May 22, 2022

What Makes the British Council's N1 to S4 English Classes Different From Others

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The PSLE countdown begins now. (Or is it too late already πŸ˜…)


After two previous experiences with the boys, it is Ale's turn this year - I know right, how on earth did time fly by so quickly??? - and even though I would love to say "been there, done that", I think the stress level for parents never do diminish.


Because as things stand now, we are about FOUR months away from the PSLE. But that's not to say I'm panicking - thanks to me being a seasoned two-timed PSLE parent, I have learnt that instead of just imploring kids to try their best all the time, I have to focus on something more tangible — putting in a reasonable amount of effort in their school work. So all this while, the wifey and I have been taking turns to sit down with Ale for 20 to 30 minutes every weeknight for revision.


Well, it is working pretty well so far... when it comes to Mandarin, Math and Science.


As for English... can someone tell me how does one begin teaching English to a child? By reading the dictionary? Or by doing countless exam papers? Or by memorising essays?


Turns out that there is a far easier solution - the British Council!



With over 80 years of expertise in delivering English language education, the British Council's enrichment courses for Nursery 1 up to Secondary are student-centred and aligned to the syllabus set by the Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE).


British Council's internationally qualified and experienced teachers provide a safe, supportive and dynamic environment to help each child succeed at every stage of their academic journey whilst developing the essential 21st century skills and proficiencies to be able to thrive in the fast-changing world.


Or so they claim.


But what I really want to know is what really goes on behind those classroom doors? Are the children engaged and how do one really cultivate the love for learning the English language?


There was only one way to find out - and that was to sit in during one of the lessons.



Since Ale would be taking her PSLE this year, she joined the Upper Primary PSLE Preparation Class which focusses on comprehension tuition and composition topics for exam preparation.


And after spending a mere two hours within the class, I can see why all of the students were so enthusiastic during class time!


What makes the British Council stand out?


Rigorous but interesting curriculum


British Council's courses for Primary children are interactive, communicative and carefully structured to build each child’s skills and confidence in English.


Designed in line with the syllabus set by the Singapore's Ministry of Education, the curriculum not only prepares the students for exams but also equip them with practical English skills that will accompany them for life.



While I was sitting in one of the lessons, the teacher was going through Reading Comprehension skills. Before this, all I knew about tackling comprehension passages was to read through them in detail and try to pick out the main words and points.



But I was surprised that there were actually MORE techniques involved to ace the comprehension section! And these were what the students did when attempting to answer questions from the passage:


- Activating prior knowledge and making predictions

- Skimming for main ideas

- Scanning for specific information

- Making inferences and thinking critically

- Increasing general knowledge

- Examining connotation


Woah, consider my mind blown.



I learnt later that throughout the academic year, the students will focus on literature, helping them grow as passionate readers and build on their written and communication skills through individual and group practices.


Fun learning environment


No matter how good the curriculum is, it will count for nothing if the learning environmen is not conducive.


For the class that Ale was in, I kid you not when I say it was a bundle of energy and activity!



The students were eager to answer questions and enthusiastic to attempt challenges that the teacher threw at them, just so that they could earn the opportunity to play a game of Kahoot (iPads were provided by the school)! πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†



Ale was understandably a little shy in the beginning since it was her first time attending. But I could see that the enthusiasm gradually rubber off her and she began to partake in the quizzes more.


Professional and experienced teachers


Of course, the teachers at the British Council have a huge role to play as well.


Ale's teacher was super animated which made the lesson a truly enjoyable one to attend. At least that was what I could see from the students' response.



I love how she made learning English such an enjoyable experience - where the end goal isn't just to ace one's exams but to embrace learning so that using English correctly in real life comes naturally. 


State of the art learning facilities


I've got to say that I was highly impressed by the factilities in the classroom. It is fitted with cutting edge teaching tools such as interactive whiteboards and digital visualisers, on top of learning tablets that are provided to the students in class.



What did Ale think of the class?


She totally enjoyed herself... which was a surprise since she appeared to be reluctant when I first told her that she will be attending an English class at the British Council.



