Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sec 1 Track & Field Lessons (High Jump- Kampong Style)

Having introduced students to approach and take-off techniques for High Jump, I decided to try another approach in developing the fundamental techniques for jumping.

So today, we went back to 'old school' kampung games :) we did rope skipping and 'zero point'

Half the class attempted their approach and take-off at the High Jump mattress, while the other half did co-ordination drills with the skipping rope: learning to play 'Zero Point' (yes, I know it's a girl's game but even as a young boy, I played it too- strange that our boys never seem to have heard of it!)

Then the boys tried co-ordinated skipping to work on timing and co-ordination.
Quite a refreshing change today from our usual drills :) Looks like the boys had fun too!

Sec 2 Hockey Lessons (Skill Circuit)

In this lesson, we see Sec 2A going through the Hockey skill circuit:

Station 1
Shooting Station

Station 2
Dribbling Station

Station 3
Lob and Juggle

Station 4
Passing and Trapping
See clip:

By now, the boys will have covered all the essential skills needed for them to play hockey and we will be giving them more game time
Today's small-sided game is 6 v 6 with periodic substitutions.
Scoring is against the flat side of the wooden gym bench.
See clip:

Why use a wooden bench rather than a goal post or cones- what is the advantage in this case?

Post replies under comments. Each unqiue answer gets a "Ghost Rider" post-card.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

TIPD Exchange Programme from UK- Matt Hogan's Soccer Lesson

Today, Matt gamely offered to take on one of our classes for Soccer.
As as we can see in the clip below, the class of Sec 3H showed us the World's Fastest Goal scoring attempt!

Monday, February 26, 2007

VS IGCSE Sharing for PE HOD DDM Group & TIPD UK Group

On Mon 26th Feb, VS PE Dept hosted 7 PE HODs under-going their DDM (Diploma in Departmental Management) to give a sharing on our implementation of PE as a GCE O-Level subject.
We shared with them the rationale for our initiative as well as how we approached crafting the proposal.
Although the sharing was amongst HODs, the mood was very informal and casual, we shared frankly and openly amongst each other what we felt were the various opportunities that VS saw in pushing for such a programme as well as the problems and obstacles we needed to surmount and overcome.

Our guest, Matt Hogan from Eaton Bank School in UK also gave us more insights into the UK Examination system where they have different exam boards delivering the same exam (i.e. the AQA, the Edexcel, OCR) Due to the differences in size, operation and educational concerns; Matt was able to shed light on the differences in practices in implementing the O-levels in the UK.

Matt also gave us a brief tour of Eaton Bank's VLE (Virtual Learning Environment).
See clip below:

He has kindly furnished me with a guest account. Interested teachers who want to tour their site, please contact me.

Post-Sharing Feedback
Participants in the sharing please give a short evaluation of the sharing session by giving some feedback in the Comments section.
Tell us what went well in the sharing session, whether it was informative and addressed your concerns; most importantly, do tell us what are some areas for us to improve and address in future sharing sessions.
If possilbe, please leave your name, school and email address for me to add you to our mailing list.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Chingay 2007 - Parade of Dreams (Pt 7 - VS Fan Club)

After a gruelling 2 days of performances, the boys (and I) were really tired but in high spirits!

I'm sure the endless curry puffs from Old Chang Kee and the pizzas and the New Year goodies helped to keep their energy up.

Not to mention the 'newly-formed' all female VS Wushu Team Fan Club- Check it out:

Well done boys!
and yes, VS we rock loud and we rock strong!

Nil Sine Labore
Mr Randell Siow

Chingay 2007 - Parade of Dreams (Pt 6 - Float Procession)

On our second performance on Saturday, we stayed back to watch the procession of floats.

Saturday's procession was graced by President Nathan (himself an old boy of Victoria School) So it was a double honor for our boys to be able perform for this prestigious event.

Watch the President's float go by escorted by an honor guard of Boys Scouts:

Here are some highlights from the procession-
The Lion Dance troup from Thailand that did a 5-tier human pyramid! Watch them parade past us stacked 2 men high.

And which carnival would be complete without fire-breathers and fire-twirling :)

Chingay 2007 - Parade of Dreams (Pt 5 - Behind the Scenes)

On Sat, before our next performance for Chingay, the whole jing Gang of boys came down to visit me at hostel.
Having agonised about what to do with the vast amount of New Year goodies accumulated over the week, the horde of ravenous boys solved that problem nicely for me. We whacked 6 extra large pizzas, the entire pack of taiwanese jellies taking up space in the fridge, the Ba Kwa, the Nachos and the chips. Heh heh heh... Misson accomplished.

