Unity is Strength. Where there is Unity, there is always Victory.
It has been more than 8 months since we started out fight against COVID-19. After celebrating Chinese New Year in late January, we were plunged into a period of uncertainty as the pandemic spread, tightened its grip across the world and changed our lives forever.
In February, we started our DORSCON Orange preparation. We put in place safety measures beginning with staggered recesses, daily temperature-taking and wipe down routines. We had to cancel many of all our programmes including SPARCLE1, mid-year examinations, CCA activities and competitions. The National School Games were also suspended and we had to call off PASSIONARTS 2020. Finally on 3 April, our prime minister announced Circuit Breaker (CB) measures to contain COVID-19. All schools and businesses in Singapore closed, and we went into three weeks of full Home-based Learning (fHBL), followed by an early mid-year break from 5 May to 1 June.
2020 has been a year of grim challenges, unpleasant surprises and upsetting news. Every one of us have felt the negative impact of pandemic, many experienced financial strife and psychological anguish as unemployment rises and uncertainty looms.
At Northland, we too faced the pain imposed by the pandemic – lost opportunities as we cancelled school programmes, stress and anxiety as we managed frequent disruptions to familiar routines including how we learn and interact with one another, and apprehension about what the future holds.
Yet through all these
difficulties, our Northland spirit shone clear and strong. We continued to share, care and dare. Teachers and students alike rallied to share
ideas and provide support to one another during the fHBL. Form Teachers diligently checked in on all their
students to ensure they were safe and well. Our UPLIFT committee kept school
open for Northstars who needed extra help and support; and secured meals for
121 our students’ families - Not
forgetting Captain Northland, our source of encouragement and inspiration on
Our dare to try have created exciting opportunities. We held our inaugural Student Council Elections online and Northstars participated actively to elect their peer leaders. We experimented with new ways to connect with students using digital resources such as Google Suite and Instagram. Our teachers even made a music video featuring Mr Ong Ye Kung as a special guest!
We had a moving
National Day celebration incorporating Speech Day with a fitting theme, Emerge.
Indeed, we have remained united and resilient in the face of COVID-19
and have emerged stronger.
As I am writing this, we are already in Week 4 of Term 3. We have been back to school for more than 3 months and are in fact, in the midst of our end-of-year examinations. The number of infected cases in Singapore has fallen steadily and there are signs of recovery, much like the green shoots that sprout after a forest fire.
I am immensely grateful to my colleagues and parents for their support as we join in our efforts to keep our school safe and our students’ learning going. I am very proud of what we have accomplished this year as a school and community – we have demonstrated resilience, grown through adversity and remained positive. All these can only be achieved because we are united in our vision: to be learners who share, citizens who care and leaders who dare.
Let us continue to go where our vision is.
Tan Siew Woon
1 Oct 2020