Raffles Girls' School (Secondary)


Raffles Girls' School (Secondary)

Infobox Singapore School
name = Raffles Girls' School (Secondary)
莱佛士女子中学 (Láifóshì Nǘzǐ Zhōngxué)


motto = Filiae Melioris Ævi(Daugthers of a better age)
established = 1879
type = Independent
session = Single
principal = Mrs Julie Hoo
city/town = Anderson Road
school code = 3008
enrollment = approx. 1800
colours = green, black, white
homepage = [http://www.rgs.edu.sg Link]

Raffles Girls' School (Secondary) is an independent girls' secondary school in Singapore. RGS was further recognised by the Ministry of Education in 2006 by being awarded the School Excellence Award (recognising schools with 'exemplary school processes and practices'), among other awards. [http://www.moe.gov.sg/press/2004/pr2004sea_sda.htm]

RGS offers the first four years of the Integrated Programme in the "Raffles Programme", together with Raffles Institution and Raffles Junior College, which allows students to proceed directly to Raffles Junior College without taking the GCE 'O' Levels. It was also one of the first few schools to offer the Gifted Education Programme.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not officially affiliated with Raffles Girls' Primary School, despite having a common history.

The school also has a history of excelling in academics, sports and the arts. RGS remains one of the top schools in Singapore, and has attained many sporting achievements.

Motto

"Filiae Melioris Ævi", in translation from Latin, it means "Daughters of a better age".

History

Previously, before Raffles Girls' School became a school in its own right, it existed as a part of Raffles Institution (RI).

The department for girls was opened in the RI campus of Bras Basah Road on 4 March 1844 with 11 students, 5 day-scholars and six boarders, who were clothed, fed and instructed by the institution itself. The demand for education grew and in 1847, the school moved to RI's eastern wing, extending towards Bras Basah Road. A wall known as the 'Berlin Wall' separated the boys' and girls' buildings. In 1871, the school moved into a house, the George Family's Old Mansion at the corner of Bras Basah Road. In 1879, the school separated from RI and Miss Nelson was appointed the school's first headmistress. Together with three assistants, she ran the school which had an enrolment of 77. Since then, 1879 has been officially regarded as the year of the founding of RGS.

From 1882 onwards, English speaking boys were admitted to the lower, middle and primary classes. This was discontinued in 1927 due to the increasing demand for accommodation for girls. The Raffles Old Girls' association was formed on 7 July 1950. The school motto was introduced in 1953, with the school's first Annual speech day held on the same year as well.RGS became a government school of considerable prestige in 1903. It was then located at Queen Street. In 1959, the primary and secondary sections of the school were separated and the secondary section moved to Anderson Road, while the primary section remains in Queen Street. The school stopped offering 'A' level courses in 1983, and the Gifted Education Programme started in 1984. The school later moved to a holding school located at Jalan Kuala in 1988 and moved back to a new building at Anderson Road on 1 November 1992, becoming independent on 1 January 1993. In 1994, the RGS chapter was formed, to replace the Women's Rafflesian Chapter.

The curriculum when the school first started was confined to reading, writing, needlework and cookery, as the main objective in those days was simply to shelter girls from the temptations they were exposed to. The provision of some form of education was considered secondary. At present, the curriculum has expanded to include all the sciences, humanities and aesthetics. Among other things, students today undergo lessons in Philosophy in order to develop creativity and critical thinking. The Lower Secondary students also enjoy lessons in Speech & Drama.

Today, Raffles Girls' School has a student population of about 1,800 students (Secondary One to Secondary Four) and 151 teachers.

chool Song

From High Olympus
From High Olympus flows to us the glory
On us the sacred fire descends.
Rise, sisters, rise, the world is all before ye
Fear not to grasp what fortune sends.
Chorus:
Sisters in learning and sisters at heart
Life lies before us,
Here's luck to the start.
A little while the sun shines high above us
And youth's elixir fills our veins.
The magic fire, that moves the gods to love us
The fire by which the will attains.
Chorus:
Sisters in learning and sisters at heart
Life lies before us,
Here's luck to the start.
From heart to heart we'll scale the heights of learning
No mean desires our days shall shame.
Whole-hearted, true, with pride and ardour burning
On sisters, on to life and fame.
Chorus:
Sisters in learning and sisters at heart
Life lies before us,
Here's luck to the start."'

[http://www.rgs.edu.sg/info/song.html Recording of RGS School Song]

The school song is the very first song a new pupil learns when she steps into RGS. It was officially introduced in 1954, after principal Miss Hinchcliffe (principal from 1951 - 1956) commissioned Miss Goodland, the music teacher, to introduce a school song. Miss Goodland selected the song "From High Olympus" from a songbook called "Unison" (a collection of songs sung during the British colonial days). The people responsible for the lyrics and tune were Miss Florence Hoare and Miss H.L. Schnoor. The pagan overtones of the school song are in keeping with how Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom, energy and creativity, watches over the school's side gate ["A-Z guide to the top school". (20 August 1994). "Straits Times".] .

