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2021-04-19 - 07:19:13  POLITICS | 

Public Engagement Launched to Help Determine Signatures for Senior Signature Schools


Education Reform for the Bermuda Public School System continues this week with the launch of the engagement process to determine signatures for the first two senior signature schools. The Ministry of Education is inviting the general public to weigh in and provide their input and feedback during an engaging consultation on proposed signatures senior schools.  

During the month of April, the Ministry will be distributing information packages via email, social media posts, and the Learning First newsletter with details on the proposed ‘Signatures’. The signatures or signature learning programmes will enable students to develop skills, knowledge, and relationships to follow their passions, build on their talents and achieve their career and further education aspirations in key areas such as tourism, finance, art, sports, and the trades.

The Ministry is seeking a wide range of community responses from stakeholders and residents, sharing their views on which signatures should be introduced as the first two senior schools are scheduled to open in September 2022. 

A Ministry spokeswoman said: “We’ve reached an exciting phase in the education reform process, which allows us all to work together and innovate in order to create a public school system that positions our students for long-term success. During the engagement process, there will be 11 signatures proposed. We look forward to obtaining input and feedback from the community to determine the best ones for Bermuda’s children. 

During the month of March, the Education Amendment Act 2021 was passed in both the House of Assembly and the Senate. This Act will start the process of phasing out of middle schools and establishing signature learning programmes at the senior school level. The new legislation identifies four signatures namely, tourism, finance, insurance, and trades.  During the engagement process, the Ministry will be proposing these and additional signatures for public input, which include: 
Building construction and maintenance (Trades and Professions) 
Climate, environment, and resources
Community safety and social justice
Education services
Entrepreneurship
Financial Services 
Health and social care
Hospitality and Tourism 
The Arts
Sports and leisure
STEAM: science, technology, engineering, agriculture, math

Each senior school will have a core curriculum (including English, Maths, Science and Social Studies); and also develop foundational transferable skills such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving, digital fluency.  

Students will be allowed to choose a major and a minor Signature, however, those with a strong passion for their major can choose to opt-out of their minor. Over time, Signatures will be delivered through blended learning (a combination of face-to-face and online), enabling students the flexibility to learn their minor Signature through virtual classes at another school. 

To engage as many in the community as possible and to answer any questions, the Ministry will host Zoom meetings for the public over the next few weeks. There will also be virtual focus group sessions happening with upper primary, middle, and senior school students, Bermuda College students, business leaders, and trade union representatives.  Special sessions will be held with teachers and students at the two senior schools. 

Please find details of two (2) upcoming Lunch and Learn sessions below: 

Date:  Thursday, April 15th, 2021
Time:  1:00pm to 2:00pm lunch and learn session
Register for this meeting using the link below:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUscuGhqzkoGdNC-5FFoqml7zLSu2iZ_yMZ

Date:  Wednesday, April 21st, 2021
Time:  6:00pm – 7:00pm
Register for this meeting using the link below:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMrcu-rpjsoGN3-8dXvedIn6zK4yjIsmZUN

A report: ‘Future World of Work: Bermuda’ has been developed to share the latest international research on the types of jobs that could be available for young people in decades to come. For more information or to get an information pack on the signatures engagement, send an email request to schoolredesign@moed.bm.
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