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Citizenship and Character Education

Published on Wednesday, 23 February 2011

“Towards Academic and Character Excellence” is the vision of Dunearn Secondary School. Each member of staff has been actively involved in shaping this Vision and accompanying Mission since 2006. Central to Character Development are Core Values (Integrity, Responsibility and Compassion) which are regularly articulated to the stakeholders and incorporated into the various character education programmes.

To fulfil this Vision, the school is driven by 4 strategic thrusts, of which Thrust 1 refers to the holistic character development of each pupil and encompasses short term goals and operational strategies that are monitored regularly. This is illustrated in the School Holistic Development Framework as shown here:

As illustrated, the CCE Department plays a major role in steering the school towards building a culture of Citizenship Education and Character Development. It is the department’s mission to (1) remove all barriers to learning, (2) build strong character and citizenship, and (3) provide clear education and career guidance.

Character Education

The figure below summarizes the initiatives that target all students, as well as programs that are customised for specific groups of students.


To mention a few of the above areas, the CCE Department has implemented the new Character & Citizenship Education (CCE) and Values Education (VE) package. The CCE lessons that are taught by the form teachers include the explicit teaching of values. The VE lessons comprise of three components: Sexuality Education (SEd), Education & Career Guidance (ECG) and Cyberwellness.

CCE has also been infused into classroom lessons across a variety of subjects. Measures are also undertaken to provide greater support for teachers, such as the expansion of the range of CCE resources available and the provision of training on pedaqogical approaches and classroom strategies regarding the teaching and learning of values.

Values in Action (VIA) Programme is designed to be differentiated with the Sec 1 students doing activities related to Environmental Awareness; Sec 2, Community Awareness (school / community); Sec 3, Fund-raising and Overseas Service Learning; Sec 4/5, Community Awareness (class-initiated, special needs). Some of the ongoing partners the school works with include South View Primary School, Dover Hospice, and Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled.

To develop self-discipline, the department works closely with the Discipline department to identify and develop key SEL competencies in our pupils. The Pupil-Teacher Relational Time (PTRT) is one of the strategies the school has adopted to prevent misbehaviour. The PTRT is a structured programme where both the pupils and their Form teachers could meet on a one-on-one basis to talk and discuss issues. Through the conversations, teachers will be able to better understand their pupils and their challenges and hence, providing timely intervention. Concurrent with the PTRT, the school has a school-wide values talk session where students are required to do a written reflection after every talk which is spear-headed by the CCE department.


Developing a strong national identity among students has always been the focus of our National Education (NE) Programmes. The school’s NE framework is implemented through the infusion of NE into the curriculum and the commemoration of major events like Total Defence Day, Racial Harmony Day, International Friendship Day and National Day. Below are some examples of ongoing programs and events that were organised:

  • NE Core Events
  • Thematic Citizenship Programmes
  • Thematic monthly NE noticeboard which highlights pupils work
  • Compulsory NE Quiz for the graduating classes (4E and 4N)
  • Biennial NE Study for selected Upper and Lower Secondary students
  • Other activities by departments (e.g. Conversational MT lessons, Cultural Camp, Environment Club activities, Community Involvement Activities at organisations such as Bukit Batok Home for the Aged, Dover Park Hospice and Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled)

Dunearn Character Development Profile (DCDP)

Formative Assessment of Character Development

What is it?

  • A rubrics tool aligned with MOE 21st Century Competencies (21st CC) framework, school core values and Dunearn Character & Citizenship Education (CCE) programmes.
  • A total of six Criteria (R3ICH) and 15 Standards/Benchmarks describing the desired values, attitudes, behaviour, social & emotional learning (SEL) skills and 21st CC.  R3ICH stands for 6 core values of Respect, Responsibility, Resilience, Integrity, Care (Compassion) & Harmony.
  • It is designed with references to:
    • MOE Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) Toolkit
    • MOE 21st CC Framework, Standards and Benchmarks
    • MOE SEL Goals, Standards and Benchmarks
    • MOE CME Assessment and Evaluation


Why do we do so?


  • To help students develop their character progressively from lower to upper secondary and to take ownership for it.
  • To help teachers work together with students and their parents on character development and hence strengthen the relationships.


End goals:

  • Culture of Care
  • Positive Teacher-Student, Teacher-Parent, Parent-Child Relationships
  • Desired Outcomes of Education


How do we do so?

  • Values form the essence of one's character. Values and character may be assessed using proxy indicators such as attitude, behaviour, SEL skills and 21st CC i.e., R3ICH = f(Attitude, Behaviour, SEL, 21st CC).
  • The overall assessment is based on both student's self-assessment and formative assessment by the Form Teacher/Co-Form Teacher.
  • Teacher's assessment is based on observation and understanding of students' attitudes, behaviour and competencies through formal and informal interactions e.g., classroom time, one-to-one session, service learning activities, after school programmes etc.  Feedback may also be obtained from other stakeholders.


                 DCDP Process Flow

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