My NYAA Journey

NYAA Healthy Living – January

January was the final month of my journey with this aspect of healthy living, and though I had come far in the previous months, I knew that during this month I wanted to achieve something greater. I resolved that I wanted to give more attention to my main objective of healthy living; to use physical recreation as a means of self-introspection and stress reducer. I decided that this month I would step completely out of my comfort zone. During the month of January, I ran around my community for more than one hour without music. During the previous two months I had been running with music, I did not think that this change would make much of. a difference, however, I was mistaken. Running without music was far harder than I expected and it did not help that I was running in an unfamiliar path. The first day of pursuing this activity was difficult, so it was the first week. However, as time progressed I gradually got used to the dynamic of the activity and developed an attachment to it. There was a component of this activity that was liberating and oddly stress-relieving, it was something that I started to look forward to as the day progressed. Since this was a truly enriching and eye-opening experience, that I would not hesitate to pursue in the future, I decided that I would maintain a flexible jogging schedule that allowed me to use this as a means of relaxation.

Building the English Essay Writing Support Site

Building the English Essay Writing Support Site was a task I took on at the start of this year. The task was handed to me by my former English teacher Ms. Levy with the aim to build a site where students could receive help to improve their English Writing Skills. This task gives me a satisfactory creative outlook that allows me to not utilize the skills I have with regard to this task but also learn valuable information along the way. For this reason, I would attribute the learning outcome "LO2: Challenge" to this task. As a justification, this time around with the multimedia nature of the content, it required more effort to incorporate into the Divi builder site. Moreover, difficulties were faced in loading the pre-set layout leading to a lot of navigation to understand the mechanisms to fix this issue. Click here for a video update on the progress I have made - And here is a link to the previous update!    

NYAA Gold: Outdoor Appreciation – Trip to Tioman

Trip: Grade 10 FIB Tioman Expedition During the expedition, we learned about the island's fascinating history, geology, flora, and fauna while exploring habitats on foot and by sea kayak with an emphasis on teamwork, leadership, resilience, sustainability, and fun. Our accommodation also included jungle camping apart from beach cabins. Towards our goal, we underwent kayaking and fitness training during our usual Physical education class. Though the trainings were simulations in pools and on treadmills, the amount of training that went into it proved useful at the end. Date of trip: 17th - 22nd September 2018 (Last academic year).  17th September: We left Singapore and took a ferry to Bintan. After arriving and settling into our accommodation (Riverview) we underwent Swim Tests to gauge our confidence in water. Today was mainly comprised of navigating through our residence, getting to know the people around us, and adapting ourselves to our new surroundings and lifestyle for the forthcoming week. Before we ended the day we went through an expectation session and a review of the itinerary with the team to familiarize ourselves with the activities of the next day: Kayaking, Jetty Jumping, and Snorkelling. 18th September: We started off the day with stretches at the beach and a group meet, followed by a cabin clean up and breakfast. The first activity we engaged in today was a kayaking skill test carries out using group activities. Following this, we participated in a jetty jump which was very fun. Our final activity for the day was an introduction to snorkeling which involved familiarising ourselves with the equipment we were to use and other breathing techniques. Tasks surrounding the end of today emphasized on our preparation for the 9-hour trek we were to partake on tomorrow. This involved packing our bags and sleeping early. 19th September: Today we woke up early as we were to partake in a day-long trek from Juara to Penut. The trek was long and fatiguing, we were exposed to many life skills such as learning how to walk on uneven terrain, how to handle encounters with wild animals (in this case a snake), setting up camps, and sleeping in "the wilderness". Our campfire dinner was cooked by the help of my peers, some of us were on tent duty which entailed setting up the tents, and the rest of us helped out in cooking. After a long day, we had a reflection session by the campfire, where we talked about our takeaways from the day and the experiences we gained. Finally, we went to our tents to retire for the day and get some sleep for our kayak back to Juara tomorrow. 20th September: This morning we prepared and set off on a kayaking journey back to Juara. The kayak back was scenic but once again long-winded. Following our kayak back, we made our visit to "Juara Turtle Palace", where we learned about the imminent dangers threatening marine life, the life cycle of a turtle, and how turtles are conserved (being nearly endangered species). Finally, we returned to our accommodation (Riverview) and had a reflective debrief. Following a tiring day, we gad a fun activity called "Town Council" wherein we were made to debate issues faced by the local community constructively and come to a collective decision on the changes to be implemented. 21st September: This morning we visited a local agriculture project where we learned about waste management and sustainable efforts guiding the same. Following our lunch, we took part in a raft-building activity where we were to build rafts using tubes and ropes in groups. this proves to be a very difficult task and only a few were able to succeed. After some fun beach games, we had dinner at our accommodation and packed for our journey back to Singapore tomorrow, 22nd September: We woke up early and traveled back to Singapore by Bus and Ferry.

