7 April 2021

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Tags: Parents

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Categories: Events, News

Photo: Facebook @LSSCPES

 

If you’re thinking of putting your little ones to pre-school, join Little Shepherds’ Schoolhouse at their open house this Saturday! Little Shepherds’ Schoolhouse (LSS) family of pre-schools offer authentic learning experiences, built upon the Education in Virtue® programme. With centres in Yishun, Commonwealth, Hougang, Boon Lay, Ang Mo Kio, Jurong West, Sengkang, Woodlands, Bukit Timah, and Katong, you’ll find a convenient place for the care of your little one.

LSS operates on the belief that every child is a joyful learner. Grounded in Catholic virtues, they promise a holistic learning experience for children aged 18 months to 6 years. They aim to instill in every child a sense of curiosity and love for all things, and prepare children not only for primary school education, but for the future ahead too.

 

Photo: Instagram @littleshepherdsschoolhouse

 

This Saturday, 10 April, their centres at Yishun (Blk 235 Yishun Street 21, Singapore 760235) and Commonwealth (1 Commonwealth Drive, Singapore 149603) are opening up their doors for you to find out more about them. Meet the principals, teachers and find out more about what the little ones do during lessons. Due to COVID-19, time slots need to be reserved for visits. Find out more at tinyurl.com/lss-openhouse.

 

Photo: Instagram @littleshepherdsschoolhouse

 

For a limited time, as part of #Catholic200SG celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of the Catholic Church’s presence in Singapore, LSS is waiving registration fees when you enroll your child with them.

14 August 2020

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Tags: Educators, Parents, Students

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Categories: Events, News

The Infant Jesus Sisters would like you to join them in celebrating Sr. Deirdre’s Memorial Mass on the feast of the Assumption of our Lady on 15 August 2020 at 9am. The mass will be livestreamed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/TgMjVb9WpIc.

It is with great fondness that the IJ Sisters remember Sr. Deidre O’Loan. The well-loved educator truly embodied the CHIJ motto of being “Simple in Virtue, Steadfast in Duty”, and worked tirelessly for others throughout her life.

In her capacity as Teacher, Principal, Sister, Animator and Supervisor through her life, Sr. Deirdre treated each person she encountered with dignity, warmth, and compassion. She gave her life to nurturing and educating children, and her positive outlook, unfailing cheerfulness, and gentle kindness was uplifting to students, staff, and anyone else who encountered her alike. Sr. Deirdre served with great humility and love, bringing out the best in others and making a difference in a great many lives.

Come and be united with Sr. Deirdre in prayer and love. Should you not be able to join the mass at 9am, please do so at your own convenience as it is uploaded on YouTube.

14 July 2020

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Tags: Educators, Parents, Students

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Categories: News

By Adeline Low and Fr Edward Seah

Soon after we welcomed the New Year and even before our first term break, our world entered a very unusually challenging time. We have yet to fully recover from it. COVID 19, which became a pandemic, continues to affect us all with no regards for social status, race, religion and age. This virus had swept into our world and closed our churches and schools. Initially, we were all saddened by the disruption and uncertainty. For the Catholics, we missed our Mass as well as the religious celebrations and devotions as we entered the Lenten and Easter seasons. Over time, we learnt to adjust ourselves by keeping in spiritual communion with the Church through online masses, prayer sessions and inspirational talks.

The Chaplaincy team of Montfort Junior and Montfort Secondary Schools encouraged families of their students to commemorate Holy Thursday and Easter Vigil in their homes with Washing of Feet services and by lighting candles to welcome the dawn of Easter Sunday.

The young and even the not-so-young have found the online Holy Mass With Children meaningful and insightful. Not only do they get to be in spiritual communion with the whole Church during mass but also benefit greatly from the catechesis facilitated by inspiring catholic families as part of their preparation for mass. Many schools continue to encourage their children and parents to pray together among themselves using what is offered online by the church locally and universally.

As the Church moves into the Ordinary Time of our liturgical calendar, and we as gradually adjust to the ‘new normal’ ahead of us, let us live in hope and faith as we continue to pray for one another, especially those who are uncertain about their jobs as well as their health. We pray for parents and family members serving in the front line as healthcare personnel, law enforcers and care ambassadors. We also pray for all our teachers, parents and students who are badly affected by this pandemic. May God’s help and grace be upon them. And may St Michael, the Archangel, defend us and protect all our schools. Amen.

 

10 September 2019

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Tags: Educators

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Categories: Events, News

Administration Managers and Operation Managers provide important support and service in our schools. As part of our effort to acknowledge their work and contribution, the yearly workshops cum learning journeys have been organized to give our AMs and OMs an opportunity to recharge and renew themselves. We believe that wellness is important and that we need to take care of ourselves so that we can then take better care of others. Gathering together in this way also provides a platform for our AMs and OMs to connect with their fellow counterparts in other Catholic schools, to enjoy fellowship with one another and to have an informal exchange of ideas.

