May 15, 2013Gangnam Style by popular Korean singer, PSY, is what many children know of Korea these days. At Ngee Ann Primary School, during the International Friendship Day celebrations from 10 to 12 April, this song was heard no less than six times as pupils took to the stage to rock to the Korean pop song. But it did not stop there. Parents and teachers were determined to show pupils that Korea was not just about Gangnam Style, and that Japan was not just about sushi for that matter. "This year, we chose to focus on Korea and Japan as they both have influenced the world with their popular cultures. Our aim is to expose the children to different cultures each year," said Ms Faith Sim, a parent volunteer who was in charge of organising the event.
In the Schools.
May 10, 2013Gone are the days when values were taught dogmatically in a classroom, from teacher to student. Students are now taught to think critically and reason with the knowledge that they acquire, especially with the prevalence of social media. "Students, like many of us, are bombarded by information from all places," said Mdm Carolynn Howe, Senior Teacher and Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) Mentor Teacher at Yishun Town Secondary School, who has been teaching for about 30 years. Because of this new social context that students live in, the school saw the need to revamp its CCE programme. At Yishun Secondary School, "Process Drama" is used as a new method to teach CCE at the lower secondary level. By posing scenarios with moral dilemmas, students have to dig deep within themselves for an honest and personal response. This process of moral reasoning brings out each student's own value system.
May 7, 2013"Not doing well in studies doesn't make anyone any less of a citizen," said Mr Martin Tan, Principal of NorthLight School, "So that's why our students' contribution to Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) is just as important as any other citizen's!" NorthLight School, which caters to students who did not pass their Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), collaborated with several JC student volunteers to conduct an OSC session for about 30 students on 2 May 2013. Students were asked to think about what success meant to them, and how they would like the government and community to help them achieve their goals.
May 3, 2013In Senior Teacher Mr Aaron Tan Ah Chye's class in Da Qiao Primary School, he uses a series of cartoon characters to voice statements related to Science concepts. The statements might be true or false, prompting pupils to discuss and debate their validity so that any misconceptions the pupils hold can be brought to light. Highlighting the barrier that misconceptions can pose to learning, Mr Peh Yew Meng, the Subject Head for Science, says, "Cartoons help the pupils clarify their misconceptions by tapping on their friends as learning resources, in order to develop a higher level of understanding."
April 30, 2013"My students may need a longer runway, but they can do it!" said Miss Melison See, Principal of Metta School. From 2013, two new ITE Skills Certificates (ISCs) in Baking Practices and Hospitality Services will be offered to students with special needs at Metta School. This has been made possible with the new extension block at Metta School which offers industry standard facilities that meet the requirements of an Approved Training Centre (ATC) for these two certifications. Metta School offers special education to children aged between 7 and 21, who are diagnosed with mild intellectual disability or mild autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Students between 17 to 21-years-old undergo the Vocational Education Programme, which prepares them for the ITE Skills Certification (ISC).
April 30, 2013How can we re-think the way community service is conducted in schools? How can we mould students into adults of tomorrow who are passionate about creating an impact in the world? These burning questions were addressed at the MOE ExCel Fest 2013, 'Character for Life' seminar held on 5 April 2013 by Mr Laurence Lien, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC).
April 11, 2013The Health Promoting School Canteen Programme was brought to Wellington Primary School by the Health Promotion Board in 2011 to encourage pupils to eat and live healthily. Set meals are served in a highly appealing manner, with two servings of fruits and vegetables placed together with the main dish in a bento box. The healthy bento box set meal incorporates appropriate proportions of food from four main food groups, such as rice and alternatives, meat and alternatives, fruits and vegetables.
April 10, 2013From manga-art drawing in art lessons to transforming textbook content onto a virtual platform in geography fieldwork, this year's ExCEL (Excellence through Continuous Enterprise & Learning) Fest brimmed with exciting and innovative practices implemented by schools.
March 29, 2013With the rise of social media networks like Facebook, expectations for greater connectivity and interaction have increased as well. How have schools responded to this societal trend? "The multiplier effect of social media platforms like Facebook creates an incredible potential for us to reach out to a huge audience," says Mr Paul Leong, Vice-Principal of Ngee Ann Secondary School. Ngee Ann Secondary School first embarked on a Facebook engagement project in 2009 to connect with their students, parents, staff and alumni. Snippets on school activities and important information are posted frequently to update nearly four thousand fans of the page. "Our aim is to build a sense of affiliation and school pride," says Mr Joseph Teo, subject head of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) at Ngee Ann Secondary School. "Clearly, when parents, schools and the community collaborate to complement the efforts of one another, our children are the true beneficiaries," said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Hawazi Daipi, during the Budget debate this year.
March 26, 2013"It takes a whole village to raise a child, as the saying goes. When I joined a Parent Support Group (PSG), that concept became very real to me," said Mdm Nafisah Md Ma'mun, who is currently a PSG Executive Committee member of Tampines Primary School and a COMmunity and PArents in Support of Schools (COMPASS) member. Sustaining a PSG, creating a bond and complementing the school's strengths are some of the topics that Mdm Nafisah will be touching on during a sharing session, Strengthening Parent Support Groups in Primary Schools, at the MOE ExCEL Fest 2013, which will be open to the public on 6 April 2013 at ITE College Central. Together with Mdm Sim Lay Khoon, PSG member of Loyang Primary School, they will share success stories and the challenges they had experienced. When Mdm Nafisah joined the PSG of her children's school, she noticed that her two children were happier, because she was more involved and immersed in their schooling experiences. Other parents also became "Aunties" and "Uncles" to her children, which brought to her mind how it takes a village to raise a child. "The challenge is to find the right balance between contributing to the school and my own work commitments," said Mdm Nafisah, who runs a consultancy business.
March 22, 2013Identified as Innova JC's niche CCA, the New Media Arts allows students to specialise in four areas; photography, broadcast, film production and innovative technologies (design and animation). Students are required to work on projects related to their specialisations, which provides them with useful new media competencies. This gives them an edge when applying for media-related courses in university. The New Media Arts is one of the largest CCAs in the school, boasting an average of120 - 150 members. On top of that, Innova JC is also endorsed as the Centre of Excellence for New Media since 2007.
March 21, 2013'Teaching Normal (Technical) students can be challenging as it requires more patience and effort; but despite this challenge, they should be given resources and opportunities to succeed,' said Mr Peh Chin Keong, a senior teacher with Serangoon Gardens Secondary School. In Serangoon Gardens Secondary, teachers developed a customised curriculum focused on building up the students' confidence and motivating them. Photo Courtesy of SGS Mr Peh has taught Normal (Technical) students ever since he joined the teaching service in 2002, and he has never regretted one moment of it. The joy and fulfilment of witnessing the transformation of these students into...
March 18, 2013"Normal (Technical) students are just as teachable as students from the other streams," says Mdm Yong Shien Yuin, a teacher at Commonwealth Secondary School, who has taught students from Express, Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical) streams. Mdm Yong believes a teacher plays an important role in motivating students and supporting their learning. By understanding their learning needs, different teaching approaches can be used to engage students. "A teacher must set suitable challenges, and help each child experience success. We must create a virtuous cycle of effort-success-confidence-effort...This is especially important for those from disadvantaged backgrounds," said Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, during the Budget debate this year.
February 26, 2013At Bendemeer Primary School for example, activity-based learning is a big part of the school's curriculum. Not only do they use story-telling to engage pupils from the lower primary level, teachers impart problem solving strategies through the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) approach to all pupils. The infusion of various approaches engages pupils to construct meaning out of complicated Mathematical concepts and at the same time, make connections to real-life situations.
February 22, 2013Would a hot drink in a metal or ceramic cup cool faster? The above scenario was presented to a class of Primary Four pupils during one of their Science lessons. Working in groups of four, pupils recorded the temperature changes of the hot drink in the metal and ceramic cups using data loggers. Through the real-life example of cooling the hot drinks, pupils tend to relate better to learning the concept of 'heat transfer', one of the topics in their Science curriculum. In an inquiry-based lesson, we see students trying to understand the world around them. They ask questions, collect data and use them as evidence to communicate explanations and connect these to the world around them. Gradually, they are able to process information with clarity and make reasonable deductions when they encounter similar situations.
February 5, 2013Miss Lim Fong Yee, teacher-coach of the Tenpin Bowling team in Yishun Junior College, constantly reminds her students that above all, integrity triumphs over getting strikes and spares in any bowling competition. Her bowlers are constantly reminded to declare all wrong calls to the lane marshal. For example, stepping beyond the foul line after a delivery, or if the ball bounces off the gutter and hits the corner pin. The lane marshal might not be able to spot all these during a competition, so it is up to the player's integrity to report such fouls, even at the expense of...
January 30, 2013Proving that physical disability is no barrier to pursuing our dreams and aspirations, two inspiring youths overcame the odds to become recipients of the Society for the Physically Disabled Education Programme (SPD) Youth Aspiration Award 2013. Introduced in 2010, the SPD Youth Aspiration Award recognises students with talents in non-academic areas, such as the performing arts, sports and community service. The NatSteel-SPD Education Programme also gave out $77,500 in education bursaries to 94 physically disabled students and students with physically disabled parents from primary to tertiary levels this year. Kelvin Chua, a Sec 3 student from Naval Base Secondary School...
January 28, 2013Literacy strategies are taught to Primary One and Two pupils in the Learning Support Programme (LSP). LSP is an early intervention effort for those with weak oral and reading skills in the English Language. According to the recently released results of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2011, the percentage of Singapore students who performed below or just attained the 'low' benchmark decreased from 24% in 2001 to 13% in 2011. The effectiveness of the LSP is supported by the significant progress seen in academically-weaker students.
January 25, 2013The method of retelling a story is a reading comprehension strategy used at upper primary level, which engages pupils in a range of language and cognitive processes as they apply major skills such as listening, reading, speaking and writing. It is one method of the holistic approach recommended by the STrategies for English Language Learning And Reading (STELLAR) programme, developed and based on research and pedagogical approaches. "The STELLAR approach has made the learning of English very fun and when pupils enjoy the lessons, they learn better," says Mrs Siti Ardah Hazry, who teaches English to Primary 5 pupils of Northland Primary School.
January 10, 2013The path to success is hardly ever a bed of roses. This holds true for Yukie Lim, 17, who recently graduated from Yuying Secondary School. "I just wasted my life in Secondary 1 and 2 and did whatever I wanted," said Yukie, who was then known for her short skirts, long messy hair, use of vulgar language and fierce personality. "According to her classmates, she was the 'Ah Lian Da Jie' (a loud or uncouth 'big sister'). Students were afraid of her even though she was very petite," said Miss Michelle Chan, Yukie's form teacher for three years. However, it came as no surprise to her teachers and peers when Yukie received the Edusave Character Award (ECHA) last Saturday, which recognises students for demonstrating exemplary character and outstanding personal qualities.
January 10, 2013Entering primary school is a big step in a child's life, and one that may be daunting. At PAP Community Foundation (PCF) Tampines East, to help its pupils prepare for this new phase, they are given a glimpse of primary school when they are in Kindergarten 2 (K2). Since 2004, these K2 pupils have had the opportunity to experience school life at Chongzheng Primary School and Yumin Primary School.
January 7, 2013Westwood Primary School, a new school located at Jurong West Street 73, opened on 2 January 2013. Its very first Primary 1 Orientation was held on 7 December 2012 for 240 Pri 1 pupils joining the school. This was also the first time these young ones and their families were visiting the school's brand new premises.
January 3, 2013While most students would relish the opportunity to sleep in on a Saturday morning during the September school holidays, over 30 student volunteers from Xinmin Secondary School were up and about finalising the details of the Hari Raya celebrations they had organised for the beneficiaries and family members of Muhammadiyah Welfare Home. The event, hosted at the school, was the culmination of five months of "tremendous effort from recruitment to planning, preparations and rehearsals," said Secondary 3 Xinmin Secondary student Song Yi Hang, who was in charge of this service learning project.
December 27, 2012You could say hockey is one of the sports that Northland Secondary School take pride in. Not only has the school produced many sterling players who made it to the national hockey team, the CCA is also the largest in school, with more than 100 members. Even students who do not take up hockey as a CCA have the chance to try the sport during PE. Hockey is not viewed as only a game or sport; the hockey programme is deliberately planned to help the students develop in body, soul and mind.
December 13, 2012When you enter the shooting range at West View Secondary School during a training session, the first thing you notice is the quiet intensity emanating from the shooting club students. Even during the school holidays, you'll regularly find about 20 students gathered there for extra practice sessions on their own accord. West View Secondary School has been granted niche school status for air pistol since 2011, and at its full strength, the shooting club is a popular CCA with over 90 members, of whom about 50 are trained to use the air pistol (while the others train with the air rifle).
December 11, 2012In cyberspace, trends come and go, but many young people forget that fleeting moments in online interactions can have a lasting impact in real life. Learning to navigate the Internet safely is the focus of cyber wellness programmes at Fengshan Primary School and Damai Secondary School. These programmes have been integrated into the curriculum as well as activities involving both parents and pupils.
December 6, 2012It's that time of the year again, when Primary 6 pupils have received their PSLE results and are looking ahead to the new experiences that await them in secondary school. If parents of these soon-to-be Secondary 1 students are concerned about the coming changes, Mrs Julia Woo, principal of Woodlands Secondary School, is quick to reassure them that the process can be quite smooth - and even fun.
December 4, 2012What will make Singapore a more sustainable and liveable city? At Northbrooks Secondary School, Secondary 2 students from three classes tackled this broad question earlier this year as part of their Project Work assignment. Their viewpoints then became the basis for the creation of stained glass art pieces during their Art lessons.
November 27, 2012Jasmine Ser, a proud alumnus of Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School, participated in the Women's 10m Air Rifle event in the recent London Olympics 2012 Perseverance - the Key to Success Jasmine Ser, the national shooter who represented Singapore in the London Olympics 2012, first discovered her passion in shooting when she joined Air Rifle Shooting as her co-curricular activity (CCA) in Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School (AISS) in 2003. The rest, as they say, is history. Present at AISS' Golden anniversary celebration on Sunday, 25 November 2012, Jasmine paid tribute to the school for the support it had given her: "I...
November 26, 2012Education Minister Heng Swee Keat joins Manjusri Secondary School for their 30th Anniversary Homecoming Dinner. "子曰：三十而立。This phrase from The Analects of Confucius, means 'At thirty, I stood firm'," says Mr Low Chun Meng, Principal of Manjusri Secondary School, as the school celebrated its 30th Anniversary Homecoming Dinner last Friday, 23 November. "For Manjusri Secondary School, our thirtieth anniversary also marks a "coming of age" for the school. It has not been easy to build a school and sustain it for 30 years." Alumni, staff, students and Education Minister Heng Swee Keat were present to celebrate this occasion. Founded in 1982,...
November 22, 2012Student Ambassadors awarded the STAR Award, in recognition of their contributions to Cyber Wellness awareness in their schools. "To prevent addiction to online gaming, limit the amount of time spent using the computer and the sites that you go to," says Ang Kai En, an 11 year old student ambassador from Rosyth School. Together with her fellow student, Ang Wei Heng, 10, they lead the Cyber Wellness Programme in school, by preparing posters, educational games and a video on Cyber Wellness. In particular, their video focuses on online gaming, by featuring a boy who overcame his addiction. "Be the Change",...
November 22, 2012What happens when primary school children, corporate volunteers, and a home for the elderly come together in the name of nature? On 30 October 2012 at the St Theresa's Home for the Aged, the National Parks Board launched its "Nature Cares" programme, with volunteers from Queenstown Primary School and Keppel Care Foundation bringing nature and good cheer to the residents of the Home. In an air of cosy friendliness and comfortable chitchat, volunteers - both children and adults - worked together to plant airplants onto driftwood and decorate them at the launch party.
November 15, 2012Teck Whye Secondary School actively uses social media, especially Facebook, to keep students and parents updated on student activities, including those taking place overseas. All this is part and parcel of what the principal, Mr Ong Kong Hong, describes as an "integrated approach to communication and engagement with our parents and partners."
