One community, a world of difference

11th Jan 2017

It was great to see the smiling faces of the children, after the Christmas holidays. They returned to see a brand new playground area, with reconfigured playground equipment, swings and a trampoline to play on. Playground equipment are an important part of childhood, and they remain in the memories of children long after they become too old to play on them.

The split of the Christmas holidays (normally 4 weeks long) into a Christmas and a Chinese New Year (2 weeks respectively) was something I first encountered when I worked in international schools in China. My other experience has only been with Singapore’s 6-week long year-end holidays then (equivalent to summer holidays in western nations).

Such a split makes it difficult to plan for the two semesters, especially if the Chinese New Year occurs close to the beginning of the year (like this year, when it occurs at the end of January), and most school administrators would prefer not to have to deal with such splits in the major holidays.

HWA is possibly unique among many international schools (I do not count private schools that exist to serve Chinese students as “international schools”) in our accommodation to the Chinese culture. It permeates our planning, our academic process and even our administration of the school. The split-holiday is just one of the many accommodations we have made in our school, including having PYP teachers split between two classes to teach the various UOI topics, so that we can have a good split of English and Chinese within each class.

I am also glad to receive a notice from the Serangoon Community Club confirming some performances from our students at their Chinese New Year event on 19 February 2017, at the community club itself. This was a result of many months of discussions. Our students shall perform three Chinese items to the seniors, most of them Chinese-speaking, at the event. It is great to see that our school is giving to our community, and at the same time our students benefit from the exposure to opportunities to perform and be on stage.

Our students and teachers are busy rehearsing for the school’s Chinese New Year performance as of now. There is a buzz in the school, and I think our new bunch of students who has just gone through their orientation feels it too! I could not wait to get to view their performance next week!

很高兴在圣诞节假期后又见到孩子们可爱的笑脸。孩子们回来看到了一个全新的游乐场,不仅有重新配置的游乐场设施,还有秋千椅和蹦床! 游乐场设施是一个孩子童年的重要组成部分,即使当他们长大不能继续待在游乐场玩耍, 但这些宝贵的回忆将保存在孩子的记忆中 。

将圣诞假期(通常为4周)分成圣诞节和农历新年两个假期(分别为2周)是我在中国国际学校工作时才遇到的。 我其他经验也只是新加坡6周长的年终假期(相当于西方国家的暑假)。

这样的安排使得我们很难计划两个学期,尤其是当农历新年是在年初(就像今年,农历新年就在1月底), 大多数学校管理者也不喜欢将主要假期一分为二。

在众多国际学校中,HWA融合中华文化的地方是独一无二的(专收中国学生的私立学校我们行家不算是“国际学校”)。这个中华文化影响着我们的规划、我们的学术程序、甚至我们的学校行政管理。 假期一分为二只是我们在学校实施的多项融合措施之一,其它还包括将PYP教师分为两个班来教授不同UOI主题,以便我们可以在每个班都可以很好的均分英文与华文 。

我也很高兴收到实龙岗民众俱乐部的通知,确认我们的学生在2017年2月19日将在实龙岗社区的春节庆祝活动上表演。 这是多个月的讨论的结果。 我们的学生将在活动期间向老年人(其中大部分是讲中文的)表演三个中国项目 。很高兴我们的学校将为邻里社区作出服务和贡献,同时也让我们的学生受益于这些舞台表演机会。

我们的学生和教师正在忙着排练学校的农历新年表演。校园里充满了孩子们兴奋彩排的声音,我想刚刚结束迎新日活动的新生们也感受到了! 我迫不及待地想看看他们下周的表现!

下次再会!

Michael Chan 曾俊成
Principal 校长
Hillside World Academy