Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Secondary) (PL), is a Government-aided Autonomous school, blessed with a long heritage. We are a Mission school developing students holistically with a strong emphasis on character development and academic excellence.
The school’s brand of holistic education aims to cater to the different needs of her pupils in realising her vision of producing women of fine character, who will grow in wisdom (cognitive development), in stature (leadership, aesthetics and physical development), and in favour with God and man (social and moral development).
PL’s brand of holistic education:
PL seeks to actualize her vision by nurturing every pupil into confident individuals, passionate learners, active citizens and inspiring leaders (PL’s Desired Outcome of Education) with the right values (A PL-Lite is a woman after God’s H.E.A.R.T. - She honours God, has an excellence mindset and is adaptable, respects (and is respected), and always thankful).
An integrative approach with customisation to meet her pupils’ needs and develop their interests and talents, catering to all three courses (Exp, NA, NT), is adopted in structuring her brand of holistic education. This encapsulates a range of school-designed programmes and a key signature programme ‘PL Overseas Community Involvement’ which facilitate pupils’ development in the five domains (cognitive, social & moral, leadership, aesthetic and physical) synergistically.
A differentiated curriculum is designed to meet the needs of pupils with varying academic abilities and to maximise their potential in the academic and aesthetics areas. For instance, higher ability pupils in all courses are developed cognitively through an Accelerated & Enriched Academic Programme, exposing them to greater depth and breadth of the subjects from secondary one. A comprehensive aesthetics programme, providing Art, Music, Dance and Drama education, is also implemented for all levels across all courses to nurture pupils’ aesthetic talents and interests, and develop in them an appreciation for the aesthetics.
To equip pupils with relevant life skills to face future challenges, a structured values-based curriculum, focusing on life skills and values education incorporating National Education, Civics Moral Education, Sexuality Education, Career Guidance and 21st Century Skills (LiVE) is implemented for all levels across all courses. In addition, the Lifestyle Club is introduced as a customised life skills development programme meeting the specific needs of NT pupils across all levels. The NT pupils have since participated in and won awards at various inter-school skills-based competitions.
Following the lower secondary programme of service learning in the local context, the signature ‘PL Overseas Community Involvement’ programme provides an enriching opportunity to develop every pupil as they plan for service learning projects to serve the needs of the disadvantaged in overseas communities. These projects see to the integration of National Education and pupils’ development in leadership, life skills, 21st century competencies and ICT skills.
A structured assessment framework that is both developmental and performance-oriented is used to monitor and assess pupils’ development in the five domains in alignment to PL’s DOE. School-designed assessment tools, such as CAsT and LeADer, provide information on the competencies level of the desired pupils’ outcomes and enable pupils to reflect and chart their development. It also allows teachers to assist pupils in their journey of continuous improvement to reach the outcomes.
Recognising the importance of key partners to advance the school’s mission and vision, a variety of programmes is organized to engage parents (current and alumni) and alumni pupils at different levels (supporting, interaction, contribution), thus fostering synergistic partnership. The parent support group plays a significant role in organising activities that impact other parents in the school. This has led to the initiative of a yearly Parents’ Conference since 2009, reflecting the commitment of the parents and alumni parents in shaping pupils’ holistic development together with the school.
In strengthening the vibrant arts culture which is an identified niche area, PL hosts the East Zone Centre of Excellence for Creative Arts. This has resulted in collaborative work with schools in the east zone in developing the arts education programme which impacts a larger population of pupils.
1. Redefining success based on each child’s ability
Defining success solely based on the academics may no longer be relevant with the constantly changing world trends. The need to work in partnership with parents and pupils to formulate the definition of success anchored on their passion and interests is now necessary. In a school where continuous improvement is her culture, a rigorous feedback process is set in place for pupils’ and parents’ voices to be heard so as to help each child search and narrate her own defined success story.
2. Continuous effort to build staff capacity
The system is only as strong as its people. Developing staff competencies, especially with an increasingly younger staff profile, is critical to bring about desired outcomes. PL aspires to maintain a sound staff development process that is continually reviewed to ensure relevancy and effectiveness.