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National Education

Purpose of National Education (NE)

The objective is to develop national cohesion, the instinct for survival and confidence in the future,

  • by fostering a sense of identity, pride and self-respect as Singaporeans;
  • by knowing the Singapore story - how Singapore succeeded against the odds to become a nation;
  • by understanding Singapore's unique challenges, constraints and vulnerabilities, which make us different from other countries;
  • by instilling the core values of our way of life, and the will to prevail, that ensures our continued success and well-being.

NE Messages

  1. Singapore is our homeland; this is where we belong.
    We treasure our heritage and take pride in shaping our own unique way of life.

  2. We must preserve racial and religious harmony.
    We value our diversity and are determined to stay a united people. 

  3. We must uphold meritocracy and incorruptibility.
    We provide opportunities for all, according to their ability and effort.

  4. No one owes Singapore a living.
    We find our own way to survive and prosper, turning challenge into opportunity.

  5. We must ourselves defend Singapore.
    We are proud to defend Singapore ourselves, no one else is responsible for our security and well-being.

  6. We have confidence in our future.
    United, determined and well-prepared, we have what it takes to build a bright future for ourselves, and to progress together as one nation.


The "Head, Heart and Hands" framework was recommended by the Committee on NE in March 2007, and guides the next phrase of NE.


In engaging the "Head", students should be actively involved in their own learning; beyond knowing, they should think through issues and arrive at a deeper understanding of the challenges facing Singapore and what it means to be Singaporean.  In engaging the "Heart", students should connect emotionally with the Singapore story; their love for the nation should be the outcome of their appreciating Singapore and having a deeper sense of belonging.  In engaging the "Hands", students should have opportunities to give back to society, and realise that everyone has a part to contribute to and create Singapore's future, and where possible, to lead in different fields of society.

“Head”, “Heart” and “Hands” will be the focus of engagement at all levels, but with varying emphases as appropriate to the age and maturity of the students .  The “Hands” concept also expands on the original “Lead Singapore” outcome for post-secondary students to emphasise the fact that all students have a role in contributing to and creating Singapore's future.  

The three principles in the second ring - Quality, Customisation and Ownership, are guiding principles that underline all the Committee's recommendations.  In particular, going forward, more emphasis should be given to a customised approach.

For example, as students progress from primary to secondary levels, they should gradually move from understanding basic facts about our nation's past, to understanding how Singapore is evolving in the present.  As the move into post-secondary levels, the engagement should deepen their grasp of the complex challenges facing Singapore, while they ponder the possible futures for our nation.

The outer-most ring represents three key groups of stakeholders that are involved in the delivery of NE - educators, students and the community.  This reinforces the idea that NE is owned by everyone, and emphasizes the importance of community partners in the process of NE.

The Journey of Bendemeer Primary NE Champs

Form teachers select P3 to P6 pupils to begin their journey of being an ‘NE Champ’ of the school. These P3 to P6 pupils embody good citizenship of the school and of Singapore! As an NE Champ, they will be leaders at the forefront to spread the  messages of being a good, caring, concerned citizen in our modern world and society. To achieve this, NE Champs use their presentation skills to interact with others when they support the 4 NE Core Events. NE Champs are the key to the events’ success! In fact, they are champions in more ways than they can think of!

Some of the duties of the NE Champs are to assist new and foreign pupils to understand our National Anthem, Singapore state flag and Pledge. NE Champs also take pride to share the school values, good citizenry and even share the latest Singapore news with their classmates!

NE Champs Training Session on Leadership Day

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During this session, Mr Alvin Lee share the roles and responsibilities of being an NE Champ. The training continues with a hands-on session of the ‘My Singapore, My Home’ card game. The NE Champs will then use this same card game to engage the other pupils during recess time and during the NE Core Events.

Learning Journey to Raffles Institution (RI) for Curatorship Training


All NE Champs go on a Learning Journey to Raffles Institution (RI) where they will interact with the Raffles Archives & Museum students. The RI students share the basics of Museum Curatorship with our NE Champs. Our NE Champs view rare artifacts belonging to our founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew and come to realise their purpose as NE Champs is a very significant one.

Yearly NE Tshirt Competition for Primary Four pupils

This is an annual competition for all Primary Four pupils to showcase their creativity and love for the school and for Singapore. Pupils will do up a Tshirt design based on the theme of ‘OurHome@BDP.sg’. The winning design will be used as the T-shirt design for the Primary Five camp for the pupils in the following year, NE show, Learning Journeys and in other school-related activities.

1st Place Winners                                                                           2nd Place Winners 
Yang Yu Wayne and Cheong Yoong Sern                                  Crystac Chen and Ong Xin Hui


3rd Place Winner
Chan Qian Yi

Winning Design Front and Back

Core Events

Annually schools observe 4 NE commemorative days which have been identified as defining moments in Singapore's history.  The aim is to entrench these events and the images they evoke in the consciousness of each successive generation.

The 4 events are:
1.  Total Defence Day
2.  International Friendship Day
3.  Racial Harmony Day
4.  National Day

Total Defence Day (TDD)



Schools commemorate Total Defence Day on 15 February annually to mark Singapore's fall to the Japanese in 1942.  Total Defence Day serves to remind our students that Singapore is defensible and is worth defending, and we ourselves must defend Singapore.

At the primary level, TDD commemoration aims for pupils to know the 5 aspects of Total Defence and how they can play a part in each aspect.  Even at their age, their participation in Total Defence is important and everyone can (and should) play a part in defending the country. 

The NE department organises activities to infuse the 5 aspects of Total Defence. Examples include teachers dressing up in their National Service uniforms and explaining about what they do during their NS life. This seeks to inform pupils and staff that teachers do have national duties aside their teaching duties and to acknowledge their contribution to the nation being Military Defence.

The department also invites external partners such as the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to conduct outreach about the Downtown Line and its relevance to the immediate Bendemeer / Boon Keng area as well as showed a glimpse about worksite safety in the MRT tunnels. There are various displays, interactive activities and exciting prizes to reinforce the Economic arm of Total Defence. The Housing Development Board (HDB) also put up a skit on ‘Good Neighbourliness’ for our pupils and staff to share more about keeping common spaces free of clutter, preventing killer litter and lending a helping hand to our neighbours seeks to imbue Social and Psychological Defence. 

Lastly, the school also holds the annual fire drill during this period to test our emergency readiness and response.

International Friendship Day (IFD)


At the primary level, IFD commemoration aims to:
  • spark students’ curiosity about different cultures, so that students will be more open to learning from people with different life experiences;
  • allow students to appreciate cultural diversity and nurture a willingness to embrace others from diverse backgrounds; and
  • encourage students to welcome and integrate their international peers to the school or society. The experience of doing so will help cultivate strong bonds of friendship between them and their international friends.

By guiding students to recognize values and interests that they share with others in the school or community, students will learn that, beyond ethnicity, a common identity can also be forged from shared experiences and values.

Our NE/SS Department conducts an assembly talk and arrange for parent volunteers to showcase cultural items from their own countries for the pupils to explore and immersed. 

In addition, we also collaborate with the EL Department to plan and organise the IFD cum Lower Primary Games Day on International Friendship Day. Examples include saying greetings in different South-East Asian languages.

Racial Harmony Day (RHD)


At the primary level, RHD commemoration aims for pupils to make friends with people of other races and religions. Learn that in Singapore, people are treated equally regardless of their race and religion, and students should appreciate the different cultures that make up Singapore.

The Three Big Ideas in Racial Harmony Day – Identity, Relationships and Choices, are core concepts in CCE which are interconnected and impact one another. The Three Big Ideas need to be anchored in values to form support structures for students to live their lives as persons of good character and useful citizens. 

The Three Big Ideas can be applied in the context of social cohesion and harmony, and how these contribute towards building an inclusive society. Students learn the importance of making choices that promote and advocate inter-cultural understanding, which build strong relationships between people of all races, cultures and nationalities, and strengthens our distinctive identity as Singaporeans living in multi-cultural Singapore. 

The following key questions are identified to guide and stimulate discussions in the classroom:
  • Identity: What is an inclusive society to us?
  • Relationships: How do we understand and relate to others in an inclusive society?
  • Choices: What are our roles in building an inclusive society?

(Source: Character & Citizenship Education Branch)

National Day Celebrations


National Day marks our Separation from Malaysia, and our emergence as an independent country in the c0mmunity of nations. Every year since 1998, a National Day Ceremony is held in schools. This Ceremony aims to bring to the students a greater sense of the historical importance and solemnity of National Day. Schools also conduct a 15-minute National Day Ceremony which is more formal than the festivities that schools usually organise.

At Bendemeer Primary School, National Day comes alive as both pupils and teachers leverage on this platform to perform and to showcase their talents while encompassing the National Day themes. The NE Department also seeks to involve external partners such as the GetActive! Singapore initiative to promote sport participation and inclusiveness through the Active Enabler Programme for all pupils. Pupils are treated to Zumba and other fun workout routines in sync with National Day songs.

(Information source: National Education Website)

NE Show 2017

As of 1997, all Primary 5 pupils are invited to attend the NE Show, which is essentially a preview of the National Day Parade.  The objective of staging this show is to evoke a sense of patriotism amongst the pupils and to impart to them the significance of National Day.

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Useful Links

National Education – Ministry of Education

Total Defence Day

National Archives of Singapore

National Heritage Board