By Nicole Doyle (17A01A), Jeanne Tan (17A01B), Abdul Qayyum (17A01B), Serafina Siow (17A13A), Nerissa Loe (17A13A), Andrew Hidajat (17S03I), Warren Liow (18A01B), Soh Ying Qi (18A01C), Ashley Tan (18A13A)
Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Quek, Raffles Photographic Society
“Welcome Home!” These words greeted the RI Batch of 2016 as they entered the MPH, hearts palpitating but hopes unwavering. After some buzzing, catching up with classmates, the J3s sang the institution anthem, “Auspicium Melioris Aevi”, for the last time as a cohort. A wave of emotion flooded the hall as Mr S Magendiran, Senior Deputy Principal (Student Development), addressed the crowd, revealing excellent results and outstanding batch achievements.
Mr Magendiran, opened with a speech, highlighting how “Mr Chan would have loved to be here because he’s very pleased with the results and so are we.” He also stressed to the 2016 batch that “I think you all know the teachers, they walked with you all this while from Year 5, Year 6… One of the most important things in your journey in life, [is to] have a strong sense of gratitude. There’re always people there for you.”
By this point, the anticipation was palpable. The hall sprang to life as students were then directed to collect their results, with plenty of chattering amidst queues forming before supportive Civics Tutors. In the gallery, current Year 5s and 6s cheered on their seniors, letting loose the occasional hurrah. Anxious parents craned their necks, searching for their children through the throng of students. Someone let out a loud shriek, jumped and fell on the floor. One student even got on his knees and thanked his teacher.
But of course, behind every battalion of students stands a supportive troop of teachers who have guided them through the innumerable academic battles they have had to face. When asked whether there was anyone in particular whom she would like to thank, Chee En Cui (16A01E) instinctively answered with a simple but meaningful word: teachers. For Jodi Tan (16A03A), GP was one of the harder subjects that she had to grapple with, but she was grateful for her teacher, Mr Calvin Tan, who mentored her along the way.
When asked about subject papers they found particularly difficult, Goh Qi Shuen (16A01B) admitted that all papers were tough as the questions were rather unconventional. “The questions weren’t what we were expecting, but I hope that we all responded well to the questions,” she concluded while glancing at her peers. Jason Cheong (16S03B) concurred with this sentiment. “The questioning style was unorthodox, something that we weren’t prepared for,” he mused. “But I’m happy with my results, considering how far I’ve gone and how much I’ve worked to get here.”
In response to a question regarding this year’s performance, Ms Melissa Lim, Dean of Character and Leadership Education, said that at the time of the interview, she was not really sure about the specific results. However, she added that based on Mr Magendiran’s presentation, she felt that the Batch of 2016 had performed well, and that it was good that the teachers’ and students’ hard work had paid off. While the statistics show the excellent achievements of the batch, she urged students who did not meet their expectations not to feel undue stress or pressure. “One’s academic results are normally seen in relation to others”, but Ms Lim would like students to compare their A Level results to what they achieved in the Preliminary Examinations, and overall school performance.
A general consensus among interviewees was that consistency is key to doing well. Ms Claudia Tan, a Physics tutor, had this particular advice: “students need to learn to take ownership of their subject from day one. Only then can the subject be easier because if they only start coming to us during the last three months before the A Levels, it is going to be very difficult for us [to help that student improve].” Tricia (16S07C) also mentioned that “everything that has to be done should have been done before the paper.” In order for there to be no regrets, intense preparation is crucial.
Regardless of the countless emotions the batch will have to process—pleasant or not—we hope that Mr Magendiran’s message to the Class of 2016 can provide us all with an important reminder. When approached for comment, he stated, “Life is more than just grades. I don’t want you to leave this place thinking that you are defined by grades. You’re Rafflesian, you’re defined as a person. That journey that you had… that’s defining you and you will continue on that journey to define yourself.”
Chee En Cui (16A01E) provided words of wisdom that were perhaps most apt for this occasion:
“Everything will work out in the end.”
We at Raffles Press would like to wish the Batch of 2016 all the best for their future endeavours!