NYAA Healthy Living – February

This month I took on the challenge of improving on a new skill: Cycling. The first 2 weeks of this month entailed gym training for cycling. including work on the exercise bike. My routine was carried out for 1 hr every day be it the gym or real cycling. Following this, I took on the challenge of cycling 5 km around my locality. Though I thought this would be an easy task at first, it was harder than I expect.  I could really sense the effectiveness of the gym training during this period; as I worked towards my ultimate goal of cycling 10 km, I found that gym training in the first 2 weeks had proven useful in training my muscles. Though at the end of this month I barely touched the 7 km mark, I look optimistically towards the following month to do all I could work towards my goal. Another aspect I would like to mention is the COVID-19 situation that inspired me to take on this challenge. Seeing that I was going out less due to the restrictions on public movement, I felt that a change in routine would also help me be more effective in my work and how I was managing online school.

NYAA Healthy Living – March

The goal for this month was defined: to cycle 15 km. Though I gym training was a part of my routine last month, I figured it would be beneficial to incorporate it into this month's routine as well. I also decided that limiting myself to the scope of my neighborhood may have induced a sense of monotony into the action, hence, during the weekends I tried to go out to the ECP tracks as well. Within the first two weeks of biking and training, I was able to easily hit the 10 km mark. I did not find it too difficult to make time for this new activity with my schedule as my time management had improved during the circuit breaker period. Towards the last week of March, cycling was a breeze for me, and not only was I able to cycle 15 km, I was able to do it within an hour. Achieving this goal made me very hopeful as I am not someone with a lot of cycling experience. I aim to remain engaged with the activity and cycle through new routes.

NYAA Healthy Living – April

I was set to take part in Yoga as a part of my Season 4 activities, however, due to the restrictions posed by the circuit breaker period I was unable to do so. I decided to pick yoga as the activity to pursue as I felt it aptly matched my Healthy Living Goal: "To use physical recreation as a means of self-introspection and stress reducer ". For the month of April, I followed the "30 days of Yoga" series on youtube conducted by Youtuber Adriene Mishler on her channel "Yoga With Adriene". Though the sessions lasted around 30-40 minutes, since I engaged in pre and post-yoga activities like stretching and meditation, I probably spent more than one hour on average. Though I have had experience with Yoga in the past, it had been a while since I caught up on the practice. I'm happy I revisited this skill, however, I would like to build expertise with yoga so that I can practice it life long. I definitely felt like my Healthy Living Goal resonated the most with this activity and look forward to the next few months of practice.

NYAA Healthy Living – May

Following last month's introduction to Yoga, I decided to venture into more complex Yoga. This month I followed the sessions lead by Youtuber "The Samyak Yoga Ashram" in their channel "Mysore Yoga Teacher Training Institute (Samyak Yoga)". The channel features traditional Indian Yoga sessions including Hatha, vinyasa, and ashtanga classes that typically last anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. Not only did I find the immersive nature of this form of Yoga refreshing and effective, but I also found the knowledge I gained about the traditional Indian Yoga method nothing short of fascinating. Hailing from India, I felt like the introduction to this kind of yoga improved my connection to my roots and was very satisfying. All in all, in this uncertain time, I would say that this activity has allowed me to truly reflect and introspect on my way of life and has enhanced my daily lifestyle.

