Highlights In This Issue: Principal’s Foreword 02 Secondary One Orientation 03 Level Camps 04 Sports Meet & Cross Country 05 Awards Day | Meet Wesley! | WWSS First Cookout | VIP Cafe launch 06 Ethnic Celebrations 07 Aesthetics Concert 08 NDP & Entrepreneurship Bazaar 10 CCA Passing Out Parade, SL Investiture & CIP@Kampung Temasek 11 Learning Festival 12 Department Programmes 13 Teachers’ Professional Development 14 Internationalisation Programme 15 Westwood Family 16
2012 has been an exciting year for the school. The focus of the activities for the year was to develop the whole Westwoodian by bringing together all the various groups of stakeholders â€“ students and their parents, staff, alumni, friends, community leaders and partners, and well-wishers, as a whole community, as "One Westwood". The emphasis on the community is to signal the concerted efforts that must be taken, and the important role each plays in the development of the child. While the staff focus on the delivery of the Westwood Education, the parents, community partners and leaders play a significant role too in enhancing opportunities for learning and development, as well as in augmenting and reinforcing values to the child, and teaching him to be a responsible member of society. The Westwood Education continues to emphasise holistic development through an authentic and values-driven curriculum. Activities, programmes and events develop Westwoodians physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and morally. In this newsletter, you will get a glimpse of some of the facets of a Westwoodian's active school life. This does not apply just to the students. Even the staff have the opportunity to extend their capacity and go through a variety of learning experiences. Indeed, Westwood is an active Learning Community, and the learning is not about to stop. We look forward in hopeful anticipation to 2013, and the greater challenges that lie ahead. Ms Sandra Gwee Principal
Welcome Our New Staff
Mr Goh Kwang Seng Elijah Mr Goh Yew Tiong Dave Ms Hanisah Salim Mr Sooty Heng Ee Wen Mr Huang Weiming Lawrence Ms Rosalynn Koh Ms Lim Dai Xuan Mdm Lim Siew Eng Wendy Ms Liu Hongping Ms Nadia Eddy Razali Ms Nurul Atika Ramli Mdm Nur Emylina Md Razali Mr Sng Kuo Wai Simon Mdm Siti Zakiah Mohamed Yusof Mr Ya Soon Kwang Raymond Ms Zhang Danlu
On 4 January 2012, Westwood welcomed our fresh batch of Westwoodians to the family. The school organised an exciting activity-filled 3day orientation programme for the new students. The aim of this programme was to allow the Secondary Ones to bond with their newfound schoolmates, as well as to adjust themselves to the vibrant Westwood culture.
young students also squeezed their creative juices during the classroom decoration segment – their beautifully decorated classrooms were indeed proof of their hard work! The Secondary Ones also got the chance to play exciting inter-class games which tested their agility and teamwork. The student leaders led the juniors in these games which were held at various venues of the school such as the quadrangle and the hall. Our young Westwoodians also got the chance to venture to the idyllic Chinese Garden during their orientation. There, they were challenged physically to a morning run as a whole cohort.
Following a school-wide address by the Principal, Ms Sandra Gwee, the Secondary Ones were led to their respective classrooms where they proceeded with class bonding activities, led by their ever-energetic form teachers. The students went through the class ‘house rules’ and also brainstormed their class Truly, an orientation that ‘signature name’ with they will remember all their teachers. The their lives!
“Westwood camp rocks!” This was on each and every Westwoodian’s mind as they ended their 3-day camp on 10 February 2012. As a school-wide initiative by the school to inculcate values of team work, resilience and creativity, each cohort got the opportunity to unwind and come closer as a family during camps held in three different venues. The Secondary Ones and Fours stayed within the school premises for their camp adventure, while the Secondary Two and Three students ventured to Jalan Bahtera MOE Outdoor Adventure Camp and Tanjung Piai respectively. Those who had their camps in school got to utilise the school facilities to the fullest for their camp activities! The Westwood quadrangle was temporarily transformed into a cornucopia of mini structures built by the creative students. From rubber bullet guns to shiny colourful sunglasses, nothing was spared during the exhilarating camp games! The outdoor camps also had their share of fun as the students engaged in fun-filled activities like canoeing. They also built their confidence through the daring but safe games organised by the camp facilitators. Later at night, the students experienced a classic campfire at each level camp where they wrapped up the day, bonding over camp songs and cheers. They laughed, sweated and cried – but at the end of it all, all the students agreed that the three days of camp were possibly the best in their lives!