This year, the one-day workshop was held on 6 September 2019 at Agape Village and was attended by 21 AMs and OMs. The morning began with a session on Mental Wellness: Stress and Self-Care conducted by Rebecca Oh from CLARITY. This was an interactive session with inputs and self-reflection. Participants were given an insight into stress and the impact of stress. They were then taken through some techniques to manage stress and to make a personal self-care plan.

 

In the afternoon, the participants were introduced to Servant Leadership (serving with a heart), an alternative way of serving in schools. They were then taken through 2 aspects of Catholic Social Teaching – Human Dignity and Common Good – and to reflect on how these two teachings could guide them when working with their colleagues and students in school.

The afternoon ended with an interactive dialogue with Gerald Khong on Inter-religious respect and understanding in schools.

 

The feedback received was encouraging – the AMs and OMs found the sessions “good and insightful”, “useful and beneficial”, “a good place to interact”, and “worthwhile attending”.

24 July 2019

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Tags: Educators

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Categories: Events, News

By Karen Albuquerque (CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace)

 

Pre-trip Reflection

This is my first year as a principal in a Catholic school. My personal educational and work experience have taken me through a few Catholic all-girls schools over a total of 23 years (10 years as a student, 10 years as a teacher and 3 years as a vice principal). Throughout these years, I have had varied faith experiences, enabling me to always be in the presence of God and to be grounded in Christian values. As a Catholic, I firmly believe in the important role which Catholic schools play in the development of our students.

Being a principal in a Catholic school now, I ask myself the following questions:

  • How can I be the Light of Christ to my staff, students and parents?
  • How can I enrich my students’ and staff experiences through the teaching of Christian values?
  • How can I enhance my school environment through the Word of God?
  • What can I do to strengthen the Catholic ethos in my school?

I would like to use this study trip to gather the answers to the questions above, and to learn good practices from the Catholic schools. In the sharing and collaboration during the week, I hope to be able to adopt and adapt practical strategies, so as to provide faith-based experiences in bringing my school to the next level of progress and success.

I would also like to align the learning with the mission of the founder of my school and that of the religious order. In doing so, I hope for the staff, students and parents to deepen their trust and belief in the education which we provide for the girls.

Post-trip Reflection

The study trip has been an enriching journey for me. I was able to witness Catholic Education in practice in all the schools we visited. The visits and dialogues with the educators provided me with insights and answers to questions I had prior to the trip.

The schools included liturgical services and classroom lessons encompassing the scripture and sacraments. Through these consistent practice across schools, the Word of God is visible through the school routines, structures and programmes. This enables all staff and students to be Christ to one another and to live in the light of Christ. In bringing the light of Christ to the staff, students and parents of my school, I will need to, strengthen the Christian practices and programmes in my school. I will begin by establishing the School Chaplaincy Team and working with them on the future direction of Catholic Education in the school. We will work towards greater vibrancy and to welcome parents as partners in the children’s faith formation.

 

The schools have also been strong advocates of the beliefs of their founders, e.g. St. Mary MacKillop (to develop “Mackillop Women”) and the Dominican Sisters. The characteristics, school values and ethos are anchored on these beliefs. The staff and students are thus able to share a common language in living out the traditions and legacy of their founders. Bringing this learning back to my school, I can make closer connection between our Christian values and that of my school’s founder, Blessed Nicolas Barre; at the same time connecting these to the school’s direction for the future. More emphasis can be given to the values and beliefs of Blessed Nicolas Barre, and staff and students can be guided more deeply to live and work according to his mission for the IJ schools. The IJ Sisters can be used as living examples of what Blessed Nicolas Barre had begun.

 

The physical environment of the schools showcased many artefacts, icons and symbols representative of the Catholic faith, the Word of God and the school’s beliefs and values, e.g. the use of the Celtic cross at an Ecumenical school and Sacred spaces in all schools. I can see the great potential of this in my school as my colleagues and I work on using free and open spaces to develop a stronger Catholic identity. With an IJ history of 165 years and my school approaching its 65th anniversary celebrations in 2020, I would like to capitalise on these joyous occasions to build up the Catholic ethos and culture for deeper faith formation and unity among the staff, students and parents of the school.

This study trip has been a blessing and an affirmation of some of the thoughts I have had since I joined the school at the beginning of this year. God has shown me the possibilities through the people in our study group as well as through the staff from ACCS, Brisbane Catholic Education Office and the schools we visited. I am filled with awe and renewed strength, and move forward with greater conviction, knowing and believing that all things are possible with God and that God will provide.

