Accelerated Programme to Enhance students’ eXperience (APEX)
"The more I wonder, the more I love."
The Accelerated Programme to Enhance students’ eXperience (APEX) aims to stretch the academic potential of our P3 to P6 students and nurture their leadership skills.
1. English Language
Students who have a love for word play are given opportunities to engage in a battle of wits through Scrabble training and competitions. Other students with strong linguistic abilities are given opportunities to build on their oral competencies in The Wits & Words: Inter-school Debate Championship jointly organised by the MOE Gifted Education Branch, Debate Association (Singapore) and Raffles Institution (Secondary). These platforms motivate students to be quick and agile cognitively as they pit against one another, enhancing their love for the English language.
Teaching Blangahnites to Write Funny
“Wherever I walked, people pointed to me and called me ang moh, ang moh. I thought that was funny so I added it into the stories I wrote,” said Neil Humphreys at the start of his workshop on How to Write Funny with our APEX students on 31 July. Peals of laughter were heard constantly as our students held their sides during the entire workshop. Neil Humphreys, one of Singapore's most prolific writers who has published 20 books across many genres, came to Blangah Rise to run a workshop for our students, as part of the school's APEX programme. The school has worked with Book-A-Writer to invite local authors to run writing workshops to teach our APEX students how to write good short stories.
In the first workshop, Neil taught our students to write funny by focusing on the 4 Funnies – Funny Language, Funny Descriptions, Funny Characters, Funny Situations. The students could not stop laughing as they came up with their own funny stories.
Ten-year-old Wunna shared that he was grateful that Neil managed to come here, and that was what made APEX fun. Aarav, age 11, said, “I felt that the lesson was the most engaging and funny! His stories made me laugh like a mad man! Now I’m looking forward to the next session.”
At the end of the workshop, Neil encouraged our students to see the funny in every situation and with that, our students were all excited and primed for the next session.
Developing Rich Characters in Short Stories
Meet Tom, a worker in a fast-food restaurant who loves to eat but is overweight. Here’s John, a clown whose antics made a thousand people laugh. Let’s welcome Alice, a vain girl who thinks that beauty and success go hand-in-hand. These are some of the characters imagined by our APEX students in the second of our English writing workshops.
Following the successful workshop held by Neil Humphreys, Jon Gresham, director of the Singaporean literary community, Singlit Station, and author of a short story collection, We Rose Up Slowly, continued to teach our students writing skills. In the second workshop, our students learnt about the elements of good writing and focused on making their characters come alive. Imaginations ran wild as our students created their characters. In addition to their own ideas, our students were asked to generate ideas on post-its and exchange those ideas with one another in their writing.
“Do not to be afraid to get things wrong and be messy; you can revise and fix it later,” was the encouragement that Jon gave to our students to conclude the workshop.
Our series of writing workshops for APEX students will continue on 21 August and 4 September, so do watch this space to see how our budding writers are blooming!
2. Math and Science Thinking and Inquiry
Students are engaged in Math and Science activities that include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and Excellence 2000 (E2K). These activities aim to deepen students’ conceptual understanding and reasoning skills through an inquiry approach. Students are given opportunities to collaborate with their peers and engage in problem-solving and scientific thinking through games and puzzles. Michael, a Primary 3 student, said, “I love to go for APEX as I get to do fun activities with everyone. I apply what I have learnt to different tasks. I want to do more challenging problems.”
Students get to solve real-life problems in APEX. For example, they came up with solutions to the problem of water scarcity and through school events like Commemoration of Singapore World Water Day, they shared their projects on water conservation with their schoolmates. Hannah, a Primary 4 student, commented, “I am glad to be able to share water conservation tips with others. Together we save precious water.”
Flying Paper Planes in Class
Our APEX students participated in our in-house BRPS Amazing Flying Competition! They carried out their own research and explored different ways to achieve the longest and farthest flight. Each team designed their own plane. Students presented their ideas and findings to their peers. A mini-competition was then held for the teams to showcase their planes. Through the activity, our students displayed a wealth of creativity and resilience.
"You must learn to fail intelligently. Failing is one of the greatest arts in the world. One fails forward towards success.”