We see in the following clip how we can fit 30 students into one hostel apartment and keep them entertained simultaneously.

Looks like this place has become an Integrated Resort :)And speaking of that, check out Ng Peixiang's nifty card trick. He might just have a bright feature working as a card dealer.:)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Chingay 2007 - Parade of Dreams (Pt 4 - VS Wushu in the Spotlight)

Here we see, for the first time ever, VS involved in Chingay Parade!

The boys (being suitably inspired by the previous act) jumped, kicked and posed their hearts out.
Being in the middle of Orchard Road, performing for the whole of the nation, representing Victoria School- That is a moment to remember!

As their teacher and coach, seeing our "Victoria School' emblazoned on the big screen display, my heart swelled with a sense of pride as our boys some us time and time again that Victorians are something more.

From a handful of students training with me in the evenings, just for the sheer 'fun' of it, to becoming a formally recognised CCA in VS and now performing in Orchard Rd for Chingay 2007. It is really a Parade of Dreams for me.
If you had asked me a year or two ago, I wouldn't have dared dreamed this was possible.

Boys, let's live our dreams together and it will be will pride in my heart that I will watch you all become men of calibre, strength and character.
Nil Sine Labore
Mr Randell Siow

Chingay 2007 - Parade of Dreams (Pt 3 - Those Amazing Belly Dancers)

Well, our young VS gentlemen had been scheduled to perform as the second item. So we waited patiently for the first item to set up as we took our places.

And what was the first item?

Well to the audience's delight (and I'm sure the VS boys as well), it was a bevy of beautiful young ladies who were to be performing Belly Dancing. Check out the alluring ladies in this clip

Yup, the screams of excitement came from one very excited Chang Weiliang. I supposed for a moment it felt as if she was dancing just for him... Too bad she's too old for you. Maybe I can include Belly Dancing as an enrichment activity... hmmmm. I'm sure Weiliang would be the first to sign up. (Followed by Junyan)

The Belly Dancers did a fantastic job of interacting with the audience and even getting them to participate and dance- right in the middle of the streets.

At one point, I was worried that I would find Weiliang being kidnapped by these beautiful ladies and wriggling his little belly for all his worth in the middle of Orchard Road. What a sight that would be:)

Then again, I guess I shouldn't be worried about Weiliang, after all he's just a young boy growing up.
It's the *ahem* "seniors", who 'pretend-pretend' never see the belly dancers and act as if they never noticed them that I should follow-up on.

"Belly Dancers? Sir, what Belly Dancers? I was busy remembering my routine"
-Ng PeiXiang

Yeah right.
Must check whether Pexiang, our Flag Bearer got nose-bleed- He was making a definite effort NOT to look at those beautiful ladies.
"Hmmm... Pexiang, Pexiang... your blood pressure abit high today ah.."

Chingay 2007 - Parade of Dreams (Pt 2 - The Colors and Sights)

As usual, the Chingay parade promises lots of vibrant colours and excitment. From colourful costumes, to even walking robots from popular Anime series.

Here we see Gundam, Robotech and even Transformers robots join in our parade

We were scheduled to perform at Zone 1, right after the Belly Dancers

Here we see them twirling in all their glorious colors.
Ahh... the boys were 'so' motivated to perform afterwards. In fact, I believe the Belly Dancers deserve a post of their own- Check out Part 3

Friday, February 23, 2007

Chingay 2007 - Parade of Dreams (Pt 1 - Beginnings)

VS Wushu Team was invited to perform during this year's Chingay Parade Celebrations on Fri and Sat 23-24 Feb. Since 1972, the parade has become a permanent fixture for both tourists and locals alike in our celebrations of the Lunar New Year. Traditionall, in the 70s, Singaporeans used to usher in the Lunar New Year with riotious explosions of fire-crackers but due to nuisance and danger caused when used indiscriminately, fire-crackers were banned in 1972 and the Chingay parade was born to allow us all the joyous noise, boisterous fun and loud carnival without harm to people or property.

Here we are at Old Chang Kee and boys, being boys; cannot help but snack. I'm sure we helped boost the sales of curry puffs at the stall that day. Coming straight after school, they could not resists the smells of good ole Chang Kee-- what to do?

