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A-Level Special: Integrating Lessons Outside The Classroom

River Valley High School’s (RVHS) Integrated Programme (IP) equips students with a holistic education. Over the course of the six-year programme, students enjoy numerous opportunities to grow in areas beyond the confines of the classroom. The effort taken to ensure students enjoy holistic development has undoubtedly been a key factor in the success that the Class of 2018 enjoyed in the recent GCE A-level results released on 22 February 2019.

To learn more about how RVHS nurtures its students, we speak to Gwendolyn Yong En Ling and Daven Lim Guan Mao, two graduates who have performed exceedingly well.

Learning Beyond The Classroom

Both students have enjoyed the school’s support in their various endeavours beyond the academic domain. Thinking back on an experience that was particularly memorable for her, Gwendolyn recalls fondly the lessons she learnt as part of an exchange programme with a school in Thailand — STEP, which stands for the Singapore Thailand Enhanced Programme. “Through our interactions, I found out more about how [the Thais] lived and got a sense of their culture. I learned that Singapore is a lot more fast-paced than Thailand, but the locals showed great warmth and kindness, which was something that touched me.”

As the Vice-President of the school’s Science Leaders Academy, Daven planned science-related events not just for his peers, but also for students from other schools, including primary school kids. Furthering his passion for science, the school also gave him the opportunity to participate in several research programmes and science fairs, both locally and overseas. One such event was the Pre-U Seminar organised by RVHS. “I gained a better perspective of the problems Singapore faces and we got to brainstorm how to solve these problems. It’s not just about learning curriculum-related principles and content. It also helped us gain a broader perspective of what our society is like, and what roles we can play after graduation.”

A Secure Future

Coincidentally, both Gwendolyn and Daven are interested in pursuing the scholarships that will allow them to pursue a career with the Singapore Police Force (SPF). Daven was inspired by his experience with the SPF’s Aspiring Leaders Programme. There, an investigations officer shared his work experience, which Daven found resonated with him. “He shared how he narrowed down the suspect and linked all the clues from different parts of the investigation, and that’s really what I enjoy doing.” Daven also added that knowing he can play a part in keeping Singapore safe is something that motivates him greatly.

To him, getting a scholarship is a step towards achieving his goal. “I think getting a scholarship is a commitment for myself to do good for Singapore, and I think I’ll get the chance to create larger and more lasting impact in the lives of others.” Daven hopes to deepen his knowledge in life sciences or biology – he knows that the skills of defining a problem and identifying a solution that are key to the various sciences will also serve him well in his dream career with the SPF.

For Gwendolyn, the realisation that she wanted a career in the SPF came after she spent some time reflecting on what she wanted to do in future. “It fits who I am — I personally can’t stand injustice, so serving the community in this way will suit me, and also benefit the community,” she shares with conviction. She envisions furthering her studies in sociology, or other courses that will be relevant to her work with the police. Besides empowering her studies, Gwendolyn also shares that getting a scholarship will give her opportunities to broaden her horizons through overseas experiences.

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