November 13, 2012When Children's Day swings around in October, some pupils at CHIJ (Kellock) aren't just looking forward to a "day off" from school. For the fifth year running, they have participated and even helped to organise Children for Children, an annual charity event that is a collaboration between the school, The Arts House and Business Times.
November 8, 2012As a post-exam activity, Sec 1 students were working to design, build and fly paper aeroplanes, with a little friendly competition between them to see which team's plane would fly the farthest. This is one of the many programmes in place at Hillgrove Secondary School to build greater awareness of flight and aviation (F&A) to its students. Last year, the school identified F&A as its emerging niche, given its relevance to Singapore's economy.
November 7, 2012About 1,600 students, students and participants were present at the 23rd Friend of Singa Award Ceremony held on 6 Nov 2012. No act of kindness is ever too small and showing empathy and respect to others can start at any age. At the Friend of Singa (FOS) award ceremony held at Nanyang Technological University yesterday, 38 awards were given out to winning projects that displayed creativity and created an impact within the school community. Now into its 23rd year, FOS promotes the values of selflessness and love behind the kind acts of young, caring individuals. This meaningful programme provides schools...
October 30, 2012Students turned "green ambassadors" are at the forefront of Woodgrove Secondary School's efforts to promote environmental education within and beyond the school grounds. Caring for the earth is an ethos embraced by the entire school, with every student taking part in at least one environment-related community or outreach programme every year - from collecting newspapers and recyclable items from nearby estates, to cleaning up Sembawang Beach and scouring the Kallang River for bankside litter.
October 25, 2012Welcome to the Gymnastics Trampoline Club at Whitley Secondary School. The CCA began with a focus on gymnastics in 1972, introduced by the school's then sports secretary, Mr Foo Chee Kai, a former gymnast. Today, the CCA has 54 student members who train and represent the school in either gymnastics or trampoline events.
October 23, 2012Every two weeks, students at Ping Yi Secondary School gather at a cosy corner of their school and sit in a circle facing each other and their form teacher. In the hour that follows, each student has a chance to voice what he or she feels about life in school, reveal what makes them tick - or ticks them off - and share how they cope with difficult situations or upsetting moments. The positive force of these personal revelations works both ways: besides expressing their inner thoughts and emotions, the students learn that they are not alone in dealing with certain problems such as resisting peer pressure.
October 19, 2012Queenstown was the first public housing estate back in the 1950s. In conjunction with Queen Elizabeth II's coronation celebrations in 1953, Queenstown was named the 'Queen of Estates' as the town was considered to be the grand dame of satellite towns in Singapore. With the rise of the town, Queensway Secondary School was one of the first English-stream schools that were built. The Queenstown Heritage Trail will be part of the students' National Education programme from next year.
October 18, 2012Bendemeer Secondary School counts two of Singapore's Paralympians among its alumni: 21-year-old Ms Yip Pin Xiu and 25-year-old Mr Tan Wei Qiang Jovin. Both fondly recall the school's inclusive spirit towards physically impaired students, a spirit which spurred them on to do their best in their respective sporting fields.
October 4, 2012Primary 5 pupils from Juying Primary School went on their school's inaugural Cultural Immersion Trip to Melaka in May this year. Their visit to a kampung compound there certainly left an indelible impression on them - which was just what the school hoped for. The immersion trip aims to foster an appreciation of traditional Malay culture as well as broaden the students' experiences.
October 2, 2012Champions Hub, an exhibition area in Innova Primary School with flexible spaces for activities and discussions was officially opened in August this year. The main exhibit is on Singapore history, prominent personalities, national symbols, and artefacts representing different ethnic groups. Around it are flexible spaces that will allow pupils to discover new knowledge, contemplate and present their work, collaborate with their peers, and incubate ideas.
September 25, 2012Young people in Singapore are not always aware of what exactly constitutes an offence under the law, or of what protection the law can offer them in threatening circumstances. To help teenagers better understand such situations, the Pro Bono Services Office of the Law Society implemented a new initiative called "Project Schools". It was piloted in March and May this year at Yishun Town Secondary School and Xinmin Secondary School to good response, and is currently being offered in another 13 secondary schools.
September 20, 2012The displays at the Everyday Science! Inno-Fair, a carnival at Haig Girls' School, were an opportunity for pupils to show how they used concepts learned in Science to solve common dilemmas. The event, which had judges from the Singapore Science Centre and School of Science and Technology, was also a showcase of how the school has embedded holistic assessment in its Science curriculum to develop curious, confident and co-operative learners.
September 18, 2012It goes without saying that a healthy child tends to be more engaged in learning. At Seng Kang Primary School and Yishun Secondary School, the approach to health promotion runs the gamut from physical workouts, to helping students understand how their bodies work, to providing healthier meal choices in the school canteen. For their efforts to nurture lifelong healthy habits among their students, both schools recently received awards at the third MOE-HPB CHERISH (Championing Efforts Resulting in Improved School Health) Award Ceremony and Conference 2012.
September 13, 2012At Hougang Primary School, it's not enough just to have a sport climbing CCA and a rock wall in the school premises. This year, the school also initiated the inaugural National Inter-Primary School Sport Climbing Championship (NIPSSCC), the first climbing competition held at primary level in recent years. Held in partnership with the Singapore Mountaineering Federation, the event was held on 27 April and 23 May and saw 116 pupils participating from eight schools.
September 11, 2012Most people in Singapore are familiar with the so-called '5Cs', but at Bukit View Primary School, just '3Cs' matter for Pri 1 pupils in their English Language lessons: Curiosity, Cooperation and Confidence. Using poetry recitations, drama and show-and-tell sessions, the school seeks to develop these three qualities in every child. At the same time, the school has adopted holistic assessment tools that show pupils how well they are learning and help teachers gauge the progress of every individual.
September 6, 2012An appreciation of the arts is alive and well at Mayflower Primary School. The school's vision for arts education is "every pupil, an artist". In line with this, it offers a "broad-based and progressive arts education" underlined by the ACE@Mayflower approach, explains Mdm Yang Xiaojing, the Subject Head for Aesthetics. The acronym "ACE" refers to how pupils Aspire towards arts excellence as the school Cultivates their talents, love and appreciation of the arts, and provides multiple platforms for them to Express themselves.
September 4, 2012Dr Eileen Poon of the Singapore General Hospital may be only 29, but she has already kickstarted her career with achievements such as being recognised as the hospital's Best Medical Officer in 2011 and Best House Officer in 2008. Back in junior college and secondary school, she was also an outstanding student who took on various leadership positions such as student councillor and head of the debate team, in addition to participating in national science and math competitions. For this, Dr Poon has Zhonghua Primary School to thank for instilling in her the importance of leading a balanced and fulfilling life.
August 30, 201225 pupils at Eunos Primary School had the opportunity to experience the everyday lives and ethnic customs of four of their teachers during the June school holidays. In turn, the pupils assumed the role of National Education Ambassadors in school, sharing with their schoolmates what they had learned about the beliefs and practices of Singapore's various races.
August 10, 2012Teachers at Bukit View Primary School use improvisational drama strategies used seamlessly inculcate values into Mother Tongue Language lessons. Not only can drama lead to a discussion about values, it also allows the children to be more confident and develop language competence. For parents who are keen to adapt some of these educational drama strategies at home to bring out the inner thespian in their children, the team of teachers from Bukit View Primary School offers a few handy tips.
July 19, 2012At Haig Girls' School, Primary 4 pupils are taken by senior teacher Mdm Anwara Khatun and her colleagues on the Timeout (The Inspired Museum Explorers: Our Unique Travels) programme. Over six weeks, they spend two hours every week in a museum on an interdisciplinary learning experience.
June 19, 2012From Mr Zane Fong's first encounter with the subject Science in Primary 4 at Pei Tong Primary School, the enriching experience grew to become a passion. As his form teacher Mrs Wong, who taught him Science, English and Mathematics, opened his eyes to the subject, Mr Fong focused all his energy on this newfound interest. Throughout his upper primary years, he pored over books and the encyclopaedia at home and at the school library. Today, Mr Fong is a senior consultant of application innovation services at IBM Global Business Services, and as he recounts, it was his keen interest in science which taught him that "knowledge is king".
June 13, 2012At Telok Kurau Primary School, values education is informally infused into the curriculum for academic subjects. The head of department for Character and Citizenship Education, Mdm Rezina Khan, explains that the school believes that "values are both taught and caught." In particular, the teaching of Science has incorporated learning journeys and inquiry-based learning (IBL) as the "fundamental approaches" to teach values.
June 12, 2012For many pupils at East Coast Primary School, the school's modular CCA programme is a chance to engage in activities they might otherwise not have access to outside of school, and perhaps even unearth hidden talents. Primary 1 and 2 pupils get to try activities from gymnastics and skipping rope, to netball and ethnic dances. Upper primary pupils dabble in sports such as handball and inline skating, strum the ukulele, or learn how to bake or cook simple dishes. These modular CCAs activities expose pupils to new skills and experiences, and, through play and performing, pupils pick up values that will help them take better care of themselves as well as others.
June 7, 2012When Mrs Lily Tan, a senior Mathematics teacher at Si Ling Primary School, noticed that many of her pupils had difficulty solving mathematical word problems, she observed that one reason for this was that the mathematical concepts tested were often embedded within a chunk of text. In the course of research to help her pupils, Mrs Tan came across an American educator who proposed using decoding as a strategy to improve problem solving skills. Mrs Tan tested this strategy with two Primary 3 classes last year and this year Si Ling Primary School decided to implement the decoding strategy to the rest of the school.
June 5, 2012For pupils at Yu Neng Primary School, learning to write takes the form of a learning experience that equips them with the sights, sensations and verbal tools to put their thoughts on paper. Using a supported learning strategy called the Modified Language Experience Approach (MLEA), pupils learn to write not in isolation but as part of a group. Pupils share ideas, help each other and receive useful pointers and phrases from the teacher. The resulting narrative is a group effort that gives pupils the skills and confidence to pen their own individual compositions.
May 31, 2012At River Valley Primary School, pupils are learning how the use of ICT can complement and add value to their artistic experiences. In the music room, they use an iPad to make music using a drum set app. In an Art lesson, they work on a picture on the touchscreen as they explore the visual effects of different font types and colours.
May 29, 2012It's one thing to understand and communicate well in a language; it's another matter when it comes to speaking in public. That's what English teachers at St Margaret's Primary School realised a few years ago, and they developed a revised Oral Assessment Framework in 2009, where oral assessment in English goes beyond reading a passage and discussing a picture. Pupils are tested holistically on their oral skills through debates, PowerPoint presentations and news broadcasts.
May 24, 2012Xinmin Secondary School students are explicitly taught Analytical Thinking Skills (ATS) as part of the formal curriculum when they are in Secondary 1. Through playing board games and card games, students learn not to jump to hasty conclusions. They also learn to strategise as they carefully analyse the pros and cons of each situation before deciding on a course of action.
May 22, 2012At Bishan Park Secondary School, Design & Technology students are exposed to the school's own "Five-stage Educational Inventive Process", a model developed to customise the D&T curriculum to nurture inventive thinking. Spread over 14 weeks, the programme immerses students in a design-learning environment to solve "real" problems - that is, those which are verifiable and based on evidence.
May 17, 2012Studying history is much more than agonising over names and dates in textbooks, as many students of Fuhua Secondary School have discovered. Since 2010, the school has had several classes of Secondary 2 students take on the roles of oral history archivists as part of a project work assignment. Armed with background reading material and guidelines on conducting oral history interviews, these students have set out to interview people aged 50 and above about life during the Japanese Occupation, and how Singapore has changed through the years.
May 8, 2012Playing guessing games, reciting poetry, role-playing, making puppets, drawing, colouring and making small books - these are just some of the activities that pupils are used to during their Mother Tongue Language lessons at Qihua Primary School. Since 2009, the school has adopted a Holistic Assessment plan in teaching Mother Tongue - one that goes beyond the conventions of teacher-centric lessons or pen and paper tests.
April 19, 2012From the community to the classroom, from traipsing around town to walking in the shoes of a book character - this year's MOE ExCEL Fest was brimming with innovative practices that were showcased by schools. The annual event is a platform for parents and the public to find out more about the latest developments in the local education landscape. In addition to an exhibition featuring more than 70 booths, there were 62 sharing sessions and 20 seminar talks.
April 12, 2012Mr Jeyaram Kadivan, Allied Educator (AED) for Learning and Behavioural Support (LBS), has been working with about 150 students with special needs at St Gabriel's Secondary School, most of whom are diagnosed with autism or dyslexia, and need help in language and literacy. Last year he was conferred the Excellent Service Award (Star) for having delivered quality service.
April 10, 2012At Boon Lay Secondary School, helping at-risk youths means not only counselling them about the error of their ways, but also increasing their sense of connectedness to the school and their families. This is the focus of the school's signature Helping Young People Achieve (HYPA) programme, which consists of purposeful and interactive activities designed for students who are at risk of dropping out of school.
April 5, 2012From the girl who was always late for school and dragging her feet as she entered the school gates, to the boy who frequently disrupted lessons by making noise, to another girl who repeatedly failed to submit her homework - these may sound like examples of "difficult" pupils, but at Marsiling Primary School, they are the backstories of pupils in the school's TRANSFORM programme. The programme helps pupils to be more self-aware and responsible, and consequently be better able to focus in school.
April 3, 2012In Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School's pupils Innovation Programme (IvP), pupils are exposed to creative and critical thinking tools like SCAMPER, and problem-solving skills such as how to construct a problem statement, which then culminates in the construction of a prototype. Some of their students have come up with projects that were showcased at various innovation fairs.
March 29, 2012Since 2010, Fernvale Primary School has introduced Socratic questioning as a learning method in its current affairs curriculum for Pri 4 pupils. The approach has been extended to Pri 5 pupils this year. Socratic questioning gets learners to actively question as they read, so as to understand and evaluate texts, as well as to introduce important ideas into their thinking.
March 27, 2012Some types of geography fieldwork are impossible in real life without the accompanying challenges, costs and perils, like walking underwater to explore the seabed, trekking along a river to locate its source, and going behind a gushing waterfall to explore it. For students of Ang Mo Kio Secondary School, however, the 3D world of Second Life has brought them a little closer to these experiences - albeit in a virtual environment.
March 22, 2012At Edgefield Primary School, age is no obstacle for pupils who want to challenge their stamina and athletic technique. As the only primary school in Singapore to offer triathlon training as a CCA, the school has pupils from Primary 3 to Primary 6 who can hop swiftly onto a bicycle in a flying mount, grab a quick drink from the water bottle while cycling, and keep one arm held straight out while swimming.
March 8, 2012Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) comes with a new twist and fresh flavours at Anderson Secondary School, where students get to apply scientific methods of inquiry to age-old remedies. Through the Anderson Science Research Programme, the school shows budding biomedical practitioners how they can create solutions that blend good health and great taste.
March 6, 2012Bedok Town Secondary School is the only school to offer the subject Electrical Technology & Application (ETA) to Normal (Technical) students. Students who opt for this GCE 'N' Level elective subject get a firm grounding in electrical knowledge and skills that will give them a leg up in many courses at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).
February 23, 2012This year, Frontier Primary School school welcomed its pioneer batch of 240 Primary 1 pupils at its purpose-built campus in Jurong West. It is the first of 11 primary schools to be built with the enhanced facilities recommended by MOE's Primary Education Review and Implementation (PERI) Committee, and is a single-session school as well.
February 20, 2012While teachers are often esteemed for the positive impact they have on their students, Mdm Azizah Bte Abdul Rahim and Mr Victor Chia of Yishun Secondary School have also been recognised for helping fellow teachers to become more effective in the classroom, develop themselves professionally and find fulfilment in their career. In 2011, both teachers received the Excellent Service Awards (Star), a national award for individuals who have delivered outstanding service in their workplaces.
February 15, 2012At Regent Secondary School, at-risk students are identified early and the school has has various programmes to help them. These programmes are guided by the "REST" framework: Redirect, Exercise, Support and Teach.
February 10, 2012At Nanyang Girls' High School, the Parent Support Group (PSG) is no stranger to the students and teachers. From helping out at school events such as the Secondary 1 Registration Day and Open House, to organising seminars, games, and competitions, and helping international students feel at home, the PSG is known for throwing itself wholeheartedly into school activities and looking after the well-being of the students.
