Applied Learning Programme
The Applied Learning Programme (ALP) provides opportunities for students to discover their strengths and interests, and to find greater relevance and motivation in their learning. They complement the school’s core academic and student development programmes. The ALP helps students appreciate the relevance and value of what they are learning in the academic curriculum to the real world, and develop stronger motivation and purpose to acquire knowledge and skills. The emphasis is on the application of thinking skills, integrating knowledge across subject disciplines, stretching the imagination and applying these in real-world settings in society and industries.
At Woodlands Ring Secondary School (WRSS), our ALP focus area is on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). As such, our school offers all Lower Secondary students The Robotics Education and Enterprise (TREE). WRSS is one of the 11 secondary schools to offer ALP in the Robotics domain. It is an approach that emphasises authentic and practice-oriented learning experiences. It also gives students additional opportunities to acquire skills and qualities based on the practical application of knowledge in real-world contexts, and strongly supports our focus on developing 21st century competencies and values in our students.
In partnership with STEM Inc., Science Centre Singapore, we have reviewed our ALP to include coding. In 2017, students learn to programme, code and upload to an Arduino microcontroller to perform simple tasks like lighting up an LED or make a buzzer sound, to more complicated tasks such as mimicking a traffic-light system or use infra-red input devices to measure and control output devices. Authentic scenarios are presented to challenge students’ critical and inventive thinking; to test their troubleshooting skills besides learning soft skills such as communicating with team members and learning to make responsible decisions.
Involvement of students in larger project tasks such as designing and prototyping a robot arm to perform precise functions or to make it ‘dance’ to a one-minute music tune, using smartphone to control Robotics arms via Bluetooth, further stretches the students’ imagination and potential to complete the task while living out the school core values of Responsibility, Respect and Resilience.