Stay connected to school during full home-based learning by visiting our online diary daily! Take a peek into how our students, staff and parents have been staying safe and healthy and supporting one another during these challenging times.
29 June 2020
We ended last Friday’s home-based learning for our Primary 4 and 5 students with a series of exciting questions that helped us understand the different perspectives and thoughts of our students. These light-hearted questions also managed to bring out the creativity in our students, and for some, their responses definitely brought smiles to the teachers.
When asked what superpower they would like to have, many students hoped they could fly and teleport to places. They would want to spend time visiting places with their family and friends. Interestingly, Jesslyn, a Primary 5 student, hoped to have special powers to help nature and communicate with animals. She would like to grow more trees and heal the earth, making it well again.
Another question that led to many fascinating responses was “In your opinion, what is the BEST occupation in the world?” Common responses included: doctors and nurses – to save lives and help the sick; scientists – to make important discoveries, produce vaccines and medicine to beat viruses; and YouTubers and software developers – to create unique online content to engage users purposefully. Certainly, the responses would not be complete if no one pays homage to one of the BEST occupations in the world – teachers! Zhi Lin, our Primary 4 student, shared, “Being a teacher is the best occupation! Teachers do many things. Not only do they teach us in the classrooms, they also teach us the right values.”
Today, all our students from Primary 1 to 6 return to school as a community. We look forward to creating many more enriching learning experiences that will help our students achieve their goals and dreams. Onward to Semester 2 in the new normal.
26 June 2020
Wipe down. Wipe out.
More than ever before, Mr Henry Look has been on his toes to ensure the safety of all students and staff in school. As the school’s Operations Manager, he oversees estate management, safety and security, and logistics support. These are critical areas to look into for the current two outbreaks – Covid-19 and dengue.
“During the school holidays, the operations team was busy cleaning and disinfecting different parts of the school like the classrooms, the canteen and the school hall. We even set up safe distancing markers to guide our students – all in time to welcome our students back to school on 2 June,” Mr Look shared with our Chinese Junior Reporter, Jeffrey Zhan Yong Jing.
“Since the re-opening of school in Term 3, I have been at the main gate from 6.30am to make sure that all the students wear their masks properly and have their temperature taken, as well as check that everyone is well when entering the school,” Mr Look added.
Jeffrey was curious about the challenges Mr Look faced and how he overcame them. He learnt that it was a challenge to clean the whole school especially when the cleaners were split into two teams during the Circuit Breaker. They reported on alternate days and had staggered work hours. Therefore, he decided to pay more attention to cleaning and disinfecting the areas that would be heavily used by the students.
Mr Look is very proud of his operations team. “We are very lucky to have a group of very hardworking cleaners to ensure that the school is properly cleaned and disinfected.”
Mr Look shared with Jeffrey 3 things that students could do in the fight against COVID-19. Firstly, stay at home if you are unwell and see a doctor. Secondly, wear a mask when you are out. Thirdly, practise safe distancing.
Besides managing Covid-19, Mr Look has also been busy with dengue prevention. After all, we are facing the largest dengue outbreak in Singapore’s history. “The school carries out anti-pest measures every Tuesday and Friday. We also schedule mosquito fogging on a monthly basis. We have trained our staff, security and even students to frequently scan for potential mosquito breeding grounds.”
Mr Look’s face turned serious. “We cannot be careless, as mosquito breeding can endanger lives.”
Mr Look is confident that just as our students are now familiar with the Covid-19 wipe-down routine, they are well-versed in the 5-step mozzie wipeout. He emphasised, “The best way to prevent dengue is by removing stagnant water in flower pots, vases or buckets, as mosquitoes only need a small puddle of water to start breeding.”
Jeffrey ended the interview by wishing Mr Look “工作顺利” (may everything go smoothly at work) and “身体健康” (good health).
To view our Junior Reporters’ broadcast of the interview, click here.
25 June 2020
“You have been selected to work on a MISSION to create a FUTURE Blangah Rise Learning Campus.”
Our P4 APEX students received this note at the start of Term 3. They were being invited to participate in a Design Thinking Programme facilitated by Mr Raziff Lau, a Service Designer from GovTech, and our very own teachers, Mr Patrick Goh and Ms Athena Tang.
“The future is in your hands. Come and join the mission now!” our Vice-Principal, Mrs Leong-Ho Hil May, said in a mission brief shown to the students in the first of six virtual sessions. Students thus joined the Design Squad and embarked on a mission to design a future-facing Blangah Rise Learning Campus. They formed groups to look into four aspects of future school – Green BRLC, Learning BRLC, Inclusive BRLC and BRLC Community.
To learn the four stages of the design thinking process – empathise, ideate, prototype and present – students carried out interesting tasks such as creating a wallet for their peers. They explored the socio-emotional competencies required of design thinking – empathy and resilience. They learned how to craft meaningful interview questions and carried out interviews with their peers, teachers and parents to truly understand what the “end user” actually wants.
Yi Kai commented, “I learned how to connect with other people and understand their needs.”
Through multiple rounds of feedback to refine their ideas, students learned the true meaning of resilience and the importance of not giving up when their first ideas fail. Zhi Lin said, “I have learnt ways to improve on something and make it much better.”
Truly, learning happens everywhere, not just within the four walls of the physical classroom. Watch this space for our students’ creation of Future BRLC!
23 June 2020
Having to learn about computational thinking and coding using the SLS platform instead of through face-to-face sessions did not dampen our students’ enthusiasm when they were participating in Code for Fun.
Code For Fun is a collaboration between MOE and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). It is part of the school’s Aspiring Confident Engineers (ACE) programme. Students learn visual-based programming language using robotic kits and microcontrollers. When the Circuit Breaker started, the 10-hour face-to-face training by IMDA trainers was adjusted so that virtual lessons could go on.
The students learnt how computational thinking could be applied in everyday situations. Basic programming concepts such as events, loops, variables and functions were taught to the students. Students also applied their logical thinking to solve problems which were broken down into bite sizes.
Reflecting on her experience of programming a virtual robot, Aggie shared, “I enjoyed how I was able to learn a new thing about coding in each lesson. My personal favourite was this game where I had to choose certain actions for the robot to do to overcome a certain obstacle.”
