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June 2011

PL Bowls & Cooks with Soul

To welcome the staff back and to help teachers ease into the hectic pace of Term 3, the Staff Welfare Committee organized a Staff Bonding event on the 1 st day of school. At 1pm sharp, teams of teachers left for their 1 st activity for the day – bowling at the Serangoon Country Club. Once the logistics and lanes were sorted out, the staff quickly got into the heat of friendly competition as catcalls, whistles and cheers soon erupted spontaneously from the various lanes. Loud groans and moans were heard every time a ball swerved into the ‘longkang’ lane, but players were still greeted with much encouraging claps and cheers from their fellow team members. 

An hour passed too quickly, and it was time to brainstorm the menu for the 2 nd half of the programme – steamboat in school. Each table had to plan what they wanted to eat and then went about shopping, chopping, boiling and preparing their dishes. By 5pm, all tables were groaning under the weight from the many platters of fresh vegetables, crabs, prawns, beef, chicken and every sort of mushroom and toufu found in the market. Some tables had both grilled and steamboat varieties where others opted for healthier options. Friendly teasing and good-natured ribbing over each tables’ food fest only added to the enjoyment of eating amongst good friends and colleagues. By 7 pm, everyone helped to clean up their tables, and went back home, happy and stuffed with good food and pleasant memories.

Love Your Community

Getting people to sign pledge cards for kitty philes
Our sec 1 students presenting their Photosynth project.
Facebook of one of our sec 3 winning projects

Innovation Week 2011 was the summation of what our pupils have learnt in Project Work and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) lessons during curriculum time. It is a platform to assess the 21 st Century Competencies in our pupils and to showcase their talents in innovation and creativity. 

The objectives of Innovation Week this year are to enhance our pupils’ 21 st century skills and be future ready and concerned Singaporeans. Through these projects, pupils learnt to apply team building and critical thinking skills and to acquire new ICT skills. Most importantly, they were given the opportunity to demonstrate their love for the community. 

Sec 1 to 3 pupils from all streams worked in teams of 4 to 5 on their projects which must clearly demonstrate their love for the community. The Sec 1 pupils took photos of a particular area of focus in the community and used the application Photosynth to stitch the photos into a 360 degree panoramic view of the area. The Sec 2 pupils chose a targeted audience in the community (for example, children, teenagers or the elderly) and used the application Scratch to create games suitable for them. The Sec 3 pupils used the social medium – Facebook to assist community bonding through nurturing a community spirit and demonstrating the vibrancy of the community. 

The pupils were briefed on Advanced Cyberwellness and the use of ICT applications by the lecturers from the School of Information Technology, Nanyang Polytechnic, our partner for this school-wide project. Subsequently, the pupils either had face-to-face discussion sessions or online collaborations with their teacher mentors for the next 4 days. These projects were judged by teacher-facilitators at the class level. The final judging at each level comprised one lecturer from Nanyang Polytechnic, one parent volunteer and one middle manager. 

The objectives of instilling pupils’ love for our community and help strengthen community bonds are indeed attained through these projects. 

Pupils' Reflections 
“Our group project is about SPCA. We want to educate the community about the abuse of animals. I learnt how to use an interesting software called Photosynth. I enjoyed Innovation Week because I learnt to cooperate with my teammates and accept different ideas. I am happy that the project is not confined to classrooms and we get to explore the outdoors.” 
Sandara Leong, class 1-3 

“Our group project was done using a computer programme Scratch. We had to create a game that is educational and fun for the children and this was not easy. Another challenge was in figuring out how to use the programme. There were many technical difficulties but with the help of our patient teacher-mentor, we managed to overcome the difficulties. We had a lot of fun working together. It was truly a challenging and fun project given to us. We learnt a lot more than we could in normal school lessons.” 
Sheryl Ho, class 2-2. 

