UWCSEAâ€™s international technology award Showcase: Initiative for Peace Sports highlights in Season 1
Unity of purpose, diversity of practice: a tale of two campuses
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is ION ISS To educate individuals to embrace challenge and take responsibility for shaping a better world
Firstly, the UWC movement expects that all schools and colleges within the movement respond to the UWC mission statement within the context of their individual locations; this creates distinctive identities based upon local resources and opportunities. The UWC in Maastricht is very different to the one in Swaziland. Thus, whilst both campuses in Singapore are far more like each other than they are like any other school in the UWC movement (or any other school in Singapore), they nevertheless have differences based on their individual contexts. We are comfortable with this, since while
The Board established a number of guiding principles for the development of the East Campus. The first and most important principle was that the new campus, like Dover, should further the mission of the UWC movement and should deliver a holistic learning programme. The graphic below explains how all the elements of the learning programme fit together, clearly showing
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But while the principles focused on how the two campuses should be the same, there were other factors that suggested how they might be different from one another.
In 2007, we reached a formal agreement with the Singapore government to open East Campus. Prior to that, the Board of Governors had held extensive discussions about how the College would be structured should we expand. Various options were considered, including creating two separate schools, with separate governing structures and no central administration. This seemed to miss the considerable benefits to be gained from cooperation between the two campuses and was finally rejected when the UWC International Board
The Board also discussed other possible structures, including splitting the College into a Primary/Middle School on one site and a High School on the other. However, over time, the decision became clear: we would open a second campus, which would offer K1 to Grade 12 in a new setting, with the two campuses united by the mission, educational goal and learning programme, but diverse in their practices and responding to the needs of their individual communities.
For the past five years, UWCSEA has been a two-campus College in Singapore, and the East Campus will reach a major milestone in May 2014, when the first Grade 12 class graduates. As we reflect on the growth of our second campus and the impact it has had on us as a College, it is worth remembering the path to our current structure and how our philosophy of â€˜one College, two campusesâ€™ has worked.
To make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future
that everything stems from and leads back to the UWC mission. Other principles were designed to ensure that the UWC ethos remained in both campuses, and that both benefitted from the economies of scale provided by the two-campus structure.
(which oversees all member schools and college in the UWC movement and approves any new members) mandated that UWCSEA in Singapore should be a single entity.
By Julian Whiteley Head of College
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they have the same mission, ethos and learning programme, and therefore a goal to achieve similar outcomes for students, we recognise that this goal can be approached in a variety of different ways. Unity of purpose, diversity of practice. Equally, one of the great strengths of UWC is the degree to which individual teachers and students take the initiative and develop new ideas. It is worth noting, for example, that 11 of the 19 school-based syllabi that have been created for the IB Diploma Programme since its foundation, have originated in UWCs. We want our staff to experiment and innovate, and if a new idea proves successful on one campus, then the other campus gives it due consideration for adoption or not, as the case may be. In this way, each campus is growing and changing in the way that is best for its unique context.
Over time, it is inevitable that we will see more differences emerge; some deliberate, such as the offering of certain subjects on one campus and not the other, others circumstantial, such as the average length of stay of the families in each community. However, we know that the common mission and belief in developing students with particular skills and qualities, will ensure that students experience the same high-quality holistic education, whatever campus they are on.
C o m m u n ic a
To make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future
K1 self portraits Students use iPads in their unit on feelings to create self portraits Working on writing Author Jacqueline Harvey visits Grade 3 to extend Writing Workshop
Middle School Girl Rising Grade 6 students host film screening following their exhibition project on girls education
High School Environmental Systems and Society A fascinating insight into land reclamation was part of the Grade 12 fieldtrip to Semakau
Epic Arts The Epic Encounters dance troupe spent a week working with students
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Other stories featured only in eDunia:
Twelfth Night Enjoy student perspectives and a showcase of photos from the production
tunities to de ppor vel o e op l p i r t Cre e lt ink a e
t learners are giv en tha o m S u
As the East Campus established itself and the Dover Campus adjusted to being part of a two-campus College, it has been fascinating to observe the impact of that â€˜diversity of practiceâ€™
on the everyday experience of our communities. The balance between where we must be the same and where we can be different has been the focus of many conversations. Five years on, while the learning programme is the same in both campuses, and our students are remarkable young people whatever side of the island they travel to for school each day, the learning spaces and communities are different enough for each campus to have its own distinctive character, each reflecting the UWC ethos in its own way.
Many articles in this edition have expanded content on eDunia (www.uwcsea.edu.sg/edunia). Look for the symbol as you read the magazine and visit eDunia for more photos, video and expanded content.
M f u l fi l o u r
Typhoon Tennis Student initiative raises funds for victims of Typhoon Haiyan Adventurer of the Year UWCSEA alumnus Tim Jarvis honoured for his re-creation of the 1916 Shackleton expedition Front cover: SEASAC Division II Volleyball Championships on East Campus 3
UWCSEA’s international technology award UWCSEA was named ‘School of the Year’ in the 21st Century Learning International awards, announced in October 2013. The award recognises excellence in the use of technologies to support student learning. According to the selection panel, made up of leading educational and industry experts, the UWCSEA entry displayed a “focus on learning through the intelligent use of technology.” The panel was especially impressed with “staff professional learning structures … [that] help embed a culture of change which we believe will reach well beyond a single initiative, and even beyond technological competence.” Award finalists were selected on the basis of their ability to meet criteria that are widely recognised to indicate the successful use of technology in education. These include a shared vision for learning, transformative leadership and a culture of innovation. The panel was also looking for broad access to technology, the involvement of student voice and the ability to build and sustain capacity across the school. UWCSEA scored highly in all criteria; learn more by watching the award submission video on our YouTube channel. Graeme Deuchars, a Director of 21st Century Learning International Ltd, said, “The awards attracted entries from 15
countries, and it has been an extremely challenging and rewarding process to arrive at the winners.” Julian Whiteley, Head of College at UWCSEA, recognises the commitment by the whole College that resulted in the achievement, “I am delighted and extremely proud that UWCSEA has won this prestigious award. It reflects upon the vision of the Board, the professionalism and expertise of our IT staff and the commitment of all our teachers and support staff, who have embraced the integration of technology into teaching and learning at the College. We have come a long way since we launched the ‘iLearn’ initiative three short years ago!” At UWCSEA, students have wide access to digital devices. In fact, we have around 5,800 devises for our 5,220 students. Starting with iPads in the Infant School and moving to laptop and desktop usage in the Primary School, all students in Grades 6 through 12 are then given a school laptop for personal use. However, devices are not as important as building skills among teachers and students says Ben Morgan, Director of IT, “Technology doesn’t transform learning, but great pedagogy can. The aim of the technology programme at UWCSEA is to use digital tools to support teaching and learning. Technology is not an end in itself.”
