Principal's January Letter 2014

14 January 2014

 

Dear Parents/Guardians,

 

Happy New Year! May the New Year be filled with peace, abundant joy and love!

 

Being the only school in Singapore with the word ‘RISE’ in our school name, we take pride in our children having risen to the occasion and performed very well in 2013! For PSLE, we have a record number of students of close to 70% who qualified for Special Express stream, and have exceeded the National pass rates for English, Math and Science. Our quality passes have also surpassed that of last year with Math hitting an all-time high of having almost 2 students in every 4 who scored A or A*!  We have also achieved many awards in sports and aesthetics and our teachers have also been recognised for their innovation in the prestigious MOE Innergy Silver award!

 

All these we could not have done it without the teachers’ hard work and your unstinting support! I would like to thank all my staff for putting in extraordinary work and your support and continued confidence in us! We will continue to rise and be a school that develop joyful, confident and caring students!

 

For our new parents who joined the BRPS family, a warm welcome to you! We hope that your child’s journey with us will be an enriching one, filled with joy, learning and love. I write a letter to parents at the beginning of each month to share our plans, our joys and together as a community we support each other. The previous letters can all be found at the school website: http://www.blangahrisepri.moe.edu.sg/.

 

A. Upcoming School Events

 

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year falls on 31 January and 1 February this year. Hence the celebrations will be held on 30 January and we encourage students to come in their Chinese ethnic clothes on that day. School will function till 10am. School books will not be needed and the canteen will be closed. School will be closed on 3rd February as a holiday-in-lieu of Saturday.

 

Breakfast Together

In order to build stronger bonds between parents and the school, we will continue our get together session where parents and I get to chat informally to gather feedback and update on the changes within the school. We will start off with the Senior School (P5 & P6) in January, Middle School (P3 & 4) in February and the Junior School (P1 & P2) primary will be in March. A separate letter will be issued giving more details of these sessions.

 

The calendar for January is as follows:

 

Date

Event

15 January

Breakfast Together

Senior School (Primary 5 & 6)

6 February

Breakfast Together

Middle School (Primary 3 & 4)

 

STRATEGIC THRUSTS

 

BRPS has three strategic thrusts that guide us in our decision-making and allocation of resources in order for us to achieve our vision. The three strategic thrusts are:

 

  1. Enhancing a joyful school culture through effective leadership
  2. Enriching lives through maximizing opportunities
  3. Loving lives through Character Development & Community Involvement

 

Each thrust has systems and processes for us to build upon to achieve outcomes that we monitor and improve on. The letter highlights some of the efforts in these thrusts.

 

B. Strategic Thrust One: Enhancing a joyful school culture through effective leadership

 

Introduction of Year Heads of Junior, Middle and Senior Schools

As mentioned the year before, in order to provide better follow up of issues, find customised solutions, and maximise resources, BRPS is implementing a school within a school concept. We will have three ‘mini-schools’ specifically the Junior School that comprises the Primary One and Two, the Middle School that comprises Primary Three and Four and the Senior School that comprises the Primary Five and Six.

Previously we have called the heads of these school branches Deans. In alignment to MOE’s direction we will be calling these heads as Year Heads from 2014. The Year Heads and Assistant Year Heads will generally oversee the academic development of the pupils as well as the character development and wellbeing of the pupils. Both will oversee and monitor the outcomes of the mini-schools and are supported by the Level Coordinators. The Year Heads of the various schools are as follows:

 

Junior School Year Head – Mdm Helen Teo (School Staff Developer)Assistant Year Head – Ms Munirah
Middle School Year Head–Miss Annissa (HOD Character and Citizenship Education)Assistant Year Head– Mrs Teresa Tay (HOD ICT)
Senior School Year Head – Mrs Jenny Quek (HOD Science)Assistant Year Head – Mdm Stephanie Song (Level Head Science)

 

School Safety & Security Measures

School safety is of paramount importance especially when all parents have entrusted their children to the school. It is with sadness that we hear of shooting incidents in USA and we will definitely not want any of our children in BRPS harmed in any way. Therefore to further enhance our school safety and security we will be starting a series of measures that we have discussed during the Breakfast Together sessions. These arrangements for school arrival and dismissal is outlined in Annex A and will be implemented with effect from 7 January.

 

C. Strategic Thrust Two: Enriching lives through maximizing opportunities

 

Online Interactive E-Learning for Pupils through AsknLearn

As part of equipping our pupils with 21st century competencies, pupils will need to be familiar with the use of online resources to acquire knowledge, communicate and develop their creativity. BRPS has partnered with AsknLearn to provide such resources through rich multimedia and interactive lessons, starting from 13 January 2014 to 31 December 2014. More details on how to log in and use the system can be found in Annex B.