Due to the rain, the pre-parade preparations was a frenzy of activity to get things set-up and running. But by 7.00pm the weather had cleared up and we were good to go, here we see the crew do some last minute touches and prepartions to seal off the road and prepare for the parade

More updates on Fri's performance to come

TIPD Exchange Programme from UK- Matt Hogan Cable Skis with VS boys during PE

Over the following week, VS will be hosting members of the TIPD Exchange Programme from the UK. 3 UK teachers will be paired with 3 VS teachers.
In this clip, we see Matt Hogan from Eaton High School gamely join in our Sec 4 boys during their PE lesson.

VS is the only school in Singapore (and probably South East Asia) that offers Cable Skiing as an official part of its PE curriculum. We have established a good partnership with the Cable Ski vendor located nearby in East Coast Lagoon. Thus, our close proximity to the sea allows us to truly move towards a borderless classroom.

Go, Matt, Go!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

PSG CNY Dinner for Staff

Victoria School is priviledged and blessed to have a very strong and dedicated Parent's Support Group. They are a pro-active and dedicated group of parents that really seeks to establish a strong bridge between parents and students. Some members continue to be active even after their son's graduate from VS. This is a testament to the committment and pride that both parents and teachers share being common stake holders in Victoria School

The evening's meal comprised of sumptous 'Lo Hei' and buffet followed by some absolutely hilarious games. You can see from all the smiles here that there were no strangers at this evening's dinner. Our dedicated PSG group members took the time and trouble to decorate the room, host the teachers, provide dinner and games for us.
In the following clip, we see Mr Maran (HOD-Pupil Development) sending us all into fits of laughter as he reads us traditional Chinese greetings. 3 cheers for the sporting Mr Maran.

Once again, thanks to all the PSG members for taking time out for us! Deeply appreciated

Saturday, February 17, 2007

VS Wushu Performance for CNY 2007 -Sifu Loh's Lion Dance

My own master, Sifu Loh Poh Swee had come down personally to lend support to our first lion dance and to help in the 'dian jing' ritual to 'open the eyes' of our first official Lion.

He too was caught up in the spirit of celebration and decided to add to the festivities by performing the lion dance for us as well. This is his first public performance in over 20 years.

Despite his age and not having slept int 24 hrs (yes, Sifu Loh had stayed up the entire night settling the loose ends of his medical shop before Chinese New Year), Sifu Loh showed the students how the spirit of the Lion can be brought alive through his intricate steps, small and subtle manipulations of the lion head and eyes. In his heads, the lion blinked, it smiled, winked and flapped its ears:)

All we have accomplished today is the result of the dedication of our teachers, and I am deeply touched that my own teacher and Sifu continues to support me as I grow and mature in the teaching vocation.

Nil Sine Labore

Friday, February 16, 2007

VS Wushu Team Performance for CNY 2007

Today, VS Wushu Team began the new year celebrations with a vibrant series of performances. We began the day bright and early with our first Wushu performance at Deyi Secondary School.
There we were treated to a warm-welcome from both teachers and students.

Our next stop was at CHIJ Katong Convent where the loud screams and cheers from the all-girl population certainly served to 'inspire' our brave Gentlemen.

Our final and most important stop was back in VS, where we had a Dian Jing Ceremony to 'Open the Eyes' of VS first official Lion Head. This was our first ever official Lion dance performance. Our coach, Master Loh Poh Swee was so caught up in the spirit of things that he too volunteered to perform for us! This is his first public performance in about 20 years.
Here we see Pang Hong Yun (Lion Head) and Chang JunRong (Lion Tail) giving us the first offcial Lion Dance performance for VS with our very own Lion Head.

We began our performance with our Group Dagger performance which won us 2nd place in the C-Div Interschool Wushu Championships in 2006

The hard working wushu team wooed the crowed with their hard work and practice.
Here are the solo routines of the day:
Fung Junjie - Sabre
Tan Xiang Ting- Changquan and Sword
Tan Xiang Tian- 3-Section Staff

Thursday, February 15, 2007

School Emergency Exercise

At 12.00 noon today, the sirens blared and our School Emergency Exercise was on its way.
Having done this rigourously each year, students were well versed in the various escape routes as well as what to do upon reaching the assembly point.

We can see that the students are well-rehearsed and sure of what to do in times of emergency. Upon arrival at the assembly area, attendence was taken by Form Teachers and all students were accounted for.
In no time, we were heading back to class to resume our lessons.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sec 1 Track & Field (Long Jump)

Last week, we saw our Sec 1 boys doing their 100m.
This week, we see them attempting the Long Jump.

Here we see Cao ZhenDong from 1F giving us a beautiful 4.4m. Looks like he might have some very good potential!