The school also supports the integration of technology with a strong emphasis on educating the wider school community around the ideas of digital citizenship and e-safety. UWCSEA is part of an international accreditation system, Generation Safe, which helps to ensure that there is comprehensive support in this important area. Many facets of the Personal and Social Education programme at UWCSEA focus on instilling the ideas of good digital citizenship and discussing personal responsibility and good online practice. A team of digital literacy coaches on each campus are dedicated to working with classroom teachers and students to integrate the use of appropriate technology tools, both hardware and software. Last year, there were 84 professional development workshops run by UWCSEA experts for their peers, and 34 sessions for parents. The parent workshops are part of a comprehensive parent information programme that provides workshops and training, guest speakers and online resources such as a dedicated website for parents with regularly updated blogs. Watch the award submission video on our YouTube channel and visit the technology information pages for more details and links to further reading: www.uwcsea.edu.sg/ learning/technology
Making Change at Learning 2.013 By Jeff Plaman Digital Literacy Coach East Campus “Most useful, and most forward thinking conference I’ve been to.” This is how one participant described this year’s Learning 2.0 conference held 10–12 October on East Campus. The conference brought together 430 educators from 104 different schools and organisations around the world, including 40 from UWCSEA, to focus on improving learning through the use of technology. This year marked the first time the Learning 2.0 conference was held outside of China, where it began in 2007. I had the privilege of chairing the planning committee of this year’s conference along with a talented team of organisers and facilitators from international schools across Asia including teachers from both our campuses and UWCSEA’s Centre for International Education. The team and facilitators behind Learning 2.0 are lifelong learners themselves who are committed to using technology to transform learning. The conference’s theme, ‘Making Change,’ was explored through a variety of sessions. ‘What needs
to be transformed’ sparked a lot of conversation about technology integration initiatives while ‘cultivating collaborative conversations’ struck a strong chord for teachers, blending great pedagogy with complementary digital and physical spaces. ‘Maker culture,’ ‘tinkering’ and technology play were explored through game design, coding, robotics and ‘maker-spaces,’ while others focused on story and creativity with photography and video. “Incredibly resourceful people attend this conference. The participants are the best part!” These words from a participant illuminate the key component of Learning 2.0’s success; the level of enthusiasm, professionalism and innovation brought by the participants makes this conference unique. Participants provided more than 70 different one-hour workshops and ‘unconference’ sessions. This was not a passive ‘sit and get’ experience. Learning 2.0 is a participant-driven conference. Students played an even bigger role in the conference this year. The student TechXperts from UWCSEA East and Singapore American School provided IT support while students from Grade 1 all the way through High School developed
“It is inspiring to be surrounded by people that are so passionate about technology and student learning.” and ran workshops to give insight into what students think about, and how they use, technology for learning. Student ambassadors and volunteers from Global Concerns groups also played key support roles from helping people register, to giving tours of the campus. As the host school, we also brought UWCSEA’s commitment to service into the conference by offering fair trade goods as gifts to participants with additional items for sale to raise funds for Global Concerns. Participants left with an overwhelmingly positive impression of our campus, our teachers and our students. The benefits of hosting this type of conference are tremendous, as teachers are able to share best practices with one another. I am excited to see the learning applied in many of our classrooms this year.
Planting partnerships Nathan Hunt Head of TOK, Teacher of Environmental Systems and Societies, Teacher of Geography Dover Campus
organised by the UWCSEA Foundation, and several opportunities still remain for those that would like to commemorate loved ones, celebrate events or contribute to developing a greener, more interesting campus. Interested families and groups can contact the UWCSEA Foundation. Secondly, this term we have extended our planting to partner with neighbouring schools such as Dover Court Prep and are making plans to offer trees to as many schools as we can in the area. We have also planted out in the gardens of two parents and would welcome more opportunities in private gardens or institutions.
It is in the spirit of the College’s Global Concerns programme to follow the old adage ‘Think global, act local,’ and this is certainly the case for the Rainforest Nursery GC. With a mission to tackle the global issue of rainforest loss, the group raises indigenous trees (native to Southeast Asia) from seed for planting locally—on both our campuses and elsewhere in Singapore. With only a tiny fraction of its original primary rainforest remaining, our aim is to play a part in reversing the trend and reforesting the nation. This may seem a tall order given the country’s continued rapid development, but our GC is committed to working with its partners in the government and NGOs to finding new areas for afforestation and regenerating the many degraded forest areas around the island. To this end, we have been working hard on several projects. The first is a continuation of planting our on campuses (see April 2012 Dunia), providing trees for sponsorship events for alumni and parents. These are
It has been extremely fulfilling to be able to share our deep interest in conservation with the wider community; we have nurtured these trees on a sometimes precarious journey from seeds and to be able to offer them as gifts and see them flourish in the grounds and gardens of others is especially rewarding. It seems that getting sweaty and dirty and very close to nature in the process somehow adds to the enjoyment. To date, we have planted out well over 50 of our trees, almost all of them indigenous species. These include species that demonstrate the value and importance of conserving biodiversity such as Callophyllum inophyllum whose coumarin chemical compounds are being tested in anti-retro viral drugs for HIV. We have also recently teamed up with the Grade 12 students who run the Budden Initiative composting project. Using the waste from the Dover Campus canteens to fertilize the trees on campus is a genuine mark of progress in the College’s plans to live up to its sustainability goals.
Our next project is an exciting venture with the Singapore Botanic Gardens and NParks, who are keen to get students involved in reforestation research by sharing the considerable workload of raising seedlings for large plantings. We are already raising highly endangered Shorea timber species in the nursery and intend to plant these and others in a disused palm oil plantation in the Central Catchment Reserve. If the project proves successful, this trial will be extended to return a large area of Singapore’s degraded forest back to the highly bio-diverse primary rainforest it once was. It will be a fascinating turnaround to see a palm oil monoculture being replaced by native forest! We are also supported by a great Facilities team on both campuses who somehow always find time to help us despite the huge demands on their services. We are currently working with them to extend the nursery at Dover and to create a new facility at East so we can scale up our work and get more students involved. East Campus parent David Neidel (who is also a UWC alumnus) is a reforestation specialist in this region. David has given up considerable time to develop our working partnership with the Botanic Gardens and others, and to help design our nursery expansion plans. We look forward to writing about the progress of these plans in future editions of Dunia. Regular updates on these and other Environmental initiatives can be found on our blog at http://uwcseasustainablecampus. blogspot.sg.
UWCSEA’s commitment to Round Square Round Square is a worldwide association of over 85 schools on five continents sharing unique and ambitious goals. Students attending Round Square schools make a strong commitment, beyond academic excellence, to personal development and responsibility. If this sounds very familiar, it is because both the UWC movement and Round Square have at their core the same fundamental philosophy, inspired by educationalist Kurt Hahn, who was instrumental in establishing both organisations. The Round Square approach promotes six IDEALS of learning: Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service. These are incorporated into the curriculum throughout all member schools. UWCSEA’s commitment to Round Square is a natural extension of our membership of the UWC movement, and we hope that our active involvement will reinforce the links between the two organisations—as well as raise awareness of the UWC movement in the broader community. Since the majority of the 12 UWC schools and colleges cater only for IB Diploma students, UWCSEA’s membership of
Round Square provides students in Middle School and High School with the opportunity to interact with others who share similar values and aspirations. The educational value of this is enormous, whether it is through participation in committees on campus, attending international or regional conferences, hosting students or undertaking student exchanges, volunteering on joint service projects or expeditions, or enjoying a Gap Year experience in another Round Square school. There are weekly committee meetings on both campuses and initiatives such as the No Drive Day on Dover Campus are supported by the High School Round Square committee. During the October break, a delegation from both campuses attended the Round Square International Conference in Florida, USA. The experience provided some valuable opportunities for our students as they mixed with the 700 student delegates: “Student delegates listened to the most passion-ﬁlled, inspiring speakers … I left each session tightly bound in my thoughts and interpretations, which I later debated with my peers in our student-led discussion groups.” Elinor Walker, Grade 10, Dover Campus
“We were able to get a good insight of not only American culture but also the culture of the diverse group of international students who also joined us at the conference for one universal reason—to celebrate and understand the Round Square IDEALS, making connections with people from all over, as well as learning about this year’s conference theme: Waves of Change.” Isabel Hope, Dover Campus “The Round Square conference was a fantastic experience enhanced by the delegates … students from all corners of the world gathered to discuss and learn about issues facing our world but more importantly how those issues can be addressed.” Karl Bocker, Dover Campus “Saint Andrew’s took every care to ensure that we felt welcome in their school. They made us feel like family and made every moment we spent in their school heartfelt and memorable. Everything from the people to the environment made us feel right at home.” Anushka, Grade 10, Dover Campus UWCSEA is excited to be hosting the 2015 International Conference, and looks forward to welcoming students and staff from the Round Square community to Singapore. The joint campus effort will be supported by the Centre for International Education, with participants taking part in workshops, conference sessions and activities on both campuses and across Singapore. UWCSEA Dover is a global member of Round Square, and part of the Australasian and East Asia region. UWCSEA East is currently a Regional member. For more information, visit www.uwcsea.edu.sg/roundsquare
Investigation time in K1 By Chris Fensom Infant School Principal Dover Campus “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” Fred Rogers (1928–2003) If you happen to walk through the K1 classrooms and shared play spaces on a Tuesday or a Thursday morning, you will be witness to a hive of joyful activity as our 88 K1 students busily engage in the serious ‘work’ of childhood. Collaborating to build a volcano in the sand, conversing in Chinese in the role play area while drinking tea with Lăo Shī, tending the chilli plants in the garden, putting on a puppet show or creating a model from recycled materials are examples of the varied play-based, child-initiated experiences that happen during ‘investigation time.’ These activities honour the interests and autonomy of young children and help to develop their social and communication skills, their
emotional resilience, their creativity and their ability to solve problems collaboratively. Teachers are on hand to facilitate and support the children’s learning through skilful, provoking questioning and guided interaction. Of course, explorations like these happen at other times during the week but the unique aspect of these twice weekly ‘investigation times’ is that children are free to explore each other’s classrooms, interact with students from other classes and get to know all of the K1 teachers and teacher assistants. Many positive benefits are gained by enabling students to interact with children from other classes, particularly the development of social and communication skills. They also have the opportunity to use resources and explore centres and activities that are set up in other classrooms. In addition to the introduction of shared ‘investigation time,’ the development of the K1 learning spaces has been a focus over the last few years with the aim to make them more welcoming and homely. Wooden furniture and
comfortable settees help to create an informal atmosphere that we believe helps children transition more smoothly from home or pre-school to ‘big school.’ However, the arrival of our new wooden tables and chairs at the start of this year left us with a quite a problem as we needed to find a home for 88 plastic chairs and 32 tables that were still in good condition. As our mission is to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future, we could not just quietly dispose of these valuable resources. Therefore, Tiara Lesslar, Head of K1, set out to find an organisation who could make use of our tables and chairs through the local organisation Pass it On. Shortly after posting on their website, Tiara was contacted by Evelyn from Viriya Community Services, which is a charitable organisation that provides community and social services to low income families in Singapore, regardless of their race and religion. Very soon the tables and chairs were on their way to a new home in a local pre-school.
