We began the second day bright and early with a full English breakfast and boarded the coach for the hour-long drive to out of London to Sir John Lawes School. It was dark out when we first headed out and many of us were already nodding off to the rocking of the bus. I, for one, was actually falling asleep when I heard the shouts of my friends and was quickly shaken awake to be rewarded with a magnificent view of the sunrise. It was simply breath-taking and it awed me as the sky was a wonderful blend of warm orange blended harmoniously together. The sight was something really different from the sunrise we see in Singapore – back home there are always high rise buildings hindering us from actually viewing the sky clearly. With life being so fast-paced, we are barely spared the time to sit back to relax and watch the sky. However, viewing the sunrise this morning reminded me that if we were to just slow down and take a breather, we will be able to notice and appreciate the beautiful things in life.
The lovely sunrise really started our day well and definitely left us refreshed. We arrived at Sir John Lawes School and were warmly greeted by the Head Boy (the equivalent of the President of the Student Council in SAJC) as well as the teachers. Then followed a video of the school.
For this introduction we learnt about their school values – ACE. A represents Achievement which could be in any form – be it academics, the artistic, sports and so forth. C represents Care, be it for students, staff and others beyond the school community. E, representing Excellent Standards, specifically talked about the students’ manners, honesty, personal integrity and their uniform. It was really comforting to see that they placed such great emphasis on being able to care for peers and others. This was also manifested in the numerous posters and slideshows mounted around the school, reminding students to be caring towards everyone.
We were then introduced to our buddies and I was paired up with a lovely girl from Year 12 named Faiza. She brought me around the school and one thing I noticed was that the school itself was very busy. The corridors were crowded with students because it accommodates students from Year 7 to Year 13 (Sec 1 – JC2) and the sight of the different students interacting with others, regardless of age, warmed my heart as it demonstrates how friendships really have no barrier.
I had a great opportunity to sit in on a Psychology class. I was blown away by how outspoken the students were. They were not afraid to voice their doubts and thoughts, and this is something I felt that we could learn from them. The teacher was also very encouraging to his students as he constantly praised them and prompted them to go further. Additionally, as Psychology is an unfamiliar subject, I was absorbed by its theories.
After lunch, we moved to the school hall where we made our presentation on Singapore and SAJC, and also had a collaborative session with some of the school’s students. We had to draw a life-size outline of our body and then share fill in this figure with our thoughts on four issues suggested by the teachers. These issues included our thoughts on our ambitions, what might impede us, how we could achieve then and also what we wanted to be able to contribute to society. We were astonished to discover how similar the British students and we are! We had the same types of fears and problems, and also the same type of motivations to work.
In the evening we attended a Creative Writing Workshop by poet Jacob Sam La Rose. He demonstrated to us the beauty of writing. Inspired by him, I realise writing is something less complicated than I thought it to be – I initially thought that writing would be difficult as it would be hard to link the ideas together but Jacob proved us wrong as he played simple games with us that taught us how to write, specifically using the five senses.
Overall, the second day has been an eye-opener and I am looking forward to our second day at Sir John Lawes School tomorrow!