Principal's Message for School Magazine 2011

A Renewed Purpose in 2011
It has been an exciting 2011 as we worked hard with our renewed mission of 'Empowering Lives, Transforming our Future' towards our vision of 'A Community of Future-ready Learners who Lead, Serve and Achieve', underpinned by our R.I.S.E. values 'Resilience our anchor, Integrity the foundation, Synergy in diversity and Excellence our goal'. Together, the vision, mission and values represent our collective passion, dreams and aspirations and guide us in how we work with our parents, community and partners to realise the full potential of our students. We have charted a five-year roadmap supported by the four strategic thrusts:

  • Staff the Key: Developing a dynamic and professional staff by enhancing their professional competency and developing leaders at all levels
  • Learning our Focus: Providing a connected and forward-looking curriculum which develops 21st century competencies and produces value-added outcomes
  • Students our Future: Nurturing morally upright and socially responsible students through whole-school approaches
  • Partners our Support: Nurturing synergistic partnerships with parents, alumni and the community to broaden learning experiences of students

Connecting to Learn, Collaborating to Achieve
At Teck Whye Secondary School, the child is firmly at the heart of our work. We seek to develop the whole child by providing students with meaningful and connected learning experiences. These experiences inculcate in them important values, competencies and skills that will allow them to do well in the 21st century. With a focus on 'Connecting to Learn, Collaborating to Achieve', we have made significant progress and enhancements in our approach, programmes and school outcomes.  For example, our national education (NE) and community service (CIP) activities were particularly memorable as students were given a choice of the activities they were most passionate about. Teachers also made the extra effort to make connections between the learning in the classroom and the experiences outside the school.

The fruits of our labour are no less exciting.  We have been awarded our second Sustained Achievement Award (Sports) for the outstanding achievements by our Hockey and Floorball teams.  Our school Archery team has also outshone other schools at the Inter-school Archery Competition by coming up champions in the 'B' and 'C' Division Girls categories and 1st runner-up in the 'B' and 'C' Division Boys categories. In the academic domain, we are proud of the Achievement Awards (Academic Valued-added) in recognition of the good results of our 2010 Sec 4 Express and Sec 5 Normal cohorts.  Our Sec 4 Normal cohort made us equally proud as they outperformed national averages in most subjects, and we had three top students at national level.  We also celebrated individual achievements when Mrs Shirley Teo, HOD/English Language, was awarded the Inspiring Teacher of English Award 2011 and Syasya Rifqah, the Hockey girls captain from 4B, was awarded the inaugural School Sports Star Award (girls' category) by The New Paper.

Everyone a Contribution at TWSS
None of these achievements would have been possible without the single-minded commitment and dedicated care of our staff.  We are also constantly encouraged by our parents and partners who have shown much confidence and given their fullest support.  In particular, I wish to acknowledge the efforts of the Parent Support Group and alumni as their collaboration and contributions have made a difference.

In the book 'The Art of Possibility' by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander, the authors describe how one can go beyond making a contribution to being one. Here is how Benjamin Zander describes it: “I settled on a game called 'I am a contribution.'  Unlike success and failure, contribution has no other side.  It is not arrived at by comparison.  All at once I found that the fearful question, 'Is it enough?' and the even more fearful question, 'Am I loved for who I am, or for what I have accomplished?' could both be replaced by the joyful question, 'How will I be a contribution today?'… In the game of contribution, you wake up each day and bask in the notion that you are a gift to others”.  Such a perspective has great value as it allows us to not worry about measuring up to others' standards, and at the same time appreciate everyone around us as a gift to us.  As we continue our journey towards excellence in 2012, it is my hope and desire that each of us in the Teck Whye Sec community will be a gift and contribution to others. It is when we truly empower ourselves that we can transform our future.