Other songs sung at school events include "Inspiration", "Dedication", and "Pass it On". "At the Beginning" used to be sung as well.

Culture

Uniform

The uniform of RGS consists of a navy blue pleated pinafore over a white collared blouse; the belt is sewn onto the pinafore but it can be taken off (unsewn) ["A-Z guide to the top school". (20 August 1994). "Straits Times".] . Students traditionally fold their sleeves. The school badge, with the school crest and its motto, is worn on the top left of the uniform together with a colour-coded nametag that spells the student's name. On Fridays, during Hall Assembly, all girls wear a black and white striped tie on a green base as part of the uniform.

They wear ankle-high white socks and white shoes. In comparison with other schools like RI and NYGH, RGS is the one of the few that has "not" allowed ankle socks. Sports shoes can be worn, but these must be at least 80% white, although this is somewhat arbitrary. Prefects or Student Leaders are required to wear socks which bear the School logo.

Prefects from Secondary 3 and 4 wear a white blouse with a skirt similar in colour to the school pinafore and culottes. They also wear the school tie at all times when in uniform. Their prefect badge is pinned at the bottom of their tie.

Student Leaders from Secondary 1 classes, and Prefects-in-Training from Secondary 2 classes, wear the school tie underneath the pinafore, as well as a Student Leader badge or a Prefect-in-Training badge.

Class chairpersons, vice-chairpersons, members of the Student Leaders' Network and house captains also wear a badge above their name tag, denoting their position. This badge is bronze for the chairpersons, and of corresponding colour to their houses for the captains. Peer Support Leaders also wear a collar-pin, while some CCAs (such as Red Cross, Library and Guitar) also create their own unique collar pins.

On Tuesdays, Saturdays and during certain school events, girls are allowed to don culottes. A white RGS polo T-shirt for Physical Education (PE) usually accompanies the culottes. The culottes can also be worn with a House T-shirt, a Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) T-shirt, or a class T-shirt. The latter can be designed by students with approval from teachers and the school administration. Any shirt worn with the culottes must have a nametag pinned on.

Uniform rules are strict, and enforcement is rigorously carried out by prefects. Three bookings for infringement of uniform rules warrants detention. As one's number of detentions feature strongly in consideration for scholarships many students resent the power prefects potentially wield over their futures.

Houses

There are five houses: Buckle (Green), Tarbet (Red), Richardson (Blue), Waddle (Yellow), and Hadley (Purple). They are named after five past principals of RGS. Miss Hadley introduced the House System.

The five houses take part in friendly competitions throughout the school year, with two major events pivotal in deciding the overall champion house. These are the Swimathon and the Sports Festival, held annually in the early part of the year. Netball Carnival is also held for Secondary 1 students.

Throughout the rest of the year, various interhouse games such as netball, squash, photography and even sandwich-making allow members of every house to contribute to their house's tally of points while doing something they like and fulfil school requirements of three IHGs per annum. As of the year 2008, the sandwich-making competition has been replaced by the bento-packing competition.

Disciplinary System

The RGS discipline system seeks to maintain the professional image which every pupil of the school should uphold. Enforcement of this system is carried out in the form of bookings. Three bookings in the same category of offences would land a student in Detention Class, which requires students to reflect on the consequences of their actions. Four bookings would land a student in SOM (a revised version of the older BETA system).

The disciplinary system is upheld by members of the staff and prefects, who sometimes conduct spotchecks and are also in charge of the maintenance of the booking system. General checks are also conducted every morning before morning assembly. Recalcitrants' parents are sometimes called to work with the school Discipline Committee.

The discipline mistress as of 2008 is Mrs Prama.

tudent Leadership

Prefectorial Board

The [http://www.rgs.edu.sg/rgspb Raffles Girls' School (Secondary) Prefectorial Board] , also known as RGSPB, was established in 1950. The Prefectorial Board is the premiere student leadership body in the RGS student community.

The vision of the RGSPB is for prefects to be leaders for life, igniting spirit and passion for the school, and educating students to be responsible, rational members of society.

The Board's 84 members consist of prefects from Secondary 3 and 4, as well as Prefects-in-Training from Secondary 2. Upper secondary members of the Board carry the honour and privilege of being full-fledged prefects, donning the distinctive white blouse and dark blue skirt.

Apart from the fundamental role of maintaining discipline in school, prefects also teach and lead in Rafflesian Cheers during school events and inter-school competitions. The Board also offers a range of services centered on the welfare of the student population, through the selling of Rafflesian products and the loaning of items such as blouses, pinafores and blazers. Prefects-in-training also help raise funds for various CCAs during their concerts and performances. Also, RGSPB organizes and executes many large-scale functions in the school and assists the RGS staff in running school events.

RGSPB also plays a collaborative role in the school, working together with other leadership boards, like the Peer Support Board and the Student Leaders' Network, to form organising committees for larger events, such as the annual Secondary 1 Orientation.

The Head Prefect of 2008 is Tessa Ong and of 2009 will be Jessica Chan.