Westwood Secondary Schools’ annual Sports Meet was held on 30 March 2012 at the Jurong West Sports Stadium. The Guest of Honour, Ms Deng Yi Han, who is a School Advisory Committee (SAC) member, joined the energetic event, giving out medals to the well-deserving winners. It was an electrifying event as the different Houses, Meranti, Ebony, Cedar, Willow and Cactus, vied for the title of House Champion 2012. All the students looked forward to the Teachers’ Race where they witnessed their beloved teachers join forces in the team games! Loud cheers resounded as each student cheered for their favourites! After numerous nail-biting sports events, the Meranti House walked away with the champion trophy and the Willow House clinched the Best Cheer title this year! Congratulations to the two houses for the well-deserved wins!
The whole school gathered at the Chinese Garden for the school’s cross country in the very same month. Each Westwoodian displayed sheer perseverance and discipline throughout the race, and many crossed the finishing line with huge smiles on their faces! The top runners were awarded with special ‘running man’ golden trophies for their success.
Holistic Education Awards Day It began with the prestigious Awards Day ceremony in the school hall where students who performed exceptionally well academically were recognised in this special event. Our Cluster Superintendent and Guest-of-Honour, Mr Richard Dawson, was present to give out the awards to the students. Westwood’s top ‘O’ Level students of 2011 also returned to receive their awards, proving to be a great inspiration to every Westwoodian.
Meet Wesley! Next was the introduction of the school’s jovial and bubbly mascot, Wesley the bear! The whole school was thrilled as Wesley got on stage with the energetic Westwood cheerleaders and performed the iconic song, “Many Dreams, One Aspiration”. A brainchild of Westwood’s creative team, Wesley is the new face of Westwood who will be a great motivation for us during various events and competitions, both inside and outside of school!
WWSS First Mass Cookout After the exciting ceremony in the school hall, Westwoodians proceeded to the quadrangle for the school’s first mass cookout. Our Cluster Superintendent and Guest-of-Honour, Mr Richard Dawson, officially launched the cookout by lighting up the first pit. It was truly an exhilarating occasion as students tirelessly worked in synergy with their classmates to man the BBQ pits that day!
VIP Cafe launch Finally, it was the launch of the much-awaited Venture into Paradise (VIP) café by Mr Richard Dawson. A collaborative project between the Business Skills and Home Economics Departments, the café, converted from a classroom, was a huge hit amongst the guests at its launch. Besides our mascot Wesley, students from Elements of Business Skills (EBS) were also present to help serve delicious and tantalising food to the guests. If you want to chill and relax after a stressful day in class, head down to the cosy VIP Café with your friends! The café is accessible to both Westwoodians and teachers on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3pm to 5pm!
Chinese New Year Loud cheers and peals of laughter resonated through the school hall on 20 January as Westwoodians rooted for their favourite God of Fortunes dressed in red balloon and paper ‘beards’. Besides the hilarious “Decorate Your Own Fortune God” contest, the Chinese New Year concert proved to be a hit with entertaining line-ups such as the Dragon Dance by our very own National Education ambassadors for the students. Our teachers also joined in the fun in a Chinese idiom competition using the “dragon” character!
Hari Raya Earlier this year was the ever colourful Hari Raya concert where the school celebrated the joyous occasion together with our Muslim friends. Teachers got into the swing of things by donning traditional outfits much to the delight of their students! On top of other performances, the concert was also graced by the elegant Malay dancers from Corporation Primary School. It was truly a memorable Hari Raya for everyone involved!
Save the music! This was the theme of Westwoodâ€™s Cultural Expressions this year! Held on 6 September at the ACJC Faith Centre for Performing Arts, the event was a brilliant showcase of talents by the Westwood aesthetics CCA groups like the Westwood Concert Band, Westwood Chorus, Guitar and Guzheng Ensembles, Language and Communication Club and the Art students! After weeks of gruelling practice sessions, the efforts of the CCA groups paid off handsomely as audiences cheered aloud for their passionate performances. Besides the main concert, colourful art pieces like sculptures, paintings and sand art were also proudly displayed by the student artists on the day of the event. Guests were able to hear from the artists themselves about their interesting pieces! The Aesthetics Concert is truly a milestone in Westwoodâ€™s history and every Westwoodian involved should be immensely proud of the hard work they have put in towards the success of the event. Three cheers for Westwood!
Participating groups, clockwise from top left: Westwood Concert Band, Guzheng Ensemble, Westwood Chorus, Secondary One Hip-hop Group, Guitar Ensemble and Language and Communication Club.
The school gathered at the quadrangle on the eve of National Day to celebrate the momentous occasion of our nationâ€™s birth. The marching contingents consisting of the various uniformed groups were the main highlights of the parade that day. School Advisory Committee member, Mr Benson Leong, also joined the school for the celebration. A sense of patriotism could be felt as the school recited the pledge and sang the national anthem as one on that very special day.
Entrepreneurship Bazaar After the parade, the quadrangle erupted into a vibrant Entrepreneurship bazaar! This bazaar was organised by the ever enterprising Business Studies Department. All Secondary Two classes were involved, with each class manning their own food and game stall. Upper Secondary Economics students also joined in the fun, tending their own food stall for the guests. The main highlight of the bazaar had to be the haunted house where the scary monsters attracted loud screams and squeals from its visitors!
Presentingâ€Ś the next generation of leaders. Westwoodians witnessed the CCA Passing Out Parade (POP) in the school hall, where leaders of various CCA groups from the clubs and societies, the uniformed and sports groups, formally handed over their titles and responsibilities to their successors. The ceremony was a great opportunity for Westwoodians to recognise the contributions of the outgoing leaders, as well as to welcome the incoming leaders of their CCAs. The Student Council Investiture was also held on the same day. Westwoodians and invited student leaders from other schools watched as the outgoing Student Council President, Nadia Dahak Ibrahim, handed over her post to Isaac Lim. A new batch of student leaders was also sworn in, to mark the beginning of their services to the school in the year ahead.
Community Involvement Programme: Kampung Temasek, Johor Bahru with 3NT In October 2012, our Secondary Three Normal Technical students and their teachers travelled all to the way to Johor Bahru for their 3-day Community Involvement Programme (CIP). There, they headed to Kampung Temasek where they interacted with the locals and worked on various activities. Some of it included laying cement, carpentry and also gardening. The teachers also had a hand in the activities. Using their creative juices, they designed and painted the murals in the vicinity. It was truly a valuable learning experience for both the students and their educators!
Spread over a duration of 3 days, the Learning Festival was held from 22 to 24 May 2012. With the aim of making learning come alive for Westwoodians, a series of exciting and informative exhibitions, games and activities were organised by the Mother Tongue Languages (MTL), Science and the Technology and Design (T&D) departments for the 3-day event. One of the highlights of the festival was the Motor Car Design Competition. Cleverly designed motor cars of different colours were submitted by the respective classes for a mini race held at the school hall. Sheer enthusiasm reverberated throughout the hall as classes cheered loudly for their class motor car during the race.
Another favourite event was the cluster schools science competition where Westwood invited other secondary schools to compete in teams for the top prize. It was definitely a sight to see as our very own students went head to head with their competitors from the cluster schools. Elsewhere around the school campus, Westwoodians were busily participating in fun and engaging activities such as the mini-parachute making competition, Chinese mask painting and calligraphy exhibitions, and creative science experiments. Judging from the eager reactions and happy responses of Westwoodians during the event, the Learning Festival was indeed a success and is set to be a regular fixture in Westwood for more years to come!
Financial Literacy Carnival Westwood Secondary School was the co-organiser with Citi-NIE for the Financial Literacy Carnival held at Singapore Flyer. This carnival was open to all schools in Singapore to allow students to learn and apply financial literacy in real life situations. The format of this carnival was based on the famed “Amazing Race”. Students were given an iPad to give them clues that led them to the various checkpoints. There, they answered financial literacy questions through their respective iPads. Westwood sent in a group of Secondary Three students to be student facilitators for this event. This was an amazing opportunity for them to display both their leadership and financial literacy skills.
Investor Board Game Workshop In 2011, a group of Secondary Three students came together to develop a board game called "Investor". This game subsequently won the National Board Game Design Competition. Due to its success, the Business Department decided to use “Investor” as an instructional tool to teach Secondary Two students about financial literacy. The teachers in the department developed a lesson package and also trained a group of Secondary Three students to be game facilitators for the financial literacy workshop. During the workshop, the game facilitators assisted in highlighting the learning points for the board game to other participating students.
Communication Studies The Communication Studies programme is an integrated curriculum spanning English, Literature and Project Work (PW). The Secondary One and Two students had to divide themselves into groups to present what they have learned to each other in actual deliverables. The Secondary One students produced innovative digital artefacts such as websites, globsters and facebook pages while the Secondary Two students immersed themselves in acting, stage and costume design.
If you think that your teachers only mark your school assignments during their free time, think again! Earlier in 2012, Westwood teachers underwent a series of learning journeys, workshops and symposium, as part of the school’s Teachers Professional Development programme. Some of the exciting learning journeys included trips to household names like Ya Kun and Far East Organisation. There, not only did the teachers learn more about the business world, they also came face to face with the Critical Factors for Success that make these corporate entities stand out from the rest. Besides the informative trips, the teachers also came together for workshops on ‘Differentiated Instruction’ and ‘Assessment for Learning’. It was definitely a rewarding experience for the teachers to learn something new for themselves and to equip their students better in the future.
Westwood Secondary witnessed a momentous event on 24 May 2012 – the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Indonesian school, ‘SMPN 49 Junior High School Jakarta’. Through this memorandum, the schools officially committed themselves to forge closer ties with each other and collaborate in a series of educational initiatives and programmes over the next two years. Selected Westwoodians and staff can expect educational exchange programmes in areas such as sports, performing arts and entrepreneurship in the near future! The memorandum was signed in both English and Bahasa Indonesia by principals of both schools, Ms Sandra Gwee and Dra. Hj. Ernawati, M.Pd. Student representatives from both parties also exchanged colourful gifts with each other as a mark of friendship and collaboration. The event was a culmination of a series of activities hosted by our school, from an exclusive school campus tour, to friendly inter-school captain’s ball matches and various team-building games around the school’s vicinity. The Indonesian visitors rewarded its host with a colourful cultural performance, much to the delight of Westwoodians. This collaboration with SMPN 49 Junior High School Jakarta resonates well with the Westwood mission of building confident communicators who are connected locally and globally.
Partnerships Parents Support Group (PSG) The Westwood Parent Support Group (PSG) is made up of dedicated parents who tirelessly set aside time to help out in the school’s major events such as Teachers’ Day, Westwood Bazaar and even various CIP projects. The close-knit group also actively organised bonding activities with both the school and amongst themselves. Some of them include bowling competitions with the teachers and family prawning sessions. The PSG is indeed a great way to foster closer bonds between parents, students and their teachers.
Wishing them the best in their new endeavours… Mr Desmond Lim Mdm Chan Su-Ling Ms Ng Yih Lin Cerenna Mr Sivagnanam Rameswaran Mr Samuel Selvarajoo
Presented by the Westwood Heartbeat Editorial Team Lee Chew Yen | Maria Marzuki | Nur Hidayah Moktar | Syed Ali Mohamed Alhabshee | Zhang Yi