2019 Term 1 Archives
Many times, parents will share with me the joys of parenting. They will laugh and share how they wished sometimes that there is a parenting guide book which they can refer to when faced with challenging parenting moments. In response, I will honestly share that as a school we are learning everyday as well. I love hearing the stories about the children. From these stories, we learn more about them, their views of the world and what makes them tick.
One of the more common stories we hear from parents would be what happens when they catch their children doing things that are “right” and “not so right”. They observed that while there are times when the children are quick to realise their mistakes and apologise, there are also times when they are quick to say, “It wasn’t me” or “I did it because...”. As parents, what should they do when they encounter such moments? We encounter these moments too. So, let us share what we do in school when these things happen.
In school, we always remind teachers to affirm the children for their efforts and when they display good behaviour. While we encourage praising our children for their effort, we strike a balance in our encouragement of our children and teaching our children humility. We foster a sense of responsibility and humility in our children by bringing their attention to others who have done good as well. Getting the children to point out someone who does well gets them to think beyond themselves and start to recognize the achievements of others.
When they admit a mistake they have made and apologise sincerely, we praise them for their honesty and then we work together with them to correct what had been done that was “not so right”. This sends a signal to the children that we all make mistakes but when we are honest and truly remorseful, it means that we will learn from the mistake and bounce back.
But, there are times, when the admission does not come so easily. This is something which parents share they go through as well. As a school, when this happens, we spend a bit more time with the children. We will remind the children to reflect on the cause and effect of things, so as to help them understand the role they have played in contributing to the misunderstanding or incident with their peers. Doing this requires a lot of time but it also gives the children time to pause and think about the incident. They will get the signal that as adults, we are not always quick to fault them, but instead, we work through the thinking process with them. Through this process, we learn that at times that the children do not realise how their actions may have an impact on others.
Every child is bound to have a moment that warrants an apology sooner or later. A great way to teach children the importance of humility is to talk about what it means to apologize. We have encountered occasions where children will say “Sorry” but when probed into what they were sorry for, they were unable to identify the reasons. We need to teach them how to phrase their apology and respond to feedback, and these are important life lessons that can apply both now and well into the future.
Parenting is not easy. It helps to speak to other parents so that we can exchange stories and good practices. Attend the Family Matters@School talks the school organises to hear tips and strategies on how we can support our children. We all love our children and want what is best for them all the time.
On this note, we would like to introduce you to someone else whom you can share your parenting stories with. We would like to extend a warm welcome to Mr Ramesh Tiwari, our Vice Principal (Admin), to the South View Family. Mr Ram- as he is called by the pupils, was formerly from the Air Force. Welcome Mr Ram
Our lovely Primary 1s were quick to welcome and warm up to Mr Ramesh
(affectionately known to them as Mr Ram)
Last Friday, our student leaders comprising of P3-P6 Prefects, CCA Leaders and Cyber Wellness Ambassadors were formally entrusted the responsibility of leading and serving the school community during the Student Leadership Investiture. The theme for this year’s investiture is “A true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength but by the size of his heart”. It was at this platform as well that the school was introduced to the 2019 Student Leadership Executive Members. After several rounds of selection and interviews, Goh Shi Rou of Primary 6 Steadfast was appointed as the Head Prefect for 2019 and will be supported by Assistant Head Prefects, Everdean Lim Sun Ling and Tan Suan Yee of Primary 6 Humility.
For the past few school events, we have been inviting ex-Southviens to interact and engage their younger Southviens. We do this so that ex-Southviens remain connected to us and at the same time inspire the younger Southviens. Thus, when we were thinking of whom to invite for our Student Leadership Investiture last Friday, we selected an ex-Southvien whom we feel could motivate and inspire.
The school was delighted and proud to have our ex-student, Mr Muhammad Haiman Samad (SVPS Class of 2004) as our guest of honour for the Investiture. Haiman is a self-driven young man who managed to overcome life’s challenges. Despite his busy schedule, he has been actively contributing back to the community while he was a student and is still actively volunteering. He is currently a Clinical Researcher in the Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery at National University Health System, Singapore.
While Haiman shared fondly about his primary school years and his life journey, what stood out about Haiman’s speech at the investiture was his humility and generosity. He was candid and held nothing back. He was the average Joe – but what made a difference was his steadiness and determination. He shared with young Southviens the secrets to his achievement in work and life. They were - “Take every opportunity to know yourself and what you are capable of doing,” “Start with small acts...Do it often, it will become a habit and it will shape your character,” he said. "Model the way." What he shared was Simple yet Brilliant gems.