Sec 2 Hockey Lessons (Passing and Receving II)

We are 4 weeks into our Hockey lessons now,
The boys have learnt the basics of dribbling, passing, shooting.

This lesson we have a 4 vs 4 small sided game where in order to score, the team must pass the ball to a fellow member behind the goalline. The receiver must stop the ball to score a point.
Thus, the emphasis is not so much on shooting accuracy (as there are no goal posts) but rather on passing accuracy (watching for a open receiver, passing through open space. etc)

Here we see some good work from Sec 2A

Here are our Premier League players

Junrong and Multi-Racial Gang

Noel and the Peacock Gang

Yusof and the Smile-Until-I-Cannot-See-Your-Eyes Gang

Bryan with the People-of-the-Same-Height Gang

Monday, February 12, 2007

Total Defence Day @ Victoria School

Today was our Total Defence Day,

Students were treated to various animation clips by CHIJ St Joseph's Convent and Animagine, as well as a film screening of 'Without Warning' a short filmlet by Media Corp that looked at the events and emergency procedures that will take place during a terrorist attack.

We also had an entertaining skit but Encore Showstation "What if a Bomb". The performance ended with students playing a game that tested them on the Five Pillars of Civil Defence as well as an IQ quiz.
See clip below for excerpts.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Victoria Hall Idol Auditions

In preparations for Victoria Hall's Chinese New Year's celebration dinner on 14th Feb, Victoria Hall has organised the VH Idol Contest.

Participants sang and danced for our judges tonight. It is always a pleasant surprise to the teacher-mentors to see the wealth of talent that is waiting to burst out in the midst of all our students.

Here are some highlights from the auditions:

Kelvin Hieng with "Tong Hua"
Sec 1 VS student Kelvin Hieng charmed us all with his boyish rendition of "Tong Hua". Although his voice is still wavering now, we're sure he'll be a heartbreaker soon- watch out girls:)

Liu Tong with "Qing Shan Gao Yuan"
Liu Tong sang a powerful rendition of "Qing Shan Gao Yuan" while nursing a sore throat. A Chinese folksong that exudes the longing for the open plains, she awed us with her powerful voice and soulful rendition.

Pooja & Co with Indian Dance
Pooja and friends brought the big screen magic of Bollywood right into Victoria Hall. With their vibrant dance steps, infectious music and well-rehearsed moves, they made us all feel the rhythm of their contagious act. Special mention must go to Sanchit who earlier suprised us with a rendition of Jay Chou's "Coral Sea" (San Hu Hai). The difficulty and effort taken for him to learn to sing a Chinese song is worthy of mention and shows off the rich racial diversity and sharing that we have in Victoria Hall

Shiane & Partner- Hip Hop
So you think you can dance? Well, Shiane and her partner certainly did! They fused classical moves with hip-hop and showed that they could pirouette and twirl as gracefully as they pop & lock, old-school hip-hop with Next-Gen ballet moves. Bring it on!

North- Human Drum Machine
Auzzidz a.k.a North, gave us the most original and creative performance tonight with his portrayal of a human drum machine. He 'played' the drums, bass and even scratched the turn-table all with just his vocal chords providing the appropriate sound effects. See Da Man in action!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Victoria School Student Leaders' Investiture

This evening, we invested the student leaders of the various CCA groups in schools.
From Uniform Groups, Sports, Cultural Groups and Clubs, all appointment holders were invested in a simple yet solemn ceremony.

They were reminded by Mr Low, our Principal that leadership requires 2 words and 2 numbers:
The 2 words are "Moral Courage" -the ability to make the right decision at the right time and to see it through.
The 2 numbers are 24/7 because being a leader is a permanent mode of behaviour: you cannot exhibit leadership in cca and then not exhibit it in class- it must be a consistent and constant manifestation of yourself.

Here we see our student leaders taking the Student Leader's Pledge

Release of GCE 'O' Level Results

Today was indeed an exciting day for VS, our 2006 batch has done very well and we have continued to maintain our Value-added status again! Our boys have done us proud once again. Here we see ASEAN scholars John Christopher Go and Neil Brian Alapide who both scored 8 points for their L1R5-

Principal's Address
If our calculations are correct, the graduating class of 2006 did better than 2005 with the best English results in the past 5 years!
See clip for Principal's opening address to Class of 2006

Passes and Distinctions
We had some stunning results: E-maths had 100% passes with 89.9% Distinction, A-maths had 70.1% Distinction. We had 3 boys from the General Art Programme who all obtained Distinctions for their Art.
See clip of breakdown of results

Best Performances
Some stellar performances from the various classes:
Sec 4A: Mean L1R5 8.9
Sec 4H: Mean L1R5 9.43
Sec 4I: Mean L1R5 9.43

2 of our Top Students:
Zhang Zhe nan: 9 A1s
Gautam : 8A1s and 1 A2
See clip for announcement of Best Performers

Gentlemen, well done!
As always, our VS Cheers that keep our flag unfurled!
VS Unite!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Sec 1 Track & Field (100m)

Sec 1s will be doing their 100m this week as well as trying out Long Jump
Here we see Sec 1F trying hard to do their 100m!

