What is a good school?

Opening Address by Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education, at the Ministry of Education (MOE) Work Plan Seminar, on Thursday, 22 September 2011 at 10.00 am at Ngee Ann Polytechnic Convention Centre

What is a good school? A good school is not one which produces straight As or top honours per se; a good school is not merely ‘good’ relative to others. Rather, it is one that caters to the needs of its students well. Given the diversity of students, there cannot be a single ruler to measure success.

A good school needs to know who their students are at the point of entry, studies their needs and strengths; states what it would like them to become when they leave the school; then exercise diligence and imagination to get there. A good school creates a positive experience for each student – allowing him to acquire the basics, but more importantly, making him a confident and lifelong learner. It provides a supportive and appreciative environment for teachers to experience the joy in impacting lives. A good school is student-centric and allows teachers to do their best for every child.

@ 37 weeks

It’s getting more and more difficult to sleep. Whichever position I rest, it’s still uncomfortable. How long more will this persist? I’m getting all panda-eyed!

Faith is now about 2.8kg heavy but not yet engaged!!! I have put on 2kg and am now 62kg. Have gained a total of 13kg thus far. Oh my goodness! Doc said there is a good amount of water in the womb so that’s good. Heartbeat of Faith is strong and healthy. =)

BP: 118/74

I know I’m rather a last-minute worker so I need to read up more on labour and try to remember the stuff. Some knowledge will help as opposed to complete ignorance. This month’s Mother & Baby is God-sent. It has the info I need, from preparing the hospital bag to the stages of labour and it also includes M&B awards for the must-haves!

Bag check

– Maternity notes and birth plan
– Comfortable nursing wear or night gowns
– Slippers and warm socks
– Books, magazines
– Towel and toiletries
– Comfortable clothes to go home in
– Mobile phone and charger
– Camera and spare batteries
– Nursing bras
– Breast pads
– Maternity pads
– Disposable undies
– Newborn nappies
– Baby clothes, booties and mittens
– Baby blanket

My hospital bag…done!

Notes for myself (a summary):
First stage:
– first contractions feel like heavy period pains, while others may experience backache, which get longer and more intense.
– As the cervix dilates, you might also have a show – a reddish or brown discharge –> mucous plug, which sealed the cervix during pregnancy. Waters -amniotic fluid that protected the baby – might also break. Fluid should be clear.
– Officially in active labour. Cervix is 4cm dilated and will further dilate to 8 cm. Contractions are usually 3 to 5 minutes apart now.

What I need to do:
-Call doc if waters break or when contractions are five minutes apart. Once contractions are 3 to 5 minutes apart, hospital will probably advise you to come in.

Second stage:
– Cervix is at least 10 cm wide. About now, the baby’s head enters the birth canal and your uterus starts to contract to push the baby out.

Third stage:
You’ll deliver the placenta and empty amniotic sac. Takes 5 to 10 minutes.

Sesame cookies

I think these cookies are for adults. They are not sweet so kids won’t like them ( I think) but they have a certain character in them which I cannot explain.

Source: Keiko’s Okashi: Sweet treats made with love

220g cake flour
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g icing sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
50g toasted white sesame seeds
50g toasted black sesame seeds

1. Sift flour, then place in the freezer to chill. Bake the sesame seeds at 150C without preheating for 10-15 minutes. Leave aside to cool.

2. Beat butter, icing sugar and salt until soft and creamy. Add egg yolks and mix well. Add flour and sesame seeds and fold in with a spatula.

3. Divide dough in half. Transfer each half to a piece of parchment paper and shape into a 12 x 7 x 2.5 cm rectangle. Wrap dough in cling film and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

4. Preheat oven to 160C. Slice chilled cookie dough into 5 – 7 mm thick bars. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.

5. Store cookies in an airtight container to keep them crisp