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Know Your Neighbours, Interact with Friends

26 May 2009

North Spring Pri CAN Festival

North Spring Primary pupils celebrate the Olympic spirit.

"I want to ask an expert".
"I will take 50:50".
"I will ask the audience".

Each decision is followed by applause and shouts of encouragement, or groans of dismay as the participants were eliminated from the game. This lively scene took place not on TV but at a booth run by North Spring Primary School booth at the CAN! Discover Festival held on 18 April at *scape Youth Park.

Styled after the hugely-popular TV gameshow "Who Wants to be a Millionaire", the quiz is part of a package developed by North Spring Primary to commemorate International Friendship Day (IFD), a day for students to learn about and appreciate other cultures in the name of friendship.

Package for international friendship

The festival may be over, but the fun and learning continues in the IFD Package developed by North Spring Primary's teachers and pupils. Besides taking part in the gameshow, visitors to the booth got to take home a package of notes about each ASEAN country's government, economy, culture and history. The package features fun facts and nuggets about national sports and games, as well as audio clips and reflections by pupils on their personal experiences in these countries.

"The IFD Package aims to heighten pupils' awareness of the countries around Singapore, namely ASEAN," explains Mr Tan Cheng Yong, HOD Pupil Management & Welfare, North Spring Primary. "We hope this will in turn motivate them to find out more about countries further away."

"We want to educate them, as well as show that although we hail from different countries, we share many similarities in backgrounds, interests and habits." The IFD Package is available online at www.ifd2009.com.sg.

North Spring Pri CAN Festival

Learning about our ASEAN neighbours via an online IFD Package.

Yes, YOG CAN!

North Spring Primary also used the festival as a platform to showcase its ongoing Youth Olympic Games (YOG) activities. This included pupil projects that created items from recycled materials, song lyrics extolling YOG values and hand-painted t-shirts with YOG-inspired messages.

"I was elated and overjoyed," says Jasmine Chin when her 'guitar' made entirely out of recycled materials was selected for display at the CAN! booth. After spending nearly a week on her musical instrument, the Pri Loyalty 4 pupil discovered that it is entirely possible to "make beautiful things out of recycled materials".

Her classmate, Nurrahimah Binte Abdul Aziz, took about two hours to write a song on "Reuse, Reduce and Recycle". "I was very happy as my work was displayed for the public," she said. "While doing this project, I realised that composing music is not easy to do well, as it really needs a lot of hard work and patience."

Meanwhile, the entire Pri 6 level painted t-shirts over three weeks of Art lessons. "We worked in groups of five to express what YOG means to us," recalls Dyan Tan Shu Yen from Pr Steadfast 6. "I felt proud that our t-shirts were selected for CAN!"

North Spring Pri CAN Festival

Painting YOG messages on t-shirts.

Living and dreaming Olympism

These YOG activities are part of North Spring Primary's framework leading towards Youth Olympism 2010, comprising eight themes such as well-being and healthy lifestyle, and social responsibility. "These themes are built into the lesson plans across all subjects, as well as promulgated during school activities," shares Mdm Tan Pin Pin, HOD PE, Aesthetics & CCAs.

In Aesthetics, for example, pupils learn the importance of friendship as they ensure fair and safe play during a game of musical chairs. In Art and Music, they are engaged in wire sculpturing, t-shirt painting and song-writing using themes that reflect the YOG spirit. Academic subjects like English and Mother Tongue, Math and Science have incorporated topics like excellence, social responsibility and friendship into their classroom curricula.

The school also set up a Learning Wall to highlight the sporting events in the 2010 Youth Olympics. During its annual sports day, several "mascots" raced on the track while holding the "Olympic torch" up high.

Activities such as these have helped instil the spirit of Olympism in the students. "We learned about teamwork," reflects student Dyan Tan on his t-shirt painting activity during Art lessons. "I believe we also displayed some YOG values as we communicated and discussed during the lessons. We showed respect to each other, and also worked hard towards excellence! The project has strengthened our friendship!"