Exam Week Experience

The past week was buzzing with life on campus, especially amongst us ninth graders as it was finally time for us to put on paper, all we had learnt from the past year.

All the teachers had told us not to worry, and to help us, had provided the students with resources and work to do at home to better understand the concepts they were struggling with.

However, there was still little stress from the teacher’s side too as expectations were generally high and workload outside exams were not very reduced. The parental unit was also building up the stress as there support mainly lied towards the academics they wanted me to do best in. They were a little oblivious to some of the other subjects, which were a little harder and expected me to study for Maths and Science continuously.

I tried to manage the workload and as advised by the teachers, had created a schedule for the subjects and topics I needed to study, when and for how long with what resources. I tried to be as specific as I could be on the schedule so I could apply it better with my actual studying schedule.

I had to adapt it here and there, adding a few more hours onto topics I was having a little problem in grasping, taking away a few hours in order to fit in family-related events or other unescapable formalities.

The exam week, in general, was more so an experience for me than a finalised event which would determine my grade, but it didn’t get my attention away from the final percentage I got on all the papers. The final results allowed me to reflect on my studying techniques and made me rethink, especially on the timing I should give to each of my subjects.

I think that personally, I really needed to give more time to prepare for Chinese as I feel I don’t learn much from my teacher and need to do more questions and writing exercises outside school time, in order to achieve a better outcome on my exams and tests. This result may also just influence my parents into getting me a tuition teacher for certain subjects I am struggling with.

I think that at the end of the day, the exam week was a way of preparation and a practice for what is to come in the future for all o us, and also helps us get less nervous about the actual IGCSE examination and the mocks as well.

Overall, I am somewhat satisfied with my grades and scores I got from the internals, however, I would like to put in more effort next time in understanding concepts or topics I am not comfortable with.

Hong Kong Expedition (NYAA)

Challenging would be too undermining of a word to describe the journey NYAA pushed me to pursue. This journey was one which created everlasting memories, of the good, as of the bad. Of course, where there was the view from the ‘mountains’ we climbed, the rewarding moments of finally reaching a campsite after a long day, and other rewards, there came the sweat, anger and even tears throughout the trip.

It wasn’t something I appreciated at the moment, but am grateful for regardless as it made me into a better person. From the internal conflicts we all faced, to those we said out loud, it brought us together and pushed us apart but as a group, we stuck together and learnt to overcome these obstacles. There was a time once, before the first day itself where the group decided to sit and have a chat, to talk about our concerns, our expectations and personal goals. It was a private, only 8 member discussion from which we pushed away other friends and members which would have seemed rude but nevertheless something we needed in order for us to work together, better. The conversation generally was going well, some distractions here and there but nothing you wouldn’t expect from a group of lost teenagers. But tension soon started rising, and unlike a spark which set out all wild, I could see where the conversation was going. We started to become louder, wanting to be heard, less so listening which was the main point of the talk itself. Then out of nowhere, someone recalled something a member of the group had once said. This something wasn’t the politest or even close to meaningful enough to say. It resulted in one or two tearing down, while the others had to call the teachers for help before the beginning of the actual trip.

It all happened in moments, in the middle of the night, before our actual trek. I was mildly shocked at this fact but believed that I could keep it together for us all. I would try hard to help everyone. I was somehow very motivated, hopeful even which was strange, even for me. I tried my best by sharing my snacks, and sense of humour with the others. It definitely sort of helped. During the day, we all became better in keeping the situation under control. It was probably because they wanted to support those – mainly me – who wasn’t very physically fit or were sick during the trekking.

It was an incredibly thoughtful thing for my group to do on their part, and in return, it did make me feel so much better, physically and emotionally. One of the group members offered to switch bags with me, his being lighter whilst mine was not packed very well and therefore much heavier. It made me realise, that I could and should try to do better on my part in ways I can. This motivated in helping the other members by doing simple things, like cooking for them or giving them water during the hike to Shark Peak and even helping them do a successful bottle toss. It made me into a bigger person really, the actions of these people.

It also helped me grow strong, physically. Before, I never could have imagined being able to hike and trek for such long hours in such inclined locations. I may not be able to lift more than fifteen kilos of weight, but I definitely can work longer and harder with these weights. My stamina has definitely improved, and this is incredibly beneficial for my overall physical health.

Not to mention, that this trip also made me reconsider my packing techniques. I think I am left with much to think about my own skills.

