ENDOW trip to 3 of Singapore's Southern Islands!
On Friday the 28th of July, Lotusians went on an adventure to three of Singapore's southern islands: Kusu Island, St. John's Island and Lazarus Island.
ENDOW (Enrichment and Discovery on Wheels) is a core part of Lotus Bridge International School's educational model. Learning takes place everywhere, and we want our students to be aware of, understand and engage with the world around them. Our ENDOW program forms part of this vision for hands-on teaching and learning at Lotus Bridge International.
This visit was also part of our on-going Discover Singapore Series (DSS), through which the school has been taking our students to interesting parts of our lovely country to discover, learn and explore.
The Journey Begins
Our journey began at the school where buses took us to Labrador shore where we boarded our very own chartered ferry for the day.
Marina Bay Coast Cruise
The first leg of our ferry journey was a cruise along the Marina Bay coastline. We saw large container ships docked in the waters. We saw the southern part of Singapore from the waters. It looked very nice and we felt very proud of Singapore.
St John's Island
Our first stop was St John's Island. It sits about 6.5 km south of Singapore. This island was the site of a quarantine centre under British rule in the 19th Century, and later also served as a detention centre, a drug rehabilitation centre and refugee settlement.
Today, St John's Island is mainly used for recreational activities and aquaculture research and development. It was the perfect spot for some nature-based outdoor learning and observation.
Our Year 7 to 10 students were also tasked with undertaking practical fieldwork for their geography curriculum. They asked questions, acquired resources and data, organised their data and analysed the information to better understand both the geographic features around them and the geographic inquiry process.
Lazarus Island is a stunningly picturesque island. It is connected to St John's Island by a causeway. The island's history is deeply connected with the history of its neighbour, St John's Island. Lazarus Island was once used to detain prisoners. However, the sheds on Lazarus Island proved to be ineffective and a fire destroyed them in 1902.
Now, it is a pretty, scenic island with a gorgeous beach, pristine clear waters and natural beauty. It was a lovely spot to appreciate nature, take some photos and get ready for our journey to the third island on our itinerary, Kusu Island.
Kusu Island, or 'Tortoise Island', our final stop, sits about 5.6 kilometres south of Singapore's main island.
According to legend, a tortoise transformed itself into an island to save two shipwrecked sailors: a Malay and a Chinese sailor. In gratitude, the men built a Taoist shrine and a Malay keramat (shrine) on the island.
The island is home to hundreds of turtles! Our students enjoyed learning about the island's history, seeing all the turtles and were also lucky enough to encounter a monitor lizard!
Ferry and Bus back to Lotus Bridge, Reflections on an interesting educational experience
All good days have to come to an end, and so we made our way back to the mainland. While it was bittersweet leaving these tranquil islands, we returned with our minds enriched and our horizons broadened. What a fun day for all of us!
Students reflected on the beauty of the natural environment, the importance of preserving our natural spaces and of the enduring nature of myths and legends. They were exposed to many interesting creatures, including insects, and learnt about their importance in the ecosystem, as well as the importance of insect repellent! For some, the importance of mangroves and coral reefs was what they remembered most. For others, the islands and the experience invoked a sense of adventure.
As educators, we all had a wonderful time with our students outside of the classroom, providing a more hands-on education, and linking many of the concepts in our books to places and things they could see around them.