Thursday, March 29, 2007

IP @ a Glance

Fri 30th Mar is our Sec 2 Meet the Parents Session.
Sec 2A's Form Teacher is Miss Lim In Siew, and I am the Assistant Form Teacher.
After Principal's briefing, Miss Lim and I intend to address the following issues:
1) Role of FT and AFT
2) Academic Options
3) CCA vs Studies
4) Class Climate

Hot topic for all Sec 2 students and parents will be the issue of the Integrated Program. Miss Lim and I will go into more detail on the various options during the session itself proper.
Meanwhile here are the links to the various websites of the school offering IP/IB:

1. NUS High School of Math and Science :
2. Victoria Integrated Program (VIP):
3. Temasek Academy (TA):
4. National Integrated Program (NJC IP):
5. Raffles Programme (RP):
6. Hwa Chong Institution:
7. Dunman High Program (DHP Academy):
8. Anglo-Chinese School (Independent):
ACS(I) only takes in students from other schools after their Sec 4 Prelim Exams, based on their scores. Note that while students do not take the O Levels, if accepted, they will also not take the A Levels. Rather, they will take the *International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme *after their two years at ACS(I).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sec 2A Soccer- How to retrieve a soccer ball

Today, Sec 2A began their Soccer module for PE.

We began with basic passing using the inside and outside of the foot; as well as receiving using inside and outside of the foot.

Things were going well when a sudden flash shower made us all dash for cover- so we moved to Plan B. We relocated to the canteen and continued our PE lesson there (making sure to arrange tables and chairs to prevent the balls from hitting the pillars and dirtying them; also to ensure that the boys did not kick the balls onto anyone i.e. staff, vendors or god-forbid, our principal:P)

As boys will be boys, sooner or later a soccer ball landed in the pond. So here is 2A's attempt to do an emergency rescue of a floating soccer ball:

From this clip, I was able to formulate some scientific observations about the working of the Universe in general :P

Mr Siow's Theory of Soccer Relativity
1) The volume at which you shout at the floating soccer ball is inversely proportional to the intended path of motion that you wish for it.
Shouting at a soccer ball tends to make it float in the opposite direction from where you intend it to go. Standing on the shore and shouting at the ball will NOT make it float back to you.

2) Strikers use feet to score, Goal Keepers use hands to stop
It is not possible for you to pick up a floating ball with your feet- you will have to use those things you call hands- you know, the appendages with 5 protrusions at the end of your wrists? Yes, you got to use your hand to pick the ball up.

3) Man who put hand in water get wet
Pond water might be murky. Pond water might be smelly. But pond water is definitely not deadly. You hand will NOT corrode if you touch pond water; neither am I asking you to drink the pond water. If you need to retrieve the soccer ball from the pond, it is likely that you hand will get wet.
That is normal.
Do no panic if your hand gets wet.
It will not fall off.
You do not need to call SCDF.

4) The resultant is the vector sum of two or more vectors. It is the result of adding vectors together. If displacement vectors A, B, and C are added together, the result will be vector R.
Splashing water to make waves helps to push the ball to the side of the pond but only if you do it from one side.
If all of you circle the pond and start splashing, the ball will stay in the middle of the pond. Which means .... Zero displacement, which means ... a lot of splashing but zero movement of ball.

5) Small man with long pole have better reach than Big man with small pole.
It is not only necessary to work hard but sometimes to work smart as well. Reaching and stretching will help extend your reach but won't lengthen you arms. Use the appropriate tools at the appropriate time so that your work and effort is always efficient and meaningful.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Lower Sec PE Theory Lessons

Lesson materials and worksheets for Lower Sec PE Theory Lessons have been uploaded to the SPRINT@VS website.

Students can download the Powerpoint e-lessons and relevant worksheets (which you should have already received in class) Pls look under the MEDIA tab.

Click here to access the SPRINT@VS website (

Sunday, March 18, 2007

My Mar Holidays - Training in Udon Thani

It's been a hectic first term and I decided to take a much needed break and 'disappear' and get a chance to rest, recharge and reflect. So immediately on Sat 10th Mar at 3am, I left for our Budget Terminal to board the 6am flight off to Udon Thani.

