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2013 ISSUE 03



Principal’s Message THE FLAME CJC Editorial Team EDITORS

Nadia Arianna Bte Ramli Suzie Yanti Jumadi Sng Mee Lian



CONTRIBUTORS Sarah Lim Ong Karqi Ashley Tan Jared Gan Rebecca Ng Sai Krithika J Hazel Boon Jade Kaur Kimberly Ng Amy Leung Anne Wong


We are into the second semester of the college calendar and CJCians are being challenged to stretch themselves academically. This year, the Youth Ambassador Symposium, modelled after the Mock United Nations approach, had the History and Economics students pitching their thinking and advocacy skills to solve the crises in Sudan. This was followed by the Literary Evening where the English Literature students dramatised an interpretation of their various texts for “A” levels. For the English Language Symposium, we invited Mr Christopher Veysey, a lecturer in English for Academic Purposes at Imperial College, London, to speak to our students. These platforms have been designed to help students apply their subject disciplines to authentic problems and learning experiences. Developing these lessons beyond the classroom requires teachers who believe in collaborative learning and who have the skills to design the curriculum. We are blessed with a team of teachers who are willing to develop their expertise in

concept-based learning and the teaching of critical thinking. We are very pleased to note that this year we have two teachers whose expertise has been recognised at the national level. Ms Nur Adhana received the Most Outstanding History Teacher Award and Ms Laureen Toh was one of the ten teachers who obtained the Most Inspiring Teacher of English Award. While the focus shifts to the preparation for the end of the year examinations this semester, we remain rooted in the values of the college, “Truth” and “Love”, as we strive for excellence. CJCians are reminded not to take the parents who help out at snack night for granted and to lend a helping hand to their college mates who may find the going a little more trying. They are encouraged to find time with God at the college retreat and to be thankful for the blessings they receive each day. As a college community we endeavour to develop each student to be a “Thinker with a Mission, Leader with a Heart”. God bless, Mrs Christine Kong

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Outside the main library of the University of Cambridge.

REACH CASTLE 2013: THE JC2 ELL EXPERIENCE Reach Castle was a really enriching experience for us: studying in an old castle with our classmates and with minimal heating and being surrounded by beautiful architecture, as well as the occasional snow, was an experience like no other. We had different professors coming in to teach us each day, and they are of different nationalities and backgrounds, but they all shared a passion for Linguistics and were eager to impart insightful knowledge to us. One new feature of this year’s academic programme was a research project with the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. We engaged in field research for their website, Language Landscape, an incredible tool for mapping locations where different languages are spoken around the world. One of the purposes of Language Landscape is to provide people with a powerful tool for the promotion and celebration of linguistic diversity.

Helen Dominic and Elizabeth Chee gathering linguistic data.

Our fieldwork consisted of us forming groups of four to five members and interviewing people, both British and of other nationalities and ethnicities, at the Cambridge City Centre as the basis of our linguistic research. We gathered data of their speech features by asking them a series of questions that allowed us to make inferences about the interviewees’ background and even their personal ideologies. It was incredible to see the linguistic diversity even in the small Cambridge City Centre and this reminded us of the linguistic landscape in Singapore. We have speakers of so many different languages here in our country and sometimes do not even appreciate some of these languages. It got us thinking that we should start appreciating our extremely diverse linguistic background and be proud of the languages that shape our culture, beliefs and ideologies. We also had the pleasure of experiencing the richness of the multiculturalism of The Green School in London. It was interesting to note the many different ethnic groups that the students belong to. We were given the opportunity to attend lessons with our peers in The Green School, and we observed how outspoken the students were and the high degree of student-teacher interactions.


With our lecturer, Mr Christopher Veysey, inside the castle.

Reach Castle 2013 has been definitely one of the highlights of our JC life.

The first speaker for the Symposium, Assistant Professor Frantisek Kratochvil, from the Division of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, shared an engaging presentation on Language Contact in Southeast Asia and the linguistic consequences of Panel Discussion moderated by Mrs Sng Mee migration. Lian (middle). The Symposium’s second speaker, Mr. Chris Veysey, a lecturer on English for Academic Purposes at Imperial College, London, gave a riveting talk that focused on discourse analysis in everyday conversation. Guest-of-Honour, Dr Tay May Yin, Programme Director, ELIS, opens the symposium.



The 2013 English Language and Linguistics (ELL) Symposium, now in its 6th year, saw students and teachers from schools across Singapore gather to gain insight into discourse analysis and pidgins and creoles. The Guest-of-Honour was Dr Tay May Yin, the Programme Director of Pedagogy at the English Language Institute of Singapore (ELIS).

