GESS, with its 138 years of rich heritage, is one of the oldest schools in Singapore. We are proud that our history is intertwined with the history of our nation. We share the same narrative – one of hope and resilience in the face of uncertainties, challenges and constant change. The success of GESS lies in its ability to respond to these external forces while staying true to our mission of nurturing the best and striving ever onward. We will continue to provide quality and holistic education that would empower our students to be future-ready.
At the MOE Workplan Seminar 2023, Minister For Education Mr Chan Chun Sing, stressed that for us to succeed as a nation, every student needs to be a Creator, a Connector, and a Contributor going forward. As creators, students can create something new or create new value for themselves. As connectors, they can be strong collaborators with their communities and beyond. As contributors, every student is able to contribute to the betterment of the school, community and nation.
Minister’s 3 Cs (Creator, Connector, and Contributor) resonate strongly with GESS. Our systems and processes are aligned in equipping our students with the required 21st Century Competencies so that they will be future-ready. The Design Thinking Protocol in our Applied Learning Programme (Probes*), provides all Gessians with opportunities to be creators, and teaches them to exercise empathy when putting forth their proposals in subjects like Design and Technology. We are especially happy that MOE has affirmed our efforts, and awarded GESS with the inaugural Design and Technology award for developing and implementing a Lower Secondary programme that leads students to think adaptively and inventively.
The ability to collaborate is key for any workforce and GESS intentionally plans for students to strengthen their ability to interact well with people around them. GESS piloted Full Subject-Based banding (FSBB) in 2020 and we are into our 5th year of FSBB. With mixed classes, students are provided with ample opportunities to work and interact with those who have different strengths. Further opportunities are provided through the GESS Learn For Life Programme which aims to develop students to be Youth Community Leaders. Some platforms such as the GESS Life Camps, Sec 1 Learning Festival, CCAs and Internationalisation Programme with schools in Thailand, allow our students to hone their social and team-work skills and to connect more confidently with others.
Being active contributors to the community and beyond is in the DNA of every Gessian. We are proud to have nurtured many generations of Gessians who now take pride in giving back to the community and nation. One of our senior Gessians, Mr Leonard Sim, class of 2009, helped the Singapore Children’s Society raise $720,000, and this was featured in The Straits Times in March 2023. For current students, we have a vibrant values education and Values-In-Action Programme (ViA) that are tiered to develop our students to be active contributors. So starting with the Sec 1 students who work on cleanliness of the school and culminating with the Sec 4/5 students who engage the elderly in the community on a regular basis.
In our quest for continual improvement, the school went through a Customised Validation Exercise in 2023 and it is heartening to share that the school did extremely well. It is indeed a testament to the good work of our staff, students and parents. We could not have done this without our key partners; namely the School Advisory Committee, Parent-Teacher Association and Gan Eng Seng Old Students’ Association. Thank you for your unwavering support.
As we navigate these uncertain times, I have every confidence that if every Gessian were to hold fast to the school values and school creed, we would be able to ride the waves of change and soar to even greater heights, and be a blessing to our community and beyond.
Ms Tan Hwee Pin