February 8, 2012Chongzheng Primary School has developed its own innovative packages to enrich the learning experiences of its pupils. These packages are used in Maths, English and Science not only serve to teach the desired skills and concepts, but also to strongly advocate the application of these skills in a variety of scenarios and experiences.
December 22, 2011Through games and physical activities, students at Jurongville Secondary School are keeping fit while learning to get along and grow closer to their classmates. By combining playtime with lessons in personal development, Pride For Play is helping young people grow up in good physical and emotional health.
December 20, 2011Pupils at Yishun Primary School are no strangers to slick moves and smooth routines. Through the school's Performing Arts Club, they are learning how to become confident hip hop dancer who value the rewards of hard work and dedication to the team spirit.
December 15, 2011Curiosity, confidence, empathy and emotional well-being - these are what pupils at Nan Hua Primary School acquire through programmes that empower their minds and engage their hearts. In regular Thinking and Nano sessions, the pupils learn to open up to one another, build a circle of trust and explore the world through enquiry.
December 13, 2011Maps come in handy when you need to find your way. But at North View Primary School, some pupils are creating their own virtual mind-maps to help them trace the links between words, ideas and grammar rules. Working together, they chart their thoughts, check each other's routes and make corrections in real time, while learning to make sense of the subject and how to be part of a team.
December 1, 2011Watch out when you are at Telok Kurau Primary School - somebody might just catch you for 'doing right'! But getting caught and carded is no bad thing, for the school's Catch Them Doing Right programme is encouraging pupils, teachers and parents to work together and make the school a kinder, gentler place.
November 17, 2011With a river at their doorsteps, it makes that Bendemeer Primary School pupils are learning to value and protect precious water resources. From saving drops in the flush to cleaning up the waterway, the school is making its mark on water conservation and education at home and in the community.
November 8, 2011Students of Swiss Cottage Secondary School had a smashing good time with their fathers during the school's first Dads for Life Badminton Challenge. The competition was keen, but it was the camaraderie between the families as well as the fathers who took part that made the event one to cherish and remember.
November 3, 2011Instead of jetting off to fancy joints, the entire Secondary 3 cohort of Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School went off the beaten track to spend a week of their mid-year break in humble villages in China, Cambodia and Malaysia. There, the girls built, painted and gave all they could to help less fortunate children and in turn, learnt the value of resilience and a sense of community.
October 20, 2011Delicious cookies and other culinary treats add flavour to life after classes at Kent Ridge Secondary School, which engages at-risk students in an arts programme called WOW! For the students, their time in the kitchen is well-spent as they learn not to give up, experience the satisfaction of sharing and enjoy the delight of those who sample their creations.
October 13, 2011Students at Bedok South Secondary SAP acquire a head for numbers and proficiency with words not just in class. Through the school's Skills and Abilities Programme (SAP), they venture out to apply Maths principles to the places they visit and get to practise their speaking and thinking abilities before their peers.
October 11, 2011Yio Chu Kang Secondary School has carved out a niche as a school with a strong reputation for dance and performance. The performing arts are not just a CCA, however, as every student gets to learn various stage and performing skills through an Arts Enrichment Curriculum that exposes them to a culture of creativity.
October 6, 2011Corporate blue meets environmental green at West View Primary School, where pharmaceutical company Pfizer has formed a thriving partnership with the pupils to develop environmentally friendly research projects that teach Science principles as well as the importance of caring for the earth.
October 4, 2011At Jurong Primary School, education is a broad-based experience that involves the pupils' families and friends from near and far. To instill positive values and strengthen bonds between pupils and those around them, the school runs a diverse set of programmes that bring the community together and help relationships grow.
September 13, 2011A dedication to play and positive experiences at Cedar Primary School has resulted in a culture where every pupil gets to explore, build and create. Through various Play N Design modules that cater to children at every level, the school is giving pupils time to be themselves that is both fun and fruitful.
August 23, 2011A mission to make learning more connected to the senses and the real world has resulted in a curriculum where pupils in Primary 3 and 4 enjoy the chance to see, touch and feel the objects of their lessons.
August 15, 2011Instead of competing in the field, contestants at Chongfu School's Maths Games Day crunched numbers and exercised their numeracy in Mathematics games such as Sudoku, Maths Warriors and Numero. Through these and other games, the school has added an element of fun to Maths learning that is engaging pupils and encouraging them to boost their strength in numbers.
August 4, 2011Asking questions, developing hypotheses and carrying out experiments to test ideas are essential to scientific inquiry. These skills are being taught at Coral Primary School, where Primary 4 pupils learn to think like scientists and deduce the physical laws behind the things they see and do.
August 2, 2011Science meets and makes inroads into the secrets of ancient pharoahs at Westwood Secondary School. Using robots that roll their way through mazes, students tap on their knowledge of Physics and other sciences to overcome obstacles and turn theory into treasure-hunting solutions.
July 28, 2011Held at Ngee Ann Secondary and Universal Studios Singapore, the first Singapore Mathematical Modelling Forum & Challenge gave students from 21 schools a thrilling introduction to a world where numbers have the power to solve problems and make predications.
July 26, 2011Pupils in the uniformed groups at River Valley Primary School share their first-hand experiences of learning how to be more independent, active and nurturing through their respective CCA activities.
July 21, 2011At Jurong Secondary School, students don't have to belong to a media-related CCA to try their hands at producing their own media clips. And instead of being exclusive to one club or tied to a school subject, media literacy is a subject on its own. Since 2009, all Secondary 1 and 2 students have had the chance to develop interviewing skills or to try their hand at editing media clips as part of the media literacy programme.
July 19, 2011There's time for exploration and tools they can toy with: Physical Education classes at Rulang Primary School offer pupils a chance to stretch their minds while exercising the body in moves and games that contribute to fitness and are fun as well.
July 14, 2011It's never too early to set off on a musical journey, which is what children at Living Sanctuary Kindergarten and Ramakrishna Mission Sarada Kindergarten are doing. For pupils in pre-school, learning music offers an engaging way to teach language, speech and social skills.
July 5, 2011A shared sense of ownership unites parents, pupils and staff of Ai Tong School, who have made the school's Parent Support Group a source of pride, motivation and support for all stakeholders in the school's community as well as society at large.
June 30, 2011At Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School, the school gives its full support to students in the fencing club who train with foil, sabre and epee three times a week. Many of them made done well at inter-school and national competitions, and some have even made it to the national squad.
"In a way, I feel like they are cheering for me ... Asking me to hang on." - An interview with Hua Yi's volleyball team
June 29, 2011Although Hua Yi's B Division Girls' volleyball team did not make it past the first round of the Nationals, their team spirit certainly struck many spectators and left several onlookers in awe. This Redsports interview with the team finds out more about how they built up that level of high morale and kept their focus throughout the tournament.
June 28, 2011Meet Teck Whye Secondary School's archery club, which has been training aspiring archers since 2000. Every week, more than 80 students take turns to nock arrows, aim true and shoot. More than a sport, it's also a CCA that helps to develop good character and build leadership qualities in students.
June 23, 2011Compassvale Secondary School's Sports Engagement Programme is a platform for showcasing the school's five sports CCAs - basketball, badminton, netball, softball and wushu - by letting primary school pupils try out the sports for themselves. The programme offers specially organised sports clinics, all of which were refereed and coached by the secondary school students.
June 21, 2011A dedicated period where pupils can discover how to relate better with their teachers, classmates and themselves, the Form Teacher Guidance Period is proving to be a valuable time for bonding and building stronger minds at Anchor Green Primary School.
June 14, 2011By roping in the help of peers to serve as positive examples and class leaders, Teck Ghee Primary School is equipping pupils with the skills to navigate the world wide web with safety and responsibility.
June 9, 2011Serving up profitable servings of seafood and rice isn't as easy it seems. The realities of the commercial world hit home at Naval Base Secondary School, where accounting students hone their bookkeeping and business skills through a game called Sushi Chain!
June 7, 2011Creativity takes shape in the form of kites and towers at Balestier Hill Secondary School. By bringing Maths out of the classroom into the world-at-large, the school has turned the subject from an abstract lesson to a study of principles that show up in real-life.
June 1, 2011Movement aids memory and makes for music lessons that excite and educate at the same time. Using a touchy-feely route to teaching rhythm and rhyme, South View Primary School's music classes help pupils to quickly catch on to the beat and belt out their very own tunes.
May 30, 2011Missing neither the woods nor the trees, Anderson Primary School embraced natural values in a recent celebration of forests and their biodiversity. A joint effort by the teachers and pupils, the Green Wave Campaign planted a rare tree at the school and sowed the seeds of environmental care in a new generation.
May 26, 2011Channelling the methods of an ancient Greek philosopher, students at Tampines Junior College are learning to take a tough question head-on by challenging its assumptions and systematically constructing a response based on logic, learning and a dose of good sense.
May 19, 2011By forging strong relationships and immersing participants in authentic community service projects, GEMS at Bendemeer Secondary School is helping at-risk students gain the confidence to continue their learning journey in school and rediscover the purpose of life.
May 17, 2011Learning in the future will be lighter and smarter. Nan Chiau Primary School shows how a newly minted FutureSchool harnesses mobile technology to make homework a happier task and empower pupils to take learning, literally, in their own hands.
May 12, 2011From breakfast to their daily bus rides, pupils who need financial assistance have little to worry about at Blangah Rise Primary School. Adopting a whole-school approach to supporting pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, the school offers practical incentives and personal encouragement to persuade families to keep their children in class and get the help they need.
May 5, 2011There's method to the magic, as Fuhua Primary School harnesses the power of drama to spark the imagination of pupils and an interest in reading. Integrated into the school's English Language syllabus, drama is an essential element in the pupils' journey to greater literacy and oral self-confidence.
May 3, 2011The Shanghai World Expo comes to Canberra Primary School through a virtual reality game that adds new dimensions to learning. Through its 4Di lab, the school is leading the way in making learning an exercise that combines facts with fun.
April 21, 2011Using their hands, minds and a little help from friends, pupils at St Hilda's Primary School are learning how to use Maths to carve their own solutions to mental puzzles. It's an exercise in mental dexterity that builds upon small blocks of inspiration to develop young brains able to think out of the box.
April 14, 2011There's fanfare in the neighbourhood as Bowen Secondary School's military band marches to a display of flags and twirling batons. With numerous awards under their belt, these budding musicians have made a name for themselves as a band who aims high and harbours an unabashed passion to perform.
March 31, 2011A month of adventure and self-discovery awaits students of Nanyang Girls' High School who sign up for the Boarding School Experience. As they explore new places and plan their own routes, the girls learn to think for themselves, work together and build healthy relationships with their peers.
March 29, 2011For pupils at Canossa Convent Primary School, the news comes on the Little Red Dot, a blog set up to provide a platform for discussing current affairs and getting children hooked on the papers and events from around the world.
March 24, 2011Through COPE, Design & Technology students at Woodgrove Secondary School exercise their creativity and learn to communicate with residents in their neighbourhood. The result? Products that make life simpler and safer for the elderly.
March 22, 2011The music never stops at Fuchun Primary School, where pupils learn to read and play music throughout their six years in primary school. Thanks to a comprehensive music education programme, pupils pick up the pianica, recorder and guitar, as well as the confidence and skills to perform and share their melodies.
March 17, 2011Every pupil is special and knows it for a fact at Bukit Timah Primary School, where the transition to primary school is made easier through a "I am Special" programme that helps each child learn to appreciate both themselves as well as the people around them.
March 15, 2011A 30 point shot by Woodgrove Secondary captain Tok Hui Min contributed to her team's victory over Deyi Secondary on 10 March and their clinching of the North Zone B Division Girls' Basketball Championship.
March 10, 2011A furious matched that ended in a 6-3 victory over Victoria School on 11 March gave Catholic High School's floorball team their first-ever National B Division championship title.
Shuqun emerge double champions after beating Clementi Town in West Zone B Division boys volleyball final
February 28, 2011In a riveting match against Clementi Town Secondary School, the boys' volleyball team from Shuqun Secondary School earned their school a double championship following the early victory of the girls' team over Jurong Secondary School.
February 25, 2011The second round of the North Zone B Division Basketball Championship has concluded, with two teams, Presbyterian High and North Vista, remaining unbeaten and looking good for semi-final spots.
February 24, 2011An thriving ethos of community service pervades Tanjong Katong Secondary School, where students at all levels acquire a heart for charity and the skills to serve society through the Citizenry in Action@TK programme.
February 22, 2011Tamil Language and technology go hand-in-hand at Fuhua Primary School, where pupils at all levels learn their Mother Tongue and put their knowledge into practice through webcomics, digital cartoons, news bulletins, blogs and podcasts.
February 17, 2011Books are friends not foes in a reading programme developed by Peiying Primary School to encourage reading and boost Malay Language skills among pupils at all levels. From regular book review exercises and read aloud sessions, the pupils find creative ways to share their literary adventures and even pen their own stories for younger schoolmates.
February 10, 2011It's easier to learn and remember how to use key Chinese phrases when you get to use them in authentic contexts and understand how they fit in time and space. Thanks to new teaching materials and resources that set Chinese Language lessons in realistic scenarios and tap on the power of games and online media to aid memory and recall, CL 'B' students at ACS (Barker Road) are enjoying the language and making tangible progress in Chinese oracy.
January 28, 2011Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) provide opportunities for children to learn new skills, build personal resilience and develop a sense of responsibility. These benefits are why parents should actively support their children's participation in CCAs, says Mr Ngoh Choon Ho, Principal of Hong Wen School, in this contributed article.
January 25, 2011Recently, McKinsey International issued a report in which strong professional development among teachers was cited as one of a number of reasons why Singapore's education system is progressing from "great to excellent". Schoolbag finds out how this is taking place through Professional Learning Communities at Ngee Ann Secondary School.
January 18, 2011Science lessons make good progress at Bukit Panjang Government High School, where Mr Abdul Hamid s/o Packeer has a firm finger on the equipment in the school's laboratories, plus a head for innovative solutions. The EXSA Award winner has a pocket full of ideas and answers that have helped students and teachers carry out experiments and projects with few worries and safe results.
December 16, 2010Every Wednesday at Rainbow Centre - Yishun Park School, the students' chatter is interrupted by the clang-clang-clang of an ice-cream bell. It's the signal the school's pushcart minimart is ready to do business.Not too different from the pushcarts found at the local shopping malls, the pushcart minimart carries an enticing range of snacks and drinks. It is manned by a team of students, under the guidance of their teachers.
December 14, 2010At Admiralty Primary School, experiential learning is used to instil National Education values and instincts. For example, sweet potato and tapioca comprised the main diet of people living through the Japanese Occupation in Singapore. Pupils learn about the suffering these people went through, and also pick up valuable scientific knowledge about tubers. Henna paintings and gasing, on the other hand, are part of Singapore's colourful multi-cultural heritage.
December 9, 2010At New Town Primary School, pupils have taken part in a Programme for Active Learning (PAL) module in Sports and Games for nearly a year. Designed for Pri 1 and Pri 2 pupils, PAL modules places emphasis on their non-academic development. The modules are held during curriculum hours and expose pupils to various dynamic activities that help to build up their physical acumen, character and other life skills.
December 7, 2010Ngee Ann Secondary edged out Dunman Secondary 2-0 (26-24, 29-27) in a nail-biting encounter to win the U13 Girls National Junior Volleyball Championship 2010 final. In the earlier 3rd/4th placing match, Anderson Secondary pipped Jurong Secondary to the honours after winning 2-0 (25-20, 25-19).
December 2, 2010The D&T Awards were presented at Dunman Secondary School on 22 November 2010, dishing out awards in four categories: "Creative Invention", "Creative Innovation", "Creative Adaptation" and "Creative Aesthetics". D&T students from all over Singapore were present to showcase n ingenious array of gizmos such as the "UFO" coaster, waterproof "beetle" torch, "saving penny" and "bright ball".
November 23, 2010Today, a growing line-up of Junior Sports Academies (JSAs) and Youth Sports Academies (YSAs) offers promising sportsmen the chance to train with their peers at centralised training facilities in their school zone. Paving the way to this path, according to Dr Lee Kok Sonk, are new cohorts of PE teachers and coaches with better qualifications, who help to spot pupils with the potential to excel and recommend them for specialised training at a suitable sports academy.
