Last year, I shared how we were going to, over the course of three years, take a closer look at the three powerful words in our school vision i.e. ASPIRE.LEARN.LEAD. Last year, we looked at why it is important to aspire and have a growth mindset.
This year, we continue to build on that knowledge and understanding by turning our attention on the word ‘LEARN’. Let me start by sharing a story …
THE BUTTERFLY STORY
A boy found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body out of that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.
The boy decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. As a result, the butterfly emerged easily. However, it had a swollen body and small, shrivelled wings.
The boy continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the swollen body, which should then gradually contract with time.
Sadly, neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shrivelled wings. It never was able to fly.
The boy later learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon was Nature’s way of pushing the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions ended up hurting the butterfly.
How is this story relevant to us? Well… it is a useful reminder for us to think differently about the challenges we may encounter in school and how we respond to them. Do we see these challenges as ‘failures’ and give up? Do we blame others when things do not go the way we had hoped? Or do we approach these moments more positively and embrace them as learning opportunities?
Globalisation and technological advances are disrupting and transforming the way we live and work. In this fast-changing world, we need to possess the right attitudes, dispositions and skills to learn effectively and be motivated to learn throughout life. In short, we need to learn how to learn!
So what makes a good learner? Take a look at the 5Rs of Lifelong Learning below. It addresses the knowledge, skills and attitudes children (and adults!) ‘learning to learn’ should develop. How many of these qualities do you regularly put into action? Let us encourage and support each other to demonstrate all of them!
At Yu Neng Primary, we are committed to creating a vibrant and inviting learning culture and environment as well as an exciting 6-year YN Experience that nurtures passionate learners, creative thinkers and caring leaders. We believe in nurturing the joy of learning so that every pupil can discover his/her interests, grow his/her passions, and love what he/she is doing.
We place strong emphasis on developing pupils holistically and equipping them with 21C knowledge, skills and values in order to prepare them as future global citizens and leaders. It is with this in mind that we design our curriculum and programmes to feature four key domains: Real-world/Authentic, Technology-enabled, GR3IT and Student Voice.
A big thank you to all parents and visitors who joined us at our inaugural Learning Festival with the theme “Let the P.L.A.Y. Take Flight” last Saturday 8 July 2017 (Click here for our event video). Our destination? Future-Ready.
This unique event enabled us to celebrate and inspire a joy of learning by:
- Creating opportunities for students as ambassadors of learning to showcase their learning experiences and 21st century competencies
- Connecting with parents and the community to experience our signature learning programmes and activities in our vibrant school environment
It was a most memorable day for all who were present as we all learnt through P.L.A.Y. Our student ambassadors and performers (we had close to 400 pupils taking on such roles) certainly did us proud. Notwithstanding initial butterflies in their tummies, they worked in synergy with their team-mates to lead, present, explain, demonstrate, share, dramatize and importantly, drew powerful connections to what they have learnt in school. You may view the event pictures here.
As we enter Semester 2, let us put the 5Rs of lifelong learning into practice and remember that learning is a journey, not a destination.