CCA in the spotlight – Chinese Orchestra

Photo credit: Mr Marc Kenji Lim

Hi all!

Have you ever walked from the ISH towards the basketball court and heard the exotic sounds of Chinese music? Find out more about the CCA!

CCA: Chinese Orchestra

Interviewee: Calista Loh

Interviewers: Claire Hsieh and Soh Wen Sheun

What do you do during CCA?

I’m from Chinese Orchestra and I play the cello. We practice Chinese songs most of the time: for 2.5 hours on Tuesdays and 3 hours on Wednesdays. On Wednesdays, my CCA focuses more on the technical areas of music such as bowing techniques and articulation. Currently, we are also preparing for our performance in the upcoming Chinese New Year festival and some lunchtime concerts. We will also be having a joint concert with the other performing arts CCAs soon!

What do you enjoy most in your CCA?

I really enjoy playing the cello due to its unique sound. Moreover, what draws me to the instrument is the huge level of coordination required between all the cellists in an orchestra as it is important that when we play together, we only sound like one person playing. Therefore, it is easy for the audience to hear any mistakes when one cellist messes up. I also love and enjoy the teamwork and close relationships between me and my CCA members.

What are some troubles you encountered during CCA and how did you overcome them?

Sometimes my hands hurt a lot as playing the cello requires you to press the strings extremely hard in order to achieve the right sound. This is especially so when I just began practicing the cello. Not only that, I can get tired halfway through CCA sessions. I think the support between the players in my CCA and my CCA teacher is instrumental in pushing all of us to continue and improve ourselves. Also, I feel that your motivation has to come from within as well so that you can make the most out of your CCA!

As seniors, you will be holding auditions for your juniors, so what is your CCA looking for in prospective members?

It is one thing to be skilled in playing an instrument. However, to have the passion and willingness to try your best and love what you are doing is, I feel, much more important and crucial. We are looking for members you are passionate and willing to put in the effort to not only improve yourself, but also come together with other members as an orchestra!

What do you think is a highlight for your CCA last year?

‘A Beautiful Muse’ performance

Stay tuned for the next CCA’s interview!

CCA in the spotlight – Volleyball

Photo credit: Nicole Therese Lim

Hi all!

Featuring our first sports CCA!

CCA: Volleyball

Interviewee: Yong Duan Kang

Interviewers: Claire Hsieh and Soh Wen Sheun

What do you do during CCA?

In an average CCA session, we do warm ups, followed by skills training and some games stimulation. We are also currently preparing for A Division coming up in a few months.

What do you enjoy most in your CCA?

The girls (joking) and the people in my CCA as they are great teammates.

What are some troubles you encountered in your CCA and how did you overcome them?

Some people don’t come for training such as turning up only once every 6 sessions. Besides informing the teacher about this issue, there is nothing we can do about it.

As seniors, you will be holding auditions for your juniors, so what is your CCA looking for in prospective members?

You have to have the skills. However, you can also get in if you have the passion and commitment by turning up for every training session despite not acquiring the relevant skill set yet! I remember the level of competition for auditions last year was pretty high: 50 people went to audition but only 12 managed to get in. Also, the coach is pretty chill.

What do you think is a highlight for your CCA last year?

I think the CCA camp last year was pretty fun as we went to Sentosa Beach at night to play volleyball- it was great time.

CCA in the spotlight – Service Learning

Photo credit: Teri Tay

A new school year means new friends, new teachers, new subjects. BUT what’s missing? The activity that we get to pour our hearts and souls into – CCAs!

Interviews conducted by Claire Hsieh and Soh Wen Sheun feature questions and answers one will rarely have time to find out on a normal day.

CCA: Service learning

Interviewee: Kay

Interviewer: Claire Hsieh and Soh Wen Sheun

What is an average CCA session like?

Our CCA is split into 4 groups (of about 10 people each) and each group is partnered with a different organisation. During Wednesday CCA sessions, we will usually be in our groups, either planning our next outreach activity for our chosen organisation or out of school doing volunteer work. On Friday CCA sessions, we will be planning and executing our club VIA.

