First Impressions from New Concord Students
This is a new academic year. A new beginning. And things will change. And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been. This will be a challenging year but also a year full of joy and excitement, especially for new students at Concord. Here is what they had to say about their first impressions of the school and meanwhile their expectations and hopes for next year.
‘I came to visit Concord two years ago. At that time, I fell in love with the school. When I arrived, the monitors here were kind, friendly and helpful. I love the school.’ – Wendy F.3
‘Food is yummy.’ – Maggie F.3
‘When I first arrived in September, the staff were nice and helpful. Moreover, the students were kind and they were willing to help. When classes started, the teachers helped us a lot when we did not understand. There are a lot of fun activities too.’ – Josephine F.3
‘From the first day, I knew Concord was an amazing school. Although it is known for academics, Concord also has a wide range of other activities.’ – Anonymous
‘The school is very big and a little scary at first but you will get used to it. Also, I have made lots of friends since I first arrived at Concord. Most importantly, the food is very tasty. Every day, I am very looking forward to knowing what am I going to have in every meal. Overall, Concord is quite pleasant.’ – Maggie from Hong Kong F.3
‘My first impression was good. The staffs were nice – such as helping with my bags, taking me to my room, giving me an introduction to the school and the school policy. The food was good, especially the first meal, so much better than my old school. Lastly, I think the house parents and teachers were really helpful.’ – Rafael F.3
‘The first thing that struck me when I got off the arrivals bus was the incredible amount of diversity of students–although I had expected a large portion of international students, I didn’t realise that students would be coming from all around the globe, literally, including many students in my home city of Hong Kong. As I continued to walk around the campus, I was in awe at the campus’ beauty and spaciousness; the greenery, paired with both traditional and modern buildings particularly stood out to me. The students I met in the following days were also extremely friendly, especially the F5 monitors who were happy to answer questions that any of the new students had. This friendliness extended to class time, where most teachers heavily encouraged us to ask questions and were accepting of all views and opinions. I was also pleasantly surprised by the wide selection of food available in the canteen, catering to any sort of people from vegans to students with specific allergies. So far, I have made many friends through not only my classes and induction week but also through the various sports teams that I participate in–this brings me on to my last point about the how students here are able to impressively balance their social, sports, and academic life. Overall, my first 2 weeks at Concord couldn’t have gone better, and I am optimistic to see how the next 2 – potentially 4 years of my life will unfold here at Concord College.’ -Duncan Hsu F.4
‘During the first few weeks, I was unsure about how this whole ordeal would turn out, but as Steven Fischer once said: “This is just the beginning, so far so good.” As cheesy or awkward as that may sound, it actually sums this whole thing up pretty well. I’ve been enjoying it so far, but there’s been some ups and some downs with a few curves hither and thither. So, I’ve fitted in pretty well, but that may only be because I’m socially outgoing. On the first day, I was introduced to the campus for the first time, my monitor was kind enough to show me around the place and let me know where I was staying (don’t worry, I haven’t been kicked out yet!) and where the different buildings were. During my stay here, I met many different people from many different countries around the world. When the sky started to turn dark, we played this activity called the monitor games, where the monitors from form 5 would pick some random team building games to “get to know each other”. To be completely honest, the monitor games actually worked because I never imagined I would know so many people in the span of two weeks. This was pretty much the whole week, in the morning we would wake up, go to a few assemblies, introduce ourselves to a bunch of new faces, and then do some activities that made us get to know each other better. Then, on Thursday, we had our first legitimate full day of school. At first, I was confused as to where to go for some classes because the campus is pretty big and the buildings are fairly spread apart. The second week soon rolled around and we had to go to our classes every day – I was fitting in well, making it to class on time, just being punctual all the time. I thought that it was good and relaxing… boy was I wrong. Saturday tests rolled over and we had to prepare. However, after finishing the tests I felt enlightened, so it was all well and good. Overall, so far, I think that it’s been decent, to say the least, not one of the best moments of my life, but still good enough to enjoy it.’ – Felix F.4
Compiled by Sam Kwok – F5
Monitor Training 2017
What did we learn during monitor training? Quite a lot, and we had to learn it quickly. We arrived on Saturday the 9th September, four days before all the other Form 5s and one day before all new students. We had to learn how to try and welcome them into the school, and make them feel like they had a new home at Concord.
