Excelling out of class pays off for school

by Ng Jing Yng

SINGAPORE – Beyond hitting the books, doing well in activities outside the classroom appears to have paid off for students at Ngee Ann Secondary School, which saw over 100 of its 290 students score at least five distinctions in last year’s GCE O-Level Examinations.

“We see a strong correlation between students who did well in their CCAs (co-curricular activities) and having good grades,” said Ngee Ann principal Adrian Lim, calling the results “one of the school’s best performance in the last 10 years”.

The school achieved “gold” standards for all its four uniformed groups last year, and students are encouraged to start CCAs of their interest, which led to new activities like archery and jam band.

Mr Lim also attributed the school’s success to working closely with parents to engage them in the school’s activities, and tailoring academic programmes to meet the different needs of students.

And just months before the O-Level exams, the graduating class and their teachers took a break to participate in an etiquette dining course.

Exemplifying the spirit that grades are not everything is Claire Goh, who scored eight A1s. She was actively involved in volunteering activities organised by the school and the community. The 16-year-old was initially disappointed that she did not make it into one of the renowned schools after the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), but said that coming to Ngee Ann was the right decision after all.

“It provided a conducive study environment and the teachers went the extra mile to help,” said Claire, adding that her participation in non-academic programmes “made her more mature and to realise that everyone has the potential to do well”.

Schoolmate Lim Yong Jia, who came into Ngee Ann with a PSLE score of 204, received a pleasant surprise yesterday for scoring seven A1s.

She told Today that she did not rely on tuition classes, counting on the school’s teachers to help her along the way instead. “I believe that it is through self-discipline and motivation by the teachers that resulted in my grades,” she said.

Another top scorer, Lee Ya Yu – who got eight A1s – had chosen to enrol in Ngee Ann after scoring 253 for her PSLE exams, as the school was close to her home.

A member of the Guzheng Ensemble which clinched gold in last year’s Singapore Youth Festival, she said: “I have no regrets coming here, the teachers played a key role in my success. At the end of the day, it is not about going to top schools but to also rely on yourself and to be more proactive in your studies.”

– Today Online –

– Picture from: Sxc.hu

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