What is CAL?

Our school’s name can sometimes be confusing to people who are not familiar with us, especially with the word ‘cal’ highlighted. People have walked into the school inquiring about our Mathematics or Science courses!

We want to set the record straight – CAL actually stands for CAL2. It is our unique framework for English mastery and success.

What does CAL2 stand for? It basically consists of two groups of components, CAL Objectives and CAL Complexities –

a) Content Objectives, Assessment Objectives and Learning Objectives, AND
b) Content Learning, Active Thinking and Leadership Skills.

The two CAL together constitute of CAL2: CAL X CAL = CAL2

Content Objectives, Assessment Objectives and Learning Objectives (CAL Objectives)

CAL Objectives help in ensuring that our students achieve the outcomes necessary for academic excellence and success outside school.

The following diagram should explain it better:

Content Objectives Assessment Objectives Learning Objectives
Mastery in subject content in order to build a broad base of English vocabulary and thematic knowledge. Understand and meet MOE and SEAB’s assessment objectives Mastery in CAL and English Language skills

Content Learning, Active Thinking and Leadership Skills (CAL Complexities)

CAL Complexities on the other hand measures and assess our students’ cognitive and holistic development. It also ensures that we challenge our students with activities and assessments that are rigorous cognitively.

The attached diagram explains what we intend to achieve:

Content Learning Active Thinking Leadership Skills
Assess student’s ability to understand and apply skills and knowledge Asses student’s ability to evaluate, synthesise and create information Assess student’s ability to collaborate and lead

Our framework is modelled after the work of prominent educational psychologist and educators such as Dr Benjamin Bloom. We have improved it by building onto it, our own understanding of real world skills. We believe that this is very unique as there are not many schools which feature founders that include people with experience in the private and public sectors.

Together, CALprovides a powerful framework for learning English as well as creating a solid academic foundation for great results, both in school and outside school.

We do not just narrowly focus on just improving examination results, but we focus on providing quality and holistic education for our students – yet at the same time ensuring our students get great results. That is the power of CAL2.

To know more about our framework and our courses, feel free to call, email or just walk in to talk to us. We will be happy to provide more information.

Gifted Tutor?

Recently, a tutor from a tuition school was told to stop advertising himself as a student of the Gifted Education Programme (GEP). MOE ran some checks in response to complaints from parents and discovered that he was neither a student nor a teacher in the GEP programme. Now, he claims to be a relief teacher who helped out in the GEP programme. But no teacher that taught in the GEP recalled such a relief teacher. I wonder how many people were fooled by him and paid top money to learn about strategies to enter the GEP.

I think the most important lesson that we can take away from this is to check the credibility of the tutors that you employ or the tuition centres that you enrol your child in. I mean, just because somebody is able to rent a place doesn’t make him automatically qualified to teach.

I always have copies of my academic certificates (my BA, MA and PDGE) at hand. And any teacher employed by RG Channel will also have copies of their certificates on , But so far, nobody who has enrolled in RG Channel or made enquiries ever asked me to produce my certificates. This makes me wonder how many children out there are taught by unqualified and unprofessional tutors.

In RG Channel, we believe that having qualified teachers is not enough. We want qualified and well-trained teachers who are also ahead of others in pedagogy knowledge. Other than planning my lessons, teaching and other business-related work, I spent a large part of my time doing research on pedagogy, consulting with my ex-colleagues, who have provided a lot of useful information so that I can continue to improve. At RG Channel, we believe that our teaching methods must always be the most effective and the most efficient.

Primary One Registration

It is going to be Primary One registration in a month’s time. Is your child due to be registered into Primary One this year and you are still confused over the phases? Let me try to help parents to clear up their doubts. The following table lists each phase:

Primary One Registration

Phase 1:
For a child who has a sibling studying in the primary school of choice
Phase 2A(1):
For a child whose parent is a former student of the primary school and who has joined the alumni association as a member not later than 30 June 2011ORFor a child whose parent is a member of the School Advisory / Management Committee
Phase 2A(2):
For a child whose parent or sibling has studied in the primary school of choiceORFor a child whose parent is a staff member of the primary school of choice
Phase 2B:
For a child whose parent has joined the primary school as a parent volunteer not later than 1 Jul 2011 and has given at least 40 hours of voluntary service to the school by 30 Jun 2012ORFor a child whose parent is a member endorsed by the church/clan directly connected with the primary schoolORFor a child whose parent is endorsed as an active community leader
Phase 2C:
For all children who are eligible for Primary One in the following year and are not yet registered in a primary school
Phase 2C Supplementary:
For a child who is not yet registered in a school after Phase 2C

All the above are the phases for children who are Singapore citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents. However, if there are more students then vacancies in each individual phase (for example, there 40 vacancies for Phase 2B, but there are 50 applicants), students will be enrolled based on the priorities as stated below:

  1. Singapore Citizen living <1km
  2. Singapore Citizen living between 1-2km
  3. Singapore Citizen living >2km
  4. Permanent Citizen living <1km
  5. Permanent Citizen living between 1-2km
  6. Permanent Citizen living >2km

Primary One Registration

In other words, Singapore citizens living less than 1 km will fill up all the places, followed by Singapore citizens living between 1-2 km and so on and so forth. It is very possible that Permanent Citizens might not even get a chance!

