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Education

Amanda Phoon
Friday, Jul 18, 2014

Education

Kids' passport to rare port visit

The Straits Times | Amanda Phoon | Friday, Jul 18, 2014

Pupils of Temasek Primary school in a reading activity organised as part of the Little Red Dot Maritime Reading Passport. Reading the newspapers daily provides us a treasure trove of real-world knowledge which expands our thought and perspectives.

Forty pupils will win an exclusive chance to see Singapore's port at work in the first team prize of the Little Red Dot Passport programme.

The school which sends in the most completed entries of the ninth edition of the passport, launched yesterday at Temasek Primary School, will get a behind-the-scenes peek at how ships play an important role in people's daily lives.

The Little Red Dot Maritime Reading Passport, sponsored by the Singapore Maritime Foundation this time, will take pupils through six weeks of activities in a small red handbook - the passport. They complete the activities after reading articles in The Straits Times and its weekly publication for primary schools, Little Red Dot.

Completing the passport not only entitles pupils to discounts at various attractions such as the S.E.A. Aquarium and the Skyline Luge at Sentosa; one pupil will also win the grand prize - a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland - for a family of four.

The principal of Temasek Primary, Mr Francis Foo, said the passport was a good platform for pupils to be exposed to current affairs in a guided environment.

Mrs Sally Chew, the school's subject head of aesthetics and form teacher of Primary 4D which was part of the launch, added: "With the passport, the learning and reading are more focused and purposeful, because there are questions and follow-up activities."

It also introduces a topic that pupils are usually not exposed to, she said.

Mr Michael Chia, chairman of the Singapore Maritime Foundation, said: "Many of the things we use in our everyday lives are carried by sea, yet most of our young people are not familiar with the maritime industry. This is something we need to address since the maritime industry is a key pillar of Singapore's economy, contributing to some 7 per cent of our gross domestic product."

Ms Serene Goh, The Straits Times Schools' editor, also said the stories within the maritime world were fascinating.

"There are all these wonderful legends. In modern times, too, there are a lot of traditions related to shipping that I think would be very interesting for the kids."

Lai Hsien Hao, 10, a Primary 4 pupil from Temasek Primary, is gunning to go on the learning journey, and plans to get his friends to pitch in by getting them to complete their passports.

"The place we would get to visit is usually closed to the public so it's a very rare chance," he said.

His classmate, Audrey Ng, 10, is also looking forward to completing the passport.

"I hope that there will be one next year, too. I am looking forward to it."

Additional reporting by Laremy Lee and Ang Yiying.

Schools interested in subscribing to The Straits Times' Little Red Dot or its secondary school magazine IN, please contact

amyleo@sph.com.sg, or call 6319-2129.

More focus

With the passport, the learning and reading are more focused and purposeful, because there are questions and follow-up activities.

- Mrs Sally Chew, Temasek Primary subject head of aesthetics and form teacher of Primary 4D which was part of the launch


This article was first published on July 16, 2014.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.

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