Our children were captivated as he shared on his various involvements in CCAs, volunteer groups and achievements beyond his studies. Their soft exclamations of “Wow!” and “OMG!” could be heard echoing in the hall. It was indeed a clear indication that they were impressed and inspired by Haiman. We hope that Haiman’s sharing will motivate younger Southviens to start taking small steps to build themselves up to achieve their dreams!
Last week, we shared in the weekly notification a little about one of our school values: “Respect - Respecting Others”. This week we would like to continue to share on the value of respect, specifically on “Respecting our Environment”, and how proud we are of our children in embracing this.
Look at the photos we captured below of our enthusiastic P1s and their P4 buddies guiding them through the process of the “Clean As We Go” programme and the pupils in their daily cleaning of their learning environment! We are so proud of them! As they went about cleaning, many did it with great enthusiasm and pride. They shared proudly that they had been helping with the chores at home too. Parents, aren’t you proud that our efforts to teach the children to respect our environment and develop self-management skills have borne fruit. Kudos to all of us!
Many times in school, the children will gladly volunteer to help clean up. We will always thank them and acknowledge their efforts. Sometimes, we may need to show them how to get it done properly or even clean up again when they are out of our sight but we never stop encouraging them
I remember a time when I cleaned the dishes after dinner. Later that night, I was awoken by the stacking sounds of plates. When I went to investigate, it was my mother rewashing the dishes. When I proudly reminded my mother that I had done the dishes, she thanked me and assured me that she was doing it again as she was unable to sleep and needed to find some chores to occupy her. We know that was a mother’s way of managing her over-enthusiastic child and not to dampen spirits.
Showing children how to care and respect their environment helps them learn how to care for themselves, their home, their community and people they love. With young children, it is important to make a connection that they can relate to. We explain how if things or equipment are not put away correctly, they could trip and hurt themselves; how if the tables in the canteen are dirtied, they would not have their recesses or lunch in a clean environment. Children learn to show respect for others and their environment by putting themselves in the shoes of others. The school encourages and creates opportunities for our pupils to participate in year-long clean-up projects like “Clean As We Go” and have older children help out with their younger ones as a buddy.
These days, we have domestic helpers or adults who do all the cleaning up for our children. Getting children to clean up after themselves sounds challenging at times. But it is something that children can and should do. Remember when we were growing up, many of us were doing it.
The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.
- Marie Kondo
As we encourage our children to continue to take on such responsibilities, we are actually encouraging them to respect and appreciate the efforts people put in to build and maintain that good environment. When they connect with their learning, they develop positive attitudes, important life skills and a sense of responsibility by contributing positively to their environment at home, school and the community.
Last year during this period, we shared in the weekly notification about the importance of celebrating the festive season with family, loved ones and our neighbours. I thought as we just celebrated Chinese New Year, I would like to share a little bit about one of our school values which ties in very nicely with the festive season and that is the value of “Respect”.
Respect means honouring other people and treating them with care and courtesy. While respect includes good manners, the core of the behaviour goes deeper than politeness. It stems from the belief that other people have as much worth and dignity as you, and that harming others or their property is wrong. Children usually learn to be respectful of rules at home and at school, to not make fun of friends, and to use polite words.
I remembered as a child, my parents would always remind me especially before we go visiting about the need to show respect to the elders. My parents not only say it but they also role model what it looks like. The showing of respect is extended beyond festive seasons as well, when we go visit my grandparents, uncles and aunties and whenever we see them. Growing up, respecting others was a value which was constantly reinforced to me and my 3 sisters. We knew we would be in big trouble if we entered someone’s house without saying hello to our hosts or leaving the house without saying goodbye and thank you. Over time, doing these became part of our lives and we did them even when our parents were not around.
As I see our children in school today, I am very heartened and encouraged to see that most of them are respectful of the adults they see in the school. We start each day by greeting one another with a bow. We bow to one another to show respect and to acknowledge the act. We greet one another warmly and they know that they have to extend the respect to the canteen vendors, cleaning uncles and aunties, bus drivers, security guards as well as staff in the General Office. As they are still young, when they forget, we remind them. Sometimes as adults we forget, so what more the children.
The greatest challenge most of us face is how to deal respectfully with people with whom we disagree. This is something even adults have a hard time with. When the children get into an argument at play or during group work, we often remind them to continue to show respect to the other party. Showing consideration and holding back their frustrations and communicating in a calm and respectful manner is a true test of one’s character. Our children, when we explain to them, end up settling their arguments and disagreements in an amicable fashion and still remain friends. We remind our children (and could also put into practice in our own dealings) it is important not to judge people before you get to know them; to treat others the way you want to be treated; to listen attentively before you jump in with your argument; to look at things from a different point of view. Sometimes the cause of the arguments and disagreements is due to miscommunication. We teach them how to use a polite tone of voice to clarify and ask questions so that they can continue to have a discussion. While we may not agree all the time, we must always show respect towards the feelings of others. We may think we are right but sometimes we need to listen to the other side of the story.
We hear sometimes the word “bully” being thrown around. Bullying takes place in many shapes and forms. The cause of bullying is usually when one does not respect the other. Bullying happens when the bully feels that he/she has greater power or authority and uses that to scare others. We tell our children that we are all equal. No one should feel that they are in anyway more superior or better than the other person. So as educators and parents, it is important that we reinforce that to our children. Respecting and showing care for the feelings of others are important values.
"Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them."
- James Baldwin
Children imitate parents, family members, friends, caregivers, teachers, television and social media. The more children are out in the world, the more models they will be exposed to. Children are master observers. While we can't keep children from ever seeing models of undesirable behaviours that we don't want them to imitate, we can model the behaviour we expect. Living with integrity...Giving to charity...Helping others sincerely...Sorting out differences with others respectfully...Talking positively about others...All of these are areas where we build the kind of character our kids will respond to with respect. Learning to be respectful and kind will help our children to build relationships and function in the world that they will live in.
"We must become the people we want our children to be."
Chinese New Year is just round the corner. A Happy Chinese New Year to all staff, parents and pupils celebrating the festive occasion! This year, Chinese New Year falls on Tuesday, 5 February 2019. We will be celebrating Chinese New Year in school on 4 February 2019. In line with this, our Heads of Department and Year Heads crafted a special couplet for all staff, parents and pupils.
Happiness in great abundance the Year of Dog brought.
Joy in peaceful prosperity heralds the Year of Pig.
Chinese New Year is a joyful celebration of family and friends, and for us to appreciate the peace and happiness that we have. In South View, we hope to inculcate in our pupils the values of care and concern by doing their part to give back to the community. In the spirit of giving back to the community, the school will celebrate the festive season with our elderly friends from the different elderly homes that we are partnering (refer to details below).
There are many traditions associated with Chinese New Year, such as the annual spring cleaning and decorations in homes, the reunion dinner where every member of the family returns home to share a meal with loved ones, and the giving and receiving of oranges and ‘hong baos’ (red packets). We recognise how important it is for our children to understand and celebrate festivals of the different races and religions. From Chinese New Year to Hari Raya Puasa, to Deepavali and Christmas, we embrace the different cultures through food, clothes and dances as part of our heritage and Singapore identity. Each festival we celebrate gives us a tremendous sense of the world beyond us and a sense of belonging to each other. We hope that parents can explain the purpose and importance of these traditions of the celebrations to your children so that they understand the significance of these traditions and the rich culture of their heritage.
Sharing a meal together is one of the simple, yet important things we can do with our children and taking a moment to talk about why the family is eating together something special, can be the springboard for all kinds of conversations and creativity. For myself, each annual gathering with my relatives from young went beyond just feasting, playing and receiving red packets. Over the years, we strengthened our relationships through sharing of our school lives, friends and on to work and children later in our lives. These are ways in which we deepen and strengthen bonds. Even now, there is always time for one another despite our busy work schedules and we are all readily there for one another in times of need. It fills me with joy when I see family members both young and old interacting and having conversations when they meet during these festive periods. In school, we have reminded the children to make conversations when they go out visiting. We do not want to see instances where they are glued to their screens while the grandparents sit around looking longingly at them. For my family, we have set the rules when it comes to visiting. We remind the young ones to honour the time to interact and mingle with one another. It is comforting to see them taking initiative to look out for the elders in the family. Chinese New Year only happens once a year. For some of us, it is a chance to spend time with family, toast with friends and reunite. However, there are those away or abroad who cannot say the same. So do cherish this precious time.
Do start the tradition of honouring and valuing family when our children are still young. Encourage them to put away their electronic gadgets, get them to see the value and importance of family and encourage interaction and conversations across the different generations. Do also remind your children to show respect and care to others at family gatherings. We have reminded the children to greet their elders and say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ appropriately.
