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Talent Development



Vision: Igniting Passion, Sharpening Minds, Broadening Perspectives

The STAR Programme develops in our YTzens the Five Minds for the Future – the Disciplined Mind, the Synthesising Mind, the Creative Mind, the Respectful Mind and the Ethical Mind – which are important competencies for them to thrive in the increasingly complex world. It provides opportunities for students to develop an intrinsic motivation for deeper learning through disciplinary learning.

Lower secondary STAR students will have the opportunity to choose a specific domain in which they would like to extend their learning in. The sessions will focus on broadening and deepening the content, skills and dispositions taught in the main curriculum, with more opportunities for students to discuss, present or defend their points of view and to apply their understanding to real-world contexts.

Upper Secondary STAR students will have the opportunity to choose from a range of department-based talent development programmes over different subject areas and disciplines. Many of them will have the opportunity to represent the school at competitions such as the International Model United Nations Conference and the Mathematics Olympiad.

The areas of focus for the STAR Programme include:

Disciplined mind
  • To monitor YTzens’ progress in key subject areas within regular curriculum, so as to identify their strengths and reinforce their learning during STAR activities
Synthesising and creative minds
  • To provide training in critical and creative thinking, problem solving skills
  • To provide stimulus and platforms for YTzens to exercise their synthesizing and creative minds, through discussions and competitions
Respectful and ethical minds
  • To expose YTzens to a diversity of perspectives and cultures through inter-school conferences, competitions and overseas learning trips
  • To engage YTzens in discussions on values and ethics, including to think about their personal beliefs and value system

The key programmes that our STAR YTzens participate in are:
  • Odyssey of the Mind Tournament
  • Destination Imagination Tournament
  • Future Problem Solving Programme and Community Problem Solving Programme
  • Model United Nations Conference
  • Science Akademeia of Nara Women University Secondary School held in Japan

Student Write-Up on the International Model United Nations Conference
Writer: Jeremy Lim (4E7)

Jeremy played the role of an Israeli delegate in the Joint Crisis Committee at the Conference. The Committee deliberated over the issue of the Israel-Palestinian Conflict.

Background: The issue discussed at the Joint Crisis Committee is the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, which has been going on for over a century. The conflict began when a Zionist movement of Jews from the diaspora, i.e. movement of Jews from all over the world to a common location to establish a Jewish state, into the Palestinian area of the Middle East. The Palestinian areas back then was of Arab majority, and hence the influx of Jews into the area with the aim of forming a Jewish state incensed the pre-existing Arabs. In many other key events in history, such as the six-day war, Israel has dominated most of the ex-Palestinian area and is recognised by the international committee to own and rule over the land that they have acquired by force. Hence, up till now, this conflict has yet to reach a peaceful conclusion.

Key Interests: The Israeli Cabinet which I was a part of had divided opinions initially, but on the second day a common focus had been established, which is that a peaceful solution is the most preferred choice, but there will be no hesitation to use force to retaliate, or if peaceful negotiations fail completely. Countries concerned are Arabian countries in the Middle East (for the Palestinians) and USA, Russia, France and others (for Israel).

Main debates and solutions: As a council, we debated many possible solutions and issues that are necessary to resolve the conflict. Primarily, the cause of all of the conflict is historical enmity and mutual recognition. Perhaps Israel was wrong to fight for the land in the 1900s, their actions were justified as self-preservation of the Jews whom were treated unfairly by the Arabs without the presence of Israel. Other issues such as control of Jerusalem, settlements, refugees and such are of equal importance and negotiations have been made. However, all of our terms have been denied so far and we have gone into war with the Palestinians to forcefully implement these solutions. Personally I feel that war is not the final solution as it will create more tension in the near future, and that we are not likely to see the conflict be resolved so soon, given the depth and complexity of the situation at hand.