“Innovation Week has been very meaningful week for me. I’ve learnt a lot, like caring for others, specifically cats. It has exposed me to the stark reality of the situation of stray cats in Singapore. This Innovation Week has made me want to help the stray cats. Also, I’ve learnt more about the social network, Facebook. Overall, it has been enriching experience” 
Elsa Sim, class 3A3. 

Reflection from a teacher-facilitator 

“The Innovation Week is experiential learning at its best. I’m pleasantly surprised that the topics chosen by the pupils reflect their concern for the aged and less advantaged segment of the society. The pupils put in commendable effort in their pet projects and have evidently benefited greatly from carrying out their authentic projects.” 
Mrs Tay Peck Hoon, teacher-facilitator of class 3A2

KL Twinning Programme

Trip to Petrosains
Science galore!
With our hosts
Visit to the Istana
Sharing a meal at SAB. Sedap
Waiting excitedly to perform at SAB during assembly

From 20 – 24 June 2011, 24 pupils represented both PLMGS(S) and Singapore in a Twinning Programme with SMK Aminuddin Baki (SAB), Kuala Lumpur (KL). The pupils had the opportunity to engage in an active learning environment out of Singapore as well asmake many new friends. 

The main focus of the programme was the experiential learning that the PL-Lites had in the classroom with their buddies. Certainly, they have been much enriched, studying as well as bonding with their buddies during lessons and break time. 

Both the teachers and girls felt very welcomed by the warm hospitality shown by the hosts from SAB. 

Besides going into the classroom to learn with their KL buddies, the PL-Lites also managed to visit Petrosains, (the equivalent ofour Science Centre) and places of historical and cultural interest. 

The KL Twinning Programme was a good opportunity for the PL-Lites to learn, and bond not only with their KL buddies but also with their roommates and friends from PL. 

Pupils' Reflections 

I learnt many things on this trip. When I spoke to my buddy about her school, I realised that we should not judge a book by its cover. Although the school’s infrastructure seemed simple, the pupils’ academic results were among the nation’s best. 
Esther Ng, Class 1-1 

I am grateful to have received the opportunity to be part of the programme. I have learnt more about the Malaysian culture and also about the different religious groups. 
Sofia Limpo, Class 3A2

Faithful In Service @ Klang

Embarking on our trip to Klang 
“Don’t eat my food… Jie Jie is feeding me!”
“Join us for the animal show that’s coming up!”
Take a look at our animal hats! Aren’t they nice?
We are having fun… dancing and singing!
We miss the children!

A team of 33 Secondary Three pupils led by 2 teachers went on an overseas service-learning expedition to Klang in Malaysia. Over there, we reached out to the children at Good Samaritan Home (GSH), a shelter for the abandoned children and orphans. Through a series of activities, the pupils conducted lessons on the value of respect, computer lessons and organised learning journeys for the children to the Negara Zoo and the Sultan Abdul Aziz Royal Gallery. 

We spent 4 wonderful days interacting with the 22 lovely children. Many of the PL-Lites have expressed how much they have learnt and gained from the children there. It is indeed a memorable trip that has made a positive impact on both our pupils as well as the children from GSH. 

Pupils' Reflections 
I loved this trip to Klang, while serving at the Good Samaritan's Home. Through this life-changing trip, I have gained a lot of valuable experiences, like realising how fortunate I was and how so many people out there needed help. This trip has sparked off my passion and dream of helping less fortunate children and I hope that eventually, when these children grow up they will also pass the love on and help others, like how they were helped. This trip will definitely be one that I will never forget, with so many new friendships forged, new experiences gained and new joy that was discovered from leaving a mark on these children's lives, as pilgrims on the journey. 
Elsa Lim Rui Jia, Secondary 3A3 