October 28, 2010At Ping Yi Secondary School, it's not a case of "big brother" watching you, or prefects and teachers waiting around the corner to catch rule-breakers and errant students. Instead, the school has developed a holistic Character Development Programme (CDP) that reinforces a commitment to good values - to the extent that students are expected to do the right thing, even when no one is watching. The school has been recognised in MOE's Masterplan of Awards 2010 with the Outstanding Development Award for Character Development.
October 26, 2010Working together, five primary schools with a shared history have developed a special curriculum to nurture bi-cultural pupils. Dubbed BiCEP, the programme exposes pupils to the world of Chinese culture and arts, balancing classroom learning with immersion experiences on the local stage as well as foreign lands.
October 14, 2010From keeping spirits up during the exam season to lending a helping hand to the community around the school, Ngee Ann Secondary School's Parent Support Group is driven by a mutually shared conviction that parents and the school can work together for the benefit of the students as well as the larger community.
October 12, 2010Most would know her as the young table tennis player who bagged a silver medal at the recent Youth Olympic Games. But like most other teenagers, Isabelle Li wrestles with the contending demands of two arenas: the tournament circuit and the rigours of the classroom. A student at the Singapore Sports School, Isabelle reveals how she tackles the twin challenges of sports and studies, with a little help from the people around her.
October 7, 2010It's ice cream with a new flavour: charity! A plucky quartet have helped Nanyang Girls' High School set a new Singapore record for mass simultaneous ice cream consumption. What's more, the event was also a fund-raiser for St Luke's Hospital as well as a valuable lesson in planning and service.
October 5, 2010It's 'Normal' and yet extraordinary. A unique approach to Normal courses at Yishun Town Secondary School is helping students become well-rounded learners equipped with vital life skills. Through excursions and elective courses, students are empowered to take the initiative to develop their full potential and assume responsibility for the environment around them.
October 1, 2010Darren Choy and Quah Ting Wen received the Overall Best School Boy and School Girl awards respectively at the 40th National Colours Award Presentation. The National Colours Award is given annually to recognise students' contributions in representing the Singapore School Team and their outstanding achievements in sports and games within the official SSSC Sporting Calendar.
September 29, 2010Redsports takes a closer look at the Singapore school sports ecosystem and its potential for future growth and development.
September 23, 2010The Outdoor Education module at MacPherson Primary School is designed to help pupils develop an awareness and appreciation of nature, pick up basic outdoor skills and learn about teamwork. It is is part of an initiative called the Programme for Active Learning (PAL), which gives pupils a chance to learn skills and pick up knowledge outside the academic syllabus.
September 21, 2010The 'Strategies for English Language Learning And Reading' (STELLAR) programme has been implemented in all primary schools, alongside the launch of the new English Language syllabus. At the heart of the STELLAR programme is the belief that enjoyment is a fundamental aspect of shared reading and writing experiences.
September 7, 2010Through Fathers @ Greendale, pupils at Greendale Primary School enjoy camps, outings and other special events where they can bond with their fathers. Dads, too, get to spend quality time with their children, learn how to be more effective parents and share their experiences with each other.
September 2, 2010A lighter approach to school is emerging in Endeavour Primary School's pilot No Heavy School Bag programme, where pupils do away with textbooks and turn to digital resources to engage in hands-on learning and fuel creativity and curiousity in the classroom.
August 31, 2010For 800 students from CHIJ St Theresa's Convent, it was the chance of a lifetime. Performing in the only mass display dance item at the closing ceremony of the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, the students were not alone in their dedication but supported by parents and teachers who chipped in to feed the performers, help rearrange school schedules and went out of their way to make the experience one that was truly meaningful.
August 26, 2010At Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School (Primary) (PLMGS), the Grow in Faith and Truth (GIFT) programme was is designed to promote desirable values through games, story-telling and songs, and is carried out by parent volunteers. It is just one of the programmes at PLMGS to promote better physical, social, mental and emotional well-being in the school community. The school's efforts have garnered them the Platinum CHERISH (CHampioning Efforts Resulting in Improved School Health) award from the Health Promotion Board.
Youth Olympic Triathlon: Clara Wong and Scott Ang team up with international triathletes in mixed relays
August 25, 2010The mixed team relay was the last of three events in the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) triathlon programme. Singapore's Clara Wong was the lead-off triathlete for a world team comprising Italian Livio Molinari, Puerto Rican Cristina Betancourt and Zimbabwean Boyd Littleford; they finished 12th out of 15 teams in the mixed team relay. Compatriot Scott Ang anchored another team comprising of Asians -- Enkhjargal of Mongolia, Kirill Uvarov of Kazakhstan and Mattika Maneekaew of Thailand -- to 15th and last position.
August 24, 2010At the "Land Transport Forum - A Dialogue with the Transport Minister", on 13 August 2010, teachers could dialogue with Minister for Transport Mr Raymond Lim on issues such as the use of technology in regulating traffic, taxi surcharges and the shift towards distance-based fares. LTA and MOE also unveiled new teaching resources for Economics lessons.
August 22, 2010Singapore had a slow start to the Youth Olympic Games swimming competition, but they are riding a good wave on the penultimate day with three swimmers and the women's 4×100 freestyle relay team qualifying for the evening semi-finals and final. Rainer Ng won Singapore's first silver medal of the Games last night in the 50m Backstroke to set the standard for other Singaporeans.
August 19, 2010July 31 and August 1 marked an important weekend for some 20 students from APSN Chao Yang Special School and MINDS Fernvale Gardens School - they performed alongside their counterparts from mainstream schools at Ngee Ann City for the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF). This is the fifth year that the SYF has included students from special education schools, as part of an initiative to promote better understanding and foster friendship between students with special needs and students in mainstream schools.
August 17, 20107 August 2010 was a historic day for CHIJ (Toa Payoh) as well as for Singapore. The torch relay for the world's very first Youth Olympic Games (YOG) was about to kick off on the school grounds, having been lit in Olympia, Greece on 23 July. In Singapore, primary and secondary students of CHIJ (Toa Payoh) would be the first of 2,400 torch bearers that would cover a 305-km relay route over six days.
August 12, 2010"The World Now" shows information about current fuel sources and their impact, through video and animation. For Greenridge Secondary School students, "going green", "nuclear power" and "oil extraction" are not merely terms they encounter in textbooks and on TV. They are real concepts that they understand and identify with, thanks to the school's Energy Learning Hub, which focuses on the topic of energy. The Hub features a mix of interactive multimedia platforms, static displays, quizzes and even a greenhouse room that simulates global warming and its effects. As Ms Kwek Chia Hui, the subject head for Geography and ICT Driver,...
August 10, 2010If you happen to step inside Raffles City Shopping Centre on 15 August, you might hear the loud cawing of birds that soon fades, giving way to a contemporary piece of music tinged with a Balinese flavour. This signals the start of a dance extravaganza featuring the National University of Singapore (NUS) Dance Synergy Group and Serangoon JC student dancers. A first-time collaboration between JC and university dance groups, this performance will be part of a series of outreach events held around the island during the Singapore Youth Festival, to coincide with the Youth Olympic Games.
August 5, 2010141 Sec 1 Higher Tamil Language students spent the weekend of 10-11 July 2010 at a Higher Tamil Language Camp at the Uma Pulavar Tamil Language Centre. The camp is designed to raise interest in the language - and students' standard of language use - by immersing them in a Tamil-speaking environment. This year's camp was co-organised by the Centre and Higher Tamil Language teachers from participating schools, with the theme of "Learning Tamil through the Arts".
August 4, 2010Seng Kang Secondary rubbed off the disappointment of losing in the semi-finals to beat Greenview Secondary 2-1 in the National B Division third and fourth placing match. The game looked to be headed for extra time with both teams locked at 1-1 before Seng Kang broke Greenview's hearts with a 78th-minute goal that proved to be the winner.
July 29, 2010A cross-cultural artwork involving a tiger, a Chinese character and a Bible verse won a bronze award at this year's Singapore Youth Festival (SYF). It is one of five artworks by St Margaret's Secondary School students to earn the accolade this year. These artworks are on display at the Singapore Art Museum from 23 July to 22 August, as part of the SYF Arts and Craft Exhibition 2010 (jointly organised by the Ministry of Education and The National Art Gallery, Singapore).
July 28, 2010Inez Leong of CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School broke the B Division girls 100m Hurdles record set by Singapore Sports School's Noreen Herman last year. Inez's timing of 15.14 was 0.24 seconds faster than last year's 15.35s record, an eternity in the world of short distance running. The gold medal was the first for the runner and her school in this year's championships and puts CHIJ St Nicholas one point behind B Division leaders, Cedar Girls' Secondary School.
July 23, 2010Brushing up on paddling skills, catching a glimpse of tomorrow's technology, experiencing another culture - these are just some of the experiences Dunman High School students enjoyed during a one-week school trip to Japan under the Friends@YOG programme. From 30 May to 7 June this year, the group of 27 students and 4 teachers were hosted by the Japanese National Olympic Committee.
July 13, 2010Students from a cross-section of Singapore schools wowed the 14,000-strong crowd at the opening ceremony of the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) 2010. The ceremony had the theme "Torch of Friendship" and featured numerous musical items, such as the Combined Schools Choir, slick dance items, a parade segment by representatives of all the uniformed groups, as well as vibrant performances by various display bands. This photo essay revisits some of the highlights of the opening ceremony.
July 8, 2010Welcome to GetsmART, an award-winning art gallery in the virtual world of Second Life, designed by Ngee Ann Secondary School teachers Ms Gloria Tan and Mr Alvin Tan. It provides an interactive platform that enhances students' appreciation for art as well as strengthens their thinking skills.
June 30, 2010In Piece-it-Up: Eco Design@Zhonghua Design and Technology, students at Zhonghua Secondary School get a chance to show off their skills and learn how to put together an exhibition from scratch. On display at IKEA Tampines from 7-13 June, their creations demonstrate the application of creative and critical thought through a blend of functional design and environmentally friendly features.
June 28, 2010In a playoff for the bronze medals at the Volleyball Invitational Championships on 1 June 2010, St Hilda's Secondary edged Nanyang Junior College to win 3-0. This article and photo essay brings you the highlights of the game.
June 22, 2010Preparing youths for the challenges of the real world is the goal of Compassvale Secondary School's North Star Education Programme (NSEP). By equipping them with a firm moral compass and mental resilience, NSEP offers a holistic experience for students who learn to overcome personal obstacles through confronting their fears and serving the community.
June 17, 2010Every pupil at Naval Base Primary School gets a chance to swing the clubs, thanks to the school's Tiger Cubs Golf Programme, which is integrated into the Pri 1 PE curriculum. And those who show a bent for the game have continued to excel on the green and grown in character through the values and discipline demanded by the game.
June 15, 2010Artistic creations take shape in the ceramics studio of Huamin Primary School, where pupils are exposed to various visual art skills and techniques. The school's integrated art curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to master disciplines such as batik, sculpture and claywork as well as a chance to compete and exhibit their artwork in a gallery called Chrysalis.
June 8, 2010A martial art with a difference, Shorinji Kempo is a Japanese discipline with Chinese roots in the famous Northern Shaolin Temple. Whitley Secondary School is the only school in Singapore to offer Shorinji Kempo as a CCA and the students who practice the art enjoy its non-competitive nature as well as emphasis on personal development and service to the community.
May 28, 2010In a high-octane match at Yishun Sports Hall, Anglo-Chinese Junior College defended their title as A Division netball champions with a 58-29 victory over rivals Hwa Chong Institution. This article and photo essay brings you the highlights of the game.
May 26, 2010In a hard-fought contest between two tertiary institutions, Victoria Junior College edged past Raffles Institution in the A Division girls' floorball final, winning 5-3. This article and photo essay brings you the highlights of the game.
May 17, 2010Students at Temasek Secondary feel at home in Home Economics, thanks to the diligent care and tireless concern of Mdm Goh Lan Eng. Besides preparing food and cleaning up in her role as a school support staff, Mdm Goh has won over the hearts of many students through her work ethic and dedication to their welfare.
May 11, 2010Who says it doesn't pay to be clean and concerned with the health of your customers? A concerted effort by staff and stallholders at Pasir Ris Secondary School has turned the school's tuckshop into a showcase of good hygiene and a place where students can find good nutrition and a taste of old fashioned care and concern.
May 6, 2010The kids are in a jam and loving it. The youngest CCA at Ngee Ann Seconday School meets every Monday to get into tune and rock the school with chopping rhythms and catchy songs. But behind the cool assemble lies a warm dedication to quality and cohesion that has helped the Jam Band members overcome their fears to share their love of music with their schoolmates and for good causes.
May 4, 2010Pupils at Pasir Ris Primary School are acquiring a taste for food that tastes great and does good for their health. Through an annual festival called Fruittie Veggie Bites, the school motivates the pupils to make healthier choices in their diet, both in the canteen and at home with the support of their parents.
April 20, 2010Monopoly meets Mother Tongue in 'Kolangal', a game that draws upon the Tamil language and traditions to help students master their vocabulary and cultivate an active interest in the language. Meanwhile, digital comics, blogs, podcasts are some of the IT tools used by Malay Language teachers today to engage their classes with interactive learning opportunities that inspire creative storytelling and boost peer bonding and self confidence.
April 15, 2010Language Arts is a programme at Xinmin Secondary School that uses authentic literature texts, both classic and contemporary, to light and lighten up English lessons. As they are exposed to stories, poems, lyrics and drama, the students find themselves picking up the language with greater ease and drawn into lively discussions about themes that stimulate thought and critical debate.
April 13, 2010Pupil assessment goes holistic at Haig Girls' School, where Pri 1 pupils face no exams and older pupils are gauged based not just on their learning but also their attitude, values and social-emotional development. Performance tasks and journal writing are just some of the ways that pupils undertake to strengthen their comprehension and problem-solving skills. Each pupil also develops her own holistic development portfolio that charts her learning progress and helps affirm what she has achieved to her parents and teachers.
April 6, 2010PE isn't just about physical prowess at Beacon Primary School, where the pupils enjoy daily bouts of physical education sessions that strenghten not only the body but also their brains and team spirit. As a FutureSchool, Beacon Primary School uses games, songs and dance to help pupils learn about themselves, their schoolmates as well as vital skills like traffic safety and personal health.
April 2, 2010Zachary Ryan Devaraj of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) came out tops in the B Division category, arguably the most eyeballed race of the 51st National Inter-School Cross-Country Championship meet. The battle for the individual title looked set to be down between Zachary, Aldrich Lim of Naval Base Secondary, and T. Haarishankar from the Singapore Sports School.
April 1, 2010The SailSmart programme seeks to develop important life skills such as leadership and teamwork by teaching through questioning. Combining the sport of sailing with the development of knowledge and concern for the natural environment, SailSmart is a novel experiential learning programme designed for children aged from 8 to 14 years old, conducted by the Singapore Sailing Federation. During the March school holidays this year, Pri 4 students of class 4B1 from Shuqun Primary School took part in this programme.
March 31, 201014-year-old football fan Hakim of Chua Chu Kang Secondary got his first look at the Nike T90 Laser III football boots this weekend. He was one of 80 lucky students from Chua Chu Kang, ranging from 13 to 17 years old, who were selected to take part in the Nike Elite Training Live session.
March 30, 2010Tanjong Katong Girls' School was one of the first in Singapore to offer Drama as an 'O' Level subject in 2006. At present, there are about two dozen Drama students across Sec 3 and Sec 4, who undergo about five hours of lessons each week. As a subject, Drama involves close scrutiny and analysis of dramatic texts. Theory is complemented by practical assessments that run the gamut from intense monologues and group improvisation, to creating sets for various time periods and cultures.
March 25, 2010With youthful enthusiasm abounding at every corner, there was plenty to draw visitors and keep them entertained at the nearly 80 interactive booths at this year's MOE ExCEL Fest. Read some highlights of student work that was showcased at the festival.
March 23, 2010Pétanque is a game that involves teamwork and strategy - these Greenridge Primary School pupils are discussing and gauging the distance of the ball (brown) to the jack (green). Pétanque (pronounced pay-tong) is a sport that you may have never heard of, but it's caught the interest of some pupils from Greenridge Primary School, the only school in Singapore that offers such a CCA. The objective of this game of French origin is similar to boules: Players stand with their feet together in a circle and take turns throwing a metallic ball such that it either lands closer to the...
March 19, 2010From their poise, you wouldn't have guessed that these student trainers have only been teaching for a few months. Not many people in Singapore can boast that they can hold a conversation in a language other than English or their mother tongue - but some pupils from Yu Neng Primary School can. For an hour and a half every week, a select group of pupils from Pri 3 to Pri 5 spend their time in enrichment classes for conversational Mandarin and Malay. The goal of the programme is to allow pupils to communicate with their friends of other races and...
March 16, 201015-year-old St Andrew's Secondary School student Caleb Leong interviews film classifier Mr Dinesh Pasrasurum about film classification and censorship.
March 11, 2010At Metta School, students undergoing special needs education can enrol in a two-year structured programme that offers nationally recognised vocational certification, under the Institute of Technical Education in the fields of baking, food preparation and housekeeping. Steven Jackson and Azrin Bin Kamsani are two of Metta's outstanding students from the program's pioneer batch.
March 9, 2010The Interactive Learning Trail in Chinatown is Singapore's first interactive, location-based, multi-player educational trail. It's developed around specially programmed mobile phones that students use to engage in activities to foster the learning of the Chinese language, at seven designated wireless-enabled hotspots in the neighbourhood.
March 2, 2010Drop by East Spring Secondary School and you might find students fiddling with rather curious contraptions - these gadgets are in fact inventions by Sec 3 students to make life safer and more convenient for the elderly. They were developed as part of an integrated programme in Geriatric Care, a multi-disciplinary curriculum in which students learn to develop practical solutions for the needs of the elderly based on lessons in Science, Design and Technology, Food and Nutrition, and Pastoral Care and Guidance.
March 1, 2010Defending South Zone champions Catholic High crashed out of the South Zone B Division Basketball Championship after falling 49-59 to high-flying Peirce Secondary in the second round. This article and photo essay brings you the highlights of the game.
February 26, 2010Jurong Secondary School and Nanyang Girls' High faced off in the finals of the West Zone B Division Girls Volleyball Championship. Read on for a blow-by-blow account of the match, as well as a photo essay capturing the highlights of the afternoon.
February 25, 2010Canoe polo is a high-energy combination of kayaking, basketball and water polo. It's played in a swimming pool 35 x 23 metres (i.e. slightly smaller than an Olympic-sized pool). Players navigate the water in their canoes, competing to score their highest number of goals. The only secondary school canoe polo teams in Singapore are at the NUS High School of Mathematics and Science. The school has three teams - two boys' and one girls', with 27 members in all - and they train at the NUS pool, up to five times a week in the lead-up to a competition.
February 23, 2010If you think that music lessons in school are only about learning scores composed by long-departed composers with complicated-sounding names, then Deyi Secondary School's classroom for the new GCE Music subject for Normal (Technical) stream students will surprise you. Step inside and you won't see a single piano or a score sheet stand - only rows and rows of computers. That's not the only contemporary thing about the course. Students also get to work with some of their favourite chart-topping pop songs in class. While most of the students have no prior training in music, they do share one thing - a huge interest in it.
February 19, 2010Since the 1950s, Yio Chu Kang Primary School has operated in two sessions. But this year, it became a single session school. The school day now starts at 8 a.m., so that students can wake up later and have a decent breakfast. While the overall school day is about the same length, twice a week it runs until 3 p.m. to incorporate CCA time into the time-table. This gives even Pri 1 and 2 pupils the opportunity to enjoy CCA.
February 17, 2010A high-energy taekwondo display and a hard-fought softball match were the highlights of the National School Games opening ceremony on 1 February 2010 at Raffles Institution. For the first time in the 51-year history of the Schools National Championships, an opening ceremony was held to mark the occasion as well as the change of name to National School Games. This photo essay brings you the highlights of the National School Games opening ceremony.
February 2, 2010The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) beat the Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) 2-2 (1-0 on penalties) to book their place in the final of the Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic (IVP) Floorball Championship. This photo essay brings you the highlights of the game.
January 28, 2010
January 26, 2010Given how quickly the physical landscape in Singapore changes, it's never too early for students to pick up a videocamera and start recording what they see around them. That was just one of the lessons students and teachers picked up at a documentary heritage video workshop and competition in June 2009. Hosted by Riverside Secondary School, the event was held as part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme and attracted participants from various secondary schools.
January 22, 2010
In a world where disease outbreaks and other threats may catch a society by surprise, it's good to know that school staff have the skills and effectiveness to keep students safe and keep the school running efficiently. At Chongzheng Primary School, for instance, Administration Manager Ms Farah Anna Mohamed is the nerve centre of many important, behind-the-scenes systems, such as the one for contact tracing during a disease outbreak.
So if there is an outbreak of Influenza A (H1N1) or hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), Ms Farah not only has the contact numbers of all pupils and their parents, but she can also establish which school bus a pupil would have taken to school that morning, which classmates he or she sat with in class and what activities he or she had participated in during CCA. For pupils on Leave of Absence, she keeps them up to date on the school's activities and programmes.
Ms Farah's commitment to efficiency and delivery of quality service is greatly appreciated by colleagues, parents and other stakeholders alike. In 2009, it earned her the Excellent Service Award (EXSA)(Star), the latest in a string of accolades that include the MOE Service Excellence Award (2006 and 2008) and the EXSA (Gold) (2006). Managed by 10 industry associations and SPRING Singapore, EXSA is a national award that recognises individuals who have delivered outstanding service.
"To me, an award is not a must-have," says the cheerful Ms Farah. "But it's a nice affirmation that my team and I are doing a good job."
January 14, 2010From 8 to 12 December 2009, youth athletes from 130 National Olympic Committees from different countries gathered at the Singapore 2010 Friendship Camp, to celebrate the values of friendship and respect that mark the Olympic Games. Here is a photo essay of some of the activities that took place during the camp
January 12, 2010Bugle, fife and drum - these were the only three instruments trotted out by a ragtag band of young musicians back in 1953 when they formed Singapore's first school military band. Today, the nearly 100-strong band boasts a shelf of medals from local and international competitions where the boys have blown away the competition, with rousing displays of musical precision and fleet-footed fanfare. Take a closer look at what makes the St Patrick's School Military Band special, in this intimate photo essay featuring band members present and past.
December 17, 2009
For some Victoria School students, the arrival of the holidays means it's time to sink their teeth into new experiences and survey uncharted ground. From operating a Total Station that measures distances with electronic precision to learning how to tell apart the complex tools of a dental clinic, the students get a rare opportunity to immerse themselves into the daily routines of occupations that they'd otherwise encounter only once in a blue moon.
Since the programme began two years ago, a number of Sec 3 students have enjoyed the chance to familiarise themselves with a variety of professions through direct observation and participation.
"Students are selected based on their interest, and through the recommendations of their teachers," says Mrs Wong Li Meng, the Teacher-in-charge of Education & Career Guidance. A few students have their hearts set on certain industries or occupations, but for many, this work attachment is their very first exposure to fresh possibilities that leaves them with vastly opened minds and opinions of the job.
December 15, 2009
Imagine coming to Singapore to live, and the only English phrases you know are "good morning", "good afternoon", and "goodbye". And then imagine having to enter Pri 1 less than a year later.
This was how it was for Chen Heng Yu, who spent his early years in Jiang Su, China. Yet, at the recent South Zone Reading Competition held for Pri 1 and 2 pupils in the Learning Support Programme (LSP), Heng Yu, who studies at Radin Mas Primary, clinched the third prize in a one-minute dash, where finalists had to read as many high frequency words such as "then", "only", and "any" in one minute. Another pupil, Marcus Ong Wei Sheng, from Ang Mo Kio Primary took the top spot in the same category.
December 10, 2009
If you had passed by the Bedok Reservoir area this June, you might have caught sight of groups of youths armed with paint and brushes hanging around various HDB blocks. But any curious residents who investigated this activity would have met a pleasant surprise in the form of a giant artwork in progress.
Far from being vandals, the young painters were students from Damai Secondary School who spent part of their holidays transforming the empty walls of housing flats into larger-than-life canvasses. Sketching their designs with care and then filling in their raw creations with brilliant colours, the students' painstaking handiwork resulted in 15 neighbourhood murals that depict various sports such as swimming, table tennis and basketball.
A joint effort involving members of various CCA groups and students from Sec 1 up to Sec 5, the mural project kicked off after the mid-year exams. Teams of student painters were assigned to particular void decks or walls, where they daubed fitting colours to line drawings crafted earlier by Sec 3 Art students. After many hours of wet brushstrokes under the scorching sun, the complete artworks were launched by Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo on 4 July.
December 8, 2009
The fun was doubled this Children's Day as pupils under the Fernvale banner got to celebrate the occasion twice - first at Fernvale Gardens School (Minds), and again at Fernvale Primary School a day later.
Such joint festivities are not new as the two schools have been collaborating with each other since 2007, gathering their respective pupils together to mark events such as Children's Day and Racial Harmony Day. But it doesn't stop at special occasions; pupils from Fernvale Gardens School have sat for art classes at Fernvale Primary School and even borrowed their neighbour's canteen for integrated lessons in Math and life skills.
"The joint activities are part of our school's service learning programme," explains Mrs Serene Chia, Civics and Moral Education (CME) Coordinator of Fernvale Primary School. Working closely with the Vice-principal of Fernvale Gardens School, the two teachers plan regular activities suitable for participants from both schools. "Such interaction provides valuable lessons about empathy, and gives our pupils the opportunity to serve from the heart."
November 25, 2009
Don't let their stoic expressions fool you. The troupe sits almost motionless on the floor, legs crossed and faces in rapt anticipation.
But once the sound of the gong and drums begins, their bodies spring into motion, swaying rhythmically to the beat of the Dikir Barat. The synchronised movements and confident singing instantly grabs your attention, and you can't help but be struck by the tremendous commitment and discipline shown by these children as they pour their hearts out in this traditional Malay art.
What's more, you don't have to know all the Malay words to enjoy the show. Just ask Mavis Koh of Woodlands Ring Primary School.
"I didn't understand the words before I joined the group," recalls the Pri 6 pupil, who first encountered Dikir Barat during school events. "But I still liked the music and found the songs humorous." In fact, Mavis enjoyed it so much that she stepped out of her comfort zone, sat down with her Malay schoolmates to learn how to perform this lively musical banter and is now a valued member of one of the school's most active CCAs.
November 23, 2009
The sights and earth-shaking sounds of a lion dance troupe in full regalia never fail to drum up excitement during a festival or special occasion. Most spectators are also keenly aware that the lions' daring moves and fancy steps are the result of a gruelling training regime requiring great stamina and strength.
But what if the dancer bearing a 3-kg lion head costume and prancing around to the beat of the drums, gong and cymbals is a mere 10 year-old boy?
Now imagine an entire troupe of lion dancers made up of children of various races, who have performed their way to national prominence in an arena dominated by more experienced adult troupes. The honour goes to the pupils of Telok Kurau Primary School, who have established themselves as one of the few primary school lion dance troupes in Singapore.
November 20, 2009
She turns the formless unknown into perfectly shaped clay sculptures. He transforms silent landscapes and people into vivid pictures captured through the lens of his camera.
Isabel Lim and William Tay both live in a world of silence. But this has in no way held them back from pursuing their interests.
At Balestier Hill Secondary School, a small but significant percentage of students are hearing impaired. The school has formed a Hearing Impaired (HI) Club to cater to their needs, but that hasn't stopped the HI students from going all out to enjoy whatever the rest of their peers are doing.
November 17, 2009
You can tell when an event is a big hit with pupils. While hundreds of brightly coloured paper lanterns were being lit, the pupils could be heard gleefully joking amongst themselves: "Hey, we're going to do the 'moon' walk!"
A dance performance? Not at all. It was all part of Ang Mo Kio Primary School's Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations, and the highlight of the night was a traditional lantern-carrying procession around the school that involved more than a thousand pupils. Led by a professional lion dance troupe, the walkabout was a sight to behold, judging from the many curious glances from passing onlookers.
And to top it off, a cloudless sky offered clear views of a silvery-white full moon that beamed over an evening packed with games, traditional mid-autumn snacks, and a host of other exciting outdoor performances.
"In the end, we had a 200 metre-long entourage," said Mr Jimmy Koh, Head of Department for Chinese Language. "This shows that people still enjoy the traditional lantern-carrying procession."
November 12, 2009
How would you react if a student tells you that she is pregnant and about to get divorced? What would you do when another student confides in you that he is suffering from a malignant disease and wants to take his own life?
No doubt about it - such bombshell would give any teacher great anxiety!
But for Ms Tan Li Wee, such 'crises' are a regular feature of life for her students - their Second Life, that is. Ms Tan, who teaches General Paper and is Subject Head of ICT at Innova Junior College, helms a programme that uses Second Life as a learning tool in General Paper (GP).
November 10, 2009
When Goh Wan Ting was in primary school, she was nearly bored to tears by the arduous task of learning and remembering countless complicated Chinese characters.
But ask her about learning Chinese Language today, and the Sec 3 student at Nanyang Girls' High School will tell you a different tale. Thanks to the school's innovative Chinese Language and Culture (CLC) programme, her view of the subject has changed completely.
"Through the CLC programme, I have developed a greater interest in the subject," shares Wan Tin. "It's often interesting and enriching to learn more about Chinese culture."
November 5, 2009
Imagine going up a spiral staircase in your school to discover at the top a secret garden. Pools bubble with fish, hamsters play in little mazes and inviting sofas in a shaded corner offer cosy views of a rooftop filled with greenery.
This inquisitiveness comes at a price. Just ask Jeremy Leong and Reuben Mark. For the past two years, the two Sec 3 students at Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School have returned to this retreat nearly every school day to water the plants, feed the fish and clean the hamster cages.
"I was curious," recalls Reuben. Drawn by the sight of plants growing on top of the building, he had ascended the stairs to find Mr Ten Leu Jaw, the school's full time counsellor. Mr Ten introduced Reuben to Innofishion, an outdoor classroom that is a also a quiet retreat from stress and, guess what, a fish spa! Needless to say, Reuben was hooked!
November 2, 2009
Imagine having your principal telling you to have your cake and eat it. What's more, it's a delectable slice of snowskin mooncake that Mdm Ong Lee Choo made herself right before your eyes.
The catch? Well, it's your turn to make the mooncake next!
But as the pupils of Park View Primary School discovered, it's much more fun to craft your own confection, especially when you get to see your classmates huff and puff over the lotus paste while you munch on your freshly made mooncake.
Pupils could also try their hand at wrapping kueh dadar, a traditional Malay pancake, at the next booth. And what better way to work off these Deeparaya cum Mid-Autumn Festival treats than with a fun and furious round of traditional games such as capteh, five stones and kuti-kuti in the school hall.
October 29, 2009
With so many kids losing touch of their Asian roots, surely it'd be a huge challenge to get them even a little excited about the Chinese language and culture? Well, drop by Holy Innocents Primary School and you'd get a pleasant surprise.
There's 'rapping', drama, cross-talk and tongue-twisting poem recitals - all in Chinese in a lively concoction of performing arts so fun and engaging the pupils almost forget they are actually learning Chinese oratorical skills.
October 22, 2009
"People think that cats are a nuisance because they shed fur, leave bodily waste in public areas and can cause a noise disturbance. This is a very wrong impression of cats!" he fumes. "On the contrary, cats are clean animals and can be easily toilet-trained. These misconceptions breed intolerance for animals in public areas."
His schoolmate Coco Tay Xinjun, chips in, "It's unbearable for me to watch footage on the cable TV channel Animal Planet, of puppies covered with fleas and pets being abused to death on Miami Animal Police and Animal Cops Phoenix!"
With such strong convictions, Hongxin, Xinjun and two of their peers took to the streets to raise public awareness about animal welfare.
October 16, 2009
What a scene: The man of the house barely glances up as the servant beats her daughter with a broomstick. His eyes are glued to the newspapers, as he alternately takes a swig from a beer bottle and puffs on a cigarette. Finally his wife intervenes in the thrashing by saying stiffly, "That will do, Ah Soh. Do you want to kill the child?" "Better for her to be killed than to insult you in this way!" sobs Ah Soh.
Enter the narrator, who brings an abrupt end to that riveting performance by Gan Eng Seng Secondary School. "What do you think will happen next?" she asks, and urges the audience to read The Jade Pendant by Catherine Lim to uncover the fate of the "thick circular piece of intricately carved jade of the most brilliant and lucid green".
This was one of the 30 performances in the Lower Secondary Book Trailer competition, where each team had 10 minutes to present a scene so compelling, that the audience would be motivated to pick up the short story or novel to find out how the events turn out.
October 13, 2009
Interviewing a Minister and training under Channel NewsAsia news anchor Suzanne Jung - all at the tender age of 10 or 11. These are just some of the opportunities that Greenridge Primary School's News Team pupils have enjoyed, as they're groomed from Pri 4 to 6 to become snappy young reporters.
"I feel the best part about being a reporter is to be at the heart of the news, right there, to see everything with my own eyes, and feel the atmosphere around me build up, whether it is good, bad or exciting," says Pri 5 pupil Tanvi Thombre. For Pri 4 pupil Celine Chua, the best part also includes "meeting new people and getting to speak in front of the camera!"
No wonder these self-assured young newshounds were as cool as a cucumber when they were given the opportunity to interview Education Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen a few months ago.
October 6, 2009
Imagine spending nearly a week on a remote hill in north Thailand. But this is no free-and-easy getaway. The days are hot and the nights bone-chillingly cold. And the first order of the morning is not breakfast but a trudge to nearby sheds with baskets of bananas and shovels - all the better to feed the resident elephants and clean up after them.
"Early in the morning, we had to use the shovel to clear the elephant dung," recalls Sec 3 student Triston Cheong. "It was tough and smelly - but very fun!"
September 25, 2009
What if Cinderella had a fairy godfather instead of a fairy godmother? If you believe the pupils from Kranji Primary School, well, she would have made a grand entrance at the ball in a gleaming Ferrari chauffeured by former Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher.
Or what happens if one of her glass slippers flew off and hit the prince's head - and he fainted? Perhaps, the pupils say, she panics and brings him home and hides him in a secret room to care for him - but might be arrested for kidnapping!
Delightful and ingenious, these are just a sampling of the many interesting twists that these came up with to spice up various fairy tales and fables as part of "The Book Experience" - an integrated project work assignment combining the subjects of English and Art for Pri 3 pupils.
September 22, 2009
Confidently manoeuvring twists and turns on the wheels of his Ripstik (something of a cross between a skateboard and a snowboard) in the school hall, Kenric Tan Yi Cong looks like the typical Pri 3 student who takes up the newest offering in the gizmo market with ease. Yet as adept as he is with the latest toys, Kenric is just as comfortable playing the traditional Chinese musical instrument, the guzheng.
Kenric is a member of the guzheng CCA ensemble in Anderson Primary School, which is 67 members strong. The ensemble made a solid debut in 2002, winning the silver award in its inaugural performance in the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF). Today, their proficiency at coaxing the smooth and melodious sounds from the guzheng has garnered them international recognition as well.
In 2008 the ensemble enjoyed a bonanza, bagging gold awards both at the SYF and at an international competition in Hong Kong, the 3rd International Children's Music Championship. Going up against contemporary music ensembles such as brass bands, Anderson Primary's guzheng ensemble proved that "old is gold", returning home triumphant with awards for Gold with Honours, as well as Best Discipline.
"It was a fun experience going through the Hong Kong competition. More than ever, I have realised that it is vital to learn and improve as a team in order for us to earn good results. I also got to know the members of the ensemble much better," reflects Pri 6 student Nicolette Ow.
September 15, 2009
"I have a green idea!" proclaims Wee Xuan Yi. "I can cut waste by using less toilet paper!"
Xuan Yi's Sec 2 classmates at Commonwealth Secondary School break out in laughter as he reads out this suggestion from his "green portfolio" of environmentally friendly practices. But they soon settle down and listen attentively as he continues, "And after I finish reading the newspaper, I pass it to my neighbours."
When he's done, Xuan Yi gets to pick who will take his place on the podium. Encouraged by their teacher, Senior Teacher (Environmental Education) Mrs Annie Lim, the students share what personal steps they have taken to help save the environment. "I conserve water by taking shorter showers," declares one girl. Another boy chirps, "I cut waste by reusing paper and using fewer plastic cups."
September 8, 2009
SWOT analysis, EBITDA, earnings ratio, profit and loss statements, projected income, management reports, market awareness, business plans, branding - not quite the latest teenage jargon, but these are terms that have become part of everyday conversations between 18 Sec 3 Xinmin Secondary School students. They're attending the Business@Xinmin elective enrichment course, where such concepts pepper their weekly training sessions to develop financial and business savvy.
"The school decided to introduce entrepreneurship among our Sec 3 students because elements of economics, including financial literacy, are very important in today's world," explains Chemistry teacher Mr Jason Chew, who with the Subject Head for Humanities Mr Nicholas Wong, is in charge of Business@Xinmin course. It's part of the school's Talent Development Programme, where students are given the opportunity to further develop their interests outside the formal school curriculum.
Business@Xinmin has been running for three years now, and Mr Chew has no lack of examples when it comes to enumerating its benefits.
September 4, 2009
Have a look at what Elias Park Primary School pupils got up to, whether it was munching on free kacang puteh or trying their hand at the tanggu (Chinese ceremonial drum).
August 31, 2009
This year, Admiralty Primary School did things a little differently, beginning with a little bang of smoke. Then hundreds of little Addy dolls came tumbling down along with a large 9-metre banner as it unfurled, to welcome the guest of honour, Minister for Education Dr Ng Eng Hen, to the launch of the school's "virtual" National Education Village.
But what's a "virtual" National Education Village?
August 28, 2009
Think Joo Chiat is all about food and Peranakan homes, or Chai Chee is all about HDB flats? Teachers and students from Ping Yi Secondary School could tell you a thing or two instead, for instance pointing out the former home of Zubir Said, composer of Singapore's national anthem, along Joo Chiat Place, or recalling how Chai Chee used to be full of vegetable farms.
These tidbits of information are part and parcel of the school's "Go East!" heritage trail tours, which provide walk-and-ride explorations of culturally rich neighbourhoods such as Joo Chiat, Katong and Chai Chee. "We're trying to make National Education fun and not too formal," says Mr Samuel Wee, the coordinator for National Education at Ping Yi Secondary School.
So besides what students learn in the classroom, they can also be trained to become tour guides. Then they can lead their fellow students or visitors to the school on a "Go East!" tour, covering religious buildings, educational institutions and famous eateries like the coffeeshops selling Katong laksa.
August 25, 2009
If you've ever seen the ease, speed and agility with which Sec 4 student Janice Ng Li can scale a rock wall, you'd understand why she deserves the nickname 'Spiderwoman'. This rock climbing star from Outram Secondary School won the Fastest Female title at this year's National School Sports Climbing Championships, as well as picking up four individual gold medals and helping her team to come in as the fastest female team.
Janice picked up rock climbing in Sec 1 and has been in love with it ever since. "Initially, I had poor stamina and lacked physical strength. My arms would really ache after each training!" she recalls.
But as she got better at the sport, the gung-ho climber began to enjoy the challenges that come with the rock climbing and set higher targets for herself at every competition.
August 21, 2009
Reading a dictionary may not seem like the most inspiring way to learn a language, but for Sec 3 student Tan Weng Chen of CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School, it's set her on a path to falling in love with the Japanese language. The pleasure of enunciating the words as they rolled off her tongue has given her a richer appreciation of the language, and of Japanese culture as well.
Weng Chen's interest in the Japanese language was sparked during a trip to the mall, of all places. She recalls, "I heard a couple speaking to each other in a foreign language and I was struck by how beautiful the language sounds. I asked my father what language it was and he told me it was Japanese. Coincidentally we were in Ngee Ann City that day - so I went to the Kinokuniya bookstore immediately to pick up a Japanese dictionary."
That was four years ago. Today, Weng Chen is in her third year of studying Japanese at the Ministry of Education Language Centre (MOELC), and she's still curious and intrigued to want to "learn more and more" about the language.
August 11, 2009
"Quick! Where's the ruler?"
"Okay, hold him still, but don't squeeze."
"Oh no! He's getting away!"
Well, not 'he', exactly. These Pri 4 pupils at West Grove Primary School are studying a silkworm as part of Project Silk Road, a Science programme in which pupils collaborate to study the life cycle of silkmoths and present their findings to their classmates.
Studying the worms takes team effort among the pupils. While the Material Collector keeps a firm but gentle grip on the wriggling subject, the Recorder carefully jots down the data in a worksheet. The Team Leader ensures that each step of the exercise is carried out properly, and if neighbouring groups get too rowdy, it's the job of the Noise Controller to issue a stern "shh!"
With clearly defined roles for each pupil, no one is squeamish about handling the silkworms. "The silkworm is very soft and harmless," chirps Pri 3 pupil Salome Ong. Lim Yu Chen, also in Pri 3, was equally enamoured. "I was very excited, but a little bit scared as the worm is very soft. When you touch it, it feels like it's going to burst."
August 7, 2009
Every school has rules requiring its pupils to keep their hair neat, but you probably won't find them offering haircut services. At Fuchun Primary School, things are a little different. For pupils who are on MOE's Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) and whose family's per capita income is less than $370, the school has arranged for hairdressers to give them haircuts twice a year - free to the pupils, as the school picks up the tab.
This service came about from the school's collaboration with Share-On Team, a not-for-profit organisation which assists families in need in Marsiling and Woodlands estates. The haircut service was first offered in January this year, when pupils made their way to a void deck near the school to have their free hair cut by a few volunteers with the Share-On Team. During the second round in July, the school paid for hairdressers to come to the school to provide the haircuts over two days, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Three more haircut sessions are planned for the rest of this year.
As Fuchun Primary School's Administration Manager Ms Hamidah recounts, the school publicised the service by sending letters to the parents of pupils who qualified for it. It attracted about 60 pupils, or one-quarter of all pupils on the FAS.
And that's not all this school is doing for its pupils in financial need.
August 4, 2009Last month, we read the story of how Amy the puppet has made Science learning a fun and vibrant experience for pupils at Casuarina Primary. Students feel less threatened around Amy and are more eager to speak up and explore new ideas. To the primary school pupils, she is a beloved friend that makes Science lessons come to life!
And if you think puppets appeal only to primary school children, think again. Even secondary school teenagers find Amy a joy! At Loyang Secondary School, the puppet is a familiar company during lessons about science concepts and theories.
Watch the video below to find out how a puppet like Amy livens up a class and hear what our teachers and students have to say about their puppet play experience.
July 28, 2009
While the gamelan is a musical ensemble that originated in Java many centuries ago, the students in Siglap Secondary School's Siglap Nusantara Orchestra have shown that its sweet harmonies, and those of other instruments of the Malay Archipelago, can still dazzle audiences in the 21st century. With a rich repertoire of traditional and modern music, the Orchestra has made a name for itself with numerous awards at the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF), performed for ministers and foreign delegates, and wowed audiences at an overseas arts festival.
The Orchestra's name is testimony to its origins and raison d'être. Given by its music director Mr Mohamed Khamis Selamat, the word 'Nusantara' means 'archipelago' in Malay - apt because the Orchestra incorporates many instruments from across the region. What began as an angklung ensemble in 1998, grew to include the kulintang ensemble in 2000 and later the gamelan ensemble.
Today the Orchestra has 58 student-musicians, playing instruments such as the kendang (double-headed drum), bonang penerus and bonang barong (bronze kettles or gongs), saron demung and saron barong (bronze bars) and sunda drums. But that's not all.
July 23, 2009Little toy cars were zipping everywhere, scaling walls and defying gravity. It looked like a topsy-turvy world, out of this reality. But it was just physics in action - an example of how future students of the School of Science and Technology (SST) will be learning in a fun and engaging way.
SST held its first Open House on 25 May, and curious visitors (including the Minister for Education, Dr Ng Eng Hen) had the opportunity to see what lessons will be like when the specialised independent school opens in 2010. Visitors were also treated to a glimpse of plans for the school's permanent campus, which will be completed in 2012.
July 21, 2009
Picture this: head-thumping music, flashy "aerial" moves and the thunderous roars of a several hundred-strong crowd, all cheering wildly around a games court.
A rock concert? Nope. It's a relatively new sport called bossaball, which is making huge waves around the world with its clever combination of volleyball, soccer, acrobatics and music - all while players try to maintain their balance on a large, bouncy inflatable court.
At Yuying Secondary School, this unusual sport has also made its way into the PE programme as part of the school's Yuying Olympic Gala. Judging from the way students rush towards the courts during recess, bossaball is definitely one PE activity that students don't want to miss.
July 9, 2009
It's no mean feat to score an entry in the Guinness World Records. But students at Pasir Ris Primary School have achieved this - not just once, but twice!
They sealed their place in the record books by slugging it out in two of the longest floorball matches ever played worldwide. But it's not just about endurance, for come October, the school team will enter the lion's den in Sweden to pit their skills and speed against players from the heartland of floorball.
June 30, 2009
It's rope skipping, which is so popular that the school has been awarded Niche Programme status for its many achievements in this sport.
This love affair with rope skipping was evident to all at the recent 5 Kids Long Rope Skipping Competition, in which six teams from Hong Wen took part, dazzling the crowd as they leaped in near perfect synchrony. Three other pupils from the school also performed during an interval, enthralling the crowd with stunts that were tests of speed, stamina and coordination.
June 25, 2009
Think of ten-year-olds and you'll probably think of a rambunctious and talkative gaggle. Think of those same ten-year-olds executing a synchronised mass display with colourful costumes and eye-catching props at the opening ceremony of the Asian Youth Games - and you might be forgiven for looking a little sceptical.
But 400 pupils from Edgefield Primary School, Gongshang Primary School, Nan Hua Primary School and River Valley Primary School are putting their best foot forward to show that they can do it. The only primary school pupils participating in the opening ceremony, they have been working hard during intensive rehearsals for the last few months.
The group is led and trained by veteran dancer and choreographer Ms Sylvia Anne McCully and a team from her dance school. Many pupils don't have dance training, so learning the sequences has been a novel experience, not to mention an imaginative one. To help them remember the dance movements, the team has used nicknames such as "a big watermelon", "give me money", "sweep rubbish" or "ask for chicken wings".
"My favourite part is 'rowing a boat'," declares Pri 3 pupil Mohanapprabu s/o Elavarasu from Edgefield Primary School, referring to a step that is taken from joget. "I practise the whole dance at home everyday for two hours."
June 23, 2009
Ever had a friend who's perpetually confused and constantly needs you to lend a helping hand?
Once every fortnight, students in Mrs Chia-Kay Cheng Hong's Pri 5 science class play host to Amy, who comes from the United Kingdom (UK). Whenever Amy pops up, the students know that there is a dilemma to be solved, from choosing the right materials to make a toy to finding the best way to load Amy's belongings on to a truck.
Yet, despite her muddle-headed ways, the students adore Amy and clamour over whom gets to hug her. With such eager attention, little Amy has to be handled with care. For she is in fact a puppet less than a metre tall!
June 16, 2009
From playing with magnets to making colourful paper hats and learning to bake cookies, the typical classroom scene at Greenridge Primary School (GRPS) is a little atypical of what we might expect primary education to be. But far from just fun and games, the pupils at Greenridge Primary are actively absorbing knowledge, learning about the science of magnets, gaining confidence in the English language and even picking up a few useful life-skills in the kitchen!
At Greenridge Primary, teachers employ engaging teaching methods, holistic assessment and conduct programmes that enhance skills and character development. These are the seeds of what the Primary Education Review and Implementation (PERI) Committee has recommended to be implemented progressively across all schools in the next few years.
June 11, 2009
"Blunt", "Straightforward", "Argumentative" and "Critical" are some of the terms used by schoolmates to describe Chng Wei Qiang, Jeslyn Low Jialing, Felicia Sim Xin Yi and Brendan Brian Conceicao. Their friends groan in mock dismay when the quartet engage in intense verbal sparring in otherwise casual conversations.
But for Wei Qiang of Sec 4E5 and his three team mates from Sec 3S1, these are simply hallmarks of an "occupational disease" that afflicts members of Fuhua Secondary School's debate team. And fortunately, their classmates are willing to put up with this social quirk, even if they do commit the occasional faux pas outside the debate arena.
June 9, 2009
"Monkeys are fat, monkeys are skinny. Monkeys get dizzy, monkeys get hot, I had a monkey and it wanted to eat... ice cream!"
Roars of laughter greeted this ditty which Gary Singh recited one morning at Jurong West Primary School.
But Gary wasn't actually there in class. He was in a school half-a-world away in southern California and standing before a Skype webcam that transmitted his recital 'live' on a video screen to a delighted group of pupils here in Singapore.
It's distance learning with a difference. This Skype session is just one highlight of the Global Learning Exchange (GLE), an international programme jointly developed by Mr Troy Tenhet, a teacher at Bill Williams Elementary School in Bakersfield, California, and Mdm Manuel Rose Delema of Jurong West Primary.
June 4, 2009
Curious passers-by must have wondered if the Olympics had come early. On 9 April, students from Boon Lay Secondary School lit an actual torch and ran all the way from their school to Jurong West Sports Stadium.
It was, of course, not the actual Olympic torch relay. Instead, this was a teaser that gave the students a taste of what it'd be like to be involved in the Olympics and a glimpse into the spirit of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) that will take place in Singapore in 2010.
But what made it extra special was that the torch was designed and created by none other than the students themselves!
May 28, 2009
These foreign greetings may roll off our tongues when we welcome a visitor from Italy, France, Hawaii or Japan. But what if it's a group of guests from Kazakhstan?
You would be in good hands if a Pri 1 pupil from South View Primary was around. Thanks to the school's designation as a host for Kazakh delegates to the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2010, he or she would be able to not just greet the visitors but also know a thing or two about their homeland in Central Asia.
May 26, 2009
"I want to ask an expert". "I will take 50:50". "I will ask the audience".
Each decision is followed by applause and shouts of encouragement, or groans of dismay as the participants were eliminated from the game. This lively scene took place not on TV but at a booth run by North Spring Primary School booth at the CAN! Discover Festival held on 18 April at *scape Youth Park.
Styled after the hugely-popular TV gameshow "Who Wants to be a Millionaire", the quiz is part of a package developed by North Spring Primary to commemorate International Friendship Day (IFD), a day for students to learn about and appreciate other cultures in the name of friendship.
May 18, 2009
It's all about twisting and turning your bodies in perfect time. But unlike most other teenage girls, Nicole and Tabitha Tay toss in several splits and even a somersault or two. For the twin sisters perform their moves not on the disco dance floor but on the international stage as members of Singapore's national gymnastics team.
The latest mobile gadgets, online games and pop 'idols' are strangers to the twins, who spend their days according to a strict rhythm of school, gym and home. They don't even hang out much with their friends, as in their own words, "Our lives revolve around school, meal, gym, meal, study, sleep." Weekends give no breather, for there's additional gym practice plus tuition on Saturdays, while Sundays are devoted to physiotherapy, and more tuition.
It may sound harsh, but Nicole and Tabitha have no regrets about missing out on the life of a typical teenager. Currently JC2 students at Raffles Junior College, the twins were 'discovered' when they were nine by a primary school teacher at CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls' School. By age 13, the girls had joined the national gymnastics team and now dedicate four hours each day bar Sundays to gym training.
May 15, 2009
When Teck Whye Primary School pupils get together for Art lessons in the school's computer lab, they know it's more than brushstrokes and plastic paint palettes that await them. In a Pri 4 class, every pupil's eyes are attentively trained on the projection screen as teacher Mrs Juliana Loke begins the lesson.
Mrs Loke is explaining splines (parametric curves). "Now use the polygon tool to select this," she says. With the aid of the software Cinema 4D - the same software used to create graphics in blockbuster movies like Spiderman and Shrek - she creates several strangely shaped splines. The curves then magically morph into a snowy landscape scene, complete with the detail of an underground tunnel.
Welcome to Teck Whye Primary School's digital arts programme, which encourages pupils to explore and develop their artistic talents in multimedia and graphic design. Integrated as part of the school's Art curriculum, it encompasses many aspects of digital arts. Pri 3 pupils learn photo manipulation through software like Adobe Photoshop, while Pri 5 students explore stereographic 3D photographs.
May 8, 2009
Here's one way to get teenagers out of bed on Monday morning, even those who may not usually be interested in physical activity: tempt them to school with the option of inline skating, tchoukball or chambara. Tchoukball is a non-contact team sport that combines elements of volleyball, handball and basketball, while chambara (also known as chanbara) is a form of martial arts.
These sports are the highlight of Yuying Secondary School's STARRS (Students Trained As Resilient & Responsible Sportsperson) programme. Sure, novelty is part of the draw, but the important thing is that these activities will get the students' pulse racing and the adrenaline pumping for the school week ahead.
So what do students participating in the STARRS programme have in common?
May 5, 2009
Imagine being away from home, but still able to feed your pet fish and change the water in the fish tank via SMS messages. In fact, if you have a 3G phone, you can also monitor how your fish are doing via a webcam.
Though this gadget-enabled wizardry might sound like something out of Tomorrowland, the automatic fish-feeding and water-changing machine was developed right here in Singapore, by Xinmin Secondary School students. While electronic fish-feeding machines are available in the market, the students' version has added features: users can change the time of feeding or activate the changing of water, all through SMS messages.
The project was part of the school's Science and Technology Research Programme in collaboration with Nanyang Polytechnic. Sec 4 student Ng Jing Lin was one of those who worked on it, and as she says, "In school, I learn a lot about theory but this project let me see how theories actually work in reality. I gained a lot of experience in the past year and I'm happy to be able to invent something."
May 1, 2009
Wanted: Broadcasters for school radio station. Should have a strong command of oral and written English. Must enjoy sharing ideas with others.These criteria wouldn't be out of place in a recruitment advertisement (okay, except for the line about approaching your teacher). But imagine posting this ad in a primary school - how many pupils would fit the bill?
If you ooze confidence, possess good language skills and enjoy being heard, approach your teacher.
At Princess Elizabeth Primary School, the answer is: lots of them! The school runs a radio programme to enrich the pupils' language learning experience and develop their emotional quotient. And the school doesn't even need to advertise the coveted positions as they have capable pupils who can step up to the role with minimal guidance.
April 17, 2009
"En garde!" In unison, two rows of girls get to their feet, in position, ready to commence a fencing duel in the school hall of Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School (PLMGS).
One level down at the school's netball court, another group of pupils on inline skates are laughing as they struggle to stay on their feet, while others manoeuvre turns and spins deftly around them.
Elsewhere, at the bowling alley at Downtown East, other PLMGS pupils are busy aiming to knock down the bowling pins. Yet another group of pupils is at the Mandai Executive Golf Course, intently practising their golf swing.
These pupils might have been scattered all over the place, but they were all taking part in the Paya Lebar Games Fiesta. Held during the week just before the March school holidays, these activities were more than just opportunities for PLMGS pupils to let their hair down at the end of term. The activities also allowed them to be exposed to a variety of learn-to-play courses, and in the process to discover their talents, strengths or preferences.
April 14, 2009
It looked like a scene out of Bizarro CSI: groups of Pri 6 pupils gathered around workbenches in a science lab at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, intently chewing on the insides of their mouths, then spitting the fluid into a small tube which they placed into a machine before adding various chemicals to it.
But there were no crimes to solve here, just a small whitish blob of their own DNA, suspended blithely in the tube. And even though some pupils had previously studied the topic in school and extracted their own DNA, this workshop held by the new School of Science and Technology (SST) introduced them to a new approach to it.
"It's different from what I've done before," says Pri 6 pupil Yeow Yu Xuan from Kong Hwa School. "That's why I like science, when we can do experiments and learn new things."
April 7, 2009
Read Part 1 of this article here.
In March 2009, ten students and two teachers from Pathways World School returned the visit to Nan Hua High School, which rolled out a variety of activities over five days to show them what Singapore had to offer. Besides classroom immersion, the group also went on a hiking trip to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and educational tours to the Science Centre and Marina Barrage.
How did the Indian students find Singapore?
April 3, 2009
Compare the rowdy bustle of Delhi's streets with the predictable order of Singapore's, and imagine crossing from one world to the other. That's the experience that 21 Nan Hua High School students had in November 2008, when they spent eight days on an immersion programme in Delhi, accompanied by their vice-principal and two teachers.
At every turn, they were fascinated, intrigued and sometimes overwhelmed by the new sights, sounds and smells that challenged their senses. At the same time, they experienced the warmth of the local people. Recalls Sec 4 student Samuel Ng, who is also the student leader for the trip, "I didn't expect people to be so friendly. Once, we were trying to walk to our destination and almost lost our way. People not only offered to help us, they even took us there!"
March 31, 2009
Read Part 1 of Schoolbag's coverage here.
Ask Hwa Chong Institution students Fransisca Santosa, Winnie Foo, Tan Bai Hui and Rachel Tan what best represents Singapore and they will tell you: "love". Their team came in first runner-up at the N.E.mation! III competition after exploring the softer side of Singaporeans in their animation clip Seeds of Love.
"Since saga seeds are said to represent love, we chose them to be our medium of animation," reveals team leader Fransisca. Which was how they ended up spending a few weeks picking and collecting saga seeds before they could get started on the production of their clip.
Unsurprisingly, that led to many fun and memorable moments.
March 27, 2009
For the third year running, the N.E.mation! III competition saw teams from secondary schools, junior colleges and the centralised institutes competing to see who could best communicate their ideas about Total Defence through an animation clip. The results were finally announced at the Total Defence Day event at Suntec City Tropics Atrium on 15 February.
This year's top honours for the animation competition went to the team from Yishun Junior College (YJC) for its entry Our Home. They won a fully-paid trip to DreamWorks Animation studio in the US. The first and second runners-up awards were respectively clinched by teams from Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) for Seeds of Love and National Junior College (NJC) for the cleverly-titled Feel in the Blank.
For the winners, the event was a culmination of the hard work that had kicked in June last year, when they registered for the competition.
March 20, 2009
When the bell rings to signal the end of the school day on Thursdays, most of the Pri 1 and Pri 2 pupils at Greendale Primary School don't dash off home. Instead, they eagerly stay back in school for an hour of PLAY time.
No, it's not ironic. PLAY time at this schools refers to a host of 24 activities spread across three categories: performing arts, clubs/societies, and sports and games. Activities include hip-hop dance, line dance, frisbee, floorball, maths games, speech and drama, LEGO club and Bakers Inc., just to name a few.
March 13, 2009
For Noor Syafeeqah Bte Abdul Hamid, Chong Xue Yi, Jeyashangari and Nurul Nadhirah Bte Hamdan, the new school year has been a special one. All dance enthusiasts, these Sec 1 students literally danced their way into their choice school under the Direct School Admission (DSA) scheme - even before they took their PSLE last year.
Now enrolled at Riverside Secondary School, these four students were among the 52 applicants who took part in the school's DSA Exercise from May to August 2008. The admission criteria included the students' academic results, dance qualifications and achievements. They also had to undergo rigorous dance auditions and interviews.
By the end of August, 16 successful applicants were offered places in the school.
March 10, 2009
"Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do!"
Familiar strains from the musical "The Sound of Music" and other classic tunes waft through the hallways of Eunos Primary School. But it's not the reedy tones of recorders that you'd usually hear. Instead, you'll find small clusters of pupils sitting together while plucking the strings of what look like miniature guitars and singing along.
If you were to ask the pupils what on earth they're playing, it won't be the first time they've heard that question. When many of them proudly brought the instrument home for the first time last year, they were greeted with a bewildered "What is that?"
February 13, 2009
This year, Nexus (the Central National Education Office) is commemorating 25 years of Total Defence by exploring the question, "What will you defend?" Come down to Suntec City and check out the slew of music, entertainment and games that's been lined up.
February 10, 2009
"Is it possible for the Olympic values to exist alongside competition, which is fundamentally what the Games are about?"
"Many research studies have proven that such fierce competition for youths aged 14 to 18 may be detrimental to their health as well as future as an athlete because they may burn out too early. What are your views on this?"
These were some of the questions that flew fast and furious on 28 October 2008 at Nanyang Girls' High School. The school had invited Dr Teo-Koh Sock Miang, Principal of the Singapore Olympic Academy and Elected Executive Committee Member of the Singapore National Olympic Council, to speak to Sec 3 and 4 students about Olympism. These students would soon be embarking on overseas trips, and the school wanted to give them a better understanding of how to engage the international community before they left.
After the talk, students had the chance to pose questions to Dr Teo-Koh and think about what Singapore can offer in the international arena. They certainly didn't mince their words when it came to questioning the rationale behind hosting the Games.
February 5, 2009
There's a first time for everything and for the Singapore Rowing Team (Junior Squad), 4 November 2008 marked their first time participating in an international competition - the 14th Asian Junior Rowing Championship, held in Hong Kong. Representing Singapore were 20 Fairfield Methodist Secondary School students from the school's National Cadet Corps (Sea) unit, led by their coach Mr Raihan bin Omar and team manager LTA(NCC) Heng Choon Pooh.
On the first day, the team reported at the rowing centre - and were shocked and intimidated by the size of the participants from the other 16 Asian countries.
January 23, 2009
It sounds predictable, but at Assumption Pathway School (APS), the start of a brand new semester in 2009 literally meant that. Formerly named Assumption Vocational Institute, the school has undergone a complete reformation in its education focus. It has taken in students who have failed their PSLE, as well as those who prematurely left other secondary schools, and in the new year, it's unveiled a new programme to better address their needs.
January 20, 2009
From 16 January you can watch their clips at the N.E.mation! III website and vote for your three favourite clips! Visit the website now!
January 17, 2009
At St Hilda's Primary School, as soon as the Pri 1 pupils alighted from the school buses on the first day, they were greeted by Pri 2 pupils who showed them to the canteen where all the new pupils were gathering. The canteen and school hall were decked out with bundles of colourful balloons - brilliant blues, reds and yellows to give that extra feeling of welcome.
The rest of the day was spent getting to know the school: the Pri 1 pupils attended their first assembly in the hall, were showed around the school and introduced to their teachers, learnt about school rules and, most importantly, began making new friends. Their parents were busy too, capturing all the Kodak moments of the first day on camera or video.
January 13, 2009
The inaugural convocation saw 88 students of the pioneering batch graduate receive their diplomas from Minister of Education Dr Ng Eng Hen. Recognised by all tertiary institutions in Singapore and even foreign universities like Harvard, the diploma recognises their completion of a six-year integrated course specialising in mathematics and science. As Dr Ng remarks during his congratulatory address, "You were all pathfinders, seeking paths that other students and schools haven't gone through."
January 2, 2009
When pupils from Choa Chu Kang Primary School were learning about Total Defence in National Education, they could read about the real-life experiences of a fireman on their school portal, contributed by a parent in that profession. Another parent, a doctor, provided tips on first aid.
The children's online buddies from around the world also participated in the forum: one talked about how frightened she had been when she witnessed an angry crowd throwing stones at a factory, another described the emergency evacuation drill in her school. With such interesting input from different sources, the National Education lessons came alive and fuelled the pupil's enthusiasm to learn better and learn more. Such a participatory, resource-rich online environment will soon be a reality for all Choa Chu Kang Primary School pupils, says Principal Mr Francis Foo.
December 18, 2008
December 16, 2008
What would you do if you were lost in the middle of a desert? Panic and tire yourself out in a frantic search for water and shelter?
If you have with you a student from Admiralty Secondary School, count yourself lucky. For he or she is likely to know how to determine the group’s whereabouts and chart a way to safety by calculating the group’s bearings from their point of origin.
“Lost in the desert” is just one of several scenarios that students at Admiralty Secondary School find themselves in during an i-RIMS Maths class. Working in teams, the students use robotic cars to plot their bearings and apply trigonometry principles to work their way out of a dry and sandy end.
