MCI (P) 044/05/2022
of Tanglin Trust School Vol 39 / 2023 Find out how our students improve their art with visiting artists Start of a Centenary (Building) What Our Community Loves About It Mastering Art with Ian Murphy
Editor Lilian Wu, Marketing & Communications
Design Lauren Khoury, Marketing & Communications
• Marketing & Communications
• Contributors from across the school
“The Voice” herein refers to “The Voice of Tanglin Trust School”
All students’ year groups referenced in this issue are accurate at time of publication.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this issue.
95 Portsdown Road, Singapore 139299
Tel: 6778 0771
Tanglin Trust School
UK based artist Ian Murphy and a Senior student
REGULAR FEATURES 03 Tanglin Talk 06 People of Tanglin 10 Student Art Showcase WHAT’S NEW AT TANGLIN 14 Start of a Centenary (Building) 16 Knowledge Sharing at Work 18 Lessons of a Lifetime 20 NXplorers at Tanglin INNOVATIVE EDUCATION 22 The Importance of Friendship 24 Safe Spaces 28 Preparing for a Creative Career 30 Real-world Exploration CONTENTS Volume 39: Start of a Centenary (Building) 20 NXplorers at Tanglin ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT 32 Pioneer Graduates 36 A Gathering of Friends 38 Alumni of the Year 40 Familial Bonds 42 Class Notes 44 From the Archives TANGLIN LIFESTYLE 46 Sporting Success 50 Bagels for the Win 52 Tanglin Oldtimers 56 Duck Tales 58 Parentwise: Building Resilience 60 Virtues Parenting
by Craig Considine, CEO
Nearly nine months into the 2022/23 academic year and it is salutary to glance into the rear-view mirror to the previous edition of The Voice, that identified many new beginnings for the school year. This edition attempts to report on some of those and to reflect on what has been an exceptionally busy period in the school’s history.
The Centenary Building has been reported on previously, but it is wonderful to have the opportunity to reflect on how the building has been received and what difference it has made to
the community. Interestingly one of the elements that has been very well received has been the co-working space for parents. Located beside the Parent Café, it provides a wonderful opportunity for busy parents to combine their work lives with managing their family commitments.
COVID certainly cast its cloak over the world and in schools many of the tried-and-true elements of education (classroom lessons, sporting fixtures, productions, concerts) all became invisible. We have been at pains to ensure we made up for lost time and if we are honest, things have possibly been a little too busy. Students and teachers were, however, eager to re-integrate into the new normal by scheduling many activities. Much of what you see in this edition of The Voice encapsulates the many and varied parts of life at Tanglin.
We know that all these wonderful opportunities are augmented by the outstanding facilities provided at Tanglin. But it is the people who really drive student outcomes; the richness that some colleagues bring to a Tanglin education are featured in “People of Tanglin”. Similarly, it is important to focus on where our young people finish up or stop-off on their life journey. Our Alumni Spotlights highlight the paths our Tanglin Alumni follow.
Thanks to our Editor, Lilian Wu and Designer, Lauren Khoury for their wonderful work in creating this amazing representation of Tanglin life. They are supported by many contributors, and we look forward to future editions of The Voice
” “ 2
The co-working space provides a wonderful opportunity for busy parents to combine their work lives with managing their family commitments.
The co-working space in the Centenary Building
GENESIS SCHOOL PROJECT
CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) is one of three important elements that IB students must complete as part of their diploma programme. It enables students to boost their personal and interpersonal development by learning through experience. One such example is the Genesis School project where a group of Year 12 and 13 students came together to work with students with special needs. Year 12 student Liam explained, “the true aim of this project was to help the Genesis students grow and develop as a person so they can eventually go on to live a fulfilling life.”
One of the ways Liam did that was to play board games with the Genesis students every week. He said, “The students I work with are roughly around my own age and we play a new board game each week. I’m pretty sure Carat is our favourite! I hope I left as much an impact as they have on me; they taught me how to appreciate the smaller things in life.”
On top of working with the Genesis students on a one-toone basis, our students also hosted a Christmas concert at Tanglin to give the Genesis students the opportunity to perform in a theatre-like environment. Liam reminisced on the experience, “We stayed with them backstage during the performance and rehearsals, they were all so excited and eager to have their turn. It was truly a joy to help them achieve this performance and hopefully it would be a memory they won’t forget, because I know I won’t!”
Keep your finger on the Tanglin pulse with these latest stories and happenings that took place on and outside campus!
FESTIVAL OF AUTHORS @JUNIOR LIBRARY
Our annual festival of authors celebrates books and stories from all over the world and the theme this year was Traditional Tales. We opened with acclaimed food writer, Namita Mehra and her new picture book, Anni Dreams of Biryani. This book celebrates the traditional café culture of Little India where the best biryani in the world is made. The children loved learning about the spices used in preparing dishes and the characters who make them. Award winning, international storyteller, Mara Menzies also joined us on her world tour. She acted out traditional tales and shared the art of storytelling with our captive audiences. Joyceline See Tully told thrilling traditional stories of Singapore from her book, Tiger Tales. Last but not least, award winning novelist, Low Ying Ping inspired children with readings from her fantasy novel series, Emily Mount and her translation of the children’s classic, Journey to the West. It was indeed a thrilling week, and the children can’t wait to meet more of their favourite authors!
LEARNING ART WITH IAN MURPHY
Tanglin recently invited our community to participate in a workshop with Ian Murphy and take away their own piece of art. This workshop gave attendees a chance to work on textured surfaces exploring a variety of drawing techniques. Ian is a contemporary British fine artist who gained initial success with selection to the British Young Contemporary Artists in 1985. He is best known for his powerful, tonal drawings and atmospheric, mixed-media oil paintings of architectural places. On top of that, he is an exceptional practitioner and teacher, and he guided the parents through his process. It was also an opportunity to see some of his monumental work and our parents were thoroughly impressed by the session. One of them even said, “The workshop was fun, inspiring, well-structured, and easy to follow. I liked the small group and casual environment. Ian was very accommodating to everyone in the class and shared so much of his incredible knowledge in a relatively short amount of time.”
GIRLGUIDING THINKING DAY & SCOUTING FOUNDERS DAY
World Thinking Day was celebrated on 22 February by the British Girlguiding Overseas (BGO) Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers at Tanglin Trust School. Many of the girls wore their uniforms for the day to celebrate being part of this amazing international organisation.
The date was chosen back in 1926, as a day to celebrate Guides and Girl Scouts across the world, as it is the joint birthday of Lord Robert Baden Powell, the founder of the Guide and Scout movement, and his wife, Olave, who served as World Chief Guide. Olave wrote a letter to all the Guides and Girl Scouts to ask them to donate a penny, to help raise funds to promote Guiding around the world – to give girls opportunities they may not have been able to access otherwise, and to empower girls to act on issues that matter to them and their communities. That tradition continues today, with girls donating a shiny dollar coin by laying it on the emblem, the trefoil.
Thinking Day is the most important day in the Guiding calendar, an excuse to party, to get together with the other members of BGO, and to discuss the things that are important to the girls in the world we live in today. But as we are planning a big get together in March, the units at Tanglin celebrated in their own way. The younger girls, Rainbows, played some games to see how we are all connected (and to eat chocolate!) after hearing the story of how the movement started. Meanwhile the older girls, the Guides and the Rangers, started with seven girls making their Promise, and the whole unit renewing theirs. They then played a game to reconstruct the trefoil and held a quiz before tying each other’s neckerchiefs in friendship knots (these are special knots given in friendship tied by someone else).
British Girlguiding Overseas has been at Tanglin since 1989, with groups for girls from the ages of five to 18. All the units are run by volunteers, who love bringing new experiences to the girls, developing, and sharing skills to help them reach their full potential. The sense of community and friendship amongst the adults is just as important as the younger members have, with many photos of past events and well wishes shared globally across social media on World Thinking Day. If you would like to volunteer, then please contact us via our website www.bgosingapore.com.
4 TALK TANGLIN
FOBISIA CLIMBING 2023
The Tanglin climbing team recently went to Kuala Lumpur to compete in the FOBISIA Climbing 2023 along with 12 other schools. The competition featured two disciplines, Boulder and Top Rope. Our students were exemplary throughout and their sporting performance led to Tanglin emerging as overall team winner with a huge haul of medals as well as a clean sweep in the Boys U15 Top Rope! Congratulations, everyone! Here are the final results:
OVERALL TEAM WINNER
Tanglin Trust School
BOULDER - U13 Female
3rd - Juliet (Year 9)
Finalists - Heloise (Year 7)
3rd - Connor (Year 7)
Finalists - Sejoon (Year 8) and Robert (Year 8)
2nd - James (Year 9)
3rd - Oscar (Year 11)
Finalists - Jamie (Year 10)
RGS EXCELLENCE AWARD
Congratulations to Rattan Bhatti from the Class of 2022! She received the highest raw mark in the world in 2022 for Higher Level Geography and has been recognised by the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) with their Excellence Award. These awards recognise and reward excellence in geographical examinations. In fact, this is the second time in three years that a Geography student at Tanglin has been recognised by the RGS, so we are very proud of Rattan for her achievement. She told us, “I am delighted to receive the
1st - Lucas (Year 11)
2nd - Anna (Year 11)
Finalists - Avan (Year 11)
TOP ROPE - U13 Female
1st - Juliet (Year 9)
Finalists - Heloise (Year 7)
3rd - Connor (Year 7)
Finalists - Sejoon (Year 8), Liam (Year 7), and Daniel (Year 7)
1st - James (Year 9)
2nd - Jamie (Year 10)
3rd - Oscar (Year 11)
1st - Lucas (Year 11)
2nd - Avan (Year 11)
3rd - Anna (Year 11)
LET’S ROCK ON
RGS Excellence Award for IB Geography. I certainly didn’t expect it - it was a wonderful surprise! I have always had an affinity for geography, particularly since the beginning of senior school. I would like to thank my family for being my biggest support. Mr Thomas and Mrs Ruben have played a huge part in this achievement - I can’t thank them enough for the constant effort that they put into our lesson material and for their support throughout the process.”
We can’t wait to see what else Rattan can accomplish in future. In the meantime, the award will be posted on the RGS website at www.rgs.org/schools/competitions/ excellence-awards/ so don’t forget to check it out.
At Tanglin, personal development is not just limited to students and academics; our staff also took the initiative to add to their arsenal of life skills by joining a rock-climbing course with Josh and Mario from Progression Vertical at the Centenary Building’s 15m high wall. Martin Foakes, Head of Outdoor Education, explained why he decided to offer the course, “This is a much bigger wall than our other (climbing) walls so it’s more exciting and offers more opportunities to lead climbs and run competitions. We need competent and confident staff for that, so we need the best instructor training we can get, and these guys (Josh and Mario) are the best.”
Although the training was challenging, it didn’t stop first-time climbers like Lead Netball Coach Shuangru from joining the course. She said, “I thought I could add some value to Tanglin’s sports programme by getting a proper certification to help train our student climbers safely. We got lots of practice on climbing, techniques on using the equipment, safety checks etc so it’s been great.”
It’s inspiring to see both faculty and business team members try something new and out of their comfort zone. Martin said, “They’ve been great role models; they’ve learned a lot. The same as what we’d expect of our students; thirsting to try new things and it’s been really exciting to watch!” ■
The People of Tanglin are role models in more ways than one; they keep our school running efficiently and effectively. Who are they? Let’s find out.
What did you do before you joined Tanglin?
I joined Tanglin in 2014 as a Sport Facilities Assistant. Before that, I was working as a lifeguard at a “pool in the sky” for two years after completing my National Service. At the same time, I was also pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Sport and Exercise Science.
Tell us more about your role here.
I work closely with my team to ensure the sports facilities and equipment are in safe working condition for our students to train and play with. We also organise the sport fixtures for all our competitive teams and provide administrative work to ensure efficient and seamless operations of the sport department. This role not only allows me to interact with my colleagues from various departments in school, it also provides me with opportunities to meet and work with like-minded individuals from the other international schools and sport organisations in Singapore.
You champion Badminton at Tanglin. What’s unique about it?
My father introduced badminton to me at a young age. He taught me the foundation of the sport and paved the way for me to play competitively and enjoy the sport during my leisure time. Badminton presented me with the opportunity to develop life skills such as problem solving, teamwork, communication, and responsibility. The most unique thing about Badminton is its social aspect and how fast paced the game can be. It is a great sport for all ages as it is noncontact and requires only minimal equipment to play. There is no need for tackling, pushing, or shoving amongst players, which makes badminton ideal as a social or family activity. You don’t even need to be athletic to enjoy the sport! The pace and high intensity of the game makes badminton not only exciting to play but also to watch. Even my one-year-old son enjoys watching a game of badminton!
Ng Keng Lam Sports Manager (Co-Curriculum)
Chinese Specialist, Lead Coach (Senior School)
What did you do before you joined Tanglin?
This is my ninth year working at Tanglin. l previously taught in an international school in Beijing, China.
Tell us more about your role in the school.
At Tanglin, I am most fortunate to have the opportunity to work with many talented and knowledgeable colleagues, both within the Languages and Classics faculty, as well as in all areas of our three schools. I have benefitted tremendously from frequent opportunities to observe outstanding professional practice, as well as to participate in regular, high-quality professional dialogue.
In terms of our languages provision, it is inspiring and gratifying to observe so many students thrive linguistically and embrace wholeheartedly language learning across the whole department. The prominence that we give to the acquisition of cultural knowledge is a crucial aspect of the broader education of our students.
What’s been the most fulfilling part of your career here?