Another one of my skills I was often loud about was being able to love and share space with animals. Boy was I wrong! Just throw in a wild boar, food going missing, and someone around you breaking down because of it, to bring your beliefs crumbling down. The key though as I have learnt now is: food and sleep. As simple as that, and you solve more than half the problems. This wild experience definitely brought me back to reality to make me re-evaluate everything I knew about myself, but more so taught me that there is not much one can do but let someone else be, and just stay as a presence there as a sort of support. If this person doesn’t want help, there is nothing you can do but be there anyway. I realised that it wasn’t my fault, or theirs even. It was just in human nature, and sometimes you have to let nature be.

The NYAA Expedition to Hong Kong taught me much more than I initially realised, even during the trip I never truly considered all that happened, and merely let the thought go. But what is there to learn if you do and forget? I think that reflecting on this expedition in itself is a skill which I have developed being a part of NYAA, which I will take onto helping other aspects of my life.


  • Terminal 3 Departures Changi Airport, Singapore @ 7 am SGT, Friday 30th March 2018

  • DAY 1 to DAY 3

  • Terminal 3 Arrivals Hall Changi Airport, Singapore @ 7 pm SGT, Tuesday 3rd April 2018

My Top 5 Strengths (viacharacter.org)


An Analysis…

  1. Humour
  2. Kindness
  3. Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence
  4. Teamwork
  5. Perseverance

Humour – This is mainly evident in my friend circle where I play a role of a clown and joke around lots, however, this is an aspect which I am less open within my classes and in front of my teachers as I find the comfort of this jolliness with just a few people.

Kindness – I have been trying to work more and more on this, especially after learning and working with some new people who have taught me to be kinder in their own ways and have adapted their manners, and overall become a genuine person who enjoys helping those around me.

Appreciation of beauty and excellence – I think NYAA has really helped me in developing this aspect as I am more open and appreciating of the beauty around me. I have developed this like during training sessions where I found the many different views of Singapore to be so much more beautiful than the cityscape that I am so used to.

Teamwork – This is an aspect which I thoroughly enjoy as I take interest in working with people I am not familiar with, so I can familiar and meet new people but also because it is a fun alternative than to working by yourself to accomplish a common goal shared with everyone else.

Perseverance – This is something which is less seen by others around me, but mainly can be shown through the effort I put into something I am passionate about or something I really care about. The effort I put in includes the increasing contributions in class as well as asking questions when I am not very sure of a certain topic.

Celebrating Women Enrichment and Rights (Thursday, March 8th 2018)

The phrase ‘commitment to care’ can have several meanings. For me, it means that I am trying to work for a cause which I am passionate about and want to see further development in the field. It means that I am willing to cooperate with the others around me to learn and share the information I have gotten from the coming events.

From the three upcoming events, I am most interested in International Women’s Day PRESS FOR PROGRESS which is an event being initiated by the Girls Action League which is an awareness program to empower gender equality and take action upon it depending on what you want to do support gender parity. I personally took action when I pressed for challenging stereotypes and bias to fight in my own way for equality and to stop unjust stereotypes which impact women on a regular basis.

This year for International Women’s Day, I dressed in a navy blue, velvet sweatshirt which was striped in a red line with the words “CHALLENGE” burning white in the middle and back. It was accompanied with shorts and sneakers. This was an outfit which I very carefully picked up, thinking that it carried meaning and was something real. Women, everywhere, everyday face challenges because of their gender, the stereotypes, the people who believe in such discrimination. They face these challenges and overcome them, and there is only learning which can take place and maybe perhaps a click for change.

During the focus weeks, I particularly found interest in learning about the service which started in our own schools, GAL – Girl’s Action League. I found it a group which I could connect to and would definitely choose to join it in the coming years because I take interest and am passionate to support this large community in any way I can. I also find the activities the group has planned to be enriching and informative, along with it being mainly for spreading awareness.

From this particular focus day, I was really encouraged to make a change and tried to make a short clip sharing my thoughts and ideas on this global issue. It was about how women’s rights are not always considered to be human’s rights and how this is wrong. I mainly used gifs of famous women who have been working to support this rights movement to create this video clip.

This is a topic which I believe should be added to the unit on Commitment to Care as it is a global political and social phenomena which carries so much misinformation and doubts which need to be cleared. This week, I have tried to be as supportive of women behaviour as I can. From my usually jumpy but quiet, masculine but feminine personality, I have tried to bring to light that I am a woman of choice and no stereotype can define me or my actions. I am my own person and can do what I want without stereotypes affecting me. I am extremely grateful for this, just disappointed that not all women in this age aren’t allowed this basic right.

Below you can find a short clip that I made on my understanding and take on the issue. 

