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March 2011

Overseas School Exchange : Hong Kong

Our overseas learning journey to Hong Kong was indeed a memorable one. We learnt much about Hong Kong and her people from visiting the historical sites and attending lessons at the Hong Kong Baptist University Affiliated Baptist School : Wong Kam Fai Secondary School, where we had our school exchange.

Among the places we visited were The Hong Kong History Museum and The Golden Bauhinia Square which commemorates the historic handover of Hong Kong to China. From the school exchange, we realised that the school life in Hong Kong is not very different from ours in Singapore. Their lessons focused a lot on National Education as well as current affairs and we found the local students attentive and responsive. The time we spent in school was enriching and eye-opening.

Staying in the homes of our host families was a real novelty as we got a glimpse of what life was like in a local Hong Kong family home. At first, we were worried as some of us were staying alone with people we did not know, but we ended up having a great time bonding with our host buddies and their family members. We found them very warm and kind and we felt very much at home.

My team learnt that sometimes we needed to be independent and to think on our feet and solve problems together. We also learnt the importance of friendship as many of us had to get to know friends we did not know well. We got to make new friends and learnt how to be more responsible for ourselves and each other.
We thoroughly enjoyed all that we have learnt in our trip to Hong Kong and will certainly keep our new-found friends in our hearts.
Wong Minn Rachel, Sec 2.2

The PL Records

Altogether now...CRUUNCH!!!

Ms Pamela Yoong, being presented the certificate by Mr Lai, the official from the SBOR

Amanda and Elsa, our record-breaking girls!

Chew...the Champion House!!!

Jumping Jack

Our four houses

Ball Pass

Shuttle Run

The 36 th Annual Athletics Meet in PL was a creative event that embodied PL's innovative and united spirit. Together as oneschool, regardless of competition between the four houses, we challenged ourselves to Infinity and Beyond as we strived to break our own personal records in the 20 activities as well as to set a new record in the Singapore Book of Records (SBOR) for the biggest number of people eating apples at the same time. 

This year’s Athletics Meet was held in both Primary & Secondary schools. There were a total of 6 venues: the PL Primary and Secondary Indoor Sports Hall and Shaw Halls, the Parade Square & Outdoor Track. All six levels of pupils from Primary 5 to Secondary 4 did their best to complete 20 activities which ranged from Jumping Jack, Skipping, Hula Walk, Cross Hopping to Soccer Dribble. 

We also had 2053 of PL-Lites, staff and parents setting a new record for the biggest number of people eating apples at the same time. In addition, two Secondary pupils broke the previous record set in the SBOR for the most number of netball goals scored individually in 1 minute and two Primary pupils set new records for Spinopper and Jumping Jack. 

Pupils' Reflections
To Infinity and Beyond might just be a catchphrase used by Buzz Lightyear from the movie Toy Story 3 , but to us, it goes beyond that. The Sports Day Committee 2011 would like to thank PL for the wonderful opportunity to plan PL's first record-breaking event, and it has most definitely been an honour. 

The planning process, although tough and frustrating, was a good learning experience. Having to meet whenever we could, re-doing proposals and the last minute changes we had to deal with were things we learnt that are inevitable in any planning. 

PL has given us a great learning platform through this event. We had the chance to work with other people from the various CCAs, allowing us to recognise as well as embrace each other's strengths and weaknesses. The fact that the record-breaking event was a success brought great satisfaction and joy to us. 
Estee Seah & Blossom Tan , Sec 4A1, Sports Committee 

I am very happy that, together with my senior and team mate, Amanda, we broke Singapore's record for the most number of netball goals shot by an individual in one minute. I have learnt from this process that we should seize the opportunity and pursue excellence. Also, I learnt that nothing is impossible and that we should give our best shot in all that we do! 
Elsa Sim, Sec 3A3 (Record Breaker of Netball Shoot Out)

Stepping Out

A class bonding in Klang

A visit to the High 5 Bread Factory

An Origami Success

At the Dayspring Training Centre
Building friendship with
children in GSH
Little John - one of the heartthrobs in GSH
PL Lites with the children of GSH
Teaching the children
computer skills

36 pupils from Secondary 1.8 and 2.8, 2.7 and 4D1 began their March Holidays by blessing the less fortunate in an Overseas Community Involvement Project (OCIP) to Klang, Malaysia. The group visited The Good Samaritan Home (GSH) and the Dayspring Training Centre (DTC) from 11 to 13 March 2011, with their teachers, Ms Haida and Mdm Zalena as well as the facilitators, Ms Ann Lui and Mr Nicholas Choo,

At the GSH, participants befriended the children, whose ages ranged between 3 to 13, and taught them computer and social skills. Upper primary children were taught how to create Powerpoint presentations, while the lower primary and kindergarten children were taught ways to cultivate good habits such saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. They also had fun playing games and singing songs with the adorable and enthusiastic children.

