Dialogue session with New Zealand’s Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Jacinda Arden
We were delighted to be asked to bring fifteen of our young leaders to a dialogue session with New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Ms Jacinda Ardern.
GEMS (Singapore) was one of only four international schools to be invited, along with several Singapore Secondary schools. The event, held at the Raffles Institution was aimed to open a dialogue between young leaders and Ms Ardern. Students were invited to ask questions about politics, leadership and Ms Ardern’s own experiences.
Ms Ardern spoke with humour, compassion and authority on a huge range of topics. We enjoyed hearing about her early political career and how her set of principles and desire to ‘do New Zealand’ proud guides her interactions with everyone, including other world leaders.
We were impressed with Ms Ardern’s advice to us as young leaders; that we need to be open to opportunities, that we must focus on our strengths, and that we shouldn’t wait to take action or responsibility.
Ms Ardern spoke about her priorities for New Zealand and particularly focused on addressing climate change and building strong and inclusive communities - both such important issues for young people today.
Last week, a group of GEMS students and teachers travelled to the IB Global Centre to take part in the first annual IB Service Sharing Event.
Our students set up displays of their PYP/MYP Service and DP CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service) projects to present and discuss with IB staff; and teachers and students from other IB schools in the region. There was great interest in our students’ work and we had a huge number of visitors come to discuss and ask questions about their projects. We also had the chance to discuss service learning with the teams from other schools. It was a great learning experience for us too, and we came back with many new ideas.
The staff accompanying the students were incredibly proud: not only the students’ service projects but also of the way they spoke so confidently and knowledgeable about their projects. They truly inspired and impressed their audience.
Our students, staff and parents were amazed by Rob’s tales of his epic 50,000 km cycling adventure across the world.
Rob’s journey was inspired by his desire to become a more courageous person. It took him through some of the most extreme parts of the world, such as Siberia in winter and the high passes of the Himalayas. Over the trip, he definitely learned to become more courageous. He also learned to be resourceful, resilient, and to survive on ice-cream and instant noodles!
I particularly enjoyed Rob’s message that there are kind and generous people all over the world who will ‘bend over backwards’ to help you. We also really liked his approach to problem-solving, as planned to overcome dangers, networked and collaborated, and always asked himself the question ‘what can I control?’.
Our favourite quote from Rob was:
It’s not about the destination and it’s not about the journey. It’s about the person you become along the way.
These messages, delivered in his fun and engaging speaking style made the presentation a fantastic experience for the students. Rob’s two books: ‘Cycling home from Siberia’ and ‘Walking home from Mongolia’ can be found in our school library.
MYP & IGCSE Coordinator | Grade 6 Mathematics & Sciences Teacher