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A Happy New Year to you and a warm welcome to Guangyang Primary!
First, I would like to share with you the good news that the school has done very well at the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) last year, outperforming comparable schools on multiple fronts. This is most encouraging for my team of dedicated colleagues, and is an outcome of our restructuring of our teaching and learning processes and structures. Our pupil-centric and ability-based approach, as well as the focus on joy of learning has reaped direct benefits for our pupils, which we hope to sustain and further improve upon.
As you all know, 2018 was an eventful year as we celebrated our school’s centennial celebrations together as one big family. The theme for the celebration ‘Reminisce, Live, Inspire’ allowed us to reflect on our school’s rich and colourful history and showcase our future aspirations. About 300 ex-pupils and staff from the classes of 1948 to 2017 and around 2700 community partners, stakeholders, parents and pupils joined us in the celebrations to reconnect with one another, renew their friendships and rekindle the memories that they once had.
The story of our school showcases an illustrious history of contribution to nation-building and a rich heritage of excellence. From its humble beginnings in 1918, Guangyang Primary School has evolved over the years to become a vibrant school in Bishan. Many of us remember the school as a place where friendships were forged and where people contributed selflessly to the school.
Our entire school is about the past and present batches of students, staff and school leaders who have walked through the gates of Guangyang and left an indelible mark in the school. I am glad to share that our school has moulded many talents who have achieved excellence in their chosen fields such as Adil Hakeem and Emily Sin Min Li.
In Guangyang Primary, we want to live in the spirit of excellence. This emphasis on excellence as an enduring quest is aligned to the nation’s commitment towards a holistic education which recognises strength in character on top of academic achievement. To prepare our pupils for an increasingly globalized and interconnected world, we provide a sound academic foundation in literacy and numeracy that integrates lifeskills and the building of character. The customised school curriculum focuses on nurturing curiosity for pupils to continue learning throughout their lives, building confidence to deal with changes and improving abilities to communicate and collaborate with people of different cultures and nationalities.
Professional development of staff is an enduring focus for our school. We aspire to be a learning community as captured in our school vision, “A Vibrant School, A Learning Community Committed to Excellence”. Our members of staff are role models in this journey, actively engaging in professional development.
Though different principals have helmed the school at different periods of the school’s development, all of them shared the same vision that the students who walked through the gates of our school must possess the skills and attitudes for the future.
For any organisation to progress and achieve, teamwork which is one of our school’s core values is of paramount importance. This is true for all of us here – staff, parents and community partners as the success and achievements of Guangyang Primary is very much the outcome of the effort put in by all of us. We are the architects who nurture every child.
Here in Guangyang, we believe that partnerships must be the foundation for the growth of our pupils. We are proud that we have forged a strong partnership with parents, the School Advisory Committee and the community who are key assets to the school. The spirit of service and selfless contribution are commendable.
I would like to conclude with a poem by Robert Frost entitled ‘The Road Not Taken’. This poem portrays a traveller coming to a crossroads. At the crossroads, the traveller chooses to embark on the road less travelled. The traveller relishes this decision as he reminisces on how this decision has enabled him to make a difference in his life and the life of others.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost (1874-1963)
As we embark on the next stage of our journey, we need to be courageous, even if we have to take the road less travelled. It may well turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Remember to have the mindset of excellence in all that we do, and to always give our best. Above all, we have our values close to our hearts.