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CCE Newsflash Term 3 2018


Dear parents,

Term 3 was indeed a time of celebration! And it was especially heartening to note that these celebrations were opportunities for our students to apply what they have learned as a Fairsian in this community of leaders and learners. Here are some of the highlights.

National Day Celebrations (8 August) 

The celebration of Singapore’s 53rd birthday started with a pre-parade precision drill display performed by Fairfield’s NCC (Land). A key feature of the school’s National Day programme for many years, the performance was well-received and the NCC boys captivated their audience with their spinning rifles and the boom of their boots on the floor. 

The parade followed with the Guard-of-Honour Contingent comprising the five Uniformed Groups (UGs)-- NCC (Land), NCC (Sea), Boys’ Brigade, Girls’ Brigade and the Red Cross Youth–adding a touch of pomp and pageantry with their grand entrance.  The school was then led to recollect the contributions of our pioneer generation and leaders, and to think about what it means to be a concerned and contributing Singaporean.

Special awards for the UGs were also presented in recognition of their achievements in the past year, while the Fairfield Dance added a different dimension to the parade with their coordinated dance moves, leaps and twirls across the parade square. The parade culminated with the sing-along Finale segment, where the entire school sang with gusto, “We Are Singapore” and “Home”. It was a beautiful moment as every happy Fairsian joined hands and hearts to celebrate the joyous occasion as One Fairfield.
   

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NDP Participants forming a heart during the sing-along Finale segmentMarching Contingent awaiting the arrival of the Guest-of-Honour Our Dance CCA performing in celebration of the nation’s birthday

     

Fairfield’s Sophia Blackmore Leadership Programme 

The school embarked on the Sophia Blackmore Leadership Programme with the goal of becoming a student-led school—a school where students learn to lead and influence their peers as they take the lead in planning for and executing school-wide initiatives and programmes. The programme seeks to equip Fairsians with the skills and attitudes to achieve these outcomes and meet not just the needs of the school but local community as well. 

Here are some updates from the different groups on what they have done over the course of Term 3.


i.Peer Support Board Promotes Mental Wellness with MW Carnival and Happy Week  

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the preliminary exams, Founder’s Day and National Day, the Mental Wellness Department of the Peer Support Board (PSB) organised a Mental Wellness Carnival. The PSB planned three easy games that students could play—either alone or in pairs--to win free popcorn or snacks just by participating in them. It took place during both lunch breaks and the Peer Support Leaders (Class Chairpersons) gamely volunteered to help run the carnival games and prize stalls. 

The event was very well received by the student body and the CCE room was packed during both lunch breaks. Students had a good time letting their hair down and enjoyed the free snacks. Most importantly, participants left with a cute and meaningful mental-wellness note on how to manage stress. 

In week 9, the Social Wellness Department of the Peer Support Board organised Happy Week in an effort to spread cheer across the school community by focusing on strengthening relationships in school. On the first day, a Peer Support Happy Week booth was set up for students to personalise a bookmark with words of encouragement and give it to a friend of their choice. They could then get their photos taken by the Peer Support Leaders as a memento to keep. 

The next few days saw students writing appreciation notes for their Teachers to show how much they love and care for their Teachers, as well as Thank You cards for the non-teaching staff. Packets of biscuits were given to demonstrate their appreciation. Students were also encouraged to scribble their thoughts on colourful beach balls about what makes them proud to be a Fairsian, why they love Fairfield and how they can be a better friend. As a finale to the exciting and eventful week, the Peer Support Leaders released the nine beach balls on the students during Friday’s morning assembly. 
 
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Students having a good time trying out the games during Mental Wellness CarnivalStudents giving their thank you note and a packet of biscuits a to one of our non-teaching staff
Students selecting a bookmark to write words of encouragement for a friend during Happy Week
   

ii.Community Student Leaders Demonstrate Values in Action (VIA) at APC and Environment Week

A Homework and Reading Programme was launched at the Aldersgate Praise Centre, an after-school student care centre by our Community Student Leaders (CSL).  Our CSLs visit each week to help the Primary 1 students - who are mostly from Fairfield Methodist School (Primary) - with their homework. They also conduct a Reading Programme to interest the students and inculcate a good reading habit. During the Reading Programme, our CSLs role-play and use props to engage the students and involve them in interactive segments from time-to-time. 

