VS EDGE Sec 1 Orientation- From Past to Present!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Moving ahead into the new school year...

Dear parents,

For information on time-table and other school events,
go to our website here at http://vs.moe.edu.sg for more information:
VS Web Page

For regular updates on life in Victoria School, go to my blog at

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Back to School

Dear parent's, it has been a great 3 days and our boys are getting ready to go back to school.
The boys are scheduled to leave the campsite soon.
For safety we will gather ALL boys in the school hall and take attendance first before dismissing them, please DO NOT take your boys home on your own until we have dismissed them officially.

Estimated dismissal time from school is 12.30pm

After 3 days, the boys are all eager to be back to meet you

On Thu, they will report to school in their VS school uniform BY 10.00am
Please ensure that they bring along:
1)School Tie
3)Cash to pay for camp ($40 if they haven't done so already)
4)Cash for photo-taking $4

Time-table for tomorrow is here:
thu timetable
(NB: Sec 1F students are not involved in the CCA trials, so after their library orientation, they are dismissed. The students in 1F know about the specific arrangements for them already)

This is our last post from the blog. We thank you for all your support, for future updates please see http://mrsiow.blogspot.com

Area Cleaning

We always aim to leave the place cleaner than when we first arrived.
Here we see the boys cleaning the toilets and picking up litter:

We want the boys to learn to clean up after themselves and to be able to take ownership of what they do.

Hope the parents can help us to reinforce this lessons once they are back home!

It's the Last Day!

It's the last day and our boys are in high spirits but also eager to go home too!
So let's start with breakfast and see how they are doing ...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Closing thoughts ....

Dear parents, after a long 2 days, the boys have all been sent to sleep and we will be back in school tomorrow afternoon.

They are all in high spirits and will be having a good night's sleep after a long exhausting but eventful day.


Good night to all parents
Thank you for all your support and see you all in school tomorrow

Campfire Archives

Here is the complete Camp Fire footage that was streamed 'live' via Qik from 8.00pm to 9.30pm

1)Opening Address by Principal and Light-up

2)Starting Acts

3) "I ask my Girl" - VS Remix

4)"I ask my Girl" - Audience Participation version

5)More classs skits

6) Even More Skits and Cheering

7) Lagi more Cheering

8)Last performances by classes and junior leaders

9) Cheering Finale and Victorian Anthemn

CAMP FIRE - Finale

Parents we have come to the end of our 'Live' feed Qik streaming for our EDGE 2010 Campfire. We are working to upload the previous footage for viewing for those that were not able to join us live.
Should be up before mid-night depending on network speed- check the tag box for updates

Meanwhile, you can still view the closing moments of the campfire below.

Oooh Lala.....Cikgu Sayang!

After standing for the whole day chest deep in the muddy swamp, what is the first thing that our solid-solid, kilat-kilat, Kamp Kommandant do?
He puts the interests of the boys first, man!

Underneath Mr Amir's 'garang' demeanour is a true heart of gold. Here we see him giving the boys a good thorough washing before he himself washes up!

Mr Amir, you da best dah! Patiently rinsing all the muddy boys.
Mr Amir is not only 'sikit atas' ah, he is super-duper lagi atas.

Mr Amir, baik lah!!

"Testing 1-2-3"

TESTING Channel for 'Live' Feed

"Doctor, doctor, I'm not feeling well..."

Dear Parents,

Many of you are anxious whether your sons are in good health, eating well, feeling homesick.

Some of you may be concerned about what happens should students fall sick? There may be no news from camp, you may not have managed to spot your sons in the videos or pictures, how do you know if he's alright?

Well, in every Sec 1 Camp we definitely do get boys who do not feel well for a variety of reasons. That is part and parcel of running and managing a camp.

We monitor each case closely and ensure that the Form Teacher, the Sec 1 Level Co-ordinator (Mr Ben Khor, who's also staying in with us) and the Camp Commandant, Mr Amir are aware of each case.

So what do we do in cases of real emergency?

Ta dah- we have the one and only Victoria van. Our 24hr safety vehicle located right with us at the camp!

For those boys who need medicial attention, we have contacted their parents and in these cases brought them to the clinic to see the doctor.
As you can see, we take the safety of our students seriously and when the need arises, we will act to take the necessary measures to safeguard the well-being of our students.

In the above cases, once the doctor has given his prognosis, we will advise the parents accordingly and then work with them to manage the situation.

So rest assured that your sons are in good hands!

Recipe to make one Victorian student (Some assembly required)

Recipe to make 1 Victorian
The following recipe makes 1 Victorian
(Some assembly is required)

1) First take 1 pair of muddy shoes


...to take him off the beaten track

2) Add in a few elements of risk
...to take him out of his comfort zone

3) Add periodic long distance runs during the process
... so that he learns to go the distance for there is Nothing Without Labour

4) Allow for a few mistakes in life
... do he learns to find his way in the dark

5) Mixture will sometimes get tangled up but allow to simmer on low heat
... so that he learns to sort things out himself

6) Keep stirring mixture
... so that he learns to mix well with others

7) When ready, serve with humilty
... so that he learns that each person's success is dependent on the support of those next to him.

8) Leave recipe to set for 4 years (always checking constantly with teachers)
and voila

1 complete Victorian

Made in 4 years

but guaranteed for LIFE

"I got you, bro...."

One of our favourite team-building activities is the Tire and Pole
The task is for students to lift a rubber tire up and over an upright wooden pole

They come up with some crazy, innovative and outrageous ways to support each other, carry each other and stay balanced

Sometimes the tire is able to pass over the pole, sometimes not.
But in all cases, the activity is a success.
You see, the point about Tire and Pole isn't about how high you can get the Tire; neither is it about the height of the Pole.

The point of Tire and Pole is how well you carry each other- and if you can do that without letting each other fall, then you know that you have made a friend you can depend upon.

Day 2 Consolidated Photos

Hi Parents, here are the consolidated photos from the cameras of 2 of our student photographers.

We have edited and sorted through all the pictures to give you the best shots.
Click on image to enjoy the slide show

UPDATED: Additions to Day 1 Consolidated photos

Dear parents, here are the photos taken by our student photographers and consolidated here in the gallery for you.
They have been updated with NEW ADDITIONS from another camera.

Click on images to scroll through slideshow

Mathematics for Campers

Mathematics for Campers

1 x videographer to collect 30mins of watchable footage = 4 man-hours
2 x photographer to collect 500 shots of photos = 4 man-hours x 2 = 8 man-hours
NB: to catch it on film, you have to be there, do the activity and follow it through

Sorting through videos and photos = 2 man-hours
Uploading of footage = 5 min per 10MB, about 5 man-hours daily
Publishing of blog, extraction of html coding, = 6 man-hours daily

Total 25 man-hours for total blog post for 1 day
wait... one day has only 24 hours.
Liddat how? How to fit 25 hours work in 24 hours?

Stressed Victorian

Liddat that siao liao lor

Lunch time!


It's lunch time now so the boys will be going for their meals

I've been following 1A and 1B for the first half of the day to catch the Nature Rumble and the Kayaking, so I could't be everywhere at once- but I'm sure all of you were able to see ALL you sons energetically welcoming the dawn of this new day during their morning PT.

Will give more photos at the end of the day after we consolidate from the student photographers

Kayaking in the Johor Straits

After washing of the mud from our 'Spa experience', I was just in time to catch 1A and 1B as they were attending their safety brief in preparation for their kayak session:

You can see that our instructors are very detailed with their safety briefs and ensure that our students know how to use all equipment properly

Before beginning any activity in open water, we always ensure that all students put on PFD and are familiar with their use in being able to float safely in open water:

After ensuring that the boys are able to float safetly, we set out to sea!
Having to dodge errant kayaks, take video, paddle my kayak and avoid getting hit by the students' paddle was a challenge- luckily I never capsize:

Despite their initial awkwardness, the boys soon gained their confidence and were able to manuever smoothly and confidently around the area:

Of to change now and get the boys ready for lunch!

Spa Victoria

So finally ladies and gentlemen, I am back from my spa session!
If you parents would like to feel young and rejuvenated, I strongly recommend joining us for a Spa adventure (haha, can get our Parents Support Group to organise la)

I joined Sec 1A and Sec 1B for our Spa adventure. So here's the spa package offered by Spa Victoria
First all, we had the herbal mud-pack body wrap :) to detox and exfoiliate your body and infuse you with the Victorian Spirit!

Next we have our mangrove jacuzzi for clearer and smoother skin:

I'm sure parent's want to see a before and after, right?
"My complexion was really bad, before Victoria Spa, this is how I looked..."
Bearded Look

"... But after my experience with Spa Victoria...., my skin became silky smooth."

All of us enjoyed ourselves greatly and it the trek back to camp was filled with loud cheers and joyful songs.

I'm heading over to kayaking side now!