Kristelle added, “I really enjoyed the videos provided as they taught me how to make my instructions more detailed. I want to learn how to improve my coding skills. Maybe I can do ‘real’ coding in future!”
22 June 2020
Masks Sewn for a Good Cause
Mdm Kwok Imm Mui, mother of our K2 children, Ethan and Elza, is part of a group of volunteers across our island who are sewing face masks for foreign workers and the needy. She believes that Singaporeans should play a part to help those most affected at this time by the Covid-19 outbreak. She started sewing at home during the Circuit Breaker. Her two children helped in packing and counting the masks as Mdm Kwok thought it would be good to teach them about empathy for others.
She can sew between 20 to 30 masks daily which go to CYC Made to Measure and Social Gifting. CYC started an initiative to gather volunteers to sew 300,000 masks for the migrant workers. Social Gifting is a Social Enterprise that also called for volunteers to sew reusable masks that are given to the elderly in nursing homes and the needy.
To date, Mdm Kwok has sewn more than 300 masks and is still tirelessly supporting this worthy cause. She has also generously donated some masks to some of our MK children. When we asked Elza and Elsa about their mum’s efforts, we can see that they are happy and proud of her “labour of love”.
We laud Mdm Kwok for her act of volunteerism to help Singapore fight Covid-19!
19 June 2020
Ever wondered how you can build a toy car using materials you can find at home? How do you design it to get it to travel the farthest?
During the May holidays, we invited Dr Ho Shen Yong to carry out “Project Toy Car” to engage our STEM Club students. Dr Ho is the Associate Dean (Academic) of the College of Science in NTU and Principal Lecturer in the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. He teaches Engineering Physics and was designated NTU Educator of the Year in 2018.
Dr Ho shared, “It was a fun experience explaining Science and Technology to primary school children. Probably until we try to create or make something, we will not see the challenges. This toy car project is an opportunity to learn about Science and also learn about learning. It is important that the children have taken a first step, as ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ – no matter how small the first step is. We also often just look at the end product but not the hard work in the process, but ‘all things are difficult before they are easy’.”
Click here to read more about the students’ experience in “Project Toy Car”.
18 June 2020
I climb and I pant.
I instruct and we perspire.
We perspire and learn together.
We perspire and inspire one another.
As students now go straight to the classroom upon arrival in school, the time in the morning before the start of the first period now becomes another prime opportunity for teachers to connect with their students.
Using the poem as a hook, Mr Shang shared his personal experiences and engaged his Primary 3 students in a lively conversation. Playing the role of a Teacher Mentor, he used the language of virtues and offered companioning by listening to the students sharing their own reflections.
Students were encouraged to reflect on their own Covid-19 experiences. By listening to each other’s thoughts, feelings and experiences, they learned to empathise with their peers.
“Through the poem, we can tell our friends about our feelings,” Xxanier said.
“We experience each other’s thoughts and feelings,” Sophia added.
The students also used the language of virtues in sharing what they had learned. Devesh said, “We learn to help and be kind to one another.”
Through the teacher mentoring process in the morning, we endeavour to connect with students intentionally to be their “coach, counsellor and cheerleader” and to help them to support one another.
17 June 2020
Mdm Kimberly Koh recalls what it was like being a student. “There was always this fear about the English language. Simply too many things to remember, such as grammar rules! Now that I am a teacher, the challenge for myself is to make lessons interesting for my students.”
Mdm Koh uses different tech tools during her English Language lessons to deepen students’ engagement and raise their interest level. The tech tools also allow formative assessment to take place so that she can check for students’ understanding, obtain data on their learning and use this data to adjust her teaching. This is particularly important as she teaches Primary One students who may not have acquired the metacognitive or language skills to express what they know or do not know.
Before Home-Based Learning took place, she was already using tech tools like Mentimeter, Kahoot and Plickers with her students in class to check for their understanding. With Home-Based Learning, she realises that it is even more important to help students continue to be engaged in the different online learning activities.
“I put myself in the shoes of a 7-year old and ask what helps me learn better. To engage my younger students, I choose DeckToys for grammar and vocabulary items as there are accompanying study sets which function as flashcards for them. Students apply their learning through activities such as unscrambling the letters, matching games and providing open-ended responses. They could go on a rescue mission or escape from the clutches of a monster!” Mdm Koh added.
Wordwall is another interactive ICT tool that Mdm Koh is exploring. She uses the games on Wordwall for formative assessment. “My students had learnt the different word classes (i.e. nouns, verbs and adjectives) previously before we went on Full Home-Based Learning, so I created a few games with Whack-A-Mole on Wordwall to check for my students’ understanding. Through gamification, the students learn to persevere and not give up. They often want to challenge themselves to score a new high and I can also monitor their achievement level through their multiple attempts. Can you imagine the delight on the students’ faces when they outdo themselves and obtain a new record?”
As a member of the Singapore Learning Designers Circle, Mdm Koh has also picked up tips from the community of educators, one of which is to conduct spelling tasks effectively and to track students’ learning and progress.
“I was really thrilled when I got to know of what I could do with Flippity.net.” Using a spelling strategy that is similar to Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check, words and sentences are read out to the students and the spelling results are sent to the email addresses of teachers. Students can use that platform to learn and practise their spelling independently.”
Mdm Koh summarised her experience with the new ICT tools. “This Home-Based Learning period has opened up new opportunities for me. I have grown to be a more resourceful educator and I can carry out blended learning for my students more confidently now – anytime, anywhere. Also, I strongly encourage all of us as educators to take bold steps forward to harness technology. If we don’t try, we will never conquer!”
15 June 2020
“Hang in there, jia you. These times may be tough but you are tougher and I know you will look back at 2020, and realise that it’s been a very special year and it’s a year you won’t forget. Till we meet again, all my love Blangah Rise Primary and I’ll see you next year.”
Ms Sharon Ismail, Author
Authors’ Talks is an annual event where local authors are invited to share their experiences and expertise with the students. Hearing an author speak is a privilege and we thought of how we could continue with the programme while maintaining the safe distancing protocols.
