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August 2014

PL Sec Choir clinches Gold in the Singapore International Choral Festival

On 22 August 2014, the PLMGS (Sec) Choir took part in the inaugural Singapore International Choral Festival (SICF) which was held in the Singapore Chinese Orchestral Hall. The choir competed in the category for equal voices (under 16 years old), clinching a Gold Award. It was placed third for the category. The Choir also performed in VivoCity as part of the outreach programme of the SICF. 

Student's Reflections: 
“The whole period of preparation was exhausting. There were times when Carine and I, the student conductors of the choir, had to lead the practice. At the end of these practices, I would always be ready to just collapse. I am happy to say though, that through the year, PL One Voice has grown tremendously. There are many members of the choir who I can see now take practice much more seriously as well as many who are stepping up to be leaders in their both big and small ways. I am very thankful to the school for allowing us to use the Agape Concert Hall for our practice, twice even. Those practices were very beneficial for us as we got used to projecting in a hall. The venue of our competition hall was the Singapore Conference Hall. 

The training process was difficult and we encountered many challenges but it was all worthwhile when we sang on stage on 23August for the Singapore International Choral Festival. Our songs were not flawless but we sang to our best ability and it was one of the best times we had sung our pieces. Sure mistakes were made, but I could tell that we all enjoyed ourselves and that is what was most important to me. Many times, during choir practice, I see many of my fellow choir members dead tired and obviously not wanting to be there. I was overjoyed when it was announced that the choir had clinched a gold award as well as third in our category, but this was the most wonderful part of the performance for me; that the choir was truly united in our love for making music. I thank the Lord for seeing us through this competition and the period of our preparation for it. He has granted strength to the whole choir. Without him, I believe that our success would not have been possible. A thousand thanks are not enough to sound his praise.” 

Then all of you can join together with one voice , giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Romans 15:6 (NLT) 
From Hung En En Isabel, Secondary 3A1 

“The 1 st Singapore International Choral Festival was certainly a wonderful experience for the choir that we'll never forget. During this long journey, bonds were strengthened as the choir faced hours of intense practice. In the end, everything was worth it as long as we knew that we did our best. Most importantly, the lessons and values that we have learnt during these months will definitely serve us as we learn to persevere and have resilience no matter the challenges we face.” 
From Carine Lim, Secondary 3A4
National Schools Literature Festival - Keeping the Flame Alive 
Sec 3 Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry DebateSec 3 Unseen Text Debate
Sec 2 Merchant of Venice Book DisplaySec 1 Red Sky in the Morning Book Trailer

The National Schools Literature Festival this year was held on the 12 July at Crescent Girls' School. PL girls took part in all the 6 events of the festival and enjoyed a time of learning Literature in a fun and novel way. A group of Lower Secondary students put up a Book Parade display on The Merchant of Venice and a Book Trailer on Red Sky in the Morning , which attained 2 nd position in their category. Another group of Lower and Upper Secondary students also competed in the Poetry Slam. Upper Secondary students also formed debate teams and took part in a Set Text Debate on Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and an Unseen Text debate. Both teams emerged winners in their debates. Lastly, Joy Wong from 3A4 also submitted her short story 'The Beast' for the inaugural Flash Fiction competition. She was awarded 1 st place in the Upper Secondary Category and her entry was published in a memento notebook given out to the participants of the festival. 
Student's Reflections:

“The literature festival this year has been an eye opener to me. From the opening speech to the debates and the poetry slams, I was exposed to the different sides of Literature. As I was also involved in a debate, it was interesting to listen to the different views that my competitors had to share. I enjoyed the gripping discussions that we had and I definitely enjoyed the time spent there.” 
From Alicia Chua, 3A2

“I believe the Literature Festival was an enriching and fun time for all of us, especially for those with a burning passion for the arts like me. The Unseen Debate was a good opportunity for me and my team to not only debate but also share our interpretation of Marc Nair's poem with our opponent, TKGS. It reminded me of the beauty of poems - how several chosen words strung together could bring forth various ideas and expressions. For me, the key event of the Festival was the Flash Fiction competition where my entry was featured. It came as a pleasant surprise for me as it was the first time I participated in a writing competition and actually managed to clinch a trophy. I would like to thank the organisers of the Literature Festival, as well as the teachers for their guidance and of course my team and schoolmates who supported us all the way. I am looking forward to subsequent events that would celebrate the spirit of Literature.” 
From Joy Wong 3A4