In addition, the PL-Lites had a meaningful experience at the DTC when they learned to accept and manage differences as they interacted with children with developmental delays and learning difficulties. They befriended and patiently taught origami to the children, aged between the ages 9 to 16. They did PL proud when they stayed calm and showed their understanding when dealing with difficult children or when they faced unexpected events at the centre.

All in all, the OCIP to Klang has been an enriching experience for both the pupils and teachers.

Pupils' Reflections
I have overcome my fear of speaking to others in public. I have also learnt to step out of my comfort zone to help others who may be less privileged.
Reubena Vaythamanickam, Sec 2.7

Class Bonding Day 2011

Last year PLMGSS initiated her 1 st class bonding day. This year was no different, albeit on a larger scale. It was a day that saw every single pupil from all four levels out of class from 7.30am to 12noon for the purpose of building one another up and fostering closer ties between each other and their teachers. 

The Sec 1s travelled to Botanical Gardens for a time of fun and games and a picnic in the park, whilst the Sec 4s stayed mostly in school where they held activities like a charity car-wash for teachers and staff, culinary cooking lessons and an inter-class sports competition. Other levels like the Sec 2s and 3s were dispersed all over the island, some to East Coast Park and Sentosa for a time of kite-flying, beach volleyball and even a sand-castle building competition and others to the Marina Barrage. 

All agreed that it was a good way to release the pressures from the 1st term and to re-connect with each other and their teachers. 

Pupils' Reflections
My class had chosen to organise a car wash to benefit the Agape fund and it was completely enjoyable. We blasted the music while we worked hard in our various teams to wash the teachers’ and staff cars. We enjoyed it so much that it didn’t matter that we were exhausted afterwards because we grew so much closer to our friends. We were also glad to clean our form teacher’s (Ms Lim) car which was full of stuffed Stitches! All in all, we worked hard, played hard and got many cars shining and clean! 
Vanessa Lum , Sec 4A4

East Zone Inter-School Badminton Championships

B division girls with their trophies 
C division girls with their trophies 

The School Badminton Team took part in the East Zone Inter-School Badminton Championships in the months of Feb and Mar 2011. Both teams played very well and did the school proud. The B Division team led by Captain Melissa Foo Xing Wen (Sec 4A2), Vice-Captain Mabel Foo Zhi Qi (Sec 4A3) and Vice-Captain Ng Yon Mei (Sec 3C1) emerged 2 nd . The C Division team led by Captain Ho Yu Ning (Sec 2-1), Vice-Captain Rachel Foo Shijia (Sec 2-7) and Vice-Captain Ong Wei Ling, Brenda (Sec 2-4) emerged 4 th . The School Badminton Team would like to thank all teachers and fellow schoolmates for their unwavering support, encouragement and prayers.

PLMGSS bags distinctions!

In November 2010, 22 pupils from Secondary 2 took part in the LAMDA Spoken English Examination. This is one of the many ways in which we can affirm our pupils, by getting them accredited to an internationally recognised Examination Centre. In this exam, the pupils put to practice what they have been learning for the past two years in PL in the English Programme. The pupils had to prepare a written piece and then converse with an examiner from Londonon a set topic. 

The girls presented themselves in a confident manner when they sat for the examination. They were rewarded for their hard work when the all 22 of them garnered for themselves Distinctions. Congratulations to all the pupils involved.

3rd PL Parents’ Conference 2011

Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Secondary) collaborated with her Parents-School Support Group to organise the last of a series of three PL Parents’ Conference on Saturday, 5 March 2011. This year, we were privileged to partner with NorthEast CDC, MCYS and students from the Republic Polytechnic. 

Present to grace the occasion were the Guest of Honour, Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and MP of Aljunied GRC and Mdm Cynthia Phua, MP of Aljunied GRC as the Host for the conference. After the Welcome Address by our Principal, Ms Pamela Yoong and the Opening Speech by Mr Rasheed, the participants were treated to a drama production specially written for the conference with the theme ‘Leaving a Legacy of Love’. It was a fitting climax to conclude the entire series of our parents’ conferences. 