Where is Udon Thani and what's there?- some of you might ask.
Well Udon Thani is a kinda sleepy country town in the Northern part of Thailand near the Lao boarder. I went up there to do some personal training with one the regional trainers in edged weapons training, Randy Hodges (ain't it cool, we both have the same name! His is spelt Randall, mine is Randell)
Over the course of the next few days, I had intense 1 to 1 sessions with Randy. Randy had also arranged for his wife, Nok, to assist in the training. Nok was patient and helped me with many of the flow drills and exercises. Between mothering me with lots of food and drink (the grilled fish was fantastic, Nok!), she was always trying to ambush me with sneaky attacks.
Randy was also a generous trainer and shared openly and unreservedly with me. Every morning and evening, he'd show up on his Honda motorbike and pick me from the hotel and we'd be off for the next 2 1/2 hours sparring, training and drilling.
In the afternoons, I took the chance to rest, catch up on my reading, watch the many training DVDs I'd promised myself to watch. And catch a much needed nap before the evening training session with Randy. The slow pace of life in Udon allowed me time to unwind, catch up on training and reflect.
We travelled everywhere by bike or Tuk Tuk: check out my first Tuk Tuk ride when we brought Randy's Alsatian, Chao Ying to the vet for her bath.

The cool thing about training with Randy and Nok was that it was an intense session but not formalised; rather it was like catching up with family after a long absence.
Lazing in the house after training with Randy, Nok, Janny (their adorable daughter) and Chao Ying (the mischievous Alsatian) was a reminder and affirmation that working hard and enjoying the company of good people are the simplest yet most crucial pleasures in life. Here's a clip of one lazy afternoon after a hard morning training session:

Thank you Randy, Nok, Little Janny and yes, Ying too for the wonderful time in Udon Thani. I'm sure we'll be seeing each other soon!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

East Zone B-Div Soccer Finals: VS versus St Pats

On Wed evening, our boys played a hard-fought game with St Pat's. It has been 16 years since St Pat's has reached the Zone Finals and there was alot at stake for both schools.

St Pat's drew first blood with an early goal in the first half. Our boys staged a courageous comeback but superb goal keeping on St Pat's part and ill-luck with the cross-bar denied us the equaliser. No matter how hard we fought, we just couldn't seem to equalise and at full time, it was St Pat's that walked away with the winner's trophy.

I was impressed by the fighting spirit in both teams and I can see that there is a new found respect between the players of both schools- when VS first shifted to Siglap, there was the unavoidable sense of rivalry when ever our players encountered each other. But yesterday, the St Pat's boys really impressed me with the way they handled themselves under pressure, even when our striker collided with their goal keeper while going for the ball. The way the boys reorganised themselves, kept their cool, encouraged each other rather than start a ruckus showed that they are mature, seasoned players who take the match with VS very seriously and professionally.
There is much we can learn here.
Our boys also impressed me with our trade-mark 'Never say Die' attitude. In my opinion, Man of the Match should go to Dilip Thapa. Every challenge for the ball, every run to intercept loose ball, every header to vie for possession, you could see him there.

So here's a little tribute to our Victorian heroes!

3 cheers to our opponents St Pat's- thank you for that hard fought match, it brought out the best in both of us.
Let us push forward for the Nationals! Yeah!

Sec 1 Track & Field Lessons- High Jump

Having gone through the basic techniques of approach and take-off, we see Sec 1E here trying out at the actual High Jump pit.

Must say that 1E has quite a number of potential jumpers!

Check out clip below:

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Just Follow Law- Another Hit Movie

I'm a big fan of Jack Neo, yup, I've seen and own all his movies from Home Run, I Not Stupid 1 & 2, Best Bet, One More Chance, Money No Enough, I Do, I Do. Heck, I even have Liang Po Po- The Movie on VCD!

Jack Neo's movies are getting better and better but to the average Westerner in US, they'll have no idea what is going on. The beauty of Neo's films isn't in the witty Singlish dialogue (though it often cracks me up- the classic being Jack Neo's 4D rap in Hokkien during the opening of Best Bet)Nope, the beauty of Neo's films is in the layered subtext- the unspoken commentary of Singaporean life that lies just beneath the surface. It isn't the 'quaint' use of Singlish, as some of our colonial-linguists are just beginning to appreciate in mainstream culture; it's the unabashed use of multiple languages to tell a unqiue story made possible by the unique integration of people and culture in Singapore.