Design Technology in Middle School Product Design Product Design introduces students to a range of resistant materials such as plastic, metal and wood. Students are taught to manipulate these materials in a variety of design contexts to create challenging and fun products. Students also complete Graphic Product and Electronics units within the Product Design curriculum.
Textiles Technology Textiles Technology investigates the manufacturing and use of textilesbased products such as bags, protective equipment and clothing. Students learn a range of construction and decoration techniques to create vibrant and original products.
Food Technology By Carl Waugh, Head of Technology and Luke Milburn, Teacher of Design and Technology, Dover Campus The Design Technology course intends to challenge all students to apply practical and creative thinking skills to solve problems in technology and to raise studentsâ€™ awareness of their responsibilities as world citizens when making decisions and taking action on technology issues. The subject uses the design process as the mode of thinking. This strategy helps students investigate problems and design, plan, manufacture and evaluate the products and systems that they operate. Combining practical skills with an understanding of function, aesthetics, social and sustainability issues, the course also develops creative and critical thinking strategies. Students must look for needs, wants and opportunities and respond to them by designing and developing a range of ideas. They then go on to manufacture fully functioning products and systems from a wide range of materials. In order to develop an understanding
of designing and making, students investigate products and find out about the work of professional designers and design movements. As they do so, they reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and effects. New graphical skills allow them to clearly record and communicate ideas and information. Students use computers and computer-aided design and manufacture (CAD-CAM) and control software, as an integral part of the design process. The basics of human nutrition and the wise selection of foods are also covered, helping students understand the need for a balanced and healthy diet. Design and Technology is a very broad subject covering both technical and aesthetic disciplines. The separate strands of the subject are covered over the three years of Middle School and include: Product Design, Textile Technology, Food Technology, Electronics, Communications and Technology (ECT) and Graphic Products and Engineering.
Students learn the principles of nutrition and balance in order to design and create new dishes. They are taught to combine ingredients in innovative ways to meet specific dietary needs.
The Engineering Design Challenge This is an opportunity for Grade 8 students to experiment and discover the boundaries of physics in the practical world. There are a set series of group and individual challenges that cross engineering disciplines and introduce them to mechanisms, forces and structures. In Grade 6, students have a double weekly lesson of Product Design. They have a second discrete double lesson each week of either Textiles or Food Technology, spending six months on each subject. In Grade 7, students have a double lesson each week of Product Design. They have a second discrete double lesson a week of either Textiles or Food Technology, and spend half a year on each. In Grade 8, students have a double lesson each week of Product Design. They have a second discrete double lesson every other week of Engineering Design Challenge (which alternates with their Life Skills lessons).
Artist in residence at Dover Campus, Dr Jennifer Hartley By Lynne Arrol Head of Drama Dover Campus
who have experienced the trauma of oppression in its various forms including torture, prison and poverty.
Founder of the Theatre Versus Oppression organisation, Dr Jennifer Hartley worked intensively with IB students from both Dover and East in a series of workshops exploring the applied theatre practice of Theatre of the Oppressed during Term 1. She first came to UWCSEA three years ago to work with Drama and TOK students and returned to work on the Dover Campus this year.
This year, Dover Campus students were able to participate in these activities firsthand and learn more about their application and potential impact. The week of workshops culminated in Grade 12 Theatre students taking part in a Forum Theatre session with women from the HOME organisation, which gives shelter to abused domestic helpers.
Grade 11 and 12 Theatre students from both campuses and a number of Grade 11 TOK students discovered that theatre is not just about stage performance but is also a form of therapy that is being successfully utilised to help people
This opportunity to work closely with Dr Hartley in a ‘real-life’ session putting Theatre of Oppression theory into practice had a significant impact on the students who in the debrief session after the workshop described the experience as both “inspiring” and “humbling.”
Independent Project Performances By Lynne Arrol Head of Drama Dover Campus Grade 12 Theatre students staged their Independent Project Performances in the Small Hall in October 2013. These devised pieces were the culmination of several weeks of effort where the students work completely independently to create fully realised pieces of theatre. Each presentation is designed to convey a message of social or political importance, utilising a number of theatre traditions and practices and thus fulfilling an important aspect of the IB Theatre course, the application of theory into practice.
The four performances this year were: Praise the Lord – an exploration of religious extremism Pawnography – a series of scenes exploring the question of ‘are we really free?’ What’s Worse Than Being A Woman – an exploration of female stereotypes and external pressures placed on women based on societal judgment Exile – an exploration of the reasons why people are isolated and what makes society shun individuals who are considered different Audiences of friends, staff and family were engaged by these thoughtprovoking pieces, and Grade 12 Theatre students learned the value and satisfaction of working collaboratively to take something from nothing to a successful piece of theatre.
A poet with power By Cecilia Foxall and Kate Levy High School English Department East Campus It’s not often that you get the chance to plan a unit of teaching with input from the author being studied, but this was the case for the Grade 9 English teachers at East Campus. In October, the acclaimed Singaporean poet, Kirpal Singh, took time out from his job as Professor of English Literature at the Singapore Management University, to speak to members of the English Department about the political potency of literature. He was able to talk from experience about the challenges of writing poetry under the threat of censorship. His contributions gave shape and depth to the teaching unit being planned by the team of Grade 9 teachers. Professor Singh even selected the poems to be
studied by the students, from his many published works.
Student responses to the session included:
Even more powerful was the talk that he gave to the Grade 9 students. He shared with them his passion for poetry and his experiences as a poet writing in Singapore over the last 40 years.
“His speech was pretty amazing— literature can enlighten you and change your perspective on the world.”
Prior to his visit, students read the poems he had handpicked, including Mandai Kampong and They Say. During the talk, Professor Singh entertained students and staff with further gems from his collections and others from fellow Singaporean poets. The talk was followed with an interactive session where students were able to ask questions, for example about Professor Singh’s inspiration and motivation for writing poetry, as well as his experiences of writing and publishing under the watchful eye of the Singapore authorities.
“I learnt about the value of being able to recognise and speak out about problems in your society.” “Poetry is a viable form of political expression.” Some classes also had the opportunity to speak via Skype with Singaporean poet, Jee Leong Koh. He shared with them the very different experiences he has had as a writer in New York. It was an honour for both teachers and students to hear from these poets while studying their work, particularly Kirpal Singh’s views on the influence and relevance of literature and hearing him read his powerful poetry.
Mongolia trip offers case study in development economics Mongolia may seem an unlikely place to learn about Economics, but over the October break, High School students from both campuses travelled there for just that purpose. The trip provided important case studies through which students could understand the final course topic, development economics. As the curriculum requires real life examples to be ascribed to the topics, Mongolia was an ideal setting in which to gain insights into the different facets of a developing economy. A variety of site visits and speakers helped to bring the curriculum alive. A talk with an industrialist in the mining industry gave a valuable firsthand account into the workings of the industry, by explaining how it is a significant component of Mongolia’s national income. Since the majority of the income comes from coal mining, the students were able to evaluate 12
the effect being too dependent on one resource could have on a developing economy. The fact that China and Russia compose most of the demand added a political element into students’ analysis. Measures to further develop Mongolia were discussed with the head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as one of the major commercial banks, XAC Bank. The representative from XAC Bank gave an overview of the workings of microfinance, an important part of the solution to Mongolia’s development. Students learned about the different measures in place to ensure accessibility to microfinance, as well as advantages of having a commercial bank operate the country’s largest microfinance scheme. Students were divided into crosscampus focus groups to investigate a
specific research question applicable to Mongolia, sharing their findings with their peers and further enhancing the learning experience. The students also had the opportunity to visit a school set up by the United Nations Development Programme. There they had to creatively interact with the children since they shared no common language. Charades and drawings were used to try to communicate. Incredible connections developed, despite the lack of verbal communication. For student perspectives on the trip, please visit eDunia.
Activities United Nations evening performance 2013 By Lynne Arrol Head of Drama UWCSEA Dover Each year in October, preparations for the annual United Nations evening performance engenders enormous excitement in the Dover Campus community, and 2013 was no exception, as student groups feverishly rehearsed their items and finalised costumes. This year, the performance included a greater number of items than ever before, all facilitated and choreographed by High School students, reflecting the great cultural diversity that makes our College such a special place. Also, this year the performance utilised projectionmapping technology, a relatively new approach to projection in performance that enhanced and supported the terrific student work presented on stage.
The final performance that played to three sold out houses in the Main Hall was vibrant, colourful and energised in a manner that only the enthusiasm and focus of the young can bring. Close to 400 of our Middle and High School students showed not only their considerable talent in performance but also their commitment to making each United Nations evening performance the absolute best it can be. My thanks to the performers, backstage and technical crew, and to the Drama Department team for all their work on an evening that for me, at least, encapsulates all that UWCSEA strives to achieve and something that I know all remember fondly long after they have left the College. Watch the highlights on the UWCSEA YouTube channel.
Showcase: Initiative for Peace Initiative for Peace (IfP) was founded in 2001 by a group of students and staff to promote peace in global, national and regional conflicts. The annual conference follows a year of preparation by our students, who receive training from specialists in the fields of public administration, conflict resolution and negotiation and historical perspectives in order to facilitate an event in the target country for youth leaders from both sides of a conflict.
In another development this year, the inaugural Peace Day was a student-led initiative involving IfP participants, and for the first time, local Singapore schools participated. We hope that Peace Day will become an annual event to support our students in developing their skills and provide an opportunity for student participants in the yearlong IfP programme, but who are not selected to attend the conferences, to use their skills.
The IfP conferences aim to bring youth leaders together to equip and empower them to establish and lead their own initiatives towards the prevention or resolution of conflicts within their communities. The success of each conference is therefore determined not by what happens at the event, but by what happens afterwards. For example, following the 2009 conference in Timor-Leste, two participants, Leonardo Rosa and Salles de Sousa, were inspired to set up a project to reforest the hill behind their community. In 2010, the Timor-Leste Youth for Peace organisation was created by Timorese IfP participants. They disseminate what they learn in the IfP conferences to the rest of their community.
This year, for the first time, two conferences took place simultaneously as UWCSEA East students joined the IfP. The conference in Dili, TimorLeste continued in its sixth year and, following a six-year absence, IfP returned to Kandy, Sri Lanka. The focus of both conferences was peace building, but with priority given to issues relevant to each country.
Dates: 19–24 June, following year-long preparation Who attended? 24 UWCSEA students and 40 Timorese participants What happened? Delegates were involved in discussions and the development of new skills, equipping them to put their ideas for sustainable peace into action. Also, tree planting. Sebastian Jensen Grade 12 East Campus On arrival in Dili, we thought we knew exactly what we were going to do. All the activities were planned to the minute and the schedule looked great, including icebreakers, group discussions, games, presentations and other activities involving our themes of environment, human rights, reconciliation and education. The next day, we met the local delegates, who ranged in age from 16 to 21, with English skills from fluent to almost non-existent. All had one thing in common: their love for East Timor, and all were eager to make the country a better place for everyone.
The first activities ran smoothly, but then in a small group exercise one male participant shared that he wanted to punch all the lesbians in the world. This shocked all the facilitators, and we realised we needed to include an activity to share some different opinions. However, in socially conservative East Timor, homosexuality is generally a taboo topic. For many delegates it may have been the first time that they shared their thoughts on it. However, to our surprise everyone was very open, and in the end, the participant that wanted to punch a lesbian was very quiet, before suddenly sharing his thoughts with us, “I don’t think we should deny people the right to love.” It was not our intention to spread our liberal UWC thoughts, and I feel this is not what we did. But by sharing thoughts and interpretations about topics usually off limits, and by listening to those of others, our delegates were able to step out of their comfort zone and get a glimpse of what the UWC movement is all about: sharing ideas and thoughts to create a more peaceful world. We may not have brought a large change to East Timor, or even a small one. But we did show our delegates that by sharing ideas and opinions you can achieve mutual understanding, respect and, ultimately, peace.
IfP Sri Lanka Dates: 21–26 June, following year-long preparation Who attended? 15 UWC South East Asia students and 40 Sri Lankan participants
What happened? The programme focused largely on reconciliation and trust-building between groups of young people from different ethnic backgrounds. Troels Boldt Rømer Grade 12 Dover Campus The ideas that sound the most outrageously irrational are sometimes the ideas that work best. That was what I said, mainly to comfort myself, when I spoke to my friend in Denmark a week before IfP started. “So you tell me that you and your peace-loving UWC friends will go into a country that, just a few years ago, was in total civil war because of an old racial conflict, stuff some youngsters together in the jungle for a week and then believe you can create peace?” he asked me. “Yes, that is pretty much right,” I replied. A week later, I stood in the Sri Lankan rain waiting for a bus to collect the 40 delegates and 15 UWCSEA facilitators. They were all there: the Tamils, who had been travelling hours from Jaffna in the North; the Sinhalese, arriving from the capital of Colombo; and the Muslims, talking about last Friday’s prayer. Between the groups, the silence was noisy. As the bus stopped at the modest venue, the delegates were welcomed to a week-long conference. The aim: when the week was over, they should not just have made friendships across the ethnic divides. They should be empowered to bring their insights and ideas back to their communities and become ambassadors of peace and social activism.
It only took a few hours before the ice started breaking. At the dinner tables in the evening, young Sri Lankans exchanged stories, ideas, hopes and fears. Over the next days, young people who had been brought up as enemies found themselves drawing out the history of their country together. They planned mobilization campaigns for human rights, they discussed current racial tensions, they talked about education, homosexuality and corruption, they taught each other the languages and proverbs they were brought up with, they met UWC’ers from countries they had only read about in textbooks, and they shared a week of joy, ideas, tears and hope with the boys and girls from parts of their country they had never seen. A week later, I sat in my friend’s flat in Copenhagen and shared the story. He still thought I was naïve. And he was right in his scepticism—of course he was. We had never intended to go to Sri Lanka to create total peace. We never believed that our small acts could undo decades of violence and hatred. But if we cannot undo the national conflict, we can moderate the personal ones. This was demonstrated when a Tamil boy came up to me the last day and hugged me while he, tears in his eyes, told me no one had ever before asked him how he felt about his country, his future and the conflict. I was even more uplifted when I received a text from a Sinhala girl about a Tamil language project that she has started in her local neighbourhood. There is true, human value in IfP. As facilitators, we are forced to face the reality of the country we are guests in. Abstract words about peace are gone,
substituted with real stories of hatred and revenge—real stories are harder to deal with than textbook exercises. But I hope the biggest impact was on the delegates from Sri Lanka. I believe that we, by showing how different cultures can live together in the UWC community, can inspire others to cross the old borders of prejudice. And I believe it matters when youth meet youth to act on global problems. Even though our actions are small, the people I met in Sri Lanka will take their story and ideas with them and impact more people in the future. I might not undo the conflict in Sri Lanka, but it is definitely a significant step in the right direction.
Peace Day Singapore 2013 Date: 21 September Who attended? Co-hosted by IfP participants from both UWCSEA campuses, around 100 youths from international and local schools across Singapore What happened? The inaugural Peace Day Singapore celebrated the global Peace One day, including a forum discussion on the lack of peace in Singapore, and why peace within ourselves and in our community is important. The day also featured student-led workshops on music, physical theatre, a One Day One Goal football match and a visual arts forum, and ended with a concert. If you are interested in learning more about the Initiative for Peace, please visit their website: www.uwcsea.edu.sg/IfP. 15
Sports highlights East hosts SEASAC Division II Volleyball Championships; girls team wins By Roxanne Walker Teacher and Volleyball Coach East Campus For a coach, there’s no greater moment in a season than to see the penny drop for a player. The moment when they realise that they can play the sport— that their hard work and perseverance have paid off. The 2013 SEASAC Division II Volleyball tournament was one of those moments. UWCSEA East, the newest member of SEASAC, hosted the tournament in which 7 schools, 12 teams and players from 29 nationalities participated. There was a great atmosphere from the start with students of all ages coming down to cheer on the teams on Friday, 1 November. The round robin tournament allowed teams to play all the participating schools. Although there were clear contenders for the top spots, all matches gave the crowd a good show. All three of the East Campus teams represented UWCSEA in outstanding fashion, demonstrating skill, dedication and sportsmanship. Both our boys A and B teams played superbly. With high hopes after going undefeated in their local league, the
boys A team played very well and made it to the finals. Demonstrating great heart and resilience, they played to five sets. The fifth set was very exciting and in the end KLASS prevailed, and our team won the silver medal. The boys B team enthusiastically faced more experienced teams with a positive attitude and willingness to learn. They ended the tournament with a win against Tanglin Trust School, earning fifth place. The girls championship would go to the team that made the least unforced errors and with the strongest desire to win. The East girls had already lost a match to Mont’ Kiara International School on the first day, but in the championship match, after losing the first set, they fought their way back to a 3-1 win. This win earns them a place in Division I next year. Congratulations to the girls on their win and thanks to the campus community for the tremendous support of our teams throughout the tournament. For the full-length article and additional sports photos and results, please visit eDunia.
Touch and cross country Asian All Schools Championships (AAS) is organised by Touch Football Singapore, and welcomed 44 teams and 6 countries for a day of highly competitive play. UWCSEA teams from both campuses advanced to the finals in five of the six pools played—these rain-delayed finals will be played in late November.
The SEASAC Cross-Country Championships were hosted by Tanglin Trust School in Singapore 22–23 November. Teams and individuals from both Dover and East Campus competed well with both campuses earning team medals and four Dover students achieving individual medals.
9&U Football triumph By Neil Allsop Activities Coordinator and 9&U Coach Dover Campus The Dover Campus 9&U Boys Football team won the ACSIS 9&U tournament on Saturday, 9 November at UWCSEA Dover, bringing a close to a very successful season. The boys went into the finals confident that they could win the trophy for the first time. The team topped their group defeating SAS 2-0 and Marlborough College 3-0. In the semi-finals they scraped past holders TTS 1-0 to set up a final against OFS. The crowd was not disappointed and with nerves jangling the game went to penalties after neither team could break the deadlock. UWCSEA Dover put all three of theirs away whilst OFS failed to convert their final penalty. Deserving winners after not conceding a goal all tournament, the team played some of the most entertaining football on the day and displayed great sportsmanship.
Senior Rugby tour to Sri Lanka The Dover Campus U19 and U16 Rugby teams started this year’s season with a week-long tour to Sri Lanka during the October break, playing against local teams in Colombo. Team Captain Robbie Thomas recounts the teams three matches, “We started the tour with a light training session before our first game against Hisham Abdeen Rugby Academy, which although a fairly one sided encounter, utilized both our players strengths and teamwork. This meant that we went into the next days game confident, against the recently successful Isapatana School. This was a hard fought match for both teams and the 19&U team ended up losing by just one try. We pushed on to our last game against the developing team from The Science College. Going into the match with a squad who were struggling with illness gave us a testing game, which we ended up pulling through with a narrow win.” At the final game, the UWCSEA visitors also gave the club several boxes of rugby kit which had been donated by the UWCSEA community to help support their developing players.
Season 1 results Congratulations to all of our SEASAC athletes! Dover Campus Girls football (Div II) – 1st Boys football (Div I) – 2nd Girls volleyball (Div I) – 4th Boys volleyball (Div I) – 7th Girls cross country – 1st (team), 1st and 3rd (individuals) Boys cross country – 2nd (team), 1st and 3rd (individuals) Girls golf – TBC Boys golf – 1st East Campus Girls football (Div II) – 2nd Boys football (Div I) – 6th Girls volleyball (Div II) – 1st Boys volleyball (Div II) – 2nd Girls cross country – 2nd (team) Boys cross country – 3rd (team) Girls golf – 5th Boys golf – 6th
IB Theatre students play with ideas The opportunity to host an International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA) Theatre Arts Programme Symposium (TaPS) is special indeed. For a short three days, nearly 100 IB Theatre students from 10 international schools across Asia celebrated the power and joy of theatre. As ISTA states, “TaPS workshops provide an opportunity for students to authentically engage with the IB Diploma Theatre programme. The experience acts as a starting point and resource for further work back in schools. The young people work with theatre professionals, examiners, IB/ ISTA trained workshop leaders and master class practitioners drawn from the world of professional theatre.” It is more than that, and certainly proved to be so for our students, in that this experience is ultimately about sharing and making connections. Our IB Theatre students finished TAPS with many new friends, many new experiences and, importantly, an excitement to share with those around them. By Asya Sadnak Grade 11 East Campus Coming into TaPS, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but was filled with high hopes due to all the great things I’d heard. After experiencing the intensive three-day course, I’m happy to say that it met and exceeded all of those expectations. We’ve been lucky enough to attend several conferences and workshops, but TaPS was completely unique in its specificity to our needs. You don’t really realise how much the IB shapes you as a person until you find yourself in a room with a hundred other IB Theatre students and marvel at the shared understanding—that was exactly what the workshop offered. The difference is unbelievable. You’re in a safe environment designed to give 18
you exactly what you need to thrive in IB Theatre, with international students who have the same aim and background knowledge as you. The result? A learning experience that checks all the right boxes and makes it substantially easier to digest new information. Of course, the qualities of TaPS weren’t only limited to its environment. We underwent a detailed and rigorous exploration of theatre packed into every minute of the weekend, sharing knowledge with our new friends. We experienced master classes taught by esteemed professionals, ranging from specifics like Japanese Noh Theatre to basics like ‘Making Things Up.’
We were given expertise that will extend out from IB Theatre and help us in other aspects of life, such as audition skills and managing space. But, more than anything, we were taught how to play with ideas and get hands-on with devising—factors that are crucial to theatre. All through IGCSE Drama, I relied on my devising skills and told myself to ‘get up and try things,’ but it was only after TaPS that I reached a higher understanding of how that’s really meant to work. I’m truly grateful for the experience. To read an additional reflection by Saadhvika Jayanth, Grade 11 and to see more photos from the workshop, please visit eDunia.
East MUN club hosts conference By Anushana Shukla, Parth Chhabra and Hannah He Grade 11, East Campus The East Campus’ year-old Model United Nations (MUN) club has had a highly productive first year, attending three international MUN conferences and hosting our own MUN UWCSEA East conference in September. Our achievements have exceeded our highest expectations. UWCSEA’s goal is to educate individuals to embrace challenge and take responsibility for shaping a better world—a perfect alignment with the United Nations’ aim. We believe that by engaging high achieving and passionate individuals in a constructive manner, this goal can be met and will ensure effective collaboration between the future leaders of the world. MUN simulates the UN conferences and offers a platform to confront a variety of international issues, urging delegates to endeavour through the complexities and intricacies of establishing a solution. It strives to stimulate both broad-minded and creative thinking through practical problem solving, and allows delegates to consider affairs from perspectives other than their own.
When our club’s ambitious executive team proposed to host UWCSEA East’s own conference, we were supported by the High School administration and Activities Department. True to the UWC ethos, the planning process was student-led with guidance from our two valuable facilitators, Martin Samuelsson and Melanie Nightingale. The planning process— albeit stressful at times—was one of the most rewarding and educational experiences we have ever undertaken. The Executive Planning Committee and volunteers for the Communications and Marketing, Logistics and Finance departments organised every aspect of the conference from the budget and logistics, to promoting the conference and liaising with invited schools, to arranging sponsorship and guest speakers. They also trained the chairs and delegates in preparation for their conference duties. These tasks were new to many of us and required a degree of professionalism and formality not usually required of High School students. More than 100 UWCSEA East High School students were involved in the conference in some capacity, with most attending as delegates and many experiencing an MUN conference for the first time.
In addition to a General Assembly attended by all delegates, we offered six committees covering a wide range of global issues: Disarmament, Economic and Social, Human Rights, Political, WHO and Security Council. These committees allowed delegates to confront and challenge relevant aspects of pressing international matters—from attempting to break down today’s largest and most complex geopolitical issues in North Korea and Syria, to addressing social and human issues affecting society’s everyday lives such as LGBT adoption and cyber privacy. Debate in all committees was not only in-depth and analytically considerate of the affairs at hand, but also sought to highlight the need for diplomacy and innovation in international relations. The 226 delegates from East, Dover and six other participating schools in the region, worked in tandem to pass resolutions while also making friendships and memories. The conference weekend was a huge success. We are grateful to everyone that helped make this conference a reality, including our generous sponsor, Takeda Pharmaceuticals. We look forward to another fruitful year of MUN.
Outdoor education FIB trip brings UWC values alive because of this we will look at new tasks with a different perspective. I think one thing I learnt was that if you are not sure—ask, because for all you know there could be an easier way of doing it … No matter what you chose to do, it would affect the whole class in different ways. By communicating, we were able to help each other when troubled, learn different ways of achieving the task, work together and so much more.
From the sleepover in Grade 1 to Project Week in Grade 11, UWCSEA’s Outdoor Education programme offers students experiences that stretch them personally, physically and socially. For students who join the College in Grade 10, the Foundation IB (FIB) programme includes a 10-day trip to Northern Thailand that combines outdoor education adventure activities with service projects designed to build community among the students, provide opportunities to develop the qualities and skills of the UWCSEA profile, and to help prepare them for the CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) requirement in the IB Diploma Programme. From 2–11 October, the 23 FIB students from East Campus spent 10 days in Thailand. The first half of the trip was ‘adventure’ which included trekking, white water rafting and camping. The physical activity, immersion in nature and disconnecting from technology helped students to recognise new strengths and capacities they didn’t know they had—a core philosophy of outdoor education at UWCSEA. The second half of the trip was spent working on service projects with the NGO Where There is No Doctor. The projects included building latrines and supporting other sanitation and education projects in the Burmese refugee hill villages outside Chiang Rai. 20
Because the relatively small cohort of FIB students are new to the College, the trip not only serves to build community and help prepare them for CAS in the IBDP, it also helps to ground them in the UWC mission and ethos. There are also links with the academic curriculum, in particular the Integrated Humanities course which explores the UWC values and more specifically with the Development unit in which students learn about the Human Development Index and economic indicators they see first hand while working in the community. The unit looks at how communities can develop in a sustainable way—economically, socially, environmentally and through well being. This year, the students were able to do hands-on research earlier in the term in two communities on Bintan, and then compare the sustainable development model with the communities in Northern Thailand. The impact of the trip can best be understood through the reflections of the students themselves. East FIB students Bethany Blakemore and Arjun Mehrotra share their experiences.
Bethany Blakemore “The Thailand trip was an experience I will never forget. I believe the whole class was brought closer together by the strengths and weaknesses each of us have … We also learnt new skills, and
This trip gave me a new perspective on what I see everyday; I never thought it would be possible to learn so much in nine days. Even though it was hard, I would do it again [in order] to learn what I did on that trip.”
Arjun Mehrotra “I realised that the UWC mission is not just a hollow statement, but one that the school consciously tries to inculcate in its students. All our activities imbibed elements of the [mission] … We met children of farmers, toughened by life. They were half our size but had double the strength. The school genuinely tries to educate its students about the world around them, by exposing students to all types of people, from all walks of life. There was some degree of resilience [needed] throughout the adventure and service elements of the trip. During [the adventure portion], it was the long hikes, the long rafting trips and sleeping in the wilderness. During [the service portion], it was about giving our best shot … as work of this nature (mixing concrete, building latrines, etc.) was quite new to us … However, through commitment to care, we were able to quickly adjust and do the job. I learnt that I was more adaptable than I would have expected … and that I can live ‘unplugged’ from music, the Internet or the world in general, and not miss it too much. … I learnt that in spite of being so different from all the people I met, I am also, in some ways, just like them (for example, deriving joy from small things, being grateful for what I have).”
Personal and social education Positive education and resilience learning By Gary Seston Vice Principal Pastoral (Senior School) Dover Campus It’s 9.55am on a Wednesday morning in tutor group 11ABa, and the class looks on in silence as the group’s student wellbeing coach (a fellow member of the class) carefully and slowly inserts a skewer through both ends of an inflated balloon … without bursting it! Once completed, this ‘party trick’ amuses the group; the last balloon popped loudly as the same skewer was jabbed into it rather carelessly and without thought. A fun activity to kick-start tutor group, but all is not exactly what it might seem. The coach goes on to use the activity as an analogy to help the group discuss how different approaches to sensitive issues can have markedly different outcomes. It is a lead to this week’s personal and social education (PSE) focus on interpersonal relationships and the importance of emotional intelligence (EQ), considered by many to be more closely correlated to success and happiness than IQ. The same scene is being repeated in other Grade 11 tutor groups and, though the discussions will certainly vary, the hope of this dedicated band of volunteer peer supporters, trained in the theory of positive psychology and the techniques of resilience learning by
“With a growth mindset, there is no limit to what we can achieve and no moment when we can’t turn things around, whether it be our grades, our activities, or our social lives.” Grade 12 student, 2013
their Heads of Grade and tutors, is that their peers will take away from each week’s session some tools which will help them build resilience. But how did this resilience programme start? The High School PSE team have always endeavoured to engage students in learning about the value of positivity, life balance and the executive skills such as self-motivation, time management and determination (G.R.I.T.). Then in 2011/2012, wider reading around the ideas on authentic happiness championed by Martin Seligman (Flourish, 2011) helped us link many of these important ideas together through a positive psychology approach to developing resilience. Resilience is the ability not only to respond to adversity but also to build mindsets and skills that allow all individuals to flourish and fulfil their true potential. It is based on building (character) strengths rather than simply correcting weaknesses and identifies five focus areas to build on to achieve this. These are known as PERMA; • Positive emotions • Engagement • Relationships • Meaning • Accomplishment Seligman argues, convincingly, that spending time recognising and developing strengths in these areas will lead to enduring well being and self-actualisation. In June 2013, with generous support from both the UWCSEA Foundation and the Dover Campus Parents’ Association, renowned international psychologist and resilience trainer Fred Toke spent
three days on Dover Campus training a group of Heads of Grade and the College counsellors from both Middle and High School in the techniques of resilience training. This ‘train the trainer’ scheme has allowed us to begin to cascade this knowledge and skills to the wider PSE team and to embark this year on the development of a coherent Resilience Programme in High School, a programme largely built on the ideas of prominent authors, Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatte. And next week in tutor group? … the balloons make way for a role play on sticking together through adversity—a useful focus in preparation for Project Week!
Further reading The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles by Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatte PhD. Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin E. P. Seligman
Anxiety starts with a thought … The Personal and Social Education programme at UWCSEA helps students to feel secure and conﬁdent for a successful learning experience. The dedicated programme led by classroom teachers, mentors and tutors is supported by the Counselling Department. Following parent workshops offered on both campuses this term on Anxiety in Children and Young People, Naomi Kelly offers and overview for parents along with suggested resources. By Naomi Kelly Head of Counselling East Campus Whether it is avoidance of being alone in the dark, nervousness at being away from home on a camp or panic in a test situation, anxiety is a feeling that is initiated by a thought. It is a response to a perceived threat rather than an actual threat. The cause of the feeling is not always understood, but its intensity can be persistent and debilitating. In any given situation, our automatic thoughts about a forthcoming event, affect how we feel about that event and subsequently, how we act. Here’s a common example: As you are walking through the tent plaza, someone you know walks past. You say “hello” but they don’t acknowledge you, it appears that they have ignored you. Your automatic thought may be to wonder what was on their mind. You noticed that they looked distracted and thoughtful; it is a busy school and you feel compassionate. You make a mental note to yourself to check in with them later in the day to see if they are OK. When you do, they apologise for being so distracted that they didn’t see you; they share their gratitude at your thoughtfulness of checking in, and you both part with a feeling of warmth toward one another.
Alternatively, your automatic thought may be that they ignored you because they don’t like you, or that you are not significant to them. The thought saddens you; you may feel low and rejected. Over time, as you dwell on this pattern of thinking, you begin to avoid the plaza, just in case someone else ignores you and before long you don’t go there at all. The seed for social anxiety is sown. The anxious person presumes that something will go terribly wrong. Their negative thoughts translate into fearful feelings. The threat of danger, can lead to immobilisation and avoidance. In order to change the resulting anxious behaviour, we need to learn to challenge the initial thought—the belief about what may happen. This is the premise of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Singapore-based developmental paediatrician, Dr Roby Marcou, addressed parents at East Campus in October after talking with Dover Campus parents in late September. Her presentation ‘Anxiety in Children and Young People’ was particularly pertinent to parents of children across the age groups who endeavour to manage an anxious child. If your child experiences separation anxiety, specific phobias, test or performance anxiety, school or social anxiety, Dr Marcou’s advice to support success in potentially anxious situations included: • challenge unhelpful thoughts • understand the value of challenge and cultivate optimism as a way of preempting anxiety • distinguish healthy challenge from excessive stress • cultivate proficiency • be mindful of your modelling
In the words of Henry Ford, “The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right, which one are you?” Please see eDunia for additional online resources including Dr Marcou’s presentation.
Resources for parents Books The following books are available for parents to browse through in the East Campus Counselling Department: Perfectionism: What’s Bad About Being Too Good? by Miriam Adderholdt. Test Anxiety and What You Can do About it: a Practical Guide for Teachers, Parents and Kids by Joseph A Casbarro. Freeing Your Child from Negative Thinking: Powerful, Practical Strategies to Build a Lifetime of Resilience, Flexibility and Happiness by Tamar Ellsas Chansky. Freeing Your Child from Anxiety: Powerful, Practical Strategies to Overcome Your Child’s Fears, Phobias, and Worries by Tamar Ellsas Chansky. Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think by Dennis Greenberger. Freeing Our Families from Perfectionism by Thomas S Greenspon.
Because I am a Girl Because I am a Girl (BIAG) is a GC based at UWCSEA East which works to raise awareness about the importance of educating girls. In October 2013 BIAG visited the Ladli centre in Jaipur, a vocational centre set up by I India, an Indian NGO, to provide destitute, teenage girls with education and craft skills in jewellery, card and craft making, to help them earn a sustainable livelihood. The aim of the trip was to work in a collaborative project with the girls to recycle beads from Singapore into jewellery, which could then be sold in Singapore on their behalf. By Maria Shah and Wen Yi Lim Grade 11, East Campus Before we first met the Ladli girls, we were slightly hesitant as we could not predict how the girls would react to our visit. Would they be shy? Would we? All our doubts vanished when the girls greeted us with the same amount of warmth and affection they would an old friend. Walking into the Ladli workshop five minutes after we arrived, High School teacher and BIAG advisor Ellie Alchin was unable to find the UWCSEA girls. After a moment of slight panic, she realised that this was because we had all assimilated into the sea of Ladli girls so quickly. This was the perfect representation of our visit to Ladli—we weren’t UWCSEA girls and Ladli girls, we weren’t girls with incredibly different backgrounds, those differences simply faded away; throughout our visit, we were all just girls.
kind signature pieces for the adult female market. Incorporating the ideas presented by the rest of the GC that were not with us, we began to recycle the donated beads and remodel them into new designs. Through working with the girls to make the jewellery, we began to realise the immense variety of talents these girls possess. Not only were they able to produce amazing pieces of jewellery with much skill, they also made cards and decorations. Their skills also included creating beautiful henna designs and Bollywood dancing. The inspiring fact was that they were able to balance their academic lives with the work at the Ladli vocational centre, maintaining positivity in all circumstances. The staff at Ladli plays a pivotal role in encouraging the girls to attain their goals whilst inculcating values of generosity and optimism in them. This was demonstrated as they provided for our meals and snacks while we were at Ladli, and showered us with many gifts throughout our stay. The bonds we formed with the Ladli girls strengthened the bonds between us as a GC, putting into perspective the
cause that we are working for. Their attitude toward life inspired us and motivated us to work harder whilst being appreciative of the advantages that we take for granted. After the three eye-opening days at Ladli, it was time for us to say our difficult goodbyes, as we would spend the last two days of our trip visiting some of India’s finest attractions. Our aims for the future are to maintain the friendships created and revisit the girls to collaborate on a new project. This is only the beginning of our journey, as some of us may return through Project Week. The core essence and purpose of our journey as the BIAG GC is to help girls all around the globe—Ladli girls, UWCSEA girls—realise that we can be the change we want to see in this world through the unity of our efforts. As Malala Yousafzai said, “If we work together, it is easy for us to achieve our goal. Millions of girls are raising their voices for education,” and Because I Am A Girl is proud to be a part of that global voice.
We spent three days with the Ladli girls; the first day was spent playing icebreakers and getting to know the girls. Some of us began the initial discussions with the jewellery designer, informing him of the needs of the market back home. On the second and third day, we split into three teams that would make three different kinds of jewellery: wooden-beaded jewellery for young children, popular simplistic designs for teenagers and one-of-a-
Building a culture of service on East Campus We often say that service is at the heart of our mission—and indeed it is. The commitment to service at UWCSEA has developed and deepened over nearly 40 years as part of the UWC movement and is a distinctive part of our school’s culture. But how does a culture formed over decades come to be part of a new campus and school? When the College decided to open the East Campus in 2008, there was no doubt that service would be an integral part of the learning programme. Thanks to dedicated staff members, and through the support and participation of students and parents, a strong culture of service has emerged on East Campus over five short years. In the first years with only a Primary School in Ang Mo Kio, the East Campus team implemented the three components of the Service programme—College, local and global service. Some of those first students are now in Grade 9 and as the Middle and High Schools have grown, so has the Service programme.
In June, the first Project Week for East Campus took place with the first IB Diploma cohort. As Project Week continues to develop on East Campus, opportunities to connect with more GC partners are being explored for the service component of the trips. From East Campus’ inception, parents and students in the Primary School and more recently in the Middle School have had opportunities to go on service trips together to work with GC partners and visit and learn about the local culture. Beginning with Bali Bridges, an array of trips are now offered to Indonesia, Cambodia and beyond. As parents have experienced these trips with their children, the commitment to service has grown. The Parents’ Association East offers a weekly service activity at Willing Hearts providing meals to people in need. They have also held family service activities and organised participation in community events such as the Pink Ribbon Walk.
Within the Service programme for students this year, Season 1 began with two sessions of reflection and preparation before groups began their service activities. Students took time to get to know one another and their reasons for signing up for a particular service, to learn more about the project or organisation they would be supporting and to set goals for their service individually and as a group. These goals are being revisited periodically so that students and advisors can measure change over time and make adjustments as needed. Claire Psillides, Middle School service coordinator, has observed a greater level of comfort and understanding when students began their service this year which she attributes to the time spent on awareness building and goal setting at the beginning of the term. This continued dedication from students, staff and parents will build on the rich culture of service on East Campus.
East Project Week 2013 The first East Campus Project Week took place in June 2013. The Grade 11 students were responsible for planning, organising and conducting the trips themselves. They learned budgeting skills, completed risk assessments and learned about booking travel arrangements and accommodation in preparation for their trips to 11 countries across the region.
