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Meet the Makers: Behind the Scenes of TLL's Curriculum Development Teams

Posted by Kellie Teo on May 24, 2016

At The Learning Lab, the most important part of our curriculum work is to ensure that our weekly content captivates students, and sparks the curiosity in them to better understand the wider world. This is integral in our journey to nurture the love of learning in our students.  

'I hope that through the materials and lesson plans that my team creates, TLL students will see the value of each subject beyond their school needs, pursue their own interests in their favourites and cultivate that lifelong love for learning.'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wong Tze Chen, head of the curriculum team

Our specialised curriculum teams have been crafting lesson materials for more than a decade. Each of our four teams – one for every subject that we offer – is made up of resourceful and dedicated individuals who have in common a love for the subject that they manage.

We hope to nurture a love of learning in the students by sparking an interest in the subject and making the learning journey a fun and enjoyable one. To this end, we aim to captivate the students in the classroom with exciting content, and arm them with skills and savvy for the exams. The curriculum teams spend many hours scouring the Net and poring over school exam papers to bring the best of both worlds to our students. The inspiration behind a piece of work could be the hottest news of the moment, or something that the specialist, while teaching or observing a class, realises will be helpful to the students. Besides thinking of the content and the skills that we want to impart, we also consider the presentation of the information, so we have in-house artists to work with our writers to come up with accessible infographics, diagrams and other publications.

 

'The valuable opportunity given to inspire and shape young minds, broaden the students’ perspectives of the world around them and ignite in them a passion for the language and for reading.

Crystal Ngu, head of the English team

The Panama papers, Doraemon as a symbol of Japan’s soft power, the Singapore GE, the US Presidential Elections, the Rio Olympics, building houses on Mars, the life and works of Zaha Hadid, drones infiltrating our lives, themed hotels around the world… these are just some examples of the wide range of topics that students are introduced to in our English classes. While our primary purpose is to devise ways of improving our students’ proficiency in English, equally important, and more exciting for students, teachers and ourselves, is our other purpose: to find or write stories – real or otherwise – that encourage our students to challenge themselves, develop resilience, explore new ideas, and much more. So, alongside the writing, comprehension and grammar workshops, specially curated case studies from around the globe that inspire and inform our students are also part and parcel of an English lesson at TLL.

 

'Math curriculum specialists have three passions: passion for numbers, passion for research, and the passion to enlighten young minds that Math is not just about numbers.'

Natalie Tham, acting head of the Math team

Natalie came to me with an interesting project that the Math team is doing for Father’s Day: we are going to teach the primary students an algorithm to solve a puzzle which will reveal a secret message that the students will be writing for their dads. That, to me, embodies the strengths and aims of our Math team—we push the boundaries of what comes to mind when one thinks “Math” and “learning Math”. Besides teaching students the most elegant solutions for their school math problems, we also show them how Math is used in so many real-life situations. Besides drilling them through practice papers, we also play games and use manipulatives to make the learning journey an enjoyable one for them.

 

'A fulfilling journey where materials that facilitate teaching and learning are created for the students to develop an inquisitive mind, the passion for science and the lifelong love for learning.'

Chen Yilin, head of the Science team

Be it the groundbreaking discovery of the new elements in the Periodic Table or the celebration of World Penguin Day, the science team is always on the lookout for opportunities to bring real-world science into the classroom. Even Mother’s Day and Father’s Day – important events on the calendar of the TLL curriculum team – are opportunities for this purpose. This year, for instance, we linked the topic of electricity to our Science Mother’s Day gift, which the students were supposed to make for their mums. Other examples of hands-on and fun Science in the TLL classroom include using lemons as battery cells, building your own terrarium, making your own periscope… the list goes on, and keeps growing!

 

'To find ways to instil interest and ignite a passion for the learning of the Chinese Language and also an appreciation of Chinese culture.'

Peggy Gwi, head of the Chinese team

Headed by an ex-HOD from an MOE school, our Chinese team is well aware of the challenges faced by students when it comes to learning and excelling in their mother tongue. In order to help students overcome their personal barriers to doing well in Chinese, the team constantly looks out for best practices to cultivate an interest in the language and the culture. This includes using contemporary songs and videos, as well as traditional poems and stories, in addition to the requisite dose of writing drills, spelling assessments and grammar exercises.

 

Come meet and speak to our curriculum specialists at The Learning Lab’s 15th Anniversary Grand Carnival. See what exciting games and tricks the Math and Science teams have come up with for our stage show and take part in the TLL Quest to test your own prowess in the four subjects!

 

Topics: Curriculum