Thursday, January 03, 2008

A father's chronicle (School orientation)

OK, this is fun. It is not just Theophilus' first day (yesterday) in Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary school, it is also Gracia's first day in Glory Kindergarten too. Unbelieveable. It is school time!

Wait... he is having orientation. She is having orientation. They are having school orientation on the same day. It is nice at least to know that Gracia is having morning session while the boy is attending school in the afternoon, else this might have to defy some physics law.

So, it was fun. Drove the whole family to Glory Kindergarten. The girl have absolutely no problem in settling down in class. She has been going to Glory Kindergarten so often to fetch the brother from school anyway. It was only last month that Theophilus left the same kindergarten and now joins the "Alumni". Furthermore, she has been going to Sunday school and have been watching the brother. She wants to attend school. Just like the brother.... but a little more - she is often attracted by the goodie bags given out whenever there is a birthday party in class. She is already dreaming of parties after parties. Playgrounds, food... this is endless amount of fun for her. Pretty teachers....

In fact, we have a very interesting conversation....

Dad: So, Gracia, what do you like about school?
Gracia: Miss [name withheld to protect the innocent].

Dad: Why? You like her?

Gracia: Yup.

Dad: Why?

Gracia: Because she is pretty.

Dad: [Duh]

Theophilus: Ya ya ya ... she is pretty. But her homework is
pretty xiong! (means very tough in Hokkien)

So, school is fun.

There are things in Gracia's orientation that is still in my mind. Her leaving home for school....

Her walking around the class. Her sliding down the slides in the playground. Her happy face. Her laughter. Her teachers saying that she is really very independent. No crying. No whinning. No bully of others. Share. Not afraid to take a school bus on her way back home (yes, we pick her up at our home). She is so small (both physically and age), but she is really very independent. BTW, we really have a tough time getting a pair of school shoes for her. She is really very small in size.... even her uniform have to be XS.

Theophilus' orientation has a different experience. We prayed for his primary school explicitly. We went for registration, submitted forms. Waited for the outcome of the registration, and today I get to taste the reason of why I wanted him to get into this school.

The students went to the hall. They set down in neat columns.

They have a singspiration with the help of a chaplin. They sang. They sang! They sang praises to God. They actually sang praises to God in school. The hall have Bible verses around. The school have so many verses written all around. They sang the song - In whom I can trust. When they sung, I almost cried. This is what I want. This is the environment I want to grow him in. To be honest, I almost knelt down and worship God when they sung that song! It was like heaven to me. For that entire 4 minutes... I was immerse into a heavenly host. All our prayers pointing to here and now. A taste of things to come. Here are the meaningful lyrics:

You are the Lord
In whom I can trust
You are the Rock
I can stand upon
Every step of the way
You take my hand and say
You'll always be there right beside me
When I call on you,I know You'll come to me
You are the Lord
In whom I can trust
You're my fortress
You're my deliverer
My shield,my strength
For all of my days
I place my hope in Jesus
Who loved me with his life
The Rock of my salvation
In whom I can trust

Here is the video clip (recording using my poor handphone).

It was only like yesterday that Theophilus said he wanted to go to this school because they tell bible stories. Today, I am thankful that I am getting more than that. He has the challenge to memorise all the bible verses on every wall in the school before he graduate from this school. Too easy for him, a more challenging task is to meditate on it and let those verses infuse into him. Let them transform him.

Nope, I am not particularly impressed with their academic results. Yes, as a SAP school I expected more. But heh, that's not the most important thing to me for him. It is important. Just not the most important.

OK, some other stuffs.... caught him talking in class again... he has the ability to talk while listening to instructions actually... it is a weird thing... but he needs to be careful not to distract other classmates....

He is sitting with Emma who happens to be his Sunday school classmate too. So they see each other 6 days in a week!

Oh, the part of school which Theophilus look forward most is: recess!

They have a buddy-buddy system which the Primary 2 students will help the new arrivals (Primary 1 students) during the canteen break. They bring them to the stores. Showed them where to get food. Help them to calculate the change.... and some of them are so good. They have badges on their collar. One girl whom we noticed have 3 badges: Model student, Avid Reader (Chinese), Avid Reader (English)... wow....

I caught a boy who was wearing an English Avid Reader badge just before I left the school. A primary 2 boy. I couldn't help it. I stopped there. I held his collar and examine the collar pin and said "Well done, boy! Well done!" He beamed. He just beamed. I am happy to have given him the additional help along this long journey of growth. Growing in things that are good. Who knows? He might be my Prime Minister in the future? They are leaners today.... and they will be my leaders tomorrow.


LX said...

Hello, I'm an ex-pupil of Glory Kindergarten and Pei Hwa Presbyterian. I am currently studying in River Valley High. I'm glad that you and your kids are happy with their schools. When I was watching your video, I couldn't help but cry as I remembered the times I sat in the hall to sing praises to God. Your son will definitely enjoy his time in PHPPS, no matter if his results are good or bad. Hmm... I think I've seen Theophilus before. Anyway, hope your kids will enjoy their time in their new schools. Though I don't remember the homework being tough in kindergarten. Times are changing.

lzx said...

Hello there =) I got to your blog from my friend. This post made me reminisce about my primary school days =)

Susanna o.O said...

Hihi. I graduated from Pei Hwa 2 years ago..13 now(: sectwo in Nanyang Girls' High. When I saw your post and the video. I nearly cried. Yes, peihwa is the best school ever. Its a great choice to choose it for him. and yes I go to glory presb. church too(:

Oh, and last time the buddy system was primary 5 with primary 1... the singspiration every morning, and we also have bible study as a class during curiculum hours(: As for academic results, phpps is quite above average. lots of ppl get high T-scores.

Anyway, hope your son enjoys his life in phpps(: