Latest Updates!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Camp Photos for Download

Dear Parents,
this will be the last post for this blog.
I have uploaded ALL photos taken by me and the boys to into a channel on Nokia's Share.Ovi portal.
You can access it by clicking here

We thank you for all your kind words of encouragement and support for this blog.
For more updates on day to day life in Victoria School.
Check out my on-going blog at here.

Nil Sine Labore - "Nothing Without Labour"

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Start of a New School Year- Welcome to our Sec 1 Victorians

Now that the camp is over, we officially begin the new school year.

From primary school students coming from various schools, the boys have now merged under a common identity and purpose.
Already, the seeds we planted during the camp are bearing fruit now.
Here, we can see the seniors teaching and refining our school cheers with the Sec 1s.

Far from the timid voices they showed during the camp, we now see them cheering loud and strong with the conviction that VS is the place that they want to be and that they are proud to be part of the family.

We will pass down our values, our traditions and our beliefs; from generation to generation, from past to present. Step by step, we will lead you along the way.
As a Victorian, you will never have to walk your journey in life alone...

Let the VS SPIRIT live long and live loud.
Shout it out for all to hear, that the VS Spirit is up in our heads
Shout it out for all to hear, that the VS Spirit is deep in our hearts
Shout it out for all to hear, that the VS Spirit is all over us
And shout it out, that VS is here to stay.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Reporting to School on Mon 5th Jan 2009

All our new Victorians will report to school on Mon 5th Jan 2009 at 1030am
Please report in full-school uniform (but as it is after recess, there is NO NEED to wear tie)

Please bring your PE attire on 5-8Jan as there will be various CCA trials going on which are compulsory for all boys.
Wear your PE attire for the CCA trials.

The trials are scheduled on different days for different classes please see the schedule below (your son also has the schedule given to him)

(click on image to see full-size)

Here is the time-table from 5th - 8th Jan for Sec 1s (your son also has this given to him)

(click on image to see full-size)

Please follow the schedule.
More importantly, tell your son to pay attention to announcement and to clarify any doubts himself with his Form Teachers. It is important for him to start taking ownership and responsiblity for his school activities from now on.

Welcome to the Family!
EDGE 2009 (4) - Share on Ovi
EDGE 2009 (5) - Share on Ovi
EDGE 2009 (6) - Share on Ovi

Kudos to our Mighty Camp Commandress, Miss Sheikha

Many people worked and contributed to the success of this camp- teachers, students, parents; but it is time to highlight the one person that made everything possible: She inspired the boys with her words of praises;
Made them shiver with fear when she was strict;
Outran them in 2.4km
Out kayak them in the sea

It is none other than Victoria School's FIRST EVER FEMALE Camp Commandant, Miss Sheikha aka 'The Princess' Fadzleen!

Home Sweet Home!

Dear Parents,
The buses have just arrived and we are in the process of dispatching the classes back to school.

On behalf of all the teachers, student leaders and staff in Victoria School, we would like to welcome you to the family.

Breaking Camp and Area Cleaning ...

Hi Parents, the time is now 10.28am and the boys are in the process of breaking camp.
One of the basic tenents of camping is that we leave the campsite cleaner than when we first arrive.

So armed with mops, brooms, trash bags, we begin our massive area cleaning
Although some of the boys, look quite lost initially...
04012009179 - Share on Ovi

...soon, everyone is able to pitch in and get down to helping each other.
From picking up trash....
04012009139 - Share on Ovi
04012009140 - Share on Ovi
04012009172 - Share on Ovi
04012009174 - Share on Ovi everybody's favourite task- CLEANING TOILET. Yup, I bet you, you never saw your son so happy doing house work at home, right?
04012009142 - Share on Ovi
04012009143 - Share on Ovi

"Scrub ar, scrub-- must make sure the toilet bowl shine until can see your face inside ah!" (sounds familiar to all the fathers who went through NS, right?)
04012009144 - Share on Ovi
04012009173 - Share on Ovi

The boys also had to clean up their sleeping areas:
04012009171 - Share on Ovi
04012009145 - Share on Ovi
04012009146 - Share on Ovi
They sweep the area underneath their bunks:
04012009158 - Share on Ovi
As well as mop the inside of their bunks:
04012009162 - Share on Ovi
04012009163 - Share on Ovi
04012009168 - Share on Ovi
04012009169 - Share on Ovi well as the camp fire area- scrubbing it to remove any ash, and stains from the campfire last night.
04012009154 - Share on Ovi
04012009155 - Share on Ovi
04012009156 - Share on Ovi

We want to train our boys not to take the things that they have for granted.
Many of them never realise that it is 24hour, round the clock job being a parent- especially for those mothers who are home-makers and have been picking up after the sons all this time.

