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                   TOTAL DEFENCE DAY

Content It was on a Tuesday, 10 February 2015, that Crescent Girls’ School commemorated Total Defence Day — the day in which the British surrendered to the Japanese in 1942. We began the day with the parade of the various uniformed groups and our Principal delivered a speech that reminded us of the historical significance of this event and that Singapore is our home and worth defending.     This year, Total Defence Day was commemorated with a hands-on approach along the lines of the theme of “The Strength of our Nation”. The CrezAmbassadors collaborated with the NE Committee teachers to coordinate the assembly programme. A ‘bomb threat’ video was played and the entire student cohort had to ‘evacuate’ to our ‘bomb shelters’ (school auditorium and ISH). There, we had the students working in 5 groups within each class, with each group having to work on a separate activity/team building game. Once completed, each group would get a ‘survivor token’ and once all 5 tokens were collected, the class could get their tokens exchanged for a piece of jigsaw puzzle. At each ‘bomb shelter’, the 14 classes would need to work together to use their puzzle pieces to solve the jigsaw. Once done, they would be able to decode a pictorial message related to the Total Defence Day theme and ‘defuse’ the bombs successfully in order to exit the ‘bomb shelter’. Basically, we had 5 stations which worked together to solve their activities or games..   Overall, the activities held this year inspired students to work together towards a common vision and goal, encouraging and helping each other along the way to complete the puzzles as 2 levels together to work towards their ‘freedom’. The students learnt that in order to contribute to Total Defence, they need to harness the strength that is in all of us. It was indeed an interesting experience and we cannot wait for what next year has to bring!  

 Reported by:   Lakshmi Suresh (4G3) and Rachel Ow (3S3)

                 Computer Club – N.E.Mation 9

      N.E.mation is an annual nationwide competition that pits students from different schools against each other in a battle to come up with the most artful and moving short film related to National Education.

2014 saw the 9th edition of NEmation in which 484 teams participated. Our team, AlphaCrescent was one of the top 100 teams selected after the preliminary round. We then had to undergo a crash course on national education topics, as well as storyboarding techniques and presentation skills to pitch our ideas in 3 intensive rounds of elimination over 4 days.

With encouragement and guidance from our trainers and teachers in-charge, we managed to make it to the Top 10! Our storyline on how Singapore’s pioneers have paved the way for us all by laying “stepping stones” for us to get to where we are today won the hearts of the judges!

Over the year-end holidays, we spent three weeks working on actually producing our animation, which uses the “clay-mation” technique to bring our story to life. To produce our one-minute clip, we made almost a thousand screenshots of our clay figures layered on top of hand-drawn backgrounds. Although it was hard work, we were extremely proud of our achievements. In January 2015 through February, our animation clip, along with those of our Top 10 counterparts, were screened on national television and Golden Village cinemas. Our parents also shared in our joy of seeing our masterpiece being screened to all Singaporeans.

On 15 February 2015, at a gala event in Golden Village VivoCity, the top three winners were announced. Although we were not in the top three this year, we were presented with the Canon Choice Awards an award specially created for us.

Looking back at N.E.Mation 9, we felt that we have learnt to believe in ourselves and the importance of perseverance. Even though a goal seems impossible, we must aim high and work hard to achieve it. Our experience in N.E.Mation 9 only serves to motivate us to work even harder with the rest of our club members to take part in N.E.Mation 10 this year!

Reported by Dhirana Sundaram (3G3), Radhakrishnan Suwetha(2C1), Senguttuvan Krishnapriya(2C1) and Janarthanan Sri Sanjana (2G1)

Outward Bound Singapore

Excitement, reluctance and anxiety. These are just a few of the vibrant mix of emotions that washed over the Secondary 3 cohort of Crescent Girls’ School as they lugged their bulky backpacks and made their way towards the buses, all set for departure. Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) is a renowned outdoor adventure course and it was finally our turn. Many of our seniors had waxed lyrical about the program and we were very enthusiastic about experiencing it first-hand. It was not until we boarded the ferries heading to Pulau-Ubin that the 4-day journey officially started and we were truly ‘Outward Bound’.

 Upon arrival at our respective OBS campsites, we split up into our watches and were quickly introduced to our watch mates and instructors through a series of interactive games. Team goals and guidelines were established and we enjoyed our first lunch as a watch. Thereafter, our zealous and proactive instructors led us to our equipment area where we learnt how to pitch a tent and prepare a simple outdoor meal. By the time we had finished washing up our kitchen equipment and bathed, it was time for us to sleep in our tents and recharge ourselves for the following day. It was rather warm and stuffy but with the company of our watch mates, we made it through the first night.

