning – Teachers uploaded resources so that pupils could learn more about the Rio 2016 Olympics at home. They came back to class and presented games such as volleyball, gymnastics and water polo. Everyone in the class was familiar with the games having watch them at home. In the class, teachers and pupils had adequate time to work on organising the presentations, writing the presentation and presentation skills.
Computational Thinking Skills (CoTs)
Computational thinking is an analytical thinking skill to solve problems in a systematic way. In computational thinking, problem formulation is an important step to problem solving. Students are taught cognitive strategies such as breaking down tasks or problems, identifying patterns and hypothesising so as to plan the coding actions.
The desired student outcomes of teaching and learning Computational Thinking Skills (CoTS) are:
Developing positive learning dispositions as students develop cognitive strategies and articulate their thinking.
Developing metacognitive skills as hypothesising, predicting and testing out possibilities make thinking visible.
CoTs is taught to all students through ICT based lessons and PAL modules for lower primary and modular CCA for P3 to P6 students. For a smaller group of interested and talented students, CoTs is further developed through Robotics and Infocomm and Media interest CCAs.
Students’ CoTs learning experience include:
P1 and P2
Basic coding with block codes for Dash and Dot Robots and Strawbees for simple robotic functions such as playing music, moving and exploring terrain, animation of 3d-straw designs
Coding Microbits with IMDA propriety program for household gadgets.
P3 and P4
Modular CCA (for all)
Intermediate block coding (more levels of control than basic) for Wedo and Mindstorm Robots.
Creating videos and images with Adobe suite
Web page design
Interest CCA (a smaller group)
Advance block coding (more levels of control and functions) for robotics and animation
Programming Language with Python
Good Morning School
Every morning before the start of school, teachers share on a wide range of subjects such as current affairs, world events, science, art and music to expose pupils to the world outside their classroom and Singapore. Examples of sharing include high-speed rail to be built between Singapore and KL, Formula One, Our neighbourhood in Punggol, Time zones and seasons at different parts of the world, Children and teachers going hungry in other countries.