Saturday, 8 November 2014

Day 6: Final Day at Watroka Primary School

We all knew that we need to give our best lessons to our students today and we entered the classroom full of energy. The children were still as enthusiastic in learning as we have seen four days ago when we first arrived in the school.

The last day of hard work before the completion of the classroom floor

Helping with the broken pipes

Flooring almost done

Simple happiness

The board to be placed at the new classroom of Watroka Primary School

Having fun with the children during the telematch

Learning through play: teaching the students teamwork during the telematch.

Another match of volleyball during rest time: finding satisfaction in the simplest activities

Presenting prizes for the top 5 students in every class to encourage the children to study hard 

We thanked the school principal, teachers and all the helpers around the village who came to build the classroom together before saying our goodbyes.

Group photo: teachers and students!

Saying farewell and walking the children home along the way

After dinner, we had a tour around the night market before doing some reflections for the trip.


3D Zheng Wee

Over the past few days I learnt from the children that we should really be appreciative of everything we have. They lead a simple lifestyle yet they are so happy. Also it is their holidays but they came back to school for us to interact with them. They did not complain or show any attitude for coming back. I'm sure most of us back in punngol sec will complain if we are asked to come back during holidays. I feel that we can apply this back in school, we should stop complaining about everything. I'm sure if I ever do complain, I will think back of the times here in Cambodia.

3C Jen Ching

Today the students were still the same. It was a bit rowdy. I realised that when we are noisy back in school, the teachers cannot teach. The other class that we taught was really responsive and productive today. I thought it was really great.
When we are energetic, the students were also energetic. Time passes quickly and they learnt a lot.
I wonder if I can become a better student back in PSS, and respect all my teachers there and support them, just like how the kids here supported us.

3A Ram

I can see that the students are very grateful to us teaching them. They were attentive at all times and they were also very nice to us. I think I would never forget them. I wonder if I would be able to meet these students again in the near future.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Day 5: Third Day of VIA at Watroka Primary School

Many of us started the day earlier than the day before, as we slowly got used to waking up for breakfast to have enough energy for the rest of the day.

What greeted us this morning at the school were sweet smiles and cheerful laughter of the children who were all ready to learn!

Bright smiles and a positive attitude for learning


A variety of lessons for the children to make learning interesting

Teaching the students new knowledge after finding out what they already know in the local syllables

Engaged learners in class

We also moved on to the next stage of building the classroom by putting a layer of cement on top of the bamboo structures we set up yesterday. We are excited that our tasks are progressing well.

Putting the layer of cement on the classroom floor and the corridor along it

A few of the students were eager and enthusiastic to help out during their recess time

After the morning session, we had lunch in the school compound and did our reflections to make our tasks even better. This is to take up the responsibility to provide a better lesson for the children and also the school a better place by focusing on the building tasks at hand.

Reflections after the morning session

A volleyball session after lunch

The flow of the afternoon sessions went smoother and we were starting to grasp the skills of being caring teachers who are firm in enforcing the classroom rules. The teamwork among the "builders" have become better and everyone was encouraging each other during the tasks.

We were also grateful that the teachers of Watroka Primary School had taken the efforts to bring back coconuts and bananas for us from the Water Festival last night. This is definitely a pleasant surprise for all of us!

A refreshing drink after a hot day!

Students running home after school

Group 2 taking their turn to serve the rest of the team mates


Brandon Yang - 3N2

Today we had much better control of the students. When we went to the class the students were very eager to learn. I wised I could stay longer and get to know them even better. I saw how the students play with just rubber bands and how they cool themselves down by sitting under a water pump. I also saw that the swing was made of tyre. As I sat with them everyday getting to know them I feel that they are no different from children in Singapore. I am also glad we could build the classroom floor for them for them to keep a memory of us. I feel the school should organise more of such trips.
I wonder if I could go on another trip to Cambodia and come back to the same primary school. I wonder what more I can do for them, every time I see them I feel touched. I hope we can finish the classroom in time.

