Wednesday, July 29, 2009

B-Div Soccer Finals (Victoria School vs Singapore Sports School)

To our Victorian warriors who kept our school pride flying high, here is the coverage from today's game as promised.

Today, was our eagerly awaited soccer rematch against our esteemed opponents from the Singapore Sports School. Last year we met them as well in the finals and lost 4-0to them. It was an agonising 30 year wait to be in the finals again last year and to suffer defeat left a bitter taste in our mouths.

But this year, our boys pushed through and forged their way through the national competition in the hopes of having a chance to face our esteemed rivals from Sports School on the field of competition again.

And indeed, the Victorian spirit prevailed and we fought our way through to finally meet up with Singapore Sports Schools in the finals today. Unfortunately, two of our key players Dilip Thapa and Bijaya were down with flu and unable to play today. But the boys never backed down, never looked back and stood strong to face the challenge presented by our wortht opponents from the Singapore Sports School.

By the time I made it down to the pitch, VS was down 2-1 and I felt disappointed that I was unable to be there earlier to cheer them on. Yet in a few moments, my spirits were buoyed up when Santosh Magar scored an amazing equalising goal to bring the score to 2-2. See it here!

Immediately our spirits soared and the grandstand rocked with the resounding cheering from our Victorian supporters.

What followed was an intense period of quick attacks and counter-attacks from both sides. Sports School were swift, firm and dominated the field; yet our VS boys challenged them for every ball and kept going and going.

We saw some courageous goal-keeping from Daniel Adam Lightfoot as well as some beautiful runs from Ryson and Amsyar

However, VS conceded another 2 points and Sports School relentlessly drew their lead ahead to 4-2. With the clock-ticking, VS was awarded a free-kick and.....

What a header!!! Iskandar managed to close the gap with that shot bring us 1 point closer to Sports School. We would now fight to equalise with them.

With about 15min to go, Sports School knew that they controlled the game and worked hard to consolidate their position by keeping control of the ball and playing for time to draw out the clock.

With every second, tension and spirits were high as VS sought for equalising opportunities only to face denial at every turn by Sports School who skillfully played to their advantage and kept the pressure up.

Kudos must go to our skipper for the game Amsyar Omar, who ran for every ball- even till the final moments of the game, he never gave up.

I watched with a lot of pride and a little envy as I saw the way Amsyar moved with the ball. I envied the way our boys played with such grace and fluidity- how I wish I had taken to team sports in my youth; but being able to teach and be apart of the Serious PE class of 2009 is something I hold dear to my heart (yes, even when I'm scolding you all- I am still proud of what you can have achieved and will continue to achieve in VS)

And so our match end- not in Victory, for Sports School had indeed played the better game; but even in defeat it was a game that lifted the spirits of all who had come to watch. We pitted ourselves against the best and played our hearts out.
And right before my eyes, I saw our boys grow up.
They did not walk away from the field with their heads down as I feared- no, they looked each other in the eye and congratulated their team-mates for a fitting conclusion to their 4 years in Victoria School.

As I watched, Amsyar came over to Daniel to clasp his hand and congratulate him- this gesture was repeated throughout the team by players, supporters- with many of our players expressing their thanks to our teachers Mr Donald Leo and Mr Wong Wailit as well as our Coaches Mr Teo Yang Song and Mr Arasu.
The game ended in defeat but for us teachers we know that we succeeded in teaching you all the right values and in teaching them to you well.

That is why, win or lose, when we sing the Victorian Anthem we know that we are indeed something more...

If you ask me to find me a school where the Principal himself will come down and stand in the midst of all the boys and sing the anthem with all his heart and cheer with all his might, I know only of one and that is Victoria School- the last remaining government all-boys school in Singapore and we are going to keep it that way so that we continue to produce men of calibre with character, vision and passion. Men that keep going even when the fight is tough and the odds are slim.

"Victoria in Singapore,
there are other schools we know.
Victoria is something more,
the school that watched us grow"

I have grown, played, laughed, cried, cheered, scolded, in my years here as a teacher in Victoria School and I would not trade the experience here for anything else in the world.