Rotation of Activities

The various clusters will be rotating through the cycle of activities from 8.00am to 12.00pm

Here we see some of the boys attempting the Spider-Web crossing. It's a team-building exercise where the group aims to help the members cross to the other side without touching any of the ropes

Yesterday, Sec 1A, 1B and 1C had their Form Teacher's time. Today, a different cluster of class will get to spend time with their Form Teachers in the morning.
Here, we see Miss Pesvien New from 1H skillfully leading her class through the Vision, Mission and Values of Victoria School

Am heading off for the Nature Rumble today to try and capture some footage from within the mudpool itself. It's my turn to get wet, dirty and muddy-- can't let my abang, Mr Amir have all the funs.
So be patient for updates as I will only be back after 10am

Temperature Check!!!

Even at camp, we ensure that we maintain high levels of health and safety.
After breakfast, all teachers conducted a temperature check for thier classes.
For those without thermometers, Camp Commandant, Mr Amir, did their temperature screening personally

Students who have temperatures above trigger point of 37.6 will be isolated in the sick back and we will monitor their status and if necessary get in touch with their parents. Rest assured that they are safe with us and all those needing attention will be monitored and parents kept informed.

A new day begins! Day 2 of EDGE 2010

Good morning!
Today our boys were up at 6.30am for their morning PT.

Kudos to our Senior Leader Hussein who led them in the exercises.

Woohoo!!! I love VS too!

Next our Camp Commandant, Mr Amir took some time to speak with out campers to set the tone and expectation for their second day of camp.

Day 1 Consolidated Photos

Dear parents, here are the photos taken by our student photographers and consolidated here in the gallery for you.

Click on images to scroll through slideshow

Monday, January 4, 2010

Closing thoughts for the day...

Dear parents, time is 11.35pm
It's lights out now and the boys will be waking up bright and early tomorrow for PT before breakfast tomorrow.

We are glad that parents have enjoyed the blog and videos we have posted.
Currently, students in need of medical attention have been seen to and we have contacted the parents for those cases that require the attention of parents.
For the rest who are home-sick, fussy eaters, etc- our dynamic team of teachers have counselled, consoled, reassured them and they are all doing well now.

The purpose of the blog will serve as a conversation point so that when your son returns from the camp, you will have an idea of the type of activities he has engaged in and both parents and child will be able to share this experience as a family.

Even if you do not see your sons or brothers in the clip, you already have an idea of what the boys are going through and will be able to understand better what it is that makes Victoria School so special. In fact, take that as a conversation point to ask him to describe to you his camp experience and how it compared with the rest of his friends.

The blog is meant to empower parents so that they can be shared partners in education with us; don't turn it into a crutch that handicaps you and make it a cause of anxiety.

Have faith in us, more importantly have faith in your son
because he made the right decision to join the Victorian family.

We are all in our own way, Sons of Victoria and we will make you all proud.

Good night parents!
Tomorrow's Camp Fire will start approximately at 8.00pm
Details on the Qik Video Stream will be given closer to the time

My brudders and I

What happens to teachers after you soak them in mud all day?

They get camera shy and develop a cranky sense of humour:
nuff said :)

Stand by Bunk!


So parents, your long awaited video clip of 1D is here!
I was thinking what better way of introducing you all to 1D then by giving you a detailed tour of their living areas!

So check out their bunks here:

Our Vision, Mission and Values

Today some of our boys had their Form Teacher's period in the afternoon.
At night, the teachers also conducted a pastoral session with them on the themes of anti-bullying.

Here we can see some of the concept maps that the boys have put together during their day's sessions:

Dinner and clean-up

We had dinner sharp at 7.00pm. Don't worry parents, we make sure that the boys have enough water and fruits.

Also, after dinner, we inculcate in them the good habit of cleaning up after themselves.

So be sure to make us of your son's new found abilities when they return!

Going the Distance....

Cross-Country has been a niche sport in VS for many years. In fact, for 19 years consecutively VS has been either a B-Div or C-Div champion in Cross-Country and in some years, we have taken both division titles.

This is a proud feat that no other school can attest to. One of the key reasons for this success is that Cross-Country fits into the mindset of the Victorian- we believe in our motto Nil Sine Labore, where there is Nothing Achieved without Labour.
Hence, the long, lonely, arduous path of the long distance runner is something that finds a strong resonance within the Victorian spirit.

So at the close of the day, Cluster 1 (Sec 1A, Sec 1B, & Sec 1C) went for their evening run. Here we see them as they depart on their starting leg:

Running as a cohort means that we are able to encourage the boys to push each other to go the distance. It doesn't matter so much who is first and who is last; rather what matters is that everyone is able to cross the finish line together:

Some thoughts for the day

After a long tiring day, the boys are started to talk more amongst themselves and with the teachers as well.