Boy, did her opinion change after that short two hours! She loved how fun and interactive the class was, and it helped that the classmates who she was seated with, were so helpful and friendly seeing that she was a newbie in class.


What did I think of the class?


My favourite part of the class was when the teacher tasked the students to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses in relationship to the tasks they completed each week. This could be in the form of learning new words, new meanings or new techniques.





I certainly love how they are encouraged to take control of their own learning both inside and outside the classroom, and empowered to work on areas for improvement to boost their future performance.


And here comes Ayd too...


But the British Council isn't just for younger kids and primary school children. They also run classes for secondary school students, and even adults!



Which meant that Ayd also had the chance to experience the O-Level Preparation class, since he is in Year 4 this year.



And you guessed it - he was TOTALLY reluctant to attend the class when he first learned of it. πŸ˜…


But attend in the end, he did... and just like Ale, the class completely changed his opinion of a so-called English 'tuition' class.



For his lesson, the teacher was focussing on essay writing which to be honest, is tough to teach at the O-Level standard. But you know what makes it even tougher? Teenagers are your audience.



I, too, sat in Ayd's class and it came as no surprise that the teaching style was markedly different from Ale's class. With Ayd's class, it was all about imparting good writing techniques and skills.


And the teacher was able to hold the 16-year-olds' attention! In fact, Ayd was totally won over by the end of the lesson because he picked up valuable writing tips to aid in his essay writing - like the main points one should always include in the opening paragraph of the essay so that the examiner has a good idea of the essay outline.



Ayd admitted that it was a fruitful two hours, and he shared that he was going to apply what he learnt in the upcoming mid-year exams!




But don't just take my word for it...


You have the opportunity to head down to and let your child experience it because the British Council is having an Open House on 11 and 18 June 2022!



Parents and children will get the chance to experience British Council's Young Learners courses, with trial classes available for kids and teens. 


Should you decide to sign up on Open House day, you get to enjoy these following perks too:

- Waiver of $60 registration fee

- Registration discount of $100 on Young Learner courses



British Council's Open House is happening on 11 June 2022 at its Napier Road and Tampines centre and on 18 June 2022 at its Toa Payoh centre.


Visit HERE to book your preferred FREE trial class slot!

 

Useful Information


British Council

Read more about the British Council HERE.

Website

Facebook Page


Locations:

Napier Road Centre

30 Napier Road, Singapore 258509


Tampines Centre

11 Tampines Concourse, #01-02/03/04, Singapore 528729


Toa Payoh Centre

480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, #09-01 HDB Hub, East Wing, Singapore 310480




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Apr 26, 2022

SCDF Fire Stations Open House is Back so Families can visit again every Saturday! (No Pre-booking Required)

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After a 2-year break due to the pandemic, SCDF's Fire Stations Open House are BACK!



Starting from this Saturday, 30 April 2022, 17 Fire Stations around Singapore will be opened to the public every Saturday in two time slots – from 9.00am to 9.50am and 10.00am to 10.50am.



If you are visiting in group sizes of less than 10 pax, walk-ins are allowed. No pre-booking of slots required.


What to expect at the Fire Station Open House? Kids (and adults) will be able to meet the SCDF firefighters and paramedics, and learn more on how SCDF responds to emergencies.


In addition, kids will get the chance to get up close and learn more about SCDF's fleet of emergency vehicles.



Who knows? They may get a chance to clamber onto a real fire engine or even spray the water hose too!


Which was what Ash did eons ago. πŸ˜†



The listed fire stations with Open House are:


Alexandra Fire Station (3 Queensway S149073)

Ang Mo Kio Fire Station (2874 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9 S569783)

Bishan Fire Station (1 Marymount Lane S574029)

Bukit Batok Fire Station (80 Bukit Batok Road S658072)

Central Fire Station (62 Hill Street S179367)

Changi Fire Station (491 Upper Changi Road S468965)

Clementi Fire Station (Commonwealth Avenue West S129577)

Jurong Fire Station (22 Jurong West Street 26, S648126)

Kallang Fire Station (2 Guillemard Close, S397623)

Marina Bay Fire Station (70 Marina View, S018962)