Who knew that spending four days with more than 20 children could give us the most memorable experience? At the Good Samaritan Home (GSH), we PL-lites had the opportunity to plan fun games, outings and lessons on ‘Respect’ for the children there. The children were quiet, naughty or simply adorable; yet they all needed one thing the most, i.e. love. Throughout the entire time we spent with the children, we bought them to various places such as Little India and the Negara Zoo. Even though we were tired at times, the beautiful children always had a way of energizing us again. Every night, while doing reflections together, we never failed to share our interesting experiences with one another, and learning more about ourselves each day. As the children at GSH have a different background from us, we have also learnt to be understanding and patient when they misbehave. The most valuable lesson that many of us have brought back with us from this trip is to learn to appreciate our parents and loved ones. It is a blessing to have a family and a place called home. 
Koh Shue Lian Erinna, Secondary 3A3

Sec 2 “I Aspire” Camp Challenge

Team work at a general station
Scaling the heights - rock climbing
Embarking on our orienteering expedition challenge at Pulau Ubin

Unlike previous Sec 2 camps, this year’s camp was held in school from 1 to 3 Jun 2011. Girls pitched their tents under the ISH and alternately went out in the day to Christchurch Secondary for their high elements and rope challenge courses and to Pulau Ubin for their orienteering expedition challenge. The campfire was held in school and it proved to be a hit with the girls. 

The objectives of the camp were to break through the girls fears, be it a physical fear of heights, insects or emotional ones that stem from being in a strange group and not having their regular friends around. The camp was to challenge the girls to overcome their mindsets and to forge stronger relationships and sift out their leadership talents. 

Due to the weather, some rope activities was not attempted although all the girls had an opportunity to conquer their fear of heights through activities like abseiling and the zip line. Through much encouragement from their instructors and fellow group mates, many succeeded. 

Over at Pulau Ubin, the girls had to navigate their way through the jungle and terrain to arrive at several checkpoints. It was physically very tiring as some checkpoints took more than 2hrs of walking to reach and the girls had to carry all their food supplies and water along. Everyone took turns to carry these heavy packs that weighed almost 10kg. The highlight of the day was when the groups set down and cooked a simple lunch of noodles and sausages by the jetty. For many girls, it was the first time that they cooked an outdoor meal with just a mess tin and solid fuel. 

Finally, what camp would be complete without a genuine campfire out in the open, under the stars? Groups came up to present their song and dance items. The girls were all in high spirits, cheering and clapping madly for their teammates. 

To conclude, many did come to the camp with their own personal fears and goals, but everyone left feeling that they did try to overcome their challenges.

Pupils' Reflections 
During Day 1, when we went to Pulau Ubin, we were all very excited. My friends led the team and even though we felt at times that we were lost, we still followed and trusted them. We had to climb a steep hill and I learnt perseverance because the path was very rocky and tiring to climb. For day 2, I felt that I had become more confident and courageous after experiencing the high rope course. It taught me to trust my friends since my life was really in their hands. By working as a team, we built up our cooperation and communiation.
Gionnieve Lim, Secondary 2.2 

Before the camp, I felt excited and was looking forward to it. When I knew that there were high rope courses, I felt really nervous as I was afraid of heights. I also felt like a stranger as I didn’t really know the people there as we came from different classes.

During the camp, I felt more relaxed as I got to know more about my group mates and we bonded together with them. When we arrived at Christchurch, I felt even more nervous because of the high rope courses. I told myself that I could do it, and that I must have confidence in myself to overcome my fears. After the camp, I felt that I bonded with my teammates and I’m happy because I did my best and overcame my fears.
Jesslyn Toh, Secondary 2.6

Sec 3 OCIP - China

Girls mixing cement at Feng Lou Primary School
PL Lite teaching handicraft to her peers at Chan Ban Shan Middle School
PL Lites teaching their mass dance to the little children at Fu Li Primary School

On 28 May 2011, a total of 99 Secondary Three pupils and 9 teachers went on an overseas CIP trip to China. They spent a total of 8 days in Yangshuo and Guilin serving local community and sightseeing. The girls mixed cement and laid concrete, painted walls, performed, danced and conducted English lessons and games at Feng Lou Primary School (????), Chao Ban Shan Middle School (?????) and Fu Li Primary School (????). They also went on a city tour and visited the night market as part of their cultural immersion experience. It was an enriching experience for many of the pupils as they got the golden opportunity to learn more about the history and culture of Yangshuo and cultivated deep friendships with the Chinese pupils they met. 