Joe Lai - 3A

The mixing of cement and sand is not an easy task and require skills and experience. We had team work when we were tying the bamboo sticks together to make the foundation of the floor. I see that students in the school are very close to one another. I also hope that we can help one another out in our school.
I feel that without resilience and patience, it is hard to succeed in anything we do. Having a little patience makes things seem positive to us.
I also think that team work is very important. Without it, we would not be able to finish tying the bamboo frame.
I hope to bring back this resilience and patience back to Singapore. I also hope to start appreciating the life I have and strive to help people in need. I hope to understand the local people even more, by communicating and interacting with them to strengthen the bonds. I will also do the same back in Singapore and cherish the relationship with people around me. I will start appreciating them and not take them for granted.

Pamelyn 3N2

I feel that even though the school is very simple and have little facilities, the students have the enthusiasm to study and learn. I like how energetic they are no matter whether they are studying or playing. They also have the 'never give up' spirit like for example, they will keep trying until they are able to do it.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Day 4: Second day of VIA at Watroka Primary School

After last night's revision of our lesson plans, we are more confident of today's progress in the classrooms. All of us had a good breakfast before heading to Watroka Primary School.

Cloudless sky today when we were on the way to school

Upon reaching the school compound, we saw that the sand had settled to the bottom of the soil ground we created yesterday. There were even trail marks of earthworms on the surface!

A mixture of soil and sand for the floor before putting bamboo structures and cement

Unbundling the bamboo stems

Sorting and aligning the bamboo stems. The crooked ones will be used to lay the foundations of the ground while the straight ones will be used for the walls of the classroom. 

Learning from the elders

Working hard together

Retrieving water from the well and helping to secure wires around the bamboo structures

Helping to lay the bricks outside the classroom

There was better classroom management and the students were more engaged.

An English lesson for the primary school students

Some of the students' works were pinned up in the classroom

Everyone was sweaty but was less concerned about getting soil and dirt on our clothes as we were all focused on our tasks, to build the foundation of the new classroom and to bond well with the students through games during their recess. After a hard day's work, we returned to our hotel rooms for a shower and some rest before our dinner. 

Fireworks near the hotel before we left for dinner. The Cambodians are celebrating the water festival this weekend.

Serving dinner to other team mates

Reflections and fine tuning our lessons for the next day


Siti Radhiah Afandi - 3C
I see improvements in today's activities, even though it was a bit rushed last night as we had little time to come together as a group and come up with new ideas for our lesson plan. The kids were also more co-operative in class today as they listened more attentively to our lessons. Overall, there was a huge difference. Today went well because of our successful lesson and my group and I bonded even more.

I think that our lessons were interesting and the kids had shown more interest. Many of them were willing to fold more origami papers after we taught them and I could see that they enjoyed it. I think that even though there were hiccups while planning our activities, my group managed to overcome our initial challenges and persevered.

I wonder if how I can make sure that the kids had fun during our lessons. Getting their attention was one of the struggles I have faced but along the way, I picked up some skills to let the children settle down to learn in class.

Qistina - 3B
I see that we continued to build the classroom with more skills, by classifying the quality of the bamboo sticks and using them to stablize the floor. There were much improvements in the soft CIP. The students paid more attention to the lessons as compared to yesterday.

I think that it is important to carry out our tasks properly because it may consume more time and effort to complete the tasks if we do not do that. I think that today's lesson was more organised and we did a better job in teaching them. Today we taught them Mathematics: addition and subtraction. Also, we gave them printed pictures to colour. 

I wonder if I can reserve the energy and still be energetic during the soft CIP (teaching the students) because the hard CIP (building the classroom) was exhausting in the morning. I wonder if I can do a better job tomorrow for the hard and soft CIP.

Max Chng - 3N2
This morning I saw that the project was almost halfway done. I felt good. The elder uncles teaching us how to build the classroom have more strength than us and were very skilled. They took less than one minute to hammer down the nail while we took 10 minutes.  I also saw that the students were excited to see us and wanted to learn new things.

I think that the project can be done faster if we spend our timely wisely. I learnt new skills from the elderly uncles such as tieing wires and hammering to secure the foundation of the classroom. For the lesson, I feel that our classroom management improved. I think that our lesson plan went well and we managed to carry out the lesson. The students really enjoy colouring.

I wonder if I can be as hardworking as the uncles and students. I also wonder if I can handle my time management wisely and pick up more skills from the elderly. I also hope to control the class better and be more firm with the students. I feel that it is important to persevere even though some students were hard to handle. This is resilience.