My Journey Thus Far
I joined the teaching service in 1996 as a History and English Language teacher. Serving in Pasir Ris Secondary School, I was privileged to be guided by caring and experienced teachers who allowed me to grow on the job fast. In 2000, I was posted to the Curriculum Planning & Development Division (CPDD), serving as a Curriculum Planning Officer for four years. During my stint there, I was part of the team that developed the Upper Secondary Social Studies syllabus and instructional materials as part of the Combined Humanities subject. I was also involved in training the teachers to teach a newly formed subject at that time - Social Studies. Heading the team from 2002 to 2003 allowed me to work to better understand the varied needs and perspectives of people.
My next posting was to Sembawang Secondary School. This was a rich experience as I served in the school as a teacher, Subject Head (History & Social Studies), Head of Department (Humanities) and Vice-Principal over a six-year period. In 2006, I was conferred the President Award for Teachers (PAT) for my contribution in promoting innovation and the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the teaching and learning of History and Social Studies. This was only possible due to my commitment to working with people and for the people. I had a highly committed and passionate team of teachers and as a team, we made lasting impact on our students.
After completing my year-long Masters in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, I served as Vice- Principal in Greenridge Secondary School for two years. Just like in my previous posting, the people are the ones who made a difference in Greenridge Secondary School. This further established my commitment to working with people to bring about a difference in the life of every Navalites in Naval Base Secondary School (NBSS).
I am blessed with a loving family with my wife and four children being my pillars of strength. Being a father of four children has allowed me to understand how each child is different and has his/her own innate potential and strengths. While I tap on their strengths and grow them further in these areas, I also make it a point to anchor them in values and behaviour which will bring them far in life as persons with good moral and performance character traits.
NBSS – Moving Ahead
I was appointed as the Principal of NBSS in December 2013. I feel honoured to be leading a school with a strong history and recognition. In 2017, we celebrated our 60th anniversary, bringing back fond memories for many on the successes we have achieved and renewing our promise to continue striving for excellence. This is a school which makes every Navalite proud to be connected with. One of our ex-Navalites, the late criminal lawyer, Subhas Anandan mentioned in his book, ‘The Best I Could Be’:
“You should not underestimate my Naval Base School experience because deep inside, I know that the school, along with my parents and close friends, moulded my character. Naval Base School taught me what it is to be loyal, and about loyalty to your school and loyalty to your friends; rich or poor, a different race or creed, as long as we were wearing the uniform and the badge of Naval Base School, we stuck together. This is why I always say that the uniform you wear – a school uniform, a sports kit or whatever – you must always be loyal to it.”
The Naval Base School experience is one that we take seriously to ensure that it turns out to be an enriching and insightful one for all Navalites. NBSS strongly believes that every child matters and has his/her innate potential. To unleash that potential in each Navalite, we have embraced John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success (PoS) with its building blocks as we strive for excellence in our endeavours. In NBSS, it is never about competing with others or being better than someone else. Instead it is about working towards being the best that one can be. The PoS guides our Navalites towards this journey of excellence. Success then, as John Wooden mentions, “is a peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing we made the effort to become the best which we are capable”.
To help us in this journey of building commendable performance and moral character traits through the PoS, we have also developed our own leadership lessons known as SHIPSHAPE: from leaderSHAPE to leaderSHIP. Inspired by the sailing of a ship and aligned to the school’s navy heritage and theme, SHIPSHAPE emphasises the importance of orderliness, focus and commitment. It seeks to clarify the actions and habits every Navalite should cultivate in his/her quest for success and excellence.
In NBSS, we are committed to giving our best through Stout Hearts, Great Thoughts and Brave Deeds. We look forward to continuing to provide learning opportunities that are meaningful, fun and authentic for our Navalites.
Enitamur In Altiora! (Be Our Best!)
Mr Sulaiman Mohamad Yusof Principal, Naval Base Secondary School