That was much more difficult than it sounded. Once we had arrived, we spent a day trying to find out how to welcome new students in the best way possible. We had to decide on games to play and how best to learn names, though I personally still managed to forget everyone’s every few minutes!
We had to plan the monitor games, and a lot of time and effort went into the order and composition of the induction games. We had only an hour and a half, and we realised how short-a-time that actually was as we changed everything time and time again!
I think we all learned a lot, and it was good to be able to help people settle in. As Tee Punpipatpaiboon said about what monitor training allowed him to do; “I enjoyed it because as you get along with them, they get more confident and get more comfortable, and you’re able to lead them to where they are, and that is very satisfying.”
Induction September 2016
Two weeks ago, the Form 5 Monitors joined the Prefects for the first time in preparing and planning for the annual induction games for the new Form 3s and 4s. It was quite an experience for the Monitors and they all learnt something new from the orientation, let’s hear what they had to say:
I have a whole new sympathy for teachers now … –Carlos
I found the induction activity a very good opportunity for the Lower School students to bond and know each other better –Vincent
The whistle was my best friend –Alisar
The new students kept to themselves at first, but by the end of the activities, everyone was having fun and getting involved –Thomas
Leading students was a great experience that allowed us to develop our teamwork and communication skills; it reminded me of my f3 experience! Time flies —Earn
I had great fun with all the new students and made a lot of new friends. It also feels very good to be older than everyone else —Donna
Never thought it would be hard to organize this kind of activities before, until we spent two days to try different games and plan the orientation. Miss the time that we could always get somewhere to sit in the dining hall when others had not arrived yet! –Britina
The monitor training was a very exciting and enjoyable experience. I met with a lot of senior and junior prefects which we went together to practice the dance and games preparing for the new coming students. It took us only one day, but just in that day I learnt to be a leader and to cooperate with others –Jimmy
Being the leader was tough, but it was a really good experience for me to meet new students and help them to settle in Concord –Lavine
The games sessions with the new Form 3s and 4s was not only a challenge for them to meet new people, but also for us! We all met so many new people, and had a fun experience doing it —Amy
It was great to meet all the new form 3 and 4s at the beginning of the year, and to be a part of their start at Concord —Chorley
So you see, that’s what we actually feel when we were doing activities with you! Concord is new to you and you guys are also new to us, but indeed we had a lot of fun together and it’s really nice to be friends with you. Hopefully we did help you to settle in more easily!
Britina Wei F5
Monitor Training Day
A few days before the start of term, the Form 5 Monitors joined the Prefects for the first time in preparing and planning for the annual induction games for the new form 3s and 4s. Starting a new school can be terrifying (especially facing a sea of strangers and a maze of new buildings!) and having been through it ourselves, we all wanted to plan an event where people could have a good time, make new friends and feel more welcome here at Concord.
On the Saturday before the new Concordians arrived, we (the Form 5 Monitors) spent a day with Mrs Coward, Mr Tilson, Miss Taylor and Dr Willetts learning and playing new games that we could then play with the new students. It was a very fun day filled with laughter, silliness and jokes!
I had such a good time and I think we all did! It was great to have a day of fun together after the long summer apart. We all had a good laugh playing the games, especially when we made Iso into an elephant and Benji into a unicorn using only newspaper! The only downside was when Amy and I (in a competitive flurry of activity) fell off the crates in the game, ‘crossing the river’, and face-planted onto the floor!
Apart from this, the Monitor training day was a definite success!
Chloe Young F5
Holiday withdrawal symptoms
Can you believe that we’ve just finished one full week of lessons? It feels like we’ve been back for ages! Since I’ve arrived back to Concord, there has been a major influx of unfamiliar faces. The new intake of 45 students has boosted the total number of students to more than 500 for the first time. Besides the arrival of students, the stark decrease in temperature has made me appreciate warmer weather in Singapore more. However, we got to experience a little bit of snow. As the days past, you’d see students around the campus taking out their puffy jackets and standing by radiators as much as possible to keep warm. One night after prep, I was walking back and it started snowing a little and of course, I got a little too excited because I’ve never seen snow before! (Fake snow does not count… it smells weird.) I’m sure we’re all wishing for heavier snow for a day off… and a snowball fight maybe?