Thailand Vietnam Indonesia Myanmar India
Cambodia Sri Lanka Malaysia China
Hong Kong India Myanmar
Community Terima kasih dan sampai jumpa lagi … Ms Kalimah retires after 41 years By Katie Day Teacher-Librarian East Campus UWCSEA recently farewelled a living treasure when Ms Kalimah, that gracious presence in our libraries for the last 40 years, retired in October. Kalimah started at the Dover Campus in 1972, when it was still Singapore International School, working first on the reception desk, then moving into the library, where she remained—albeit moving buildings and campuses several times in her career. In her many years on both campuses, she has embodied the ethic of service in her commitment to help all patrons who walked in the door, to care for all the resources that passed through her hands, and to ensure the library was a welcoming learning space. In
all, two generations have passed through the library in her time at UWCSEA, and her gentle presence has no doubt encouraged many readers. She particularly enjoyed seeing former students, now adults, drop by to say hello—although she became harder for our visiting alumni to find when she moved to the East Campus, first to help open the new library in Ang Mo Kio and then to Tampines. I’ve enjoyed hearing her stories about those early years in the Dover library when she had to go to a backroom to catalogue books because the manual typewriters—used to create up to six cards per book for the card catalogue—made so much noise. At a time when she was making $120 month, she appreciated the chance to earn extra money by typing up IB
Diploma students’ Extended Essays (using carbon paper to make a second copy) for $60 each. We are so lucky she is going to continue to work part-time at the College on projects for the Alumni office, helping to sort out photographs in the archives where her historical knowledge and organisational skills will be well utilised.
Pink Ribbon Walk gets the community moving By Diane Lewis Parents’ Association East The UWCSEA community responded enthusiastically once again to the call to participate in the Breast Cancer Foundation’s (BCF) annual Pink Ribbon Walk held on 28 September. Groups of parents, students, staff and friends from both campuses completed the 4.1km walk to help raise awareness about breast cancer and collect funds to further enhance BCF’s programmes. Held annually since 2008, the Pink Ribbon Walk encourages breast cancer survivors, their families and anyone in Singapore to take part and show their support towards raising breast cancer awareness. Breast cancer is curable if detected early, so BCF promotes regular screening which in turn increases the chances of surviving the disease. This year’s walk started and ended at the Waterfront Promenade at Marina
Bay, allowing participants to enjoy the sights and attractions along the route including Gardens By the Bay, the Art Science Museum and Marina Barrage. The UWCSEA East team proudly carried a school flag and walked together, many clad in pink from head to toe. PA East is proud to support UWCSEA’s commitment to service that empowers students, staff and parents alike to become aware, able and active contributors to the community. Through events such as the Pink Ribbon Walk as well as our ongoing weekly service activity for parents at Willing Hearts, a non-profit organisation that provides free meals to an average of 2,500 people daily across Singapore, we offer opportunities for parents to give back to the community. Additional opportunities will be available in Term 2, and we invite all interested parents to join us in our service and other activities. 25
Strengthening links through education boarding house, it was not hard to find a friend who was willing to teach me the basics of Marathi, the official language of the Indian state of Maharashtra. And finally, to my great amazement, the UWCSEA Foundation agreed to sponsor my gap year. Nothing could prevent me from deferring my college entrance and booking a flight ticket to Mumbai.
By Michaela Vebrova Class of 2011 UWCSEA Dover Although I would have been happy to opt for any of the many projects offered by the UWCSEA Gap Year programme, one attracted me more than others—Akshara, an NGO located on the campus of UWC Mahindra College (UWCMC), UWCSEA’s sister school in India’s Western Ghats. The prospect of committing myself to service in rural India while remaining under the UWC influence for one more year was irresistible. As a national committee scholar, I was neither able to finance such a venture nor qualified enough to be sure I would contribute meaningfully. However, I would have been naïve to think that UWCSEA wouldn’t offer its students opportunities to overcome such challenges. I was encouraged to enrol in the ELT (English Language Teaching) course, an intensive teacher training programme that UWCSEA developed with the British Council specifically for students who want to volunteer in educational projects in Asia. In the
I arrived at Khubavali, where the Akshara project is based, with my brain still set to the Singaporean configuration. I went to Dr Joshi, my new boss, and demanded to be assigned tasks to complete. “Do whatever you want!” she told me with a bright smile on her kind face. I was advised to spend the following week getting to know the organisation and then decide how I would spend the remaining seven months. Akshara was founded seven years ago by Mr Tyagi, a UWC-USA graduate who saw UWCMC’s potential to be more than an isolated enclave of excellence. He thought the College’s interaction with the surrounding region did not need to be limited to employment and occasional service visits. Akshara has now helped hundreds of children from the surrounding villages succeed in their high school leaving exams and find a vocational training, college, university or job. Additional activities range from providing counselling to dozens of families in the valley, including those from socially excluded tribes, to running a playgroup and a youth centre. Akshara also organises a rigorous UWC selection process every year, and the best students from the local schools are awarded UWC scholarships.
After my first week, I had found myself an occupation. In the mornings, I walked down to the village to help prepare a class of 30 students for their national English exams. It took me several days to figure out how to explain grammar rules of English in English, the students’ third language. However, we soon learned to work together—after all, I had once been in their position, reciting irregular verbs from the very same Cambridge University Press book, only sitting under a Czech birch instead of a Maharashtrian palm tree. In the afternoons, I spent most of my time with the four soon-to-be UWC students, who had just started their year-long pre-IB course. I looked at their timetable and took over all their free classes—it seemed obvious that this was the place for me. Designing a curriculum we would follow for the next seven months was a piece of cake— having just completed my two years at a UWC, I knew exactly what to prepare for. It was an exciting task. I had never met anyone whose culture was so diametrically different from mine. Even the most ‘exotic’ people I knew at UWCSEA spoke some English, knew how to use a computer, owned at least one pair of shorts and didn’t have a problem talking to members of the opposite sex. For this reason, it was also a delicate task. I was set on exposing my charges to everything that could later surprise them, but the last thing I wanted to do was to preach Western values. And it was a risky task. It went well beyond language teaching and I
knew that if I didn’t make the right decisions at the right time, my mistakes would leave my students confused about their potential to succeed in the classroom. The absolute freedom with which Dr Joshi bestowed me brought along a huge challenge—I was determined to find the right pedagogical approach for this particular context. I had only four students to worry about most of the time and so I could afford to experiment. My students soon made me scrap the classroom teaching model. Only after throwing away my Present Perfect worksheets was I sure that serious learning was taking place. We read books in a tree house, on a lawn or on a terrace overlooking the valley. We would all squeeze onto my bed and watch and discuss movies. We cooked together. We danced. We wrote essays in a gazebo. We climbed school buildings and mountains. We swam together. We celebrated birthdays, attended weddings, rode motorbikes. After those seven months of work
disguised as fun, my pre-IB students became confident speaking English, creative in their thinking and able to present their culture with pride. The students were not the only ones affected. I too found myself completely transformed. I started as a stereotypical TEFL teacher, then felt like a Victorian-era governess for some time and eventually became … you could call it an older sister. My students moulded my methods of instruction until it perfectly suited their personal and academic demands. Without realising it, they caused me to change my educational philosophy and convinced me to dedicate my life to education reform. As I write this, Asmita, Amit, Saraswati and Deepali are attending UWCUSA, UWC Waterford Kamhlaba and Pearson College UWC. According to what they tell me on Facebook, they are doing excellently, taking advantage of the world-class education, reading, talking, cooking, painting, hiking and choreographing dances. As for me,
when I hear my classmates at Colgate University dismiss non-traditional educational models that we discuss in class as utopian, my thoughts wander back to India. To India, where I met four students who would be happy to prove my classmates wrong.
Michaela is a student at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, USA. She intends to major in Educational Studies and go on to pursue a Masters of Education degree and hopes that “the sense of idealism UWC nurtured in me will not leave me anytime soon.”
Dunia is published by UWC South East Asia. Reproduction in any manner in English or any other language is prohibited without written consent. Please send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Editors: Sinéad Collins, Kate Woodford and Courtney Carlson Design: Gregory Parker Photography: Sabrina Rech and members of the UWCSEA community 053COM-1314
Printed on 100% recycled paper with environmentally friendly inks. UWCSEA Dover is registered by the CPE CPE Registration No. 197000825H CPE Registration Period 18 July 2011–17 July 2017 Charity Registration No. 00142 UWCSEA East is registered by the CPE CPE Registration No. 200801795N CPE Registration Period 10 March 2011–9 March 2017 Charity Registration No. 002104 MICA (P) 119/04/2013
UWC Day 2013 Dover Campus celebrated UWC Day with a reflection on the life and work of Nelson Mandela, our Honorary President. Students put coloured sticks into pots, each colour representing a quality in Mandela that inspires them in their own lives. A beautiful display of colour, speaking eloquently of the ways that Mandela continues to touch the lives of our students.
Published on Oct 20, 2014