The Q&A session that followed was a great opportunity for curious students to gain even more from the event, as they asked pertinent questions about the use of language. Amongst the day’s newly enlightened students was Adele Leong (1T35) who said, “It was incredibly enriching and it opened my eyes to aspects about this subject Mr Chris Veysey leads the second presentation on Discourse Analysis. that I never knew.”



(From l-r) John Brian Nayar (1T22), Amanda Choo (1T33), Ms Amanda Ong, Jamie Ch’ng (1T18) Quek Jian Der (1T19) on the grounds of Notre Dame.

on academic pursuits, but provided opportunities for participants to engage in social activities. CJ students took part in a plethora of extracurricular activities, like sports, open air concerts, dances and talent shows.

Amanda Choo (1T33) shares a meal with her Counselor and new friends from the Debate and Public Speaking Track.



In July, seven CJC students took part in the Summer Scholars programme at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA. Throughout the stay, students attended lectures and tutorials with local Notre Dame students, based Julian Chong (1T32) presents a case to the on the disciplines that they audience. selected. In the course of this programme, some of the participants who opted to read Law, for example, learnt about the US Constitution, human rights and international laws, and even got to “draft” a new constitution for South Sudan. The immersion programme did not wholly centre

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Enriching and meaningful opportunities for students were also aplenty, and these included a field trip to a Juvenile Detention Facility and serving food at a shelter for the homeless. The CJCians were warmly received by the CJCians capturing a moment of classroom American students. “I was time with their English professor. really amazed at how generous the Americans were with their compliments,” said Amanda Choo. On the 4th of July, the US Independence Day, CJ students attended an open-air concert and played “Capture the Flag”, a popular outdoor game in the US. The cultural difference between the US and Singapore was not a barrier, but instead a learning opportunity for the CJCians. Indeed, the programme offered both an academic and cultural immersion, and the CJCians CJCians spent some of their time serving the concur that they formed local community new bonds. “Though I was initially reserved, I cast off my old inhibitions during the 4th of July party and started socializing with the American students. I haven’t regretted it since,” says Julian Chong of 1T32. Jiang Haolie (1T05) adds that, “We may not have seen Students on the grounds of the University of the Statue of Liberty, touched Notre Dame the Grand Canyon or whistled for a cab in New York, but in those short two weeks, we managed to get truly and completely immersed in elements of US culture.”


CJCians at Christ College.

aspect of studying in Cambridge is that the professors are firm about punctuality and require students to arrive in class at least five minutes before the commencement of every lesson. Classes were conducted in small groups, consisting of about 26 students. The lessons were engaging and more relaxed, as there was good interaction between the professors and students. During lectures, students were encouraged to raise questions.

CJCians enjoy the grounds of Downing College.



In August, a group of students from CJC went to Cambridge and it was a fresh experience for many. It was an academic immersion program where students dig deep into the various subjects such as Mathematics, Biology, Philosophy and many other subjects that are commonly studied in Singapore. Students enjoyed the quaint marketplace, stunning hallways and the Trinity Hall where they stayed. The times they spent there were definitely memorable. Our students had the opportunity of engaging with content that was beyond what they had to learn in Singapore. One unique

When asked about her experience in the academic immersion program to Cambridge, Claudia Vembriyani (1T12) said, “The trip has widened my horizons and broadened my perspectives, not only in my approach to academic Philosophy students having lessons at the Ely work, but also in terms of my station while waiting for the train. cultural awareness. I think that life there is less stressful, yet more productive.” In addition, Sean Lee (1T12) shared that his decision to study Philosophy was the best decision that he had made. “My perspectives on life have changed after meeting many people from diverse backgrounds and observing the different cultures and lifestyles in Cambridge.” Our students enjoyed the lifestyle and appreciated the change in setting and environment in learning. The experience of studying abroad – living in university accommodation, learning in Forging friendships through new experiences a university-style classroom in Cambridge. and visiting areas of interest outside the classroom – was certainly one to be valued and cherished.


AN EYE ON CHINA A team, comprising 3 China Studies in English (CSE) students took part in the 6th China Studies Seminar on China’s Leadership: Legacy and Aspirations.

understand the syllabus and use it for our papers. Overall, this seminar has greatly benefited me and increased my personal interest in China even further.” – Justin Lam

The team consisting of Justin Lam (2T05), Ngyuen Tien Cuong (2T05) and Grace Tan (2T05) under the guidance of their China Studies tutor, Miss Clara-Ann Khoo, was required to write a research paper on the topic during the June holidays and present it to a panel of distinguished judges at YJC on the 3rd of August 2013. The team's research paper titled "Immortals, Princelings and China’s new Aristocracy: Opportunities and Challenges for the new China’s Leadership", examined the mixed implications that the new Chinese leadership has on China's future. The team did very well and won the Distinction Award two years in a row. 


