In Year 5, students will have the opportunity to participate in Monday Elective Programmes as learning enrichment. Below are just three of the myriads of programmes offered, so if none of them catch your fancy, fear not!
International Service-Learning & Leadership Elective (ISLE)
ISLE is way more than just going to school every Monday 2 hours earlier than everyone else—it is a journey.
A notable part of this journey would be the recce—a 3D2N trip to the school where you’ll spend the year-end trip at. Expect being clueless and working together with your teammates to get the exact dimensions for specific structures, figuring out what aspects of the school can be improved or refurbished to make it more student-friendly, and going down to the hardware store personally to order and make an inventory of what’s needed.
As for the year-end trip, what will probably stick to you most will be the interaction with the students. You’ll be planning and conducting lessons for them, and the language barrier only makes the task even more challenging than it is. Furthermore, the construction you’ll be carrying out will be physically taxing, but it really puts into perspective what it takes to build and maintain school grounds.
We learnt so much more than we asked for. We grasped with how to work with different personalities and working styles under tight deadlines; we learned to serve from our hearts; and we discovered the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone, leaving us more reflective and confident in ourselves.
Bicultural Programme (China)
To most Chinese students in JC, Secondary 4 will be the last year they come into contact with anything related to Chinese while in school. However, for the participants of the Bicultural Programme (China), the Chinese Language is not just a tool for communication—it is a key to unlocking greater insights into China’s workings.
This programme aims to increase the understanding of China amongst students. To allow students to understand China in depth, external speakers who specialise in various fields are invited to share their knowledge. Furthermore, time will be provided for students during some sessions to research and work on a group task that allows them to present on a topic of interest.
A key highlight is the year-end immersion programme to China. Cities that previous batches of students have visited include Xiamen (2017), Shanghai (2018), and Guangzhou (2019). During the trip, we attend lessons in local schools, as well as visit work spaces and factory galleries. Moreover, we visit cultural sites and local landmarks to experience the rich history and understand China’s current strong economic development.
Ecological Literacy Programme (Eco-Lit)
The Ecological Literacy Programme, also commonly referred to as ‘Eco-Lit’, isn’t just your typical ‘green club’. We learn to embrace curiosity about the environment and its value to us.
Besides being in awe of the flora and fauna around, we see beauty in the links nature has to the community and culture of a place. All our members have their own journal in which we record everything we learn from our ventures, allowing us to develop into effective leaders who understand what it means to be sustainable.
When our Monday mornings aren’t spent outside, we partake in intriguing activities in school. Sessions with experts who are involved in conservation or the environmental sector facilitate learning about the various perspectives of the ecological challenges we encounter. We also maintain a garden where we grow and harvest fruits and vegetables.
The most exciting part of Eco-Lit would be our extended field trips: in 2019, we had a day-trip to Pulau Ubin, and even an end-of-year trip to Taiwan! Furthermore, we are provided with the exclusive opportunity to publish our own books, allowing members to raise environmental awareness through a creative medium.
Overall, we are not only given the opportunity to form intimate connections with the world around us, but also to experience it with like-minded batchmates.