"A very long and loud scream," said Ku Shi Ying, with a laugh, as she described her mother's reaction upon learning that she had scored 6 distinctions for an L1R5 score of 8 points in the 2010 GCE "O" Level examinations.
Shi Ying, from the Table Tennis Academy, shares the accolades of SingaporeSportsSchool's top academic performer with Lee Jen Whee (BadmintonAcademy). Three others also achieved 6 distinctions - Andrew Leow (Soccer) and Ivan Tan (Track and Field) scored 9 points, and Jovi Ang (Bowling) scored 12 points.
"I didn't expect to do so well," said Shi Ying, who hopes to be given a place in Singapore Polytechnic's School of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering. "My teachers frequently reminded us that the results will reflect the effort we put in. I'm glad they pushed us to work hard. I'm thankful for that."
All five top student-athletes attributed their good results to their teachers' support, self-discipline in studying while pursuing sporting excellence, and peer support.
"We're in the same class and we revise together," said Ivan, who will register at Anglo-ChineseSchool (Independent) for the International Baccalaureate diploma programme. "It helped that we shared the same goals - to do well so that we can qualify for the courses we want for post-secondary education. Even as we trained hard in our individual sports and ended each day tired, we encouraged each other. No one struggled alone. How we scored depended on the answers we put down in the exam papers. We did our best. I'm glad that we've all done well enough to qualify for further studies in our choice schools."
Jen Whee, who would like to study at Hwa Chong Institution (Junior College), said he came to SportsSchool to have a balance in sports and studies, and he believes he would not have achieved what he did if he were at another school.
"When an athlete joins our School, he will want to prove that he is deserving of a place in our School team. He will want to contribute to our School winning championship titles. Our teachers totally understand our desires in the sports arena and encourage us to train hard during the competition season. Then, when it's time to hit the books, they're there for us with make-up lessons. They're always there, journeying with us, celebrating our successes in sports and reminding us that we're also students and therefore, must study as hard as we play," said Jen Whee.
Jovi, who has been accepted by Raffles Institution (Junior College) through the Direct Schools Admission scheme, added: "Just as all teachers want their students to ace their academic subjects, all coaches want their athletes to win championship titles. When it was time to concentrate on our studies, our General Manager Mike Lam, and our coaches gave us time off to do so. I've just been informed by Singapore Bowling Federation that I've been selected for its Development Team. So you see, at SportsSchool, we can have the best of both worlds."
Andrew hopes to join Jovi at Raffles Institution (Junior College).
"We brought competition into our study group. We let each other know how many marks we got for each subject in every module test. There was nothing to be shy about losing a few marks to someone in the group. In fact, that was what motivated us to work harder and do better.
"I stopped boarding in August last year. At home, there were many distractions - television and computer games to name a couple. It took a lot of will power to stay focussed and study. I always remembered the pact my study group made - to put in our best efforts and not let anyone down, not our teachers, our coaches, our parents, our study group and especially not ourselves.
"SportsSchool gave me many opportunities to grow as a youth. I was given the leadership role as a Student Councillor. In the SoccerAcademy, my teammates and juniors looked up to me and looked forward to me doing well in my studies so that they could be proud of me. I hope my results will in some small way contribute to inspire my juniors in the SoccerAcademy to study hard and do well," said Andrew.
Altogether, 72 student-athletes graduated from this cohort, of which 41 took the GCE "O" Level examinations and 31 took the through-train pathway to study in Republic Polytechnic diploma programmes including the RP-Singapore Sports School Diploma of Sports and Leisure Management that will be conducted in our School, starting in March 2011.
Among those who sat for the GCE "O" Level examinations, 78 per cent of them obtained at least 5 "O" Level passes, while 12.2 per cent of them achieved 5 "O" distinctions or more. 63.4 per cent has qualified for entry into Junior Colleges/Pre-University, while 80 per cent of them are eligible for Polytechnic education.
In Chemistry, Combined Humanities, Combined Sciences, Physical Education, Physics and Tamil, they achieve pass and distinction rates higher than the national average.
The GCE "O" Level examinations results were released by the Ministry of Education on 10 January 2011.
Given that the 2010 GCE "O" Level cohort entered our School with mean and median PSLE T-scores lower than that of the previous cohorts, they have indeed performed commendably at the examinations. This again is quite a remarkable performance for such a young school, particularly in the light of our inclusive academic admissions policy for talented student-athletes.
Gathering Of Champions...
(from left) Jovi Ang (Bowling), Lee Jen Whee (Badminton), Principal Deborah Tan, Ku Shi Ying (Table Tennis), Ivan Tan (Track and Field) and Andrew Leow (Soccer).