“The 6th CSE seminar was a great learning experience to study and research on different aspects on China outside the classroom. Our research complements our course of study as we can further

The team’s critical insight on China was recognised with the Distinction award.

RESEARCH INTERESTS The Nanyang Research Project (NRP) is a rigorous 8 month long independent research project overseen by the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). It requires student participants to work under the guidance of NTU professors to design and undertake a research project in various fields of science and technology. In April 2013, both student participants from CJC Rong Jiancheng (2T17) and Michelle Lim (2T01), received Gold Awards for their respective projects. “Under the mentorship of Asst. Prof Mark Chavez of ADM, NTU, I embarked on my NRP project titled “Animation in Documentary: A Research into Subjective Reality”. The project’s main focus was on the technicalities of data planning, gathering and analysis, alongside a period of fieldwork and interviews.” “Over the 8 months of working together, my partner and I grew much closer as friends, a bond that helped us tide over the tiring last stretch as NRP drew to a close with the submission of the rigorous research paper and oral presentation. I am grateful for the NRP opportunity despite months of travelling to NTU and sleepless nights writing research reports, made easier with the tireless support and guidance from Ms Tay Su Lynn, as it has challenged my perceptions of learning beyond the school syllabus and provided me with an enriching new experience.” – Michelle Lim

Jiancheng (2T17) & Michelle (2T01) with their certificates of achievement (GOLD) at the NRP awards ceremony 2013

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“I was quite excited when I received news of my successful NRP application, as I have always wanted to participate in a science research project since my secondary school days. Throughout the course of my project, titled “Design of High Gain Antenna”, my partner and I toiled endlessly-occasionally stressing over the workload and tight deadlines of a largely independent project. However, we did learn many new skills such as antenna fabrication and computer model simulation whilst improving our ability in scientific research; NRP also allowed us to collaborate with graduate students from NTU to help select and design our own unique experiments for the project. Overall, it made for an inspiring process that culminated in a memorable and insightful experience, well worth the time and dedication put in.” – Rong Jiancheng

The three JC2 students, Bryan Joel Lim, Hubert Khoo Hui Bo and Zhang Sipeng (2T36) displayed ingenuity, intellectual depth and sophisticated logic in weaving a scenario that connects China’s rising middle class, its internal pressures on the environment and Singapore’s green sector, impressing the panel of judges from the Ministry of Trade and Information and the Prime Minister’s Office. The trio challenged the taken-for-granted complementary trade model with China and reframed the position of Singapore as a supposed ‘hub’ for alternative energy,

(From l-r): Bryan Joel Lim, Zhang Sipeng, Hubert Khoo at the prize presentation ceremony with Senior Minister of State Lawrence Wong

DR GOH KENG SWEE FUTURE THINKING CHALLENGE 2013: ENVISIONING THE FUTURE The World Bank has since projected that China would contribute about one-third of the world’s output by 2025. The East Asian region would, without a doubt, have significant impact on countries in Asia and the rest of the world in coming decades. What will this development, alongside other phenomena, mean for Singapore? Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s white/grey/black swan theories have long alerted the world of the ways we could analyse possible narratives and what outcomes could emerge for society – and the opportunity to predict Singapore’s future was gamely taken up by three of our pioneer Ignite Program students. The Dr Goh Keng Swee Future Thinking Challenge, jointly organised by Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) in collaboration with the RAHS (Risk Assessment Horizon Scanning) Programme Office, Prime Minister’s Office, posed the question of ‘Challenges in East Asia – What’s next for Singapore’s economy’, engaging top Humanities students in a systematic way of thinking and examining Singapore’s future. CJC brought home the Overall Champion Trophy for the first time and was awarded Best Overall Presentation and Best Use of RAHS Software.


Zhang Sipeng and the CJC team at the Finals

Through extensive personal research and integrating the academic framework and rigour of their own subject areas, they suggested energising our alternative energy sector by focusing on genuine human resource development, establishing Singapore within the energy grid of South East Asia and sharpening the nation’s focus on niche research areas. They responded to questions fielded by the panel with confidence and candour, demonstrating maturity in their understanding of the issues – a skill honed within the classroom. From the conclusion of their paper - “The narrative of the past is the only narrative for the future: higher levels of technology, higher labour productivity, and higher levels of competition but realistically, also keeping an eye on how to complement and ride the crest of our East Asian counterparts”.




The 2013 batch of Ignite students with Mrs Kong and staff.



Aristotle defined the term “Community” as “a group established by men having shared value”. With this theme of “Community”, the 2013 Ignite Residential Programme explored and enlightened students on the fine print and modern expansion of this seemingly intangible noun.

Aside from the panel, the audience members were also vocal during Q&A.