Peer Support Board

The Peer Support Board (PSB) was set up in 1995 and has 81 members as of April 2008, consisting of Secondary 2, 3, and 4 Peer Support Leaders (PSLs). The board was set up with the main aim of acculturating the new Secondary 1 pupils into the new environment, to offer emotional help and support to their peers, and to serve the school as student leaders wholeheartedly.

The board is actively engaged within the school community, co-organizing various school functions with the Prefectorial Board. Some examples of collaborative leadership between the two boards are the annual Student Leaders Investiture, Reporting Day and the Secondary 1 Orientation amongst many other school events.

The Peer Support programme is an experiential learning programme which works on the principle that people absorb information and values from one another. It encourages the building of support networks among peers and seeks to develop successful human relationships through PSL sessions.

Apart from organising school events, the key event for all PSLs in their leadership journey in PSB is the weekly PSL sessions as mentioned above. In these weekly sessions, PSLs meet with their respective Secondary 1 classes they are in charge of to share their experiences and thoughts on certain issues pertinent to Secondary 1s, and to also interact and provide support and a listening ear to the Secondary 1s. Through these sessions, PSLs form strong, long-lasting bonds with the Secondary 1s.

After much organizational restructuring in 2005, Junior PSLs (JPSLs) were officially introduced in 2007. Secondary 2s were recruited into the board after a round of selections, giving them the chance to apply their leadership skills. Being the closest of age to Secondary 1s, they would be most able to understand and emphathise with the Secondary 1s.

The logo of the PSB is the dolphin. Dolphins are friendly creatures and travel in groups. Similarly, PSLs are friendly and approachable people, and never walk alone. The motto of the PSB is “riding the waves with you”, parallel to the concept of never being alone.

tudent Leaders' Network

The Student Leaders' Network (SLN) comprises student leaders from the various leadership boards and student organisations in school. These leaders are selected because they possess the fundamental qualities of a leader that the school upholds in addition to their commitment and desire to hone their leadership skills in the serve of those they lead. With a strong focus on personal mentoring and peer sharing among leaders, the vision of SLN is "to continually aspire, strive and dare to be better leaders in the service to all". The SLN has a unique place in the student leadership body in RGS, as it acts as a think-tank where school-wide proposals and projects that enhance school life are conceptualised and executed.

tudent Congress

The Student Congress is a formal structure to facilitate the student populace's experience and participation in the process of active citizenship. There is a main speaker and 2 alternate speakers. Tying in closely with the strategic thrusts of student leadership, the 5 C's, it hopes to:

Create - provide a platform and create an open atmosphere for students to participate in a public forum on issues important to them and the school

Change - act as agents of change for the betterment of the school and its stakeholders

Civil Governance - represent their schoolmates in presenting the views of the student populace which are significant and with their interests at heart

Construct - consciously nurture a responsible and caring culture in the exchange of views and ideas with the focus on school improvement

Cultivate - cultivate an appreciation of, and involvement in, the process of participatory and open leadership

Unique among schools in Singapore, RGS' Student Congress is by far (2008) the only one with an intra-school forum that allows anonymous posting and discussion of various issues. Anonymity is questioned by some students owing to the nature of the school server, which requires secured logins, but it is hoped that through the anonymous forum students can more confidently discuss relevant issues.

RGS-International Convention for Youth Leaders

The RGS-International Convention for Youth Leaders (RGS-ICYL) was the first of its kind organized and hosted by the student leaders of RGS. A gathering of female student leaders from local and international institutions, the 1st RGS-ICYL was held from 20th - 24th November 2006, and serves as a global platform for female youth leaders with diverse cultural and leadership backgrounds to exchange their ideas and experiences, and thus gain a better understanding of how they can contribute to society as a female leader.

Through participating in the convention, participants had the opportunity to interact with and learn from experienced and world-renowned leaders. Prominent guest speakers from the Corporate sector (e.g. Multi-National Corporations, commonly known as MNCs), Political sector (e.g. government agencies) as well as from the Humanitarian sector (e.g. non-governmental organisations) were invited to share their perspectives.

In addition, RGS-ICYL offered opportunities for fellow youth leaders to be ambassadors of their respective countries in the context of a formal exchange of ideas across cultures. This experience was also coupled with problem-solving from a global perspective.

Notable Alumnæ

* Dr Amy Khor Lean Suan, Mayor of South West Community Development Council
*Kit Chan, singer
*Stefanie Sun, singer
*Annabel Chong, actress
*Siow Lee Chin, world-class award-winning violinist
* [http://www.fionasze.com/ Fiona Sze Lorrain] , international award-winning transcultural and interdisciplinary artist (writer and musician) in France
*Corrinne May (Real name: Corrinne Foo), singer-songwriter
*Denise Phua Lay Peng, People's Action Party candidate for member of parliament in the 2006 Singapore general elections
*Lim Hwee Hua, Minister of State for Finance and Transport, Singapore

References

Links

* Raffles Institution

External links

* [http://www.rgs.edu.sg/ Raffles Girls' School (Secondary) Website]
* [http://www.ri.sch.edu.sg/ Raffles Institution Website]
* [http://www.raffles.sg/ Raffles Programme Website]


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