December 11, 2008
Seventy-three storeys above ground level, five pupils stood in rapt anticipation on the helipad of Swissôtel The Stamford. The hot sun beat down on their faces as they waited patiently without a word of complaint. Instead, their excitement grew palpably with every minute, and when they finally spotted one of their teachers emerging from the stairway, the group burst into cheers and waved posters wildly in the air!
Southeast Asia’s tallest hotel was the venue for the annual Swissôtel Vertical Marathon, which took place on 16 November 2008. For these five pupils from Park View Primary School, the event marked the culmination of weeks of hard work in a special fund-raising project they had initiated.
December 4, 2008
At a bouldering wall, a pupil gingerly holds on to a rock piece as his other hand reaches out to grab a cardboard with a word splashed across it. It's a race against time - he has to collect the word cards and group them into themes to win points before the other team. His teammates look on and huddled together. "I know! I know! The theme should be 'People'!" whispered one pupil with irrepressible excitement.
The bouldering wall is just one of several activities that line the Spring Trail, a landscape of experiential structures at East Spring Primary School. Drawing inspiration from locations as diverse as the zoo to nature parks and the airport, the trail forms the heart of the school's Discovery Journey programme, in which pupils embark on action-filled outdoor learning adventures in the safety of the school's own backyard.
December 2, 2008
The homely aroma of freshly-baked pastries whiffs down the school corridor. Following the scent and peals of laughter, we arrive at a room where apron-clad boys and girls chat happily as they put the final touches to their tasty creations.
If you think this is a Home Economics class, you are in for a surprise. These students at Woodgrove Secondary School are in fact budding bakers in “A Friend in Knead” - an outreach programme that uses baking as a therapeutic tool to help students de-stress and build character.
October 9, 2008
There's something tuneful in the air at Hwa Chong Institution, and if you follow your ears down the halls, you're likely to chance upon the Hwa Chong Choir in action. Watch them during a proper rehearsal and you'll see the choristers standing shoulder to shoulder, singing as one voice in perfect harmony.
Now imagine them abandoning their usual composure and erupting into cries of delight and joy. That's what happened when they were celebrating their multiple wins at the 5th World Choir Games, which took place in July this year in Graz, Austria. The Hwa Chong Choir bagged the top honours in the Mixed Choirs Category and took home two Gold Medals in the Mixed Choirs and Folklore categories.
October 3, 2008
Don’t talk to strangers.
Wait, let’s rephrase that: Don’t just talk to strangers. Approach them, engage them and get people to share their views!
For one week in August, nine Pri 2 to Pri 5 pupils from Bukit View Primary School did just that, and with good reason. They were part of a Young Reporters Mission Trip to the 2008 Olympic Games, which plunged them into the heady world of fast-paced reporting in the streets and stadiums of Beijing.
September 30, 2008
Lelong, lelong! Who doesn’t love a good deal and the pleasant surprises of a street bazaar? Well, bargain hunters were in luck this August, as 300 enterprising students from Millennia Institute (MI) held their first-ever flea market at Plaza Singapura.
With 30 stalls brimming with street wares from Bangkok’s legendary night markets, MI Mart welcomed more than 70,000 curious onlookers who snapped up handmade jewellery, personalised handphone accessories and electronic gadgets at irresistible prices.
September 9, 2008
Some say it takes a village to raise a child. At North View Primary School, this adage certainly rings true: the school’s teachers and staff have in the past year opened their hearts and showered care to a young boy who was teetering on the brink. Through their dedicated efforts and devoted attention, the boy has turned from a life of truancy and is taking his first steps towards a brighter future.
Andrew (not his real name) is 11 years old. When he was a young child, his parent separated and he has been living with his father. His father remarried, but both his stepmother and father work very long hours and are not able to spend much time with Andrew.
As a result, Andrew spent his time cycling around his neighbourhood until late in the evening when his parents returned home. Last year, when he was in Primary 4, he started to play truant from school.
September 2, 2008
On the fourth and highest floor in Sembawang Primary School is a surprising little haven. The walls are lined with eye-catching wallpaper, covered with gothic-inspired motifs, and there’s a cosy feel to the whole place.
This is the school’s Student Care Centre, where pupils get to learn, work and play together, before or after school. Run by Cambridge Educare, it opened its doors in January this year and offers a range of educational programmes in an environment that the pupils can call home.
August 26, 2008
There’s a world of difference between being a mere tourist and a true traveller who contributes something to the place he or she visits - that’s what my 29 students from Yio Chu Kang Primary School found out during a six-day trip to Vietnam in May.
Forget theme parks and shopping malls. Instead, the Pri 4 and 5 students and their four teachers, including myself, embarked on a journey of discovery into a world of natural wonders and remote villages, trekking across hills to see ancient trees and setting up water filtration systems at shelters for victims of war.
August 22, 2008
Don’t laugh when Helen and Joanne tell you that they “had to eat a lot of eggs” to produce their prize-winning toy. And spare a thought for a Kind Clown who must balance balls on his hands while his legs strive to free a dragonfly from the jaws of a Venus Flytrap.
Then, if your sides aren’t splitting from watching a couple of Belly Dancers shaking their booty, you can try making a pizza - which is when you may discover that with the incredible Pizzatron, adding toppings is not quite as easy as it sounds.
August 20, 2008
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Dance Hall!”
As stylish dancers sashayed their way onto the stage and a sparkling crystal ball cast its spell across the arena, the waiting crowd erupted with cheers. “You are in for a greeaaaatttt time!” boomed emcee Jenson Tan. “Put your hands together for ‘Twist and Shout’!”
Decked out in bell-bottoms and fitted shirts, the dancers strutted their stuff and the mood hit fever pitch with thunderous applause and ear-splitting screams. The way they shook, rattled and rolled, you’d think Elvis was back in action. As the band struck up a merry beat, the dancers thrust their hips to tunes from the 1960s by Astroboy and Betty Boo and grooved to the high-octane dance moves of the hustle, the twist and even the a-go-go.
Make no mistake - the ’60s are back. Over two evenings this July, Ang Mo Kio Secondary School became a time machine that brought to life Singapore in the swinging ’60s. A bustling night market, friendly gatherings at Ah Gong’s Coffeeshop, and the soulful strumming of a street busker - many colours and sounds of a bygone era were recaptured as the school hosted NOMAD 2008, its biannual celebration of the arts.
August 12, 2008
Read the first two Schoolbag.sg articles about Leadership Development Programme projects by the James Team and Team Illuminati.
Call it an Amazing Race with a difference: making their way through the narrow lanes of Little India and Jalan Besar, student racers made pitstops to toss roti prata, kick a round of chapteh and practise how to tie a sari. They also got to taste an array of Indian sweets, visit temples to learn the names of different Hindu and Buddhist deities, and try their hand at the art of henna.
For some 40 upper primary students from Telok Kurau Primary School, this road adventure was the highlight of Team Unite, a two-day camp organised by a group of Sec 4 students to showcase Singapore’s amazing races and the importance of ethnic harmony.
But don’t students already get enough of that in National Education classes?
August 7, 2008
“Let’s go! Left, right, left, right.” “Quick, grab that log for our space shuttle.” “How about a pile of leaves - will it cushion the impact of a falling egg?” “Oh no! Too heavy - move back, move back!”
With a flurry of movement, rapid commands and irrepressible laughter, teams dashed from point to point, seeking to outrun, outsmart and outdo each other to complete their tasks. This may sound like a fun-filled holiday camp for kids - but there were parents in the mix too. For two days during the recent June holidays, they got to spend a little quality time together at Sarimbun Camp in the rustic northwest of Singapore.
July 21, 2008
July 9, 2008
July 7, 2008Seen the video clips submitted to this year's N.E.Mation! II competition yet? They were broadcast on TV during the public voting season earlier this year and are also viewable on the N.E.Mation! website. Each video might only be one minute long or so, but that belies the months of preparation, training and hard work that went into creating it. The top three prize-winners - respectively, Jurong JC, Hwa Chong Institution and Raffles Institution - give us a glimpse into their nine-month long adventure in animation.
June 26, 2008
June 19, 2008
June 17, 2008Don’t get angry, sing a melody! That’s what children under the care of Beyond Social Services did at a special performance recently. For their “Anger Management Song”, they took a leaf from performers like Stomp and used recycled materials to make their instruments. As for the song, it was composed with the help of the James Team, a group of Sec 4 students from different schools who participated in this year’s Leadership Development Programme. Organised annually by MOE and the Singapore Management University, the programme gives students opportunities to develop their leadership skills by carrying out projects with community service groups. When the James Team first visited Beyond Social Services, they were struck by the behaviour of the children at the care centre. “We noticed that the kids tended to get angry and shout vulgarities at each other very often,” says team leader Chong Ren Jean of National JC. The team decided to help the children manage their anger and improve their social skills.
June 12, 2008
June 10, 2008Bowen Secondary School students presented their own version of the opening scene of A Midsummer Night's Dream. “Shakespeare rocks!” - you might think it’d be hard to get a teenager today to agree with this, but six students in Bowen Secondary School would give a rousing cheer in response. Fresh from their well-received dramatised reading of the opening scene of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, these students have a newfound appreciation of the art of Shakespeare and the magic of drama. “The scene explored a wide range of human emotions at different points, such as love, anger, sorrow, joy, justice...
June 3, 2008
May 30, 2008Harvard University’s Project Zero, it uses a set of thinking routines to make thinking more explicit. More importantly, these thinking routines, each with its own specific set of questions, promote critical thinking and nurture a thinking culture in the classroom. For example, Mrs Christine Teo, who teaches Year 1 (Sec 1-equivalent) students, applies the Visible Thinking approach in her English Language Arts classes (the subject is a merger of English and English Literature).
May 16, 2008
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March 12, 2008
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February 29, 2008
February 27, 2008
February 15, 2008
February 12, 2008
January 30, 2008
January 28, 2008
January 15, 2008I’d never expected to get a job during the holidays; the idea had never crossed my mind. But I was approached by my form teacher one afternoon regarding an internship at MOE’s Corporate Communications Division (CCD). After speaking to my parents, who were very supportive of the internship, I decided to take it up.
January 8, 2008
January 3, 2008
What happens when a story of love, originally set in Tokyo's Harujuku district, is filmed in the streets of Taipei by a student cast and crew from Singapore?
You get Xin Qing, that's what - a short film by New Media Arts students at Innova Junior College (IJC). They harnessed digital technology to tell the tale of two young people who fell in love but failed to be together thanks to the vagaries of fate.
December 31, 2007
Who’s got time to think about having a nutritious meal when there’re ten more chapters to be reviewed before tomorrow’s paper? Come exam season, most students pour themselves into a final round of revision and find their school premises a safe and conducive environment for study. But there may not be food to sustain them once the canteen’s closed for the day.
At Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC), the Parents’ Action Team (PAT) took up the cause of cooking wholesome dinners for the many students who spent their evenings in school to study before the ‘A’ Levels or the promotional exams. Instead of spending time walking to the nearest hawker centre, students could enjoy the meals provided by the “Exam Food Ministry”.
December 19, 2007
Mention “progress charts”, “target setting”, “conferencing” and most people will probably think about the workplace. However, for Pri 1 and 2 pupils at Cedar Primary School, these are part and parcel of classroom activities.
That’s not all. Pupils also take part in “peer coaching”, sit for “Mastery Tests” and are given “reward time” if they can stick to a task for at least half an hour. What’s more, all these activities are conducted in “multi-aged classrooms” where children from different levels learn together.
December 14, 2007
Getting young people excited about Chinese language (CL) classes can be a challenge. At St. Joseph's Institution (SJI) Junior, we've managed to get our pupils to be much more attentive, active in group discussions, retain lessons better, learn more independently and solve problems. How did we achieve this?
November 26, 2007
November 23, 2007
“Environmental issues should not be neglected by schools. These issues inform us of what is happening to the earth, what causes the earth to be the way it is and what we can do to handle the situation.”
A thoughtful observation and an important one, these were the words of a Marsiling Secondary School student who went through a 15-week Environment Education Module (EEM). Based on the Teach Less, Learn More movement, EEM integrates Science and Geography in a module that brings a fresh perspective to learning about the environment and its related issues.
November 19, 2007
Students aren't usually allowed to play card games in school, but Zero Heroes is the exception at Serangoon Secondary School. We designed this card game to improve our students' ability to do mental calculations - and, of course, to make learning Mathematics more interesting!
Zero Heroes uses a deck of 75 cards, each with a number from 1 to 10 on it, or a special instruction (e.g. "Double the Score", "Square Root", "Skip", "Reverse"). Students play their cards to deduct numbers from 100, perform special calculations or affect the direction of play. Their objective: to avoid hitting a result of zero during their turn, or else they'll be eliminated. And no calculators allowed!
November 16, 2007
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October 31, 2007
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September 17, 2007
Making movies, participating in drumming ensembles and designing better diets may not sound like typical classroom activities. But at Bedok South Secondary, these pursuits are part and parcel of the curriculum for Secondary 1 and 2 students in a pioneering programme called Aesthetics Without Borders.
Conceived to “Teach Less, Learn More”, Aesthetics Without Borders integrates previously separate Aesthetics subjects (Food & Nutrition, Design & Technology, Music and Art) into cross-disciplinary modules that emphasise the learning of hands-on skills over content. Students pick up invaluable know-how that can be broadly applied in both their studies and future careers, while classroom time is freed up, allowing teachers to introduce new sessions such as industry-compliant Computer Aided Design (CAD).
September 10, 2007
September 6, 2007
September 6, 2007
September 5, 2007
Breathtaking mountains, cobbled streets rich in history, matriarchal tribes and delicious Chinese-Muslim food - these were some of the surprises that greeted students from the South 7 Cluster when they visited Kunming, Lijiang and Dali in China’s Yunnan province for a visual art field trip in March 2007.
28 pupils and 12 teachers from Bishan Park Secondary School, Beatty Secondary School, Catholic High (Primary) School, Jing Shan Primary School and Townsville Primary School took part in the five-day “Colours of China” trip. But this was not simply a sightseeing outing.
September 5, 2007
September 3, 2007
MOE ExCEL Fest 2007 was also a field day for educators, who had the opportunity to not only browse the exhibits of innovation projects, but also attend workshops, seminars and other festival activities designed to spark new approaches to education.
“There are so many fresh ideas,” said Mr Noor Isham Sanip, Vice-Principal, Princess Elizabeth Primary School. “I’m impressed by the new approaches to classroom learning, and the opportunity for us to learn from each other. It’s quite clear that everyone is caught up in this spirit of sharing of ideas.”
August 31, 2007MOE ExCEL Fest 2007, which wowed everyone with its leading-edge ideas and innovative use of technology to enhance learning.
August 17, 2007
It's only the wizardry of an animation studio that can produce claymation stories like Wallace and Gromit. At Westwood Secondary School, our Sec 1 students may be new to the field, but through our new Communication Studies Programme, they've begun to generate a little claymation and storytelling magic of their own.
Take Sec 1G's production for instance, which brings alive the story of Hanuman from the Indian epic the Ramayana. The video depicts Hanuman chasing the sun and later defeating a sea monster, Octotorn. Certainly a story that's ready for the big screen!
August 12, 2007
In the deepest recesses far below the school building, a family is in trouble, a pig communicates with a spider, and a group of youngsters empathises with the king of the toilets. An unlikely scenario at a local secondary school? Perhaps, but it’s all true.
In “the dungeon” of Tampines Sec School, book characters come to life. They breathe, think, talk and interact with each other; they love, laugh, hate and plot their revenge. The action takes place regularly at the disused rifle range at the basement (hence the nickname, “the dungeon”), where students are given the opportunity to step into someone else’s shoes during Literature lessons.
August 8, 2007
August 4, 2007
August 1, 2007since we adopted the Nee Soon East Park, conveniently located just 20 metres away from our doorstep. Whether during a language lesson on vocabulary about plants or a Science lesson drawing out botanical concepts, our pupils have drawn closer to nature and have the opportunity to come face to face - or maybe even eyeball to eyeball, if they need to scrutinise something! - with what they’re studying.
July 20, 2007
July 6, 2007