The Ignite Students were immersed in a four-day residential programme in UTown (NUS), where they experienced campus life and university modules which broadened both the heart It was an intense four days that culminated in presentations on their proposal. Aaron Sim and mind, with topics such (1T20) led his group's presentation here. as “Identities in Asia” and “The Pursuit of Happiness”. These seminars tied in perfectly with the students’ Service Learning Project (SLP), a collaboration with South East Community Development Council, which was built around the community within Project 4650. P4650 focuses on aiding families residing in interim housing, with many sharing a one-room flat with another family. As a prelude to the programme, Ignite students went down to the flats and community areas to engage them on a more personal level. This led to the designing of proposals to improve their working and living circumstances.

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Natalie Tan, Dominique Lau, Benjamin Liow and Muhammad Mustaqim (1T19) in a brainstorming session.

A “Community” was indeed what the group of Ignite students were as they gathered to share four concentrated days learning, discussing, reflecting and ultimately, planning for their SLP. As Ershen Kaur Langeana (1T18) imparted, “Being introduced to concepts of society and service while formulating plans for the residents of 4650 made us contemplate the projects on a deeper level: Is this really helpful? How can we do better?” Such questions were extensively considered during the planning process, as well as the seminars. Dr Tan Lai Yong’s address on “Hidden Communities” was particularly significant and thoughtThe students were able to engage in provoking, as he shared eye- discussions with Dr Anne Raffin, Associate opening perspectives such Professor from the Department of Sociology. as the importance of sharing and passing on skills to those in need, such that they can achieve sustainability. The programme came to a close with a presentation by a group from each class to a panel which included our Principal, Mrs Christine Kong, and Mayor of South East District, Dr Maliki Osman, Mrs Sandra Tan was one of the many where the refined plans of Ignite teachers who led and facilitated the action were delivered in programme. great detail. The discussions continued into lunch where students sat alongside teachers and members of the Community Development Councils (CDC) and further refined how they could serve the community. The 2013 Ignite Residential Programme at UTown truly engaged students with its enabling of learning outside the classroom and left participants illuminated and enriched. The Ignite students indeed became a “group having shared value”, with their newfound knowledge and skills coupled with the desire to enact change in the community.



The Annual Awards Presentation Ceremony commemorates the achievements of students who perform exceptionally well in their academic or athletic pursuits, to encourage the cohort to continue striving for excellence.

The Annual Awards winners truly represented Thinkers with a Mission, Leaders with a Heart.

This year’s Guest of Honor, a CJC alumnus and past Student Council President, Mr Victor Lye, delivered a rousing recount of the setbacks he faced throughout his life and how he had overcome them, then challenged the JC2 cohort to perform to the best of their abilities.

The ceremony then paid tribute to students who excelled in their studies and exhibited strength of character. Some of the awardees shared their thoughts on their win: The Bernard Chen Award recipient, Sherman Koa (2T11), President of the 37th Student Council, was a prominent figure in the college who was highly regarded and respected by the student body in his time. Sherman shared his experience of serving the college, “Stepping up to be the President of the Student Council was something I never thought I would do. However, the faith that many people placed in me was what kept me going, and also humbly taught me the value of respect and trust. In order to earn respect, you will have to first respect the people you lead. It is

One of the many proud alumni of the night, Brian Thian.

through this mutual respect that your followers are willing to listen to you, and not because you are of a "higher rank" than them.” Brian Thian received the Father Gerard Keane Award for his significant contributions to the continuing development and strengthening of the Catholic spirit in the college. “I embarked on a prayer and song project. It was difficult because I had Defying gravity, the Dance Club brought their to organise my project when I performance to great heights. stepped down from my CCA, which was the period everyone else started to study intensively,” Brian said. “But I really like music and when you are interested in something, the work seems to be lighter.”


The Guitar Ensemble strummed a melodious interlude for the audience.

To round off the Award Ceremony, past and present CJCians were treated to a performing arts showcase, CJC Celebrates: The Concert. Seniors returned to their alma mater to cheer on their juniors who performed their winning CJC’s Chinese Dance members captivated the items from the Singapore Youth audience. Festival (SYF) Arts presentation. The night ended on this high note of excitement and inspiration, evoked by the challenge to follow in the footsteps of those who had excelled in their performances as students.

Our Guzheng Ensemble gave a strong performance during CJC Celebrates.


produce either a prequel or sequel to the texts.

2T07’s attention to details such as costumes, captured puritanical America perfectly.




On the night of 26th July 2013, CJC’s Literature students displayed their burning passion for the study of Literature. For the 7th CJC Literary Evening, three groups of students were chosen to perform their individual items illustrating the theme of “Betrayal”. Each of the groups that performed had to write their own scripts, direct and

CJC’s Drama Club put up yet another stellar performance of Shakespeare’s Othello.

