Varsha, 10, says no to pollution at morning assembly programme by Farrer Park Primary

SINGAPORE – Saddened by the rubbish she has seen in Singapore’s waters, Saravana Prakash Saivarsha, 10, decided to tell all her schoolmates about the dangers of pollution.

Varsha, a Primary 5 pupil at Farrer Park Primary, was given the opportunity to present her case to her peers to reduce waste at her school’s before-school programme.

Known as Tick Talk, the programme allows pupils of any age to present an idea or any fact which interests them to their entire school.

Run by the school’s English Department, the optional programme runs from Mondays to Thursdays at about 7.25am as pupils stream in for assembly at 7.30am.

The only caveat is that the pupils must present without a script – a way for them to build confidence and improve their presentation skills, said Mr Jonathan Yang, who is one of the teachers behind the programme.

The programme began during the height of the pandemic in the form of pre-recorded videos by pupils, which were streamed to all classrooms twice a week in which pupils would share interesting facts or play musical instruments.

But Tick Talk has since gone live and expanded to four times a week, with no shortage of sign ups, said Mr Yang, adding that all sessions are already fully booked by pupils for the next half a year.

Varsha was initially nervous about giving her two- to three-minute presentation, but she got by with the help of her friends, she said.

“It was the first time in my primary school years that I’ve gone on stage to talk… but once I saw my friends I calmed down and was a bit more confident,” she added.

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