New guidelines for heritage badge scheme

Students (from left) Jonathan Lim, Ethan Ong and Ethan Christian Tan from the St John uniformed group at Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) checking out a cannon at Fort Canning Hill, which was a landmark covered under their heritage trail projects.
Students (from left) Jonathan Lim, Ethan Ong and Ethan Christian Tan from the St John uniformed group at Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) checking out a cannon at Fort Canning Hill, which was a landmark covered under their heritage trail projects.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

A revamp of the National Heritage Badge programme for schools will give students and teachers much more clarity on what sort of projects they can undertake.

The move comes after teachers and students said they were unclear about the requirements to earn the badge, which is awarded by the National Heritage Board (NHB).

The new guidelines released yesterday make it clearer for students while also providing teachers with lesson plans.

The guidelines include six sample projects that secondary school uniformed group students can now choose from to attain the badge. These include vlogging, creating art pieces about relevant topics and creating heritage-themed games.

The new project guides also give students the option to incorporate technology, using it, for example, to design and publish trails with free trail-creation applications and websites like Pocket Trips. "Harnessing technology adds another dimension to learning," said Mr Wong Tze Yung, a humanities teacher and teacher-in-charge of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)'s St John unit.

Mr Alvin Tan, NHB's assistant chief executive of policy and community, said: "The programme is part of Our SG Heritage Plan's twin strategies of developing heritage programmes that appeal to both schools and students, and nurturing a love of heritage amongst students so as to groom the next generation of heritage champions."

Student Jonathan Lim, 16 and a member of the St John uniformed group at ACS(I), organised a heritage trail and an amazing race around Fort Canning Gate under the old National Heritage Badge programme. "We learn about some events in history lessons, but there's no real connection and significance until we see it up close," said Jonathan, who holds the highest rank in his school's St John unit.

The revamp announced yesterday is the programme's first since its 1999 launch. The scheme attracts 2,000 to 3,000 students a year, with 3,048 badges awarded in 2016.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2018, with the headline 'New guidelines for heritage badge scheme'. Print Edition | Subscribe