Paya Lebar Fire Station (91 Ubi Avenue 4, S408827)

Punggol Fire Station (151 Punggol Central S828727)

Sengkang Fire Station (50 Buangkok Drive S545064)

Tampines Fire Station (1 Tampines Industrial Avenue 3 S528777)

Tuas Fire Station (7 Tuas Road S638483)

Woodlands Fire Station (1 Woodlands Industrial Park D Street 2 S738782)

Yishun Fire Station (533 Yishun Industrial Park, A S768774)


For groups of 10 or more, please register for the visit at this link. Do note that the maximum number of pax for each group booking is 40 pax.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION


SCDF Fire Stations Open House

Dates: Every Saturday (from 30 April 2022 onwards)

Timings: Two time slots – from 9.00am to 9.50am AND 10.00am to 10.50am

Venue: Refer to list of Fire Stations above

Cost: FREE

*No pre-booking required if you are visiting in group sizes of less than 10 pax





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Apr 21, 2022

Singapore HeritageFest 2022: Your Family-friendly Guide to 4 Weekends of Fun!

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The 19th edition of Singapore HeritageFest (SHF) returns over four weekends from 2 to 29 May 2022, with even MORE physical activities compared to the previous two years! 



Presented by the National Heritage Board (NHB), SHF 2022 will commemorate Singapore’s vibrant travel history and rich natural heritage with more than 120 on-site and online heritage experiences that beckon Singaporeans from all walks of life to explore the lesser-known stories of our local heritage and culture. What makes it even more special is this year also marks the 75th anniversary of Singapore Airlines (SIA), 50th anniversary of Sentosa Development Corporation, 50th birthday of the Merlion statue and 10th anniversary of Gardens by the Bay.


And yes, you read it right - there are a whopping 120 experiences - both free and paid - to choose from!  This year’s programme line-up includes heritage and cultural trails, hands-on workshops, video documentaries, tours, exhibitions and digital programmes that illuminate the evolution of travel to and within Singapore, and uncover hidden aspects of the flora and fauna native to the region. 



With so many programmes in store, I have picked out the best family-friendly activities for you over the next four weekends. So just follow my guide and you are good to go! 😁


NOTE: All SHF 2022 programmes will be open for registration from 21 April 2022, 12PM.


Fire-fighting - No Flame Too High [FREE!]

7, 14 May • 10am to 11.30am & 1pm to 2.30pm

Venue: Singapore Aviation Academy (1 Aviation Drive, Singapore 499867)

Fee: Free with registration *Suitable for all ages

Register HERE



Singapore Aviation Academy, the training arm of Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, has been the nation’s training ground for some of the most dynamic and challenging professions in aviation for more than 60 years. Meet the people who keep our airport safe round the clock and learn about their journey as an Airport Fire-fighter at the World’s Best Airport.


Experience a day in the life of an airport fire-fighter through interactive station activities and a visit to our fire-fighting simulators and foam-tenders. You will get to practise target shooting with a charged water hose and even save a casualty!


Wheels On The Bus: Go Green, Go Buggy! Insect Farm Tour

7, 14, 21, 28 May • 10:00am (1hr 15 min)

Venue: Insectta, 60 Jalan Penjara, Singapore 149375

Fee: $20 per pax | Up to 15 pax per sessionn

Register HERE



An insect farm right in the heart of Singapore?! That's right, Insectta is Singapore's first black soldier fly farm located in the middle of Queenstown, Singapore.


Curious to find out more about how an insect farm works? Now you can get right into the heart of the action with our farm tour! You will get to learn more about the superheroes of our insect farm: the black soldier fly, try your hand at insect farming activities, and learn how insect farms are revolutionizing sustainable agriculture. End your tour with a fun chicken feeding activity!


Every participant signed up via SHF will get a free packet of edible veggie seeds to bring home after this special edition of the tour!


