Through the five Fundamental Beliefs, we have identified four Guiding Principles to underpin our teachers’ curricular and pedagogical practices, with the aim of engaging the Crestan in learning:
Guiding Principle 1: Customisation
Our teachers customise the curriculum to cater to our students’ learning needs and interests and learning styles, so as to enable them to achieve the learning outcomes.
To help our teachers customise the curriculum, every subject (both academic and vocational) has a curriculum framework and curriculum map that details the curriculum to be taught, including integrating with other subjects, e.g. teaching of English Language skills through students’ training in Retail Services. The curriculum map provides important information on how the learning plan can be customised to provide scaffolding for the students to achieve the learning outcomes. In developing the learning plan, the following key theories of teaching and learning are important references for our teachers:
Guiding Principle 2: Scaffolding
Our teachers employ a growth mindset in our teaching approaches as we believe that our students can improve when they apply effort in their learning. We use effective strategies to support and challenge their learning, and encourage them to embrace setbacks as opportunities for learning and for growth. In the process, our teachers strengthen our students’ self-worth and resilience.
In delivering the learning plan, our teachers encourage our students not to be intimidated by new learning. We scaffold our students’ learning by building on their prior knowledge and equipping them for learning new skills and knowledge. We also guide our students to connect prior learning experiences with new ones through modelling thinking processes with verbal communication. At times, explicit teaching is necessary for students to be clear and to remove ambiguity. As their learning confidence and ability increase, the level of scaffold is reduced accordingly to enable them to take greater self-ownership of the learning process.
Guiding Principle 3: Experience
Our teachers design authentic learning experiences by incorporating learning content that is meaningful, relevant and connected to the real-world. To engage our students in learning, we work collaboratively across departments to integrate skills and knowledge so as to provide immersive learning experiences that are real-world relevant and supported by the school’s well-resourced teaching facilities. We also extend our students’ learning beyond the school by partnering the industry to provide opportunities for them to embark on job attachments, internships, mentorships and learning journeys. These learning opportunities enrich their vocational learning and enhance career awareness.
Guiding Principle 4: Assessment
Our teachers assess students in meaningful ways that support their learning. We employ both summative and formative assessment modes to yield meaningful snap-shots of our students’ progress in learning. Practical assessment, in particular, is used to scaffold our students’ learning of skills and enable them to achieve mastery. We also provide high-quality feedback that is timely and specific to enable our students to make further improvements.