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Accelerated Programme to Enhance students’ eXperience (APEX)

"The more I wonder, the more I love."

-Alice Walker-

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.

 

Debate

Our BRPS debaters undergo grueling training and competition schedules to sharpen their debate acumen and confidence. They are coached by students from Raffles Institution who are experienced in debate. In 2021 and 2022, they have obtained straight wins at the Wits & Words tournament and advanced to the Semifinals and Quarterfinal respectively. In the process, our debaters explored issues relating to social media influencers, climate change, parenting, extrinsic rewards, as well as the production and consumption of animal meat. Read more about our debate journey here.

“I really love the experience of a debate match, it is so adrenaline-filled! I enjoy the feeling of presenting my speech, the feeling of rebutting the opponent, answering Points of Information and defending my team's substantives. Working together as a team to get to VICTORY was awesome and I will never forget it!” shared Nguyen Minh Dat.

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Writing

2020 and 2021 were two years like no other. But the challenges that Covid-19 measures brought about, especially the Home-based Learning (HBL), did nothing to dampen our students’ spirits in coming together to pen down their stories and experiences during that period at home. Our students on the English APEX programe met weekly via Zoom to pen BRavo! – our BRPS student e-newsletter, for the students, by the students. BRavo! is part of our Viewpoints programme, where we aim to inculcate communications, collaboration and information skills through journalistic experiences. Through the newsletter, students are given a voice to share their views and thoughts. The team learnt a variety of writing styles and text types in the process. Read our issues of BRavo! here.

We have also focused on creative writing to stretch hone the talents of our students. In 2019, Neil Humphreys and Jon Gresham, director of the Singaporean literary community, Singlit Station, ran a series of writing workshops for some of our students. During the writing workshops, students learnt about the elements of good writing and focused on making their characters come alive. Imaginations ran wild as our students wrote their short stories! Aarav, a Primary 5 student, 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.”

Jon Gresham encouraged the students, “Do not be afraid to get things wrong and be messy. You can revise and fix it later.”

Jon

Scrabble

Our Scrabblers are trained by their coaches to put their wits to the test in any Scrabble match. Through Scrabble, our APEX students have their linguistic ability and vocabulary proficiency stretched as they learn new words, as well as the etymology of English words with Latinate or Greek origins. Our Scrabblers have ample opportunities to take part in competitions such as the National Schools Scrabble Game and Scrabble Tournaments organized by Mattel. Read about their achievements here.

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2. Math and Science Thinking and Inquiry

Students are engaged in various Math and Science activities that include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Excellence 2000 (E2K) and Design Thinking. 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.

Kubo and STEM activities (Primary 3)

Students get to work with KUBO again! This time, they are given the challenge to create their own map. With teamwork and problem-solving skills, students come up with different ways to move their robot from one place to another safely.

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For STEM enrichment, students design a toy and use the SCAMPER tool to improve and revise their toy creation. Students apply the mathematics and science concepts learnt. Kai Siang, a Primary three student, said, “I learnt to work together with my friends. The teacher guided us as we create our toy car. I enjoyed the sessions very much.”

Design Thinking (Primary 4)

Primary 4 students are engaged in a design thinking project. Through the project, they develop the socio-emotional competencies embedded in Design Thinking – empathy and resilience. The students learned how to craft meaningful interview questions and carried out interviews with their peers, teachers and parents to truly understand what the “end user” wanted.

Botao, a Primary 4 student said, “It is important to know and understand what the user needs and wants in designing a product.” He enjoyed the process of interviewing and talking to his schoolmates to find out more about how he could design a good product.

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Innovation Programme (Primary 5)

Observing how there are multi-coloured pens but not multi-coloured markers, Gail, Nickie and Selena set out to design one themselves. The Primary 5 students embarked on this project as part of the Innovation Programme, an initiative organised by the Gifted Education Branch, MOE, with support from Institutes of Higher Learning and industry partners. In this programme, students carry out research and come up with innovative ideas or products via the Creative Problem Solving and Design Thinking frameworks. It develops their problem-solving and inventive skills.

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Flying Paper Planes in Class (Primary 6)

Our APEX students participated in our in-house BRPS Amazing Flying Machines Competition! In the weeks leading up to the competition, students learnt more about airplanes by conducting independent research about the history and science behind these machines. Students shared what they had learnt with each other and worked collaboratively using Google Slides to present the physics of flight to their peers. Each group explored different ways to fold their paper planes to achieve the longest and farthest flight. Once that was achieved, the groups were challenged to create another paper plane that could carry the most amount of pebbles across the furthest distance. 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.

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"You must learn to fail intelligently. Failing is one of the greatest arts in the world. One fails forward towards success.”                                       

Thomas Edison