The Local Tree Project - A Visit To Our Local Sawmills With Roger&Sons

7 May • 10am to 11am • 11am to 12pm • 1pm to 2pm • 2pm to 3pm

Venue: 31 Sungei Kadut Street 4, Singapore 729055

Fee: $10 per pax

Register HERE



Discover what goes on behind the scenes of how local timber is turned from trees felled from urban development in Singapore at our sawmills. This tour is part of The Local Tree Project, an initiative started in 2019 by Roger&Sons that salvages trees that have been felled for urban development. It rehabilitates these abandoned logs by turning them into durable, future-proof objects and furniture.


Air Traffic Control - We Guide You Home [FREE!]

7, 14 May • 10:00am - 11:00am • 01:00pm - 02:00pm

Venue: Singapore Aviation Academy (1 Aviation Drive, Singapore 499867)

Fee: Free with registration

*IMPORTANT: Entry for registrants aged 13 and above*

Register HERE



Singapore Aviation Academy, the training arm of Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, has been the nation’s training ground for some of the most dynamic and challenging professions in aviation for more than 60 years. Get up close with the people who keep our skies safe and efficient round the clock and learn about their journey as an Air Traffic Controller at one of the world’s busiest airports. Experience an exclusive day and night view from the ‘control tower’, through our specialized training simulator.


Mount Faber Heritage Tour

7 - 8, 14 - 15, 21 - 22, 28 - 29 May • 10:00am (2-hour tour)

7 - 8, 14 - 15, 21 - 22, 28 - 29 May • 12:00pm (2-hour tour)

Fee: $30 (adult), $25 (child)

Register HERE



Enjoy a guided tour around Mount Faber Park to Faber Point, the highest point on Mount Faber Hill and get to know the rich history surrounding the mural wall and the mini Merlion. You may plus venture to the back-of-house for an exclusive tour of how the Singapore cable car operates. Conclude the tour with a round-trip ride on the Singapore Cable Car Mount Faber Line.


Little India Heritage Trail — Street Corner Heritage Galleries Edition

7, 14 May • 10:00am - 12:00pm

Venue: Indian Heritage Centre & Little India Precinct

Fee: $10 per pax | Up to 15 pax per session

Register HERE



As part of Singapore HeritageFest (SHF) 2022, go on this new edition of the Little India Heritage Trail which also features the Street Corner Heritage Galleries featuring various heritage businesses in the precinct! Listen to anecdotal stories shared by these first- and second-generation heritage business owners and trace the evolution journey of this vibrant cultural precinct.


Wheels On The Bus: Bee One Happy Family

7 - 8, 14, 21 - 22, 28 - 29 May • 11:00am - 12:30pm

Venue: Bee Amazed Garden (91 Lor Chencharu, Singapore 769201)

Fee: $50 per pax *Suitable for age 5 and above

Register HERE



Bzz.. would you like to be a friend of the bees? For this edition of Wheels on the Bus, explore the theme of natural heritage through the art of beekeeping culture at Bee Amazed Garden. Bee Amazed is a local and unique farm that’s not only a tourist destination but the perfect place for family bonding. In this interactive tour, you will get to learn all about the behaviour of honey bees in Singapore and learn to differentiate what a good honey is.


Tour of Fullerton Hotel

7, 14, 21, 28 May • 10:00am • Fullerton Hotel 

7, 14, 21, 28 May • 02:30pm • Fullerton Hotel 

Fee: $5 per pax; $3 (for senior citizens and students only)

Register HERE



Go on this 1-hour tour to explore the unique architectural features of this impressive Neoclassical building and uncover the many stories of people who had worked in this historic building. Designed to house the General Post Office and other government departments, The Fullerton Hotel has been a witness to several events significant in Singapore’s history – in the colonial, war, and independence years.


Lost Relic of Little India Puzzle Hunt

8, 15, 22, 29 May • 10:00am - 12:00pm

Venue: Indian Heritage Centre & Little India Precinct

Fee: $30 per pax

Register HERE



Embark on an exciting gamification tour experience to one of Singapore’s most notable neighbourhoods – Little India – a destination for tourists and locals alike. Scour the streets of Little India, solve various location-based puzzle challenges, and uncover the Lost Relic of Little India, while discovering the rich heritage and culture of this vibrant precinct.


Remake of East Coast Tour of the 1980s

Sat, 14 May | 8.30am to 12.30pm • 2pm to 6pm

Sat, 21 May | 8.30am to 12.30pm • 2pm to 6pm

Fee: $36 (adult), $20 (child below 12)

Register HERE



Revisit the tour route for the East Coast Tour of the 1980s. Initially marketed to the Australian and New Zealand markets, the tour will visit key landmarks such as the temples of Serangoon Road and also the Changi Chapel and Museum, where we reflect and appreciate the bravery and resilience of the prisoners-of-war and the civilians during World War II. Participants will get to stop at Changi Point for a taste of Singapore Hawker Culture (own arrangement) and enjoy the sea breeze.


*Admission fee to Changi Museum and Chapel - not included. Free admission for Singaporeans/PR.


Lower Khatib Bongsu Trail

14 - 15, 28 May • 07:15am - 12:15pm • Khatib Bongsu 

Meeting point: Sembawang Park

Fee: $115 per pax; $75 (age 12 & below) *Suitable for age 4 years and above

Register HERE



Khatib Bongsu is one of Singapore's largest mangrove riverine ecosystems. Participants will kayak along the river trail that explores Section 5-8 of this river: Old Trees Ways, Perepat Hunt, Albizia Lagoon, and The Seletars. The alluring part of Sungei Khatib Bongsu lies in our curiosity to explore our almost forgotten natural river.


Home Away From Home

15 May • 10:00am & 11:30am

Venue: 3 Ladyhill Road

Fee: $5 per pax

Register HERE



Currently used by Swiss university EHL Hospitality Business School as their Singapore campus, 3 Ladyhill Road, has been used in many ways since being expanded as the stately mansion of a wealthy merchant in the 1930s. Among the roles it assumed was as a home-away-from-home during the Malayan Emergency, when it was a hostel for children of British military families stationed upcountry. Discover this little known aspect of the property’s history, as well as the site’s wider history through a tour of the mansion and its expansive grounds conducted by Jerome Lim.


Traveller Character Tours

21 May • 10:30am & 02:00pm (30min duration)

Venue: National Museum of Singapore

Fee: $8 per pax

Register HERE




Travel back to the 1920s as a character of Singapore’s thriving cosmopolitan port city — exploring business opportunities, touring the streets, or simply just seeking a new life. You will even get the chance to step into the shoes of a wealthy investor as a merchant  invites you to invest in Singapore.


Jalan Bahar Clay Studios Open House: Reconnect with Clay, Dragon Kiln and Nature! [FREE!]

21 - 22, 28 - 29 May • 11:00am - 04:00pm

Venue: Jalan Bahar Clay Studios (97L Lor Tawas, Singapore 639824)

Fee: FREE



Explore on your own the Dragon Kiln and Ceramic Gallery located within the Jalan Bahar Clay Studio and discover the rich history of the longest existing dragon kiln in Singapore.


NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED FOR THESE PROGRAMMES!


Ride & Discover [FREE!]

Somerset: 28 April – 25 May

Clementi: 28 April – 25 May

Bayfront: 5 May – 1 June

Kent Ridge: 28 April – 25 May



Did you know that there was once a zoo in Punggol? Also, do you know which hotel in Singapore was once a court venue for war crimes trials in the post-World War II period? Hop on board a train and embark on a learning journey to uncover the lesser-known facts surrounding Singapore’s travel and tourism, and natural heritage such as the Goodwood Park and Singapore Zoo through Singapore HeritageFest (SHF) 2022's Ride & Discover programme – a content series which reimagines MRT stations as exhibition spaces.


Homeground [FREE!]

29 Apr – 5 Jun 2022 • National Museum of Singapore's Opening Hours

Venue: Stamford Gallery, National Museum of Singapore

Fee: FREE


The Singapore HeritageFest presents Homeground – a life-sized installation that explores the intersections of the festival’s two themes of travel / tourism and natural heritage.



Reflecting on the simple joys of travelling, the installation features a life-sized train inspired by the Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) train that used to run from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. It also features video content of how the former railway line has now been transformed into a Railway Corridor – a corridor where community nodes are established and for communities to appreciate our nation’s rich and diverse natural heritage. Homeground will also feature drop-in activity and content by students from the NAFA Youth Panel.