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The night started with an item by students from 2T05 and 2T08 titled “Mending the Cracks”. This item explored how unwanted discoveries and unwanted mistakes led up to one betraying the trust of another, unleashing emotions of guilt, sorrow and anger. This was followed by 2T07’s “Hush” which presented the blooming of a forbidden romance and their eventual and 2T08 gave an emotionally charged disintegration. Following that, 2T05 rendition of All My Sons and Othello. the final JC2 performance, “Wait” by 2T36 and 2T37 investigated how one is often betrayed by one’s own mistaken choices and its consequence, explored through the life of two lovers, Chris and Ann, on a painful journey of self-discovery. Following the performances by the JC2s, the audience were treated to a production of “Othello” by CJC’s Drama Society. This was a more contemporary take on William Shakespeare’s “Othello”, yet it captured the The actors from 2T36 and 2T37 proved their mettle with a realistic performance of Miller’s essence of the original play. By ‘All My Sons’. the end of the night, the varied dramatic interpretations brought students much closer to their texts.

The following students have done the college proud with their scholarship academic success. Congratulations to former Rugby Captain, Kenneth Tay (2T11, 2011/12), on his SME-SPRING Scholarship, alongside his former classmates Victoria Long (2T11, 2011/12) on her acceptance into the prestigious Yale-NUS College, as well as Sheryl Ann Tan (2T11, 2011/12), who received the Ministry of Health (MOH) Healthcare Scholarship. The Flame catches up with Sheryl Ann Tan.

In Conversation with Sheryl Truly embodying a Thinker with a Mission, Sheryl Ann Tan is a proud recipient of the highlycompetitive MOH Healthcare Scholarship. An exceptional student, with a strong desire to serve the community, Sheryl shares her thoughts on seeking out a scholarship to fulfil your personal mission. “The journey of seeking out a scholarship started out with interacting with one of the scholarship providers during Think Career Day. One consideration you have to take into account in selecting the scholarship is to know where your passion lies in the various industries. Having conversations and getting advice from your peers, parents and industry professionals help tremendously. I feel privileged to be able to contribute to one of Singapore’s strategic sectors and of course, to contribute to the community. I would like to thank Ms. Diana Ma, Ms. Michelle Teo and Mr. Kuang Kim Chun. None of this would have been possible without the support and guidance of my teachers who were always ready to help me find passion and purpose in life.” ELL Students who have obtained scholarships after graduating from CJC Every year since the introduction of the new H2 subject, English Language and Linguistics in 2009 and the selection of CJC as one of the three ELEP centres in Singapore, our ELL students have

Sheryl, proudly receiving her Healthcare Scholarship.

garnered prestigious scholarships to pursue their university education and realise their dreams. This year is no exception. Alexandra Hofbauer (2T08, 2011/12) obtained the Overseas Teaching Scholarship and Kevin Martens Wong (2T11, 2009/10) received the Local Teaching Scholarship to study Linguistics in the university of their choice. Alexandra is now in the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, to study Linguistics. Kevin will offer Linguistics in the National University of Singapore after completing his National Service. Another scholarship recipient this year is Cheow Sue-Ann (2T02, 2011/12) who has been awarded the Singapore Press Holdings Scholarship and she is also studying in the University of Edinburgh, UK. All three were ELEP Scholars and leaders in CJC. Kevin was a Vice-President of the Student Council and Alexandra was a Student Councillor. Our first ELL recipient of the Overseas Teaching Scholarship, Isabelle Leong Mei Yee (2T11, 2009/10) will be completing her final year in University College, London UK. Isabelle was also an ELEP Scholar.

In Conversation with Sue-Ann Sue-Ann was an English Language Elective Programme Scholar, a Flame Scholar and the President of Speakers’ Ink. What are you studying and why? English Literature with Linguistics and Philosophy as additional courses. I have always loved the English Language and how it has such power to affect and change people. In particular, reading took me on epic adventures from the comfort of my own bedroom, showing me places, people and emotions I would never have been able to experience otherwise. So having the opportunity to study and delve deeper into literature and the English language is nothing short of a dream come true for me. Any thoughts about CJ? In all honesty, my experience in CJ was not without its fair share of challenges and frustration, but it was an experience I would not change for anything. CJ gave me the opportunities to really push myself and grow as a person, through the ELEP scholarship attachment programme, the REACH Cambridge and the REACH Castle programmes, orientation planning, the FLAME

Alexandra with Mrs Kong.

scholarship, the Pre-University seminar, CCA leadership and numerous other programmes I was involved in.The two years in CJ showed me how much I could achieve, and with the help of the most amazing teachers a student could ever hope for, my experience in CJ unlocked in me passion for my subjects, and a desire to be the best I can be. Advice to students? My advice is simple, enjoy every single minute of your JC life. It seems really stressful and horrible sometimes, but trust me, from experience, when you’re done with CJ, you will miss it. I made some of the best friends in CJ and had some of my most fun and memorable experiences both in the school and with the friends I made there. Treasure the days you have in CJ and they will become some of your fondest memories in time to come.