 Our second day we learnt how to belay as well as do high element courses. Most of us were panic-stricken and overwhelmed with anxiety when dealing with sky-high altitudes but when the familiar faces of our teachers and principals cheered us on and encouraged us to keep going, we came to realize how much we missed school and were motivated to finish the course. After  the high elements course came to an end, it was time for our watches to pack and prepare our bags and necessities for the land expedition. The journey was exhausting as we trudged through Pulau Ubin's different landscapes while carrying cumbersome backpacks, but the outcome was definitely worth it. With everyone carrying a part of the watch's belongings like tents, equipment and food, it was like shouldering a small part of the group’s burden and everyone felt a sense of unity and belonging. Through the constant cheering and support from our watch mates we finally reached our respective destinations with a newfound sense of pride and team spirit.

The campsites were comparable to the wilderness and there wasn't even a proper toilet! We quickly pitched our tents and had our dinner. We took a 'powder bath' before having a short briefing on the next day's activities and then fell into deep sleep out of sheer fatigue. Some of us had to wake up at certain unearthly hours for sentry duty so as to ensure that no intruders came to the camp site, thus serving as security for the campers.

For our sea expedition back to the main campsite, we were taught some basic kayaking skills including capsize drills, which many of us found to be either acutely scary or very refreshing. The sea expedition leaders led the watches through a 7-hour journey around the island and back to the main campsite. There were times when our arms were numb and we felt like drifting off into the sea, but we made it through the treacherous waves, carrying the same rhythm in our strokes as the same spirit in our souls. Upon arrival, all wet and dirty, we spent the next 2 hours cleaning and keeping the kayaks before proceeding to shower and then to cook our food. The instructors surprised us with a celebration dinner to celebrate the last night with our watches. Knowing that it was the last night we were going to be together as a watch, we started to appreciate and treasure the times we spent together.

The final day was a very sad day as we had to separate from our watches and head back to Singapore. We packed our bags and headed for the jetty. As we were on the ferry back to Singapore, the atmosphere in the ferry was silent and we were reluctant to leave OBS. 

When we reached Singapore, we started to hear our friends say “I’m already missing the water that smells like swimming pool water,” and “I don’t want to leave OBS!” Nevertheless, we were going to see each other in school in a few days’ time, where life would be back to be normal but the friendships we forged will never be forgotten.

Reported by Gek Chi and Faith (Bronte Publicity)

m-Learning Parents’ Seminar @Crescent  

The Crescent m-Learning Parents’ Seminar, held on 6 February, kick-started with an interaction session between parents/guardians and Form Teachers. This was followed by our principal, Mrs Tan Chen Kee’s address on the m-Learning @Crescent Programme where she highlighted important skills taught in Crescent such as the 21st century competencies as well as character development programmes like Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) and Values-in-Action (ViA). In mentioning how Crescent would help students to adapt to secondary school life, she stressed the importance for students to learn to be independent.

Mrs Tan next introduced the m-Learning Programme of Crescent to the parents, highlighting the purposeful and pervasive attributes of the programme in enhancing the learning of Crescentians through the use of online platforms including Google Drive, Students’ Repository, Spectrum, Chronos and our very own Crescent email. These will help develop students’ IT skills, which is one of the 21st Century competencies developed in Crescent. Mrs Tan wrapped up her speech with a video clip which highlighted the ways in which the m-Learning programme at Crescent has benefitted Crescentians

The programme ended with the Student Showcase on the innovative use of ICT in their learning. Students from Sec 2 and 3 shared how using personal learning devices have enhanced their learning in the Humanities, Communicative Arts, Science and Lower Secondary Computer Education Programme through collaboration and the application of IT skills in using the Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Students also demonstrated how they accessed online activities on Spectrum and the retrieval of notes and papers through Crescent’s very own online portal Student’s Repository, not to mention how homework and assignments are also managed on Chronos, allowing Crescentians to have better time management.

It was a long day for many of us, but nonetheless it was surely an insightful night for the parents as to what m-Learning @Crescent is all about.

Reported by Adeline Chau

37th International C. B. Paul Science Quiz 2015

Ten Secondary 4 students represented Crescent Girls' School in the 37th International C. B. Paul Science Quiz 2015 organised by ACJC Science & Mathematics Council. We were up against many participants from many other schools from all over Singapore. There were two rounds to this quiz. The first was a written round, in which the top 40% are chosen as finalists for the final written round. Both written rounds consisted only of Multiple Choice Questions. Only the top 4 participants from the top 4 schools entered the Question and Answer round to be crowned the champion of this competition.

In order to give us an edge over the other participants, Ms Yuen, our teacher-in-charge not only ensured that we had a strong foundation for the subjects, she also stretched us further by making us look into related content outside of our syllabus. The lessons deepened our understanding of the subjects and at the same time, sparked our interest for the subjects.

This competition has developed in me a new found interest for science and mathematics as I realised that many topics are very interesting and that they can be related to one another in many ways. I have now become more motivated to learn more about them and see how they can be applied in our everyday lives. This competition has also helped to hone my 21st Century Competencies in the areas of critical and inventive thinking, as well as being able to make relevant links between the various topics from the different subjects. This is one truly memorable experience.

Reported by Tan Shing Yi (4G2)