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March 2014

2014 ASCD Learning Journey
At the entrance of the LA Convention Centre
Guided tour at UCLA
Biology class at Marymount High School Briefing by the chef-turned-educator

Attending the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development(ASCD) Conference held in Los Angeles, USA from 15 to 17 March 2014 was an exciting learning opportunity for the team comprising Mrs Jesumathy Christopher, Mdm Heryani, Ms Melissa Choo and I. The theme for the 2014 ASCD conference ‘@ Every Learner: Someday Is Now’ focused on the urgency to act on our beliefs and purpose that enable us ‘to learn, to teach and to lead’. The ‘someday’ is now and that the teachers must dare to be innovative, empower the students and embrace the differences. 

Besides attending the Conference, we also visited a few learning institutes and the experience left a deep impression on us. At the University of California, Los Angeles, we were brought around by a university student guide. From the way she spoke, it was evident that she was passionate about her university and all that it aimed to achieve. 

At Marymount High School, what struck me most were the engaging learning activities. A Biology lesson on dissection was more than just cutting up an animal. The teacher, who just returned from a professional attachment, was not only competent, her knowledge and disposition encouraged questions from the students. The class was learning beyond the syllabus and the students were truly immersed in the topic discussed. 

We also visited the Doyle Career Transition Centre which was a training centre for the students with Special Needs. It was inspiring to see educators who were sold out to the vision of equipping their students with skills and bridging them to real world workplace for attachment, so that the challenges which the students will be facing in the future can be surmounted, one step at a time. One such example was a chef-turned-educator who meticulously and patiently taught the students how to cook and even set up a café so that they can function in the community. 

Beyond the conference and school visits, our learning was further enriched by visiting to the various places of educational interest, such as The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, the Griffith Park Observatory and the California Science Centre and Endeavour, the space shuttle where we learnt of its glorious past till its retirement as a museum showpiece at the California Science Centre. 

We thank God that even though the team was diverse in different age, teaching experience, race and religion, we were able to stay united and focused in our purpose, that was to learn and be equipped with the latest development in education. 
Reported by Ms Gan Lay Leng, Senior Dean, Co-Curricular Programme

Singapore Mathematics Project Festival

Prize to our winners of 2014 Singapore Mathematics Project Festival 

The ACE (Mathematics) students participated in the 2014 Singapore Mathematics Project Festival organised by the Singapore Mathematical Society, NUS in February this year. This competition aims to encourage innovative and creative work in Mathematics. The students came up with a Mathematics research topic, thoroughly explored and carried their ideas out from start to finish before submitting a detailed report to the organiser. 

We congratulate Luanne Yong Yue Rong, Mildred Sim Phin, Matthea Loo Wei Ern and Natalie Soh Hann from Secondary 4A1 for receiving an Honourable Mention in the 2014 Singapore Mathematics Project Festival (Senior Category). The team’s research topic was ‘An Extension of Pick’s Theorem’. 

An act of appreciation from Keely New who demonstrates the PL G.R.A.C.E. values

(Source: ????© Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission) On 4 March 2014, the Lianhe Wanbao carried a report on an anonymous Nanyang Junior College (NYJC) student who gave teachers and students a treat at the canteen drinks stall accompanied by 32 handwritten notes in November 2013. She was an alumni PL-Lite, Miss Keely New (Sec 4A1, Class of 2011). The report noted comments from PrincipalofNYJC who said he had wanted to reveal the girl’s name when the A Levels results were distributed yesterday. However, he kept it as a secret to surprise his staff and students. The Principal of NYJC also said he would share this through the school’s official Facebook page as there were still many who were unaware of the girl’s identity. Keely was well-liked by both teachers and her peers in school and was awarded the Edusave Character Award in August 2013.

Skip, Splash & Dash 2014 (PLthlon: Tri for Him)

Chew house cheerleaders  dancing to the top!
Dodsworth cheerleaders in action!
Lee house united as  one in their mass run…
Lower secondary tag teams skipping in the first competitive event of the day! Splashing 6 laps in the pool Overall champion for 2014 – Archer!
Archer house in the mass run
Chew winning the Inter-house cheering champion!
Parent and PL staff formed  tag teams in the PL race.

The PL Sports Day was held on 13March 2014 (Thursday) in the Hougang Stadium and Swimming Complex. The Guest of Honour of the event was Mrs Caroline Wu, PrincipalofTanjong Katong Primary School. We are grateful for the wonderful weather that allowed the entire school to enjoy the event. 

