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Applied Learning Programme

Nurturing Problem Solvers using Computational Thinking


The Context                                                                                                                             
In Angsana Primary School, we lead our students to experience the joy of learning and be intrinsically motivated to embrace lifelong learning.   In alignment with our mission to engage and empower our students to be future-ready, we recognise the importance of intentionally teaching 21st century skills thus we provide opportunities for our students to develop aptitudes and attitudes such as critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities.

We are aware that we can no longer anticipate all the problems and challenges that our students will face in the future.  With such ambiguities and complexities, the skills of being able to recognise patterns, break down problems and come out with relevant solutions are critical ones required of our students to thrive in the workforce in future. Thus, as a school, it is a priority to lead students to think critically, be savvy at problem-solving and develop an ‘I Can’ attitude when faced with challenges. 

Key Focus Areas
Through our Applied Learning Programme (ALP), students develop Computational Thinking (CT) concepts such as decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction and algorithm design. They also develop CT attitudes such as imagination, thinking out of the box, making productive mistakes, collaboration and persevering to find solutions. 

By equipping our students with these key attitudes and skills early at the primary school level, we lay the foundation for our students to remain steadfast, competitive and be well adapted in the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world.

The Learning Experience in Angsana Primary School
The learning experiences for our students include tinkering with micro-controller robots such as Moway and micro:bit and exploring communication ideas such as Morse Code; coding and making using makerspace technology to create artefacts using LEGO. These experiences require our students to collaborate with their peers, imagine and think of the box, make productive mistakes and persevere to find solutions. 

Positive outcomes of ALP for students
Students develop critical thinking skills that enhance their abilities to solve problems in real life proactively and effectively. They work well in teams and collaborate with their peers to achieve a common goal. Through it all, students cultivate a lively curiosity about their environment and want to do something to make it better. 

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Curriculum Highlights
 
Integration into the Curriculum
The programme takes off by introducing the lower primary students to the five Computational Thinking (CT) concepts; pattern recognition, decomposition, algorithmic design and, generalisation and abstraction through enrichment lessons.  Thereafter, the teaching of problem solving skills through Computational Thinking are infused in English language and Mathematics curriculum in a spiral approach.

Tinker Tuesdays
Students are treated to an array of activities during lunch hours where they can tinker with different ideas such as Morse code and electricity concepts and materials to discover and inquire. This leads students to see the real world application of textbook content to everyday life.

Customised Coding Lessons
Learning experiences on Coding and Makerspace technology to develop CT attitudes such as imagination, thinking out of the box, making productive mistakes, collaboration and persevering to find solutions through various modes are created for students at different levels.

Students in middle primary are introduced to basic coding skills and creating of hands-on artefacts using LEGO.  The complexity of the tasks increases gradually to provide the platform to reinforce and deepen the computational thinking skills acquired and attitudes that are developed in Primary 1 and 2.  
 
Students in the upper primary are given the opportunity to tinker with micro-controller robots such as Moway and Micro:bit, as they continue to apply computational thinking skills and attitudes.


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