Sec 2 FLEX Week
FLEX-ing Muscles of Inclusivity
by Ian Lau (Sec 2E), Bertrand Tang (Sec 2E) and Kylee Tan (Sec 3E)
With the impending subject streaming, school had been more intense than ever. Shouts reverberated through the corridors, tears streaked down faces, and sleepless nights had come and gone. Thankfully, Term 1 was coming to an end, and the Secondary Two students were bursting with enthusiasm for the highly-anticipated Fairfield Learning EXperience (FLEX) Week.
The focus for the Secondary Two FLEX week is on inclusivity. As such, different activities and talks were planned to educate and increase the awareness of our students on mental health and special educational needs.
For some classes, they began with a workshop on special educational needs. The workshop consisted of many engaging activities that were designed and carried out by our very own Allied Educators (Learning and Behavioural Support), school counsellors and teachers!
For example, one learning station was about hearing impairment. The teacher who facilitated the learning station shared her personal experience learning sign language as she has a family member whose hearing is impaired. She also taught the students sign language. Despite the loud ‘ah’s of bewilderment at the beginning, the unmistakable furrowing of the pupils’ eyebrows showed just how daunted they were by the activity. Nevertheless, they persevered, and by the end of the session, they could ‘speak’ in full sentences.
The last activity of the segment involved arts and crafts. Some groups received a box of colour markers while others got only pens and pencils. They were all tasked to create a poster. Some had vociferously groaned and complained that it was unfair. However, this disparity represented the final lesson the teachers had for the students:
‘Not everyone has the same starting point or abilities, but that does not, and never will, define them.’
This message was further underscored when the group that received a few colour pencils was able to craft the most incredible poster — illustrations were drawn beautifully and messages were artistically written on the paper. It was just remarkable what the group could accomplish even when they were at a disadvantage. Indeed, these activities and talks on mental wellness had provided Fairsians with a deeper insight into the lives of those afflicted, and encouraged them to be more empathetic and inclusive in their daily interactions.
Fairsians also had the opportunity to write messages on post-its, where they pledged to make the school a more inclusive place for everyone. These post-its were then used to create a beautiful ‘empathy pledge board’ that was made up of multiple coloured hearts.
Furthermore, students were also tasked to create a meaningful social media post that conveyed the message of inclusivity. Eagerly pacing around the school, the Secondary 2 students took the lighting and background into consideration, as they sought for ‘the perfect spot’ to capture their final product. Hidden talents were discovered as students exhibited their creative flair in the dynamic photos and videos that they had produced. They were also given the opportunity to share their creative processes with their classmates.
To end FLEX week on a more light-hearted note, the class committee of each class devoted their best efforts into planning and executing a memorable Class Fun Day for their peers. Many classes played different bonding games, with snacks being distributed during class parties. Broad smiles were plastered across the students’ faces as they enjoyed delectable, mouth-watering treats. Chatter and laughter filled the air as the Secondary Two students finally got some rest to relax with their peers after such an eventful term.
“I really enjoyed my experience during FLEX Week. Learning about mental health and those with disabilities truly opened my eyes and helped me to become an even more empathetic person,” Samantha Lim of Secondary 2E shared.
Indeed, the Secondary 2 students benefited from FLEX Week and will certainly remember this event for many years to come!