A Mentor’s Questions

1. Moving from Grade 8 to Grade 9, what qualities have you gained or improve upon?

I think that overall I have definitely improved and gained skills which I never had in Grade 8 and have become more collaborative and accepting of those around me. I have definitely developed in being co-operative with what I am asked to work with and enjoy doing so in a genuine manner. This can be seen from my growing participation in different classes and working well with those who I am not familiar with. I think that this needs to be further developed with time, but I am working on it and I think most of my teachers can agree with this as well.

2. Your contributions to PSE sessions?

 I had initially supported the PSE sessions when I used to share my thoughts in discussions, but after I tried to support by leading a certain PSE session which was based off healthy relationships and how to know if the relationship is healthy or not very. I like contributing to this community because I think it is somewhat essential for students to be participating and learning about the life skills which most schools don’t offer in such an in-depth manner.

3. What is the highlight or your most proud achievement so far in Grade 9?

 I think that my proudest moment was when I had received my Term 1 reports and saw that I got a 7 in Enterprise which I initially thought I never deserved, however by discussing this with my parents and teacher, I thought that I underestimated myself too much. After finding this out, I never stopped putting in the work which I had been putting in and think that my effort has been consistent throughout.

4. LIST the activities that you have been involved with in school. What learning or experience were you able to take from your involvement with this activity?

  • Drums Grade 1

I think that I really developed my playing and this is evident as I am able to understand different drum notes and am able to play all drums in the drum kit. This has been an improvement from the last year where I stuck to just the three main drum, the snare, the base and high-hat.

  • Table tennis

This activity gave me a chance to really improve my table tennis playing from last year. I have been consistently playing this sport since last year, however, I have had previous experience as I grew up playing this sport. This year, the activity is giving me a chance to play in a more competitive manner and I think this is something important for me to learn and grow into because it is something I take interest in and may want to pursue in the future.

  • Yoga

I had initially signed up for this activity thinking that I could fulfil my requirements for NYAA (see below) but for the first two seasons that I participated in the service, I was able to learn so much about peace, bodily and mentally and it brought me health and goodness to the point where I was physically relaxed when I was studying over an important test or assignment. However, I quit the activity after the completion of Season 2 because I had another activity which was of higher priority, which in this case was NYAA.

  • PAW

I have been continuing this service since the Middle School days and plan to continue so as it is one which I am very attached to. So far into Grade 9, I think that much has changed as now students are really in charge of the structure and assembling of the service. This gives me a chance to speak about my own thoughts and worries and contribute in a more physical manner.

  • Lakeside Reading Service

This service is one which I also have been continuing since the Middle School years as I used to participate in Reading Buddies before too and was very passionate about it because I personally love reading and writing and this service really brought out my light as I was able to work with what I love and for a better cause. And by having personal experience with my younger sibling, I am able to incorporate this into the service to make the time I spend with the children, enjoyable as well as informative.

  • Writing Soc

I think that out of all the activities I had taken up, this was one which was the most unexpected and one which didn’t quite meet my expectations. I had originally thought that this service would offer me time to write, which as mentioned before I enjoy but due to school work and other priorities, I am not able to continue this as much as I want in my daily life. The session is mainly focused on re-learning aspects of creative writing which doesn’t really seem to help me personally but seems as just something which has to be done. This, however, does inform me on how this activity could improve, and I will try to relay my thoughts to the student leaders as constructive feedback to better help the students in achieving what they want with their writing.

  • NYAA

This is one of the activities which I generally say that I regret taking, however, it is something I truly appreciate being in my life. It keeps my activities, services, skills, sports and social life on track, giving me an opportunity to improve what I already have and to create the skills that I don’t. NYAA is an activity which mainly takes up the most of my time, but I do not mind this and quite frankly enjoy it as it gives me an opportunity to absorb the physical and practical skills which others may not have learnt. It is quite frankly enjoyable, that is when I am actually able to think about it.

NYAA Training Weekend 1 + Kit List – Reflection

NYAA Training Weekend 1 – Reflection

I had reached the NYAA Training prep class at exactly 4:32 pm. The large rucksack, organised and unnecessarily so, hugged off my back and I didn’t do much to adjust it. I was too jumpy, not really in an excited way but still in the way that adrenaline was pumping hard in me. I dropped my bag at a table and head over to the group of six boys and a girl. I knew them all by their names, and that worked well with me. My friend, Yeji followed soon after and we were there as a group. Eight in total. A seemingly large but nice group, but one which I didn’t think would work well. General observations taught me that most were in the last ‘core’ in PE. How were we going to get through 40km of uphill and downhill trails? I had no idea. I did, however, know that our constant communication over the last few days before the Training Weekend, had got us somewhat organised and closer as a group. This was an observation which helped us on the next day. During the first night, we discussed the route for the next day, figured how to set up a tent and cooked a decent dinner, we seemed to understand that the trip required a lot of support from one another. Though I didn’t realise this first hand until the next day.

The trek from W hotel in Sentosa, back to UWCSEA, Dover was a long trip where we all seemed to hate on each other because of the pain on our backs from all the unusual weights, and the pinch in our feet, as each step made a stop in the sensation of my feet. As a group, we were no longer connected, no longer together as some walked too far ahead while others fell too behind. There was no controlling in each others pace, as no amount of shouting could get this sorted out. In the end, we redistributed the weights. It was one out of many ways of sorting out the problem, but we didn’t realise this. When we reached UWC, we were 2 hours late from the time we were expected to arrive. This was because of the number of times we had to stop for the other members to catch up, as to not get in trouble with the staff. In the end though, the plan of stopping and waiting only slowed us down further as we continued to have elongated breaks and got nothing but slowed down. When we reached school, it was a little embarrassing but nothing we couldn’t cope with. We set up the tents once again and had a shower. This was one blissful reward. We then cooked and were told about the route we were following for the next day. We tried evaluating the day and came up with new solutions, which we applied the day after.

On the last and final day of the trek, our journey seemed longer as the pain from yesterday had not really left me. My shoes were prickling and I was mere seconds from losing it. But I decided that it was a waste of energy and tried to keep to the front of the group, as we travelled from UWC, Dover to MacRitchie Reservoir from a twisting but an interesting natural path. There was mud, and swampy ground, but instead of caring for my shoes I walked on them. They were a great reliever of pain. The group functioned so that everyone got a turn to guide the group using the compass and the map, and it was considerably better, as there was lots of communication and we were working together more often, allowing the slower ones to lead and being more motivating to the group as a whole. We soon enough reached the checkpoint and had a filling lunch before we departed for school, where the first NYAA Training Weekend came to an end.

NYAA Supplied Kit List – Reflection

We mainly carried all our things in the rucksack, including the ones supplied by the NYAA office at school. These items included, cooking items (e.g. stove, gas, lighters), tent and groundsheet, sleeping mats and its covers. During the first day, we managed to lose nothing, however, on the second day we realised that we couldn’t find the cover for our tent. This was because we set up our tent too late at night, and left the case when we were shifting our tent to the ground we were all supposed to be sleeping on. We did, however, go back to collect it as it was left amongst some of our other things like rucksacks and sleeping mats, however, we found that the cover was not there.

Since it was already past 10 at night, we decided to get it sorted tomorrow morning. This, however, was a bad idea, as I couldn’t seem to find Fiza, who looked after all the kit supplied by the NYAA office. However, I did find a teacher who helped me look for it, alongside the NYAA Gold, Dylan who worked with our group on both days. With their help, I found the cover and was allowed to leave the tent at school on time.

Grade 8 IGCSE Options Night 2018 – Explaining Enterprise

On the night of the 29th January, I was found standing amongst a group, explaining one of my taken subjects to my juniors who were to enter Grade 9 in the coming term or so. It was a long and excruciating night, packed with a lot of quick thinking, explaining and very often repeating. However, not once do I regret it as I spent an hour and a half, not tired but energised, ready and encouraged to talk about one of my really interesting subjects to my peers who would want to take it as an IGCSE subject in the coming academic year.

My job as a helper was to give basic information about the subject, Enterprise to be specific, and what the two-year course program held as I outlined the syllabus to some extent and used past papers to further elaborate on points based off exam papers and answering questions. I also suggested why Enterprise may be a good subject to take, and explained that I took it because of the coursework program, which was 50% of the IGCSE finals as it gave me an opportunity to apply my learning first hand in a real situation, which made learning more effective and acted as a simulation if I wanted to set up a business in the future or if needed for IB Business Management (since 40% of what we learn is applied in Business Management in IB).

I thought that the responses from both students and parents were mostly good as I thought that they really took in what I said about the subject. It was a good opportunity to learn more about Enterprising as well since I tried my best to explain how some of my other subjects impacted on Enterprise and vice versa. The parents, more often had questions which I really liked being asked since I probably wouldn’t have to think about it if I didn’t sign up for helping out today. It was definitely a key learning point, as I found out why I really enjoyed Enterprise and how it made an impact on me as a person.