 

By Nisha Ann Anthony (CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent)

I have been thoroughly inspired and heartened by the tours given by the various catholic schools in Brisbane. Their notion of Catholic education is all-encompassing; focusing more on individual growth and empowerment rather than merely on didactic aims. This has been achieved through the use of space, architecture and literature as elements that are fused with Catholicism, in order to impart a sense of moral instruction and social sensibility to their students. With the use of labyrinths, teachers and students embark on spiritual walks where they are given time to connect with nature and to ruminate over the gospel teachings. This is more profound and possibly healing, as it encourages one to engage in reflection while connecting to their physical surroundings. Through the use of literature and art, students are familiarised with gospel texts thereby bringing out the messages of the bible in a more fun and memorable way rather than a highly rigid and instructional one. Using these mediums allows one to use their imagination freely, thereby allowing them to make deeper and more personal connections to Catholicism. Thus becoming closer to God and forming deeper ties with him.

 

In the upcoming semesters, I am more inspired to teach religious education in a more engaging and fun manner and also give students the opportunity to work more with the bible. The trip to Brisbane has been an eye-opening experience and it has reiterated to me the importance of infusing Catholic ethos into our everyday thinking and routines- through a visual stimulus, or a school/ staff prayer or even providing a scared place for our students.

To end of my reflection, I would like to quote a popular saying mentioned by many of the principals of the various schools I have had visited : “ The Catholic school does not seek to convert student into accepting our faith but rather we seek to make them a better human, or a better person in the faith that they have chosen to be.” This statement truly resonates with my belief as an educator.

 

30 January 2019

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Tags: Educators

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Categories: Events, News

The Catholic education fraternity gathered at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd on Sun on 27 Jan to mark the Commencement of School Year 2019. After Archbishop William Goh commissioned the 7 newly appointed principals, 10 retired Principals passed lighted candles to all our Catholic school leaders, as a symbol of passing them the Light of Christ, to remind them to be good stewards of His love as they forge the Catholic ethos of their schools.

Archbishop William Goh thanked Prof Tan Cheng Han for his service and welcomed the new Chairman of ACCS, Dr Koh Thiam Seng. In his homily, Archbishop said in his homily that as school leaders, we are called to form students with not just the knowledge and skills, but also with a heart for others. ACCS will continue to work with our Catholic schools to develop our young in truth and love, and to help each child realize their potential according to what the Lord has blessed them with.

We pray that God will bless our schools and all who lead them!

Shine your light on your school leaders, so that they may be enlightened by your Word, and be filled with the gifts and powers that they will need to lead your schools well; Shine on your teachers, so that they may also be the light for their students, their students’ families, and the community; Shine also on our students, so that they may discover the meaning and purpose of their lives.

6 July 2018

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Tags: Educators

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Categories: Events, News

By Sarah Chin

The study trip covers 7 schools over 5 days with an emphasis to learn about Religious Education in Brisbane schools.

Catholic identity and values
In general, all schools have a visible Catholic identity in their environmental setting, the classrooms have sacred spaces where religious items are placed; outdoor settings have crosses or other Catholic images, to give a very visual reminder of the presence of God.

Prayers are daily rituals, both at school level and class level. Beside standard prayers, there are prayers in connection to what the students are learning to bring about awareness and connectedness that God is our loving Father and we turn to Him in thanksgiving, for guidance, for loving help, and in everything we do.

One of the school, All Saints Primary School, adopts a yearly theme based on Christian Teachings of Love, Faith, Compassion, etc. to inculcate a particular value in the students throughout the year.

And in Christ the King Primary School, where there is a high number of students from disadvantaged background and low population of Catholic students, the school leader adopts a motto of ‘consistent, persistent and insistent’ to reach out to the impoverished students. The religious life of the school is built upon respectful relationship with the families. The students from diverse background are encouraged to be Christ-like in their daily lives through the ‘Make Jesus Real’ programme, which focus on making Christian values come alive not just through teaching but through acting out the values.

Likewise at Assisi Catholic College, the school has an Assisi Habits and Values Framework in developing positive habits and values in students. The school makes efforts to align the framework right down to the preschool level with its age appropriate curriculum to teach the values through the use of ‘Bucket Filler’ strategy. The preschool students learn the values in an engaging way.

Takeaway – I can strengthen the Catholic Identity in my school in providing spaces for the placements of religious items to bring about greater awareness of God. Besides the standard prayers, lesson related prayers can be included before classes to aid in bring God closer to them. The bucket filler strategy can also be implemented in my school for the teaching of Christian values.