What do you enjoy most about your CCA?

For me, I enjoy interacting with the less fortunate as well as the community around us during our volunteering activities, because it is really heartwarming to see that you’ve made someone’s day even through a simple visit with games and food.

What are some troubles you encountered in your CCA and how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge for me is the sheer size of our club (46 people and more to come!), which makes it difficult to coordinate activities and ensure that everyone is involved and not feel left out during discussions. To overcome this issue, we split our CCA into our four groups, each with 1-2 Exco members to guide the group members. This made admin matters such as attendance taking and travelling to our VIA locations much easier.

As seniors, you will be holding auditions for your juniors, so what is your CCA looking out for in prospective members?

We want our members to make a difference in people’s lives and give back to the community, so we will be looking out for juniors who are passionate about serving others. Prior volunteer experience will also be useful, but it is not the most crucial thing that we are looking out for.

What do you think was a highlight for your CCA last year?

One of our highlights last year was DDD 4, when some of our members, along with other Ej students, visited senior citizens at Ulu Pandan CC and Lions Befrienders. They had lots of fun with the seniors through teaching them Zumba and playing Bingo with them. They also got to learn a lot about them through interacting with them.

Stay tuned for the next CCA’s interview!

The one-step solution to prolonged concentration?

Hi there,

To begin, I’m not going to lie, it’s been a long time since the Origin* updated and I apologise on the behalf of the team . Rest assured, we’ll be a lot more active in time to come.

Speaking about time, a lot has happened since the blog’s last post in August – PROMOS, PW, a couple more DDDs etc. Thankfully, that intense period of endless mental “workouts” has long ended and naturally, I’ve had quite a bit of time on my hand to stare into space, revisit a couple of hobbies (like pretending to be an Atas foreign tourist in Chinatown haha), but most importantly, thinking over my actions during that stressful time. How did I manage to pull through? What kept me going? I thought I would use this post to reflect on the past few months by sharing one interesting lesson I’ve learnt.

I think I might have discovered the key to prolonged concentration. Have you ever found yourself telling yourself the following? “Okay, I’m going to be really diligent today and study Biology from 8-12 and Chemistry from 2-6. I’ll reward myself with playing all I want in the night.”. But how often do you follow through the plan? Personally, I find myself pausing 2 hours into the schedule, getting restless and annoyed with my diminishing ability to memorise my DNA notes. *PAUSE* I can hear you sighing already – You seem to know the solution. Chunking your study time into shorter blocks and taking study breaks right? WRONG. I repeat again. WRONG.

I’ll tell you what the solution is. (Disclaimer: This is my opinion. You might or might not agree.) It’s not how well you structure your study time into blocks. It’s what you do during the breaks. 

You see, there are two kinds of study breaks – Those that are non-restful and those that leave you feeling recharged and craving to go back to studying. So what are some examples of non-restful breaks? They include browsing social media, reading that hotly anticipated thriller and watching a movie. What do these activities have in common? They don’t give your eyes a chance to rest after you’ve been starring at your study notes, they leave you feeling more tired than before because your brain continues to process information during these activities and finally, your blood doesen’t get to circulate, depriving your organs of oxygen – A key substance for optimal brain concentration. Now onto examples of restful breaks. They include breathing in pure oxygen from oxygen tanks for maximum concentration. Just joking! Don’t do that. Restful breaks include doing light exercise like sit-ups, planks, jumping jacks which are mindless activities that get your blood flowing, baking a delicious post-dinner treat for yourself, reading the newspaper, eating healthy food like banana and peanut butter sandwiches (my favourite snack!), playing an instrument etc. Notice, all these activities require less mental processing and instead, more physical action – a direct contrast to the sedentary nature of studying.

