Cedar Girls' Secondary School was founded in 1957 as a single-session girls' school with an enrolment of 507 pupils.
Amidst the uncertainties of the 1950s, and with the belief that education is the key to a secured future, it has since progressed from its humble beginnings to become one of the best schools in Singapore, well-known for its excellent achievements both in academic as well as in athletic fields.
Today, the school has a total enrolment of 1300 pupils.
Leaders of Character
Pupils are the focus of all that we do in Cedar as our mission is to nurture Cedarians into Leaders of Character who serve with Courage, Compassion and Conviction. We do this by providing an enriching and exciting school environment so that pupils can build their character through a wide range of experiences and opportunities. All teachers have strong conviction that character development is of utmost importance. As such, all our programmes and systems support the development needs of pupils in the moral, physical, social and aesthetics domains. Based on constant review and feedback, the programmes are improved upon to ensure that they have the desired impact on the pupils. This area is further boosted by active parental involvement and strong partnerships with key external organizations.
Cedar has a whole-school values-education approach to Character Education. Curriculum time set aside for such lessons allows values to be taught and a whole range of support structures in school allows such values to be internalized and translated into everyday actions, particularly so when pupils are involved in CIP, Service Learning and National Education activities. This approach has guided pupils to do the right things and helped to develop them in the social and moral domain.
Pupils are given various opportunities to learn skills and develop social and emotional competencies through participation in their CCAs. They develop strongs bonds, responsibility, teamwork, independence and confidence. There is also a clear pupil leardership structure that provides for leadership training and recognition of efforts and achievements.
Pupils are empowered and given ownership, and are involved in the various aspects of school. For example, CCA leaders initiate CIP projects, taking charge of the implementation and evaluation of the service learning projects for CIP. CCA leaders are also involved in peer assessment of pupils behaviour. In addition, they share their CCA expertise with pupils on 'Best Practices' Day and are involved in working with the school management and the general pupil population in organising various school events and forums. These various experiences and opportunities support the development of well-balaced, ethical and secure young women who are poised to scale greater heights.
Embracing Global Perspectives
At Cedar, we are working continuously to improve ourselves. Besides adopting the best practices of local institutions, we are keen to learn from overseas organisations as well. Hence, teachers are encouraged to go for attachment locally and overseas. To date, the teachers have gone on attachment in Australia, China, Japan and the United Kingdom. Such attachments allow teachers to learn from others and gain new perpectives on teaching and learning.
In line with the changing global landscape, the school collaborates with overseas partners to enhance pupil learning. The school has a twinning programme with schools in Malaysia, China, the United Kingdom and Thailand to provide pupils with opportunities to interact with their overseas counterparts and to learn beyond the confines of the classroom. In addition, pupils are taken on learning journeys to learn about the culture, history and geography of various countries.
To hone our pupils' skills, we send them for training and competitions overseas. Our choir participated in the Pacific Basin Festival Competition in Hawaii in 2005 and was awarded the gold medal. Track and Field pupils are stretched and given exposure at overseas sports schools. Scholars recruited by the school provide pupils with healthy competitions to draw out their potential.
Bringing Out the Best in Our Pupils
Going back to fundamentals provide the building blocks to bring out the best in our pupils. We expect all Cedarians to be well-disciplined in conduct. The teachers take care of the needs of each child and there is good monitoring of pupils in terms of attendance, handing in of assignments, academic grades, CCA participation and need for counselling. Teachers hold dialogue sessions with pupils to understand more about each pupil and to help them in specific ways. Besides discipline, the school aslo emphasizes perseverance and honesty. These values support a culture of excellence and every Cedarian tries her best in academia and co-curricular activities.
Effective teaching and learning helps our pupils to do well. Our teachers have good teaching strategies to promote learning and project work as well as stretch pupils' learning through tests and assignments. In recent years, Cedar has also introduced OAC (Outdoor Adventure Camp) for our Sec 3 pupils to promote experiential learning. Subjects are integrated during the camp to engage pupils to learn beyond the classroom. Physical activities are built into the camp programme to ensure that pupils learn a range of life skills.
We also adopted the Service Learning approach for project work for lower secondary pupils since 2002. This has focused on a few themes each year, such as the environment and the needs of youth and the elderly, and pupils' need to integrate skills and knowledge from different subjects. We have also collaborated with external partners to enhance learning.
The CCA leaders work with their teachers to propose the types of CIP the group will do, resulting in greater ownership and commitment to their projects. To ensure that skills learnt are transferred, pupils' CCA skills and expertise are often tapped, for example, the choir helps to brighten up the day for the needy during CIP.
It is the school's quality programmes and nurturing environment that 'Brings out the Best in Our People' and have contributed to the sustained success of Cedar Girls' Secondary School.