Definitely an Insta-worthy spot!


Merli-Go-Round to Singapore HeritageFest [FREE!]

2 - 29 May • Flexible Timings


The Merlion turns 50 this year! As part of our celebrations, you are invited to join him on an adventure through some of Singapore’s most storied precincts and uncover hidden tales of Singapore’s colourful history and heritage. The “Merli-Go-Round to Singapore HeritageFest” game, housed within STB’s VisitSingapore App, invites you to Chinatown, Kampong Gelam, Katong-Joo Chiat and Little India to meet and snap a picture with Merli and share your photo memories by tagging STB and SHF’s social platforms. Participate in activities located around the cultural precincts and win limited edition Merli merchandise!



1. Merli-Go-Round to Singapore HeritageFest game (online and on-site)


The Merli-Go-Round game will feature products and experiences in Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Gelam, and Katong-Joo Chiat. Connect with Merli as you discover precinct facts and enjoy experiences and offerings across retail, dining, tours, and attractions. Participants who complete their quests in at least two precincts can redeem Merli merchandise from the following venues, using coins accumulated through the game:


Chinatown: 20 Trengganu Street, #03-01, Singapore (Hotel 1888)

Kampong Gelam: 55 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199471 (CUBE Boutique Capsule)

Katong-Joo Chiat: 111 East Coast Road, Singapore 428801 (Rumah Kim Choo)

Little India: 5 Campbell Lane, Singapore 209924 (Indian Heritage Centre)



2. Weekends with Merli


Stand to win even more exclusive Merli merchandise through limited-time Merli-Go-Round game activations in Little India and Chinatown. Visitors can take their chances at a special Merli claw machine and Spin-the-Wheel game, enjoy films featuring Merli and friends, or take Instagram-worthy images with Merli at the Indian Heritage Centre or Chinatown Street Market on these dates:

7-8 May 2022 | 14-15 May 2022 | 21-22 May 2022 | 28-29 May 2022


3. Spot the Merli

Can’t get enough of Merli? Try and spot Merli across different places of interest in our various cultural precincts! Go on a hunt to collect more coins and snap pictures with precinct-themed Merlis across Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Gelam and Katong-Joo Chiat, to increase your chances of winning Merli merchandise such as plushies and notebooks.


Re-live the Memories of Sentosa Cable Car [FREE!]

2 - 29 May • During Mount Faber Opening Hours

Venue: Mount Faber Peak

Fee: FREE


Have you seen Singapore’s first-generation cable car cabin launched in 1974? Or been on board the special edition glass bottom cabin, which was installed in 1999 to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Singapore Cable Car?



On display at Mount Faber Peak: a first-generation cabin launched in 1974 and a special edition glass-bottom cabin which was installed in 1999 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Singapore Cable Car. Learn more about the history of Mount Faber and the historical sites surrounding the foothill, from the pictorial storyboard at Mount Faber Peak. Re-live and recreate new memories when you snap a photo of yourself and your family with the heritage cable car cabins.



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Apr 1, 2022

St James Power Station Re-opens with a FREE Heritage Trail & Gallery for All!

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The restoration of St James Power Station is finally complete and with it, comes the launch of the St James Power Station Heritage Trail and Gallery! Both the trail and gallery are FREE for everyone to visit so it's a new place to explore in Singapore with the family.



The Heritage Trail is located OUTSIDE of St James Power Station so it is openly accessible to all at any time of the day.



The Heritage Gallery is an indoor exhibition and is also free to access. However, advanced booking of tickets (and time slot) is compulsory.



Here's what to expect of the new St James Power Station Heritage Trail and Gallery:


Credit: Mapletree Investments 

St James Power Station Heritage Trail


Gazetted as a National Monument in 2009, St James Power Station was a coal-fired power station built by the British between 1924 and 1927. The power station was decommissioned in 1976 as it was unable to meet Singapore’s rising demand for electrical power.


