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Celebrating the Work behind A Successful 2020 Secondary One Orientation

As part of the Voice Of A Fairsian Programme, Shelby Yeo from Secondary 4F celebrated the work of the student leaders who put in much time and effort to plan and execute the 2020 Secondary One Orientation, which enabled the Secondary 1 students to enjoy a week of fun activities while bonding with their classmates and learning more about Fairfield Methodist School (Secondary). In her speech, she encouraged all students, particularly the Secondary 1 juniors, to reflect on their blessings. (This speech was delivered in February 2020 during morning assembly.)

Shelby’s Speech

Good morning everyone! I’m Shelby from Secondary 4F. Today, I’ll be talking about my experience during this year's Secondary 1 Orientation.

Last year I was assigned to be part of the Orientation 2020 EXCO. I decided that I would take the opportunity to work on one of the five leadership practices, namely to inspire a shared vision. Inspiring a shared vision involves influencing others to share and work towards a common goal. As EXCO, our shared vision was to create an unforgettable Orientation 2020 experience for the Secondary 1 students that was memorably different from previous years. We chose the theme ‘Ignite’ because we wanted to ‘ignite’ a heart of service in the Secondary 1 students. We started off our preparations by rallying the student leaders to be a blessing to others so that they can ultimately influence the Secondary 1 students to bless their peers too! I remember seeing Ethan Siow rushing to find a first aid kit when he heard that a Secondary 1 student was injured. He did his best to clean up this boy’s wound, while many other student leaders rushed to take care of his needs. It was also heartening to hear from my peers that some Secondary 1 students actually took the time to write a note of encouragement and gave a packet of gummies to their Orientation Group’s student leaders to thank them! This shows how such acts of kindness can go a long way in encouraging others! We were also able to achieve our goal with the help of Ms Brenda Nio who constantly reminded the Secondary 1 students to be thankful and kind to each other.

Through this experience, I learnt many leadership skills from my fellow peers and seniors. For example, I learnt the importance of accountability, which is being answerable and responsible for our actions. It was important for us to demonstrate accountability as the teachers entrusted all the student leaders to come up with the Orientation Programme and to take care of the Secondary 1 students’ safety and well-being. During the Orientation Programme, the student leaders would have to track and be mindful of every Secondary 1 student’s whereabouts. We also conducted many dry runs and debriefs to improve the execution of our programme. Accountability builds trust while executing the orientation programme well enables the teachers to entrust us with bigger responsibilities as we work towards being a student-led school.

In fact, it is important for everyone to be responsible for our actions. For example, when eating in the canteen, we should always clean up after ourselves. We should also take the initiative to clean our classrooms. These simple actions enable us to learn to be accountable for our actions, which may in turn persuade our teachers to entrust us with even bigger responsibilities!

To end off, I found Orientation 2020 to be extremely fun. It was also an honour for me to lead and plan Orientation 2020 with my fellow peers! To all the student leaders, thank you for leading and planning Orientation 2020! It was definitely not easy but I’m glad to see everyone develop the growth mindset! To all the Secondary 1 students, I hope you have enjoyed Orientation 2020 and are coping well with your new subjects! I would like to share with the Secondary 1 students what Mr Joel Li said to the student leaders during a debrief session. “It is what you do when you’re tired that really counts.” With all the upcoming tests, CCAs and projects, it may be tiring but let’s not give up. Keep pressing on to rise above the variety of challenges, complete our homework, make time for our families and friends, and do our best in class even when we are extremely tired! With hard work and encouragement from one another, we will eventually grow to become a better version of ourselves!

On a side note, I would also like to thank all the teachers who have been working very hard behind the scenes due to the coronavirus situation. Hang in there because what you do matters a lot to us. All the best!