During Environment Week, the CSLs worked hard to raise awareness about plastic pollution and its detrimental effects on the environment. They took it a step further by initiating a ‘Straw Free Week’ where canteen vendors did not give out straws to minimise plastic refuse. Environmentalists such as Bamboo Straw Girl and Straw Free Singapore were also invited to give talks to their peers about caring for the environment by reducing plastic waste. Students were also given the opportunity to buy reusable bamboo and metal straws to incorporate it into their daily life to care for the environment. 
   

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Reading Programme at APC HomeworkHelp at APC Environment Week Booth

   

iii.Sports Leaders and Class Captains Organise Telok Blangah Family Day 

Our Sports Leaders and Class Captains worked with Telok Blangah CC to organise the Telok Blangah Family Day. They were resourceful and creative in planning the games for the Amazing Race and even made up the rules and devised a point-system as well. Prior to the event, they tested the games to make sure that they were fun and appropriate for residents of different age groups. During the event, our Class Captains not only showed their competency in running the entire programme, but they patiently advised the participants on how to play the games and also ensured their safety. All in all, our Sports Leaders and Class Captains gained experience in organising this event and enjoyed mingling with the residents of Telok Blangah. 
   

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Group photo with the participantsOur students conducting one of the game stations
   

iv.Student Council Leads Students in celebration of Teachers’ Day 

This year’s Teachers’ Day celebration was marked by a Teachers’ Day Concert which was organised by the student council. The theme was “Champions” as the student leaders firmly believe that “Fairfield Teachers are CHAMPIONS for having the grit to manage and teach a wide variety of Fairsians… enriching them with knowledge and valuable life lessons.”  

The concert included many heartfelt student song performances as students sang of their love and appreciation to their beloved teachers. The students also planned entertaining games which both the students and teachers participated as a Fairfield Family. The celebrations culminated with a gift session where the class chairpersons gave their teachers a personally penned appreciation card as well as a specially designed water bottle.

This event truly taught our students to learn how to look beyond themselves and appreciate the teachers who have invested and given so much to them. Through this event, the student councillors truly learnt project management skills and also the essential skills needed by a leader to pull off a Teachers’ Day concert. The teachers are truly proud of them!
   

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Students in 1G interacting with the elderly at the eldercare centreSecondary 1 students with 'Dancing Uncle', Uncle Roland Specially designed water bottle for teachers

     


Partnering with Parents 

Distraction as a technique to handle emotional situations.

There have been many articles published about the dangers or negative effects of suppressing one's emotions.  Many counselling approaches often bring the person involved back to the situation (by recalling the event) and reappraise or reinterpret the situation with new insights.

Is avoiding to engage in an emotional situation undesirable?

Herbert (2012) suggested that there may be times one should avoid engaging in negative emotions.  In his article, Herbert suggested that it may be helpful to engage when the negative emotion is milder but it may be more beneficial to disengage if the emotion is intense.

“Evidence is mounting that, under extremely adverse conditions, some emotional disengagement may indeed be tonic.  This approach appears to be true for disaster victims; for people with severe, ruminating depression; and of course, for alcoholics in early recovery.”                                                                                                                                                        Herbert, 2012 

In the family, there are many situations where intense emotions can arise.  One of the more common emotions is anger.  Parents are often angry when their children disagree with them (in any form) and children often use anger as a defence mechanism – to drive parents away as nobody likes an angry person.  If we keep on engaging in these angry situations, there is a high chance that those involved get into the habit of using anger to handle undesirable situations.

“For example, if an experience or thought were especially intense and threatening, people would nip it in the bud early.  They would simply disengage and not pay attention, in that way blocking negativity from awareness, much as newly recovering alcoholics are advised to do.  This technique would keep potent negative thoughts from ever gaining force.”
                                                                                                                                                        Herbert, 2012

It may be important for parents to learn to let go and not keep harping on an issue so that those who become parents in the future can also learn that they do not have to have answers to everything and not everything is within their control.  The idea is not to allow the negative way of handling the situation develop into a habit – something that we practise day in day out.

Distraction is the technique of letting go.  Watch a movie, take a walk, switch off, go for a swim…  

Not engaging does not mean leaving problems unsolved.  It means we have the ability not to carry our troubles all the time.  It means we may have to re-examine the situation without being coloured by our emotions.

Yours sincerely, 
The CCE & SD Team


Reference

Herbert, W.  1st Mar 2012.  The Nuts and Bolts of Emotional Sobriety, When to engage with negative feelings and when to ignore them.  Mind, Scientific America.   https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-nuts-and-bolts-of-emotional-sobriety/
 

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