Checkpoint 1: NEW HARBOUR AND SURROUNDS


Start the Heritage Trail at VivoCity's Lobby F, Level 2. This is where the overhead bridge connects VivoCity to the other side of the road where St James Power Station is located.



As one walks through the linkway, take time to read the many information panels that have been put up which narrates the history of the Keppel area, especially how the power station got its name.



In the 1900's, Cape St James was situated between Blangah Bay and Sibet Bay and consisted of a small hill with a land connector leading to the main island.


Initially, the cape was known as Tanjong Aur. It was later named Cape St James after James Guthrie, the founder of Guthrie and Co, who leased the land from the Temenggong to build his house.


In 1924, Cape St James was acquired by the colonial government to construct St James Power Station, the first municipal major power station in Singapore. The site of St James Power Station was chosen for its strategic seafront location. 


The seawater provided an unlimited supply of cool water for condensing purposes during the power generation process. After the hilly terrain was flattened, the site allowed for ample land for expansion purposes and was easily accessed by road.



Checkpoint 2: GLOBAL NETWORKS - HARPOON, ANCHOR & STONE POSTS


As one descends the linkway via the escalator, you will see three installations located right in front of the power station.



HARPOON



Commercial whaling was common in the mid-19th century and was historically associated with Imperial Russia and later Soviet Russia. This harpoon gun was mounted on a ship named 'Voskhititel'nyy' translated from Russian as ‘delightful’. The ship was in commission from 1962, and belonged to a Russian whaling fleet called 'Sovetskaya Rossiya'. The fleet would often dock in Singapore during its expeditions to the Indian Ocean.


Whaling eventually declined in the 1970s due to its controversy. The harpoon gun was gifted in 1974 to the Maritime Museum before 'Voskhititel'nyy' went out of commission in 1980.


ANCHOR



Standing nearly two metres high, this anchor was commonly used in vessels in the 20th century. Its cylindrical shank (instead of the usual sharp-edged shanks) differentiates this model from other anchors. Refined from earlier anchor designs, Hall's stockless anchor became the model for the modern anchors to come and continues to be used today.


Stone Posts  



These two stone posts have stood at the boundary of the P&O wharf since the 1850s. The P&O wharf was built at the New Harbour, where its deep-water conditions were ideal for the significantly larger steamships. The wharf likely stood in place until the Singapore Harbour Board bought it in 1926. In 1977, the land was used to build the World Trade Centre, later renamed HarbourFront Centre.


Checkpoint 3: HISTORIC MILD STEEL WINDOWS


Walk towards the main road (West Coast Highway) to find these towering steel windows.



The façades of St James Power Station feature tall mild steel windows with green glazing. The lofty windows resemble those of cathedral buildings, bathing the interiors with a soft, diffused light. The signature green tint is characteristic of early glass windows, a popular material of the 1920s, which reduces glare from the harsh tropical sunlight.



The facades of St James Power Station are constructed of a self-supporting brick envelope in fair-faced finish. The word 'Alexandra' is imprinted on the bricks, indicating that they were sourced locally from Alexandra Brickworks. Established in 1899, Alexandra Brickworks was the first modern brickyard in Singapore, located at Pair Panjang.



Checkpoint 4: TANJONG PAGAR GATEPOSTS


Make a U-turn and head towards Sentosa. Walk past the harpoon and anchor, and you will come face to face with two gate posts.



These two cast-iron gate posts possibly date back to 1864, when they marked the entrance to ‘Victoria Dock’, owned by the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company. By 1913, the colonial government had taken control of the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company. 


They established the Singapore Harbour Board, which was eventually replaced by the Port of Singapore Authority. The gate posts have remained in place, witnessing more than a century of the transforming docklands.


Checkpoint 5: STEAM CRANE


If your kids love large vehicles, then this installation will definitely excite!



Located just beside the gate posts, this 10-ton Steam Crane, named Works Number 683, was made by John H. Wilson & Company of Sandhills, Liverpool. It was installed beside Albert Dock and ran along the docks on a fixed set of railway tracks.


