Methodist Girls' School
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (May 2012)|
|Methodist Girls' School
(meǐ yí meǐ nǚ xiao)
Sekolah Perempuan Methodist
To Master, To Grow, To Serve
|11 Blackmore Drive, Singapore 599986
|School code||7030 (Secondary)
|Principal||Mrs Shirleen Ong|
|Grades||Primary to secondary|
|Age||6 to 16|
|Affiliations||Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)|
Methodist Girls' School (MGS) is a girls' independent school, consisting of two sections - the Primary School and Secondary School, located in Bukit Timah, Singapore. Its secondary section is affiliated to Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), and have a joint Integrated Program where students will move to ACS(I) in year 5 to complete their 6-year IP with the ACS(I) cohort, without taking the "O" levels. The private preparatory school has had a history of academic, music and sporting excellence and is one of the top secondary schools in Singapore.
 == History == MGS was founded on 25 July 1887 by Sophia Blackmore, an Australian missionary sent by the Women's Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church of America. The school started with 9 Tamil girls in a small shophouse on Short Street. By 1925 the school was overcrowded, which precipitated a move to Mount Sophia, where it remained there until 1992 before being moved to its current location.
MGS (Secondary) became an independent school in January 1989. In 1992, MGS moved to a new site at 11 Blackmore Drive. The road was named after the school's founder at the request of the school.
Methodist Girls' School is a well-known institution in the region with a history of academic and sporting excellence. The school was routinely placed in the top five schools of Singapore in the rankings by the Ministry of Education before the rankings were disabled. In the current ranking system the school consistently places in the Band 1 category, the highest achievable category.
The school has also produced national top scorers in key examinations as well as academic competitions, in both the Primary and Secondary school divisions.
Upon admission, pupils are placed into one of the four houses in Methodist Girls' School. The selection is random, unless the student currently has any sibling attending the school.
The four houses are Blackmore, Jackson, Lee and Olson. Each house has a Senior Captain (Secondary 4), Junior Captain (Secondary 3), Treasurer, two Level Representatives for each of the respective levels, a Swimming Representative and a Sports Day Representative.
Houses gain points from participation in the annual Inter-House games and swimming meet.
Pupils are easily recognised by the unique uniform of the school, which has not changed since 1922. The uniform resembles a sailor's suit, consisting of a sailor (also called the pinafore) in which the upper section is white, and the lower section a pleated navy blue skirt; shorts underneath and a white blouse with a sailor collar, which is to be worn over the pinafore. A badge bearing the school crest is fastened between the lapels of the blouse. Prefects wear the school's tie in lieu of the badge. Student leaders are distinguished by the badge worn on the left side of the blouse. The physical education (PE) uniform consists of shorts and a round neck shirt. For formal events, such as an external awards ceremony, a white blazer with the school crest is worn with the MGS tie and a long-sleeved blouse and skirt.
The MGS uniform can be said to be nicest uniform among all the other girls' schools.
- With loving hearts and joyous song we sing to M.G.S.
- And tell the fame of that fair name for we can do no less.
- We hope we may honor bring, and heaven ever bless
- Our school, the fairest in the land, our own dear M.G.S.
- Down through the years our memories will keep a loving place
- For friendships made and pleasures shared, and lessons learned apace.
- For those who worked and gave their best that we might learn to face
- The trials of life and faith and hope and nobly run the race.
- And now we're proud to raise the shout and sing of M.G.S.
- Lift high her banner, one and all, her name we now profess.
- In work and play for honors won, today our hearts confess
- The debt we owe, the love we hold for our dear M.G.S.
Recently, the tune of the school song has been changed to a much slower and soothing tune.
As a Methodist school, devotions are read and prayers are said every morning, following the school anthem and preceding the reading of announcements. Weekly chapel services are also held. Annually, a Discover Jesus Week (DJW) is organised, where daily chapel services are held. The Primary section also has a Christian Fellowship society and the Secondary section has a Servants At the Lord's Task (SALT) club. Meetings are held after school.
Prefectorial board & student leaders
Pupils have the opportunity to serve in the Prefectorial Board or as Student Leaders. As Student Leaders, pupils discharge their responsibilities in one of two groups : Junior Leaders (JL) and CCA Leaders.
Prefects (pupils from Primary Four to Primary Six) are selected by teachers of the school. Primary Six pupils nominated for the positions of Head Prefect and Vice-Head Prefect undergo an interview with the Discipline Mistress and, in cases, the Principal or Vice-Principal of the school.
Four Junior Leaders are selected from each class in Primary Four; each JL represents a House - Blackmore, Jackson, Lee, Olson.
The JLs help the PE department look after the PE stores, organise games for other girls during recess. The JSLs also work closely with the PE department in the organisation of sports events, special projects and in handling matters related to the PE stores.
Pupils (from Primary Five and Primary Six) who are actively involved in their respective CCAs and display leadership qualities are assigned by their CCA teachers to lead a team or a group or to serve as Captain, Chairperson etc. These students are classified as CCA leaders. They provide assistance to the teachers in their CCAs.
All Student Leaders attend training sessions, whether in-house or conducted by a vendor. They also given on-the-job training when they help teachers and students and when they handle the planning of special projects. These activities allow them to display leadership skills and capabilities.
The Central Committee of the Prefectorial Board consists of the Head Prefect, and the Heads (and several Assistants) of the three internal departments - Discipline, Student Affairs, Internal Affairs.
Like the Primary section, potential prefects are nominated by their classmates, undergo an interviewed, then a level vote is taken. Although this procedure has sparked controversy amongst teachers and pupils, no action has been taken against this.
Methodist Girls' School is a well-known institution in the region with a history of academic, music and sporting excellence. The school was routinely placed in the top five schools of Singapore in the rankings by the Ministry of Education before the rankings were disabled. In the current ranking system, the school consistently places in the Band 1 category, the highest achievable category. The school will offer the Integrated Programme as an option to Secondary 1 and 3 students who attain exemplary grades in 2013. For now, all Secondary 4 students sit for the Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (GCE) Ordinary Level (O-Level) examinations.
Sophia Blackmore Class
In 2005, the Sophia Blackmore Class (SBC) was started for Upper Primary and Secondary pupils with stronger academic abilities. The Sophia Blackmore Class was the school's answer to the Ministry of Education's Gifted Education Programme. The SBC seeks to address the needs of a group of pupils who have a different pace and learning profile. The SBC curriculum is modelled after the Gifted Education Programme (GEP) in consultation with renowned educators, like Sandra Kaplan, in the field of gifted and talented education.
Music Elective Programme
The Music Elective Programme (MEP) is a special 4-year programme, leading to the GCE O-Level Music as well as Higher Music, offered by the Ministry of Education. Its objective is to provide opportunities for academically able students with an aptitude for music to take up the serious study of music and develop their skills of listening and music making.
The MEP curriculum helps students to acquire a better sense of aural skills to appraise and analyse music of Western tradition as well as music from other cultures, such as Japanese Music and Indonesian Gamelan. It gives students a stronger foundation in music theory, a deeper understanding of music history and the ability to compose music. It provides opportunities to interact with MEP peers through camps, enrichment activities, concerts and overseas trips.
One of the few schools in Singapore offering the Music Elective Programme(MEP), Methodist Girls' School has gained recognition, both before and after starting, for producing musicians such as pianist Abigail Sin and violinist Kam Ning, amongst others. Many pupils are also members of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra.
Godliness, Excellence, Love
Godliness, Excellence, Love (GEL) periods are held weekly in the Secondary section. There are currently three divisions - Character and Leadership, Pastoral Care and Career Guidance, and Sense and Sexuality Programme.
The Character and Leadership section aims to equip students with skills and knowledge, and empower them to enrich the lives of others. Framework is based on the Transformational Leadership Model by Bernard Bass and Bruce Avolio – a model that looks at the developmental progress of a student’s leadership capabilities. Structured Leadership Training is conducted for three groups - Student population (Level leadership training), Prefects, and Student Leaders (composed of CCA leaders and class leaders).
The Pastoral Care and Career Guidance section aims to provide a holistic and integrated programme which will enhance the social, emotional, intellectual, moral and spiritual growth for all MGS pupils. The values are Responsibility, Respect, Resilience and Reflection. There are three main developmental areas in this section - Affective (bonding and finding a sense of belonging), Intellectual (life skills and career guidance) and Moral & Spiritual (imbued sound values and provide a Christian environment).
The Sense and Sexuality Programme is based on the Ministry of Education's Sexuality Education Programme. The programme in MGS is targeted at Secondary 2 and Secondary 3 pupils, and aims to equip pupils with the relevant knowledge and skills to make responsible choices on sexuality matters. It is guided by Christian principles, and adapted from MOE materials to make it relevant to the students. Abstinence from pre-marital sex, building healthy relationships and making responsible choices are the key concepts. 
Affiliation & Admission
The Secondary section is affiliated to Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and have a joint Integrated Programme from 2012 onwards. The Secondary section admits pupils from the Primary section if they obtain a minimum of 220 points, after sitting for the Primary School Leaving Examination. Students from other schools wishing to enter Methodist Girls' School are subject to a higher cut-off point determined by the quality of applicants' PSLE scores for that year (for the 2011 intake, a score of 253). Students may also apply through the Direct School Admission (DSA) exercise, in which students may be offered a place based on academic, music or sporting achievements.
In September 2010, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced that Methodist Girls' School will partner Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), which currently offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), in its new scheme to introduce the Integrated Programme to seven more schools.
The school has produced many notable alumni in various fields including but not limited to law, business and politics.
- Abigail Sin: Award-winning pianist
- Dr Geh Min: Former Nominated Member of Parliament
- Kam Ning: Violinist; Second prize winner of the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Music Competition, 2001
- Kwa Geok Choo: King's Scholar; Wife of the first Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew
- Tan Li Feng: President's Scholar. 2006
- Louisa Jean Lim: President's Scholar, 2008
- Belinda Ang: Judge, Supreme Court of Singapore
- Tina Tan Leo: President and CEO, The Link Boutique
- Eleanor Wong: Playwright; Director, Legal Skills Programme, Law Faculty, National University of Singapore
- Wang Ya-Hui: Music director, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore orchestra
- Joscelin Yeo: Former national swimmer and Olympian; Multiple gold medalist at the biennial Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games)
- Christel Bouvron: Former national swimmer and Olympian; Multiple gold medalist at the biennial Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games)
- Nicolette Teo: National swimmer and Olympian; Multiple gold medalist at the biennial Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games)
- Magic Babe Ning: Singapore's only professional female magician
- Ovidia Yu: Writer
- Fang Ai Lian: Chairperson, Great Eastern Holdings Ltd.; previously Managing Partner, Ernst & Young, Singapore.
- MGS Yearbook.
- "House Committee". Methodist Girls’ School. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
- "Sophia Blackmore Class Curriculum". Methodist Girls’ School. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
- "Music Elective Programme". Methodist Girls’ School. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
- "Godliness, Excellence, Love". Methodist Girls’ School. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
- "Character and Leadership". Methodist Girls’ School. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
- "Pastoral Care and Career Guidance". Methodist Girls’ School. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
- "Sense and Sexuality Programme". Methodist Girls’ School. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
- "Seven new schools join the Integrated Programme". Channel News Asia Singapore. 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-05.