Time flies quickly as we are already approaching the end of January. We hope that both parents and pupils have settled into the routine of school, work and play.
Adults as Role Models
In our first few weekly notifications this year, we have shared about building strong home-school relationship to support our children in preparing them for the future. This week, we would like to share on building parent-child relationship. Last Saturday, the South View Parent Association (SVPA) organised SVPA Konnection 2019. The focus of the session was not only for networking, but also to learn practical tips on how to manage our children’s mobile usage. Nowadays, we often we see people - young and old, hooked on their mobile devices and not interacting with one another. Once, while waiting for my turn to see a doctor, a family of four walked into the clinic. The parents were glued to their respective mobile devices and their sick child was left in the pram, with a mobile device in her hand. The other child was left on his own and had to tug at the parents’ hands when their turn came. I was quite taken aback as the parents seem to have forgotten for a moment that they had a sick child whom they had to attend to.
As adults, we are often the role models for our children. Mr Tan Hon Kee, Chairman of SVPA, shared his simple yet powerful parenting style that was to lead by example, in engaging his children. He shared that during meal times and while interacting with their children in the evenings after work, both his wife and him will put away their mobile phones. Their simple but conscientious act of putting away their phones allows the family to engage in sharing and listening to each other’s experiences uninterrupted. They learn more about each other’s day, their happiness and concerns. He also extends this lead by example parenting style in other areas as well. He shared candidly on how he makes healthier food choices when they have meals, exercises regularly with the family to encourage his family to keep fit, involves the family in both SVPA-organised and community charity events. He found his approach of leading by example more effective than telling his children what they have to do. His three children, having observed what he does, will follow suit. To them, if that is what mummy and daddy do, that is how we should do it too. His sharing was a powerful message and reflection for us as adults. Indeed, children learn how to behave, act, and deal with life situations, first and foremost, by watching the adults around them. As parents, you have a direct influence over your children, so let us constantly remind ourselves to lead by example.
Relationships, feelings of goodwill and mutual respect are built on knowing each other through regular interaction in a physical setting. Children grow up really fast, and soon your children will become adults and lead their own lives. Do make time for the relationship building process and spend quality time with your children and create beautiful memories.
Changes to Expect
We understand that due to your busy schedule, some of you were not able to attend the parents’ briefing on 4 January 2019 (Friday). Let us share with you some key changes that will take effect soon.
Changes to School Assessment
Pupils move through various transition stages from lower, to middle and upper primary. At these key transition stages, pupils need adequate time and space to adjust to the increased curriculum demands and to manage this transition more smoothly with greater confidence, and not feel rushed into being exam-ready just half way through the transition year. From 2020, the mid-year examination for P3 and P5 will be removed, and weighted assessment tasks will be conducted in Term 2 and 3 instead, with the year-end examination in Term 4. There will also not be any final year exam for the Primary 2 pupils in 2019. More details can be found in the Parents’ Briefing slides and assessment plan (which we will upload in MCOnline next week).
Change of School’s Reporting Time in 2020
MOE recommends that school start no earlier than 7.30am so that the children need not report too early to school and get ample rest. As such, in 2020, school start time will be adjusted. Pupils will report to school by 7.20 am for the flag-raising at 7.30 am. Lessons will start at 7.45 am and end at 1.30 pm, except on days where children may be involved in Supplementary/Remedial/ and other after school activities. The school will communicate this change to the bus drivers as well.
Our pupils have settled quite quickly into the rhythm of school. Besides supplementary and remedial lessons, the pupils have also started Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) in the afternoon. We hope that parents will continue to monitor your children at home and ensure that they have sufficient time to do their homework, revise their work, play and get enough sleep. Having a daily routine helps children to manage their time, especially after school. Parents can work with their children to plan an after-school timetable so that children can spend their time more meaningfully.
Collaborations with Parents
We would like to express our appreciation to parents who has set aside your time to attend the parents’ briefings on 11 January 2019. The briefings were organised to reach out to parents to enhance communications and promote greater understanding with your child’s/ward’s teachers and the changes in our education landscape. We appreciate and value the feedback from parents, and would work on the feedback to improve our teaching & learning, programmes and communication with stakeholders.