By getting them to clean up after their activity, we hope to train them to be independent and more self-reliant; we also hope they will appreciate the care and love given to them by their parents over the years.

So Mum and Dad, take a break! Youryoung Victorian is now not only trained to Rock Climb, Kayak and do outdoor sports; he's also trained by us to be able to handle mop, broom and dustpan!

So from now on, they got no excuse to 'siam' house-hold chores- especially since Chinese New Year round the corner. If any of them refuse to help out at home, the PE Dept and Form Teachers will kindly assist the parents in conducting Remedial Tuition 101 for House Cleaning.

Just send them to me.

04012009170 - Share on Ovi

Gooooodddd Morning, Victorians!

It's Sunday morning exercise with Miss Sheikha!

Let's begin with some jogging to get us all warmed-up!

Now that we are nice and warmed-up, lets stretch those achy-breaky bones

Then we reinforce our Mission and Vision of turning you all into Gentlemen, Professionals and Sportsman (as well as inducting you all into the Miss Sheikha fan club... hee hee)

Closing thoughts for the day...

Dear parents, it's 1.00am now.
The Sec 1s have all been sent to bed and are resting soundly after a long day.
Kudos to the Senior Leaders (Sec 4s) and Junior Leaders (Sec 3s) for being good role-models to the new Sec 1 boys

Don't you agree that they deserve a treat?
Yup, so our Camp Commandant, Miss Sheikha has ordered pizza for all the leaders for a job well done!
03012009152 - Share on Ovi
03012009153 - Share on Ovi

As for photos, I have more than 1.5gig worth of them- there is no way for me to upload them all during this time but we will upload them to our schools website photo gallery at a later day once we have settled in back in school.

In less than 12 hours, your sons will be back in school.
Please pick them up OUTSIDE the school compound after 12.00pm

Good night!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Archive of 'Live' Feed for Campfire

Dear Parents, our campfire has just ended.

If you missed the 'live' feeds via Qik below, here is archived footage of the event:

1) Dzafir's Count-down

2)VP(Acad) Mr Anith Kumar delivering the Opening Address and Lighting the Campfire

3)Various performances by Sec 1 Classes

4)Camp-fire MCs trying to do 'stand-up' comedy

5)Performance by 'Red Shirt' Junior Leaders

6)Performance by Black Shirt Senior Leaders

7)Victorian Anthem and Closing of Campfire

EDGE Sec 1 Orientation CampFire 'Live' Feed

Coming to you 'Live' at 2000hrs

Guest of Honour: Vice-Principal (Acad) Mr Anith Kumar

(Click on the 'Qik' icon in the lower left of the frame to see earlier clips from the campfire)

Some reflections ...

VS was one of the first schools to utilise MOE Changi Adventure Campsite.
It's proximity to the school and good facilities made it an ideal place for us to run our camping programes.

In 2006, when we first used this campsite for our EDGE Orientation Camp, the PE Dept's resident photographer, Mr Tan Chong Kiat took some priceless pictures which I thought I would share with you:
IMG_6880 - Share on Ovi
IMG_6889 - Share on Ovi

Stay tuned for tonight's Camp Fire starting at 2000hrs

Dinner at last!

The boys have finished all the outdoor activities for the day, and they are now queuing up for dinner.

03/01/2009 - Share on Ovi
03/01/2009 - Share on Ovi
03/01/2009 - Share on Ovi
Despite their tired faces, you can see the smiles of them as they wait anticipation for a well deserved meal.

Even more suprising, I'm sure many parents will be glad to see their sons washing their eating utensils themselves-- for some this may be the first time in their life :)
03012009151 - Share on Ovi

As Victorians, we believe that all our boys will one day grow up into strong, independant individuals.
So parents, be comforted- because the day your son can take care of himself you know that in time to come, he will also be able to take care of you in future.

Nil Sine Labore

Sunset on yet another beautiful day

03/01/2009 - Share on Ovi

As the sunsets on another beautiful day, we count our blessings for the good weather this year. Initial forecasts had predicted showers and storms for us on Fri and Sat but we kept our fingers crossed and trusted that our determination and enthusiasm would touch the heavens.

We have wrapped up all our Outdoor Activities for the day and the boys will be having their dinner soon.

For Kayaking, apart from some boys capsizing (sometimes, I suspect they do it on purpose also just to get their friends wet) and having to climb back on their kayaks, the only other issues we faced were a number of boys who got sea-sick.
All have rested and are now eating their dinner.

