Having celebrated a very happy Golden Jubilee in 2015, Presbyterian High School enters into its 51st year on a sure footing and we continue to look to God. PHS is a great school and this year we have made forward strides in the education we provide. We want to be anchored as we stride forward; we also want to cherish our heritage and traditions. School culture is formed over a long period of time and in our 51st year of establishment, it is opportune for us to clarify and consolidate the culture that has grown over the past 50 years.
根 – 温故知新
In the first stage of its journey, PHS began as a Chinese medium school – Li Sun High School – until the school was relocated to Ang Mo Kio in 1981. Central to our school is the culture of care: we treat and care for one another as we would towards our family members. This year, we have chosen “Living in Unity as One PresHigh family” for our school theme and the accompanying verse from the Bible is from Philippians 2:2: “Then make my joy complete by being likeminded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”
We believe that each member of the PHS family is placed here by God and should be treated with care and respect. PHS is a very good school and we give thanks to God that PHS has continued to find favour in the eyes of parents who place their trust in PHS and made PHS the school of choice for their children. As part of strengthening our ties as One PresHigh family, we have organised for the very first time this year, the Family Fiesta on 15 August. The activities were organised with the aim of promoting interaction and bonding between students and their parents, and between staff and their children. The activities organised included a photo booth, K-Pop dance and exercise session, minute-to-win-it games and terrarium, sandwich and bookmark making workshops.
In the lyrics of our school song, Rev Lee Huai Kwang, a pivotal figure in the establishment of the school, penned in Chinese these words “立己立人，为民前锋”. There are two parts to this line: “立己” is to grow oneself and “立人” is to serve others and be a blessing to those around us. These words of the chorus capture another key aspect of PHS. We believe that staff and students have to grow themselves before they can serve and be of help to others.
We have built on existing programmes and come out with new ones to grow our students’ knowledge, skills and values so that they will be ready to serve and be a blessing to others.
Holistic Development of our Students
In Semester Two, we launched our Applied Learning Programme (ALP) on Forensic and Pharmaceutical Sciences. All the Secondary One classes went through a module on forensic investigation through both theory lessons as well as hands-on activities. Through the ALP, we hope to broaden our students’ exposure to scientific thinking beyond the textbooks. Students will be taught how to use the investigative and inquiry approach to understand and learn about the complexity and dynamics of Forensic and Pharmaceutical Science.
We have formulated a plan to provide development for students in the domains of Aesthetics, Sports and National Education over their four to five years at PHS. This development plan is known as the Programme for Holistic Development (P.H.D.). In the Aesthetic domain, students were exposed to different dance forms and they also learnt to play Asian-based percussive instruments like the tabla and kompang, as well as instruments from Brazil and Africa. In the Sports domain, students learnt bowling, inline skating, golf and skipping. Lastly, in the National Education domain, students participated in Total Defence Day, International Friendship Day and National Day programmes.
As part of our pastoral care for our students, we have added the GLOW Week for our graduating classes. GLOW stands for Goal Setting, developing a Learning plan, taking Ownership for one’s learning and maintaining Wellness of body and mind. During the GLOW Week, students attended workshops on how to go about achieving their academic and life goals, built sandcastles and learnt about social and dining etiquette.
Developing mountain peaks of excellence
We want to help all our students to grow through their CCAs. We start by providing each CCA with generous funding and with teachers or coaches to instruct them.
Many of our CCAs have done very well. The Drama Club took part in the prestigious Human Values Drama Festival and one of the actors was awarded the Best Actor award. The Girls’ Brigade took part in the National Drill Competition and was awarded two bronze medals and one gold medal. For the sports CCA, our Basketball ‘C’ Division Boys are the National Champions and our Volleyball ‘B’ Division Girls are National 1st Runner-up.
Likewise, we help all students develop well cognitively and make sure that those who can go even further are given opportunities to stretch themselves in workshops and competitions. A group of students took part in the National Schools Literature Festival. The Secondary Four group came in first in the Set Text Debate Competition and the Secondary One group came in third in the Choral Debate Competition. Our students who took part in the Singapore Mathematical Olympiad brought home a gold medal, two bronze medals and three honourable mention certificates. Three students took part in an International Crystal Growing Competition and achieved a Silver Award. Two students brought back a Gold Award for their participation in the 17th Elementz Science Research Conference. The Design and Technology unit participated in the Ngee Ann Polytechnic – Building and Construction Authority Design Challenge 2016. The Secondary Two students designed an environmentally friendly building and they won the third prize for their creative and innovative ideas.
In Semester One, we launched our Learning for Life Programme which aims to develop every PHS student the knowledge, skills and values to be a Servant-Leader. There is both a component of values education carried out during our Character First lessons (empathy and listening) as well as skills development in our students with respect to the planning of Values-In-Action (VIA) activities with their class. At the staff level, our staff are good role models too. The meaningful VIA carried out by the staff included volunteering at Singapore Stroke Association’s Walkathon, initiating a reading programme with the children at Pertapis Children's Home and initiating a food donation drive for Food Bank Singapore. Some of the meaningful VIA carried out by the classes include initiating a blood donation drive and designing a Teacher’s Day appreciation board.
We teach students the value of “饮水思源”which means that we should always remember the source which the water we are drinking comes from. Here, we would like to extend our deepest thanks to the School Management Board (SMB), True Grace Presbyterian Church and Ang Mo Kio Presbyterian Church for their faithful support in prayer, teaching and guidance and generous funding. We remember that our school was started 50 years ago by the Presbyterian Church and has continued to receive the steadfast and generous support of the Presbyterian Church till the present day. Also, with the support of MOE and our SMB, we have continued to make improvements to our campus. This year we have renovated the General Office and relocated our Sick Bays.
焚 而 不 毁
The Burning Bush reminds us that this school is a mission school and that we are in God’s presence every day when we come to school. It is also an expression of our passion to see PHS continue to live up to its motto, Aflame for Truth. As we continue in this journey, we believe that God will continue to show His holiness, greatness and power in PHS in all situations, and may we find favour in God’s eyes as we follow him.