Sidewalk Astronomy @ PL

Our resident Astronomer explaining that “the sky is not the limit”Our student astronomer helping outMany PL-Lites turned up with their families
Some of our visitors for the eventsCharis, Rianne & Hui FangThe Astronomy Team

On 1 August 2014, PL was one of the five venues for the Sidewalk Astronomy which was held in conjunction with the Singapore Science Festival 2014. It was organized by A*Star and the Science Centre. This was an opportunity for the Astronomy Interest Group in PL to serve the community at large. It was an opportunity for us to declare the glory of God by showing his handiwork a little closer. Preparations were made one month in advance with Mr Chow Kar Fai liaising with the Science Centre. 14 Girls from Sec 1 to 3 volunteered their services for this event. They had to go for training at the Science Centre to facilitate the Astronomy session. The Teachers in-charge included Mr Chow, Mr Victor Go and Mr Thomson.
There were more than 180 participants. This was much larger than what we expected, given that our venue was the only one that was not exactly on the ‘sidewalk’. In fact it was held next to our third level basketball court area.

The day started off cloudy but cleared sufficiently at dusk for us to view some stars and the planets Mars and Saturn. Many of the visitors were amazed to see Saturn’s rings. We were also blessed that day with a gibbous moon. However, to Mr Alfred Tan’s consternation it was still not clear enough for him to show the crowd an example of a nebula.

From the feedback we received, many among the public were grateful that we organized this event for them. Many came to thank us personally. For us it was really satisfying to see the young and old, many of them for the first time getting a chance to peek through a telescope. We were also the only one among the 5 venues to project the telescopic view onto a screen for all to enjoy.
Our young budding astronomers also benefitted greatly from the session which they helped to facilitate. 

Student's Reflections:
“From what I've learnt at the training session and applied onto the actual day, I realised that Science Communicators here in Singapore have a tough job. Science is a subject with many complex concepts and terminology and yet we must communicate in a way that everyone understands. Through the company of the stars, I learnt that helping others get new information could be fun, especially when you see that star struck look on their faces of the spectators.”
From Wee Chun Hui. 1.2

“I learned a lot of things such as conveying the idea of how stars and planets are completely two different things using simple terms. I also got to know more people who have a passion for astronomy. I was really happy when they asked me questions and were eager to know more about astronomy. I loved to share my knowledge and experiences in star gazing because I really hope that more people would appreciate this branch of science better.”
From Ignasia Hanny 3A1

“The sidewalk astronomy was fun and I have learnt a couple of lessons from it. Firstly, I learnt that it was not easy to explain things to others especially when we use a lot of technical terms, as not all of the visitors understood them. We should find an easier way to explain things and make it as interesting as possible so that they could learn something from their visit. Secondly as the host, we have to be responsive and approachable whenever the visitors need our assistance or have some questions in their minds. In doing so, we have to show a positive attitude and gestures such as smiling and be polite when speaking to them.”
From Anastasia Patricks 3A1

PL Leadership Week and 6th PL-NYC Student Leadership Conference 2014

Student leaders participating in the forumSeeking leadership advice from Ms Tan
Thanking Ms Georgette Tan, our Guest-of-HonourVisiting the Sec 3 FIS 2013 photo exhibition

Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Sec) believes that every child is a leader. We strive to equip our students with the knowledge and skills of a leader, while giving them a firm foundation in their character and value system. This year’s PL Leadership Week involved collaboration with the National Youth Council, the Singapore Committee of United Nations, People’s Association and the National Institute of Community Leaders. Held on 12 August 2014, the 6th PL-NYC Student Leadership Conference marked the end of PL’s second 3-year cycle and it comprised 2 parts including a forum, followed by 10 concurrent workshops. This year, our student leaders welcomed 300 student leaders and teachers from 26 schools.

The theme of this year’s PL Student Leadership Forum was “Inspiring Leaders in the Global Community”, placing emphasis on learning important lessons from home-grown leaders who have ventured and excelled beyond the shores of Singapore, and being inspired to have a heart to serve the people beyond. We were honoured to have with us this year, Ms Georgette Tan, Group Head, Communications for the Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa region of Mastercard, and Exco member of the Singapore Committee of United Nations, who shared with us her leadership journey. The second part of the conference saw student leaders from 9 schools and UN Women SG conducting 9 student-led workshops and 1 organisation-led workshop focusing on sharing leadership and Values in Action programmes. The student leaders enjoyed the opportunity to learn from each other and they brought back their learning to their various student leadership boards.