No accidents or incidents during the Confidence Rope Course, Rock Climbing or Zipline.

We have 2-3 students that have complained of headache, stomachache, labour pains, etc.... these have been diagnosed as symptoms of home-sickness and now with a strong injection of the Victorian Spirit they are now too busy chatting with their friends to be interviewed by me. :)

Stayed tuned for more updates after dinner and our grand finale, the campfire!

Close up on the Rockwall ...

Here's some close-up footage of one of our Sec 1 boys, Lau Ming climbing.

The goal of Rock Climbing ISN'T about making it to the top, the goal of rock climbing is to reach out and test your limits; to make each climb better than the one before.

General Stations- Tire and Pole

Another classic General Station and definitely one of the most challenging-- The Tire & Pole Station:

The important learning lesson for the boys in these activities is for them to learn to communicate with each other and learning to solve problems together.

Here is a classic picture from 2005's Sec 1 Orientation Camp:

It inspired me to see how the boys carried each others weight- These boys just graduated last year. Time flies and we are proud to have been able to be a part of their lives in VS.

Back to our courageous team- did they manage to overcome the challenge?
Let's see:

Confidence Rope Course- Burma Bridge and Single Log

Apart from Rock Climbing, the boys are also engaging in another series of rope activities from the Confidence Rope Course.

Here we have Kia Meng from 1B crossing the Burma Bridge, side by side we have Clement attempting the Single Log.

In both instances, their task is to traverse from one side to the other.

We can see that in the span of a few days, the boys are actively responding to our activities and exploring areas of development outside their usual comfort zone.

That, we believe, is the mark of a Victorian-- the constant desire to be SOMETHING MORE!

General Stations: Nitro Crossing

The General Stations are a series of low rope team-building elements that are manned by student leaders.

Here each team has a specific task to accomplish.
In this clip, we see members of 1B attempting to complete Nitro Crossing.

The aim is to get the members of their team across a 'toxic swamp' using a rope swing and fit everyone on the 'safe' platform there.

Return of the Mummy....

Hi remember our one-armed die-hard Victorian hero from yesterday, Matthew?

Well, it's abit hard to kayak and rock climb with your arm in a cast.
But we were really impressed with Matthew's positive spirit and decided to see what we could do to get him more involved in the activities.

So we first got Matthew to get his arm and cast fully wrapped up in plastic so that his cast would not get wet.
03012009290 - Share on Ovi

Matthew then joined me on my kayak as my camera man, while I paddled the 2 of us out to sea.

Our first segment was to capture footage of the boys who were going through the water confidence drill. This drill familiarises boys with the use of their life vests and to be comfortable floating in the sea beyond heading out in the kayaks.
So while Matthew and I stayed nice and dry, we saw the rest soaking in the cool, cool waters of the sea:

Next we head out to where 1D was rafted together to catch footage of them.
As you can see, most of our Sec 1s need to develop better sense of direction-- especially when they start crashing into Mr Siow and his camera man *sigh*

Apart from the good view of the sea, sun and there is something else you can get a good view of at Changi Coast. This is the best place to see planes:

My brave camera man, Matthew and I managed to catch footage of one of the kayak groups successfully rafting up and even STANDING UP on their kayaks!
Well done, boys!

Although the weather looked cloudy, let's hope the sun comes out again. Will update after lunch.

A Big hand to my cameraman, Matthew!

Beyond the call of duty...

Here we see Instructor Pandian from Camelot Adventure, our partners in this camp.

Despite having to hobble around for the past 2 days from a knee injury, Pandian has dutifully continued to dispatch the Sec 1 students throughout the day despite the pain.

Staff and students of Victoria School would like to commend him on his spirit and dedication.
03012009144 - Share on Ovi

I am sure the boys have benefitted from your selfless example in learning to be more resilient and determined.

Cleaning our lifevests after kayaking

One of the basic tenents of camping is to always take care of your equipment after use.
This prolongs its service lifespan and ensures that your equipment keeps you safe.

Here we see the boys rinsing thier lifevest with fresh water after kayaking to clear off the sea salt.

How do they feel after kayaking? Let's ask them:

Learning to overcome

What happens when you reach an obstacle in life?

You learn to move around it, you learn to overcome it and you learn to keep trying.

Let's see how Viknesh does it while climbing the Rock Wall:


Zipline descent....


VS Unite!

No camp, no VS event is ever complete withtout 'VS Unite'

Here are the student leaders- affectionately known as Red Shirts (Sec 3s) and Black Shirts (Sec 4s) leading the Sec 1 Campers in the cheer:)

Morning PT!

Rise and shine campers!
Good morning, Good morning, Good morning!!!!

THe sun is bright, the mood is right!
VS, VS, fight fight fight!

So we beging with running on the spot:

Followed by some tuck-jumps!

Then we got everybody's favourite, PUSH-UPs

Already, we see the boys moving out their shells and starting to gel with their friends and seniors.
Watch out for our Camp Fire finale at the end of the day!

Its a NEW DAY.........

GOOOOOD MORNING.............!!!!!!!
03012009143 - Share on Ovi

Welcome to Day 2!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Dear Mum & Dad

02012009136 - Share on Ovi
Dear Mum and Dad,

It's been a long tiring day but we are all safe and sound.
Don't worry about us because when we come back, we will be more grown up.

We are going for our supper now- Hot Milo! Whee!

Dear Mum, thank you for all your delicious meals over the years.

Dear Dad, thank you for working hard to provide me with the best I ever wanted.

I miss you all but I'm glad that I am in Victoria.
The teachers are strict but fun and constantly remind us to be grateful.

I am confident that when I grow up, I will be able to take good care of you both.

Love, your son

Final words of the day from our Camp Commandress- Miss Sheikha

This is the first time in the history of VS that we have had a female Camp Commandant....eerrr I mean Camp Commandress

Three Cheers for Miss Sheikha
02012009140 - Share on Ovi

At the moment, the time is 11.18pm,

The boys have had their supper and Miss Sheikha- our little dynamite Camp Commandress has a few words to say to the boys:

Even after dismissing our boys, our fiery chilli padi female dynamo is co-ordinating final details with the Form Teachers to ensure that all boys are accounted for.

With such a lovely yet 'garang' Camp Commandant, you can be sure that our boys will really enjoy the camp!

My first night away from home....

Well, I'm sure all the husbands and fathers will remember their days camping in school or in NS: building bashas out of groundsheets, hammering tent pegs into the ground.

Nowadays, technology and affluence has allowed us to enjoy material comforts even in the outdoors.

Some of the boys will be sleeping in Loghouses:
02012009131 - Share on Ovi
02012009132 - Share on Ovi

While others have been given modular tents: yup, it's the hi-tech one that doesn't need any hammering of pegs- just plug the frame into the groove and voila, you got instant tent!
02012009134 - Share on Ovi
02012009135 - Share on Ovi

We will rotate the boys tomorrow night so that they get to experience both types of accomodations.

We are going to be breaking for supper soon. After that, we'll get all the boys to bathe and then head straight to bed because they have all got a long day tomorrow :)

Pastoral Care and Guidance-- Anti-Bullying

One of the common issues facing teens today is the way bullying has manifested in different forms. Apart from physical bullying, we see phenomenon such as 'happy slapping', cyber bullying and intimidationg, identity theft.

While we believe that all Victorians have an innate sense of right and wrong and are unlikely to committ these acts; we also believe in empowering them with the skills to cope with these situations such that they will be able to take the necessary steps to protect their dignity and personal safety and not be victimised.

Hence, our Full-Time School Counsellor, Mdm Tasmine Tham hss designed a package for all Form Teachers to deliver to the classes

Here we see all the Form Teachers engaged with their various classes:

Sec 1A- Miss Virgil Chew
1a - Share on Ovi

Sec 1B- Mdm Felicia Yeo
1b - Share on Ovi
1b2 - Share on Ovi

Sec 1C- Miss Nooreeny
1c - Share on Ovi

Sec 1D- Mr Robin Peter Hamilton
1d - Share on Ovi
Here with have Mr Robin sharing with this class coping strategies for dealing with bullying based on his own personal experience:

Sec 1E- Mr Zabid
1e - Share on Ovi
Once again, reprising his Nobel Peace Prize speech, we have the passionate Mr Zabid give us an in-depth 'psychological' analysis of bullying:)))

Sec 1F- Mr Tan Wil Beng
1f - Share on Ovi

Sec 1G- Miss Mary Jane Fox
1g - Share on Ovi
Let's see Mrs Fox giving a great example of how unintentional jokes can actually be very hurtful and embarrassing to the receiver:

Sec 1H- Mr Tan Chong Kiat & Mr Vanan
1h - Share on Ovi
1h3 - Share on Ovi
1h2 - Share on Ovi

Sec 1I- Mdm Kara Tay

1i - Share on Ovi
1i2 - Share on Ovi