NYAA Healthy Living – June

This month marked the supposed end of the COVID circuit breaker period in addition to the end of the school year. Not only has the past few months been a reflective time period, but it has also been one of change. The NYAA program has truly helped me to benefit from the time I got from the circuit breaker period to redesign my schedule. The healthy living aspect of the program pushed me to broaden my horizons with regard to new physical recreation skill sets but also to expand on the skills I already had. Having ended in 2 different forms of yoga in the previous months, this month I decided to follow a meditation schedule using the app Headspace - a guided meditation app. Practicing meditation during this month as particularly helpful considering the amount of workload we had (IA, EE submissions). Though I thought it would be difficult to maintain a schedule with this activity, it was actually easier as I often found my day incomplete without it. I am very pleased with the impact meditation has had and I aim to continue it in the future and advocate it to friends too.

NYAA mid-stage reflection video

Here is a link to my reflection!

NYAA Community Project

During the first trip in October, we made observations, conducted interviews, and surveyed key stakeholders to make informed decisions about ways we could help the students The Island foundation in Bintan. Form it we took away the following experiences: Using the Compass of Sustainability to investigate the Critical Challenge and understanding the Unsustainable income and a loss of indigenous culture in Panglong Fishing Village, Bintan, Indonesia. Then we used the Atkisson Pyramid Lite process to prepare an action plan that meets the needs of Panglong community.  Then we prepared an action plan that was approved by TIF and the Orang Suku Laut before we left the village. After the trip students we had time to do further research and gather resources, preparing to implement our action plans for the next February trip. The February trip was from Tuesday 15 - Thursday 17 January 2019. During this trip we took away these key learning experiences:
  • Understanding Sustainable development can only be achieved by considering multiple perspectives.
  • Understanding Systems thinking can be used to identify and understand sustainable change
  • Presenting projects to the Panglong community and The Island Foundation
  • Reflecting using a SWOT analysis to receive feedback on projects and plan the next steps
Following our recent lessons in Humanities based on Piaget’s theory on constructivism, we framed our lessons such that the new knowledge to be learned by the students is presented in an engaging manner in order to captivate their interest for the topic being put forth and hence increase their interest in the lesson.  With Vygotsky’s theory of zonal proximal development, we have configured the lesson such that any queries may be solved upon. interaction amongst peers.As a part of a service trip the Bintan, we worked alongside TIF (The Island Foundation) to gain a better insight on the skill needs of the people in Bintan for development. In groups we collaborated and devised a lesson plan for the students of TIF. Creating a lesson plan has given me deep insight as to the effort required to model a lesson plan. Through talking to experts in the field of teaching followed by intense research, I’ve learned how to tactfully incorporate the most efficient and appropriate methods of teaching for the age group we are to cater to. Statistics following the current progress of the effectiveness of education in Bintan are dim but still hopeful. With proper use of the methods of teaching above, it is possible the students interest in education may improve and hence result in greater strides made to pursue higher education as well as increased interest in education. Indonesia’s development relies on the tactful use of manipulating skills that surround the tourism industry, which includes the English language. However, these skills need to be brought out through education with greater amplification which requires in a change of teaching style and a change in the education system without which it will be difficult to meet future goals in this field. The Bintan Trip was a new and  introspective experience which changed the way I looked at things. The different stakeholders of the society offered valuable viewpoints; some which even cleared up our former misconceptions. This was an important step in the process as without this; we would’ve been unable to make an accurate judgement on the different problems affecting the area. During the course of the trip we mainly interviewed the village folk based on the different compass perspectives that we were assigned; ( Nature. Economy, Wellbeing, & Society).  