It might also be possible that after enrolling all applicants in the earlier priority, the remaining applicants cannot fit into the number of vacancies in the current priority. For example, there are 6 vacancies left, but there are 8 applicants who are Permanent Citizens living less than 1 km away from the school. In cases like this, since they have the same priority, a ballot will take place.

How does one know if the school is less than 1km or more? Go to the OneMap SchoolQuery Service managed by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) to look for information.

Finally, there is Phase 3 which are meant for children who did not get into any school based on the earlier phases. Children who are foreigners are also in this phase. If parents want to read up more information, please go to MOE’s Admissions webpage for more information.

Best of luck for your Primary One registration!

Sports and studies

Around one month ago, Minster for Education, Heng Swee Keat, the opening ceremony for the National School Games. Throughout the rest of this year, schools will be competing with each other for glory in many different sports.

In his opening speech, Mr Heng highlighted that participation in sports can build up values such as respect, resilience, care and harmony – which are at the core of the values in 21st Century Competencies. As a result of this, he also highlighted how MOE is going to boost the Physical Education curriculum.

Why are we mentioning all these information? After all, this happened one month ago.

sports

Toronto Raptors guard Jeremy Lin brings the ball up court during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 17, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

All these came about because of the accomplishments of an Asian-American basketballer, Jeremy Lin, who graduated from Harvard. He entered the National Basketball Association (NBA) under the radar. Nobody knew about him until the coach threw him into the starting lineup in desperation. And since he became the starting point guard, the New York Knicks has won the following 6 games. While he might not eventually become a mega-star like Yao Ming, he has proved that he can play basketball and might end up to be a star of his own right.

Jeremy graduated from Harvard with an economics degree. While he was not in the dean’s list, he had a decent grades. He is only one of the many examples of athletes that also did well in school.

In fact, there has been many studies that proves that there is a link between fitness and academic results. Students that were the fit tended to score better than their peers.

So parents, encourage your children to exercise. Take up a sport. It will help your child’s fitness and academic results.

Slumdog Millionaire

We are sure by now that most people would have at least heard of Slumdog Millionaire, if not seen it. It is the most successful movie of 2008 and it is undoubtedly the most successful Indian movie internationally.

But did you know that Slumdog Millionaire was inspired by a particular educational research? The movie is based on a book, “Q & A” by Vikas Swarup. He said that he was inspired by the “Hole-in-the-Wall project”.

The project, also known as the “Minimally invasive education”, was an idea to put a computer into a slum where poor children were allowed to use the computer to surf the Internet without any supervision.

The results were astounding. According to Professor Sugata Mitra, the scientist responsible for the project, the children taught themselves to be computer literate, improved their English, Math and Science, become better at working together and was able to display higher order thinking skills.

According to this school of thought, all children are capable of learning. However, the intervention of schools has created a situation where children who fall behind are suddenly labelled as “slow”, “stupid” or “disabled”. The followers of this school of thought prescribes to the “Sudbury model school” where the students and staff are equal members of a democracy. There are no classrooms, but simply places were people gather. The students decide what to learn and are expected to be self-motivated to learn the knowledge themselves. Students mix with each other regardless of age and the older ones tend up end up mentoring the younger students.

We admit that this idea of Sudbury type of school is very alien to the Singapore education landscape. And not much research have been done on the Sudbury model. But the Sudbury Valley School, the pioneer Sudbury school boasts an university admission of 80% among their alumni.

Nevertheless, there are some learning points. Firstly, it might be worthwhile for schools to allow their students to lead their own learning. Some schools have shown some flexibility by allowing student-initiated Co-Circular Activities (CCAs). In RGC Future School, while we have a curriculum, we have no qualms of gearing our teaching towards a particular subject if the students show interest in that subject. We believe that self-motivation is really the best motivation out there.

Secondly, collaboration between students is also important. Again, we will emphasis that we believe that collaboration is also very important. This collaboration should be between the teachers, the students as well as parents. Only then, will the learning experiences of our students be enriched.

Cyber Wellness

cyber wellness

Cyber Wellness is an important topic because many youths today spent a substantial amount of time on the Internet. Just like many tools, there are advantages and disadvantages. Some advantages include the ease and speed of communication between friends and locating knowledge and information with just one click.

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Social Mobility – How does it affect us?

Social Mobility

Recently, the news has been abuzz with how education brings about social mobility. Dr. Ng Eng Hen, the Minister for Education, argues that social mobility still happens. Poor students in Singapore continue to be given a chance to climb up the social ladder through education. He says that 20% of the PSLE, O-Level and A-Level cohorts live in 1- to 3- room HDB flats. The fact that this porportion remains the same throughout each level since 1980s show that poorer students can climb up the social ladder.

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