In line with the school theme for the year, Honour the Lord, the theme for the Sports Day was PLthlon: TRI for Him. In choosing the theme for the Sports Day, we were reminded that in all that we do, we should give our best for the Lord. 

“Skip, Splash & Dash” was aptly named because of the triathlon events that the students were competing in. They had to complete 500 skips, a 300 m swim and a 2 km run, either individually or as a tag team of three. There was even a race for the parent and teacher teams. We also had our primary 5 and 6 sisters joining us in this fun event. 

The highlight of PL Sports Day has always been the cheer competition in which we would witness the creative choreography of the dance committees of each house. This year, Chew house emerged the champions of the inter-house cheering competition! 

We would like to extend our heartiest congratulations to the overall champion house of 2014, Archer. 

Pupils' Reflection: 
“I learnt to persevere through difficult situations. For example, when I was running I really wanted to quit and give up but I was glad that I did not give up. Being in the individual event as a Secondary 1 was quite tough and I had to push myself to go further to achieve more. I learnt that it was important to stay committed and be consistent. Overall I think that this year's Sports Day was awesome.” 
Ariette Koh from Secondary 1-7 

“Today's Sports Day was fun and enjoyable. As a student helper, I had the opportunity to watch the PL-Lites run and swim to the best of their ability, especially during the mass events when they put in all their efforts for their house. It really inspired me seeing them work together and cheer each other on. It also encouraged the others to press on and never give up. I was really grateful for today's good weather, as the PSI only increased after Sports Day.” 
Samantha Low, Secondary 2-4 

“This year’s Sports Day was a truly enjoyable experience for me. As part of the Cheer-Leading Committee, I managed to have a glimpse of what exactly it felt like to be stepping up and guiding the House as a leader. I have learnt many valuable lessons such as initiative and responsibility through the many house meetings. Skip, Splash & Dash 2014 was a success even though my house did not win this year.” 
Mageshree Elahmarin from Secondary 3B1 

“This year's Sports Day was really fun and exciting. It gave me opportunities to lead and serve the house as Captain. Through this sporting event, we all learnt the spirit of unity and true sportsmanship and fought hard alongside the other houses. Everyone put in their best effort especially in the mass events and seeing everyone's working hard made me feel comforted. Though victory was something that we all worked towards, we will definitely not forget the journey we all took together. Win or lose – we will praise the Lord and may all victory be used to glorify him!” 
Carissa Teng from Secondary 4A2

IP Talk and Workshops for Parents

On 15 March 2014 (Friday), an Instructional Programme (IP) Talk and Workshop was organised for parents to equip them with skills and knowledge so that they would be able to help their daughters at home. The subjects included English, Mother Tongue, Humanities, Mathematics and Science. 92 parents turned up for the event.

66th National Schools Chess Championships

On 21 and 22 March 2014, 8 of our students took part in the 66th National Schools Individual Chess Championships held in the Pasir Ris Sports Hall. 

We would like to congratulate the girls on their achievement in the competition as follows: 
C Division Girls 
East Zone Merit: Audrey Chong, Sec 1.2 

B Division Girls 
East Zone Merit: 
- Gayathri Elangovan, Sec 2.1 
- Tang Yan Jun Antoinette, Sec 2.1 
- Teo Jia Ling, Sec 3A1 
- Jessie Koh. Sec 3A2 
- Tan Pei Si, Sec 3A3 

East Zone 3rd (Bronze) 
- Tan Le Sze, Sec 4A1 

East Zone 1st (Gold), National 1st (Gold) 
- Anastasia Patricks, Sec 3A1

PL wins gold medal at the National Inter-School Cross Country Championship 2014

The PL Track and Field team participated in the 55th National Inter-School Cross Country Championships on 25 March 2014 at the Bedok Reservoir where one of our students, Soh Hann Natalie, from Secondary 4A1 won the Gold Medal in the "B" Division category. She ran the 3.6 km route with a timing of 14mins 28.07secs. We would like to thank the coach of the PL Track and Field team, Mr Alfred Sim, for helping the girls to achieve the excellent results. There is an online newspaper article on this event reported by Today newspaper (26/03/2014). Here is an excerpt of the article: 