It is the people, both students and colleagues, who make Tanglin such a magical school. My professional passion is, and has always been, teaching. However, the coaching work that I have undertaken in partnership with my colleague, Sarah Aldous, working in collaboration with 33 accredited coaches, has been a source of great pride and tremendous satisfaction. This partnership has resulted in the development of a coaching culture at Tanglin. It has been uplifting to observe how coaching has enabled both students and colleagues make huge strides in their professional and personal development.
What are your hopes for the future?
There is still much to achieve regarding coaching; I am excited by the prospect of collaborating more with my colleagues and contributing to the development of coaching at Tanglin together.
It is inspiring and gratifying to observe so many students thrive linguistically and embrace wholeheartedly language learning across the whole department.‘‘
Technical Art & Design Executive (Senior Arts)
What did you do before you joined Tanglin?
I joined Tanglin in 2022. Prior to Tanglin I was a papermaker at STPI-Creative Workshop & Gallery. My previous job was to create artwork by making specialised handmade paper for invited artists. Part of the job was to push the boundaries of art creation through different materials.
Why did you join the school?
I decided to join Tanglin as I was excited about the prospect of passing on skills and sharing my knowledge with our students and the Tanglin community. As an artist, I believe it is essential to keep the arts community vibrant and interesting.
The best way to achieve this is through education, and of course I hope to inspire the next generation of young artists.
Tell us more about how you got started with ice and snow sculpting. What is your proudest project so far?
My passion for art extends to snow and ice-sculpting. I have been participating in the International Sapporo Snow Sculpture Competition since 2012. My team came in third and fourth place globally over the years. I travelled to Sweden to work on my latest project over the recent term break; Icehotel Sweden is my biggest and toughest project thus
far and the elements pushed my partner and I to work harder, better, smarter. Even though it was freezing, we enjoyed every minute of it.
What’s been the most fulfilling part of your career at Tanglin?
One of the best things about working in Tanglin is witnessing how our students conceptualise and create meaningful artwork. I am inspired by them every day.
What are your hopes for the future?
To continue to explore many different art forms that will inspire others.
Shakila Samuel Head of Community Relations
When did you join Tanglin and what did you do before you joined us?
I joined in 2018. Before Tanglin, I worked at Stamford American International and Australian International School as Business Development Manager.
How did you come to know about Tanglin?
Interestingly, I have had the Tanglin connection going back a while, almost 20 years ago – often supporting the popular Christmas and Summer Fairs in previous years – at a time when it was only Tanglin and Temasek Club within this area. The school had a good reputation and the role appealed to me.
What are some of your best memories in Tanglin?
Connecting with an Alumna who attended Cameron Highlands School (CHS, run by our founder, Ms Griff, in the 1940s during World War II) and then having her send (through a current parent) from Australia her handwritten letters to her parents, her classroom drawings, her school cloth badge – all original copies whilst at CHS – was a goosebump moment. It’s encounters like these that make you aware of the rich history of Tanglin and the connection across the world that still exist today.
Christopher Rawlings Head of Junior PE
What did you do before you joined Tanglin?
I joined Tanglin 20 years ago, in August of 2002. Before I came to Tanglin, I was a windsurf instructor in Hawaii, a fitness instructor, and a PE teacher in Poole in the UK. It was while working in Poole that I met a colleague who had worked in schools overseas. She told me about Tanglin and what an amazing reputation it had. I was fortunate to start as a PE teacher at Tanglin and to progress to Head of Aquatics and now as Head of Junior PE.
Tell us more about your participation in the Movember movement at Tanglin.
I have been taking part in the Movember movement for the last 11 years, which promotes awareness for men’s mental health and male cancers. I am the team captain at Tanglin, which means I organise and promote the charity at school. I am passionate about raising money and awareness for this cause as I have family and friends who suffer with these illnesses, and I want to actively contribute to the cause in a positive way.
What are some of your best memories in Tanglin?
Some of my best memories over the last 20 years are seeing my son start in Nursery at Tanglin, watching him progress through all three schools and knowing that he will be graduating with the 2023 cohort. On that journey, he has had an amazing education, experiences, opportunities, and wonderful teachers. My professional highlights include taking part in and organising sports events and courses at Tanglin, in Singapore and in Southeast Asia.
What’s been the most fulfilling part of your career at Tanglin?
Connecting with Alumni, offering them support even years after they have left Tanglin through the various TTS Foundation Grants and Awards, is a wonderful function of the Alumni department. The Alumni are from various cohorts - many left years ago and are in diverse roles around the world – but still showcasing the ‘Generations of Excellence’ that we talk about with our students now. ■
SHOWCASE ART STUDENT
Jean-Jacques Rousseau once said, “The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless”. Read on to find out how our student artists have been pushing their boundaries in art.
ART IS A JOURNEY
By Emma Lambourne and Iemke Dry, Infant School Teachers
Art education in the Infant school plays a crucial role in the overall development of the children. Art is not just about creating a final product; it is also about the process and techniques used to create it.
The process of creating art is a journey that helps children explore their imagination and develop their creative skills. It allows them to experiment with different materials, textures, and colours and see what works best for them. It encourages children to think outside the box; to be imaginative and come up with new ideas. Even more importantly, through safe experimentation children are pushed outside their comfort zone, becoming risktakers and gaining new skills and knowledge.
Technique development is also a crucial part of art education at Tanglin. Children learn how to use different tools and materials,
such as paints, crayons, and clay, and how to apply different techniques to their artwork. This not only helps them improve their artistic skills but also gives them a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work.
This term the children have continued to be exposed to a variety of mediums and techniques, inspired by great works of art. We explored the work of artists such as Peter Thorpe, Jackson Pollock and Mondrian and the children experimented with their techniques, styles, and mediums.
We understand that art is about the journey, not just the destination. Each child found value in the experiences; for some it was exciting, while others found it relaxing and a source of communication as they chatted about what they created collaboratively. »
By Peter Hinckley, Head of Junior Art & Design
V‘icious Vikings!’ is the exciting theme for Year 3 in Term 2 and what a fabulous inspiration for the Year 3 children to link their art lessons to the Year 3 humanities focus, providing an ideal opportunity to explore their painting skills in their own interpretation of an adventurous Viking longship crossing a stormy sea.
From an Art skills perspective, the project provided an excellent opportunity to focus on key colour mixing skills, colour layering application and fine brush technique. The children learned the key parts of a paintbrush including different ways to hold a brush depending on the preferred mark making outcome. In addition, they discovered the purpose of the ferrule and how to successfully apply paint to a canvas.
Focusing on a more advanced painting technique, the Year 3 students were introduced to the technique of block colour layering. First, they applied an opaque layer of white acrylic paint on the sail and shields before applying additional layers of bright colours without the underlying colourful skyscapes diminishing the vibrancy.
The children were delighted that they could create their own choice of skyscape and weather and painted bright colourful sails and shields. To create a more vibrant and exciting seascape the children mixed a range of blues, greens, and greys, and were enthusiastic to use different brushstrokes to show the movement of the waves. Throughout this project, the Year 3 children were encouraged to explore their own design ideas including designing their own ship’s figurehead and stern.
From an aesthetics and creative viewpoint and moving away from the popular image of Viking longships having red and white striped sails, the students were encouraged to be creative and imaginative in their own ideas for the Viking shields and sail decoration.
By Elizabeth Anstiss, Head of Senior Art & Design
Enrichment opportunities at Tanglin take many guises. Within the Senior Art department, we dedicate time and space for external artist workshops. We have strong relationships with many local and international artists, and we invite them to our studios annually to share their expertise and practice with our students. Tanglin’s co-curriculum mission states that it provides ‘a means through which we can open more doors to a student, and offer opportunities that allow a variety of skills, pursuits and pleasures to remain part of their lives beyond school’. This is precisely what these interactions offer.
This term we have had the privilege to welcome UK based artist Ian Murphy into our studios. Ian is a contemporary British Fine Artist who gained initial success with selection to the British Young Contemporary Artists in 1985. He is best known for his powerful, tonal drawings and atmospheric, mixed media oil paintings of architectural places. I always enjoy his workshops as he captivates the students within the first 30 seconds. Ian explains his process and intentions fantastically to the students. His values and philosophies of art education are aligned with ours; mainly reiterating that the intention must
always be at the forefront of any work we create. Ian worked with all our Year 10 Art and Graphics students. He also ran a session with our Year 12s. The students enjoyed getting messy with graphite power and the outcomes were tremendous largescale tonal drawings.
Most recently Chen Shitong has provided a collagraphy workshop for our Year 12 IB and A level Art students. Collagraphy is a printmaking process introduced in 1955 by Glen Alps in which materials are applied to a rigid substrate (such as paperboard or wood). The word is derived from the Greek word koll or kolla, meaning glue, and graph, meaning the activity of drawing. Through this process students can push their ideas beyond the representational and simply enjoy the artistic formal elements of texture and colour. The students spent three sessions exploring the technique, developing their skills, and interacting with a true specialist in the artist community.
As we look forward, I endeavour to carve out more opportunities like this for our students not just in the Upper School and Sixth Form, but throughout the whole school. ■
START OF A CENTENARY (BUILDING)
New year new beginnings! Tanglin celebrated the official opening of the Tanglin Centenary Building with its community and esteemed guests on 11 January 2023. What did our community like best about the new building? Here’s what they think.
“The Centenary Building is huge! Level 8, the music room, has so many rooms and instruments - it is way bigger than the old Junior rooms!”
Jago, Year 3
“I love the music rooms because they are now so spacious and it’s not that crowded anymore. We have bigger desks that have more space for us to keep our instruments and cases.”
Charlotte, Year 5
“It’s quite big, I like the style and it’s full of plants! The Gymnastics Centre is in such a great position”
Monty, Year 3
“I like the Gymnastics Centre because it has a much bigger foam pit. It’s so much bigger than the one we used to have in the Nixon Building, and it has more equipment too.”
Virangna, Year 5
Painting by Derek Corke
What’s New at Tanglin
“My favourite part is the Aquatic Centre because it’s much bigger; you don’t have to swim as many laps and it’s easier to hold competitions.”
Freddie, Year 5
“My favourite part of the new Centenary Building is the athletic development gym as it is now more accessible for everyday use, larger and has a wider range of equipment for everyone.”
Amelia, Year 12
“I would say that my favourite part of the building would be the new music area! It has been beautifully built with soundproof walls and it can hold so many students at once, allowing for so many new opportunities!”
Ines, Year 12
“My favourite part is the Reception area at Level 2. Some days, I like to take my laptop there to do some work as I watch the Tanglin community go by. This change of environment can be very refreshing and productive for me!”
Charlene Chen, Communications Manager
“My favourite spot, aside from the Institute of course, is the Atrium space –we can see the fabulous Gymnastics centre, I love the high ceilings and that it celebrates and acknowledges our student leaders across the Houses, clubs/societies and sports.”
Sohini Brandon-King, Director of Scholarship, Inquiry and Partnerships
“I am thoroughly impressed by the scenic views from the building! Almost every floor offers a different perspective of the vicinity – whether it’s the urbanised one-north or the luscious greenery along Portsdown Road – it’s all so breathtaking!”
Jaaziel Job, Alumni Executive
“My favourite part is of course the new Aquatic Centre! The 50m pool will be home to over 400 Merlion swimmers and has a lightning-proof canopy to ensure training is uninterrupted in all weather conditions. Fun fact; being situated on Level 5 makes the Aquatic Centre the highest competition standard pool in Singapore, quite possibly the world!”
Bobby Hurley, Director of Swimming
“I love how the Centenary Building enables the Infants, Juniors, Seniors and Sixth
Formers to become integrated within the building by implementing spaces and facilities that all year groups are able to utilise for sport, arts, and academics.”
Scarlett, Year 12
The new music rooms make us sound really good and they are more spacious.
- Year 2 student
Knowledge sharing at work
The Tanglin community went home with lots of valuable knowledge recently in February. Who were the guest speakers and what did they share? Let’s hear more from Kimberly Beeman, Head of Senior Library.
The library team at Tanglin was thrilled to host more than 80 librarians and teacher-librarians from sixteen countries throughout the region for the Librarians Knowledge Sharing Workshop (LKSW) on 17 and 18 February 2023. LKSW started at the Alice Smith School in 2012; this was the ninth annual workshop, and the first post-Covid. LKSW was founded with the idea of professional sharing at its heart--it is not tied to any particular curriculum, so delegates came from British, American, IB schools and more.
16 What’s New at Tanglin
LANGUAGE OF COMICS
Sonny Liew was the workshop’s second keynote speaker. He talked about his slightly unconventional career path, which took him from reading Philosophy at Cambridge to a degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and ultimately back to Singapore, where he wrote his best-selling, award-winning, genre-bending graphic novel, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye. Sonny drew while he delivered a brief lecture on the language of comics to the audience.
Over their two days at Tanglin, delegates also listened to more than 30 presentations from their peers. Topics ranged from AI writing and research tools (delivered by Katie Day, from Tanglin) to creating a student-led learning centre in the library to highlights of the Cheltenham Festival of Literature (delivered by Janine Murphy, from Tanglin) and more. The Senior Library also hosted a book fair for workshop attendees, with two local booksellers and two local publishers in attendance.
IMPORTANCE OF LIBRARIES
Emily Drabinski, president-elect of the American Library Association, was one of the keynote speakers. Emily has worked in libraries for more than twenty years in positions ranging from looseleaf filer to interim director of the City University of New York Graduate Libraries. This June, Emily will become the next president of the American Library Association, the world’s oldest and largest library association, with more than 50,000 members worldwide. Emily is an author, an academic librarian, and an advocate for libraries everywhere.