Our education landscape is changing to be future ready. The school’s effort to engage our parents/guardians is important so that you are able to make sense of the changes rolled out by the Ministry of Education. As professionals, it takes great effort for us to make sense of these changes within a short time, and what more for parents/guardians. When parents/guardians do not fully understand the intent of the changes, the miscommunication and misunderstanding would lead to possible mismatch in how the school and home support our children’s learning. Thus, the weekly notification is a platform for the school to communicate with parents to share our thoughts and observations on educational issues of concern and changes in our education landscape. Through this, we aim to forge common understanding and strengthen our partnership with you. You may also share your thoughts on the issues raised with us.
Our parent demographic profile is changing. You want to be engaged in your children’s/wards’ education. It is encouraging to see many coming to school to attend briefings, PCTCs, and supporting your child’s participation in the school activities, and at times even involving grandparents and the extended family members. Often, you share your suggestions and feedback with us. We thank you for them as they have helped us re-look at what we do and make improvements where necessary. Let us continue to strengthen this school-parent engagement.
School and parents/guardians need to work closely on values education. At the briefing, your child’s/ward’s form teachers have shared the meaning of the value of their class, their value aspirations for your children and how they would work with them to achieve them with your support. You were also given an opportunity to voice your thoughts and ideas. The pupils will also be introduced to the Pupil’s Creed, crafted with inputs from our 2018 graduated batch of P6 pupils and Prefects. It will be recited at the start of the week to remind our pupils to work towards the positive traits that will stand them in good stead as Passionate Learners with a Heart to Serve.
With rapid technological changes, many of our pupils already come into contact with new technologies and gadgets even before Primary One. New technologies and media are a double edge sword, depending on how our children access and use them. Communication is enhanced and information exchanges are faster; Technology also changes the way children socialize and interact with others, which can have huge impacts on their mental and emotional well-being. Do you know that big names, like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, wouldn’t let their children use technology, but waited until they were older to expose them? Doesn’t it make you wonder why…Do join us this Saturday at the SVPA Konnection for the talk titled “I Can’t Live Without IT – Engaging the IT & Smartphone Generation” for practical tips to manage your child’s/ward’s mobile usage.
Time flies and we are already one week into the new school term! We would like to thank all staff, parents and pupils for the smooth week. Our pupils spent the full first five days of school (2 Jan – 8 Jan) on the Welcome Back to School Programme. The programme teaches our pupils through activities to understand the changes in their new level and embrace these changes positively, find out more about the school, and build good rapport with their teachers and classmates. We hope that the five-day programme has helped the pupils with the transition and better prepare them for the year. We would also like to remind parents/guardian to ensure that your child/ward reaches school for the reading programme from 7.15am to 7.25am.
We were pleased to see that our Primary 1 pupils were excited and well-prepared about starting primary school, eagerly asking questions, making new friend and exploring the school grounds. Thank you parents and staff for a great start for the school year!!! For such a big transition, their ability to be so successful in the first week was amazing.
This week, we have also started formal lessons. We would like to encourage parents to continue to ask your child to share about his/her experiences in school daily. Do also spend some quality time doing things together.
Communication is critical when building a strong home-school connection to support our children. We encourage you to have an open dialogue and two way communication with your child’s/ward’s class teachers. The P2 to P6 Parents’ Briefing is on 11 January 2019, we hope you have already signed up (please refer to last week’s weekly notication). We have also arranged for a briefing on assessment changes that are happening in Singapore.The briefing will cover the recent MOE announcements and how it will affect the pupils especially those siting for PSLE from 2021 onwards. Please note that the assessment changes will not affect our current P5 and P6 pupils. We look forward to meeting you on Friday
For upcoming school events and announcements, we’ll continue to utilize the online weekly notification that is updated on the school website at https://www.southviewpri.moe.edu.sg/info-hub/weekly-notification every Thursday from Term 1 Week 2 onwards. You can also follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/southviewpri to see the activities that our children are involved in and out of school!
Safety of our staff and pupils is a key concern of the school. With a big school population, a few bumps are expected. The first few days may have been a little rough at pickup and drop off for parents new to the school. We would like to express our appreciation to parents for your cooperation and patience as we continue to work on the procedures to make them more efficient, and avoid backed up traffic. However, we would also like to reiterate the importance of adhering to the safety reminders listed in the later part of this letter so that our staff, pupils and parents are safe.
We look forward to the 2019 school year with excitement, confidence, hope, and high expectations for pupils,staff and parents alike. We forward to your continuous support for a successful year ahead!