Some lessons are better experienced outside school grounds. Today’s lucky students can break out of the classroom with fun, and fulfilling excursions and camps that push them out of their comfort zone. We get the inside scoop from teachers and students on four incredible field trips within Singapore, as well as a short expedition to nearby Bintan island.
Trip 1: Sustainable development of Pulau Ubin
Daniel Orr, High School Geography teacher (UWCSEA, Dover campus)
“Each year, students go to Pulau Ubin to carry out fieldwork. We travel by coach from the Dover Campus to the ferry departure near Pasir Ris.
Over 50 Grade 10 students spend the day conducting perception surveys and environmental impact assessments on one of Singapore’s last rural islands, Pulau Ubin. On the island, students walk a number of routes to explore the environment and carry out investigations to answer the question – “Pulau Ubin: conserve or develop?” The data is used to produce coursework assignments as part of the IGCSE requirements. This assists students in developing skills like data collection, organisation and analysis.
One group of students took the initiative to carry out their own biodiversity survey at the Chek Jawa wetlands on the east of the island. Students agreed that this was a valuable natural ecosystem that should be conserved.”
Trip 2: Overnight excursion at the SEA Aquarium at Sentosa
Alexander Wysocki, Grade 3 (2016) (Stamford American International School)
As part of the outdoor education for Stamford American students, the Grade 3 students had an overnight excursion at the SEA Aquarium at Sentosa last year. It was the first time they were spending a night away from home.
“We had a chance to interact with and touch different sea creatures like star fish and dolphins. We slept right next to the aquarium, beside the large viewing gallery and it was our first overnight school trip away from home. It was awesome! The animals were really cool and we learned a lot about them. It was fun to see these animals for the first time. We even got to touch some creatures in a tank! Touching the starfish and the dolphins was an amazing experience. We learned a lot about the dolphins and how they were trained. It felt peaceful to sleep with the fishes right above us. Thank you Stamford for organising this amazing experience for us!”
Trip 3: Museum trip to the National Gallery of Singapore
Blaide Tyla Harrison, Grade 10 (GEMS World Academy (Singapore))
“We went to the National Gallery of Singapore one afternoon, in November 2016. A school bus brought all of us there.
We took part in multiple activities. As soon as we arrived at the museum, we were given a quiz that involved exploring and looking around. We were split up into groups and instructed to meet back within an hour and a half. The opportunity to be independent in our learning was fantastic. Our second task on that day was to sketch our favourite artwork, interview people, or create a collage of our favourite art pieces in the gallery.
I learned a particularly great deal about colonialism at the exhibition. I also learned how art affects politics and how politics affects art. It was fun, enjoyable and it gave us the independence to learn on our own. Additionally, there were some phenomenal artworks on display that would certainly change your outlook on many things.”
Trip 4: Kayaking around the islands of Singapore
Bethany Griffiths, Gemma Heber Percy and Caroline Green, Year 11 (Tanglin Trust School)
“Last December we went on a kayaking expedition around the islands of Singapore as part of our Silver National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA). We kayaked almost 40km over three days.
We navigated through the rivers and sea, practiced camp craft and learned about the local wildlife. Part of our objectives were to note the plastic pollution that accumulates in the mangroves and consider how this problem could be addressed.
We found that Singapore has some beautiful and untouched places where wildlife can thrive, but we also discovered how much rubbish was in the sea.
The trip taught us to work together (especially when coordinating our paddles!), whilst also being self-sufficient. This adventure allowed us to develop bonds by tackling challenges together. We not only journeyed in terms of distance, but also as people. We feel that we’ve returned home more resilient and confident.”
Trip 5: Expedition at Loola Adventure Resort
Enrico Rao, Grade 8 (St. Joseph’s Institution International)
“I went to Bintan, Loola Adventure Resort, in February and November last year as part of an annual expedition for Grade 7 students. We got to bond over exciting games and activities like kayaking and the Flying Fox.
We also went to a school for our service learning project. We had to think of fund-raising ideas to raise as much money as possible for the school. Later in the year we went back to Bintan to see how our funds were being used. We helped to repaint walls and created a garden area for the school. We had a lot of interaction with students and did many activities with the kids.
Knowing that I’ve done something good to help a community makes me happy. The Loola trips have really changed me and these memories will stay with me for a long time. I really hope that I will have the opportunity to do it again!”
Learn more about schools in Singapore.