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Raffles Academy 2.0

The Raffles Academy 2.0 (RA 2.0) caters to Year 3 & 4 students’ varied talents or interests, providing them with a diversity of choices in developing their potential. Students broaden and/or deepen their learning in a particular area of study through Coursework or Research Modules. This inclusive, opt-in programme develops in Y3-4 students the fundamental skills and passion for research and creative problem-solving, to cater to the many varied interests of these students beyond the academic curriculum and to stretch and challenge students with advanced knowledge and skills in their talent area. These modules are taught by RGS teachers as well as industry practitioners and experts in tertiary institutions. Qualitative reports describe the ‘process’ as well as ‘product/performance’ of students in this programme for a more holistic evaluation of the students’ learning journey in RA 2.0. 

In the provision of RA 2.0, we had gathered and addressed feedback from parents and students about the need to have ‘space’ to explore their interests and/or deepen their learning in a more inclusive, manageable environment. As a result, RA 2.0 is based on the following important parameters:

  1. Inclusiveness in catering to a wide range of students’ interests and talents
  2. Opt-in Programme
  3. Fosters joy of learning
  4. De-emphasises grades and scores and instead focuses on formative feedback on the learning experience  
  5. Reduces competition for places on programmes with minimal entry requirements

For more information on RA 2.0, click here.


Examples of RA 2.0 modules

Subject:  Computer Sciences (Mathematics)

Title:   Coding 

Code:   CM015

Duration: Y3s can take CM015 in Semesters 1 and 2; it is a two semester-long module

Overview:

There are many broad benefits in learning coding, especially in this digital age. It can enhance one’s computational thinking skills and ability to solve a highly complex problem, breaking it into a collection of smaller but connected problems. Through this module, students will gain a better understanding of the modern digital world while learning to code. Students will also learn the basics of coding using Python Programming and its applications before embarking on a self-designed project.

Learner Outcomes:

·         Develop a computational thinking mindset

·         Learn basic to intermediate level of coding

·         Apply the knowledge of coding to solve problems

·         Understand and show how such skills can be applied in a multi-curricular context

Assessment: Create a digital product in an end-of-module project.


Subject: Biology

Title: Evolution and Molecular Cell Biology (with Research)

Code: CM018-E (Y3, Semesters 1,2 & 3)

Duration & Prerequisites:

-          Y3 can take CM018-E in semesters 1 and 2, it is a three semester-long module

-          Y3s who apply will be contacted to sit for a selection test on the topics of Cell and Molecular Biology, Pant and                       Animal Physiology, Ecology, Genetics and Evolution

-          Strong conceptual understanding in Biology

Overview:

This module examines key topics of Biology for students to gain a broader perspective on Biology than offered in the RP Biology syllabus. This module is also designed to equip students with self-directed learning skills to study and understand these key topics. Practical sessions are incorporated into this module to teach experimental skills particular to Biology.

Learner Outcomes - Students will be able to:

-           Adopt a scientific approach in analysing and critically reflecting the world in which they live

-           Internalise, articulate, and evaluate understanding and knowlege of Biology

-           Apply critical and creative thinking to solve problems and communicate the ideas effectively

-           Demonstrate passion to learn more advanced content in a self-driven manner and attributes relevant for scientific

            inquiry

Outline:

-           Cell Biology

-           Genetic Inheritance

-           Molecular Genetics

-           Gene Regulation

-           Cancer Biology

-            Biological Evolution

Assessment:

-             Participate and present in class

-             Take a class quiz

Further Requirement: Be prepared to stay beyond 3:30pm on some Wednesdays for this coursework module.


Subject:  History

Title:   Advanced Historical Case Studies (1870-1970) Overcoming Colonialism in Southeast Asia

Code:   CM007 (Y3, Semesters 1 & 2) (Y4, Semester 3)

Duration & Prerequisite:

·         Y3s can take CM007 in Semesters 1 and 2; it is a two semester-long module

·         Y4s without other RA commitments and who have not taken CM007 can take CM007 in Semester 3

·         A strong grasp of historical concepts and a strong background in History

Overview:

Students will embark on an individualised comparative case study of at least two Southeast Asian nations, to understand the nature of colonialism, the people’s struggles against colonialism and their journeys towards nationhood. Students may use this module to assess interest and readiness for A Level H2 History: Southeast Asia (in Years 5 and 6).

Note:

This module complements Area Studies (AS) and the Regional Studies Programme (RSP). While there will be minor content overlap with “Area Studies: Southeast Asia”, this module will focus on the historical aspects of Southeast Asia. 

Learner Outcomes - Students will be able to:

·         Explain how cultural, intellectual, emotional contexts shape thoughts, values, decisions and actions

·         Construct narratives of change and continuity in Southeast Asian nations, through the lens of the Southeast Asian                people

·         Demonstrate resilience and fair mindedness in understanding our immediate Southeast Asian region

 Assessment:

·         Present findings as a group

·         Write a comparative study report

Further Requirement: Intrinsic interest in learning about Southeast Asia.


Feedback on RA 2.0 by students and teachers

“I think the wide variety of RA modules, especially those not heavily related to academics makes the idea of RA more interesting and appealing to students.”

“I took Social Advocacy Through Entrepreneurship and it gave me new opportunities to develop and challenge myself as well as let me work with different types of people. I got to learn something challenging that is not in the RP curriculum and this helped me to do better in RP.”

Making RA 2.0 not compulsory makes sure that students who are not interested or unable to commit do not view RA as a burden and only students who are genuinely interested and have the means to do so takes up RA modules. Delinking RA 2.0 from the RP curriculum is good because it takes away the pressure of doing it just to keep up with peers.“

During the module, we were given time to work together in groups to figure out concepts and try to teach it to the class, before our teacher went through the concepts, which allowed us to challenge ourselves to understand concepts through self-learning.”

RA 2.0 takes the emphasis away from grades and places it more so on one's interest. Also, for students who are not interested in any module or wish to focus on other aspects of school life (e.g. leadership, academic studies) also have the flexibility of not taking up RA, which really allows us to customize our learning and RGS experience.”