Learning Walks and Talks
Across the Catholic schools under Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE), there is a common teaching and learning strategy where learning intentions and success criteria are clearly spelt out for each lesson. Students are aware of what they are learning and have individual goals to meet. The focus is on improving students learning through goal setting at an individual level. Teachers monitor and track each child progress through a Data Wall where all students of the school are represented. Differentiated learning is very visible and students’ process in learning is valued more than how much they have learnt.

The success of the programme is witnessed through ‘learning walks and talks’ where every student is able to articulate what he/she is learning and how he/she is going when being asked.

Takeaway – This is a strategy which can be adopted at preschool. The learning intention for each lesson is clearly outlined. Students are clearly aware of what they are learning. The idea of the Data Wall can be adopted but modified to suit our local context to track students learning in language and literacy and numeracy.

Collaboration
Strong collaboration is evident. BCE plays a pivotal role in establishing a cohesive and strong Catholic education community where school leaders have a common goal in bringing effective teaching and learning strategies back to their schools.

Teachers are reflective and collaborative to bring about the effective monitoring and tracking of students’ learning on the Data Wall. There is strong collaboration at different levels of the school community, between students and students, teachers and students, teachers and teachers, teachers and school leaders, and school and the community.

At All Saints Primary School, parishioner volunteers form a vital pool of learning support aides to help students with learning needs.

Takeaway – I see a need for my teachers to work more cohesively, to work as a team rather than individually to bring about consistent teaching and learning growth. As a leader, it is my goal to bring about that change in my school.

In Conclusion
It has been an enriching and inspiring journey with respect to what I saw and learnt while visiting the schools in Brisbane. The study trip has brought about an awareness that I can do so much more to bring out the Catholic Identity in my school. Religious Education need not be limited to teaching the stories of Jesus but more than that, it is a teaching of Christian values that is to be lived out in our daily lives through words and actions.

26 June 2018

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Tags: Educators

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Categories: Events, News

On 12 June 2018, ACCS organised a Day of Recollection cum Learning Journey for the Operations and Administrative Managers of Catholic schools here in Singapore. An annual event since 2010, the Day of Recollection (DOR) is in appreciation of the managers’ unique contribution to their respective schools and to the larger Catholic community, a platform for them to reconnect with each other and a chance for them to reflect and refresh themselves.

Mrs Dolly Chan, one of the two Liaison Manager of ACCS, shared that “it is very important for the managers to understand self-care, to remember their being, amidst the doing; to realise that they are not alone and that they can reach out to each other across the schools.”

The venue for the event this year was the Agape Village. “Having the DOR in AV this year exposes the managers to the works of the Catholic Church beyond the Catholic Schools and an opportunity to gain new perspectives and see a different aspect of work that the Catholic Church does beyond the area of education.” said Fr. Edward Seah, Spiritual Director, ACCS.

The establishment of AV brings together the network and expertise of 14 different Catholic social services and charities, offering holistic and integrated care to the community. Many of the participants were touched by the under-one-roof services and the inclusive outreach of the Catholic Church to the society.

The Day of Recollection was well-received. In the words of the participants:

“The many helping hands approach at Agape Village is important to nurture and empower the marginalized.”

“Our spirituality is very important to the work we do as we touch lives.”

“I have become more aware of the needs of others and am now more willing to accommodate the old and weak.”

“I will find quiet time to reflect and spend a day of quiet with the Lord.”

“I will take better care of myself by attending more of such workshops & gatherings, and expanding my networking.”

12 January 2018

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Tags: Educators

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Categories: Events, News

This year, 6 principals have been newly appointed to head our Catholic schools and pre-schools. ACCS invites all educators to join us in a Mass to commemorate the occasion and to pray for all our Catholic schools and pre-schools. The event will take place at 2.00pm on Saturday, 20 January 2018 at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd. His Grace, Archbishop William Goh will be the main celebrant.

As parking is limited on the Cathedral grounds, you are advised to park your vehicle in carparks around the vicinity.

18 December 2017

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Tags: Educators, Parents, Students

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Categories: News

ACCS Tribute Br John Lek

“All to Jesus through Mary, all to Mary for Jesus” was the motto of St Marcellin Champagnat, founder of Marist Brothers, a religious community which follows Jesus in the way that Mary did.

One of the important feast days of the Blessed Mother Mary, “Our Lady of Guadalupe”, is celebrated on 12 Dec. It is on this day that a faithful Marist Brother is laid to his final resting place. Br John Lek, FMS was 77.

During the funeral mass, Fr Adrian Yeo emphasized that Br John’s personal mission is to make a difference in the lives of others, stemming from his tremendous love for God. His failing health didn’t deter him from this mission. He chose to continue serving in Maris Stella High and in Catholic Kindergarten.

To know more about Br John as an educator, click here for a feature article we did on him a few years back.

Prayer
Eternal rest grant upon Br John Lek, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen