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Rice is an Asian staple food. It is therefore symbolic for us to use RICE2 as the acronym for our school values. We want to digest the values everyday so that we can internalize these values through our ‘Learning by Doing, Doing until we Become’ philosophy. RICE2, which stands for Respect, Integrity, Care, Empowerment, Responsibility, Innovation, Community and Excellence, are values that apply to both our staff and students.
We value every team member as unique individual with potential to grow and contribute to the community. As part of our organizational belief in Personal Mastery which forms the basis of our 4-tiered Leadership, we strive to follow one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People of ‘seeking first to understand every individual before we seek to be understood’ by this individual. Our belief that every member should be valued also means that we should strive to respect different opinions or perspectives and uphold the basic rights of each individual. Mutual respect is the basis of every relationship between two persons.
Seeking the truth should be the habit of an excellent learning organization. In that spirit, we will seek to learn the truth about ourselves - no matter how brutal it may be so that we may grow – through Knowledge Management. We believe that only if we confront the true picture of ourselves – through real data and open conversations with stakeholders – will we continue to learn and improve. As purveyors of knowledge and values, especially of honesty, we must strive to uphold the truth in our words and deeds. Having integrity also means that we must stand together in any crisis with an aim of resolving it amicably and with minimal, unnecessary or negative impact.
As the second home for young children aged 6-13, we must provide a caring, comfortable and safe environment for our young to learn, play and grow. Safety must always be the hallmark of our care culture. We believe that we need to build a culture of care by first showing show we care for our staff. When care for our team like family, they will have the emotional energy to look after the needs of our little ones as if they are looking after their own children. In the same spirit of Care, we should also uphold the standards of responsiveness to the people we serve as part of the vision of Public Service for the 21st Century or PS21.
Based on the Core Theory of Success, the quality of results or outcomes of any organizational effort is positively affected by the quality of actions which is in turn affected by quality of collective thinking. As an organization, we develop quality culture and collective thinking through quality of conversations which is influenced by the quality of relationships. The positive reinforcement loop is established when the quality of results strengthens the relationships between members or teams in an organization. This is the positive energy of excellence we want to harness even as we embrace Learning Organization theories for school improvement. In line with MOE’s value of ‘Excellence our Pursuit’ and the spirit of Public Service for the 21st Century (PS21), we constantly seek to put the best foot forward and excel. Excellence is a journey, not a destination. As part of our effort to foster a ‘Great Place to Learn and Work’, we celebrate team success even as we seek to recognize every individual effort and reward some key outcomes together.
Every part of the body must play its part well so that the whole body can grow and remain healthy. This is the essence of the value of responsibility and the belief in individual effort towards the cadence of accountability outlined in Sean Covey’s 4 Discipline of Execution (4DX). We believe that when every one plays his/her part diligently and well, our organizational effectiveness and efficiency will improve and our students will benefit by learning more and better.
‘IN’ are the central two characters in our school name. Innovation is hence central to the culture of Wellington. Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise are the core attributes of individuals who will taste success in the globalized knowledge economy. Like Thomas Edison, we will have to learn by trying out new things. We cannot expect new results by doing the same things. To underscore the importance of Innovation to our culture, we have renamed our AVA Room as ‘WINGStudio’. WING stands for Wellington Innovation Generation. Since any bird needs two wings to soar above the clouds, this fourth floor special room is made up of two detachable parts – WING1 and WING2.
No man is an island. As part of Strategic Thrust 1- Student Leadership, we will start preparing our young to lead in a world that is highly interconnected and reliant on collaboration to deal with complex issues like Global Warming and Social Equity. Our Student Leadership framework begins with Personal Mastery and Peer Leadership in the classroom. At the higher levels, we develop Community Leadership and eventually Global Leadership. For community leadership, we aim to nurture students who can empathize with people from different segments of society and will take initiative or steps to help make the world a better place. Even as we leverage on teamwork and collaboration as part of our 3rd ICE (International Collaboration & Exchange) with partners local and overseas, we need to equip our young with people skills like garnering support for their ideas as well as being sensitive to needs of people around them. As we model positive habits of civic-mindedness and relationship building, we should also gain awareness of our cultural, historical and geographical heritage. All these are key skills that we believe will be central to the 21st Century Competencies.
Following our motto of ‘Empowerment through Education’, we have chosen this value to underscore our belief that our efforts to educate every individual – child or adult – will help each individual feel that they have more choices as well as the ability to seize these opportunities. As the old adage says, ‘Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach the man to fish and he eats a lifetime.’ Our commitment to empowerment is demonstrated through our efforts towards holistic development of every individual that has brought us thus far to become a global benchmark for holistic education as one of Singapore’s CHERISH Platinum School. Our focus on Empowerment is also the reason for our Strategic Thrust 4 – becoming a World-ready Team of Professionals. We will continue to improve and leverage on our systems and structures that has won us a revalidation of the People Developer Standards to uplift members of Team Wellington to be exemplary educators and service leaders. The adoption of Distributed Leadership model for decision-making is a practice to facilitate Autonomy, one of key features of a culture of empowerment.
The RICE2 values form the basis of our efforts to build a culture towards becoming an Inviting School with Creative Learners. The various efforts, structures and systems supporting the RICE2 values will help us to ‘Empower Every Individual, Nurture Talents & Groom Leaders’ to shape a future where Singapore is a great place to live, play & work.