Background and History of School
Bukit Batok Secondary School began operations in 1986 to serve the new Bukit Batok estate. It has grown from strength to strength under the leadership of 7 principals, including Mr Phua Huat Chuan, the current principal. The school has been part of Cluster W7 since 2015.
BBSS completed PRIME and moved back from its holding school at Toh Tuck Terrace in Dec 2008. The school was rebuilt on a PRIME budget of $25.48 million. School Advisory Committee members and parents raised another $661,220 in 2 years for non-standard items such as an air-conditioned multi-purpose hall and a viewing gallery for the Indoor Sports Hall.
BBSS Organisation Structure
BBSS started the Year Head system way back in 2003, with the organisation structure comprising Deans (Year Heads and Assistant Year Heads), Programme Directors (PDs - non-IP HODs/SHs) and Curriculum Consultants (CCs - IP HODs/SHs). From 2018, taking cognisance to the organisation structure with MOE nomenclature, this structure continues to serve to ensure that the variety of customised programmes offered to BBSSians help achieve the DOE. The Student Development Team (SDT) comprises of the YHs, AYHs and HOD(NT) who take charge of levels or faculties and look into the holistic development of each student together with the HOD/CCE and HOD/Discipline.
HOM was introduced in 2003 and developing HOM dispositions is one of the key approaches to achieve the school mission – Self Directed Learners with Abundance Mentality. HOM builds the dispositions in students to ably deal positively with challenging situations and equips them holistically for the challenges of the 21st century. BBSS was the Cluster W2 Centre of Excellence (COE) for Habits of Mind (HOM) from Nov 2007 to Dec 2008 and W2’s Centre of Learning (COL) till Dec 2014 before becoming part of Cluster W7. In 2013, BBSS was awarded a niche status for PETS (Promoting Effective Thinking Strategies). The school believes in Activity-Based Learning in which students go through the learning cycle of Taught, Caught and Practice. Thus, HOM lessons are explicitly taught and practiced every day – in class, at CCA, during Values in Action (VIA) activities, on overseas trips and reflected frequently through platforms like reflection logs post-activity, using the disposition of “Thinking About Your Thinking”.
Multi-Level Activities (MLA), an innovation introduced in 2006, is a 3-day series of activities organised annually by the YHs, AYHs and HOD/NT. This is the signature programme of the Student Development Team (SDT) for students during the first term of school. The programmes are carefully designed to cover the various aspects of the development of the students as captured in the framework for ST1. By streamlining the programmes, the school ensures that each child will learn new life skills and ICT skills as well as develop skills in the leadership, aesthetics and physical domains. MLA provide good opportunities for the form teachers to build teacher student relationship (TSR) when they participate actively in outdoor activities, team building activities, learning journeys and other engaging activities with their students.
The BBSS Arts Education Programme (AEP) aims to enrich the students’ learning through exposure, experience and excursion. A spiral progressive learning structure is adopted where students are exposed to the arts such as poetry, drama, ceramics, watching live performances at theatres, dance and even caricature to achieve the following outcomes:
- to be empowered to be confident poets, speakers, actors and artists;
- to nurture talents in the arts and enhance artistic inclinations;
- to be able to demonstrate being confident audience of the arts; and
- to be empowered to acquire leadership skills and the confidence to pursue your passion for the arts beyond the school.
There are platforms such as lunch time concerts and the biennial Metamorphosis public performance besides major school and community events for students to showcase their talents with the inaugural “BBSS’ Got Talent” show in 2017 which was well-received by the students.
Overseas educational trips to Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, amongst others, aim to make the learning of classroom concepts and knowledge applicable to everyday life. BBSS is also active in STEP (Singapore Thailand Enhanced Partnership), an annual student exchange programme that started in 1998 and a team comprising of 2 teachers and 10 students were hosted by our twinning school, Nakprasit School in Thailand from 9 to 15 Jul 2017. The team hosted the Thais in return in July 2018. BBSS has also forged good relationships with schools in China. Recently, through the SINO-SIN educational programme in Chongqing Nankai Middle School in 2016, BBSS has established another school in China to start a partnership with and a team of teachers and selected Sec 3 students will be involved in an overseas exchange programme in Chongqing in Nov 2018.
