Hi Year Two IP,
Hopefully you’re settling into the curricular rhythm again after a much-needed break in March. All of you should be taking History, and at this point in the year, it means the assigning of an awfully crucial project. I’m sure all of you will have been assigned a project to do research on Singapore’s Economic History from three different time periods.
First things first, your teacher should have given you some guidelines or at least a brief idea on what to research on. Base your research on that and craft your presentation. Even if they haven’t, you should research diligently and ensure that your information is accurate. You might even want to collaborate with other classes doing the same project to ensure what you are saying effectively covers the topic. I recommend finding textbooks from local publishers and extracting information from them. Lastly, do not be afraid to ask your seniors for help.
Another major project that you will have to deal with is Coursework. If the topic were the same as 2014’s, then it would mean the creation of a ‘documentary’ based on a topic of your choice. It should be loosely based on the current History syllabus.
The most important thing to observe when going about this project is efficiency. It is good to set deadlines for your group, so you know if you are on schedule to finish on time. Most groups will usually have that one guy who chooses to slack off, but it is up to each and every one of you make sure everyone contributes. My group in 2014 was not able to finish the project on time and thus had points deducted off our final grade. Predictably, we did not do well.
The specific methodology of how you should do your coursework is largely based on your topic and thus hard to advise. However, for a vast majority of projects you will be required to carry out dramatized acting scenes. Get out of your comfort zones and ensure your acting is Hollywood-worthy, and make sure relevant special effects (e.g blood if your documentary is about WWII) are also added. You may also be required to interview individuals or organizations. Ask them as soon as possible for an interview, so that a date can be quickly agreed upon. Prepare a set of questions to ask during the interview, and ensure there are plenty of them to give you enough information.
The last major project work left for the year are your Class Debates. They will often be based upon a topic in the History syllabus. Ensure your arguments are structured and well researched. Pre-empting what the opposing team will say and formulating rebuttals is also advisable. The speakers in the team should be
The most major hurdle for any student to overcome would be exams. Suffice to say however, that the sheer power of memory retention should be able to tide you through the short answered questions and some essay questions. Hence, remember to revise properly. For questions that require critical thinking such as Source-Based questions, it is important to understand what the question is asking for and analyze every aspect of the source. A large part of this is contingent on practice, so please complete all the assignments your teachers give you.
I’m not really good at poignant closings, so I’ll just end off with a quote. As James A Baldwin said, ‘People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them’. You can’t escape History, so you may as well try to do well for it.
Christopher Low is from the class of 3.11 (2015).