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Chalkboards, tuckshop, zero point

13 Feb 2017

Mrs Sharon Siew, Principal of Riverside Primary, pens a haiku to her students, looking back on her past and to her students’ future.

Watch her video or read her letter below. 

Students, dear children,
what does your school mean to you?
How the school has changed.

My primary school
was just one block of classrooms
with paint peeling off.

The homely classroom –
teachers wrote on the chalk board,
chalk dust all around.

In those good old days,
the canteen was called “tuckshop”
with wooden benches.

Recess, my favourite,
during which I ate and played.
What games were there then?

Hopscotch in the sand,
zero point with rubber bands,
running with the wind.

To get to the field,
we slid down the grassy slope,
pinafore all wet.

Your school is now huge
with many different spaces
for learning, for play!

The Indoor Sports Hall, PAL Rooms,
Dance Studio, Art Rooms,
Artificial Turf.

A stylish canteen,
so clean and health-promoting.
Eat well, drink water.

No matter the difference,
the joy of learning prevails,
then, now and onwards.

Joyful, you must be,
in your learning and your growth.
Joy keeps you going.

Life is not a sprint.
It is a long marathon.
Fill your life with joy.
What do we wish you
to become as a person,
to be in your life?

Be Calm, my students,
to navigate the future,
uncertain, complex.

Be Clear, my students,
of your morals and values.
Character is first.

Be Confident too,
to face challenges and try
to take the first step.

You be Curious
about all things around you.
There’s so much to learn.

You be Creative.
Let ideas advance the world
and benefit all.

You be Courageous.
Stand up for truth and goodness,
stand and be counted.

Be Compassionate,
to embrace diversity
with care and respect.

Collaborative, you must be,
work with others -
A team achieves more.

School, teachers, parents,
we are always here for you.
Here to support you, engage, challenge you,
prepare you for your future
with knowledge and skills.

You must learn hard work –
the Perspiration, Patience,
and Perseverance.

You must know struggle,
to grow the strong wings to fly,
to fly high and far.

You must fly back too,
to the people who grew you
with love and with care.

To family, friends,
community and nation.
Fly back to your roots, your identity,
sense of place and belonging.
Home, where the heart is.

The future beckons,
But don’t forget the here, now.
Live in the present, enjoy school and friends.
There will be good times and bad,
more laughter, less tears.

Cherish every moment
learning, growing together,
sparkling together.

Remember them all –
these lessons, these memories,
they are your story.

Dear students, I stand proud and grateful as part of your story.

Yours Truly,
Mrs Sharon Siew