In addition to her keynote speech at LKSW, Ms Drabinski also delivered a public talk at Tanglin on 15 February, “Working Knowledge: Libraries and the Way We Learn.” Her talk was generously funded by the Tanglin Foundation. Librarians from throughout the Singapore library community came to see her, as well as Tanglin parents and teachers. Emily spoke about the importance of libraries and the ways their structured approach to categorising information affects learning. In small groups with Tanglin students and teachers earlier in the day, she also spoke about making the transition to researching in a university setting and about the complicated politics of the recent wave of book bans in the United States.
VISITS TO TANGLIN LIBRARIES
Delegates were also able to visit all three Tanglin libraries. Janine Murphy, Head of the Junior Library, and Michael Kelly, Head of the Infant Library, led bespoke tours of their spaces, including the gorgeous new renovations to the Infant Library. Delegates spent all day on Saturday in the Senior Library and were able to explore it at their leisure.
All in all, it was an incredible opportunity for our library teams to both share best practice and learn from other librarians in the region. ■
Our Year 12 students had been working with SC Ventures (SCV) to research business ideas they could pitch to a panel of business experts. On 16 February, they successfully did that in the PayPal Singapore office at Suntec and the results were impressive – to say the least. What were their business ideas and what did the panellists think? Read on to find out more.
The Institute@Tanglin has been in action for a year now and one of its many significant programmes is an intrapreneurship programme with SC Ventures that was specially tailored for Tanglin Trust School. This is the first time SCV has worked with a school and it’s also the inaugural Institute programme that was conducted under CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service).
During the process, the SCV coaches mentored our Year 12 students in the finer art of entrepreneurship, design thinking, business modelling and pitching. Jason Wiggin, who leads the Intrapreneurship programme at SC Ventures, told us that it was inspiring to work with the students and faculty. He said, “The students’ approach to entrepreneurship and building an idea into reality was fresh, and their ability to take risks and think constructively is incredible. I’m proud to say that the final pitches were at
least equivalent to any number of actual funding pitches I’ve seen in my career.”
What kind of business ideas did our students come up with? In a nutshell, they addressed challenges on environmental and food sustainability, financial education for children and youth and addressing the needs of marginalised communities through solutions like using AI to sort recycling and refugee integration.
Joseph, whose group BetterBin came up with the idea for a self-sorting recycling bin to be placed in public areas like schools, parks and HDBs, explained that the group was initially created because the members all shared a passion for environmental awareness. He said, “We collectively put together each of our own ideas to create our unique business pitch.”
18 What’s New at Tanglin
(led by Oscar, Nakul, Julia, Jasmin, Jonny, Mohaymen, Krishnav): Increase financial education through a dynamic app linking bank accounts, investments, microeconomies, games, and payments – under the supervision of parents or guardians.
(led by Rene, Beeri, Helen): Connect artists with buyers and art fans through an online art marketplace and social media platform.
(led by Sanayam, Ryusei, Vasudha, Mailys): Tackle food security, reduce food wastage and support communities through an order and delivery app for soon-to-expire food from supermarkets to low-income households in Singapore.
(led by Raphaelle, Shereau, Kavya): Improve the integration of refugees into their new countries, through specialised services and community engagement.
(led by Joseph, Emily, Mohamed): Make recycling easier through a bin which can “read” materials and sort waste based on recyclable status.
(led by Aditya, Djati, Amelia, Nisya): Prevent cycling accidents through an AI enabled device attached to bicycles.
After they had done the research and conducted the surveys, it was time for them to consolidate their findings and present their pitches for ‘seed money’ to a panel of business experts consisting of Alex Manson (Head of SC Ventures), a senior representative from Go-Ventures, and Cameron McLean (Senior Vice President, Europe, and Australia Enterprise at PayPal).
GAINING A CLEARER PERSPECTIVE
The students not only had to explain why their business idea was viable, they also had to justify why they needed a certain amount of money to kickstart their project. Although this was their first time doing a professional pitch, our students performed admirably and were thrilled to hear valuable feedback that could potentially take their project to the next level. For instance, the panellists advised NoMuda to approach UglyFood – a local company that was created to reduce food waste but had recently ceased business – so that they could learn valuable lessons from the founder.
Hearing from the panellists also helped our students gain a clearer perspective of their future business plans. Oscar from Wall-Ed, for example, told us that the panel’s advice was useful for him on a personal level because he plans to create an app that translates financial and legal documents into different languages with context in mind.
Aside from the appreciative audience, the panellists were also impressed by their work. Cameron McLean said, “I thought the students performed extremely well pitching their business ideas as well as providing crisp and detailed responses to questions from the Business Panel. The SCV Intrapreneurial Programme really helped the students build the confidence to form business concepts/ideas and pitch their vision with enthusiasm.”
Sohini Brandon-King, Director of Scholarship, Inquiry and Partnerships, couldn’t have agreed more. She said, “I felt inspired by the students – they were so well prepared, confident, articulate, and passionate about their ideas. I had to remind myself at times that they are still in Year 12. Just imagine what their future holds!” ■
All in all, everyone did a great job, and we are extremely proud to see our students perform well in the real world. We are sure that our students have learned valuable lessons that will last them a lifetime.
NXPLORERS AT TANGLIN
Since its launch in 2022, the Institute@Tanglin has hosted and supported many learning opportunities for our community. These included SC Ventures, David Faulkner Speaker Series, a workshop with fine artist Ian Murphy and a talk by Martin Cox from the John Locke Institute as well as the NXplorers programme.
If NXplorers sounds familiar, that’s because we featured our very first student team (Year 13 students Ishani, Meenakshi, Prishni and Sara) in the last issue. These enterprising students discovered NXplorers on their own and decided to pursue it under the guidance of their Physics Specialist teacher, Chris Dech. Calling themselves Team Energyro, the group focused their research on how they could efficiently harness Singapore’s water resources as a potential renewable energy source. The students collaborated with industry experts to design microturbine generators in storm drains that would use rainwater runoff to passively generate electricity. This was supported by the Institute, which helped the group immensely because having expert input from green energy and related STEM fields not only gave them a different perspective on the feasibility and design of their project, it also helped shape their direction.
After successfully proposing their solution, the team received seed money ($2,500) to build a prototype and presented it to representatives from Science Centre Singapore and Shell in November last year. The representatives loved it and had nothing but positive feedback for the students. Mr Lim Yong Chuan from Shell said, “I think the team did a very good job from the way they brainstormed the ideas and came up with different ways to actually solve the problem statement that they have come up with.”
So, what was the inspiration for their hydro solution? Prishni explained, “Ishani and I live near a reservoir and that helped us realise the scope of hydroelectricity.”
Sara also chipped in, “The four of us didn’t have any prior experience before this so even though we had a few ideas, we weren’t sure how to narrow it down initially. That’s why we are really grateful to have people like our physics and other science
20 What’s New at Tanglin
teachers as well as our peers who do Design Technology (DT) and have a lot of knowledge in this area to support us. The DT teachers also allowed us to use the DT tools so we could work on our prototype.”
TEACHING THE TEACHERS
Having concluded the first round of NXplorers on such a positive note, Tanglin is eager to invite Senior students for the next round. But like all ambitious projects, our teachers must first be familiarised with the inner workings of the programme and trained to guide our students through the process. Chris Dech is one of the five teachers who volunteered for the teacher training. We had a chat with him to find out what the training entailed:
What was the training like and what did you learn?
We were introduced to a variety of NXTools and the training walked us through how to use them and what the purpose of each tool is. The training was grouped by the outcome of each stage of the NXplorers programme. This helps student groups come up with a considered solution to their problem statement and enables them to think of the impact it will have on society.
What kind of NXTools did you learn to use?
NXthinking (considering the big picture, connections, perspective, future and change), developing framework behind the explore stage of programme, Connections circle, scenario planning quadrant, feasibility funnel and ripple effect tools, persuasion pyramid.
What kind of student submissions do you hope to see this year after the previous one?
So far, we have three Year 12 teams (Power Rangers, Energyro II and Biodiesel Bearers) who have shown an interest in this year’s programme, looking at developing energy to aid in food production, biofuel production from food waste and a final group eager to continue the hydroturbine project and bring it to new places. We hope that while one group will continue with the NXplorers programme externally, the other two will be funded within the school to create a positive impact on the community and contribute to the school’s sustainability goals. One team has since attended a training at Nanyang Polytechnic to learn about Micro:bit controllers and get an update on the NXplorer programme, so we are definitely excited to see how their projects will turn out! ■
The four of us didn’t have any prior experience before this so even though we had a few ideas, we weren’t sure how to narrow it down initially”
THE IMPORTANCE OF FRIENDSHIP
It’s often said that happy students are also motivated learners. How does Tanglin’s Infant School help our children build positive relationships through the power of friendship? Jon
Pavey, Deputy Head
(Pastoral) of Infant
tells us more.
At Tanglin, we provide opportunities for building positive relationships throughout the school and encourage children to collaborate with one another - not just in the classroom but everywhere around our community and beyond. This has always been one of our top priorities and never more so than now as we move on from the pandemic and its restrictions, and back to ‘normal’.
GRIFF’S GREAT CHOICES
Within the Infant School, it has been delightful to see children working together in pairs, small groups, and whole classes, with ‘bubbles’ hopefully a thing of the past. Teachers plan activities to promote dialogue amongst children (and adults), leading to excitement and a sense of purpose in their learning. This also builds key friendship skills, such as speaking, listening, taking turns, reasoning, negotiating, and fairness. Griff’s Great Choices is a consistent conflict resolution tool that has been implemented to support children when there is a disagreement and to build resilience.
22 Innovative Education IF YOUR PROBLEM IS BIG, TELL AN ADULT AND THEY CAN HELP YOU. DO YOU HAVE A SMALL PROBLEM? USE ONE OF GRIFF’S CHOICES TO HELP YOU! GRIFF’S GREATCHOICES GRIFF’S GREATCHOICES Go and choose someth lse E efeeling Go & choose somethi else Ask S a y ‘ sor r y g IF YOUR PROBLEM IS BIG, TELL AN ADULT AND THEY CAN HELP YOU. DO YOU HAVE A SMALL PROBLEM? USE ONE OF GRIFF’S CHOICES TO HELP YOU! M ak e a deal Walk Take a breath & count to 10 Asktoshare turns Wait & coo o f
GRIFF’S GREAT CHOICES GRIFF’S GREAT CHOICES
These skills, and more, are also embedded through our Learner Profile characteristics within the school. Beginning in Nursery, children are introduced to the vocabulary of these characteristics, but more importantly, the values and meaning behind words such as Caring, Risk-Taker, and Principled are taught throughout all the children’s school experiences. This is built upon further in Reception and by Year 1, children will be familiar with all ten of the Learner Profile characteristics, which are displayed and celebrated.
When a child joins Tanglin, they are paired with buddies within the class. These children enthusiastically take on the responsibility of ensuring that their new classmate can access resources, navigate their surroundings, and has a friendly person to play with or talk to. We also consider travel arrangements when selecting buddies, to make the transition to or from school as smooth as possible.
While class teachers will have a daily check-in with new children, and there are surveys that happen throughout the year, after two weeks of being in school, children will meet with our Head of Lifeskills to discuss how they are finding Tanglin. This provides teachers with a clear insight into how children are feeling, but also gives the school an opportunity to review and if necessary, amend strategies or support. Our Head of Lifeskills, Mrs Laura Holmes, finds it a joy to chat with all children across the Infant School. Here are some highlights from this term’s ‘settling in meeting’ in the words of our new children:
“We go to the playground and play lots of different things. I have lots of friends already.”
“I play with all of the friends in class.”
“They showed me how to go on the iPad and now we play together.’
“I sit with different people and we all like each other, even if they are not my very best friends, everyone is nice.”
“The teacher leads some fun games in the playground and I like to join in with them.”
MAKING MEMORIES THROUGH GAMES
That final comment relates to a change that has been implemented in response to the impact of COVID restrictions on playtimes. During COVID children needed to stay in their small bubbles. Once restrictions were lifted the children did not have experience playing in or leading large games; they were finding it a challenge to participate and collaborate with one another. Facilitating and maintaining friendships requires scaffolding and this is one way that it can happen outside of the classroom, while similar circle time activities and lessons take place within
learning base units. Children are making memories as they play alongside one another whilst building positive, secure friendships.
The importance of friendship cannot be overestimated. With activities, strategies, and pastoral support in place to nurture friendships, the Infant School will always put the best interest of each child at the very forefront of decision-making and action planning. A happy learner is a motivated learner. ■
What are safe spaces and why are they so important for our students? Tanglin’s pastoral team shares more with us.
At Tanglin Trust School, we understand the importance of creating a safe and supportive learning environment for our children and young people. That is why we have implemented safe spaces in each of our schools. A safe space is a designated, contained area where students can go when they feel overwhelmed or upset to allow them to relieve stress, calm down, and recharge their emotions before returning to learning in a more balanced and positive frame of mind. This approach supports students' social-emotional learning by supporting them to self-regulate, focus on positive emotions, and manage negative emotions.
OPEN TO ALL
Safe spaces are open to all children, not just those with high trauma, stress, or anxiety levels. These spaces teach students essential qualities such as respect, healing, and empathy. They also provide a zone where students can feel safe, unjudged, and comfortable coping with their feelings. This can help them regulate when they feel overwhelmed or upset, take action to avoid behaviours they know are incorrect or unhelpful or support them to reflect on previous behaviour or incidents. The safe spaces can include various elements such as books, games, fidget toys, gadgets, comfortable seating, sand trays, private zones, mood lighting and more.