Time and translation skills were a constraint so, we were to make best use of our time by asking meaningful questions as the translation too was a skill that took effort. Following the guidelines of the compass perspective was useful as, based on their occupation and the compass perspective we were required to look over; it was easier to frame meaningful questions. The main point which was brought up by the stakeholders that framed our perspective clearly was the importance of the English language in the island of Bintan. Many brought up the issue of locals not being hired due to their lack of English speaking skills and brought up that foreign workers were more preferably hired. For instance; Nikoi Resort staff Andy told us about how unlike the resort he works in which employs 85% locals, most other resorts refrain from hiring locals at all and pay them less even if they do so. We were also able to notice a clear issue in the education system upon interviewing a middle school student who felt overwhelmed by the English subject and lacked the English speaking skills of even a pre-schooler. Unlike most other societies, the locals of Bintan do not feel the strong urge to increase their technological development but rather feel that improving their English speaking skills will help them thrive better in their chiefly tourist-based society. I often found my peers and I trying to expand on just one question and collecting information that was not necessarily useful for us. Instead, we could’ve moved on swiftly after each question so as to cover more topics and make better use of our time. While presenting our compass perspectives my partner and I could’ve managed our time better by clearly discussing the important points to go over beforehand, instead of getting overwhelmed over the plethora of information that we were able to garner. Upon watching the video again I was able to notice that we often expanded on one thing as soon as we started making links and took time to move on to our next point. We were excited to present our findings but could’ve done a better presentation. Post Trip Analysis: Following months of collaborative work and preparation, the time had finally come to present our lesson plans which we had devised as a group to the staff of TIF (The Island Foundation) and eventually the students of TIF. Our group’s lesson plan on exercise executed using puppets and interactive games went through seemingly smooth. Though our time management and our communication may have been better, during the SWOT analysis (analysis of: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Weaknesses)  we were able to go over possible strategies to mold our lesson plan into the time requirement and how we may make it more appropriate for their age. The other group that had travelled with us to the village was very helpful in providing areas of improvement and helped us understand places where our execution could have been better. The SWOT analysis essentially helped bring a few main points into consideration:
  • S- Certain intuitive actions such as counting along during the exercise and clear and concise instructions helped to improve the quality and execution of our lesson
  • W- Previously planned ideas such as asking students to devise their own lesson plan would be too complex and that it would be better  if in the future we could possible adopt a different idea such as; asking students to design their own puppet
  • O- During the exercise a jingle or rhyme could have been sung so as to add to the experience and to further enhance the linguistic skills of the students
  • T- The Hygiene aspect of picking up garbage during on elf the exercise posed as a threat
Following the SWOT analysis however, we were able to make our lesson better simply by adhering to the points brought out during the SWOT analysis. When we presented some aspects of our lesson along with the group’s lesson we took into consideration the points and implemented the following changes:
  • Rhymes were sung during the exercise stations and the children thoroughly enjoyed the tunes
  • To combat the threat of putting hygiene in jeopardy, the students were made to wash they’re hands at the hand washing station set-up following the exercise
Following the final lesson plan executed along with the other group, above came the SWOT analysis as a result of the same. Upon discussing with TIF their opinion of our lesson plan we were able to garner the following:
  • Our idea for a puppet show was novel and will implemented with higher levels of the island foundation and activities such as creating a puppet show will be put into action
  • The concept of exercise stations was greatly appreciated as it was interesting enough for the students to not lose interest and at the same time enjoyably learn about the concept of exercise.
    • The Island Foundation staff requested us to share a document with information about the four exercises presented at the exercise station as well as add step by step instructions in English to guide the person leading the teaching of the exercise.
  • TIF also requested us to produce more questions following a game wherein students were only allowed to pass through given that they answered questions written in Malay and English.
    • Following this instruction, we collaboratively brainstormed innovative ways to propose questions in a way that is simple yet allows student’s linguistic abilities to improve.
Below is the result of the same: I believe that we as a group were able to effectively provide resources and ideas to TIF and feel that we were able to meet their needs as well as introduce them to new concepts.