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National Schools Literature Festival 2018

21 July 2018 saw forty Crescentians from Secondary One to Four participating in the National Schools Literature Festival. The National Schools Literature Festival (NSLF) is the biggest literary festival for students in Singapore and it has provided a powerful platform to develop students’ passion and love for literature. Our school participated in various events: Choral Reading and Book Trailer for the lower secondary, and Debates for the Unseen and Set Texts for the upper secondary. 

This year being my second time participating in NSLF, I was thankful for the opportunity once again to apply my knowledge of the text while at the same time gaining more knowledge from the various perspectives shared by others about the characters and themes, stretching my horizons as my fellow teammates and I prepared for the set text debate. This year, taking part in the set text debate only further reinforced what I had realised last year: that Literature allows for multiple interpretations of an issue. 

Overall, it has been an extremely enjoyable and fruitful experience not only because my team won but also because we learnt so much more about Literature outside the classroom context from participating in it and from our interactions with the participants from the other schools.

Reported by: Siow Hui Min (4C1)

YMCA Plain English Speaking Award (PESA) 2018

Speaking in plain English is the most effective form of communication, as a powerful message can be conveyed in a manner that is easily understood by others. This is just one of the many things I learnt from my participation in the Plain English Speaking Award (PESA) 2018, organised by the YMCA of Singapore. As a semi-finalist, I took part in one of YMCA’s key community programmes, Y Spring Clean, in order to prepare for the semi-finals. This is in line with PESA’s objectives, which is to encourage good spoken English, as well as to foster a strong sense of community service amongst participants. 
During the Y Spring Clean activity, we were tasked to clean the one-room flat of an elderly resident. What was most memorable for me were the stories and life lessons that the elderly resident we were assigned to so openly shared with us after we were done cleaning her house. We learnt that she knows how to speak seven different languages and that she loves to save up and travel the world on her own. She also told us about how she is satisfied with how she has lived her life and she taught us that we should love our enemies and not earn curses from them. I decided to use these lessons as the focal point of my speech. 

Despite the semi-finals being held during the period of the preliminary examinations, I put in my best for both the prepared speech and impromptu speech rounds. Through this experience, I learnt many things, such as how to think on my feet during the impromptu speech round, and how to improve my speech delivery. Through PESA, I was able to hone my public speaking skills and build up confidence, and cultivate meaningful values through community service. I also forged new friendships with the other competitors. Lastly, I would like to express my gratitude towards the school for giving me the opportunity to participate in this competition. I would also like to thank my English teacher, Mr Richard Koh, as well as the English Department for their guidance and support throughout the various rounds. I do hope to participate in more public speaking events in the future, as well as to take part in community-involvement projects, such as the Y Spring Clean, in my own time.

Reported by Kamalini Krishnamoorthy 4S3