11 March 2016
The first term of 2016 is almost over and I would like to take this opportunity to touch base with you. As you know I am new to the school and at the start of the school year, I have decided to let our existing processes and programmes run according to how they have already been planned and carried out in previous years so that I can make observations and sense the school culture first.
We have had a busy term and I am happy to share the following good results achieved by our students thus far:
1) Outstanding results at the GCE ‘O’ level examinations 2015. Please refer to the school website for more information.
2) National Inter-School Table Tennis (North-Zone) Championships 2016
a. 'B' Division - Top 8
b. 'C' Division – Champion
3) National Inter-School Badminton (North-Zone) Championships 2016
a. 'B' Division – 3rd
b. 'C' Division – 2nd
4) Singapore Athletics Cross Country Championship 2016
a. Under-15 category: Yeo Ke-Gan (Sec 2B) – 5th
b. Under-18 category: Yeo Zi Jian (Sec 4F) – 6th
5) Wings Cross Country Championship 2016
a. Men’s U17: Yeo Zi Jian (4F) - 17th
b. Men’s U15: Yeo Ke-Gan (2B) - 6th
6) Akira Swift Goh Teck Phuan Annual Cross Country Championship 2016
a. Men’s U14: Yeo Ke-Gan (2B), 6th
b. Men’s U13: Lum Kin Mun (1B), 2nd
7) 23rd National Schools Tenpin Bowling Boys Championships 2016
a. B Division Overall: 3rd
b. B Division Doubles: 2nd
8) National Police Cadet Corp Unit Overall Proficiency Award - 17th Gold Award
I would like to congratulate Marists for the fine achievements and thank my colleagues for their dedication and commitment in seeing Marists through all the programmes and parents for the support rendered.
I am delighted to welcome our secondary one Marists and their parents to the school. So far, the secondary one Marists have been a responsive lot, motivated and willing to immerse themselves in the new school setting. The other levels of Marists are welcoming and respectful towards me and given that I am new to the school, there have been some fair amount of getting used to, as the case may be. Having taught and interacted with teenagers for more than 23 years now, I am mindful that I do need to allow my students time to know me, just as I would take time to know them, and hence not being overly-reactive to things is the way to go. I am sure some parents would have heard rumours circulated of me cancelling all sorts of events in the school earlier in the year and by now you know that I haven’t. Instead of reacting to Marists and reprimanding them, I thought it was a good opportunity to teach them the importance of verifying their sources of information as well as information received. It is important to me that Marists learn to be responsible consumers and producers of information both in the real and cyber world. I am glad that through the episode, both Marists and I have been able to deepen our living of the School Creed.
To get to know the upper secondary Marists better, I have started my dialogues with them, beginning with the secondary 4 classes using relief periods. So far, I have conversed with half of the classes and would continue to do so next term. From my interaction with them, I found that some have started thinking about their future career choices and pursuits whilst others are still preoccupied with their hair and whether their school pants can be taper-cut or not, things which are very important to them. Yes, they certainly have different concerns and interests. Most importantly, behind every Marist, I see a young person with deep potential and promise.
As Marists weather the ups and downs of teenage lives, there are many opportunities for them to learn and to draw life lessons with the help of peers, teachers and parents. I would like to encourage parents to be supportive and encouraging as you watch your sons learn and grow. While we may want to extend to them a helping hand, we must be patient to allow Marists to experience learning first. At the same time, it is important that parents remain as the moral compass of your sons and be the voice of reason to guide your sons as they encounter challenges or disappointments in life as well as diverse sources of information and viewpoints through social media. I am happy to have made acquaintance with parents from secondary one and two levels during the two parents’ briefing sessions that we have held earlier this year and hope that we continue to share views and support each other in nurturing Marists.
As the term comes to a close, I have encouraged Marists to take stock of what they have set out to do and whether they have achieved their goals. I believe it is very important that Marists reflect on their experiences and review their actions and achievements and assume personal responsibility for what they have or have not been able to do or achieve. It is only when they do so that they would be able to learn and to make progress. Looking ahead, in term 2, we have a number of regular school events, such as CCAs, SAP and co-curricular enrichment programmes as well as completion of the curriculum for Semestral Assessment 1, planned. These programmes impact the various domains of development of Marists and are essential components of their education. There would be a need for Marists to manage their personal time and priorities to allow them to benefit from the programmes and keep up with their studies. I would like you to converse with them and guide them on how they would make use of the school holidays to rest, catch up on work, or pursue their interests and how they would make use of term 2 to learn and realise their goals. For the secondary 4 Marists in particular, given the GCE ‘O’ levels Examinations looming in the background, parents’ support and encouragement for your sons to take ownership of their tasks ahead and give of their best would go a long way in validating their efforts and building their self-esteem.
At this juncture, I would like to express my sincere appreciation of the warm welcome and goodwill extended to me by various parents’ groups and I am heartened by your willingness to come forward to support the school and Marists. I would like to encourage parents who can, to come forward to join the Parent Support Group and role model to Marists on contributing to society. We would have our Cross Country on 1 April and Sports Carnival on 22 April and I invite you to join your sons in these 2 events so that you could use these events to bond with your sons. More details would be given nearer the date. Thank you and I look forward to partnering you in your sons’ educational journey.
Mrs Woo Soo Min