Pupils' Reflections 
The OCIP trip in China was a great experience for me. I have learnt more about their culture and the way of life in China. One thing that I have learnt from them is that China is a very environmentally friendly country. The Chinese people practised the 3 ‘R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, something that we don’t do very often in the comforts of our own home and school, and that has made me realised how fortunate we have been and to appreciate what we have in Singapore. 
Cara Loh, Secondary 3B2 

The OCIP trip has taught me many lessons about life and its purpose. It has helped me to improve my leadership skills. It has taught me not to take things for granted and to be happy with whatever I already have. Also, as it is my first time going overseas without my parents, I had to learn how to be independent. I have made new friends with the Chinese pupils. This has enriched my learning through their sharing about their experiences living and studying in China. 
Deanna Lim, Secondary 3A1

Faithful in Service - Malaysia (Cheras)

28 Secondary Three PL-Lites and 2 teachers went on an enriching and meaningful overseas service-learning trip to Cheras, Malaysia. They worked with Charis Community Service, whose recipients comprised mainly of children either from low-income homes or those who had been abandoned by their families. 

The children in Cheras were taught how to cultivate respect for the environment, others and for themselves in the form of a workshop, activities and team-bonding games. They were also taught presentation skills to boost their confidence levels. They even had the opportunity to visit the homes of the children. 

The PL-Lites also had the chance to perform for the patients from the National Kidney Foundation (NKF). Basic provisions were also provided to the patients. 

The children from Charis Community Services, the NKF patients and the PL-Lites have truly benefitted from this service-learning trip. 

Pupil's Reflection 
The trip to Cheras was fun and allowed us to get to know our schoolmates better. It has also taught us to be more grateful and appreciative of the little things in life. Everyone got along well with the children and some even rose up to the occasion to step out of their comfort zone to teach the children and lead in activities and lessons for them. Most of the elderly NKF patients had many interesting life experiences to share and they were very happy when we kept them company by talking with and singing to them. On the return journey, we started missing the children we had worked with and reminisced about all the little moments that were spent teaching the kids and blessing the people in Cheras. Even though our OCIP trip was a short trip when compared to the CIP trips to China or Cambodia, I feel that it is just as impactful and meaningful. During the trip, we experienced a different lifestyle from what we usually experience back here in Singapore and we have indeed learnt a lot from the people that we had gone there to bless. 
Vinita Lalchand Sheri, Secondary 3A3

3rd East Zone Arts Festival


On 1 June 2011, the 3 rd East Zone Arts Festival was held at the Agape Concert Hall. The arts festival is one of the flagship events organised by the East Zone Centre of Excellence for the Creative Arts (COECA) and Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Pri & Sec) is the COECA. 

Although it was raining heavily that afternoon, close to 700 pupils and teachers from the East Zone schools turned up to watch the performances put up by the various 2011 SYF Central Judging Gold or Gold with Honours awardees. 

Mrs. Christine Ho, Co-chair of the COECA, welcomed the audience and thanked the organising and working committees for their hard work. The Guest of Honour was Mrs Wendy Lim, Deputy Directors, Schools (East), Schools Division. After her Opening Address and presentation of certificates to the performing schools, the student emcess from St Hilda’s Secondary School took over to begin the concert. 

The schools which performed at the 3 rd East Zone Arts Festival were as follows: 
  • Bedok Green Secondary School – Malay Dance
  • MacPherson Secondary School – Indian Dance
  • Manjusri Secondary School – Chinese Dance
  • Tampines Secondary School – Chinese Dance
  • Tanjong Katong Secondary School – Choir
  • Temasek Secondary School – Choir
  • St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School – Guitar Ensemble
  • Loyang Secondary School – Guzheng Ensemble
  • Tampines Junior College – Guzheng Ensemble

It was indeed an afternoon graceful and poised dancing and magical music making.