In Conversation with Alexandra It is truly a dream come true to be able to pursue an undergraduate degree in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh – one that I am proud to say CJC has helped to make possible. I have always enjoyed studying English and my two years in CJC gave me the chance to develop this interest as I discovered new facets of the language as well as its existence as part of the larger field of Linguistics.


A Scholarly Flair

I am happy to have been given many opportunities to grow both intellectually and in terms of character, during my time in CJC. I am grateful to the teachers who guided me throughout my A level journey, teaching me everything I needed to know as well as piquing my curiosity about issues and concepts that went beyond the textbooks. I am also lucky to have been part of a loving and caring college community who supported me and kept me going even through the toughest periods. To the current J2 batch: set goals for yourselves and stay focused. Be consistent and do your very best. Be there for each other through this stressful time. Discuss ideas, learn from one another and encourage one another. But most importantly, in the words of Father Nicholas Barre, “whatever happens, remain always in peace and trust in God”.

Sue Ann receiving her award from Dr Lee Boon Yang, Chairman of SPH.





The 20th of July 2013 marked the CJC’s very first Youth Ambassador Symposium, which was a model United Nations. Organised by the Humanities and Economics department, with the help of Many groups had to condense their research members from the Political and convince the judges with just one poster. Science Society, the event was catered specially for JC2 H2 History, Geography and Economics students, which allowed them to be exposed to various conflicts and challenges that are currently faced in today’s world. The symposium focused on the issue of South Sudan, the newest member of the international community, being declared a failed state, with students having to propose several solutions that could possibly improve both economic and social aspects of the country. The day started off with a short talk by Mr Manu Bhaskaran, an adjunct senior research fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies. He was also an exCJCian, part of the very first batch who graduated in 1976. In his speech, Mr Bhaskaran Special Interest Groups (SIGs) spread their stressed on the importance message even during lunch time. of remaining relevant in an ever-changing world, and that it is essential that a country’s policies should be implemented not

Students tackled a variety of global issues, from infant mortality to political tensions.

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just for economic benefit, but for social benefit as well. The second keynote speaker, another alumnus, Mr Nelson Goh, complemented Mr Bhaskaran’s passionate presentation on global affairs. Their presentations provided a good blend of “head” and “heart”. Although every student was assigned various roles that allowed them to be actively involved throughout the day, the main action of the symposium arguably took place in the library and The main action at the library saw strong the auditorium, where the arguments and friendly banter. Ambassadors were situated. The delegations representing various countries had to propose solutions on how to improve the quality of life in South Sudan. The British Delegation in Committee B proposed an insightful 3 year plan to elevate South Sudan’s economic and social status. However, the action was not confined within the walls of the auditorium and the library. During the break, members of various Special Interests Groups (SIGs) rallied around the Ambassadors (who were having their lunch), attempting to promote the different causes that they stood up for. These causes ranged from the protecting of women’s rights and the promotion of education in South Sudan. After many rounds of intense rallying, debates and analysis, students gathered once more in the PAC, where a summary of the day’s events took place, as well as the prize giving ceremony, in which awards for the best position paper, SIG and delegation were presented. The day ended with students learning beyond the textbook and curriculum and that there is a world of knowledge and experience waiting to be uncovered.

about studying, studying and more studying. There is life outside of that and there is a reason behind all the studying. Ethical principles underlie what you do and I think that this is so important, as it is the foundation and I hope that students of CJC will embrace this side of CJC that other people may not have. In CJC, we have this ethical dimension and there is more to life than just making money. We have to give back to society and care about people- which is why I like the topic of economic liberalism, as it not only provides growth, but one must also care for the people. So if economic liberalism does not provide the right benefits, policies should change. But the underlying point is empathy for people, and I think that the education I received gave me that, and it is very precious to me.



macro developments in Asia, which include both political and economic aspects, and trying to interpret what it means for people who work in the financial markets or in multinational companies. For example, do I build my next factory in Thailand or should I focus on China? So I help people make their country allocation decisions.

A leading economist, an insightful writer and a compassionate CJC alumnus (2S16, Class of ‘76). With more than 20 years of experience of commenting on Asian financial and economic affairs, the college was privileged to have Mr Manu Bhaskaran as our CJCYAS Guest of Honor and opening speaker. He talks to The Flame about returning to his alma mater and the state of the world today.