Safe spaces are not used as a punishment or a “time-out” zone. Their purpose is not to isolate or teach a child a lesson. Safe spaces form part of our positive approach to behaviour management. Providing students with a healing and safe space before, during or after dysregulation or when they are overwhelmed can help to avoid moments of harmful or inappropriate behaviour,
support de-escalation and self-regulation, and allows time for reflection after events. Safe spaces allow students to de-escalate and return to a calm state before returning to work. Use of the safe spaces is student-directed; students are encouraged to recognise when they need a time out, request it appropriately and are responsible for managing their behaviour in their safe space. Adults may join a student in the safe space (when invited) to help the student regulate or reflect. For students who are not able to be self-directed or wholly responsible for safe space use, they may be prompted or taught how to use the spaces by supportive adults, with the goal of establishing independent use. Safe spaces positively impact the students’ overall wellbeing and learning experience by teaching them to self-monitor and self-regulate effectively.
These spaces teach students essential qualities such as respect, healing, and empathy.
SAFE SPACES@INFANT SCHOOL
In the Infant School, there are many breakout spaces for each year group that are utilised throughout the day. In addition, each classroom has its own designated quiet area to use as a safe space. This could be a tepee, a soft seat away from the tables and chairs or a discrete cosy corner filled with cushions and calm furnishings. To promote ownership of their space, the children collaborated with staff when naming their zone. Class mascots have been re-introduced after the pandemic, providing our children with comfort and familiarity within class. Each class mascot has their own safe space, providing another designated area for children to access when in need of a place to regulate. We have also transformed our Koala Room near the Infant Library into a cosy, safe space that is often used by our Infant School counsellors. This multisensory environment helps to meet the developing sensory needs of individual children as appropriate. When the Infant library was refurbished, Mr Michael Kelly, our Infant School Librarian, informed the architects that cosy, safe spaces must be incorporated into the plans. His doors are always open, and many children benefit from a pause in their day and use this quiet time to lose themselves in the magic of a story within the comfort of the tranquil surroundings.
SAFE SPACES@JUNIOR SCHOOL
We have a number of safe spaces in the Junior School that support the valuable work we do with the children on recognising and managing their emotions and energy levels in different situations. Like the Infant School, in each classroom and year group unit space, the children will be able to visit a tepee or a discrete cosy corner and use a range of strategies within their ‘regulation toolbox’, to help them regulate their emotional state. These strategies can include breathing, mindfulness and visualisation techniques that support changing the child’s heightened inner state to an optimal feeling of calm, focus, and readiness for learning and social interaction.
Post Covid and with greater opportunities for social interactions, we found it necessary to provide more calming spaces during playtimes to include more collaborative play and mindfulness activities. At playtimes, the year group units transform into Junior Pastoral Hubs, where the children can choose one of three zones to spend their playtime in: The Chill Zone, for reading and talking to a friend; The Collaborative Zone, for board games, Lego, and art projects; The Mindful Zone, for calming activities such as colouring and sand play. One of our student leadership groups, The Friendship Captains, take responsibility in the space by supporting children with the activities and provide feedback on how we can make the environment even better. During these times, teachers in the year group check in with students to see how they are feeling and add support if necessary. Once a week, we also have our wonderful counselling team on hand should the children want to talk to them about an issue or worry. It is a time and space that has received excellent feedback from the children.
SENIORS PASTORAL HUB/COUNSELLING
Our newly opened, state of the art, ‘Wellbeing & Counselling Centre’ provides a safe space for students in need. It has been specifically designed to offer a calming and welcoming ambience, providing our students with the best possible environment to regulate before returning to lessons.
The Senior School Pastoral Hub provides a space that students can access at break and lunchtimes, and students who have been issued “time-out cards” can go there during class time if they feel overwhelmed during the day. It is equipped with large comfortable floor cushions, cosy blankets, pod seating, board games, books, and low lighting. Pastoral staff are around to check in with students if the student wishes to talk to someone. Work is underway to create another safe space, which will be allocated specifically to Years 10 and 11, allowing the current Pastoral Hub to be used for Year 7-9 exclusively. The Sixth Form Centre Common Room is set up with plenty of sofas and comfortable seating areas, and the Sixth Form Centre Office offers comfortable seating away from the main common room for students who feel upset or in need of support.
CREATING SAFE SPACES AT HOME
Parents can help children create their own private space at home where they feel secure. They could consider setting up a small play tent, tepee, a special cosy chair or beanbag. Some calming activities, cuddly toys, books, soft blankets, or cushions can also comfort and soothe the child to help them regulate. Encouraging a child to use the space to feel calmer, more relaxed or positive can help when they feel overwhelmed or dysregulated. Children can self-regulate there when they choose, or they can be gently directed to the space by an adult. Taking time in a safe space can help diffuse arguments by allowing everyone time to regulate and come into a calmer frame of mind. Use of the safe space can therefore help children learn how to manage conflict healthily.
The safe space should be set up, and used during calm moments as part of finding peacefulness. Children should not be sent to the safe space as punishment or for “time-out”, and
the area should not be used as a threat or consequence. Being sent to a safe space as a punishment undermines promoting self-regulation and calming.
Parents can model taking care of their emotions by using the safe space themselves (if it is in a shared area) or by having their own safe space set up and teaching their children regulatory skills. Regulatory skills include deep breathing, movement breaks, meditation, affirmations, drawing or journaling. Take note when your child makes good use of their safe space and praise them for caring for themselves and their feelings.
If your child invites you into a safe space, you can build a “relational safe space” by showing interest in your child’s thoughts and feelings, listening without judgment, setting clear boundaries, validating feelings, and providing support and understanding. All these things will go a long way to boost the connection between you and your child and their self-esteem and helps to bolster the feelings of emotional safety inside the safe space.
Children naturally seek out routine and familiarity to feel safe so their home can automatically become something that they depend upon to feel secure. It is therefore important to consider what adult conversations the children are exposed to that may impact their feeling of security. Through recent pastoral surveys and check ins with the children, we notice an increasing number of students who are anxious about the current rental increases in Singapore and what this will mean for them. Some children are not sure if they will continue to live in their home or if they have to leave Singapore if rental prices continue to soar. Security, routine and being able to plan ahead can all impact a child’s wellbeing, so it is important that they are given reassurance during this potentially challenging time, especially if change is a possibility. If a move is on the horizon, then creating safe spaces in the current home that are easily transferrable can ease the transition into the new home. ■
26 Innovative Education
TANGLIN SUMMER FESTIVAL
Come enjoy the festivities of our summer extravaganza! Be entertained by musical performances, carnival games and so much more.
• Music Concert • Carnival Games
• Bouncy House • Go-karts • Fun-zone • Food & Beverages
• Tea Shoppe • Second-hand Book & Toy Stall
• International Stalls • Vendors
Date: Saturday 17 June
Venue: Stage on Astro & Campus
The IB Contemporary Music
Maker (CMM) is a brand-new addition to the IB Music course, with the first cohort of students around the world submitting their work in March 2023, including five of our students from Year 13 Higher Level Music.
What is it all about?
Will Hyland, Assistant Head of Arts in Senior School, tells us more.
Edric explains about the influence of music from The Shining in his music created for an IB film project in his CMM documentary.
The CMM project involves students collaborating with someone from outside of a musical context or industry and working on a project together. This could involve creating music for a film with a filmmaker, designing music for a dance show with a choreographer or creating music to accompany an art installation with an artist. It is meant to be a non-professional project and many of our students have collaborated with fellow IB students within Year 13.
To introduce the project, students composed music and worked with Kate Edwards, who directed one of Tanglin’s theatre productions The Visit in November 2022. They then attended a two-day workshop at SJI in Singapore and brainstormed with students from several international schools on ideas for their projects.
Year 13 began with students finalising their CMM Project and creating the music with their collaborator. The assessed end product of the project is a 15-minute video documentary that the students create and share with the IB for feedback and grading. This allowed them to incorporate some filmmaking and editing skills within the music course. Students must discuss four areas of their project: the rationale, process, final product, and a reflection of their work.
This project feels like a major innovation in curriculum design and assessment. Collaboration is often discussed at length with students and staff, and is seen as an important skill, but 30% of a student’s IB Music grade will now be based on how effective they are at:
• finding a collaborator
• managing a project
• documenting a project and seeing it through to the end.
Not only are these skills very important in the creative industries, where you may, for example, be composing music on a Monday, performing a concert on a Tuesday, leading a workshop on a Wednesday and collaborating with several people, but with the rise of AI/Chat GPT, these skills such as collaboration and communication may become the more important skills to assess and distinguish between students rather than knowledge recall.
Collaborating across projects
Three of our students have created music for IB Film students, which can be used for their film coursework. This allowed students to share their skills with one another in a similar feel to the professional workplace. One student has created music for an arcade game in conjunction with an IB Computer Science student for their coursework and another student has created music for an IB Art Installation, which will be accessible via headphones during the IB Art Exhibition in Term 3.
The projects went on display in The Institute (Level 11 at the Centenary Building) as part of the Student Research conference that took place in March 2023. Feedback from the students has been excellent. Here are a couple of their positive comments:
“I love being able to apply my music skills, to new concepts such as filmmaking.”
“I feel this project is giving me the skills that universities and employers are looking for, being able to work on a project for several months and stay motivated and be willing to take risks with it.” ■
29 Innovative Education
Left to right: Rehearsals for The Visit; Jam session with students from UWCSEA, SJI, CIS, NEXUS and SOTA at SJI in May 2022
Gabriel discussing the process for creating music for an IB art installation in his CMM documentary.
Tanglin is unique amongst international schools in Singapore because it offers a choice of A-levels or the International Baccalaureate (IB) in Sixth Form. Through these pathways, our senior students are given the opportunity to explore the real world through important elements of study such as CAS, Extended Essay, and Extended Project Qualification. Here are some of their projects:
CREATIVITY, ACTIVITY, SERVICE (CAS)
CAS is one of the three important elements that every student must complete as part of IB. The three strands are interwoven with activities associated with creativity (arts and creative thinking), activity (physical exertion) and service (unpaid and voluntary exchange).
CARING FOR CAMBODIA SCHOOLS PORTRAIT PROJECT
Tanglin has been working with Caring for Cambodia (CFC) for almost 20 years, and the Cambodia Portrait Project is one of the many projects that our teachers and students undertake to help spotlight the wonderful communities that exist in CFC schools. First the CFC students and teachers were asked if they would like their portrait created by a Tanglin student, then our students produce beautiful portraits in a variety of mediums. These will be sent to the recipients in a handmade envelope with a card from the respective artists.
SPECIAL OLYMPICS TRAINING - ISHAAN
As part of his CAS, Ishaan became a volunteer coach to Special Olympics athletes with special needs. He guided them during their weekly distance running and helped them to monitor and improve their running speeds. He explained, “As a coach, the most important role I played was to motivate the athletes and guide them towards becoming more independent and confident runners. I have been volunteering for approximately a year and a half now, and it has been a pleasure to work with and learn from neurodivergent people.”
30 Innovative Education
EXTENDED ESSAY (EE)
The Extended Essay is an independent, self-directed research that requires a 4,000-word paper in IB.
EXTENDED PROJECT QUALIFICATION (EPQ)
The EPQ is an A-level qualification that requires you to write a 5000-word essay and presentation on any subject of your choice or create a product with an accompanying essay of about 1000 words.
HANDLER, THE ROBOTIC ARM, - OWEN
SUSTAINABLE ENERGY - SUZIE
For her EE, Suzie combined her love for Formula 1 (F1) with her interest in sustainable energy to compare potential sustainable fuels for use in F1. She said, “I found this topic important because vehicles worldwide contribute to a large amount of pollution, and developments in F1 for fuels can be passed down to commercial and passenger vehicles worldwide. Within my essay, I compared fuels produced by carbon capture methods and fuels derived from municipal waste.”
EFFECTS OF PH ON DENTAL EROSION - TARAN
As an aspiring medic, Taran have always had an affinity for human anatomy. After coming across dental erosion in an anatomy book, he knew that he wanted to explore this concept further for his EE. Taran explained, “I found this topic important because of its high prevalence especially in countries with regular consumption of high erosive potential beverages and the severity of its consequences. There needs to be a greater understanding of how to combat this growing problem. Within my essay, I compared the effect of pH of different beverages on dental erosion in sound and decayed teeth.”
For decades, robotics has been used within manufacturing lines to perform repetitive processes, but we are at the cusp of robots leaving the industrial setting and moving into the everyday world. As an experiment into human-robot interaction, Owen made Handler, a robotic arm that uses computer vision to mimic or respond to the movements of a human user and respond to visual commands such as shaking the user’s hands. Handler is controlled using eight servo motors, an Arduino, and a webcam. Owen used an iterative design method in Adobe Illustrator, 3D-modelled the arm using Fusion360, and wrote the program using C/C++ and Python.
2D PLATFORMING ACTION GAME - XAVIER
Xavier decided to create a 2D platforming action game. It was an entirely new challenge for him because he had to refine and acquire new skills during the process of programming, using Unity and creating music. Xavier plans to continue working on the project as he intends to release it in future. He said, “Its current state is better than I could have imagined. The style of the animations is as expressive as I wanted it to be, the mechanics in the game work exactly as expected and the music has exactly the right atmosphere.” ■
Want to read more about our student projects? Then drop by The Institute page at www.tts.edu.sg/the-institute on our website for the latest stories!
Did you know that Tanglin’s first Sixth Form intake was in 2001? 20 years may have passed since their graduation in 2003, but it was still a memorable milestone in Tanglin’s history. Let’s catch up with a couple of our alumni as well as Sian Roberts and Peter Welch - the two teachers who took on the herculean task of guiding Tanglin’s first graduating class.
The 2003 Cohort alumni may have gone on their separate ways, but their teacher Sian Roberts, is still doing well at Tanglin as a Learning Support teacher. Here’s her Tanglin story.
How did you become a tutor for the first intake of Sixth Form students?
I was a Sixth Form tutor in my first year of teaching at Tanglin. This was part of the reason I was employed, I think, because the Sixth Form was just starting and my previous job in the UK had been teaching in a Sixth Form College. They needed someone with Sixth Form experience as some of the teachers working in the school at that time only had limited experience in this area. I had a lot of 16-18 teaching
experience including writing university references (e.g. Oxbridge references) and that was definitely a gap in Tanglin expertise at that time, luckily for me! I came in as a German and French teacher so at first my actual teaching role in terms of my subject area in the Sixth Form was limited as there was only a very small number of language students at that level but, over the years, that number expanded exponentially.
How different was it teaching students 20 years ago compared to today?
There is a difference between teaching in the Sixth Form and being a tutor in the Sixth Form which was what I was back then. Of course, there were only 14 students at that time, all housed in a building
32 Innovative Education Alumni
specially built for just the Sixth Form which I think opened the year before I joined the school. This building seemed vast at the time as there were only those 14 students rattling around in there during the first year in a building designed for 100+ students. The Sixth Form grew rapidly and soon outgrew the building, so it was eventually demolished to make way for the new Sixth Form. I spent many years over in the Sixth Form, becoming a permanent fixture as a Year 12 and Year 13 tutor, often taking over Year 13 tutor groups when someone left as I could write University references in my sleep by that time! Each Head of Sixth Form has added their own seasoning to the Sixth Form soup but, somehow, it has always kept its true essence: that certain something that keeps Tanglin Sixth Form what it has always been. Times may change, but teenagers seldom do.
How has your role changed since then?
My daughters both had their own journeys through the school, including the Sixth Form but since those days, my role has changed significantly. After the sad demise of German as a subject in the Senior School, I retrained as a Learning Support teacher. My Sixth Form connection now is in a mentoring capacity, where I enjoy guiding students through this phase of their education. I have seen many Heads of Sixth Form come and go from the first, Peter Welch, whom I worked so closely with in the embryonic stages of the Sixth Form up to the present day where the Sixth Form is a fully fledged adult in its own right and offering two pathways to almost 400 students.
What were some challenges?
Some of the challenges were that everything was new; everything was being done for the first time. New courses being delivered; new teachers bringing their own expertise and old teachers trying to raise the level of their knowledge or resurrect old skills. The spotlight was certainly on the Sixth Form as the leading light of the school and, as has always been the case, being compared with the UWC Sixth Form experience – at the time, the only other real rival to Tanglin. Before the introduction of the IB pathway at Tanglin, a handful of students who wanted to study somewhere other than the UK post-18 would leave Tanglin to go to UWC (often to the cry of “traitor” from the rest of their cohort!).
Any memorable student stories?
Because of the small numbers that first couple of years, we knew the students really well and felt particularly close to them and responsible for their welfare. We had one lady, Izzy Barclay who worked in a part time capacity helping students with their university applications but otherwise it was just Peter and I in that first year. We felt like the mum and dad of the brood! We took the students on a bonding trip to Bintan, which was interesting to say the least and included very dubious toilet facilities and being trapped in a one-man tent with a swarm of mosquitos!
Thank you, Sian. Now let’s hear from Peter Welch who is now Director at the American International School of Bucharest. Since Tanglin, he has built up an impressive portfolio, which includes publishing a book titled Who on Earth Are you? How to Thrive in a Mixed-up World and being the Director of IB World Schools in Thailand, Turkey, and Finland. We caught up with him over Zoom.
You were the founding Head of Sixth Form back in 2001. How did this role come about?
I joined the school as the Head of Humanities in 1999 and after one year, I was appointed to be the first Head of Sixth Form – a year before the Sixth Form opened. That was a lovely challenge because I was supported to visit schools in the UK to learn about best practices for Sixth Form. I worked with the leaders of Tanglin at that time, particularly Ronald Stones (CEO, 1995-2006). We designed the building and the environment, the marketing, and the competition for the student uniform design that you still have today. We recruited 14 students, and it was a really a fun year! I was the Head for the next two years, and I taught History and Politics during that period as well.
What kind of challenges did you face as the founding Head?
Before we began the first intake, I was in a meeting with Ron Stones, Steward Hilland (Head of Junior School, 1996-1998, and Head of Senior School, 1996-2004) and Marilyn Cole (previous Director of Studies). At that time, we just had three people sign up. We were worried whether this was going to work at all. In the early days, it was risky to start Sixth Form without a track record because UWC already had a successful IB programme. We eventually managed to get 14 students and another 20 students the following year, and it began to roll forward but yeah, it was risky when we first started. A lot of teachers back then were teaching A-Level for the first time, so they were learning new curriculum and assessments. »
Because of the small numbers that first couple of years, we knew the students really well
The first graduating cohort on a holiday study trip to UK with Peter Welch during summer of their first year.
How did you overcome the challenges?
Tanglin has always been a remarkable school. I faced significant challenges as the Head, but I’ve always felt very supported by the people around me. We also had this wonderful building and a lot of support during the set-up process. Ron, in particular, was a great supporter of mine. He was a gentleman who was, in many ways, quite private, so he didn’t speak much, but I knew that he supported my career. He gave me the opportunity to be the Founding Head of Sixth Form and he had done that more than once in my career, for which I am very grateful.
What did you learn when you visited schools in UK to learn about their best practices?
Some of what I learned was to build community and culture. You need to develop a tradition if you are starting new projects and to do that, you have to create a sense of connection and belonging. For example, one of the schools I visited would begin every week with an assembly and each student would shake the hand of every teacher. I thought that was a really nice tradition.
What was it like teaching the first intake of Sixth Form students?
When I think of all the roles that I’ve been lucky to have, this was perhaps my favourite. We were all very close with the first group of students. We were starting something new, and I had to be across all the details and planning. I was involved in not only the teaching and setting the school up, but I also had a support role for the students. I have a great fondness for that particular group of students because they really were remarkable people. We were in this lovely new building and there were not many
people so taking ownership of it and making it ours was a really lovely process for all of us. The students all got on very well with one another.
What is the difference between teaching students back then vs students today?
I remember going on a holiday study trip to UK during summer of our first year. We went to London first where we visited museums, watched shows, visited York University before going to the Edinburgh Festival. We stayed in a hostel when we were at the festival, and I let the students go experience music, theatre, and comedy at the world’s biggest international festival for the first time in their lives. I imagine if you ask them now, that was a wonderful and life-changing experience. They could see what life would be like after they graduate. I guess what I’m trying to convey is that it was much more relaxed back then. Today, for very understandable reasons, education has become more conscientious, more health and safety conscious etc. But in the earlier days, there was an informality and freedom for young people that I believe we all appreciated.
What was it like working with Sian?
Sian was one of the early teachers who had a very strong pastoral, social and emotional role. She was an approachable person who was always kind, fun, funny and I remember her sense of humour. Sian was a lot of fun to work with and she brought a nice caring energy to the students.
Do you still keep in touch with your students?
Yes, I do. We had a lovely Zoom call in the middle of the
Innovative Education Alumni 34
Happy days with Tanglin’s first graduating cohort
I attended Tanglin from 1990 - 2003. I started in Reception and was in the first cohort to start Year 7, the first to go through GCSEs and A-Levels at Tanglin. I helped design the new uniforms with the school council and Ronald Stones so it’s brilliant to see the kids still wearing them and what a huge school Tanglin has become! I am currently an actress based out of London; my professional stage name is Vanessa Emme. I moved to London in 2015 from Dublin. I have a theatre background, but I am now mainly doing TV. I just wrapped a 5-month shoot for Season 2 of The Chelsea Detective. pandemic when lots of us were connecting with old friends. It was great to be online and talk to them all. There is Vanessa who became an actress in London and Sam who went on to become a journalist for Financial Times. Georgina, who is now based in Zurich, Switzerland, is always very kind to remember my birthday because she was my history student and I used to joke in class and mentioned that a history date was my birthday as well. Malati, whom I believe is in Singapore and working as an event planner, also remembers my birthday every year. She is such a gorgeous, kind person. Arya, too, has done lots of things in his career. They are all incredible adults. You always think of them as kids and students because that was how I knew them.
What a wonderful throwback, Peter. Thank you for being an important part of Tanglin’s history! Now that we’ve heard from both Sian and Peter, let’s catch up with Vanessa Fahy and Georgina Ho on their favourite memories and what they remember about being in the first graduating class at Tanglin.
Top to bottom: Our first graduating cohort with a local Orthodox Archbishop who shared his life experiences, Vanessa and her Year 4 class in 1994 with their teacher
Thinking back 20 years, it's funny what random moments come to the forefront. I was at Tanglin for the last four years of senior school. A few that come to mind. I remember a school trip camping in Australia, where we lay on flat rocks that were warm from the day and learned about constellations; having the opportunity to look at designs and be part of choosing the uniforms for the new Sixth Form; Dr Randford in a fully committed Freddie Mercury impersonation at the school talent show (not everyone knew who Freddie Mercury was!). Since school and university, I've spent most of my career across Asia/Middle East; and I’m now based in Zurich. ■
A GATHERING OF FRIENDS
Our annual Tanglin alumni events are back in action and this time, we met over 500 people in both London and Singapore. It’s been wonderful seeing everyone and for those who couldn’t make it, here’s a low-down by Alumni Executive, Jaaziel Job.
LONDON NOVEMBER 2022
Our Annual Tanglin Alumni Event held in London saw over 400 people in attendance, including Dominic Nixon (Chairman, Board of Governors at Tanglin Trust School), Craig Considine (CEO, Tanglin Trust School), Staff Alumni, members of staff and Tanglin Alumni from across the UK and beyond!
Held at The Fable - a bar and restaurant inspired by fairy tales and the fables of Aesop in Holborn, this was an opportunity for our Alumni to reunite, catch up and share heartfelt stories from yesteryear over drinks and pub grub at the heart of London! Atara Bieler, who flew all the way from Israel to attend the event had this to say: “I studied in Tanglin during the early 60s so compared to the young people who finished high school five years ago, I was definitely one of the senior members at this November 2022
meeting in London. Nevertheless, I felt the closeness to the people and to those who have a connection to the school’s past. The event was lovely, and I found many people to talk with. Dominic did mention me in his speech which was touching and made my visit to London for the sake of the alumni event worth the while. I wish to mention Mrs Kathleen Crowe who was my headmistress in those days and whom
2018 cohort – 5 years since graduation.
I admired ever since. Although not alive, she is still one of my role models. In sum, Tanglin is more than a school, it is a state of mind, a point of view on life and a solid backbone one is lucky enough to have grown, upon attending the school during his or her early and defining years. Thank you, Jaaziel and Shakila, for inviting me over. Looking forward to seeing you soon, maybe in Singapore.”
36 Innovative Education Alumni
Left: Shakila Samuel, Dominic Nixon and Atara Bieler
Top to bottom: 2013 cohort – 10 years since graduation; 2008 cohort – 15 years since graduation; This year’s hoorah was extra special as we celebrated 20 years since our first Sixth Form cohort graduated in 2003. Representing the 2003 cohort in London was James Low; Alumni gathering
SINGAPORE (FEBRUARY 2023)
After a three-year hiatus, we were happy to have our Singapore Alumni Event back in full force. More than 100 Tanglin Alumni, former parents and Staff Alumni attended the mid-week social held at The Institute where they networked with other Singaporebased Alumni and had a firsthand look at the brand-new Tanglin Centenary Building. Craig Considine, our CEO, took this opportunity to share key updates on our school’s progress as well as to announce Charlotte Harris as Tanglin Alumni of the Year 2022! It was indeed a night to remember with many Alumni being thoroughly impressed with the progress of our school and how far we’ve come. These annual reunions and events pave the way for our Alumni to stay connected and engaged with the school. To stay connected as an Alumni, please visit us at alumni.tts.edu.sg.
Top to bottom: Lydia Elder (2007 cohort), David Ooi (2008 cohort), Dickon Thomas, and Sophie Lew (2007 cohort); Livio Anzolin (2016 cohort) with Clair Harrington-Wilcox; Gaston Junique, Mohamed Taleb, Elliot Wilcox, Nicholas CannonBrookes from 2021 cohort
ALUMNI OF THE YEAR 2022
Every year, Tanglin shines the spotlight on outstanding alumni who make their mark on the global community. This year, we honour Charlotte Harris (Cohort 2009) as the Tanglin Alumni of the Year 2022 for Excellence in Community Engagement. Read on to find out why.
38 Innovative Education
If you are a rowing buff, you’d know all about the Talisker Atlantic Challenge. For those who are unfamiliar with it, it’s an ocean rowing challenge that takes participants more than 3,000 miles west from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain to Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua and Barbuda. It may sound like a daunting challenge to a layperson, but our very own alumna, Charlotte Harris, took it on last year with much grit and determination – embodying the kind of values that Tanglin aims to nurture in its students.
And that’s not the most impressive part. Although they had no prior rowing experience, Charlotte and her rowing partner Jess managed to cover more than 3,000 miles from Canary Islands to Nelson’s Dockland in 45 days and became the fastest women’s pair to row across the Atlantic. On top of that, Charlotte helped to raise £100,000 for local charities in the UK.
Craig Considine, CEO, said, “Each year, we receive nominations from family members, teachers and fellow alumni of worthy individuals who are making an impact through their professional work in sport, art, or community engagement. When choosing the Alumni of the Year, we reflect on the qualities that that person has showcased through what they have done and it’s evident that these are the same values that we try to instil in every student who comes to Tanglin. Many of Charlotte’s teachers at Tanglin remember her as being
active, always full of ideas, rallying others for various causes. Her amazing feat in 2022 not only set a world record, she has also used it to make a positive difference for the vulnerable communities where she lives.”
Indeed, Charlotte has showed that you can achieve amazing things if you are determined about your outcomes. Mhairi Aluthge-Donna (Assistant Head of Faculty in Business & Economics at the Senior School) who has been nominating worthy alumni every year, told us why she decided to put in Charlotte’s name for the award.
“I remember Charlotte very well from her time at Tanglin. The school was smaller then and I either taught or knew most of the students in the cohort well. Charlotte could be heard before she was seen, and her presence was always known around the school. She had bags of enthusiasm and plenty of energy, and she has gone on to use her positivity and drive to not only row the Atlantic (a feat on its own) but break the world record for the fastest female pair. Moreover, combined with her rowing partner Jess, she has raised money to support Shelter UK and Women’s Aid which is a truly phenomenal feat and one which will truly make a difference! An outstanding recipient of Alumni of the Year!” ■
Want to know more about our Alumni of the Year 2022?
Then read her story in Issue 36 of The Voice . In the meantime, visit alumni.tts.edu.sg for the latest alumni-related news.
Charlotte could be heard before she was seen, and her presence was always known around the school.
” “ Alumni
Mhairi Aluthge-Donna (Assistant Head of Faculty in Business & Economics at the Senior School)
You’ve read about long-time Tanglin teacher Ms Damaris Manser’s story in The Voice issue 35, now read all about her eldest daughter and Tanglin alumna Lydia (Cohort 2007) as she shares her Tanglin story and why she decided to send her sons to her alma mater.
Tell us about your time when you were in Tanglin. I went to Tanglin from Reception till Year 13 (there wasn’t an oncampus nursery at that time, but I went to the ‘feeder’ nursery, Winchester!), so I have really seen the school physically transform over the past few decades. However, I do feel that the core values and quality of teaching have stayed the same. The surrounding area was also much greener and jungle-like when I was at school - as was the case with the rest of Singapore!
How is it different from it today?
The size of the school! Everything seems to have grown since I was there, we used to be able to have whole school assemblies! The scale of the campus was a bit intimidating when we first joined as parents, but it’s amazing to see how well the units are laid out so that each whole year still feels connected, even with so many classes. There was always such a strong sense of community within Tanglin when I was a student, and everyone seemed to know everyone. It’s hard to maintain this as numbers get bigger, but I do like that through groups such as Friends of Tanglin, the TTS Foundation and Class Reps, a real focus is put on keeping the whole school connected. The facilities now are also just amazing, my boys both do gymnastics and to see the new gymnastics hall open with all the equipment and space is fantastic.
What were your most memorable moments back then?
There are so many spanning the 13 years I was there! I have very strong memories of Junior break times playing out by the Banyan Tree in the back field and hunting for grasshoppers. Some other highlights are proudly representing my house, Cameron, during sports days as House Captain, netball and basketball competition trips to KL, hilarious Christmas pantomimes, the Eden Hall and summer fetes, Friday choral in the open-air hall in the old Junior School building (‘You can move a mountain with a song’), the amazing Senior school trips to New Zealand, Perth and Cambodia. Some of the school trips in Junior school are the same as when I went, so I can’t wait for my kids to go on them so we can compare notes!
What was your journey like after Tanglin?
Upon graduating I had a gap year where I did an internship at Ogilvy & Mather’s Redcard subsidiary in Singapore, learning the ins and outs of planning and executing advertising campaigns. This was an amazing opportunity that had been facilitated by another Tanglin parent, and really helped give me a grounding in what life beyond school in the world of work could be. I then did three years as an undergraduate at the University of Leeds,
where I studied English & Sociology, as well as a Masters in English Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London. Following my postgraduate studies, I got married and had my two gorgeous boys while working in various advertising and marketing agencies. Eventually I moved client-side and worked as Marketing Manager for a global company providing laser and special effects for worldwide concert tours, corporate events, and art exhibitions. Alongside this, I built a successful career as an online content creator and blogger through my channel @lydias_layton_life. Now living in Singapore, I continue to work freelance on content creation, as well as being a consultant Marketing Director in the property and hospitality industry.
Who made the biggest difference in your time at school?
I’ve had some great teachers during my time at Tanglin, but I would say that the person who sticks out the most is Dickon Thomas, my Geography teacher (who is still teaching as Head of Humanities at Tanglin). He made every lesson enjoyable and easy to understand, and his humour, honesty, and advice for life beyond school really bridged that gap between student and teacher to gain a lot of respect from us all. His teaching and the school trips he organised helped me gain a much wider worldview beyond just my privileged upbringing in Singapore.
Why did you choose to send your children to Tanglin? How are they doing now?
When we moved to Singapore there really wasn’t a question of where our children should go to school - it was always Tanglin!
I spent my entire childhood growing up at the school, and I’m just so happy that my kids will be able to have the same amazing schooling and cultural experiences that I did. My husband and I were so impressed with the resources that Tanglin has and its attitude not only to academic learning but also nurturing the children to be well-rounded, independent, and conscientious individuals. My mum has also been working as an English teacher at Tanglin for well over a decade, so to have the boys go to the same school where their Grandma works has been really lovely - and made my life much easier when I need help with pick-ups and drop-offs! I also made my best friends for life at Tanglin, and I really hope the same will be the case for my sons.
The boys absolutely love going to Tanglin - there has not been a single day in the past two years since we moved here that they have said they don’t want to go to school. They are especially thrilled by all the different CCAs available that they have never got to do before, such as coding, rock climbing and archery! My older son, Teddy, missed almost all of Year 1 due to being in UK lockdown and moving overseas, so we were a bit concerned about how he would get on with basic reading and writing when he joined Tanglin in Year 2, however he was given so much extra support from the teachers and within a couple of terms had completely caught up with his peers. Both boys have made lots of wonderful friends here, and now the school is the main reason we want to stay in Singapore as long as possible. ■
Thank you, Lydia. We hope that your family continues to make Tanglin your home away from home for generations to come and beyond!
Clockwise: Photos of Lydia in Infant School, Year 3, Infant School, Senior School and Year 5
Green is the new black, and many of our Alumni are out there doing their part for their community. Let’s catch up with them to see what they have been up to.
David Wynn (2004 Cohort) has been working in ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and sustainability consultancy across the UK public and private sectors for 16 years. He joined Greenstone (a sustainability software company) in 2012, helping companies calculate their carbon emissions and become more sustainable businesses from ESG technology. Today, he has risen through the ranks to become the organisation’s Chief Product Officer based in New York.
Leo Vincent (2014 Cohort) just started a new position as a Policy Advisor at a global environmental think tank called E3G,
where he works as a political and parliamentary strategist on clean economy campaigns. For Leo, it’s a dream job of sorts so he is extremely excited to be in this role.
As for Lucy Stephenson (2014 Cohort), she had been working at a carbon forest project company (reforestation for offsetting) before starting a new role in solar energy projects. She moved to Vancouver after Tanglin and did her Bachelor in Business and Environmental Sciences. She moved to Berlin afterward and worked in advertising for a few years, before deciding to do a Master’s in Management and Sustainable Operations in Portugal.
On the other hand, Alexandria Hills (2014 Cohort) is now a qualified childcare educator in Cairns and studying for an advanced diploma in leadership and management to further her studies and knowledge in leading a team. After graduating from Tanglin, she worked in retail for a short while before completing her Advanced Diploma in Fashion Marketing & Management at Raffles Design College in Singapore.
She also gained some experience in hospitality by working in a variety of restaurants and Irish pubs before spending three years working for the Emerald Hill Group at one of their bars called eM by the Marina at Sentosa. After finishing her diploma, Alexandria joined the team full-time and began taking part in cocktail mixology competitions. She said, “I took part in four competitions and came in second place for one of them by recreating the Singapore Sling! It was a very fun, unique, and cool experience. I also took part in beauty pageants and was the SPH Singapore Car Ambassador for 2015 - that was another cool experience and I even had a six-page story written about me in the Straits Times!”
That’s not all. In 2016, Alexandria helped to open Central Perk (FRIENDS Cafe) by taking part in the hiring process, ordering supplies, and observing the renovations. She also created six cocktails based on characters from FRIENDS, learned more about coffee, and picked up barista knowledge. In 2018, Alexandria packed up her life in Singapore and moved to Gold Coast in Australia on a working holiday visa. After six months, she decided to make her stay permanent and now she is living in Far North Queensland, Cairnes - home to the Daintree
rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.
On a similar note, Alice Garnier (Cohort 2014) has also been exploring different career options that included stints in corporate law, consulting, and banking. After she graduated from LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science) in 2017, she took a year-long break in Paris to work in a yarndyeing studio. Now she is living in London. Alice said, “I’ve been working in startups for the last couple of years. I’m currently in a startup called Capsule where I joined as Employee Number Six working in Growth to disrupt the insurance market for startups.”
As for Kalahari Tatham (Cohort 2014), she is currently working as a chiropractor helping people and animals feel their best and live in Australia. She recently changed practices to Browns Plains Chiropractic Centre to work alongside her husband and even told us that she graduated from the New Zealand College of Chiropractic in 2018 with Joshua Fleminganother Tanglin alum who is doing an amazing job practising at Real Health in Auckland, New Zealand.
Last but not least, Matt Kubal (Cohort 2014) has worked in corporate assurance at EY UK for four and a half years, and is now a manager at Evotec SE in their group consolidation and reporting accounting team in Hamburg, Germany. ■
Sounds like our alumni are living their best lives out there! In the meantime, if you have something you’d like to share with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Tanglin Alumni team is always happy to hear from former staff and students!
Clockwise from left: Alexandria Hills, David Wynn, Alice Garnier, Leo Vincent
We dug into the archives and here is what we found in Tanglin’s long history of excellence.
We are sure you enjoyed Senior School’s performance of West Side Story in January, but do you know that this was not the first time the musical was performed at Tanglin? In 2004, the Tanglin community enjoyed a charming performance by a talented cast of Senior students as well.
We have an all-school House System now, but Junior School used to have four Houses named after animals –in Malay no less!
It seemed like only yesterday, but 1999 was the year when we opened the Senior School building and a 25m swimming pool. Now we have an even more awesome pool that’s twice that size in the Centenary Building!
Awalk down memory lane with Mrs Scrimgeour, one of our many esteemed headteachers – she shared how she re-established Tanglin School in Singapore after WW2.
Do you have photos or stories from Tanglin’s rich and long history you want to share with us? Then drop us a note at email@example.com. ■
Our children have finally been rewarded for their patience and perseverance with a full programme of competitive sport. Students across the age range have thrown themselves into a full range of opportunities, with House Sport, interschool leagues, SEASAC and FOBISIA tournaments and overseas trips all resuming. Students have represented the school with distinction, upholding the school’s core values, as well as winning a plethora of trophies and medals, further underlining Tanglin’s place at the top table of school sport across the region.
The Tanglin Merlions, fresh off their Middle School ACSIS triumph, secured the SEASAC Girls Championship by a wide margin, with the team breaking 10 SEASAC records across two days of competition. Seven of our athletes are travelling to Australia in April to compete
in the Australian Age Championships, having hit qualifying times this year.
Our Touch teams completed a clean sweep of ACSIS Division 1 titles, winning the 12&U, 14&U, 16&U, and 19&U leagues, in addition to 16&U and 19&U Pan Pacific tournament wins. Not to be outdone, our rugby teams have racked up the silverware as 16&U FOBISIA Champions, while the 19&U team completed the ACSIS and SEASAC Division 1 double.
A title win for our 19&U Football Boys in the ACSIS league was closely followed by another SEASAC Championship for our girls, their 6th win in seven attempts. Tanglin netball has already registered notable wins at FOBISIA U13 and U18, with our 12&U team winning the ACSIS Division 1 title. At the time of writing, the major tournament and leagues for our senior teams are about to »
47 Tanglin Lifestyle
At Tanglin we aim to nurture, support, and inspire our students to achieve their personal best in Sport and this year we have seen tremendous change across the school with new opportunities, new staff, and new facilities all contributing to a positive and dynamic learning environment. Dave Radcliffe, Director of Sport, tells us more.
commence. Similarly, our Tanglin Lion Gymnasts are about to embark on their competitive season, with our gymnasts continuing to excel as some of the highest-performing school gymnasts in Singapore.
In addition to these traditional strengths, we have been delighted with the performance of our teams in developing sports with fine individual performances in Climbing and Cross Country, as well as ‘personal best’ finishes in boys’ volleyball, basketball, and tennis, each winning the Division 1 Plate in their respective SEASAC competitions.
Central to this sporting success is our commitment to recruiting talented staff who can develop the potential in all children, stretching and challenging those who aspire to excel.
Our new Director of Swimming, Bobby Hurley, has already made a significant impact on the performance of our top
swimmers, blending his expertise as a high-performance coach with his own experience as a world record-holding elite athlete. Our Junior and Middle School swimmers are developing at a pace under Mylene Ong, an Olympic swimmer herself. We are already seeing personal bests and record-breaking times across the programme.
Shuangru Lin has joined us as a full-time Lead Netball Coach, sharing her expertise as a Level 3 coach and former national player. Her extensive knowledge of Singapore Netball has already enriched our programme, offering students the chance to train with the national team and play regular fixtures with the Singapore Sports School.
Nabila Littleford adds further depth to our highly qualified team of gymnastics coaches. Her knowledge as a FIG Level 2 coach, national level judge, and former elite gymnast offers valuable experience when preparing our highperforming gymnasts.
48 Tanglin Lifestyle
In January this year, we were delighted to unveil the Centenary Building and new world-class sporting facilities. The new Aquatic Centre with its 50m pool, and the Gymnastics Centre, have both provided vast upgrades to our existing facilities. We are already seeing the benefits to both programmes with an increase in the number and capacity of sessions offered, and high-quality training which has already yielded some excellent results in competition.
Our new Athletic Development Gym has become a pillar of our sports provision, providing not only Olympic standard equipment for our aspiring athletes to train but also an innovative and creative space for our Infant and Junior children to safely explore fundamental movement skills. The 15m climbing wall looms large as you approach the new entrance to the school and this exciting, perhaps daunting, new facility has already had its first taste of competition with International School Climbing League participants testing themselves on a bespoke ‘speed lane’. With the Cricket Deck on Level 6 scheduled to open in Term 3, our students will continue to benefit from the school’s investment in sport and our community. ■
Clockwise from left: SEASAC Rugby Champs; Our new climbing wall; The Cricket deck in the Centenaary Building; Girls SEASAC football; SEASAC day; Lions Netball Championships
BAGELS for the WIN
If you love bagels, then you may have ordered from Jiababa88 on Instagram. But did you know that the pair of sisters behind the delicious baked goods are actually Tanglin students, Kay (Year 13) and Kat (Year 12)? They were recently featured on CNA as two of four teen entrepreneurs who harnessed the power of social media to launch their business before the age of 20. Everyone is understandably excited for them, so we decided to catch up with Kay and ordered a few bagels in the process.
Tell us a little about yourself.
We joined Tanglin in Year 12 (2021 for Kay and 2022 for Kat). We’ve lived in Singapore for eight years now.
Baking has been our way to relieve stress, so we’ve been doing it prior to the business. We chose not to bake popular pastries like brownies and cookies. Instead, we opted for traditional Taiwanese desserts/ pastries: like castella cake and taro steamed buns. Living away from our home, we like to stay connected with our culture through food. Up till around Year 10, our parents were the ones preparing our favourite Taiwanese food for us. Having learned so much from them, we eventually took over their roles and started baking for the family.
Are bagels easier to work with than other types of baked goods?
Bagels are actually more tedious to make than most types of baked goods. The secret behind the chewy texture of bagels is that the dough is boiled before being sent into the oven. Additionally, each bagel has to be rolled meticulously by hand into its signature smooth, round shape. These extra steps, especially when making larger quantities of bagels, can be time consuming and require lots of care.
What’s the inspiration behind your home-based food business name Jiababa88?
‘Jiababa’ translates to ‘eat full full’ in Hokkien. We chose this because of its connection with our Taiwanese roots and we hope that our customers will always be “full” of happiness.
What are your most popular flavours?
Black sesame and taro are popular flavours. These are flavours that are commonly found in traditional Taiwanese delicacies, and I think our customers like how we incorporate Taiwanese elements into our flavours. Our friends at Tanglin love biscoff and chocolate flavours the most!
How has setting up your business made you better students at school?
We spend around two hours every day making bagels. To make that possible, we need to follow a strict study schedule to make sure we have time after studying to bake. Managing the business has definitely trained us to be more disciplined. On the other hand, the school has supported us a lot in our business. For example, Kat takes Computer Science (CS) and she’s been using those CS skills to build our own website! I take psychology and there’s a part about consumer psychology. I’ve been using knowledge from class like product colour in our business.
What was the biggest challenge to having your own business?
We think the biggest challenge is balancing the business with our own studies and social life. As the founders, we need to fulfil all the responsibilities on our own (e.g. designing IG stories, arranging the logistics and attending to customers individually), so we need to make sure to manage our time well.
We know your success story, but can you share a story about your failures that inspired you to do even better?
We’ve made many mistakes. Examples include forgetting to send an order, baking the wrong flavours and printing 200 care cards with the wrong design. These are just a fraction of the mistakes we’ve made.
Take the first mistake - forgetting to send an order - for example. The angry customer spammed our business Instagram and emphasised that we were ‘too young and irresponsible to run this business’. We were so scared of making more mistakes that we almost considered ending the business. But we also felt the urge to prove that we can do better. From there, we switched from writing orders down in a notebook to using a proper website to streamline the order procedure. Each mistake we make is like the start of another ‘cycle’: making the mistake, feeling discouraged and guilty of not doing better, and then motivated to fix the problem.
Knowing what you know now, how would you advise your fellow students on setting up a business?
We would advise our fellow students not to be afraid to ask for opportunities, for help, for advice. For example, we proposed a collaboration to a local bubble tea shop, and they are very interested in our concept; we’re in the midst of discussions now! This is an example of how we actively seek opportunities.
What are your future plans for the business?
We want to officially register Jiababa with ACRA, and possibly build up a team of bagel bakers. ■
Want to check out the delicious bagels by our enterprising students? Then visit their Instagram handle @Jiababa88 to feast your eyes on their delicious baked goods!
What makes a person decide to stay with an organisation for a long time? We chat with two of our longtime Tanglin staff.
Agnes Lau (30 years)
DEPARTMENTAL ASSISTANT (SENIOR SCHOOL)
Tell us a little about yourself. How and when did you first join Tanglin and what was your first role back then?
Before I joined Tanglin, I was a teacher in a local preschool. Three years into my profession, I decided to upgrade myself and I applied for a job in an international school. I learned a lot in Tanglin as the teaching system was much more versatile compared to our local school. I really enjoyed teaching the children and providing them with guidance and knowledge. After teaching in Infant School for 10 years, I was posted to Senior School as a department assistant to support the teachers. During those days, there were only four classes in each year group. The teachers and support staff were a wonderful bunch to work with and I learned new skills along the way.
What was Tanglin like back then? How is it different from it today?
When I first joined, the nursery classes were in Alexandra Park and it was called Winchester School. In 1996, it moved to Portsdown Road to merge with the Infant School. The Infant building had expanded and it was equipped with better facilities and the playgrounds were upgraded. In the late 90s, email was introduced. At that point of time, this was something new to everyone and we were trained to improve our computer skills. The school library also changed to a scanning system and even the scanning machine was phased out by the photocopy machine. Our school building has been enhanced and improved over the years with more departments and social areas. Within the Senior school itself, my office has been moved several times due to expansion.
Local and overseas school trips were introduced for students to explore in their curriculum. School food changed to a healthier menu and our school has moved completely towards going cashless in cafes and canteen. On top of that, we encouraged sustainability and you can see many recycle bins placed all
over our school. We have also created a Forest School to allow children to explore nature through hands-on learning. Today, students are encouraged to develop their interest and talent in music, arts, and sports through co-curricular programmes and outdoor education. These learning experiences will give them opportunities to hone their leadership and social skills by contributing to communities through CAS. The Senior started off with four Year 7 classes and today we have 12 classes of Year 13 IB and A-Level students.
If you have to name one person who made a difference in your life at Tanglin, who would it be and why?
That person is Jane Rogers, a nursery teacher. Her positive attitude, kind approach, creativity, and talent opened up my perspective on teaching. I grew up in a Chinese family and our culture and traditions are so different. I was brought up believing that there is no room for error but Jane Rogers was a blessing and she taught me that it is human to make mistakes. When I did something wrong, she would always say with a smile, “it’s not the end of the world”. She built my self-confidence and my self-esteem grew over the years. I will always regard her as my mentor because she is someone who makes me believe in myself. I also want to thank Tanglin for taking good care of me by providing a safe and comfortable working environment.
In your opinion, what do you think are Tanglin’s greatest achievements over the years?
Tanglin has strived to meet students’ different learning needs, abilities, and aptitudes over the years. Our educational pathways have catered to students with different strengths and interests, developing each child to his or her fullest potential. Tanglin also provides a rich diversity of learning experiences for our students. LifeSkills have been introduced to help students cultivate qualities such as independence, creativity, and collaboration that are essential in our rapidly changing world. Our school offer education and career guidance to help our IB and A-Level students to discover their interests and strength so as to choose the pathways that allow them to achieve their fullest potential. Tanglin has inculcated in them values such as respect, responsibility, resilience, integrity, care, and harmony, all of which are important for a cohesive, multi-racial, and multicultural community.
What was your proudest moment at Tanglin?
Over the years there were many proud moments in which I was given recognition for my work. But the greatest feat will be the moment I stepped onto the stage and received a bouquet for my 30 years of service. I felt like it was a big accomplishment especially when everyone stood up to cheer for me.
Our educational pathways have catered to students with different strengths and interests, developing each child to his or her fullest potential
” “ »
Sulastri Foo (40 years)
LIBRARY OFFICER (INFANT LIBRARY)
Tell us a little about yourself. How and when did you first join Tanglin?
My paternal grandfather was from Hainan, China and I am Singaporean born and bred. My two sisters and I were mostly raised by my grandmother while my parents worked in the civil service. I attended a Methodist school and was an active member of the Girls’ Brigade. I enjoy sports – particularly long-distance cycling which I did in the past to raise funds for charity – and now try to keep myself fit with gym workouts, badminton, and long walks.
After secretarial school and a short stint in the building construction industry, I applied for an administrative post at a large international school in the Dover area. I was one of two shortlisted applicants but was not offered the job. Instead, the then Deputy Head recommended me to his wife, Veronica Goodban, the Headteacher of Tanglin Junior School, who was looking for a school secretary at the time. I had not heard of Tanglin but I accepted the position. This was in 1982 and, as frequently said, the rest is history.
What was your first role back then?
It was generally giving administrative support for the smooth operation of a typical school day. One of the many duties that I love was to ring the school bell - for the start & end of school, for car children, bus children, wet days, fire drills, etc. There were, of course, times when I would forget, and many a harried teacher at the end of the day would pop his/her head into the office and plead, “Su, please RING the bell!”. I enjoyed that heady sense of responsibility!
I also managed the daily milk distribution and there would be confusion and tears when a child got a strawberry instead of a chocolate one. Just one of many “domestic” issues to sort out daily. It was protocol for teachers on their birthdays to treat all staff to curry puffs so I would order these for morning break from Balmoral Bakery at Sunset Way which still stands to this day!
What was Tanglin like back then? How is it different from it today?
Tanglin in the early 80s was a different school altogether. The Junior School had less than 50 teachers and full student enrolment was below 700. Electronic mail? Messages were handwritten and delivered to teachers´ pigeonholes. Newsletters to parents were banged out on stencils and then
Tanglin Lifestyle 54
Our educational pathways have catered to students with different strengths and interests, developing each child to his or her fullest potential
printed, stapled, counted, and distributed to children. The deafening electric typewriter was mercifully replaced by the bulky word processor with the tall screeching modem, but a technological leap no less. Smartphones? We had our indispensable pagers (for the uninitiated, these were beepers that sent message alerts) as brick-like handphones were only seen in Hong Kong gangster movies.
Portsdown Road then was a “wilderness” compared to what it is today. There were no traffic lights and no buildings taller than the ancient Banyan tree on our school field. Walking to school, one may share a footpath with an occasional ground lizard or grass snake. Once a black cobra encroached on the school grounds and our gardener (Mr Wong, who is now retired) bravely confronted its rearing head with a broomstick and stool. Grey squirrels ran in pairs along the school fences and brilliant blue kingfishers were often sighted near the open canal. MRT? The only available public transport was bus no. 200. As there was an army training camp at the end of Portsdown, the bus was usually packed with national servicemen during the morning commute so one needed to elbow and jostle to board.
What was your proudest moment at Tanglin?
I can’t exactly pinpoint a “proudest moment” although there were many happy times and occasions associated with being a part of the school.
If you have to name one person who made a difference in your life at Tanglin, who would it be and why?
Without any prior work experience in an expatriate community and school environment, I am extremely thankful for the patience, guidance, and encouragement extended to me by Veronica Goodban. She gave me the much-needed confidence and motivation to work well, enjoy the process, and know that my contributions were appreciated.
When and why did you move to the school library?
A love of reading and a curiosity about the operation of a public library prompted me to take a one-year Library Studies course at a local Polytechnic. It was an eye-opener! I had no idea so much needed to happen before a book was eventually placed on the shelf for borrowing. When a Library Officer position became available in the Senior School library in 2003, I decided to make a (very brave) transition. After having been in a senior management support role for 20-odd years, I thought it would be interesting to be immersed in a learning and teaching environment and to have a closer interaction with children and teachers. It had proven to be a challenging and steep learning curve but there were no regrets and I still enjoy what I do over the years (Infant Library 2015 – present).
In your opinion, what do you think are Tanglin’s greatest achievements over the years?
When Mrs Goodban retired in 1994 after 12 years, Mr Ronald Stones, Head of The British International School in Jakarta, took over the helm at Tanglin. During his leadership, and during my years as his Personal Assistant, he spearheaded many initiatives as well as the construction of new purpose-built school buildings. It was a proud moment when in recognition of its significant milestones achieved over the years, Tanglin was visited by Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and former British Prime Minister, Mr John Major. Under different leaderships, Tanglin had come a long way to what it is today, with its many accolades. I am sure it will continue to grow and evolve even as it approaches being a grand old centenarian in the not-toodistant future. ■
Anyone who has been on an outdoor education trip at Tanglin will be familiar with Gillian Shaw, Tanglin’s Outdoor Education Manager. What is she like outside her role, what are her plans after she leaves Tanglin at the end of Term 2 and what’s the story with the Forest School ducks? Read on to find out more
56 Tanglin Lifestyle
What’s your Tanglin story?
I joined Tanglin in 2011 having moved to Singapore in 2007. I decided to leave the corporate life a few years before my eldest daughter was born in Scotland. Despite enjoying my earlier career as a Global Account Director in the Telecommunications sector, I wanted to take a break from working full time to concentrate on my daughters’ early years. We were fortunate that with both my daughters enrolled at Tanglin, it made my decision on returning to the workplace with Tanglin an easy one.
How did you transition into becoming an outdoor educator?
My first role in Tanglin was project work and I was tasked with reviewing the Trips office and creating standard operating processes to enable the department to run more efficiently and ensure this was communicated effectively into the three schools. It was a great introduction to the world of Outdoor Education!
What were your proudest moments at Tanglin?
Without doubt, it’s all about the children and how they rise to the challenges we make available to them through the wonderful world of Outdoor Education. Recognising that all children have different levels of capability, I love watching how they overcome some of their inhabitations and fears and thrive on the adrenalin of a challenge. From the simple act of planting seeds in our Forest School, to hopefully one day again being able to prepare to white-water raft down the Ganges, it’s truly fulfilling to help our young people grow beyond what they could have dreamed possible to achieve.
In your opinion, what do you think makes a Person of Tanglin?
For me, this is closely linked back to the origins of Tanglin and Miss Griff. She built an academic institution based on moral integrity, decency, and a basic drive to nurture forward thinkers. She encouraged young people to make a positive contribution to society and above all a willingness to embrace change in a positive and progressive way. These are the qualities of our Tanglin people which we see in practice every day!
FUN FACTS ABOUT DAFFY & DONALD
• They are almost one year old!
• Daffy and Donald are Khaki Campbell hybrids, a common domestic duck species in Asia.
• The ducks eat a daily breakfast of cooked rice, clean water and kangkong. Daffy is laying eggs (approximately one per day) regularly, so she needs extra protein in the form of poultry feed pellets.
• The ducks are an amazing natural compositing system as they turn leftover scraps of food that we feed them into valuable fertiliser. Every week, we bring them
What’s your next step after Tanglin?
Not 100% sure but it will certainly be a relaxing step! I’m heading back to Scotland to spend time with family and start long overdue renovations on our house on the Island of Islay. I am also looking forward to spending more time as a volunteer within British Girlguiding.
What is one fun fact that people don’t know about you?
I used to be a DJ on Radio Airthrey, which combined my love of music with my love of talking! We transmitted from Airthrey castle across the Stirling University campus. We had an internal phone network on campus for students to call in with requests, enter competitions and share their news on air - it was fantastic fun!
Tell us about the ducks at the Forest School!
Donald and Daffy are our beloved wellbeing ducks, who will be turning one in April. They are gentle and friendly ducks who love to forage and are very partial to kang kong and watermelon! They love to quack at any visitors to their enclosure and the children regularly update me on the number of eggs which Daffy has laid. We are looking to incorporate a new area for them to paddle in this term and hopefully the students will continue to help us care for them. Having looked after them since they were ducklings, I am nervous about leaving them and am considering asking our film students to set up a live link for me to ensure I can continue singing their good night song to them from Scotlandit’s “Twinkle Twinkle” in case you are wondering! ■
Sounds fun, Gillian! We will definitely miss you at Tanglin. In the meantime, here are some parting messages from the people you worked with at Tanglin. We wish you all the best in all your future endeavours!
“Gill is a typical tough, no-nonsense Scot… but underneath, she has a heart of gold.”
- Dave Radcliffe, Director of Sport
bags of leaves and plant waste that our contractors collect from the school campus. The ducks then stir these up and use as their bedding. This breaks down the plant waste into useful plant matter that can be recycled and turned into compost!
• We are always in need of friendly volunteers who are willing to come and help feed the ducks during the weekends and school holidays so please let Martin Foakes (Head of Outdoor Education) or Gillian know if you are interested!
“Gill is one of those people who makes things happen and all done with enthusiasm, grace, and a smile! In the past few years, Friends of Tanglin have reached out to Gill, in her capacity as Girl Guides Leader, to support some of our large community events. Each time we have asked for assistance, she has willingly volunteered herself and the young ladies she leads to commit their time and service to help run different elements of the events! Whether it’s running Christmas Fair Carnival Stalls, Raffle or on Gate Duty at our Movie Nights, she has always responded with a can-do approach. Losing key community members like Gill and Parent Class Rep Katy Rodgers can have a massive impact on activities like Girlguiding so please sign up as a volunteer online via www.bgosingapore.com!
- Jenny Aylen, on behalf of the Friends of Tanglin Team
“You have been always inspiring and motivating. Working under your leadership has been a tremendous learning experience for me. I wish you endless happiness and success. Goodbye till we meet again to a great mentor ever!”
- Sara Cardin, Outdoor Education Coordinator
job is not to prepare students for something. Our job is to help students prepare themselves for anything. And the only way to do that is by creating the conditions under which they can flourish.”
- Dylan William, Educationalist & Researcher
One of our strategic themes at Tanglin Trust School is to develop flourishing individuals by nurturing and inspiring every individual, ensuring they feel happy, valued, and successful in achieving their intellectual, spiritual, cultural, social, and physical goals.
The COVID-19 pandemic contributed significantly to the reduction of resilience in people, and many of our young people experienced prolonged periods of isolation, disrupted routines, and uncertainty about the future. The lack of face-to-face interaction with peers and teachers has also impacted some students’ social and emotional development, decreasing resilience.
As a community, we have the power to create an environment that empowers our young people to overcome obstacles and challenges. This is a crucial quality for young people, as they face numerous challenges in their school and personal lives, ranging from academic and peer pressure to physical and emotional changes. Resilience is not a trait that people are born with, but rather a set of skills that can be developed through intentional efforts. Tanglin Trust School plays a critical role in helping young people develop resilience, as they are an integral part of a child’s daily life and have a lasting impact on their development.
NURTURING RESILIENCE THROUGH CURRICULUM…
Our curriculum is designed to develop resilience in its young people by providing opportunities for problemsolving and decision-making that empower students to become critical thinkers and proactive problem solvers. This is achieved through handson learning experiences and active engagement in discussions and debates. By learning to approach problems in a structured and effective manner, students will be better equipped to handle stress and adversity in the future.
Outdoor Education trips are back! These excursions are an incredibly valuable way to help children build resilience and prepare them for all life’s challenges. With activities like camping, hiking, and team-building challenges, young people experience new tasks and adventures that can help build their self-confidence and resilience. These activities push students to step outside their comfort
zones and exceed their perceived limits, developing a growth mindset and persevering through adversity.
Encouraging your child to participate in the varied co-curricular programme at Tanglin Trust School also helps to build effective working relationships with teachers and gives opportunities for children to work together with peers, communicate effectively, develop initiative, provide leadership experiences, and solve problems in new situations. All of which are necessary for personal growth and success. The new set of eight houses which stretch across the 3 – 18 age range has given the school a new set of groups that allow for the integration of students across year groups. They also present a prism through which intra-school competitions can be held in ‘low-stakes’ environments that promote winning with humility and losing with grace. In this regard, they are an excellent forum for the building and testing of resilience in students in an environment without the normal pressures faced by students; from the selection to represent your house to the finals of a competition, there are
opportunities for resilience to be built in a safe and supportive environment.
The LifeSkills curriculum develops resilience by teaching coping skills and stress management techniques. This is achieved through mindfulness, meditation, and yoga classes, as well as teaching self-care skills and providing resources for students to access when they are feeling overwhelmed. By teaching young people how to manage stress, we can help them develop the resilience they need to handle challenging situations.
AND ASSUMING RESPONSIBILITIES
Parents and carers can help develop resilience in their children by assigning age-appropriate responsibilities. These provide children valuable life skills such as accountability, independence, and problem-solving. By allowing children to take on challenging yet achievable tasks, parents can help their children develop a growth mindset and the ability to persevere through challenges. However, determining which tasks are appropriate for each age group can take time and effort. ■
THE FOLLOWING AGE-APPROPRIATE GUIDELINES BELOW CAN BE ADAPTED TO SUIT YOUR CHILD
Tasks for children ages 8 to 9
Any of the above, plus:
• Load/unload the dishwasher.
• Put away groceries.
• Vacuum / mop the floor.
• Help make dinner.
• Make their own snacks.
• Clean the table after meals.
Tasks for children ages 2 to 3
• Put toys away.
• Fill the pet’s food dish.
• Put clothes in the laundry basket.
• Wipe up spills and dust.
• Pile books and magazines neatly.
Tasks for children ages 4 to 5
Any of the above, plus:
• Make their bed.
• Empty wastebaskets.
• Bring in the mail or newspaper.
• Water plants or pull weeds, if you have a garden!
• Use a hand-held vacuum to pick up crumbs.
• Unload utensils from the dishwasher.
• Wash plastic dishes at the sink.
• Pour their own bowl of cereal.
Tasks for children ages 6 to 7
Any of the above, plus:
• Sort the laundry.
• Sweep the floors.
• Set and clear the table.
• Help make and packed lunch.
• Keep bedroom tidy.
• Put away their own laundry.
• Make their own breakfast.
• Peel the vegetables.
• Prepare simple foods, such as toast, for the whole family.
• Take the family pet for a walk.
Tasks for children ages 10 to 12
Any of the above, plus:
• Clean bathroom.
• Wash windows.
• Wash their bike/family car.
• Cook a simple meal with supervision.
• Iron clothes.
• Baby-sit younger siblings (with an adult in the home).
• Clean the kitchen.
• Change their bed sheets.
Tasks for children ages 12 and above
Any of the above, plus:
• Cook meals for the whole family.
• Baby-sit younger siblings.
• Earn spending money by babysitting or other jobs.
• Budgeting their own spending.
Created over 30 years ago, the Virtues Project has worldwide acclaim and is used in a variety of settings. Our School Counsellors have been offering a Virtues Parenting Course to Tanglin parents since 2009 but what benefits does it have? We find out more from Claire Holmes, Head of School Counselling at Tanglin.
Hundreds of Tanglin parents have attended the 10-hour Virtues Project programme, which is spread out over four weeks. Although the course is fastpaced, it’s delivered in a dynamic and engaging way to allow time for debate and reflection. The course highlights a list of 52 Virtues that we all innately have from the day we were born. Our role as parents is to acknowledge and awaken these Virtues in our children and ourselves. There is much emphasis placed on the idea that it’s not just our children learning and growing but parents too.
One of the delightful aspects of the course is the connection fostered among the participants. There is a vibrant Virtues Parenting community with parents who choose to continue their virtues journey post-course. Some groups of parents still meet years later. Refreshers courses are also delivered by our School Counselling team. Let’s hear from Rachel McLean, a recent participant from the last round of the programme and find out about her experience of the course.
What inspired you to sign up for the course?
A friend was going, and I decided to sign up. My kids are in Infant and Senior School. I thought it might be good to get some ideas for both ages.
What was the most interesting discovery you made during the course?
The approach is so simple yet incredibly effective. Acknowledging Virtues can
FIVE STRATEGIES OF THE VIRTUES PROJECT
The course explores five strategies and links them to evidenced-based parenting strategies using real-life examples and scenarios. The five strategies help set the scene during our sessions:
#1 Speak the Language of the Virtues
Participants learn how to use Virtues in their dialogue by exploring the power of replacing shaming with naming virtues.
#2: Recognise Teachable Moments
Participants engage with the idea of seeing challenges (teachable moments) within themselves and their children as opportunities for growth.
#3: Set Clear Boundaries
Participants look at how to establish clear, consistent, educative boundaries to keep children safe and understand what is right.
#4: Honour the Spirit
This session is about recognising and celebrating what makes each member of the family unique and special.
Participants are taught the skill of companioning - being deeply present, hearing their children’s struggles, and helping them to find their own solutions.
have such a positive impact on our kids’ wellbeing and their receptiveness to showing positive behaviour. When you practise the Virtues, you can definitely see a difference where your own stress levels reduce and your kid’s behaviour improves.
What strategies have you kept alive after the course?
I try to catch my kids doing something right and name the Virtue to encourage that behaviour. I am also mindful to ask ‘what / how / when…?’ questions rather than ‘why’. This prevents me from getting sucked into my child’s problem, and helps them feel calm and in control quicker. I learned that ‘less is more,’ to feel comfortable in silence so that my
kids are more likely to share. This has helped prevent me from jumping in with solutions. We now have mealtime rules, because I realised that I hadn’t properly outlined the behaviour that is expected. We all wrote the rules together as a family and they are for everyone. It makes for a more peaceful and less chaotic mealtime. During the course, we made close friendships and found the training so valuable that we meet up about once a month to compare stories of what works and what doesn’t. ■
Tanglin has a vibrant ParentWise programme, so do check out In Touch for upcoming ParentWise presentations and join our Virtues Parenting community for its next session.
Tanglin Lifestyle 60
Clockwise from the top left photo: Reception Sport Day; Year 5 residential trip; IB art; Year 10 Krabi trip
95 Portsdown Road, Singapore 139299 www.tts.edu.sg Tel: 6778 0771 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org CPE Registration No.: 196100114C CPE Registration Period: 7 June 2017 to 6 June 2023 Ready for the next challenge: James M, Jamie A, Oscar F at FOBISIA Climbing 2023