The steam crane is composed of parts made by different companies in the UK. The railway tracks for the steam crane were supplied by the British Steel Corporation’s rail making plant in Workington. They also once provided the rails for Singapore’s MRT systems for 30-40 years. These constant upgrades have allowed the steam crane to function for more than 100 years before its decommissioning in 1983.


NOTE: Visitors are not supposed to step onto the raised platform.


St James Power Station Heritage Gallery


Once you are done with the outdoor trails, it's time to enjoy some air-conditioned comfort in the Heritage Gallery!



Remember to pre-book your entry slot BEFORE heading down as you will need to scan the QR Code in your confirmation email at the entrance to enter.



Housed in one of the power station's distinctive chimneys, the Heritage Gallery reflects Singapore's history as a trading hub, her rich heritage and progressive transformation over the years into a world-class city centre. Visitors will be treated to an immersive experience in this part of the national monument and discover the rich and fascinating history of St James Power Station and the evolution of the HarbourFront precinct. 



Power, Progress and Future



The heritage gallery narrates the practical and symbolic roles of St James Power Station over a span of nearly a century. It traces the key players and events throughout the evolution of the Harbourfront precinct from its industrial and maritime past, to the commercial and leisure hub of today.


3D Augmented Reality Model


The original commissioned interactive artwork by award-winning digital visual creative Jerome Ng Xin Hao


Use your phone to scan the QR code to bring the building to life, with animated scenes that depict the intricate systems of moving water, steam and electricity through the building's layers of complex machinery.


Alternative Futures


Singapore's next phase of power generation priorities greener energy sources such as natural gas or renewables. In line with Singapore's power generation story, the adaptive reuse and 'rebirth' of St James today as the headquarters for a leading global technology company marks a symbolic shift towards sustainable practices.



Learn more about the various power generation models and the transformation towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy use.


A Steam Power Plant



St James Power Station was outfitted with the most up-to-date steam- powered machines and it was conceived with lofty ambitions to supply electricity to the entire town and beyond. While other privately-owned electric plants were already present, none rivalled the capability and complexity of St James Power Station.



Find out more about the different parts of the power plant, its operation and mechanisms. Be fascinated by how these systems remain a testament to the steam-power generation processes of its time.


The Electric Men


The smooth operation of the power station relied heavily on the men who worked tirelessly to ensure that the machinery was well maintained. Labourers carried heavy coal to provide a steady fuel supply to the boilers, while the engineers made certain that the machines performed as they should. They had to be on alert to react any time a fault occurred. The maintenance of a power station proved to be an arduous task.



Take a deep dive into the collective memory and stories of the people involved with the power station especially the challenges faced during the post-war recovery period.


St James Power Station's West Chimney


Perhaps the greatest thrill is the opportunity to stand under one of the power station's chimney!



The west chimney was part of the restoration and refurbishment works from 2018 to 2021. Rising to a height of 32 meters, the distinctive chimney marked a significant milestone in the power station's history when it switched from steam to gas turbines to meet the growing demand for electricity during the post-war era.



The Heritage Gallery is not exactly that big to begin with, but it offers concise information of the history and workings of St James Power Station.


All in all, it's an informative place to hang out if you are in the vicinity of VivoCity or even on your way to Sentosa!


USEFUL INFORMATION


ST JAMES POWER STATION HERITAGE TRAIL & GALLERY

Address: 3 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098544

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm (Last entry at 5.30pm) | Closed on Monday

Admission Charges: FREE*

*Visitors are required to pre-book the slot online prior to their visit: PRE-BOOK LINK

**Children 13 years of age & below must be accompanied by an adult at all times in the Heritage Gallery.

How to get there: 

BUS - HarbourFront station/VivoCity Bus Stop: RWS8, 61, 855, NR1, NR6, 97, 10, 30, 30, 57, 65, 80, 97E, 100, 123M, 131, 143, 145, 166. Alight at bus stop [HarbourFront station/VivoCity]

MRT - HarbourFront MRT Station [NE1/CC29]. Take the NorthEast Line or Circle Line (NE1/CC29)

DRIVE - Parking of car/motorcycle is not available at St James Power Station. Nearest carpark is at VivoCity.

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