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November 2011

Cambridge Dinner 2011

Vanessa, strutting her stuff
4A3 girls with Mr T Tan
Ms Cambridge, Vanessa Lum and runners up, with Ms Yoong and Ms Chee

PL held its annual Cambridge Dinner for the Class of 2011 at the Goodwood Park Hotel on 22 November. The theme of the night was PL Oscars , signifying the celebration of the beginning of a new journey upon completion of the PL secondary school life. 

The girls came dressed in their finest and were treated to a delectable 8-course meal. One representative from each class participated in our annual Miss Cambridge Pageant, in which they were judged based on their poise, talent and wit, with Vanessa Lum from 4A4 clinching the title. 

The dinner was not only a glamorous occasion, but also filled with poignant moments as we walked them down memory lane and paid tribute to Mr Lyndon Lim, who will be leaving PL. Our girls not only left with exciting prizes from the Blessed Draw but also unforgettable memories that they will keep for the rest of their lives.

Primary School Prefects’ Camp – “FIREWork”

Working together excitedly
PL prefects and participants having a jolly good time during sharing
Taking notes diligently on 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens', ie in

The PL Prefectorial Board organised a Primary School Prefects’ Camp on 11 and 12 November 2011. The theme of the camp was FIREwork ; an abbreviation for being Fun, Inspirational, Responsible and Effective in your work . The objectives of the camp were to help the participants develop effectiveness, proactiveness, passion and courage to step out of their comfort zones as they serve in their schools. The camp was also a platform for our own prefects to step up and mature in their leadership journey, as well as to learn and interact with the student leaders from the other schools. 

At the non-residential two-day camp, the prefects led 81 participants from PL Primary, Punggol Primary and Woodlands Secondary through sessions where they shared on what they have learnt from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens . The prefects also organised mass game sessions for the participants, and facilitated sharing sessions where the participants and prefects can learn from one another and be inspired in their journey as student leaders. 

Pupils’ Reflections: 
When I first heard about the Primary School Prefects’ Camp, I was especially excited, as I would be working with the logistics team. Preparation for the camp required us to come back to school for dry runs and I was given the honour to design the camp logo too. Through these, I have learnt to plan my time wisely by making certain sacrifices and setting aside time to finish the tasks. 

During the camp, taking care of the logistics required a lot of stamina and planning. From stirring Milo to cutting out blindfolds and distributing sweets, I have learnt a lot about commitment and synergy. In a team, nothing can be accomplished without each other's talents, encouragement and help. 

At the end of the camp, as I bent my knees to clean up the place, I saw the whole sea of prefects, bending and cleaning in unison. That is truly teamwork! 

I believe that we have learnt much more than the primary school prefects have! 
Foo Shuan Enn Johanna Faith Secondary 1.4 

I felt that the Primary School Prefects’ Camp allowed me to forge new friendships and I have also learnt a lot from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens . I will definitely make use of what I have learnt in my role as a prefect. 

I have also learnt to speak more confidently in front of a crowd. I enjoyed the camp thoroughly and I can’t wait to take part in the Primary School Prefects’ Camp next year. 
Abigail Thomson Secondary 2.2 

I have learnt to be proactive and put first things first. Overall I really enjoyed this camp which is much better than the one in 2010. 
Florina Chun Joo En (PLMGS (Pri)) 

I liked the mentors’ confidence. The bond between campers can be stronger, but the camp was still awesome! 
Sanjay (Woodlands Secondary)

PLMGS - Combined Staff Bonding with PL (Pri)

Briefing for the amazing race
Bonding together as ONE
A team with their paper model of the MBS
PL Pri and Sec staff at the MBS

On 18 November the two sister schools had a bonding session. PL Primary and Secondary staff members were placed in teams and the day started off with an ice-breaking game. It provided an opportunity for all to mingle and get to know each other better. 

After this, the staff made their way to the Marina Bay Sands, where they were given a guided tour. After a quick lunch at the Rasapura Food Court and an opportunity to rest their tired feet, the staff was all geared up for the much awaited Amazing Race. The teams had to solve very challenging tasks as they raced from one station to the next. The final task was to create a paper structure of the Marina Bay Sands. The teams ventured into this with gusto, proving once again that no feat is too difficult for them to conquer. 

The bonding session culminated in a Christmas Hi Tea at the Furama Hotel as the staff reflected on the day’s events. Prizes were given to each team to recognise the effort put into the games. The fun and exciting day ended with Christmas carolling

Staff Retreat

Assembling scrumptious sandwiches
Making Singaporean- style sushi
Sumptuous spread for a picnic lunch at Sentosa
Ms Yoong, together with staff (with zero MC), posing with their reward - a bottle of honey.

On 17 November, the PL Staff Welfare Committee (SWC) organised a memorable staff retreat. It started off when the staff was divided into groups to prepare a simple picnic lunch based on the theme of ‘oneness’. Purchases had to be made there and then, using a given budget. The Home Economics kitchen was filled with excitement and laughter as each team displayed their best culinary skills to try to clinch the top prize for the picnic lunch preparation. The teams created mouth-watering and appetising picnic lunches which they brought along with them to Sentosa. 

After tucking into their prepared lunches, everyone stepped back in time as they rekindled their childhood memories, building creative, one metre-high sandcastles, incorporating the theme of oneness. After a quick wash up, the much-awaited sumptuous dinner by the beach was consumed amidst a beautiful orange sky as the sun set. It was truly a lovely evening. 

After dinner, the winning teams for the lunch preparation and the sandcastle building were awarded prizes. Staff and committees that did outstanding work this year were also recognised. Touching tributes were paid to 3 teachers, Mr Lyndon Lim, Ms Valerie Chew and Mdm Amuda, who will be leaving the PL family. We wish them all the best. 

The day came to an end as the staff spread the Christmas cheer by exchanging gifts with one another. Kudos to the SWC for organising such an exciting and fun day of bonding!

Maths and Science Learning @ North Island, New Zealand

Setting off for the Kiwifruit farm tour
Application of Mathematics to find and calculate river flow rates at McLaren Falls ParkMaori Culture Immersion at Pararoa Marae Village
Group photo with Aquinas College buddiesSchool exchange at Aquinas CollegeCommunity Involvement – Revegetation, Conservation and Restoration Project

From 17 to 24 Nov, a team of 19 pupils led by 3 teachers went on an overseas learning expedition to North Island, New Zealand. 

The field work that the pupils experienced in the streams, forests and at the estuary provided a platform for the pupils to gain enriched and deepened knowledge and appreciation of sciences and mathematics and their applications in real world contexts. Our pupils were also fascinated by the works of nature at the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves and the Te Puia Geothermal Park. Physics came alive at the Karapiro Hyrdopower Station and as the pupils manoeuvred the Skyline luges down the mountain slope. Our pupils also saw the involvement of science, technology and mathematics in the farming industry at the kiwifruit farm and the Agrodome. At the Waihi Gold Mine, pupils also saw the combined role of chemistry, biology and mathematics as they learnt about the processes involved in the mining industry and the need to minimise its damaging effects of mining on the environment. 

The pupils also had the opportunity to stay at Paparoa Marae where they were taught to make the Maori poi which was later used in a Maori dance as part of the immersion programme. 

During the visit to Aquinas College at Tuaranga, not only did our PL-Lites interact with their Aquinas buddies, but they also had fun doing tree transplanting together in a local community involvement project which was targeted at revegetation, conservation and restoration of a piece of wet land adjacent to the school. 

The days spent at North Island, New Zealand had indeed been enriching and memorable to the pupils as each day came with a new learning experience to help 
them see and appreciate the importance of mathematics and science in the global environment. 

Pupils’ Reflections 
My knowledge on various subjects such as Mathematics and Science was greatly enhanced. The field work we participated in, such as taking measurements in the stream and observing invertebrates, has enabled me to discover more about myself and that I have a queer fascination with animals or biology in particular. This has helped me to decide on what I would like to work as in the future. Therefore, I am very grateful to Uncle Alan for helping me know what I am interested in. I feel that the things we have learnt during the trip are very relevant such as the urgency and need to conserve our forests and the most memorable visit was indeed to the visit to the splendid Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. 
~ Christine Tun, 3B3 ~ 

I feel that the trip is really good. It is very engaging and an eye-opener. Through the 
visits, the knowledge I have gained is greatly appreciated and I am really thankful for being offered this chance to go take part in the learning journey. This is something I’ll forever remember, a wonderful part of my life. 

I feel that these visits had helped me to step out of my comfort zone and do hands-on science and mathematics in nature. It helped me to understand my surroundings and how nature really comes about. It also bonded my friendships within my group and it had helped me gain new and wonderful friends. 
~ Cherilyn Tang, 2-3 ~ 

The visits were very enriching and interesting. The trip had given me a lot of deepened my knowledge and had interest in mathematics and science. I really like the Skyline where we rode in the luge. I also like the school and maori culture immersion programmes as we got to understand each others’ culture and made new friends. I also like planting the Karamu and the flax in the open land as it was very refreshing. 
~ Amanda Liauw, 3C1A ~ 

We went to a park and measured the water discharge of a river (unit: l/s). We used clinometers, rulers and other tools such as apples to help us with the measurements. During this activity, we were given the opportunity to apply the mathematical skills that we learnt in school. For example, trigonometry was used to measure the gradient of certain parts of the stream. 

A biodiversity assessment and a measurement of the height of a tree were completed in a forest. We used the clinometers to measure the height of the tree. Other mathematical skills like estimation and the calculation of mean were also applied using the measurements obtained. 

It was a very meaningful and fruitful session because we had a chance to get closer to nature and practise our mathematics and science skills. 
~ Xu Ming Xin, 2-2 ~ 

After this trip, my perception of Mathematics and Science has changed. I have seen the real life application of these two subjects and I acknowledge its importance and usefulness in our lives today. From gauging the health of a forest to building large hydro dams, I have witnessed the vitality of Mathematics and Science. 
~ Delia Leow, 3A2 ~ 

The educational sites were really enriching. We had an in-depth look into some of the things we learnt in the classroom. Our guide really worked our brains and we really enjoyed the field work in the environment that was so natural. New Zealand is really respectable for the way the whole country tries to protect the environment. For example, even though most mines are polluted, the Martha mine at Waihi is clean and the government also makes sure Newmount Co., which owns this mine, protects the rivers and vegetation around the pit. I love the estuary! It was absolutely stunning. 
~Deborah Chen, 3A1 ~

PL Teaching and Learning Symposium 2011

On 16 November, the Senior Teachers organised the inaugural PL Teaching and Learning Symposium. The theme of the event was: “To Influence a Community of Learners”. The symposium attracted 70 teachers from the school and 27 teachers from the E5 Cluster. This event provided a platform to build a culture of reflective teaching and continuous learning among educators in the cluster. At the same time, it marked PL’s journey of developing a learning organisation mindset; showcasing some of our school’s Action Research, WITS and Lesson Study projects progressively built up over the years. Four concurrent sessions (featuring 14 different presentations) were conducted by the teachers specially selected for their best practices in teaching and learning. The focus was on curriculum design, pedagogy and assessment, which are key areas of concern for educators in the 21st century.