RI Open House ‘23: WRIte Your Story

By Venkatesan Ranjana (23A01D)

The morning of 13 January saw a steady stream of visitors flowing into RI from our Marymount gate, as prospective Year 5 students and their parents were greeted by our Befrienders stationed near the registration booth, while the rest of the campus thrummed with anticipation.

Indeed, the whole school seemed to be revitalised by the fresh faces and the excitement in the atmosphere—a welcome feeling for those of us who had only experienced school events in  the pandemic era. The 2023 RI Open House, with its theme of  “wRIte your story”, was certainly an all round success for both visitors and the student body alike, with its multitude of highlights that delighted and captivated attendees.

CCA Performances

While our performing arts CCAs worked hard throughout the Open House to provide our guests with quality entertainment and a glimpse into our CCA culture, the opening acts faced the added pressure of setting the tone for the day.

Raffles Street Dance started us off strong at the canteen walkway, with an explosive performance reminiscent of a flash-mob. Their infectious energy and impressive technical skills visibly impressed the hesitant early birds, sending the visitors on their way to the other attractions of the day with newly-boosted expectations. A little further into the school, Chorale and Jazz put up equally spectacular acts at LT2 and the MPH respectively, repeating them with equal fervour throughout the day.

Our other performing arts CCAs showcased their skills admirably as well—perhaps you might have caught CLDCS and the Piano, Chamber and Guitar Ensembles giving their melodious performances at LT2, or Rock, Modern Dance, Chinese Orchestra and Symphonic Band keeping visitors enthralled at the MPH. 

Raffles Jazz at the MPH

Chorale performing at LT2

Principal’s Speech

Principal’s Address by Mr Yeo at LT1

At half past ten, a sizeable audience of prospective students and parents found themselves seated at LT1 for our principal, Mr Frederick Yeo’s address. As he gave his opening comments, Mr Yeo was quick to highlight the beautiful OH banner design by Liu Jiajia (23S03N), inviting her to share her thought process and inspiration behind the banner. 

She expressed her gratitude for the opportunity despite not having a formal background in Art, and Mr Yeo took this chance to impress upon the audience the numerous avenues for students to pursue their passion in RI. 

Following Mr Yeo’s address, our deputy principal Mr Brian Ang elaborated on RI’s holistic curriculum and unique academic opportunities, while Ms Ng Mei Sze drew the audience’s focus to the importance placed on students’ wellbeing and the quality of their journey to graduation. 

The element of face-to-face interactions with our principals and teachers was truly missed in the past online Open Houses, and audience members were notably intrigued by some of the insights shared by the speakers.

House Procession

Bayley-Waddle House Comm at the cheer-off

12pm saw our House comm delivering one of the highlights of the day – the first House Procession since the pre-pandemic era. Starting off strong with the classic Sun Dance, and ending with a boisterous cheer-off, the energy that House brought to Open House was a sight for sore eyes. 

Although we have been in the process of easing COVID-19 measures for some time now, the procession brought back fond memories of past school events, and inspired hope in many of us that we will be able to see such spirits more often in the year to come.

CCA and Subject Booths

Some of the CCA booths on display.

Scattered across the floor of the amphitheatre and MPH were arguably the most excited groups of students yet. While the carefully decorated CCA booths certainly played their part in drawing the attention of visitors, what truly caught their attention was the evident pride of  the CCA members as they sought to recruit  potential juniors. 

In the Innovation Centre, teachers and student volunteers manned the subject and enrichment programme booths with an equally enthusiastic air, as prospective students and parents learnt about the details of different subjects and programmes. 

Human Library

A new feature of this year’s Open House was the Human Library, which was met with much enthusiasm by visitors. Our Befrienders took shifts outside the RGC and at the Hodge Lodge to answer questions and discuss concerns that our visitors had, in a more quiet setting away from the bustle of activity. 

The Befrienders were kept busy throughout the day, a testament to the success of this new initiative. In line with the theme of this year’s OH, this opportunity served as a reminder of the unique paths of each Rafflesian and how we can learn from our shared experiences. Hats off to Council for this well thought-out initiative!

In the words of guidance counsellor Ms Kah Hwee, when asked what she appreciated about having Open House back in all its glory:

“It’s really great to have it back, because the face-to-face nature allows for more genuine interaction.”

Indeed, the authenticity of this year’s Open House was ultimately the highlight of the entire event, for visitors and Rafflesians alike. Our thanks to all those who put in their utmost efforts to make the 2023 Open House a resounding success!

Credits for all photos: Raffles Photographic Society

For more stories, visit Raffles Press

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