Student's Reflections:
“This leadership conference has helped me to grow as a leader. I have learnt many valuable lessons during this conference which I would apply in my daily duties as a PL prefect. Learning from other student leaders has widened my perspective of effective leadership. The sharing by the various key speakers taught me the many ways in which we can all be leaders and how great leaders carry out their responsibilities. I truly enjoyed this conference and I am glad to have this opportunity to participate in it.”
From Hazzeena, Secondary 3A1

“Leadership week in PL was enriching as it helped me to grow to become a better student leader. The leadership conference is meaningful because student leaders from different schools have the opportunity to interact with each other. I definitely enjoyed leadership week!”
From Megan Nicole Lew, Secondary 2.5

CCA Fiesta 2014

Students from Sports CCA joining the GB girls in serving the children from a homeLearning Discipline and Teamwork through footdrillsUG students having fun in the pool as part of swim training

To enhance the CCA experience of PL-Lites, the CCA Fiesta this year was organized for all Secondary 1 and 2 students in a Sports or Uniformed Group (UG). During the CCA Fiesta, all students in the UG were given an opportunity to participate in a sport CCA of their choice and all students in the Sports CCA participated in a UG programme for 2 weeks from 12 to 22 August 2014.

The sports CCA sessions were tailored by the various coaches to incorporate elements of fitness and the basic skills of the game into each session for the students from the Uniformed Group, many of whom have never participated in a Sports CCA before. For the students from the Sports CCA, they learnt basic first aid and camp craft skills, were exposed to the discipline of foot-drills and some even had an opportunity to hold a rifle in their time in NPCC.

Student's Reflections:

“I learnt compassion, courage, patience and self-control during the 2 week programme in the Girls Brigade.”
From Sec 2 Volleyball student

“The programme was well run. I enjoyed my experience in a ‘new’ CCA.”
From Sec 1 GB student

Health Week 2014

This week (25-29 August 2014), PL Commemorates Health Week as a reminder to all staff and PL-Lites to live a healthy lifestyle. This year, the theme is “Choose It, Live It”. It was chosen to remind everyone to choose good health habits such as eating wisely and taking time to exercise.

So head down to the gym for the gym challenge, nominate a friend whom you think deserves the “Healthy PL Lite” award and submit your suggestions to build a healthier school today. In addition, look out for the sale of healthy snacks in the canteen this week. More details will be announced during the Assembly periods this week.

Be a healthy PL-Lite. 

Mavis Saw receives the Lee Kuan Yew Award for Outstanding Normal Course Students (Normal Technical)

We congratulate our alumni PL-Lite, Mavis Saw Kai Lin (4D1, Class of 2013) on being conferred the Lee Kuan Yew Award for Outstanding Normal Course Students (Normal Technical).

Undaunted by disability

(Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission) 

The school congratulates Ms Chia Yong Yong (PL Alumni, 1969-1978) on her appointment as Nominated Member of Parliament in September 2014. The first physically disabled parliamentarian in Singapore, Ms Chia will serve a two and a half year term.

In an interview with the Straits Times, she recounted her days as a student in PLMGS.

She started tripping and falling in kindergarten, but was diagnosed with peroneal muscular atrophy only at 15. As her muscle tissue progressively weakened, she used crutches, then a wheelchair. She has not been able to stand for more than 20 years and her hands have grown limp and curled as well.

Her alma mater, Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School, worked around her mobility issues - yet treated her as normally as possible. Her former secondary school principal, Mrs Winnie Tan, gave her ground-floor classrooms.
Friends helped her to the laboratory and chapel on the second floor, exemplifying the school's ethos as a "household of love and faith", Mrs Tan says.

Ms Chia says: "If I was too talkative, I would be made to stand up. The teachers didn't treat me differently."

She is a lawyer at Yusarn Audrey Law Firm and she has been President of the Society for the Physically Disabled since 2008.

In 2011, she was awarded the President’s Social Service Award, by the President of the Republic of Singapore for voluntary contributions made to the social service sector.

In 2013, she was awarded the Public Service Medal (PBM) in the National Day Awards in recognition of her exemplary service rendered to Singapore.

Ms Liew Wei Li visits PLMGS (Sec)

On 18 August, Ms Liew Wei Li, Director, Student Curriculum Development Division, visited PL to dialogue with the School Leaders, Middle Managers and teachers. During her meeting with the School Leaders and Middle Managers, the Co-curricular team had the opportunity to share with her the school's Co-curricular Programme and Values in Action Programme. This was followed by a dialogue session with the teachers over tea. 