It is very interesting because things happen all the time and good questions are asked. These people are usually quite well-read and know, for example, about the Federal Reserve Bank tightening and China’s various policies. These are big issues that are always confronting us, there is always something to talk about, always some value to add and something to offer advice on.

How does it feel to be back in CJC? It’s very nice, especially since I’ve never been back much. And it has changed so much, like when I was in CJC, there was no such thing as the Performing Arts Centre (PAC). In my time, the school was a much smaller building and less sophisticated back in 1975.

What are your personal philosophies or guiding principles with regard to the work that you do? Firstly, I firmly believe that my education experience has been absolutely vital, that is why I want my son to remain in this environment. I think the philosophy in CJC and in SJI before that is really one of balance and it is not just

What was your CJC experience like? It was very interesting, especially since the school was just created. We all came in our secondary school uniforms (I was from SJI) and there was actually a competition with regard to the designing of the CJC uniform and one of my friends won. She went on to become a fashion designer! Together with a peer, Patrick Lim, we launched the first school magazine and my batch also created the first Student Council. Being part of building up something new was really nice.

Any last words of wisdom for the CJCians? There is so much to learn, so be intellectually curious. Go beyond your curriculum and read a lot. From the library in CJC, I got addicted to the Economist magazine and just reading that magazine once a week for the past 30 years has been a form of education for me too. So be intellectually curious, look out for good quality sources of information and analysis and go beyond just acquiring knowledge. Think about it, process it, and come up with your own views. The problem I find with many Singaporean students is that they do not have their own views or are too scared to articulate their views when they go for interviews. So one problem that we have today in the high end financial sector is that people are complaining that Singaporeans are not getting their jobs and that they are always being given to foreigners. But to be fair, I know many cases where the Human Resource manager was Singaporean and they really wanted to get Singaporeans but ultimately, they could not hire them even though they technically had all the qualifications. Unfortunately, the interviewees just could not handle or argue for a case. Therefore, I think we need to bridge that gap.


Mr Bhaskaran proudly returned to his alma mater to share his wealth of experience and knowledge during the CJCYAS.

Of course the disadvantage was that we did not have a field and we had to go to Thomson Secondary School to play soccer. But overall, it was still a wonderful experience, and it is wonderful to come back to see how much CJC has grown. What do you love about the work that you do? My work revolves around trying to understand

The Flame interview with Mr Manu Bhaskaran.


Students try their hand at Chinese Calligraphy.

A Batik Painting demonstration.




Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.” On 23rd July 2013, members of Catholic Junior College came together to celebrate Racial Harmony Day, where many were donned in multi-coloured ethnic costumes. The theme of the year was “Celebrating Singapore”, and it was the time of the year to acknowledge Singapore’s diversity. The day started off with the screening of a local movie “Army Daze” in the Performing Arts Centre. The film highlighted the struggle of five enlistees to adapt to the rigorous environment of National Service, portraying the multi-cultural flavour of Singaporeans in the process. Maya Shanmugaratnam watches how There is no distinction between Chinese Calligraphy is done. the races and the bond among men of different racial and religious backgrounds were strengthened.

Basic Silat moves as demonstrated by a member of the NTU Silat Club .

14 Catholic Junior College

The CJC community observed this special day in many different permutations of cultural activities. The various events allowed students and staff to engage in sports, dialogue and the Arts. Some of the activities were The Flame Wars, Rangoli Art, Batik Painting, Chinese Calligraphy, Indian Curry Cooking class, Silat,

A student tries his hand at designing a Rangoli.

Wing Chun, as well as the interhouse kampong games which include Zero Point, Kabaddi and Chinese Chess. The atmosphere buzzed with excitement and it had definitely allowed CJCians to celebrate the diverse cultural practices. Jessica Lim (1T23) said, “It is a refreshing change to see so many students dressed in ethnic costumes and it is really a good time for us to bond. The film ‘Army Daze’ was really entertaining and I learnt more about how people of different races can overcome challenges together. It was really insightful!”

Lorraine Chia (1T27) commented, “I was sceptical about the activity ‘Rumah Dayak’ initially, but it turned out to be really fun and I formed new friendships in the process. There was a strong sense of camaraderie in the group and it was indeed an enriching experience.” A participant of the Kabaddi event, Freda Foo (1T05) said “I really never expected it to be this entertaining, and I really enjoyed it!”

The Flame Wars - a lively debate between Joseph and Michael House on banning racism on the Internet.