Natalie Soh of Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School Secondary delivered a surprise come-from-behind victory in the Girls ‘B’ Division race, as the gutsy 16-year-old held on to push past her rivals in the last 50m to claim the gold in 14min 28.7sec ahead of Nah Yi Xin (Cedar Girls’) and Shervon Goh (Commonwealth), who finished second and third respectively in 14:30.2 and 14:39.2. “It was quite a struggle for me when I started the race as everyone was sprinting and I was still trying to get into the rhythm,” said the Secondary Four student, who finished 40th last year. “I wasn’t in the front and I struggled to keep up with them. Towards the end, I thought I would be okay with third, but at the end the two runners in front went faster and I kept up and overtook them in the last 50m. I certainly was the underdog and winning this feels great. It’s amazing, and I still can’t believe I won!” 
On 26 March 2014, The New Paper carried an article on Natalie Soh from Sec 4A1. Please click here for the article. 
Source: The New Paper © Singapore Press Holdings Limited, Reproduced with permission) 

Pupil's Reflection: 
"After hours of restless anticipation, the starting horn finally sounded and I kept close to the front of the pack. I was slowly burning out; that was when I drew strength from God to carry me through the race. His greatness surpassed my expectations by giving me that last dose of determination to sprint to the finish. All glory goes to Him and I really thank the school for providing me with this opportunity. Especially the teachers-in-charge, Ms Haida, Ms Tan and Ms Deepa, and of course the PL Track Team for their constant support. Thank you!" 
Natalie Soh, Sec 4A1

SSO goes to PLMGS

On 7 March 2014 (Friday), the Singapore Symphony Orchestra performed to a full house for its outreach concert at the Agape Concert Hall. This is the 4 th year Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Sec) hosted the national ensemble in its capacity as the East Zone Centre of Excellence for the Creative Arts. Besides students from PLMGS (Pri and Sec) and the various schools, the concert audience also included parents, teachers and members of the public. 

This year, the actual concert was preceded by a pre-concert talk so as to help the audience to better appreciate orchestral music. The talk given by Mr Chng Kai Jin, General Manager, SSCL, was very well-received indeed. 

The orchestra was conducted by Mr Joshua Tan, Associate Conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Highlights of the evening included Dvorák's rousing Carnival Overture, the Ballet Suite No. 3 by Shostakovich and the very enjoyable Cuban Overture by Gershwin. 

Here is an entry about the outreach concert which appeared on the official Singapore Symphony Orchestra Facebook page: “We have a spontaneous crowd tonight!” Indeed the audience enjoyed the evening very much. 

National School Games Oath-Taking Ceremony cum Partners’ Interaction Breakfast

Oath Taking Ceremony in school led by Sports CCA Leaders Ms Yoong welcoming the partners

On 3 March, PL carried out an oath-taking ceremony involving our student athletes, teachers, officials and coaches who were involved in the National School Games this year. The ceremony signified the commitment by the school to offer inter-school competition opportunities with a strong educational focus to students. It also highlighted the roles of different stakeholders (i.e. school leaders, teachers, coaches, officials and student athletes) in ensuring that the various competitions would be conducted safely, fairly and a good learning experience for all. 

After the oath-taking ceremony, there was a briefing to update the coaches on LEAP 2.0 and the school safety measure. At the end of the briefing, the coaches enjoyed the breakfast specially prepared for them. It was also a great opportunity for the school leaders and teachers to interact with the CCA coaches in an informal setting. 

Pupils' Reflection: 
“Taking part in the oath taking ceremony created a sense of pride in me as an athlete and I felt very honored to be recognised as an official participant of the annual National School Games. It reminded me of how near competitions are, and how tough they will be, prepping me mentally for the great challenge ahead. The student athletes could have been a bit louder, I felt, as I did not really feel the conviction behind their oaths. However, it was certainly an improvement from last year whereby the student athletes were hesitant to even stand up.” 
Natalie Soh, Secondary 4A1 

"As student athletes, we all take pride in our games. Today, we were given a chance to take an oath in front of the whole school promising to uphold the spirit of sportsmanship. I find this ceremony very meaningful as it gave me a chance to restate my stand as an athlete. Being able to lead the athletes in the oath taking ceremony was a great honour and I feel the responsibility to uphold my promise. I hope all my fellow athletes will do so as well. " 
Carissa Teng, Secondary 4A2 

“During today’s oath taking ceremony, I felt proud to be standing in front of the whole school with everyone’s eyes on me. I felt great and honoured, being an athlete in PL and in Singapore. The oath taking ceremony was solemn but meaningful. It allowed the sports athletes to commit ourselves to true sportsmanship and respecting opponents and abide by the rules of sports. I am certain that this oath taking ceremony will inspire all athletes participating in the National School Games to do their best. As I read the minister’s message, it made me realize Singapore has come far in sports and is getting stronger year by year, making an impact on each and every athlete in Singapore.” 
Cheryl Seetoh, Secondary 4B2