Ms Sharon Ismail, author of their STELLAR text, What Sallamah Didn't Know, kindly consented to an e-interview. Ms Sharon Ismail had been engaging our students for the past few years and it was always a pleasure working with her. We collated the questions from the students, which included "Is Sallamah a real person?", "What is your next book?", and "What inspires you?” Ms Sharon Ismail patiently replied to the students’ questions via a recorded segment. At the end of the interview, Sharon Ismail encouraged the students to continue working hard and she hoped to see them physically in 2021.
Click here to view the thank you notes.
Our students had definitely gained a new perspective to their STELLAR text and we hope that some will be inspired to be an author in future!
11 June 2020
BRPS organised our very own Circuit Breaker Challenge during the month-long May school holidays! The challenge enabled students to explore and learn new things. A number of challenges also empowered students to plan interesting activities with their family.
Neharika, who is in Primary 5, had a lot of fun trying out the Tongue Twister Challenge. “I find words that rhyme very interesting. I enjoyed creating my own tongue twister, and even asked my parents to say it aloud with me!”
Meanwhile, Jayden from Primary 4 shared that he was very excited to see a leopard up close through AR Google. It had given him greater insights into how it looks and what he had learnt in Science lessons.
With the Circuit Breaker in place, our students stayed home and had extended time to bond with their families. Chiaki, another Primary 4 student, said, “I played games with my family and we had a wonderful time together.”
We are heartened to see our students’ creative works. May they continue to stay curious and experience the joy of learning.
Click here to find out more about the Challenges.
10 June 2020
As students get use the Safety Management Measures (SMM), they also get used to doing Physical Education (PE) differently.
During PE, we ensure safe distancing and self-management. Each student will exercise within their personal space and place their personal items (for example, water bottle, hand sanitiser, mask and Ziploc bag) on their right.
Students will remove their mask and safe keep it in their Ziploc bag before PE starts and wear their mask when the lesson ends. Throughout the physical activity, students can stop and drink water, ask to refill their water bottle or go to the restroom, one student at a time. As students are guided to practise self-management, physical activity time is optimised and the lesson is able to proceed smoothly.
From their feedback, we know that the students enjoy and appreciate PE. After a 30-minute workout of crunches, push-ups and jumping jacks, Jeanette from Primary 6 Sapphire was perspiring and smiling. She said, “That was a good workout.”
9 June 2020
To support students returning to school after the Circuit Breaker, Form Teachers brought students through a “Back-to-School Stronger Together” Package. The package aimed to support students to develop personal resilience, social and community resilience, and build up resilience as a nation.
The package provided information that helped students understand that the changes in the last 2 months might not have been easy but everyone did their best and overcame some of the difficulties and challenges. Besides checking in with students on their feelings about coming back to school, teachers also reviewed the safe measures that students had to adhere to. Students were also taught different ways they could show care and support to their friends in school without compromising the safety measures.
“The package provided me with a lot of useful information that I needed to know for my daily school routines. Knowing what to expect also helped me to be less anxious and calm down,” said Jia Wei, Primary 6 student.
Irina, another Primary 6 student, commented, “We were given opportunities to share what we had done during the Circuit Breaker. It was very interesting to hear from my friends!”
This Back-to-School Stronger Together package will be conducted over the four weeks in June during the weekly Form Teacher Guidance Period (FTGP) as students adjust to this new phase of their school experience.
8 June 2020
This week, it was our Primary 1 to 3 students’ turn to return to school.
Aaron from Primary 3 Topaz exclaimed, “I really miss my classroom and the canteen. They feel so spacious and airy.”
The students came to school fully prepared with their face masks and excited to learn in a safe environment. For a start, the Form Teachers welcomed the students with a Back-To-School package and conducted a quick check-in with everyone. They guided their students on the safe handling of masks. Students had their fixed exam-style seating arrangements and were reminded about safe distancing and personal hygiene routines.
While Vivian from Primary 1 Topaz shared that it was uncomfortable to wear the mask for the whole day, she valiantly explained, “The mask helps to keep me safe. I am just so happy to come back to school because I can see my teachers and friends!” Vivian’s sentiment was shared by many of her friends.
What else did our younger students miss other than their peers and teachers?
Marvell from P1 Opal squealed in delight, “Bee hoon! I miss the SATS food. I had bee hoon and fishballs today.” Syahmina from P1 Sapphire shared with her friends that she missed the recess food too. She had chosen Cheesy Hawaiian Wrap for herself.
With staggered recesses in place, our lower primary students were led to their fixed positions at the canteen benches. After putting down their belongings, they washed their hands in an orderly manner before consuming their food. At the end of recess, they did a complete wipe-down of the tables.
We look forward to the week with our Primary 1 to 3 students before they start on another week of HBL.
4 June 2020
Ella from K2 Integrity could not wait for Term 3 to start. “I am so happy to come back to school! I miss my friends and teachers,” she said. Indeed, many children could not conceal their excitement when they saw their friends and teachers again, and you could see their eyes light up as they caught sight of familiar faces.
The MK staff have put in place safe management measures to ensure that our kindergarten is clean and safe for the children to return. Tape markings spaced one metre apart are placed along the corridors and outside the toilet. Posters are put up on the walls to remind children of safe distancing.
Ms Marina Ho, our Centre Head, says, “All our staff will be extra vigilant in looking out for the well-being of the children. We will practise safe measures to overcome Covid-19 together.”
Children are advised to bring their own stationery to school and not share it. Those who do not have their own stationery are provided clean stationery in a Ziploc bag. Learning Centre toys and manipulatives are regularly disinfected and placed in Ziploc bags. Children play with these items in their own small groups. No cross sharing between groups or classes is allowed. Outdoor activities like sand and water play have been suspended as they involve physical contact.
Children practise social distancing when queuing for the toilet or snacks. Teachers supervise the children in washing and disinfecting their hands more frequently, such as before and after snack and going outdoors. Face masks are also worn during outdoor playtime as children are most excited then and converse with their friends frequently.
In class, the children have “safe” places to sit. Teachers wear a face shield when teaching in front of the class and switch back to the face mask during small group activities. Mini microphones may be used by the teachers so that the children can still hear their teachers clearly.
At arrival and dismissal, parents also have to adhere to safe distancing when they line up outside the side gate to drop off and pick up their children. In the canteen, where children wait for the rest of their friends to arrive before proceeding to their classrooms, they sit in their own groupings at designated seats.
Our MK teachers are indeed happy to see the children after almost 8 weeks of school closure and are eager to ensure that our children catch up on key concepts so that learning in Term 3 can continue seamlessly once more. Teacher Jas says, “We really miss the children and will do our best to connect with each child. We will show our care and warmth so that they can enjoy coming to school to learn again.”
Click here for more photos on our safe management measures.
3 June 2020
To support the foreign workers who are re-located outside their dormitories as part of the circuit breaker measures, SATS has been appointed as one of assigned caterers by the government to provide nearly 180,000 healthy balanced meals to these foreign workers.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan commented, “We have many professional central kitchens fully equipped and resourced to churn out large quantities of healthy and balanced meals on time and in line with specific dietary requests. SATS is one example, where SATS kitchen is now busy serving our dorms. Feedback from their new customers has been very positive.”
SATS Catering provides up to 20,000 meals a day to the foreign workers dormitories. To fulfil the large consumption of rice by the foreign workers, SATS Catering uses 12 huge ovens instead of its usual 4 ovens to prepare the rice. This is on top of the large automated rice line which can cook up to 600kg of rice in one hour, which helps to ensure that warm meals are served on time to the foreign workers.
Mr Khaw shared pictures of the meals prepared by SATS Catering which comprised fish curry with seasoned vegetables (non-veg halal); fish and hot bean sauce with seasoned vegetables (oriental); and biryani with vegetables (vegetarian).
From preparing inflight meals for planes 20,000 feet above the ground to bento boxes for our migrant workers, SATS truly lives up to its brand promise of Passion to Delight!
Kudos to our BRPS partner in these challenging times!
2 June 2020
Students were excited to return to school on the first day of Term 3. While the Primary 6 students had returned to school earlier for lessons, the Primary 4 and 5 students were happy to be able to see their teachers and friends again after two months!
Recognising that students would need time to transit back to school, teachers did not rush back into curriculum recovery but spent time checking on their students’ well-being. They discussed the safety measures that everyone should adhere to in school.
Our Primary 5 student, Kechester said, “When we line up, we make sure we are one metre apart. Therefore, our line is longer than usual. This is important because we want to stop the virus from spreading!”
During recess, the students were seated in a fixed alternate seating arrangement. They did not sit where the benches were marked out with an “X”. Quraisha, a Primary 6 student, shared, “Each table can only have three students each. We were also advised not to mingle with students from other classes.”
Her classmate, Naqiu, said, “It is inconvenient to talk to our friends because our voices cannot be projected clearly through the mask. But I know that it is important for everyone to play our part and wear a mask properly.”
To minimise congestion at the school gates and bus-stops, dismissal was staggered for the different levels. Students taking the school bus remembered their assigned seats and that they should minimise talking while in the school bus.
Together as a school community, we will continue to be proactive in keeping school safe for everyone.
1 June 2020
Our staff and cleaners have been working hard to get ready for the safe reopening of school tomorrow!
Safety distancing notices and floor markings have been put up at the main gate and the side gate. Floor markings are placed along the walkways to help students maintain a one-metre spacing. Benches at the Parents Waiting Area outside the gate are marked with an “X” to allow only one person to sit.
Classrooms have been thoroughly cleaned. The cleaners have ensured that the solution and paper towels for wipe-down routines have been replenished in each classroom.
In the canteen, benches have been marked with “X” to guide students on where to sit. Students are to follow the safety distancing markings when queuing to purchase and collect their food, make purchases at the bookstore, re-fill their water bottles at the water coolers and wash their hands at the washbasins. Toilets also have safety distancing markings for the toilet cubicles, urinals and washbasins.
Safety distancing markings in the General Office and at the Security Post guide visitors, delivery personnel and vendors. Additional hand sanitisers have been installed at the Indoor Sports Hall, School Hall, Staff Room and General Office.
The bus vendor will be cleaning the interior of the buses with Dettol twice a day. Tomorrow, drivers will conduct visual screening of students for flu-like symptoms before the students board the bus. Bus seats are numbered and every student will be assigned a permanent seat number.
All set to welcome our students back to school!
29 May 2020
To support national efforts for the Covid-19 outbreak, one of our Executive and Administrative staff members, who wishes to remain anonymous, decided to volunteer with NParks and was appointed as a Safe Distancing Ambassador.
She says, “I just felt it was the right thing to do. As a Singaporean, I needed to play my part for the home community while I was able to. My only concern was to choose the right place to volunteer so that I would not affect my loved ones at home and my work. For example, I would not volunteer at places where I might have a higher risk of getting infected as I had to consider my two aged parents at home and their health.”
As an Enforcement Officer, her duty is to partner with NParks officers to patrol the Nature Parks in the Bukit Timah area 2 to 3 times per week, which may include public holidays and weekends. Each session lasts about 3 to 4 hours and takes place in the morning or afternoon.
“We will patrol around the vicinity of the parks and share with members of the public about the Safe Distancing measures. We will tell them that the playgrounds and carparks are closed, that members of the public should not loiter in the parks and go home after completing their exercise, and that there should be no social gathering with people from different households. For those who do not heed our advice, we will have to report them to the authorities, but I have not reported anyone so far. We also have to report our observations and the crowd status.”
She describes what she has been doing as a humbling experience. While on patrol, some will walk past them and give them a nod or say a word of thanks, while others will try to avoid them. She can see the good Samaritans of Singapore who pick up rubbish along the way, without the government calling for a “clean-up” campaign.
Her work with NParks has helped her to grow in her pride for Singapore. “I am proud that we have such safe and beautiful green sanctuaries in Singapore. Proud of my garden city which I call HOME.”
21 May 2020
Nothing beats hearing the students’ voices and laughter back in school again. The school had been silent for the past two months since the Circuit Breaker started. Finally, our Primary 6 students were able to come back to school to meet their friends and teachers, and more importantly, to resume their learning in a classroom setting.
Everyone was excited about returning to school and life slowly returning to normalcy. Mr James Han commented, “Seeing my students in person, with the familiar morning greetings was a welcome change from HBL lessons. The students and I were both excited to be seeing each other again. It was a reminder to me that teaching is indeed a human endeavour and the classroom interaction between teachers and students is irreplaceable.”
On the first day of the face-to-face consultation on 19 May, after going through the safety procedures of ensuring that everyone was wearing a mask and had no fever or flu-like symptoms, students and teachers proceeded to the classrooms. We could still see the smiles on everyone’s faces behind the masks and even though everyone was at least 1 metre apart!
“I was able to monitor the students’ understanding and learning a lot more closely. We were able to discuss questions as a class and listen to different perspectives. Such engagement led to more fruitful learning. Students also appreciated face-to-face learning more because I was able to clarify their doubts and misconceptions and provide immediate feedback,” Cikgu Azlin added.
Ms Eileen Puah asked her students what they missed most in school. Unanimously all the students said, “Friends and teachers!” Not only were the students happy to see their friends and teachers again, they also showed eagerness to learn.
Together, we will overcome all challenges in this difficult time and continue to deliver engaging lessons to help our students be ready for the national examinations.
20 May 2020
On 6 March, the children, parents and staff of Blangah Rise Learning Campus showed our appreciation to SingHealth Polyclinics for being at the frontline in the fight against Covid-19. Click here to read more about it
We were very touched when the staff of SingHealth Polyclinics then wrote appreciation notes to our children to thank them for bringing them sunshine. Dr Adrian Ee, CEO of SingHealth Polyclinics, wrote, “Your thoughtful and meaningful gifts have brought Sunshine to our staff, as well as given us the strength and determination to rise above the challenges to continue to provide the best care for our patients.”
The handwritten, personalised notes had these messages for our children: we felt love in this crisis, your encouragement brings joy and cheer to us at work, and we will continue to work hard to keep you and your loved ones safe. They also contained practical reminders: remember to wash your hands, stay at home, and always listen to your parents.
Click here to read the messages from SingHealth Polyclinics.
Thank you, SingHealth Polyclinics!
8 May 2020
The home is where children first start learning and mothers especially play an important role in teaching their children.
As Mother’s Day is coming up, our team from MOE Kindergarten @ Blangah Rise would like to take this opportunity to salute all parents for being such amazing teachers!
In light of the COVID-19 situation where children are engaged in home-based learning, parents are also trying their best to teach and support their children while juggling work and other commitments.
Therefore, we would like to send our warmest wishes to you on this Mother’s Day with a simple short video, to thank all parents (mothers and fathers) for teaching and taking care of your children at this time away from school because we know parents always do what is best for their children.
6 May 2020
Masks Sewn with Love
In early April 2020, when the Ministry of Social and Family (MSF) called out for volunteers to sew reusable masks for their beneficiaries in the Social Service Organisations, Mdm Rozinah Binti Shamsuddin, our very own Operations Support Officer, stepped forward without any hesitation.
To date, Mdm Rozinah has sewn more than 200 masks during her own free time. She forked out about S$300 from her own pocket to buy materials to make the lovely masks. The masks have been delivered to beneficiaries from Children and Young Persons Homes, Crisis Shelters, Transitional Shelters and Safe Sound Sleeping Spaces (S3Ps).
Currently, Mdm Rozinah is producing about 30 masks daily, for the next beneficiary group – our foreign workers community.
For Mdm Rozinah, volunteering and making masks in this Covid-19 pandemic is “A gift of Love and a Joy forever!”
When you are back in school, and bump into Mdm Rozinah, do give her a Thumbs-Up for her love!
5 May 2020
Today is the start of the Mid-Year School Holidays! It is a different experience for most of us as we are staying home due to the Circuit Breaker.
Parents and children may experience a range of emotions while being at home. How can we, as parents, manage them then? There are tools parents can utilise to help their children manage some of these emotions better. By focusing on the things one has control over, it facilitates a sense of composure or calmness even during uncertain times. As a result, we feel more peaceful and joyful during this trying period.
Click here for tips on how you can help your child and yourself maintain and improve your mental and emotional well-being during this Circuit Breaker!
In addition, join us in our BRPS Circuit Breaker Challenges starting 6 May. Stay tuned to our school website and Facebook. We look forward to your participation!
4 May 2020
Connect •Cheerlead •Coach
Since the start of Term 2, CCA has been suspended as part of the precautionary measures against Covid-19. As CCA provides significant learning experiences for students, we decided to connect with our CCA students online during full HBL to cheerlead and coach them during this period.
We designed a CCA lesson on SLS and connected with our students. In this lesson, we asked the students what they missed most about CCA and invited them to reflect upon the relevance of 7 Habits in their daily lives during full HBL. We also encouraged them to teach one Habit to a family member and share why this is important. To pique students’ interest in CCA, we created an interactive CCA board using Padlet where specific CCA activities were posted to encourage students’ participation. Students’ responses were positive and they appreciated their CCA teachers’ efforts to connect, cheerlead and coach them.
Christiano from STEM Club shared that he would coach his sister to “begin with the end in mind” to help her be focused and complete her HBL on time.
Kate from Art & Design Club shared that she would coach her brother to “put first things first” so that he can learn to finish his work first before going to play.
We are encouraged to know that our students have caught the spirit of cheerleading and coaching others even as their CCA teacher intentionally mentors them. We will continue to connect with them on SLS during the May school holidays and engage them meaningfully with activities that they can do at home.
30 April 2020
"Full HBL? What is going to happen to my Primary 6 graduating class?” Mrs Grace Lee, Form Teacher of Primary 6 Topaz, asked. Mdm Stephanie Song, Year Head for Senior Primary, quickly added, “Is it real? How am I going to complete my teaching before PSLE?” These were the real conversations going on in the staff room when our Prime Minister made the announcement on 3 April.
The fear of Covid-19 disrupting the lessons is very real, especially so for the Primary 6 graduating classes. With the national examination in less than six months, there were many questions floating in the minds of students, teachers and parents. How are the teachers going to cope with HBL, make them interesting and help students to continue learning? Our teachers rose to the occasion and leveraged on the affordances of technology. They designed interesting and engaging lessons with videos, activities for Formative Assessment and video conferences to keep students engaged in their learning from home.
Teaching and educating a child holistically can never be done by a teacher alone. It is a partnership between three parties – the parent, the child and the teacher. We decided to bring forward the mid-year Parent-Teacher-Child Conference (PTCC). In fact, with full HBL, when most parents are at home, we realised that it would be an ideal time to carry out the PTCC. Teachers started to schedule Zoom meetings to meet parents and students ‘face-to-face’ to discuss the student’s learning progress.
Ms Ivy Teo, Form Teacher of Primary 5 Opal, said, “I have conducted Zoom lessons with my students but never with parents, therefore I did not really know what to expect and how it would turn out. However, the positive comments from the parents spurred me on and I was gladly surprised by the outcome.”
This new platform for PTCC was warmly received by teachers, parents and students. “We continued to share and exchange information among colleagues on how to support each student. As such, this enabled us to provide parents with more accurate information and engage them in deeper conversations,” said Ms Magdalene Ho, Form Teacher of Primary 6 Sapphire.
Covid-19 will not deter the teachers’ determination to engage parents and students. We will continue to find ways to be creative and innovate!
29 April 2020
What a ‘Zoom’ day for our students from Primary 3 Topaz today! They started with a Math SLS lesson at 9.00 a.m. followed by Chinese at 10.00 a.m. Best of all, the moment they had all been waiting for – a lesson using Zoom at 12.45 p.m.
“Hello Josephina!” “Hello Amelia!” “Hello Ian”… The students joined the online lesson one by one and greeted one another with wide grins on their faces.
Chi Fung squealed in delight, “I have not seen Aaron for so long!”
Another student asked, “Where’s Akeno?”
The incessant chatter over this platform invoked a strong sense of emotions in the students. They expressed excitement in seeing their classmates during this extended period of time away from school.
“This is so fun! We can play a ‘live’ Math game together as a class even when we are in our own homes!” exclaimed Gail as she and her classmates participated in the ‘live’ game on multiplication tables hosted on Kahoot (an online quiz platform).
The Zoom session meant the most to Jiayi who would be leaving Singapore to return to her home country for good on 30 April. “I am so happy to be able to see all my teachers and classmates for the last time,” said Jiayi. Despite being unable to bid farewell to her classmates in person, she was at the very least able to attend a final online lesson with them.
As the video conferencing came to a close, Ms Phang, the form teacher, asked, “Jiayi, would you like to say something to your friends?” It was a bittersweet yet heart-warming moment to witness. Jiayi waved goodbye to her classmates on screen and tears welled up in her eyes. Reluctantly, her classmates waved back. They promised that they would keep in touch with Jiayi through email or video conferencing, just like what they had experienced today. May their friendships continue to grow.
“There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.” – Diana Cortes
28 April 2020
The earth needs everyone! Saving and protecting the earth must start from young.
MOE Kindergarten teachers emailed parents some Home Based Activities to commemorate Earth Day. Parents were encouraged to talk to their children about the importance of saving earth’s resources and caring for the environment. A video clip about Earth Day was shared with the children. The children used recyclable materials to make craft items.
Rory from K2 Courage read “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein with his mummy who shared with him about the importance of caring for nature. Rory shared, “Recycle, reuse and reduce! Do not waste toilet paper, water and wood!” He made a tree after reading the story, using egg cartons and toilet rolls.
Another K2 child, Ghim Chiu, commemorated Earth Day by making a pencil holder using recycled materials. “I used the big giant bottle cap to make the earth and the cardboard box to make the container. We used giftwrap to wrap the container.”
Indeed, protecting our earth starts with small actions and each of us can play our part. Let’s make our earth a healthier and cleaner place!
27 April 2020
How are pre-schoolers engaged at home during the Circuit Breaker? MOE Kindergarten@Blangah Rise embarked on HBL to ensure that the MK children are engaged with learning. The activities were planned with clear instructions on what to do, so that parents can carry them out easily at home.
One of the activities, “I’m A Little Helper at Home”, aims to have children develop a sense of responsibility in caring for their family. Parents work with their children to create a duty roster for household chores. As parents are working hard to juggle working from home and supervising home-based learning, sharing household chores will help families cope better. Doing chores also helps the children to improve their motor skills.
Ms Rona Berdin Anduyan, the parent of a K1 child, said, “Dinaish wakes up early every day, even on Saturday mornings, asking to do his HBL like his brother. After doing the activity, “I’m a Little Helper at Home”, Dinaish helped me today by changing the bed and pillow covers.”
Another K1 child, Antonia, is also enjoying her HBL very much. “I like to follow my duty roster and water the plants! I like to bake the circle cookies and make letters with the playdough!”
Antonia’s mother, Ms Corina Quek, said, “The HBL ideas are good and Antonia enjoys doing the activities. She will look at the roster and know what she has to do and when.”
MK teachers will continue to monitor and review the children’s learning progress during this Covid-19 period through phone calls and emails. In addition, the teachers also check in on the children’s well-being. We hope our children will Stay Home, Stay Safe and Stay Engaged!
24 April 2020
Teacher @ Home
I used to know the boundary
of the classroom I teach in
the inside is where I influence
outside do not interfere
you knock to enter
ask for permission to exit.
Now it seems unclear
who is also in my class
a parent who’s supervising
curious siblings at a distance
or a helper cleaning up the room
I used to engage
those dreaming away in class
able to prompt those pupils
who are not on task
also recognize the few
whose eyes are pleading to ask
Though now we see close-up
the detachment seems more evident
the presence i used to spark
is lost in the gizmos
out in cyberspace
support beyond reach at the utmost
Despite the doubts which arise
the fear of trying new techniques
the clumsy handling of gadgets
scurrying for suitable tools
to supplement lessons to execute
tedious planning undertook
The satisfaction is undeniable
when teaching and learning are made possible
especially when enthusiasm is shown
learning with technology is done
at the comfort of one’s own home
Without which it will be
knowledge not able to be sought
out of touch with rules and routines
cordiality and etiquette forgotten
amongst peers and teachers abound
Would not want such a position
when our young generation
deprived of education
during this ‘stay home’ situation
Salute to all teachers
whose contribution seems meagre
but the impact is bountiful
for the future of our nation!
Mr Zaini, Form Teacher of 5 Topaz
23 April 2020
My name is Aarav and I am from Primary 6 Topaz.
Last Wednesday, a lesson package was assigned to all students on SLS. Many strategies were shared on how to manage ourselves better during Full Home-Based Learning. It recommended various coping strategies or activities for us to carry out to spend our time at home more purposefully.
For me, whenever I feel stressed, I would either read a good book or play music. These activities calm my nerves and relax my mind. They make me feel better and I would then be able to continue with my daily activities and studies more effectively.
A book that I have read recently is “Story Thieves: Pick the Plot” by James Riley. Its engaging and suspenseful storyline enticed me to pick it up and start reading it. This book is highly recommended!
I have also learnt how to play the guitar, and if I have the chance, I would like to strum you a song!
I would like to end with the following message: amidst these hard times, let us play our parts responsibly, practise good hygiene and always be happy!
See you soon!
22 April 2020
Today, we commemorate Earth Day. The theme for this year is Climate Action. It is extra special as Earth Day turns 50 this year. With the current situation in hand, wherever we might be, let us not forget to commemorate Earth Day even in our small actions to do our part to save the planet that we share living on.
Every year, Blangah Rise Primary School, has been commemorating this annual event with assembly talks, class activities, recess activities and our annual Project GAIA where we, as a family, collect recyclables from our neighbours around Telok Blangah Heights. However, this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to stay home but that does not dampen our commemorative spirit for Earth Day.
Our LLP team of teachers have also come up with two special Earth Day lesson packages for our students via SLS. The first package was rolled out to the students earlier this month. We are also taking this opportunity to share with our students how they can turn recyclable items into useful items that they may use at home. This is to promote upcycling to help cut down on the items for recycling or disposing as the current circuit breaker has indirectly generated quite a fair amount of items for disposal. The second lesson package will be dispatched to the students later this month. Indeed, it is a month-long commemoration of Earth Day at Blangah Rise Primary School.
Our teacher, Mr Mohan, who has been one of the voices behind the lesson packages, is excited by this new approach of reaching out to students instead of having a physical assembly programme. He said, “This is something new but we are sure we can reach out to the students to make a difference to our planet Earth even in the comfort of their homes.” Mrs Jenny Quek, another teacher who also did voice over for the lesson packages, added, “The intent of the commemoration is still kept intact for the students. That is important.”
From the first package, one of the Primary 6 students, Mohamed Afiq, mentioned that “Earth is a special planet since it is the only planet which can serve as home for humans and we need to take care of it,” as his reflection for the lesson. Another P3 student, Ghim Suan reflected, “I have learnt we need to save the earth by reducing waste.”
Click here to watch a video containing a special message from all of us at Blangah Rise Primary School on this year’s Earth Day.
We will also be sharing some beautiful ideas for our students to try out at home to make a difference in the world while each one of us commemorate Earth Day safely.
If you have any ideas to share with our students, feel free to #earthday2020 or #earthday@brps in your post and we will share with our students.
Let’s continue to think of creative ways to come together at home to celebrate and honour our Planet Earth.
Stay safe. Stay home.
21 April 2020
Rain or shine,
let our children's artworks plant seeds of hope.
Where our roots of courage and determination grow deep and grow together.
May this unshakable tree bring shelter whenever trouble comes again.
Poem written by Mrs Esther Loh, Ms Lee Sok Lai, Ms Sharon Lee, Mdm Sa’adah and Ms Yanti
Art plays an important role in helping students process what is going on around them. Drawing offers the students opportunities to express their appreciation and encouragement to others.
Seeds of Encouragement is an art project led by our teachers, Mrs Esther Loh, Ms Lee Sok Lai, Ms Sharon Lee, Mdm Sa’adah and Ms Yanti, to support the frontliners and others by creating messages of hope. This project promotes individual creativity and gives students the opportunity to draw and write inspirational messages of hope for individuals and families facing difficulties from the Covid-19 situation.
Illustrating a picture of a big yellow flower, Nur Daisara from 6 Sapphire said, “You can cheer someone up by giving them sunflowers! I hope my drawing will lift the spirits of our frontliners.”
At the end of the session, Muhd Naqiu from 6 Opal said, “I feel sad that I can’t meet my friends outside to play. Drawing this artwork gives me hope that the situation will get better if we do our part to stop the spread of Covid-19.”
20 April 2020
This is a reverse poem that can be read forwards (top to bottom) and have one meaning, but
can also be read backwards (bottom to top) and have a different or opposite meaning.
Circuit Breaker (Blangah Rise Primary School)
During Circuit Breaker
Blangah Rise Primary School
Students and teachers around
Footsteps and joyful chatter abound
Sounds of teaching and learning resound
After Circuit Breaker
Staff and Students return
Now read the Poem from Bottom to Top
Written by Mr James Han, School Staff Developer.
Photograph taken by Mrs Teresa Tay, HOD ICT
17 April 2020
There are multiple functions in Student Learning Space (SLS) that facilitate Formative Assessment. Teachers can get immediate information on students’ learning progress so that they can plan their next lesson to move learning forward.
Our teachers also wanted to hear more from their students personally to address their questions in an interactive way. Mr Leow Qinjin, Science Teacher of Primary 6 Topaz, used Google Meet to hold a consultation session for his students. His students raised questions and clarified their doubts on the topic “Living Together”.
The students booked their consultation slots through a Google Document in SLS. To keep the session engaging and fruitful, Mr Leow kept to a maximum of five students for each consultation session.
Mr Leow shared, “The students were very excited about being able to ask questions through video conferencing. They were able to get immediate feedback to their questions, and they further built on their knowledge by asking more questions!”
Aarav said, “I found the video conferencing session very efficient and useful. Mr Leow clarified my doubts immediately. I understood my misconceptions and knew how to progress on. I did not have to wait for Mr Leow to reply to my messages.”