I'll tell you who appreciates Jack Neo's films: our good neighbours to the north. Yup, on a training trip to Malaysia, I drove all the way up from Singapore to KL and Kedah. And guess what, during our supper sessions, my Kedah buddies were spouting Neo-esque lines from Best Bet almost like they memorised the entire show.
Our Malaysian brothers share the same 'feel' for life that we do :)
My Caucasian friends (whom we can affectionately call 'Ang Moh', these days), having stayed in Singapore for awhile, are starting to see and understand the same jokes.
Yes, Neo's films are for are select crowd- the heartlanders

Granted, that films like Home Run will touch international audiences with its poignancy but unless you're Malaysian or Singaporean, you'll never get the in-joke about the 2 kids quarreling about drawing water from the drinking well. It's hilarious but you just can't translate or explain it.

In this tradition, Neo's latest film, Just Follow Law is funny, critical and touching all at the same time. It gives us a self-deprecating look at how bureaucratic civil service can be and yet how the average layman refuses to help himself. While he isn't entirely objective (we can see where his sympathies lie), he presents a pretty balanced picture.

And Fann Wong's performance... Really, I never thought much about her acting skills but in this movie, she shows that she can act. Likewise, Gurmit's role is actually very demanding, although much subtler than Fann's. I'm not going to give any spoilers here. Check out the Official Film Site for Just Follow Law

Trust me, it's a good film to watch (better than Ghost Rider :)
For a little taste, watch these 2 trailers I downloaded from the film's official site:

Friday, March 2, 2007

Public Service Board- Sharing Our Proudest Moments

Sometime last year, PSB made a call for all members in public service to submit and share their proudest moments.

I made a submission of one video clip with the following caption:

In preparation for Victoria School’s 130th anniversary, I was asked to put together two video clips to celebrate the uniqueness of Victoria School’s tradition and culture.

I did it with my students and the clips were shown during our anniversary concert where President S R Nathan was the guest of honour. I was heartened and touched when many parents and teachers gave me positive feedback on how the clips had moved them and how they felt the clips had captured our mission statement for every Victorian to be a Gentleman, Professional and Sportsman.

My proudest moment in the Public Service was when I saw my boys turning into men, and becoming something more.

After the submission, I thought nothing of it. But little did I expect that excerpt to be featured on the Public Service website above. Check out the link to PSB Sharing Our Proudest Moments

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Hostel Room Check

Ahhh, it's that time again when I check the room cleanliness of the boys in the hostel.

And we all know that if there's one thing that boys hate doing, it's house work. But my constant nagging and stringent standards seem to have paid off.
Here are the ratings for this round of room checks:

H1-04-04 : A+
H1-04-05 : B+
H1-04-06 : A-
H1-04-16 : A
H1-04-17 : A
H1-04-18 : A-
H1-04-19 : B+
H1-06-19 : C+
H1-06-22 : C

This is a great improvement
Special mention goes to Phuong and Dung H1-04-17 for the neatest cupboards- see how they even arrange their ties

And the cleanest room award goes to ............. H1-04-04
Here we see the occupants, Jia Lok, Xuanjie, Qi Kai and Christian all hard at work during CST time in their neat and tidy room. Heh heh, so hardworking right:)

Well done boys!
Keep up the good work- tonight as reward, we'll have group supper. Will order Pizza to share for all!

TIPD UK Exchange Programme - Final Day

Don't we look like brothers?!
Yup, this is the final day for all our buddies from the TIPD Exchange Program from the UK.

Stephen Underwood from Middlewich High School
Linda Hopkins from Sandbach High
and Matt Hogan from Eaton Bank School

We hope you've enjoyed your say here with us.
Matt surprised me with a lovely gift of a jersey from his hometown of CORNWALL.
I must say that I was very touched with this gesture and so I put together this little MTV of our time together.
It's not much but I hope it'll bring fond memories to our UK friends of the time they had in Singapore.

Hope we meet again soon.