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CONTENTS — Dec 2012 —

Cover Design: Through play, we learn about the world and ourselves, form friendships, and exercise our minds and bodies. Play is a wonderful thing. Eagle Eye celebrates how Rafflesians not only work hard, but also play hard. The cover design is itself a game that invites readers to imagine, discover, and pick up a pen or pencil to play. What will it reveal?

Principal’s Message / 02 Editor's Message / 03 Event Highlights / 04 Closing the Gap / 10 Leaders in the Making / 14 Rafflesians at Play / 18 Celebrations with a Difference / 28 Behind the Scenes - School Athletes off the Field / 31 The Creative Arts in RI / 34 Camwhoring like a Pro / 36 The Gold Standard / 38 EAGLE EYE

PRINCIPAL‘S MESSAGE Someone once asked me: ‘The environment in RI seems so stressful and your students have so much to do. Do they actually have fun?’ ‘Fun’ is often difficult to objectify. People don’t traditionally think of Rafflesians as a particularly ‘fun’ bunch, as compared with schools like ACS or VJC. But we find our own ways of experiencing fun in life; we have students who wholeheartedly devote all their time to the pursuit of what they love – researching in a lab, practising for a performance, training on the field – that’s fun to them. Fun, for Rafflesians, is frequently manifested as a creative response to daunting situations. We revel in rising to the challenge and being able to puzzle something out. We saw examples of this intrepid ingenuity all the way back in 1975, when the Raffles Players were faced with a particularly pressing dilemma – two of their teacher-advisors had left, and they were unable to continue the tradition, which had been established as far back as the club’s founding in 1954, of staging the annual Shakespearean play. After much intense discussion and soul-searching, they put up an original musical version of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations instead, repurposing pop hits of that era like Eartha Kitts’ ‘I Feel The Earth Move’ to fit their narrative needs. New characters with a local twist, such as the ‘Wanton Sisters’, were introduced. We recall and celebrate their imaginativeness and audacity – an integral part of the Rafflesian Spirit – on the school’s 190th anniversary, fittingly themed ‘Great Expectations’. Turning 190 is a good time for reflection, to ask ourselves where we see the school in the future, and how we can help it reach that destination. ‘Great Expectations’ is another way of saying ‘Hope of a Better Age’. We’re celebrating RI’s 190th birthday with a series of special events, and look forward to having you join us. Here’s wishing all of you a fun year ahead. Lim Lai Cheng (Mrs)



EDITOR‘S MESSAGE Play – a four-letter word that seems antithetical to all that RI stands for. It seems all the more alien in a world of fierce competition for scholarships, university places and jobs. Yet in a defiant act of heresy, we have made ‘Play’ the theme of this issue of the Eagle Eye. We have done this because we believe that a split second of imaginative insight comes not from neverending slog, but from spontaneous moments of playful expression. If we are ever going to produce a Rafflesian Nobel Laureate and unleash a Rafflesian Renaissance, we will have to assimilate the concept of play. The articles in this issue show just how far RI has come on this front. Jey Ren and Jun Yan’s report on the Gap Semester showcases RI’s radical efforts to shake up our definition of learning. Abigail’s story provides a glimpse of how the next generation of Singapore’s potential leaders are being nurtured through play. Jonathan and Zara’s article shows us that even in the heat of intense competition, our athletes create opportunities to bond and chill out. Lou Shan’s column examines the good-humoured, even mischievous inspiration behind our artists’ work. Regina and Kimberley’s commentary explores how ‘fun’ has become an operative word in school celebrations. These efforts extend to the magazine you are holding as well. When we assumed greater ownership of the Eagle Eye, we didn’t want it to be just another stuffy old magazine. We wanted it to be a memento that students would keep. That’s why we have tried to be as playful with this issue as possible. For starters, we have replaced the traditional feature article with a photo essay, courtesy of the Raffles Photographic Society. We have also included an RI-themed snakes and ladders game designed by Yu Xuan, which we hope will bring out the child in you. Finally, the interactive connect-the-dots cover design promises to bring out a smile. You would also have noticed that the usual domain labels have been removed, to create a more organic and natural feel. Throughout the magazine, we have inserted QR codes so that you can explore relevant links. Alas, there’s only so much we can do. The question is: are you prepared to let your hair down? You could start with the camwhoring guide. This issue is a licence to play – read on! Chua Jun Yan (President) 13A01A Regina Marie Lee (Vice-President) 13A01B Claire Yip (Vice-President) 13A01A Lou Shan (Secretary & Publicity Officer) 13S06A Raffles Press Executive Committee



National Day 7 August Year 1–6 students performed in an outdoor extravaganza from 5.45pm to 7.15pm. Highlights of the evening included performances by school-based bands and dance groups. The finale saw students rushing onto the stage and singing along as Raffles Rock belted out their covers of Singapore's National Day songs. Save the Gryphon! 2-4 August The Save the Gryphon! musical was a landmark collaboration by the combined Year 1–6 Aesthetics Department with a group of artists. Rahel Senn, an award-winning musician, wrote, composed for and produced the musical. RI alumna Amice Lim choreographed the dance moves, while theatre veterans Sue Tordoff and Amanda Colliver were the director and vocal director respectively.



EVENT HIG BY RI Communications Department

Inter-House Track and Field Meet 7 August The 124th Inter-House Track and Field Meet Final was a culmination of six days of intense heats between Year 1–6 student athletes. Besides the traditional Inter-House events, the Meet included novelty events in which members of different CCAs pitted their skills against each other. Bayley and HadleyHullett were crowned overall Champion House for Year 1–4 and Year 5–6 respectively.

GHLIGHTS China-Quotient Student Forum 28 July Jointly organised by Business China and RI, this event was part of the Year 1–6 Bicultural Programme (China). The guest of honour was Mrs Josephine Teo (RJC, 1986), Minister of State for Finance and Transport. Other speakers were Beijing-based photojournalist Ms Sim Chi Yin, formerly China correspondent for the Straits Times, and Mr Cheng Chek Lim, a manager at the Singapore Tourism Board who graduated from Peking University.

Youth Sports Research Conference 4 August Organised by the E W Barker Institute of Sports, the conference showcased student-driven research in the field of youth sports in Singapore. Student athletes also had the opportunity to network with prominent keynote speakers, sports practitioners, coaches and researchers. The guest of honour was Brigadier-General Perry Lim.

Home Creation 11 August An annual collaboration between RI and Viriya Community Services, this year’s event saw over 100 Year 4 students spending a day refurbishing two blocks of flats in Boon Lay Drive. Armed with brooms, rags, paint brushes and other cleaning and painting paraphernalia, the students provided the residents with services such as cleaning, moving furniture and repainting.



Teachers’ Day 31 August There was a lively air of celebration all over campus as students showed their appreciation to their teachers at a rousing Teachers’ Day Concert. Teachers then adjourned to the Shaw Foundation Ceremonial Hall for a scrumptious buffet lunch hosted by the Raffles Parents’ Association.

EVENT HIG BY RI Communications Department

Prometheum Ceremony 22 August The ceremony marked the handing over of leadership from the Year 6 CCA Leaders to their Year 5 successors. The new CCA Leaders recited the Promethean Oath, in which they pledged to uphold the school values.



Farewell Assembly 12 October


At the final assembly for the Class of 2012, awards were given to outstanding students who had contributed to the school in academics, sports and aesthetics. The guest of honour was Lieutenant-Colonel Gaurav Keerthi (RI, 1995 & RJC, 1997). The assembly featured performances by staff and the graduating batch, and concluded with a farewell address by I Naishad Kai-ren, president of the 31st Students’ Council.

Research Education Congress and Learning Fair 26 September This event marked the culmination of the Reseach Education (RE) journey for Year 1–3 students. Outstanding groups presented their projects to Mdm Halimah Yacob, Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Mr Chua Kuan Seah, Programme Director (Information Assurance), DSO National Laboratories. All RE projects were showcased at the Learning Fair, which also featured guest presenters from RGS, voluntary welfare organisations, non-governmental organisations and social enterprises.

Mega Mugging Madness 15-25 October Year 6 students studying for the upcoming A-Levels were given extra fuel in the form of buffet spreads prepared by Raffles Parents' Association (RPA). This is the fifth time RPA has organised Mega Mugging Madness, where students can enjoy a smorgasbord of food lovingly cooked and served by the parents for just $1 per person.



Gertrude Marsh Visits RI 18 October Mdm Gertrude Marsh visited RI's Heritage Centre and Looi Eng San Memorial Garden with her partner Mr Ørnulf Norgård. Mdm Marsh is the widow of the late Mr Looi Eng San (RI, 1931), an RI alumnus who was a prominent agronomist and botanist. Mdm Marsh suggested that when the Garden is revamped for next year’s 190th Founders’ Day, the space could be made more functional to give students and staff ‘something for today and tomorrow and the years after'.

EVENT HIG BY RI Communications Department

Graduation Night 6 December Themed ‘Noir’, this year’s event saw the Year 6s arriving at Orchard Hotel dressed to the nines in their monochromatic outfits. The night was packed with an array of stunning performances by various music and dance groups, as well as pageant nominees.



Promethean Day 23 October This symbolic event recognises and appreciates the contributions of the outgoing Year 4 CCA leaders and welcomes the incoming Year 3 leaders for the next year. As part of the handover ceremony, each CCA leader presented a symbol representing their CCA to their successor.


Gap Semester Congress 17-19 October Year 4 students concluded their nine-week-long Gap Semester experience by sharing their personal reflections with an audience of parents and peers. Guest speakers were also invited to share their insights about the theme for this year’s Congress: ‘Passion, Purpose, Identity’. Year 4 Batch Dinner 7 November Held at the Carlton Hotel, this event was a final celebration for Year 4 students before they embarked on a new chapter in their educational journey. The air was filled with exuberance as the students reminisced about the friendships and memories shared over the past four years.



CLOSING THE GAP WRITERS Siew Jey Ren (13S03R) Chua Jun Yan (13A01A)

Rafflesians learn through play during the inaugural Gap Semester.





All work and no play makes Bryan Chua (4A) a dull boy. But contrary to expectations, Bryan led a bright and cheery school life despite a demanding workload this year. The reason? Nine weeks of learning outside the classroom, with ample freedom to pursue his own interests and a healthier work-life balance! This was the inaugural Gap Semester, first implemented in 2012 for all Year 4 students. Although it was mooted in 2010, the concept of a Gap Semester was not straightforward to implement then. One of the main complications was that the upper secondary syllabus would have to be compacted into a tight one-and-a-half year span, with the spectre of the O-Levels Higher Mother Tongue exams looming at the end of that period. But the school administration pushed ahead with it, and the dream became reality – a reflection of RI’s progressive educational model. According to Mr James Koh (Dean, EAGLE EYE


Enterprise & Alliances), who spearheaded the project, the purpose of the Gap Semester was to help students discover and affirm their ‘purpose in life’ – an intangible abstraction which cannot be identified within the confines of the classroom. We spoke to three Year 4 students and their parents to gain a better perspective of the risks and rewards that accompanied this radical change. For Nikos Chan (4E), part of this endeavour took the form of a three-week Kobe Experience. He said, ‘I lived with a host family for a few days, and I got to experience their life first-hand. It's really not so different from here (in Singapore). Globalisation means that a living room in Singapore is likely to look the same as one in Japan or New York or anywhere else in the developed world. Yet there were unique touches, like their almost floor-level sofas or their (in)famous robotic toilets.’ In contrast, his compatriot Edward Kim (4L) spent a significant portion of his time navigating the intricacies of mergers, acquisitions, and IPOs during his internship at a law firm. When asked why he chose this route, he explained, ‘We always encounter stereotypes about lawyers and the nature of the vocation, but never get the chance to confirm or refute them. When I saw that there was an opportunity, I went for it.’ Edward spent the remainder of his time attending local modules conducted by RI teachers on their ‘pet topics’ outside of the syllabus. His favourite course was Critical Practices, which is typically taught at university level. ‘I found it very interesting because it introduced me to not just the different ways of analysing a literary text but also the kind of mindset you take on – Marxist, feminist and so on,’ he said. For athlete Bryan Chua, who was not placated by the school’s

offerings, he used his Gap Semester to deepen his passion in golf by taking a self-initiated course. His sabbatical comprised training for and participating in the Singapore National Amateur Golf Championship and the Faldo Series Singapore Championship. Bryan said, ‘I started competitive golf at the end of 2010, and when Gap Sem came along I believed it would be a great time to attempt to focus on golf and fully improve on it, given the time to do nothing but train and practise. I put in 150 hours of training for the tournaments. Without Gap Sem, I wouldn't have had the time to do it.’ But Bryan didn’t spend the entire Gap Semester period playing golf. ‘I wouldn't say I had a lot of free time, but I definitely had more than I expected. It did give me time to spend time with friends and pursue other interests – for example, during this period of time I managed to (sort of) pick up the guitar and figure out how to play it,’ he enthused. ‘That said, by the end of Gap Sem I felt kind of glad to be returning to the usual grind of things. It's like a holiday – by the end you feel like it's time to return home.’ Parents were in agreement on the merits of the Gap Semester, especially on the point of building students’ resilience. According to Bryan’s parents, ‘The Gap Semester provided Bryan an opportunity to show us that he has grown in confidence and maturity. He proved to us that he is able to manage on his own and is becoming a responsible individual.’ They added, ‘The Gap Semester gave us as a family a chance to experience the opportunity to grow together. It broke the monotony and predictability of the school term, and forced us to explore and discover new perspectives of being a family. It is something worth treasuring.’

At the end of the experience, every Year 4 student consolidated and reflected on their growth during a ten-minute individual presentation at the Gap Semester Congress, with their parents and peers in attendance. For Nikos, this was a valuable learning experience too. ‘I was a little nervous since I was presenting to a bunch of complete strangers. Aside from my parents and those presenting with me, I did not recognise anybody in my audience.’ Despite these positive experiences, several potential concerns have been raised over the Gap Semester, such as criticisms of its rigour and fears that students will be unprepared for the academic demands of junior college and the Higher Mother Tongue ‘O’-levels. Said Edward, ‘To some extent it is true that we will be unprepared for the pace in Year 5 and 6, perhaps more so for me since I didn’t have ‘O’-Level Chinese to study for.’ His mother agreed. ‘I wasn't worried much about the academic impact, but I would like the school to provide courses and programmes that are more tightly organised in terms of time and quality. Or it may not need to run the Gap Semester for nine weeks – maybe six weeks would suffice.’ No doubt the Gap Semester is still very much a work in progress. As a whole, however, it represents a different style of learning – improving oneself through ‘play’ outside the classroom, as opposed to conventional rote learning and teaching. Whether it will have a significant impact or stand the test of time in the local education scene remains to be seen, but for the guinea pigs of 2012, the Gap Semester experience will be an unforgettable milestone in their time in RI. EAGLE EYE


Leaders in the Making WRITER Abigail Lim (13S03N)

A closer look at the leadership camps held in RI this year.



As Rafflesians, we have been through or at least heard about the many leadership camps that were held this year, from the Council camp that was rumoured to be a ‘torturous’ one and the CCA Leaders camp for Year 5–6 that was said to be filled with many fun outdoor activities, to the RI Prefectorial Board [RIPB] Boarding retreat and the Student Leaders’ camp for Year 1–4 that had their own highlights as well. Such activities were initiated to instil in our student leaders the four core values of our school: Fortitude, Integrity, Respect and Enterprise, which are widely known as the FIRE values. However, have these camps actually achieved this aim? Or have they merely been trivial activities that are carried out over the years without having any significant impact on participants? Most of those who have gone through these camps have found them to be effective. At the Year 1–4 side, the RIPB Boarding retreat was mostly a reflective one, consisting of many integrated discussions. Isaac Leong (3A), the incoming head prefect of Year 1–4, felt that the retreat achieved its goal of using the boarding platform for discussion and bonding. ‘We used it to work through our restructuring with prefects and the entire school,’ he said. Thus, apart from the usual indoor and outdoor games and physical training activities, prefects were also taught more practical things, such as the procedures for morning assembly, the running of the Gryphon’s Lair and school cheers. There were few such activities at the Year 1–4 student leaders’ camp, as it had a different aim of stretching the student leaders through challenging physical activities, such as the hiking expedition in which student leaders hiked over 70 km around EAGLE EYE


Scan the QR codes to watch RIPB’s ‘Spirit’ and ‘Standards’ videos, which were the outcome of the RIPB Boarding retreat:

Spirit video

Standards video

Singapore over two days and one night – the longest distance covered by RI student leaders in the past decade. Isaac’s most memorable experience was after completing that hike, which ended at the Marina Barrage. ‘The feeling that we’ve managed to pull through as a batch of student leaders and do something not done before – I think many felt it at that time. We gave it our all, despite us being tired, in an emotional “Unite” cheer,’ he added. Camps organised at the Year 5–6 side are starkly different in all aspects. The Council camp that was organised in April was planned with the intention of throwing the incoming student councillors out of their comfort zones through an onslaught of physically demanding and challenging activities over three days and two nights. One activity that really had an impact on Gan Huizhen (13S03N) was the Death Crawl activity, where she had to get on her arms and knees and crawl for a long distance with someone balanced on her back. ‘It was not easy as it not only tired me out physically, it also challenged my mental strength and mindset,’ she said. Despite all that she went through, she felt that the whole experience of the camp was good. ‘I was pushed beyond what I thought were my initial limits, which was the point of such activities, and I learnt so much in those three days.’ Matthias Goh (13S03O) felt that the final activity of the camp, where all 80 councillors recited the council oath together while blindfolded, was the most impactful one. ‘It was really challenging and painful, having to keep our right hand raised the whole time, but it was so satisfying when we managed to complete it after one and a half hours,’ he said. It was at moments like these, when everyone worked together despite feeling tired, that really highlighted



the importance of unity to the councillors. ‘The entire camp taught us values like discipline, teamwork, trust and responsibility, which are principles that should guide our entire term,’ reflected Matthias. ‘Most importantly, it brought all of us together, and it is a common memory we all treasure.’ The Year 5–6 CCA Leaders camp that was held at Bintan during the June holidays had a completely different approach. Campers got to enjoy a whole range of outdoor activities, like Operation Jellyfish, a rafting activity that required each group to complete challenges (from solving killer Sudoku puzzles to climbing a coconut tree) to acquire materials to build their raft. Another was Exercise Tenderfeet, where groups played station games around the resort, such as one where campers had to guide a blindfolded and barefoot teammate across an obstacle course using only sounds but not words. One highlight was the night activity where teams completed various tasks while preventing the flames on their candle from being extinguished by teachers carrying water guns. The toughest activity was probably the Wakatobi Challenge, where groups trekked for a few hours under the scorching sun, navigating through the forest on their own and even carrying a teammate on a stretcher for the final leg of the trek. The CCA Leaders who were interviewed unanimously agreed that the CCA Leaders camp was very fun and enjoyable, but not all of them felt that it was effective. ‘I enjoyed all of the activities and it was such an interesting experience, but its effectiveness in improving the leadership qualities of its participants is questionable,’ one student leader commented. Could it be that the fun element in this camp caused its participants to forget its official objectives? In that case, does it mean that camps

should be more like the Year 5–6 Council camp, without the element of play at all? Perhaps it would be better to note that each camp was meant to fulfill very different objectives. The element of play is very important in breaking the ice between people, as we tend to forget how awkward we feel when we are having fun. This is probably why the CCA Leaders’ camp was organised in this way, as it was meant to help the CCA leaders get to know each other better. In that case, the camp can be considered as a successful one as many, like Cheryl Goh (13S03E) and Edwin Chow (13S03M), felt that this was achieved. Edwin remarked that it ‘facilitated the process of forming a network of CCA leaders who can better serve the school’s and students' needs.’ That said, leadership camps can never fully equip participants with every single leadership skill. They merely mark the beginning of each leader’s journey, and the camps are simply a more impactful and interesting way to bring across important lessons that each leader should learn. When asked to give a single word to describe the activities and camp for Year 1–4, Isaac said, ‘Fruitful,’ as he felt that all of these events accomplished its true purpose of encouraging interaction among leaders and equipping them with relevant skills like teamwork and resilience. Indeed, after the hype of the camp is over, after the Facebook groups of various camp groups become less active by the day, and after every leader returns to his or her normal life and activities, what remains are the precious memories, the new friendships and the most striking lessons learnt. Regardless of whether there was an element of play or many tough challenges, these memories, friendships and lessons are what make a great camp enjoyable and worthwhile. EAGLE EYE


Rafflesians at Play BY Aidan Mock Yong-Jie (13A01B) Chen Zheng Wei (13S03F) Edwin Chow Xiu Sing (13S03M) Low Zhi Xuan (13S03F) Naman Vijay Shah (13S06I) Ryan Quek Yew Hong (13S06C)

Aside from the time-honoured traditions of studying and being involved in their CCAs, Rafflesians have found a myriad of other ways to have fun during their down time. This short photo essay looks at some of the different facets of ‘play’ in RI.



A Rafflesian sits quietly by herself, ruminating on the intricacies of the Periodic Table. Is ‘mugging’ the only way of life at RI? This series of photos gives an insight into how Rafflesians play hard as they work hard. EAGLE EYE


After a long hectic day, Rafflesians sometimes end up daydreaming in the LT, long after the lecture has ended. You never know what they might be thinking of!



Over at the canteen, a group of Rafflesians are battling it out in an arm-wrestling challenge. With spectators cheering on the players, these enjoyable 'friends at play' moments are what make school life truly memorable.





Tran Quang Anh (13S07A) and Ki Vin (13S03C) are engaged in a thrilling battle of wits. Both of them are from the RI Chess Club. Other games popular with Rafflesians include bridge, Uno and Monodeal.

Matthias Goh (13S03O), Antariksh Mahajan (13S06D) and Alex Chan (13S06E), members of the band 'Happy 3 Friends’, spend time after school practising together at the Jamming Studio. Happy 3 Friends is just one of the many bands formed among Rafflesians, and many have delivered performances at various occasions like Teachers’ Day and fund-raising concerts.

Caught in between places, Rafflesians often end up popping by the Hullett Memorial Library and Shaw Foundation Library to borrow a DVD to watch.



By contrast, other Rafflesians prefer to be out in the sun. For this Rafflesian, his ‘thing’ is skateboarding, which seems to have caught on lately. Those flips and turns require much effort and persistence; it’s harder than it looks. On any given day, Rafflesians can also be spotted spontaneously playing games like soccer, captain’s ball and netball. EAGLE EYE


So you think you can dance? Check out the self-initiated dance group Styletz. Its members are no strangers to Rafflesians, having put up a string of lively performances at various school and external events, including Raffles Street Dance’s first-ever full concert, Anybody Can Dance (ABCD). People like them colour our lives with the chaos of rhythm.



Snakes and Ladders: HEY, RAFFLESIANS!



Raffles Edition Tired of resorting to mobile apps for amusement? In a blast to the past, we have included a snakes & ladders game with a Rafflesian twist to commemorate the school's 190th anniversary.

Design by Chia Yu Xuan (13S05A) EAGLE EYE


Celebrations with a Difference

WRITERS Regina Marie Lee (13A01B) Kimberley Yeo (13S05B)

covers of National Day songs at the Year 1-6 joint celebration last August.

events, to see how fun has introduced a new dimension. Year 5 Orientation

Putting the 'fun' into functions. As the band began their next song, a cover of ‘What Do You See’ by Electrico, the crowd roared to life. Young people jauntily ran up to the front of the stage in an impromptu moshing session. In the audience, some exchanged uncertain looks – is this for real? – before throwing their cares to the wind and running to join the crowd, lapping up Raffles Rock's EAGLE EYE


School events in RI have undergone a shift in recent years. Events are now more than just events, they are celebrations, with an emphasis on fun and entertainment, instead of formality. Who can forget the decisive declaration emblazoned on the 2012 ‘Take 5’ event T-shirt: ‘Today is the day to play’? It effectively sums up the new direction for certain school events, barring those where conventional solemnity still has its place (such as the Prometheum Ceremony and Farewell Assembly). We take a closer look at some recent school

Entrusted with the challenging task of familiarising fresh Year 5s to school, 2012’s Orientation, with the theme of ‘Istoria’, was a blast of fun-filled activities to keep Year 5s engaged and excited. Orientation groups (OGs) participated in aptly-titled ‘war games’ such as ‘Capture the Flag’, where OGs linked hands and ran around the Marymount Field trying to surround gamekeepers while dodging other OGs determined to break their human chains.

Take 5

on the school. This year, students took part in championships organised by CCAs, such as floorball, a biathlon and Ninja Warrior, an obstacle course organised by the gymnasts. On the field, students queued up for carnival rides on a mini Ferris wheel and even a rodeo bull, which turned out to be a favourite among ebullient boys competing against each other to see who could last longer on the ride.

One need look no further than Take 5 to see how an injection of fun has revolutionised our celebrations. Held on Total Defence Day, this is when a carnival-like atmosphere descends

Amid the fanfare, state-of-the -art Total Defence displays were put up for students to explore and appreciate, as part of a collaboration with the Republic of Singapore Navy and Singapore

If that was not enough, Year 5s were entertained with the elaborate Storyline production, with its bizarre characters and beautifully painted sets. To top it off was an edgy Orientation Dance to the tune of ‘Moves Like Jagger’ and other pop songs. Orientation definitely made a lasting fun and positive impression on the new cohort.



Armed Forces (SAF). Some students tried their hand at carrying bazookas, while a mock campsite with camouflage tentage was set-up in the Amphitheatre. A five-hour concert entertained the school, while booths selling frozen yogurt, pastries and even Old Chang Kee snacks kept spirits high. As opposed to an assembly talk on defence, RI was fortunate to have collaborated with the Navy and SAF and supplemented the exhibitions with a host of activities to drive home the message in a fun and engaging manner. National Day For National Day, the entire school from Year 1-6 gathered with their teachers on the RI Astroturf dressed in bright red. A stage was constructed specially for this event and the emcees Caitlan Miew (13A03A) and Shrey Bhargava (13A01C) hyped the

crowd up and gave it their all to entertain the audience. The performance line-up also injected fun into the celebrations with adrenaline-pumping dances and fist-pumping live acts courtesy of student bands. One highlight was the Bollywood number by boys from Year 1-4, who charmed the crowd with their moves. Although the large field limited audience interaction, classes were all having fun in their own ways in the pumped-up atmosphere. Whether snapping photos or singing enthusiatically along to the familiar tune of 'Home', they took the opportunity provided by the National Day celebrations to have a good time. Year 5-6 Teacher's Day On 30 August, Year 5s came together in the Multi Purpose

Hall to thank their teachers for all their hard work and patience through the year. For this special occasion, cocktail tables adorned with rose petals and tealight candles were set up for the teachers at the back of the hall. While being treated to a selection of finger food and drinks, they were also entertained. Student groups such as Raffles Jazz and Raffles Rock had volunteered to put up these performances as a thank you to their teachers. The concert also featured the multi-talented Chanel Ma (13S07B) who sang and danced together with her girl group Chanel and The Extras. In the midst of the fun-filled atmosphere at each of these events, it is inevitable that the fun sometimes overshadowed the true meaning of the festivities. Without wearing bright red, would one have recognised the patriotic overtones? Or with the many games being held at Take 5, who would have learnt the five tenets of Total Defence? Yet the concerts mentioned are merely one-off events, and they were duly preceded by week-long build-ups such as Polaroid booths and videos screened in the canteen. Benjamin Wong, co-I/C of the National Day celebrations, said, ‘We incorporated fun through lead-up activities and our tag line “What does your heart beat for?”, which encouraged everyone to reflect upon our nation's progress. These helped make this “birthday bash” memorable.’ As many of us have already gone through several rehashes of these celebrations at the primary and secondary levels, perhaps the approach taken by the organisers to revitalise the meanings of these events is the best way to inject freshness into school life. Fun has definitely permeated school events here in RI and we can expect more to come.



Behind the Scenes –

School Athletes off the Field WRITERS Zara Nicole Toh (13A01B) Jonathan Tan (13A01C)

A closer look at sports bonding activities within CCAs.



In RI, how do our athletes bond when they’re off the field/court/ track/pitch? After a hard day of training or competition, perhaps there’s no better way to relax than having a simple meal, especially given the immense hunger that comes after physical exertion. Many sports CCAs have an unspoken practice of heading out for meals at nearby locations after training or competition is over. Teams are also known to get together on their own accord to just hang out. For example, the girls’ soccer team calls itself an ‘unofficial bridge club’ as they often gather before training to enjoy a couple of games of bridge, which allows them to ‘warm up’ mentally and psychologically for the gruelling training session ahead. Michael Jordan, the legendary athlete who was a 14-time NBA All-Star player and six-time NBA championship winner, once said, ‘Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.’ Anyone involved in a team sport such as soccer or water polo would recognise the truth of this statement, and the importance of knowing that your teammate will always be there to support you during each game or match. That trust and understanding is what allows the best teams in the world to flourish. A terrific example of this is Japan’s women’s soccer team, who rallied to beat the favourites, the United States, in the finals of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Their surprising success was all the more important as their country was then still suffering in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and tsunami just four months prior. How the Japanese players worked together to achieve their goal and bring hope to their nation will be remembered for a long time, and they needed each other to accomplish this amazing feat. EAGLE EYE


However, athletes involved in individual sports such as tennis also value the importance of teamwork. While the match may be won by an individual, it is his or her teammates who go through the same gruelling training sessions, who encourage each other when they are close to the brink of exhaustion and want to give up, and who share in the joy after a victory. As much as individual sports rely on one’s personal talent and skill, it is critical to know that one’s teammates are there, pushing each other and cheering the team on every step of the way. While such bonds are formed first and foremost during training sessions, they are sustained and nurtured outside of training when teams get together for a little fun and recreation. The importance of team bonding outside of training is evident, for example when manager Sir Alex Ferguson brought his Manchester United team on a golfing trip to Scotland in the midst of their 2011–2012 English Premier League campaign, to help his players ‘take the pressure off’, as he explained.

Sportsmen and sportswomen are also naturally inclined to pursuing even more physical activity, outside of their training. The basketball team often plays basketball during breaks or after school, whether a simple halfcourt game with other basketball enthusiasts or just shooting hoops; in fact, they’re often seen at RI’s new indoor court. Likewise, the floorball team has been known to play soccer or basketball as a warm-up for their training session. The school’s Ultimate Frisbee team, who often study together during exam periods, also take regular study breaks in the form of playing Frisbee in the amphitheatre. Perhaps some better examples are post-season meals where the entire CCA heads out to celebrate the end of a season, sometimes with teachers and coaches. This is often an annual affair and a sumptuous meal with one’s teammates is a great way to celebrate the end of a tough and gruelling season. For instance, the cross country and track & field CCAs traditionally have a combined post-season

dinner with RGS and the Year 1-4 teams. This usually takes place after the track & field finals, and the teams occupy almost an entire restaurant. Other CCAs like canoeing are known to have consumed absurd quantities of food during their post-season meals. Besides enjoying a good meal, the team also has the opportunity to recognise some of their top performers. However, while food (body fuel for exercise!) is definitely something sports CCAs bond over, it is not the only thing. Just like any other CCA, sports CCAs often plan outings to do fun activities together. Some may be for a specific reason, for example to celebrate a teammate’s birthday; the track & field team, which is known as one of the more ‘bonded’ teams in school, often gathers to celebrate each team member’s birthday. Other activities could be for no specific reason at all, other than to spend time with each other, such as when the cross country team headed to Universal Studios for a full day of fun in the sun, or when the basketball team had a good time in the comfort of a team member’s home, playing some electronic games (which are often sportsrelated, naturally). Finally, the longest and perhaps most elaborate form of bonding outside of training are overseas trips. Certain CCAs plan overseas trips during the school holidays, like Raffles Rugby’s trip to Hong Kong during the March holidays and the boys’ soccer team’s annual training trip to Malaysia at the end of the year. While most of these trips are training-based, there is no better opportunity for bonding within the CCA than living together and doing everything together for the duration of the trip (even if you don’t want to). What is the tangible benefit from all of this trouble of jio-ing people

As the famous Formula One driver Michael Schumacher, acknowledged, although he was the star driver for Ferrari and won five championships in as many years, his crew was critical in supporting him.‘When you start out in a team, you have to get the teamwork going and then you get something back.’

to dinner, planning an outing for CCA members, or slogging through all the paperwork and arrangements for an overseas trip? First, bonding activities enable a team to play better during actual competitions because they are more ‘in tune’ with each other. Choo Yunting (13A01E) captain of the girls’ soccer team, describes these bonding activities as ‘a way for the team to understand each other’s quirks and preferences, which helps with communication during the game.’ Second, especially for sports where training activities are not centralised, these bonding sessions are vital in inculcating team spirit. Joshua Ling (13A01C), captain of the boys’ swimming team, says, ‘As swimming is largely an individual sport, camps and bonding activities allow the swimmers to remember that they are part of a team that is competing on behalf of the school. Also, a variety of activities like CCA community involvement programmes help bring our swimmers together, as everyone otherwise trains at their own club and with their own coach.’ Ultimately, our sportsmen and sportswomen only stand to benefit from these bonding activities. It is for the good of RI’s sporting scene that the CCAs continue to keep up this effort in fostering stronger bonds. As the famous Formula One driver Michael Schumacher, acknowledged, although he was the star driver for Ferrari and won five championships in as many years, his crew was critical in supporting him.‘When you start out in a team, you have to get the teamwork going and then you get something back.’ Let’s build strong teams, and get something back for Raffles. EAGLE EYE



The Creative Arts in RI

8 February Hordes of Year 5 and 6 Rafflesians trooped to various locations around the school, toting music players, with earphones plugged in. Listening to a previously downloaded audio file, they performed tasks according to the instructions given. At the end of the mob, a large crowd congregated at the canteen and performed a stunning display of the Orientation mass dance. It was a must-join event for many orientation groups (OG), since it allowed OG-lings to spend quality time with each other. After all, with lessons starting and everyone assigned to different classes, most could not meet their new friends as often as they fancied.

WRITER Lou Shan (13S06A)

Showcasing the artistic flair of Rafflesians. The creative arts, besides being a subject in universities, is also a term used to describe various art forms that generate original works inspired by the imagination, such as the literary arts, performing arts and visual arts. In RI, many students pursue the arts either as part of the Art Elective Programme, the General Art Programme, and the H2 Arts curriculum or as co-curricular activities. Some even create art independently. Throughout 2012, these students have worked hard to organise several events that showcased their talents and passion. EAGLE EYE


LIKE A R!OT 13 July Organised by the Humanities Initiative for the third year running, ‘LIKE A R!OT’ is a charity concert for its long- term beneficiary, Toa Payoh Care Centre. This year’s concert performances included a medley of songs sung by a quartet of Year 6 students and a Latin dance item put up by Isabelle Tay (12A03A). Bands such as Velvetica and Fancy This Progression rounded up the set list with a stunning showcase of musical talents. Contrary to the word 'riot', some

of the concert performances were 'exceedingly civilised' and 'agreeable', certainly leaving no room for its audiences to hold a riot, or even desire to do so.

ART SHOW 2012 12 October H2 Art students put together an art show in RI, displaying their art pieces and sharing the Year 6s' ALevel coursework. The innovative and widespread advertisements for the show caught the attention of many, and according to one student, the number of visitors was ‘a lot more than expected’, even ‘surprising’, she said. Besides allowing non-artists to appreciate the completed works, the Art students also set up a corner at the entrance for visitors to sketch portraits of each other.

determine their preference. Many rounds of drafting and editing and reworking were required, before each writer came up with a finalised piece that met their own expectations. The chapbook will be released early next year, so be sure to keep an eye out for it! Flash Mobs 17 August Rafflesians passionate about dancing joined forces with dancers around Singapore to conduct dance mobs island wide. A recent one was held at Bugis Junction, where the dancers performed along to Carly Rae Jepson's hit song ‘Call Me Maybe’. Two of the dancers – Stephanie Lee and Symone Oei – have been offered contracts to debut in Korea after auditioning with popular entertainment companies JYP and Alpha, but they will consider these showbiz offers only after completing their education. For now, the duo are covering popular Korean hits by artists such as Sistar19, Girls' Generation and PSY, performing at concerts such as ‘The World is Quiet Here’ at the Evelyn Norris Hall in RGS and accepting offers to perform at places such as The Butter Factory.

Introspect 3 April Members of the Art and Crafts Club and Photography Club collaborated to organise ‘Introspect’, an exhibition which displayed the students' best work and share their love for art and photography with others. Held at the Arthouse, the show featured art and photographic works by club members, which were also for sale to members of the public. Windows Writers' Guild (WG) intends to publish a chapbook of writing by Rafflesians from all three schools. The overarching theme of 'Windows' was selected, as a continuation of the previous batch's theme of 'Doors'. The theme also allows writers to try out different ideas according to their whim and fancy. During the process of creation, many Guild writers dabbled in various writing styles, experimenting with both prose and poetry in order to

Watch the dance mob at Bugis Junction

Watch Stephanie and Symone’s cover of ‘Gangnam Style’



Camwhoring Like a Pro WRITERS Edwin Chow (13S03M) Claudia Koh (13S03I)

Camwhoring – an art to many, abhorred by photographers worldwide. The act of raising a camera and snapping a picture of one's face may seem like a simple task, but there are many intricacies, known only to a select few experts of the field. Let the

Raffles Photographic Society shed some light on these well kept secrets, and perhaps you could become the next camwhore master…

Tip #1

Tip #2

Tip #3

Using a vintage filter is passé. The yellow tinge may make your photograph seem ‘prettier’, but the fact that everyone is using the same filter makes the photograph boring and ordinary. Why not try other interesting ones, like the fisheye filter?

Try stitching many photographs together to create a more interesting picture. Sometimes having one frame simply isn’t enough to document the fun times you and your friends are having. Having a picture that contains multiple frames will give you more opportunities for self-expression.

Change perspectives. Play around with the camera’s position to get different shots. Try placing the camera on the ground or on elevated surfaces.

A guide by the Raffles Photographic Society.



PS: All photographs were taken with handphones

Useful Phone Apps Action Snap This app allows the user to take up to nine photos in one second, then merges all the images into one picture for convenient viewing. Using this app will allow the ‘camwhorer’ to capture subtle changes in expression and provides nine times the goodness of camwhoring – all in one shot!

Tip #4 Try camwhoring in unusual places. Why do what others are doing when you can stand out instead? Stop camwhoring in toilets and dare to be different!

Action Snap is available free on Google Play. GifBoom This app allows the user to create gifs by taking 20 pictures in a row, before the user selects the photos he/she wants to link together, forming a gif. Why settle for a static image, when you can have movement? This brings camwhoring to a whole new level. GifBoom is available free on both the App Store and Google Play.

Tip #5 Make use of the environment around you to frame yourself! This will fully display the atmosphere of the environment that you are in, as well as make it much more interesting picture rather than just the plain, old shots filled only with faces. Also, use surrounding objects such as reflective surfaces in water puddles to spice things up! EAGLE EYE


Taiwan International Math Competition - Grand Champion - 4 gold awards - 3 silver awards - 1 merit award NUS-MOE Amazing Lab Race Champion team Singapore Land Authority Spatial Challenge - Special Eureka! Award - Special Outstanding Data Collection Award

Yr 1-4

UOB Painting of the Year - 1 platinum award - 2 highly commended awards (youth section)

Yr 5-6 JUL

Heart of Europe Debating Tournament Champion Team 2nd, 4th and 6th places (individual)

Yr 1-6

International Physics Olympiad 3 gold medals International Young Physicists' Tournament 3rd place

International Chemistry Olympiad 2 gold medals 1 silver medal

Yr 1-4

Singapore Space Challenge First prize Tong Yan Cup International Zheng Art Week First prize (amateur youth category)

Yr 5-6 International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics Gold medal Straits Times-Ministry of Education National Current Affairs Quiz (The Big Quiz) Champion team

International Linguistics Olympiad 2 bronze medals International Geography Olympiad - Champion team - 1st place (Individual) - 2 gold medals - 1 silver medal



A look at some of our achievements over the last few months.

China Western Mathematics Invitational Olympiad - 1st, 16th, 20th and 29th places (individual) - 1 gold medal - 3 silver medals

National Science Challenge 2012 3rd place

The New Paper Sports Star Award Winner (Boys)

Yr 1-4

Yr 5-6

Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) Young Leaders Award 2 recipients



TGS Yr 1-6

Yr 1-4

Asia Pacific Conference of Young Scientists - Gold award (environmental science category) - Silver award (computer science category) - Prabowo prize


Yr 5-6

Most Inspiring Tamil Teacher Winner (junior college category)

Special Awards Presentation Ceremony - Prime Minister’s Book Prize (5 recipients) - Lee Kuan Yew Award for Mathematics and Science (11 recipients) - Lee Kuan Yew Award for All Round Excellence (1 recipient)



EAGLE EYE / Issue 9 Editorial Team Advisors: Ms Adeline Wong Mr Dominic Chua Contributors: Raffles Press (Year 5-6) Photographic Society (Year 5-6) Chia Yu Xuan (13S05A) Photographers: Photography Club (Year 1-4) Photographic Society (Year 5-6)

Published by Raffles Institution, Eagle Eye is a publication of the school following the reintegration of Raffles Institution and the junior college in 2009. This publication is written by current students, and includes articles from Year 1 – 6. Eagle Eye showcases the vibrancy of the people and programmes at Raffles Institution, and is distributed free to all current students, alumni, friends and benefactors of the school. For comments on the articles and feedback to the editorial team and change of mailing address, please email us at: ISSN 2010-4839 Designed by ampulets EAGLE EYE


Printed on 100% recycled paper

Eagle Eye Issue 9  

Eagle Eye is the Raffles Institution school magazine

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