Run boys run!

Sec 2 Hockey (Indian Dribble & 4v4 Small Sided-Game)

Today we see Sec 2A playing 4 v 4 small sided game.
To date, we have introduced students to the fundamentals of dribbling, passing and stopping.

Today's new skill introduced was the Indian Dribble- here we can see some of the better players using it in their small-sided game play.

Tour of Shell Bukom Refinery

Today, our VS scholars (ASEAN, A*Star & PRC) went on a tour to the Shell Refinery at Pulau Bukom.
Although, we missed the ferry because the bus couldn't locate the terminal entrance!!, it was still a educational eye opener.

Seeing crude oil tanks built in 1900 that were still serviceable as well as the ultra modern catalytic cracker was an eye opener. From the crude oil to the high octance fuel, we found out that the refinery at Bukom processes 450000 barrels of oil a day!

A good learning experience indeed for all of us. Imagine when we were told that the current estimate for fossil fuel to last is only another 70 years! Which means a cheap and renewable energy source must be found within our lifetimes-otherwise, the consequences will be quite dire.
The technology is there and available but are we open enough and dedicated enough to work for the good of all? That is something for all of us to ponder.

Who knows, in another 70 years I might have to sell my beloved 1.4 Honda Jazz to buy a race-horse from Turf club if there's no petrol left. :)

Sunday, February 4, 2007

VS Chinese Orchestra Concert @ Singapore Conference Hall

Today, our VS Chinese Orchestra provided students, staff, family and guests with a rousing performance of Chinese music spanning various genres.
From Tibetan folksongs to instrumental renditions of J-Pop and A-mei songs, our CO boys showed us that music truly knows no boundaries.

My personal favourites were 2 pieces that showcased the 'ruan' (a kind of guitar like instrument)- hearing the standard 12-bar blues riff played not on guitar but the 'ruan' gave a kinda of Oriental blue-grass feel to the piece that would have made John Lee Hooker proud.

The other piece featured the 'yu' which kinda took on the saxophone's role in playing a soulful theme reminiscient of 1930s film noir detective movies.
With this versatility, the boys showed that they could handle the traditional chinese classics as well as new fusion pieces with aplomb.

Check out their encore performance in this clip:
Kudos to conductor Mike Chiang, who was a charismatic and vibrant conductor equally deserving of audience attention!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

VS Wushu Team's Demo @ NTU

Victoria School's Wushu Team was invited to perform at the NTU Invitational Wushu Display on Sat 3rd Feb.

Here are our boys in action:
Group Event: Dagger Routine
Solo: Fung Junjie - Sabre
Tan Xiang Ting - Changquan and Sword
Tan Xiang Tian - 3-Section Staff

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Visit to Sun Micro Systems Thu 1 Feb 2007

On Thu 1 Feb, members VS staff and students visited Sun Micro systems for a field trip with Principal Mr Low and VP Mr Adrian Lim.
It was an exciting eye-opener for staff and students alike as we saw how information storage and transmission is changing with the increasing availibilty of high-speed internet bandwidth.

Certainly, the new generation of education will see technological advances prompting changes in pedagogical methods. Technology will allow us to change what we teach and the way we teach.

With the ability to deliver so much cotent across such a variety of platforms in multiple incarnations, it becomes more and more apparent that as a teacher, our ability to teach in itself becomes more and more critical.

Can't help but recall with fondness some of my own Sec school teachers: No Powerpoint presentations for them, no snazzy animations, totally IT illiterate but man, could they teach and keep us captivated. To this day, even as I write this blog, I remember them as my inspiration.

3 Cheers to the Chalkboard Heroes of Yesterday!

Building StoneHenge

This is an interesting clip on how forces work.

Interesting ideas for OPWS as well as sportsmen on the nature of force and movement of mass.

Extreme Obstacle Course!

Boys, you've got to see this!

It's worth the loading time- if only one day, PE could be like this :)