HWA CHONG INSTITUTION (HCI)
Our group visited a variety of schools during the study visit and a recurring theme beganto emerge. There was a consensus that Singapore, as a country, has one very importantresource – people. When visiting the Hwa Chong Institution, we experienced how the pupils are actively empowered to become the leaders of the future.
At Hwa Chong Institution (HCI), their mission is to produce next generation leaders.The curriculum allows opportunity for the pupils to develop the skills needed tochallenge, debate and discuss a wide range of issues concerning the world today. In order to facilitate this, pupils have access to a spacious ‘mock parliament’ in the Ong TengCheong leadership training centre where issues are debated.
There are three main components which HCI suggest contribute to a good leadershipmodel:
people, task and character.
The phrase ‘character building’ in particular, was usedrepeatedly during our week long visit. Opportunities to develop holistically as a good person is an attribute embedded in the education system and all children appeared toknow and understand the values of their school. For example, HCI showed evidence of awards to students for ‘good self discipline’ and ‘showing compassion’.
The Motto of HCI is ‘the relentless pursuit of excellence’. The school has six clear values which support this motto:
: staff are encouraged to ‘bring the joy back’ by providing opportunities for both pupils and staff to be creative and to make decisions about their ownteaching and learning. The vice principal suggested that failure does occur attimes and children will ‘learn to fail’ and know how to fix it. Perhaps moreimportantly, they will find and apply strategies to make it better the next time.The idea of creativity and flexibility has similarities with Scotland’s newCurriculum for Excellence.
: at HCI, staff and children are encouraged to show much better ‘frustration tolerance’ towards others. Pupils learn individually and in groups andare given a variety of opportunities to identify and solve problems. Again, thishas similarities with Assessment is for Learning approaches in Scotland.
: it is expected that children will trust and gain personal credibilitywith each other. By reinforcing and living the values of the school, the students