But of course, it’s not all fun and games. We had to quickly adjust back into our usual schedules. I swear all I have ever done for the past few days were alternating between English language coursework and literature coursework – trying to meet deadlines. As for us form 5s, we’ve come to a realization that our GCSE examinations are approaching very quickly. Thus, the increase of workload and possibly more stress than ever makes adapting to this Concord lifestyle tough at the beginning, especially with our extremely long holidays contrasting our busy lifestyle here, but as soon as we’re used to it… time does pass extremely quickly and everything becomes worth it in the end.
This week, we’ve been introduced to multiple upcoming events – the college’s annual fashion show, Chinese New Year dinner, Mayor’s concert, and more house sport events. Around school – you would spot designers buying material for their dresses, frequent visits to the art block; Societies of different countries starting to meet up and beginning to think of ideas for the Mayor’s concert; Heads of Houses and captains have been busy recruiting players for the teams that will be all beginning in no time at all. It’s been a hectic week, but only the start of hopefully an amazing 2015.
Nicole Lim F5
The Start of a New Year
Coming back this year has been a really exciting journey – especially when compared to my first time arriving at Concord last year. About the same time a year ago, I was terrified of making new friends, leaving home, learning new things, and adapting to the change in environment. Thankfully, I was greeted by the most welcoming group of prefects and I could not have wished for any better. This year coming back, everything was more relaxing. I knew most of the old students, and the college was basically home to me. Arriving and being able to meet friends and teachers we haven’t seen for the whole summer really brought back memories. Along with the old, there were many many new students who joined the college. Everywhere I went, I’d see new faces, and to my surprise – all have adapted very quickly.
As the week went on, there were many events that took place. The new students gone through a series of prefect orientations which includes many ice breaking games and even a high ropes course on campus led by teachers. As soon as all of the students were back, we all had the absolute joy of unpacking.
After the first couple of days of settling in, the whole of lower school and most of upper school took a day trip to Alton Towers. Looking around, it was funny how everywhere you went, you’d see people you knew from Concord, all having fun and enjoying their last “free” Saturday. Following, we went back to school and watched the ‘son et lumiere.’ There were montages projected onto the back of the main hall and fireworks which were then held after by a professional, award winning pyrotechnics group. It was nice to have a glimpse of Concord in the past 65 years and the fireworks themselves were very astounding. To end the eventful day, the first ever disco of the year was held in the West End and as you went in, you’d hear people singing, dancing, and enjoying themselves very much.
What a great start to the year.
Sabrina Lai Form 5
Back to school blues?
Hey, are you feeling tired? Is it because of jet lag? Was that 2 weeks of holiday too short for you? Well, be glad because YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I am currently going through this strange routine of struggling to get up in the morning, fighting to stay awake in class, enduring prep and sleeping at 10pm every night. I guess sleeping at 10pm has its perks because this way, I get more sleep.
But do I feel energized and ready to start the day? No, I don’t. I still feel tired and less awake than I was at night. However, being back at Concord has its perks too though – In the morning as I was making my way to breakfast, I was already feeling excited to see everyone whom I didn’t get to see when I got back to Concord on Tuesday. Looking at all the familiar faces that morning made me realize all the great friends and schoolmates I have come to known in such a short period of time.
Aside from fighting through jet lag, the Prefects, House Captains, Senior Prefects and Head Prefects are also being chosen and posted out in the boards. As soon the results came in, you would hear people whispering about who got what role and how happy everyone is. Lower School Monitors and House Prefects are also being nominated at all time like this, and there are rumours of who will be chosen going around the college. With all the exciting news, there was yet more to come.
As the sports day and Swimming gala were coming up, there was constant commotion about who will be doing what. These will be the last 2 house events of the school year, which is why everybody is striving to do the best they can possibly do to help win points for their own house and hopefully overtake another or stay on top. Nights after prep sessions, you would see people persuading each other to go practice running for the swimming gala and swimmers going to the pool to have a go before the day. I find it truly amazing how such small things like these could bring a community so close to each other and help each other out whether it’d be mentally supporting them, or actually participating with them.
Sabrina Lai & Nicole Lim Form 4