Wern Yang also shared that the interaction with his peers was beneficial to his learning. “I was able to log in to the session easily without any problems. While listening to my peers’ responses, I picked up new ideas.”
Our teachers will continue to harness the affordances of technology to engage students in their learning.
16 April 2020
What’s for lunch today when everybody is at home?
Our Primary 1 students participated in a bento making workshop on 13 March. You can now re-create the bento with your child at home! With a few simple ingredients you can easily find at home, unleash your creativity and create your own healthy plate.
Ingredients (1 adult portion)
- 200g of cooked rice
- Vegetables – the more the better!
- 90g of protein (we very much prefer a simple egg omelette)
- Some garnish like sesame seeds and ketchup for decoration
For your child’s portion, we advise halving the adult’s portion.
Let your creative juices flow and create the most fun meal your family can ever have!
15 April 2020
Before full HBL started, some of our students went on Leave of Absence (LOA). When they returned to school, we presented them with a “welcome back” card. It was also a card to thank them for being “heroes” who stayed at home during their LOA to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. The card helped the students to know that their teachers and classmates cared for them.
Now that our students are on full HBL, we would like to acknowledge each and every one of them, because by staying at home, they are “heroes” in our fight against the spread of COVID-19. Students, continue learning with your teachers from home, who are working equally hard to ensure that your learning remains rich and meaningful!
14 April 2020
Although the opportunities for face to face learning has decreased during full HBL, our teachers have tried to maintain the quality of learning. Miss Phang Seow Ling, Form Teacher of Primary 3 Topaz, shares, “I use the annotation feature on SLS to explain concepts to my students and provide feedback to them.” One of her students, Amelia, feels that Miss Phang’s feedback reminds her of being physically in class even though there is less face to face interaction online. Amelia’s mother shares that the videos on SLS help her daughter to refresh her learning when needed. “If Amelia has doubts, she repeats the video to learn the concepts again.” Callis’ parent shares a similar sentiment. “The Science, English and Chinese videos are interesting and Maths lessons are very detailed. Thank you, teachers, for all the hard work!”
13 April 2020
“My main focus going into full HBL was to continually hold my students’ hearts while ensuring that they grasp concepts with confidence. Over the past few sessions, I have tried a couple of things to maintain the relationships with students that drive engagement as well as learning.
I start most of my mornings by calling groups of pupils in my different classes. I let them know that I am thinking of them and that I miss going into lessons with them. I believe the connection for my students is greater when we get to hear each other’s voices. The pupils are usually very active and excited during the phone conversations, always eager to share more. For students without handphones, I call or text their parents or guardians instead to make sure that no child is left out. I also work closely with my other form teachers to rotate through small groups of students to monitor their well-being.
I find that routines that foster connection are an essential part of classroom life. It is important to find ways for students to communicate and express their thoughts, be it on school work or personal experiences. Hence, I check-in on them around the same time each day to make certain that I clarify their doubts and they are feeling emotionally well at the same time. It is heartening to see missed calls from my pupils when I am late on my check-ins with them.
I have also reiterated to my students that they can choose to either talk, email to me, or share their doubts or fears via the Student’s Learning Space platform. This has helped the introverted ones to share their feelings in confidence. Connect time is essential whether done in person or online.
In all, my students are slowly accepting that we are in this together and have even taken the initiative to check on their peers who have difficulty catching up just so that they can update me during my calls to them. That to me is a successful classroom relationship.”
9 April 2020
Today, we commemorate International Friendship Day (IFD) to encourage our students to understand the cultural diversities in our region and to nurture the spirit of friendship among different people.
Miss Guo Yawen, the teacher in charge, shares, “In the past, students would come together for an IFD assembly programme in the school hall. However, this year, as we are playing our part to fight the battle against Covid-19, students are staying at home and learning online. We have therefore shifted the commemoration from the school hall to an online platform, the Student Learning Space (SLS). On SLS, students will watch an IFD video narrated by their peers and answer interactive questions. Just like the usual assembly talk, quiz questions are prepared for students to answer and they can also win attractive prizes!”
Let learning continue beyond the classroom and let us continue to enrich our students' appreciation of the cultures around us.
8 April 2020
Parents, what can you do to help your child take stretch breaks in between HBL activities? Mr Eugene Tan, Form Teacher of Primary 3 Sapphire and a trained PE teacher, taught his class some stretching exercises before the start of full HBL. He shares these great tips.
“When I sense that the class energy is low, I will engage the class in a stretching cum breathing exercise. It is a great way to invigorate as well as motivate the child! I try not to repeat my stretching routines so that the children are always inquisitive and will remain engaged. The objective is to get them to stretch the shoulder and neck muscles and do some breathing exercises.
“I will usually get the students to stand up, feet shoulder width apart. Hands stretch up to the ceiling, as high as they can reach! Then with each blow of my whistle, each arm position is changed, from pointing to the side, to pointing forward. Arm positions may change individually (left then right) or change together. While doing that, I like to add descriptions, for example, ‘Like an air traffic controller guiding a plane to land!’ or, ‘We are doing air swimming!’
“I will end off with breathing exercises, where I will get the children to shrug their shoulders, squeeze the shoulders as high as possible and rotate them back. This will cause the chest to expand, and that is when I will ask them to take a deep breath. Do this 3 times and we are done!”
7 April 2020
To prepare students for full home-based learning (HBL) which starts tomorrow, teachers have been giving instructions to ensure that their students know their HBL schedules, how to access Student Learning Space (SLS) and what they need to do to keep well. Miss Norparissah, Form Teacher of Primary 2 Sapphire, says, “I look forward to my students learning independently and interacting with them online. Like other teachers, I will be on standby should they have any questions or need any guidance.”
Her students certainly feel assured that their teachers are still supporting them, even though they will not be seeing them. Chong Kai says confidently, “I am ready for the one month of home-based learning. My teachers have already given us all the instructions, so I know what to do at home.”
His classmate, Zheng Hao, adds, “I feel excited about the upcoming home-based learning. I can use my laptop to learn and it is going to be very fun. But I will miss my friends and teachers.”
We will miss seeing our students in school, but your teachers will continue to stay connected with you through phone calls or SLS. We will be able to go through this together!