PL celebrates the nation’s 49th National Day

On 8 August, PLMGS (Sec) commemorated the nation’s 49th birthday with much enthusiasm. There was a combined PLMGS (Primary and Secondary) parade segment showcasing PL’s uniformed groups which marched with pride and precision. This was followed by the Colours Award presentation to recognise the service and leadership of our committed and dedicated student leaders. The concert presentation included performances by the Guitar Ensemble, D’Arts (Chinese Drama), PL Dance, our Indian students and students Sec 1.8 and, last but not least, our teachers who led the school in the community singing. They beheld the joyous spirit with their well-choreographed songs and dance items. Our Guest of Honour, Pastor Richard Ong, PSSG Alumni Representative, guests, parents and the PL Family all left with a special feeling of pride and honour for our nation.

East Zone A*Star Science Fair 2014

On 29 July 2014, 4 groups of students from Secondary Two ACE Science programme represented PLMGS (Sec) at the East Zone A*Star Science Fair 2014 organised by Victoria Junior College. They presented their science projects to researchers from Agency for Science, Technology and Research. The students worked very hard for the project. They read up on science research papers to formulate their hypothesis and performed experiments using the Scientific Method.

We are proud to announce that one of the groups clinched the Bronze Award under the Lower Secondary Open Category with their project, “Removal of Heavy Metal Ions using Dried Leaves”. The members of the winning team were Chen TingYu, Chloe and Michelle Seet Su Ling, both from Secondary 2.1.

Students Reflections: 
“This Ace Science project was extremely enriching and taught me to think out of the box. Through the project, I have learnt to persevere and understood the meaning of commitment even more as we had to invest time and effort into finding information and putting it together to finish our research paper. The Science Fair held in Victoria Junior College was an eye-opener. There were many different project titles and it showed me that science is in our everyday lives and it can be interesting after all. It has changed my perception on what science is all about.”
from Michelle Seet Su Ling, Secondary 2.1

“The ACE Science project required a lot of commitment including going back to school during the holidays, weeks of researching and editing of our research paper, and repeating the experiment to ensure fairness and accuracy. However, when the project was finally done and ready for presentation, I felt quite proud of our project as it was the result of our few months of hard work. Even though we did not win the competition, it was is a great one-time experience, and I am glad that I did not give up.”
from Bethany Lim, Secondary 2.1

“Through this East Zone Science Fair, I have learnt that it required commitment and efforts in science experiments. Time management was also important because even though we had half a year to complete, coming up with an experiment to work on was not easy. We had to go through 2 experiments which were both unsuccessful and not so interesting before coming up with our final experiment. Our final experiment required us to filter the dried leaves and saw dust out from the solutions one by one, 54 times across 3 days. To make sure that the experiment was fair, it should be repeated more than once. In addition, I had to analyse and compare results to ensure that the hypothesis was correct. Overall, it was a good and fun learning experience.”
from Chen TingYu, Chloe, Secondary 2.1

EAS and Contract Staff Bonding - National Day Fruit Fiesta

On 8 August 2014, PL had a grand National Day celebration, complete with a Parade, Colours Award Presentation and a Concert. All teachers and students headed home after the celebration which ended in late morning. The Executive and Administrative Staff (EAS) and contract staff, together with the School Leaders and Senior Deans, had their own National Day celebration in the afternoon. It was a fruit fiesta, complete with mangosteen, grapes, cherries and longans. The highlight of the fruit fiesta was the all-time thorny favourite, the durians! It was 'finger-licking good' as they sat in groups and pried open the thorny durians to get to the creamy flesh. They chatted and laughed as they chomped delightfully at the fruits. It was a double celebration as it was also our Vice Principal 1, Mrs Esther Chee's birthday. How apt it was that in following the 'fruits' theme, she was presented with a lychee birthday cake. The staff happily sang her a birthday song and everyone had a slice of the refreshing cake.

It was a wonderful National Day celebration for the EAS and contract staff. May the Lord keep them healthy and strong and fill their lives with goodness as they enjoy their work and serve the school.

PSSG Alumni Gathering

On 6 August 2014, the Parents-School Support Group (PSSG) Alumni invited its members back to PL for a session of updates and fellowships. Formed by parents whose daughters, who either have graduated or are in their final year of studies in PL, the members interacted over dinner. Many parents were thankful of the education that their daughters received in PL. A number also shared how their daughters missed the singing of Christian songs during morning devotion and the care and concern shown by the teachers. The session ended with a group photo and a promise to stay in contact with “their alma mater”.