In addition, the participants brought home much knowledge and skills from a wide range of experienced workshop speakers. The experts included Mr Arthur Ling who spoke on ‘Loving Beyond Yourself’, Ms Khoo Seok Lin on ‘Major On The Majors’, Dr Ho Boon Tiong on ‘Meaningful Conversations’, Mr Jason Wong on ‘A Father’s Love’, Mr Jeffrey Goh on ‘Joy In Family Traditions’, Dr John Ng on ‘Peace At Home’ and Mrs Chua Yen Ching on ‘What I Would Like My Children To Remember Me For’. 

A total of 379 participants attended the conference and more than 90% gave very encouraging and positive feedback.

Learning Journey to New York

For many of us, this trip to New York City, from 25 February 2011to 6 March 2011, was our first to the United States. With excited spirits and inquiring minds, we departed from sunny Singapore to having the privilege of living life like any regular New Yorker would, threading our way through the city and adventuring around the subway system. 

We visited the iconic Statue of Liberty National Monument, which symbolizes freedom for all. We also learnt about the significant meanings behind the four symbols which embody the Statue of Liberty. The World Trade Centre, also known as Ground Zero, was the site where many Americans and foreigners alike perished from the devastating terrorist attacks. We listened to the verbal accounts from the victims from the 9/11 attacks which touched many of our hearts. 

The highlight of the trip was the opportunity to visit the United Nation’s General Assembly and to be able to participate in the UNIS-UN Conference. The theme of the conference was The Web: Wiring Our World . We heard from many keynote speakers such as the founding chairman of One Laptop per Child. Grace Goh, our Head Prefect, represented the school and Singaporeto deliver a speech on the internet usage of Singaporeans and the international community. 

Overall, this trip was like no other. The opportunity to be an independent learner and to be able to experience a whole new lifestyle for a week is an irreplaceable for many of us. 

Pupils' Reflections
This trip has been an enriching experience for me, as it was my first trip to the Big Apple! It has exposed me to a whole new world from a totally different perspective. Attending an All-AmericanHigh School was indeed an experience that I would never forget as it thought me to appreciate the education system that we have here in Singapore. Another take away from the trip was the many friendship that I have forged while visiting the United Nations International School. 
Keely New , Sec 4A1

Hong Kong Student Exchange Programme

I am very glad to have the opportunity to be part of this student exchange programme. The Hong Kong student whom I hosted is Kelly. 

During the two weeks when Kelly was in Singapore, she accompanied me for all my lessons and school activities. At home, we had many opportunities to share about our interests as well as to learn from each other the similarities and differences in our cultures and lifestyles. We had fun staying up late at night to chit-chat and to complete our homework. As we grew closer to each other, Kelly became more like a sister to me. 

When it was time for Kelly to leave, it was a sad moment for my classmates and I to bid her farewell. I recalled the many beautiful memories that we shared during the exchange program. I have learnt so many things from Kelly and really enjoyed my time hosting her. I have learnt how to be a good host, ensuring that Kelly felt welcome at my house. As Kelly was more comfortable with Cantonese and Mandarin, I tried my best to communicate to her using Mandarin. As a result, my command of the Chinese Language has improved since I started hosting her. Should she come to PL for an exchange program in the future, I would be most glad to host her again! 
Pang Pei Yi, Sec 2.5 

Meeting my buddy, Janet Li, for the first time was an exciting experience for me. I can still remember vividly how anxious I was even hours before she arrived. 

Initially, we were both very shy and hardly spoke with each other. However, as time passed, we started to chat and discovered many interesting things about each other and our cultures. During the exchange program, we visited many places of interest such as the Singapore Zoological Gardens, Sentosa, the Orchard shopping belt and Chinatown. During the visits, Janet also had the opportunity to try out different local delights such as laksa and chicken rice. She really enjoyed the laksa even though it was very spicy. 

As we attended classes together, Janet also got to know many of my classmates. Some of my classmates and I went out together with Janet and took ‘neoprints’ to capture memorable moments. 
When it was time for Janet to return to Hong Kong, both my classmates and I were really sad and could not bear to see her leave because we had so much fun together and shared so many wonderful memories. We will definitely continue to contact each other through Facebook and emails. I am very glad to be given the opportunity and privilege to host Janet. The exchange programme has definitely been a very meaningful and enjoyable experience for me. 
Sarah Ong, Sec 2.1