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Learning for Life Programme
Empathy and Critical Thinking through Community Problem Solving (CMPS)
In SJC, Learning for Life Programme (LLP) is a platform for students to build their critical and creative thinking, and nurture empathy and social awareness of community issues in Singapore and beyond.
SJC has adopted the Community Problem Solving (CmPS) strategy, a component of The Future Problem Solving Model developed by Paul Torrance as the approach for our LLP which is implemented through Values-In-Action (VIA) experiences for all students.
In lower secondary, through class VIA projects, students are exposed through a combination of lectures, workshops, newspaper article readings to social issues such as sustainability, Singapore’s ageing population and the challenges that youth face. Students then identify issues that they would like to address and guided by their form teachers. They brainstorm and subsequently work through mini-solutions using the CmPS approach. This process of identification, analysis, selection and proposing introduces students to basic project management and collaborative work as the process takes close to half a year.
In upper secondary, students are provided with their second platform for community work as a class via their Secondary Three Camp Metamorphosis Level Camp when classes work with TOUCH community agencies. Some CCAs have also come on board over the years and set aside the time to work on community outreach as well.
Since the inception of the LLP in 2014, issues that students have chosen to work on include environmental sustainability, care and respect for animals, youth addition to social media and social isolation. Organizations that SJCians have partnered regularly include NParks, PUB, NLB, St Luke’s Elder Care, and kindergartens and primary schools in the Sengkang, Punggol community.
In line with Pope Francis’ Laudato Si, a key focus of 2019’s lower secondary LLP lessons was environmental sustainability. Lower secondary students teamed up with the SUTD chapter of Paper Rangers, a Thai NGO. SJCians bound and decorated 300 over note books for primary school students living in Ban Phra Khue Nong Poe Wittaya School in Khon Kaen in north Thailand. As the school is in a remote part of the countryside, stationary is not readily available. Secondary Ones promoted “Using your own bag” at CompassOne shopping mall, while Secondary Threes promoted swapshop at an upcycling fashion festival after having been guided by a local fashion design on how to upcycle fashion creatively. Staff, students, PSG and representatives from the IJ Board marked National Day 2019 with the planting of 10 trees on campus to promote environmental sustainability.
Community outreach projects that have made a greater impact have also been submitted for the annual CmPS competition (Singapore Chapter).
2019: CmPS Top 10 finalists: Sec 2C’s project on reducing youth’s social media addiction and sleep hygiene issues.
2018: Sec 2E’s project on water conservation was selected as best project at the annual PUB Water Conservation Competition (junior section)
2017: CmPS Top 10 finalists: Debate CCA project on youth apathy towards social issues
2014: CmPS Top 10 finalists: Debate CCA project promoting environmental sustainability
Sec 2F galvanized the school community to join them in beach clean-ups. They also set aside time to share recycling and upcycling messages with members of the public (2019).
CmPS finalists (2C/2019), supported by their teachers and exhibits
Sec 3 Level Camp community work with the elderly