Tuesday, 23rd April 2024

Tuesday, 23rd April 2024

How I got more out of school: Hot tips from four A-Level graduates

06 Apr 2023

Clockwise from top-left: Saranya Mushila, Althea Lim, Owen Acevedo, Phedra Low (Photos by Ken Koh and Lawrence Lim)
Clockwise from top-left: Saranya Mushila, Althea Lim, Owen Acevedo, Phedra Low (Photos by Ken Koh and Lawrence Lim)

It was never just school for these recent A-Level graduates from Anderson Serangoon JC and Dunman High School. They took steps to squeeze more out of school life – from heeding their teachers’ advice to seizing opportunities to excel. What will they do next? Let’s hear from these passionate students who want to make a difference in their chosen fields.

By Jacquelyn Ng, Sabrina Lee, Neo Wen Tong and Lim Jun Kang

howigotmoreoutofschool1(Photo by: Lawrence Lim)

Owen Acevedo, Anderson Serangoon Junior College

“I’m glad to have been a part of my school’s STEM club, as it really aligns with my inquisitive nature. One of the memorable projects we worked on in the CCA was to build a hybrid bicycle that uses renewable energy, complete with solar panels and wind turbines.

It taught me the importance of exchanging ideas and working together as a team to achieve more than what’s possible alone.

My Physics teacher, Mr Yang, always said, ‘Whatever you do, make it count.’ As a result, I believe in using innovation to give back to society. In university, I hope to delve into the world of aerospace engineering, and make what I do count by promoting sustainability through the development of fuel-efficient engines and aircrafts.

Anderson Serangoon Junior College’s STEM CCA perfectly aligned with my inquisitive nature and passion for using past scientific concepts to explore the unknown.”


howigotmoreoutofschool4(Photo by: Ken Koh)

Phedra Low, Dunman High School

“Since young, I’ve always had interest in Music, so I chose to study at Dunman High School, which offered this as an A-Level subject. Studying it at the JC level helped me grow my technical understanding and broadened my exposure to a range of musical genres. My school experience also showed me how my passion for music can be woven into other subjects.

In addition to Music, I took Literature, despite not having taken the subject before. While I was initially anxious, my Literature teacher, Ms Rathiy Devi D/o Ramanathan, grew my interest by drawing on my passion in music. We explored the different meanings behind my musical pieces, which helped me draw the connection between both subjects.

I also embarked on a research project on how music can be better expressed through text, and vice versa. My JC experience and this project has helped me see the world through multiple perspectives.

I’m applying for a double major in Music and Philosophy in university, where I can continue to understand the world – and myself – better!”


howigotmoreoutofschool2(Photo by: Lawrence Lim)

Saranya Mushila, Anderson Serangoon Junior College

“I first became interested in the Tamil language during my time in Jurong West Secondary School. My teacher then, Mdm Magahletchimi D/o Amarthalingam, developed my curiosity by encouraging me to participate in competitions to improve my language skills, and encouraged me to pursue the subject in JC.

When it was time for me to choose a JC, I enrolled in the Tamil Language Elective Programme (TLEP) at Anderson Serangoon Junior College. In the programme, there were many opportunities to participate in Tamil poetry and literary competitions, which my Tamil Language and Literature teacher, Mdm Kamalavani D/o Palaiyan, encouraged me to participate in, to deepen my understanding of the language.

My teachers have seeded a love for teaching in me as well. In JC, I tutored some friends, and I loved the experience. I’ll be applying for the Bachelor of Arts in Tamil Studies and Education at NIE-NTU. I hope to continue learning and promoting the language, and eventually make a positive impact as a teacher.”

All these experiences have led me to apply for the Bachelor of Arts in Tamil Studies and Education at NIE-NTU. I hope to continue learning and promoting the language, eventually making a positive impact as a Tamil Language teacher.”


howigotmoreoutofschool3(Photo by: Ken Koh)

Althea Lim, Dunman High School

 “At Dunman High School, there were many opportunities to take part in projects outside the curriculum. My teachers saw my passion for Science, and encouraged me to take part in events like the Singapore Science and Engineering Fair. My Geography teachers nudged me to sign up for the Challenge for the Urban & Built Environment. These are a few of my favourite experiences, mainly because I had the freedom to explore research topics of my choice.

For instance, as part of research for my Geography project on active ageing, I knocked on the doors of elderly residents, to speak to them and understand their concerns. This made me realise how much I enjoy talking to others, and that I have a desire to help those in need.

All my experiences have given me the chance to discover how my learning can be applied to real-life situations, and more importantly, helped me discover my strengths and interests. I am looking forward to pursue fields in university where I can contribute meaningfully to the under-privileged.”

For more ideas for your child’s next chapters, try www.moe.gov.sg/coursefinder.

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