IN CONVERSATION WITH MS LAUREEN TOH As the recipient of the Inspiring Teacher of English Award, Ms Toh’s passion for pedagogy and love for learning can indeed be felt in the classroom. The Flame catches up with Ms Toh on her award. How did your love for the English language come about? I had a wonderful childhood that involved a lot of free time to sit around outdoors and read. Up till a couple of years ago, I read a book a week. I've slowed down now! Words are an incomparable gift and language is a means to legitimacy in society. 

rationalise what was once half-formed thoughts, laughing together at tangential and random responses. Have you encountered any setbacks in your teaching years? There have been times when I have found myself very drained and teaching from an empty place. I think I have a duty to myself and my students to continually renew my own mind and heart. Planning for long, languid holidays help.  What do you think students can do to excel in GP? For obvious reasons, a student who truly excels in GP must go beyond a skillcontent mode of learning, and must develop a disposition of curiousity. There are no two ways about it - one must read and be exposed to knowledge to become curious, and curiousity kindles knowledge. I am of the view that curiousity is not innate. It is a muscle must be flexed. Done often enough, it breeds dexterity of mind, a keen ability to see patterns and driving forces that exist in human behaviour and constructs a framework for understanding the world. It is self-perpetuating. The golden apple devoured has seeds.

What made you decide to go into teaching? Teaching was an unexpected turn. Sometimes I am still surprised at where I am. I was re-evaluating my previous job and my priorities, and I knew I had to reckon with signs that pointed me to the fact that my restlessness when it came to learning, the joy of engaging with young people and teaching's bigger purpose aligned with my beliefs. It is true what I tell my students - that I am "at home" in the classroom.  What is the greatest satisfaction you have derived from teaching? The co-intentional growth that happens in myself and in my students every day in the classroom. I haven't been teaching long enough to talk about legions of students who come back with thanks, but I doubt that would be my 'greatest satisfaction'. I deeply enjoy the here and now. 

Ms Toh discussing the use of the RAHS program at the Goh Keng Swee Future Thinking Challenge.

What made you decide to go into teaching History? Of course, it was very much influenced by my passion for the subject and the desire to spread this passion to the younger generation. The general sentiment amongst the younger generation is that History is very much archaic, ancient and irrelevant to the fast-paced, highly-modernised world of today. There is a perception that to look back in history would be utterly cumbersome and unnecessary. The sense of apathy towards History is resulting in the discipline drifting quickly into oblivion. Therefore as an educator, I own the power and prerogative to dispel such myths and inculcate the passion for the subject within my students.


In all these years of teaching, what were your memorable moments with your various classes? There aren't any specific memorable moments per se, only certain 'scenes' which make teaching all that it is. A particularly fruitful discussion, or some intense debate that touches a raw nerve, saying goodbye to a graduating class, the sense of accomplishment when we acknowledge growth, witnessing students fully

What is the greatest satisfaction you have derived from teaching? When the above-mentioned has been achieved of course! The greatest success story thus far, is of my former student from the class of 2012 who took H1 History, and has decided to pursue a major in History for her undergraduate studies!

Ms Ana with her students, Denzel Low (2T37) and Matthew Kwok (2T03)


IN CONVERSATION WITH MS NUR ADHANA Congratulations on your Outstanding History Teacher Award! How did your love for History come about? My love for History actually came about while I was pursuing my studies in National University of Singapore (NUS). I had actually enrolled into NUS with a clear intention of majoring in Economics, not History. Some of my students might not know this but I did not even take History at the 'A' Levels! In my first semester, I took the introductory module for History and was enthralled by the vibrancy of the discipline and the History teaching fraternity in NUS. Module after module, it was a positive reinforcement to my decision to pursue History as a major.

In all these years of teaching, have you had any memorable moments with your various classes? I've had many memorable moments. But the most memorable one was of course, with my very first batch of History students and my very first home class, 2T04 (2011 - 2012). They started off as a difficult bunch, severely underperforming as a class. But under my charge, they slowly but surely progressed and was noted as the most improved class based on their Mid-Year Exams result. By the 'A' Levels, they were identified as the most value-added class! They do come back to school to visit me now and then. The feeling is euphoric when I see how they have grown to become mature men and women. Have you encountered any setbacks in your teaching years? Definitely. Each year comes with new setbacks. But with each and every setback I managed to overcome, I grow stronger and my willpower multiplied in order to prepare me better for the next one. What do you think students can do to excel in History? Passion is integral but insufficient. Students need to work their minds like Historians- work with sources of information; understand and interpret it. They have to formulate arguments based on those sources of information. History is not about memory work and regurgitation. It is a life-skill, inculcated over time. 


Catholic Junior College

129 Whitley Road Singapore 297822 Tel: 6252 4083 Fax: 6253

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CJC Flame 2013 - Issue 3  

CJC Flame 2013 - Issue 3  

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