This is my third year leading the school and I am grateful for the privilege to serve. I spent the first 15 years of my journey as an educator in an all-boys mission secondary school before taking time out for my Master’s degree. Upon completion of my studies, I spent 2 years in an all-girls mission primary school before being posted here. The years spent in the mission schools positively impacted me with a deep sense of mission - to bring meaning, purpose and hope to the lives of those under my charge through education.
My journey here in Xishan has also been fulfilling and inspiring. In fact the school motto of love, care and share resonated deeply with me. I am inspired daily by a culture with a strong sense of mission and care for the students. Similarly I am also inspired by the students who are filled with compassion and love for one another. They inspire me to be the best of who I am, even as I seek to inspire them with hope, love and passion for life.
We started our journey of Mindfulness in 2018 with the strong support of my team. This journey of Mindfulness puts the focus on developing self-awareness and exercising greater control over our thoughts, emotions and actions.
We guide our students to learn to be still and to grow in awareness and understanding of themselves and their surroundings, and to accept that awareness and understanding without judgement. We show them that the greatest gift of life is to be able to be thankful of who we are and to be able to give and show love to others out of this sense of gratitude.
The journey took us through a process of clarifying our
common vision and goals. We clarified what truly matters to us and our
students, and what our key focus should be/lies. We agreed on a common set of
philosophies and beliefs that will guide us to do what we do.
By end of 2018, we launched the framework for Mindful Teaching and 2019, Mindful Discipline, and in 2020 Mindful Leadership. We developed an overarching framework that encapsulates the essence of Mindfulness - summarizing our key strategies and approaches to guide our students towards our school vision, Every Xishanite, A Life Long Learner, A Contributing Citizen. The framework Keep CALM and Give articulates the five ways how we are enhancing the well-being of individuals, staff and students, to help them become confident and connected learners who can cope with stress and challenges in life to thrive and flourish.
1. We believe that every child wants to and can learn given the right attitude and learning environment.
2. Every staff strives and aspires to design a learning environment that is holistic and caters to the learning needs of every child so as to develop and nurture in them the confidence and desire towards learning.
3. We can teach every child to thrive and flourish by teaching them the skills of well-being.
4. We will role model by learning to learn better continuously.
5. We want to develop positive dispositions in every child so that they will have the essential qualities to be future ready beyond just skills and knowledge.
The five ways of enhancing well-being:
1. Connect – Build positive and trusting relationships, show care and empathy towards others
2. Be Active – Develop a love for sports and be an agent of change
3. Keep Learning – Undertake learning as a journey and not a competition
4. Be Mindful – Take charge of our thoughts, emotions and actions
5. Give – Practice gratitude by giving
Through these five ways which are implemented in all our programmes and practices, we endeavour to help every child grow in the following dispositions:
´ A curious individual with a keen sense of wonderment who is not afraid to ask questions and always looking for new things to learn and try
´ A determined and resilient individual who is not afraid to keep trying to achieve success despite initial failures
´ A diligent and responsible individual who is not afraid of hardwork and values the significance of effort
´ A motivated individual who is not afraid new challenges or changes and works towards overcoming or adapting to the new challenges or changes
´ A mindful individual with good self-awareness who is not afraid to seek feedback for self-improvement
´ A connected individual, who seeks to collaborate and learn with and from others and understands learning is a social process
Hence in Xishan, we envisage that every Xishanite will become an effective life-long learner, anchored in the school values, respect, resilience, integrity and self-discipline, who is ready now and for the future, to serve as contributing citizens.
Mrs. Anne Quek