In the words of the Serious PE Class "HAR LER"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Term 3 Week4: NAPFA Testing time!

Yup, in Term 3 the PE Dep embarks on our series of NAPFA testing for the various levels.

So during PE, the boys will either head out to East Coast to do their 2.4km Run or stay in school and move from station to station, completing their rest of the items in the NAPFA test.

Usually, I handle the Standing Broad Jump. Every year, you get to see a whole range of abilities: from lower Sec boys frantically swinging their hands, too upper Sec boys who jump far but can't balance when they land.

This year, I finally caught on film the ultimate record breaking Standing Broad Jump feat I have ever witnessed in VS.
Check this out:

Well done, Iskandar from 3A!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Victoria School 133rd Speech Day

Today, was our 133rd Speech Day.

Amongst the performances that we were treated to, we saw our first free-style drill display by the NCC boys:

Also, it was a good honour and priviledge to see the entire 2008 Sec 4 B-Div Wushu Team come back to recieve both academic and CCA prizes.

I'm damn proud of all of you boys!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Teaching Vision- Sharing My Story

MOE is re-drafting the Teaching Vision. Today, I received an invitation from one of our Senior Teachers, Mdm Kwok to share on my experiences in teaching:

So here goes...
1. How many years of teaching experience do you have?
I first started teaching while waiting to do my M.A. I did relief teaching for about 2 terms in St Teresa's Convent. Later on, during my NIE days I did my practicum attachment at Singapore Chinese Girls School. After graduating from NIE, I was posted to Victoria School and have been teaching there since for 6 years.

2. What has kept you going in your passion for teaching?
When I realise that I can make a positive impact on my student and help him become something more. The 3 magic words for me are "Thank you, sir." Be it at the end of class, end of CCA training session, helping a student with an assigned task, or even signing a consent form- those simple words of appreciation give me a great sense of fulfilment.

The act of teaching in itself rejuvenates me no matter how tired or drained I feel during the week. Especially in Wushu, I may be drained by the day's events and work, but after training with the boys I often find that being involved with them helps me to recharge and rejuvenate as we share our common passion for martial arts and push ourselves as a team.

3. Relate an incident, an event or a response from a student, parent, colleague that is a defining moment, that makes teaching meaningful for you?
When I first started teaching in VS, I was attached as AFT to Mdm Nabilah's class. Together, we mentored a student called Ho CP (I'm sure many of the older teachers will remember him :)
Despite our best efforts from teachers and Mr Low (who was our VP then), Chong Poh eventually dropped out of school. It was a discouraging fact at that time.
One day, the PE Department received a request from ITE regarding whether we could allow one of their students to do his attachment studies with us for their Sports Management Industrial Attachment. Guess who was the candidate? Yup, our ex-Victorian Ho CP.

It seems our efforts did sink it after all- they just took abit longer. CP had matured since we teachers last saw him and we were more than willing to help him in his endeavours in his new course. He performed admirably during his attachment and scored a distinction. He subsequently managed to qualify for a place in Republic Poly. When we spoke about his progress together, Mr Low mentioned that on a visit to Republic Poly, CP saw him and immediately move out to give Mr Low a big hug.

That simple hug sums up what being a teacher in VS is all about:
Victoria School, we leave no one behind.

Victoria School's new Indoor Sports Hall

After close to 9 months of construction, our much awaited Indoor Sports Hall is finally up.
Currently, only supervised activities are allowed in the hall as there is still some construction going on but PE lessons have started to use the hall already.

The structure of the hall has left us with a covered open-space where the old basketball court used to be and a multi-purpose playing area on the second level.

THe ground level open-space is currently line with synthetic flooring (courtesy of Mr Amir!) and boys are already making good use of it for futsal as well as other sports. We will be installing hoops and backboards soon, so basketballers please be patient and you'll soon be able to play there!. Here we see 4J having futsal during their PE lessons:

The second level has been set-up primarily as a volleyball court and will see shared used between the volleyball and wushu CCA. However, court markings have been made for badminton, handball and basketball as well. The installation of retractable backboards also allows basketball to be played there as well.
Here we see how some of the classes make used of this shared space during PE.