One community, a world of difference

17 September 2018

Principal Desk

9 September 2018, The Sunday Times has an article of "Seeing life beyond Grades" by Theresa Tan, relates a group of self-directed parents who wish to see that their children enjoy learning as much as in the process of growing up, "shifting away from pursuit of results, which leads to stress and depression experienced by the youth" here in Singapore. The group named themselves The Life Beyond Grades, and they wish to advocate for success built on not just academic but include skills and talents. Making a shift away from academic dependency.

Quick research around shows that many kids today are striving for academic excellence.  In neighbouring countries like Seoul, Japan, Hong Kong, China, etc., it’s not difficult to spot this anxiety, just look at the number of tuition centres mushrooming, it’s evidential to point to this pursuit, examinations to be cleared with stellar grades and achieved outstanding performance in sports and talents development. Indeed, kids of these days are busy, their activities arranged by parents do not lose out to MOM (Ministry of Manpower) stipulation of 44-45 hours, averagely, work week for working adult in the workforce.

MOE has responded and re-stated that they are happy to collaborate with this group "The Life Beyond Grades" as the objective of this group is "aligned with MOE’s message to move away from an overemphasis on academic performance," stated by MOE’s divisional director of engagement and research, Ms Genevieve Chye.

Does this sound like an IB school’s philosophy?
Yes to a large extent.  Yes!

Parents in HWA share with me they like homework and tests, but not too much, yet sufficient to sustain learning and allows for creative development, especially family bonding time.

If this is the formula that seekers want, I do believe HWA has the solution.
Almost satisfactorily close to the rubrics.

HWA’s emphasis on bilingual using Chinese language as our learning platform is contextualized to the economic movement of the trend. Where business direction takes the lead since Asia has a strong presence of Chinese population, such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Greater China. It does not mean it has to be the Chinese language per se, the similar context could be reflective in where the congregative of the native group co-exist together, but the idea is the same.

Language is an essential form of communication, it allows social connections and ideas to pass through each other, breaking down boundaries and walls, it acts as lubricant, that allows fast switch, term as "Code-switching", to transpire messages across to another party, understood by them, in their language, where both can speak. In simpler term, internationalism, the cross-cultural exchange that bridges possible collaborations among people.

Parallel, HWA’s IB’s learning context is purposefully infused with a bilingual and bicultural base as a scaffold that builds the academic foundation. Inquiry-based learning that opens possible exploration to the growing minds; knowledge acquisitions, through exposure of subjects combination to provoke education, couples with CAS involvement, Creativity, Activities, and Service actions, these will complete the wholesomeness of learning, alive and real in the application.

Parents who are seeking an education pathway for their precious kids must understand what school can offer. If it aligns with the needs and satisfies their aims, then, together with this purposely-planned pathway, the outcome will materialize and objective achieve.

Clarissa Lim
Principal