30 June 2015


Having a long stopover in Singapore's Changi Airport gave me an opportunity to enjoy a beautiful part of God's creation. I spent quite a while in the Butterfly Garden there, and gave my camera a workout. Here are a few of the shots I took. These fragile but beautiful creatures remind me that there just has to be an amazing mind behind the natural world. No way could it just happen. God's designs are beautiful. Hope you enjoy these.

29 June 2015

A look inside the new building

Just before I headed down under I took some photos of the inside of the new building. It's looking good, but there's still quite a long way to go in some areas. We're hoping and some of us are praying that it will be ready for the start of the school year.

Clockwise from bottom left: Main staircase from the ground to first floor,
Open area on the first floor for indoor/outdoor play x 2, Internal staircase and hallway.

Some of the rooms in the new building in varying stages of progress. 

Clockwise from bottom right. Our new hall, one of the two access staircases to the new hall, another view of the new hall, one of the walkways leading from the new building to the old building.

11 June 2015

Going, going, gone!

Halfway through May, life at East-West became a little more challenging for a while. The nursery class was moved into half of the grade 1 classroom, the two pre-school classes moved into one of the kindergarten classrooms, and the two kindergarten classes shared a room for the morning sessions. Just as well they only had to do it for 17 days. At the same time the ICT room was dismantled and there was no more ICT for the rest of the year, and some music classes had to be combined as well. Wow, I think that made me appreciate being on the 4th floor in a smaller classroom!

12 days later we also lost the swimming pool (due to major maintenance being needed), lunch eating area and the PE area. Alas, that meant that lunch had to be eaten in the classrooms (smelly and a bit messy but we survived) and recess play space was even more restricted than ever before, especially if there was a PE class going on at the same time. Thankfully it was only for 12 days. We survived, and so did the kids.

Why did all that happen? Well, they need to build another building which will contain 3 classrooms and covered play area on the ground floor, a new lunch area, and new PE spaces. It will also connect the old building with the new building, reducing some of the stair climbing to get between different classrooms. However, in order to do that, our old office building, which contained the nursery, preschool, and ICT classrooms, and the weights room, needed to be demolished. Fortunately the office was able to move into the new building, and the weights room was also moved there temporarily.

Here's a picture story of the demolition process.
19 May 2015 - First the roof came off!
22 May 2015 - Then the roof frame came down.

23 May 2015 - Then the rest of the frame came down and the roof came off other areas.

28 May 2015 - All the railings are gone (you can see them on the ground in the bottom right of the photo),
 and you can see a hole where they've started knocking out the floor.

28 May 2015 - Demolition the old fashioned way, with manual labour and sledge hammers.
1 June 2015 - Slowly but surely the building is disappearing. Farewell floors, and balcony.
2 June 2015 - Continuing the slow process. This work was mostly done by hand with occasional use of a jack hammer.
0735 hrs 8 June 2015 - Time to bring in the big guns - 
1235 hrs 8 June 2015 - This was a very noisy, dusty day. Thankful to be on the fourth floor as it was loud enough up there,
1625 hrs 8 June 2015 - Going ...
1640 hrs 8 June 2015 - going ...
1310 hrs 11 June 2015 - almost gone
I was very thankful that we took all the grade 4 students to Kids City on Tuesday 9th June. Wednesday 10th June was the last day of school, and incredibly crazy so that's why there are no photos on those days.

Gone - 12.30pm 15th June 2015.

I might add that all that was separating the demolition work from the area where our children play and do PE was a very high shade cloth "fence" (you can see it in the bottom photo).
I don't think I was the only one to breathe a sigh of relief when school finished yesterday with no major accidents to any of the children.
Alas, there will be no summer school this year! There's nowhere safe to hold it.

Progress is still being made

Well progress on the new building has definitely slowed down. At the same time, progress is being made and things are looking good. The last shot I posted was 10th December 2014. I know I'm well overdue to post an update, so now that school is finished for the year, and Uni is finished for this semester, I thought I'd better get on with it. Following are a selection of snapshots taken over the past five months or so. In the next post, I'll give you a picture story of the demolition process which is making way for another new building, which will contain three classrooms on the ground floor, along with a new lunch area and new PE areas. After that I'll get some more photos of what's been happening inside the building.
30 December 2014

8 January 2015 - Classroom space and walkway to other buildings - wall still to go up.

8 January 2015 - Classroom space waiting for dividing walls

8 January 2015 - Our new hall (or part of it)

18 January 2015 - Toilet areas being walled in
24 January 2015 - Beginning to render outside of bathrooms

24 January 2015 - Close-up of rendering

31 January 2015 - Painting almost done
15 March 2015 - Scaffolding gone
15 March 2015 - From diagonally across the street

3 April 2015 - From the corner diagonally opposite the school - Note the windows are going in!
19 May - Windows in, roof off PE area

5 June 2015 - Air-conditioners starting to go in
Anyone see a problem with this photo?