So as I rove around the camp, I took some time to share some light hearted moments with some of the boys from 1G and 1H

Out to Sea!

We have had the boys flying through the sky on the Zip-line, had them tumbling around on land in the Nature Rumble, so to complete it, we must send them out to sea too! Here the boys from 1G are completing their abseil descent:

Here the boys are launching off the kayaks to head off for their kayak experience in the waters around Jalan Bahtera.

These are the boys that have just completed their Nature Rumble, so it is a good opportunity for them to wash off all the mud and grim while at sea. They also get a chance to visit the Kelongs and see the southern coastline of Malaysia!

In about half-an-hour, we'll be having dinner soon, so I'll update you again then.

Spa Victoria

Well, as we can see from this clip, even our macho men need their beauty treatment to keep themselves looking good!

So off we go to the swamp for them with Mr Amir, our brave and fearless Camp Commandant!
After dispatching the boys, I went off to check on the other areas of the camp. As Camp Commandant, Mr Amir has the most challenging part of managing the Nature Rumble-it requires a strong, resilient person who can stand chest deep in water the whole day and yet keep himself and the students around him motivated. It is the passion for teaching and our love for Victoria that allows teachers like Mr Amir to keep forging ahead for our students.

By the time I had caught up with the boys again, they were deep in the forest.
Here we see them emerging from their foray through the swamp:

We can see the brave Miss Shyamira helping the boys up to dry land.

After getting to their feet, we begin the trek back to camp:

All our 1E and 1F boys have been accounted for, safe and sound!
More updates later

Climbing High

No adventure camp can be complete without the inclusion of the Confidence Ropes Course.

Prior to this camp, Sec 3 and 4 Junior and Senior Leaders were trained by us in November during the Veloci-T Camp. There they picked up the skills and abilities necessary to help us in the conduct of our camps.

The CRC is a good test of trust, teamwork and develops the ability to have confidence in yourself whilst believing in the people who support you. Here Travis from 1I is attempting the Single Log.

In this clip, Luqman from 1I is attempting the Multi-line Traverse:

Whilst this group is up on the air, I'm going off in a few moments to check on the other group getting wet and muddy in the swamp!
See you then!

Team-building Games

While 1A and 1B were spending time with their Form Teachers, their counter-parts from 1C were having their team-building games.

First was the Centipede Race, next we see the Balance Challenge:

The main idea in both our games is to get the boys to work together and start communicating with each other.

Form Teachers Time

As part of our orientation, we have allocated time for the Form Teachers and Asst Form Teachers to get to know their classes.
We also will be inculcating the Vision, Mission and Values of the Victoria School during these sessions.

Here we see Miss Reyna Choo and Miss Wen Naihui from Sec 1A & 1B facilitating this session with their classes

First encounters!

The boys have just finished lunch and are being dispatched for their various activities.

All of them have been successfully settle in and we are good to go!
The teachers are constantly taking stock of the boys to make sure everyone is accounted for and that all of them are able to participate in the activities.
More updates later!

Belay School and Safety Briefings

Once we settled the boys in, we proceeded with an essential safety briefing.
The boys were taught how to wear and check the various safety equipment that they would be using.
They were also introduced to the various commands to be used with their seniors who would be belaying them during the climbing activities.
Here we see the boys being taught how to wear their helmets and harnesses.

We also show gave them a simple intro to the equipment to be used during kayaking- the paddles and the personal floatation devices

Once they were briefed on that, we did a demonstration with the seniors showing how how a successful and safe climbing process was like.

Apart from that, we also ensured that certain camping fundamentals were covered like hygiene and environmental awareness. The boys were briefed on the washing up process after meals so as not to have clogged sinks and choked sewerage.
We also made arrangements for the Muslim boys to set aside time and space for their prayers.

Arrival and settling in

We have now arrived at the camp.
All students and teachers have been accounted for and our Camp Commandant, Mr Amir is giving them instructions before we commence the camp proper.

It is always good to start with the Victorian anthem and to remember that we keep Victoria's flag always unfurled!

Morning Assembly

Good morning parents!
We started the day bright and early by welcoming our new Victorians during morning assembly.

Despite the light drizzle, the boys were all geared up and ready to go!

After assembly, Form Teachers took attendance and settled all the camp administrative matters before they headed to board the buses.
Let's take a look at some of the classes now:

More updates later once we arrive!