I think that my action had benefitted many students and parents as they got an insight on the subject and understood the basic outline. I believed that as a helper, my job wasn’t necessarily to sell the idea of taking Enterprise but to guide my ‘customers’ to finding what they truly wanted, whether it be in Economics or Enterprise, since in the end, it is for the benefit of the student and parent, if they take the right subject.

Leading PSP Session

During the PSP sessions last week, a classmate and I took on the responsibility to initiate and lead class discussions on the basics of healthy relationships and what were to be expected from them. We divided the class into two groups to work separately in as we found that it would contribute to clash in opinions, and therefore create more discussion amongst our peers. When divided into two groups, we came up with a list of qualities a relationship should have to be classified as a healthy one. From the long list, we selected five which were necessary for a relationship to function well. We then came together as a group and found out the trends were going on the lines of respect and communication which we mostly agreed upon, but some disagreed and this intuited a debate in the separate groups.

Whilst taking in lead this session, I was able to not only able to give information but also was able to get different points of views on the topic through the in-depth group discussion. Before I used to believe that a good relationship consists of mutual respect, trust and communication between the two partners, not taking in consideration how something as simple as happiness played a role in shaping a relationship. Now I am more inclined to believe that happiness is too, a key to a healthy relationship as it offers the pair the genuine feeling of happiness which should generally be found in relationships. I believed that I was very open-minded to the many opinions were thrown at from the discussion, and was willing for it to shape my own opinions, as I was trying to do the same with others when debating about the role of happiness in a relationship as at first, I didn’t think this was completely necessary. The others in my group may also have had a subtle change in what they used to believe in as at times they were being very contributing to the group, trying to portray what they thought was true.

One thing that I think I did well was that I was able to start a discussion by asking questions and trying to help answer them, alongside my peers. I made sure that everyone was engaged and that they had a chance to contribute their thoughts. One thing that I thought I could have done better was to be able to engage both the groups into this conversation more as I thought many could have or had more to say. To fix this, I could have helped by coming up with a more creative setting or atmosphere such as one of a debate.

By taking on this role, I think that I was able to accomplish much as I was able to speak clearly and was being heard by others more so than I normally am, and this made me think about the impact of speaking, for yourself or for others in an environment which can generally improve. This connected with me via different topics as in most of my other classes, I am not as talkative but since the general discussion was very informative and interesting, I was able to contribute as not only a leader, but a collaborator.

Setting Goals For Term 2

Setting Goals for Term 2 Reflection

  • Academics

Coordinated Science – Aim for 7

English – Aim for 7

Enterprise – Maintain 7

Global perspectives – Maintain 7

Foreign Language Chinese – Aim for 6

Maths – Maintain 6

Drama – Maintain 6

  • Services

PAW – Contribute more to discussions and be more active.

  • Physical Recreation

Table Tennis – Be more confident in my skills.

End of Term 1 Reflection

I think that my strengths include Global Perspectives and Enterprise as evident from the attainment grades I have received from these subjects. I find these subjects interesting and enjoy working in them and I think that my general interest is shown in class (seen from the ATL reports).

I think that this term I found Foreign Language Chinese and Maths challenging because of the little effort put in or because of lack of understanding in the subject, respectively.

Some subjects I am interested in are  Global Perspectives, English, Physical Education and Chemistry (Coordinated Science 2). Not all subjects guarantee 7s, however, I have a genuine interest in these subjects because I am eager to learn and explore topics under them and also because they all offer me to work as both an individual as well as in a group and that makes these subjects more engaging.

I think that I started off the term by celebrating a 7 in Enterprise as I believed that I hadn’t fully achieved this grade because of my average test results, however, my contributions and classwork guaranteed my teacher the hard work I was willing to put into the subject to improve. This was also one of the main my proud moments I have had since the beginning of the academic year.

One challenging moment in this term was when I was doing my Chinese oral. The oral wasn’t one of my best performances because I was nervous when speaking to my teacher and found that the questions she was asking me was fast paced and required the thinking I couldn’t do in less than two seconds.

I think that most of my subjects matter to me, however, I mainly would like to focus on English, Maths and Chinese. I think that these subjects matter to me because I feel as if I have the need to improve in these subjects, attainment wise. I think that outside school and subjects, the service I do on animals, PAW matters to me as well since it is something I like to work for and support as much as I can.

I think that the subject I most enjoy this year is, Physical Education which is a surprise since I don’t normally do so well in it, however, I think that the people in my class are very friendly and good teammates so it is always a pleasure working with them. Not to mention they make the classes more fun.