Next time you give yourself a study break, you know what to do! 🙂

Moving on, its 2 more weeks left to school (It’s okay there’s still time to pull up our socks and get homework done). How are you going to spend these last two weeks? Studying? Playing? Honestly, I don’t have a definite answer but I’ve heard from seniors that this holiday is going to be the last one where one can truly enjoy themselves without the emotional baggage of A levels. So get your homework done by this weekend and head off somewhere – Do some volunteering, or even head off to USS and enjoy screaming your head off on roller coasters (But don’t lose your voice, Eunite is coming up!)

Have a blessed Christmas!


The Origin* Team

Lessons in education from Finland

Finland’s education system has frequently been lauded as the best in world, coming out tops in global education system rankings every year. As such, many countries, Singapore included, have sought to adapt the Finnish system to their own.

Some argue that the key element to implement the Finnish model to Singapore is how both societies are collective in nature, that emphasises common good over the individual. Since the culture gap between Singapore and Finland is not as wide as most believe, it is hence possible to adapt Finland’s education system to our own. (“Possible to adapt Finnish education model to S’pore”; May 28)

However, just because both Singaporean and Finnish societies are collectivist does not necessarily mean that the Finnish education system is suitable for implementation in Singapore. There are definitely a lot more cultural complexities within each country that are unique to each society, which makes it perceivably difficult to simply “cut and paste” measures in Finland’s education system and place it in Singapore’s.

For instance, a large part of the Finnish education system is their policy on homework. As the OECD think tank says, “One of the most striking facts about Finnish schools is that their students have fewer hours of instruction than students in any other OECD country.” While Singaporean teachers can and have been trying to reduce the amount of homework given to students of late, simply adopting this policy will not achieve similar results for Singapore. We cannot deny that there are cultural differences between Finland and Singapore like the high degree of importance that parents place on homework for their children in Singapore which is not as evident in Finland. Thus, simply copying Finland’s education policies would not be the best way to adapt Finland’s system to Singapore’s.

I do not deny that gleaning lessons from Finland’s education system is important for Singapore, I do feel that there are more effective ways to adapt it to Singapore’s system. Instead of simply copying Finland’s education methods, perhaps a better way would be to changing our attitudes towards education as Finland does.

Instead of implementing the policy of reduced homework or national examinations in Singapore, we should consider the underlying reason behind it. To Finnish society, the point of assessments are to pinpoint areas where students lack understanding and give students individualised feedback, allowing teachers to give students early intervention to aid their learning. This attitude towards assessment can be adapted to Singapore. While it may be a long and arduous process, getting people to see that assessments should not become a way to pit students against each other but rather to help them identify their weaknesses and improve might make a greater impact. By changing how people view assessments, followed by implementing policy changes, changes in the education system would then be well received and effective.

Another way in which Singapore’s education system can really be changed would be to change society’s attitudes towards teaching as a vocation. In Finland, teaching is a highly valued profession. Despite a vigorous training programme that includes a five-year degree, there is stiff competition for the degree. Teachers in Finland are also highly respected by the rest of society for making a difference to young people’s lives. While I am sure that the teaching profession is respected among Singaporeans, it still has not reached the level of being as coveted as it is in Finland. There are many who do not view teaching as a prized vocation due to the low pay that teachers usually receive and perceived lack of qualifications that teachers have. I feel that this attitude disparity is something that Singapore should correct before starting to implement changes to the system itself. Without truly respecting and valuing teaching, it would be difficult to enforce lasting change in the education system.

Indeed, Finland’s education system should be something that Singapore should aspire to and strive to emulate. However, we should not be blindly copying all their measures and instead work to change our attitudes towards education. 

By Soh Wen Shuen

Eunoia Junior College, Student


Picture credit:

Morocco World News


Welcome to Eunoia Junior College first ever school newsletter!

Have lots of fun reading the articles and on behalf of the entire newsletter committee, wishing everyone all the best in their studies and don’t forget to stop to enjoy the little things in life 🙂

And also, don’t forget to watch this exclusive interview with our Principal and Deputy Principals.