Term 2 has been comprised of the hustle and bustle of our return from the winter vacation in January, our first round of mock exams in February, and our tremendous push forward in March. Without seeming to have taken a breath, we have come to our Songkran holidays, where we are reminded of the importance of tightly holding onto those who are near and true to our hearts. This is the time in which our upperclassmen will need the fullest support from home, as we head into the start of our high stakes assessments. With the help from parents and family members at home, it is important that students take the upcoming holidays as an opportunity to rejuvenate and recharge – rest schedules, dietary choices, and exercise should be improved upon during this time away from school.
It is apparent that students across all year groups have worked to develop in this term. Under our teachers’ care and guidance, they have made progress in their various subjects, and we are all eager to take on this last term of the school year with tremendous fervour and enthusiasm.
Subject selections for incoming Secondary 3 students have been sent home. When we return for PTMs on April 17 and April 18, teachers will provide updates, based upon the performance in the Secondary 2 Term 2 and the End-of-Term examinations. Before the end of Term 3, subject selections will be fully confirmed with students and parents; payment for the IGCSEs will be due at that time as well. Should there be any questions, kindly schedule an appointment to meet with subject teachers and our guidance counsellor, Ms Ilke Struwig.
Secondary IGCSE oral exams in Mandarin as a Foreign Language, First Language English, and English as a Second Language were completed in the month of March. With our teachers’ support, our students have seemingly performed with confidence. Along with the submission of coursework from the Global Perspectives class, we have officially kicked off the CIE high stakes assessment period! When we return from Songkran holidays, we will immediately jump into our Mock II exams.
Our students progressively develop, over a period time, through the nurturing instruction of our teachers. We have been very fortunate in having such close ties with Dr Yeap Ban Har. On April 6th and April 7th, he provided our teachers with workshops on Differentiated Learning, as well as Assessment for/of/as Learning. Ms Audrey also led a workshop on Difficulties with Reading in an Additional Language. Carrying forward, Ms Audrey will be spearheading several workshops surrounding this area of interest.
Remedial sessions serve as an additional vehicle that allows our teachers to be attentive of student learning. Our teachers in Secondary Maths and Science stepped up – they offered additional sessions with the students on April 6th and 7th to close up Term 2 properly with our Sec 4/JC 1/JC 2 classes. As a reminder for Secondary 3 students, students who submitted their IGCSE payments in full in February, are entitled to the CIE Intensive Preparation Programme. This is a special, free-of-charge, two week course during the summer between Secondary 3 and Secondary 4.
Since the beginning of the school year, teachers have been able to reinforce topics taught in the classroom through these additional sessions. However, we must all be careful of becoming overly dependent upon these sessions – students should still shoulder the responsibility of individual knowledge attainment. They should be able to review what was previously learned, practice what was taught on the day, and read ahead to prepare for the next class. This will enhance the level of responsibility and mindfulness in which our students depict as they mature.
Our Multimedia Club has evolved this term; in its new form, the three components include: TV Journalism, Animation, and TV Drama. It was a tremendous honour to be one of the first guests on the TV Journalism panel. Being interviewed by our students allowed me to gain insight on a different side of them – they were able to “let their hair down” while still completing their tasks in a serious manner. Their desire to achieve perfection was evident in the number of takes we did until they felt we got it just right. The Animation group have created Public Service Announcements that will be aired in Term 3 for the school. Their ability to be aware of the difficulties surrounding us has fuelled their passions to create such opportunities for exposure for their peers. Be on the lookout for creative and meaningful clips soon! The TV Drama group have been working on their play about the difficulties experienced by a high school student, and will be showcasing their work, The Pen Holder, shortly. Their after-school taping sessions have created excited murmurs throughout the school, and we are all eager to see the end production.
Promotion of our English Drama CCA’s production, an adaptation of James Lee’s “I live in Coffin 4, Blood Street” started this past week, and it surely has also caused a buzz throughout the school. Our Chinese Drama is also in the midst of their preparations as well. The shows will be on Saturday, June 3rd. Tickets for each of the events will be going on sale when we return from Songkran break. Please support our students and their efforts by joining us for a day of theatrical arts!
The season wraps up temporarily at the end of this Term 2, and we cannot be prouder of our students’ accomplishments, continuing the long-standing tradition of strength from the Anglo Debate Society. Our student-debaters returned from break to participate in the 6th Thailand World Schools Debating Championship 2017 at Panyarat High School. Team One, consisted of Nine (JC1), Jebelle (JC1), Angel (Sec 4), and Tam (Sec3) emerged as champions of the event, after going undefeated in all rounds. Our younger team (Peam [Sec3], Jane [Sec2], Focus [Sec2], and JiJy [Sec2]) were crowned Champions in the Juniors bracket. We also emerged with 4 of the top 10 speaker awards! During the same time, we had another group of debaters (Prab (JC1), Linya (Sec4), and Nond(Sec3)) participate in the PDA 2017 High School Parliamentary Debate in Japan. They defeated New Zealand to win the Native Category, where Linya also was ranked the Best Speaker of the tournament. The momentum was carried forward into the 2nd Assumption Thailand Debate Open 2017 a week later. Team One, comprised of Gin (JC1), Nat (JC1), and Prab (JC1) finished as high school finalists. We had eight out of the top ten speaker awards in this tournament! Last but certainly not least, we had the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization International Day of Forests – Forestry Debate on March 21st. Our team continued our winning streak by bringing home the win; this resulted in our back-to-back-to back wins, three straight years in a row!
We complete Term 2 and head into Term 3 with several items to keep in view. Several students recently approached me as they were in a state of uncertainty. The support system in our Secondary programme has evolved since we started with the quaint family environment at Campus 31. Now, with our Family Programme, we look to embrace our individual uniqueness while maintaining the warmth of that caring atmosphere. On top of that, we have our guidance counsellor, Ms Ilke Struwig, subject teachers, and homeroom teachers to provide the necessary support as well. We are all here for each other to help strengthen our individual grit – we learn and develop through overcoming the challenges we face.
Take this upcoming Songkran holidays as an opportunity to reflect on our current position, and whether we are still following down the right direction toward what we want to achieve. I hope everyone is able to have a restful and safe spring break, and are ready to come back to tackle the upcoming obstacles that await us in Term 3.
Anglo Singapore International School