 

D. Strategic Thrust Three: Loving lives through Character Development & Community Involvement

 

Being Absent from School

With the intention to give every child the same head start in life and be taught the foundational knowledge, missing school would sometimes mean having a gap in the learning and disadvantaging the child. Hence we would like to reiterate that the school takes a very serious view of children not coming to school without valid reason. We would like to remind all parents that when your child is absent from school, it is mandatory that you either provide a medical certificate or a letter from you explaining the reason for absence. If there are none of these, we will treat it as absence without valid reason and follow up action will be taken, which might include the reporting of such cases to the Compulsory Education Unit in MOE.

 

E. Reflections

 

It is not easy being parents and very often we need to be mindful of how the way we think affects our children. One very good example is the way we interact with our children when they come back from school. What are some of the questions we ask? Do we ask them ‘What homework do you have?’ or more engaging questions. Here are some questions that you might like to ask your children instead of just homework:

How was your day?

What have you learnt today?

What is exciting for you today?

What is the most joyful moment for you today?

What did you appreciate the most today?

Have you helped anyone today?

I am sure you would be able to expand on the list. Ask questions that are positive and open that will lead to your child sharing with you more and more their thoughts, their feelings, their joy and even their struggles.

 

Yours sincerely,

Matthew Ou

Principal

 

Annex A

 

School Safety & Security Arrangements 2014

 

During Dry Weather

During Wet Weather

 Arrival Arrangements Students can enter through the Main Gate and Side Gate Ethat is the sheltered walkway next to the school canteen. All other gates will be closed.Parents/Guardians who wish to enter the school will need to enter by the Main Gate.

 

For those driving, please alight the child at the main gate or Side Gate E.

 

 Arrival Arrangements Students can enter through the Main Gate and Side Gate Ethat is the sheltered walkway next to the school canteen. All other gates will be closed.Parents/Guardians who wish to enter the school will need to enter by the Main Gate.

 

For those driving, you may enter the school and alight the child at the foyer. Please prepare your child to alight quickly and safely so as not to hold up the traffic.

 

Dismissal ArrangementsStudents can exit through the Main Gate and Side Gate E.For those driving, you may pick your child at the main gate or Gate E.

 

Dismissal ArrangementsStudents can exit through the Main Gate and Side Gate E.For those driving, there is a sheltered car park next to Blk 72 and you can fetch your child at the sheltered walkway fromSide Gate E.

 

 

Other Arrangements

 

Lunch ArrangementsStudents who have lunch brought to them can receive the lunches at the Main Gate or Side Gate E. 
Entrance for Parents/Guardians or VisitorsAny parents/guardians or visitors who wish to enter the school would need to enter by the Main Gate where there will be security clearance and an issue of visitor passes. 
Waiting Areas for Parents/Guardians We will shift the waiting area for parents/guardians to just outside the Main Gate. We have provided benches there so that all could wait more comfortably.There is also another waiting area at the void deck of Blk 72 outside Side Gate E.

 

 Annex B

 

Online Interactive E-Learning for Pupils through AsknLearn

 

The AsknLearn portal supports self-directed and inquiry-based learning styles, which will pique pupils’ interest to explore their subjects further. The communication tools available in the platform will engage pupils in collaborative learning through discussions to enhance their knowledge and gain their peers’ perspectives based on a topic.

 

Through AsknLearn, pupils will have access to Online Lessons, Communication Tools,ePortfolio and Mobile Learning. In addition, you will have the ability to track your child’s progress through the Progress Report of assessments done online. These reports clearly profile the skills that your child is strong or weak in.

 

As the portal will be integral to all aspects of your child’s learning, the cost of the portal will befully subsidised by the school.

To access the e-learning platform and its content, your child will need:

  • Internet Access
  • PC (minimum Pentium II) or faster processor
  • Internet Explorer Browser 7 and above

 

We have made arrangements with AsknLearn for our students to access the portal to familiarize themselves with the interface. He/she can login to AsknLearn using the following information:

Open the Internet Explorer and go to http://LMS.asknlearn.com/BRPS

 

Your child’s login ID and password are as such:

Login ID: S1234567A (Birth Certificate number)

Password: S1234567A (Birth Certificate number)

 

We look forward to your support for this e-learning initiative. We would also like to request for your assistance in monitoring your child while he/she is accessing the online contents for his/her self-paced learning and revision. With the support from school and home, we believe we can make e-learning a success in Blangah Rise Primary School.