Aligned to the school mission, the school has identified Community Youth Leadership (CYL) as the Learning for Life Programme (LLP) based on the school’s strengths with the aims of nurturing RESPECTful Leaders. Beginning in 2016, the CYL Programme encompasses the twin components of Youth Leadership and VIA via two tiers and three developmental stages, undergirded by the HOM Programme. Tier 1 experience provides broad-based opportunities for all students, such as the NYAA Bronze for Sec 2, Class VIA, HOM IPW. Tier 2 experience caters to a specific group of student with higher interest ability, such as the Youth Leadership Stretch Programme and Overseas VIA (Project Heartwork). Key platforms include:
- Project Mi (Initiated in 2012), an annual student-led VIA initiative organised by the NPCC supported by the school’s Youth Leadership Executive Council (YLEC) and volunteers including PSG members, staff, alumni and community partners to collect rice donations from the public and sending them to one-room flat residents in the Bukit Batok area and to charity organisations Lotus Light and Willing Hearts;
- Blood Donation Drive (Initiated in 2003), a partnership with the Bukit Batok Community Club Women’s Executive Committee and the Singapore Red Cross Society, whereby the YLEC and Prefect EXCO promotes the event to the school and public as well as manage the registration of donors at the venue.
- No Shoe Day (Initiated in 2012)), a charity project organised by the student leaders in YLEC in collaboration with World Vision, whereby the school staff and students would remove their footwear and walk barefooted through a planned route around the school to raise funds in aid of unfortunate children.
In Jun 2016, the school embarked on a four year Applied Learning Programme (ALP) in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) module on embedded electronics at Lower Secondary levels and hobbyist electronics at Upper Secondary levels. Through ALP, the school hopes to:
- Connect academic knowledge and skills with the real world;
- Apply thinking skills and connect knowledge across subject disciplines in authentic settings; and
- Motivate students as they appreciate the relevance and value of what they are learning in the academic curriculum.
In Sec 1, students learn about e-water sensing through building portable devices embedded with sensors using the Arduino software, which is also in their Geography syllabus on water testing. It becomes more exciting for Sec 2 students when they are next exposed to many more sensors and platforms to help them solve self-identified problems and having fun figuring out many possibilities. At upper secondary, interested students collaborate with school partners such as Infineon Technologies to design solutions for real-life issues, participate in engineering competitions, job shadowing and attend STEM-related elective modules. Upon completion of the programme, students will attain Young Engineer Award (Silver) awarded by Singapore Polytechnic.
BBSS NT Programme caters resources to ensure that the NT students are positively and actively engaged. In ECG areas for example, Elective Modules were mounted for NT and selected NA students to experience the career clusters of hospitality, F1, 3D design, photography, sports and wellness, beauty and wellness and F&B. These will help the students make more informed choices about the ITE courses and future careers that they intend to pursue. Another programme that BBSS has for the NT and less engaged NA students is to get them to join the One Earth Club programmes. Through caring for the environment, the club aims to provide hands-on authentic learning experiences that stimulate all senses. Educational learning journeys local and overseas (Malaysia/Indonesia) provide these less privileged students the experience and the opportunity to appreciate what they have and know that they are still a fortunate group. The One Earth Club are also involved in about 3-4 Pasir Ris Park coastal clean-up projects annually. The NT curriculum has also been enhanced this year with the introduction of a “Power Hour” within curriculum time for co-curricular activities such as bowling and drama for the Sec 2NTs to build positive psychology and teambuilding, and a year-long Financial Literacy programme for the Sec 3NTs in partnership with Halogen Foundation who runs the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Programme.
School Focus for 2019
In alignment with MOE’s broad directions for schools to better prepare our children for the future, the school focus will be to nurture the joy of learning (JOL) in the students and pave the way forward for them to explore and discover their interests, grow their passions, love what they are doing and hone their talents. The school will continue to innovate in the way curriculum is delivered to maximise the potential in every student and to develop in each student the motivation to do well in cognisance with fostering the JOL through 2 key approaches – encouraging learning through play and encouraging more applied learning. Examples being the many talents that the school has discovered through platforms like the “Lunch Time concerts” and the inaugural “BBSS’ Got Talent” show. The school has also facilitated student-initiated interest groups with the objectives to develop self-directedness and student leadership among students and making the school a more vibrant and joyful place for learning. These groups include students who love to dance, solve puzzles like the Rubik’s Cube, produce radio DJ shows and play Scrabble. They are sustained and run by the students themselves with minimal involvement from the teachers. Increasingly, the school would facilitate more of such groups which would serve as avenues for students and staff to take a break from the sometimes emotional, tense, and serious school day and have some fun together. In short, setting the right balance to do well in their studies through the JOL and becoming more intrinsically motivated to learn.
BBSS will continue to leverage on the cohesiveness of its professional staff and its positive school culture. With continuing positive work ethics and the support of its stakeholders, the school will be able to forge ahead in its journey of progress. Its aim is to be renowned for providing quality holistic education and nurturing self-directed learners with abundance mentality.
Principals of BBSS
MRS BELINDA CHARLES
1986 - 1990
MR LIM LAI CHUAN
1990 - 1997
MR SUPARMAN ADAM
1998 - 2002
MR TAN SOON YONG
2003 - 2004
MRS LYSIA KEE
2005 - 2013
MS CHAMB CHERK ING
2014 - 2016
MR PHUA HUAT CHUAN|
2017 - PRESENT