Thursday 4 April 2024

DSA for secondary schools - To apply, or not?

What is Direct School Admission (DSA-Sec)?

Primary 6 students seeking admission to certain secondary schools based on their talent in sports, Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) and specific academic areas. 

When many asked if we would DSA (Direct School Admission) our daughter 3 years ago, during her P6 year, I replied, 'maybe Not' or 'Unlikely'. She was, and is still doing Rhythmic gymnastics. When it was during the DSA period in May, I did so for the daughter! I've learnt to not leave out this option especially when it's a sport they are determined to commit through the next 4 years in secondary. 

Last year, when friends asked if we would DSA the son, I took on a less humble opinion that we will go for it. We were determined to do so for a few reasons:

Peace of mind
I will not deny that having a DSA spot secured gives a peace of mind. Not that your child does not have to work hard, but stress level can be largely reduced. 

School Choices
It doesn't have to be the top school choices, but we had wanted one that the son will thrive and possibly do well in a not too bad secondary school.

Inconsistent academics
The son demonstrated very inconsistent results in his p5 and p6 years. I got worried, and felt that a DSA offer would relieve us much. That being said, do assess your child's academic ability, and plan to DSA into the schools that matches his/her caliber. 

Secondary CCA option
CCA options in secondary is not as liberal as it is in primary school. The number of intake for each sport is capped at a firm number in many schools. They do not take in recreational players. That is, schools only have the resources and vacancies for competitive players, with NSG (National School Games) in mind. With this in place, it's only natural that the team begins their selection of team members during DSA. Any leftover spots, if any, will be opened to students who trialed for the CCA during school's CCA trial week. 

Here's our story with the son. 
We applied to 3 schools, went for 3 trials, did 2 interviews, but was offered 0. One school even took the approach to text us on our interest level before an interview came up. That was when we felt hope. But after all the interviews closed, we heard through the grapevine that spots for most schools have been verbally offered. We received no phone call. I continued holding onto hope until the written confirmations came. That was when we knew we had zero offer confirmed. I was disheartened, but not devastated. Perhaps, we were not well prep enough during the interview. Wait, how did it feel like I'm the one going through these?! I mean of course, DSA is just another role in the PSLE journey, all is not done deal if no offer comes. One day, while driving, God comforted me. He reminded me about on holding onto faith and hope until the very end, and that it's not the end. But... "that was the end." I debated within.

Of course, I told the son, not that he's not a good player, but that badminton is an extremely competitive sport with better players out there. Let me front you this, badminton is an extremely popular sport for DSA. But if that is what your child loves, so be it and trial for it! Passion over everything else. 

Here's the sequel. The day he received his PSLE results, he did better than we all expected! Which means, he had a wider school options than we had initially narrowed. We shortlisted listed schools that offer badminton as CCA, as well as, finding out if they have allocated vacancies for talents who did not DSA. We knew this meant a chance, even if it was a very slim one. We managed our expectations while firming on our first school choice. That year, many schools' cut off points were adjusted down, a lower AL score was required for most schools. It wasn't one we expected, but we're glad to be allocated the first school choice.  

Photo credit: Singapore Swimming Club
During the first parents meet session in school earlier this year, we were informed that badminton had 7 spots. And through word of mouth, the son found out that there were only 2 spots given to talented students during the trial. Possibly the DSA spots offered, but not taken. My heart sank. I mean if my son was that talented, he would have been accepted through DSA. Ironically, this is the school that he didn't make it through, to the interview. 

In the name of hope and determination, he went for the trial. And of course, you should cast the net wider by going for other CCA trials, which he did. Lo and behold, he made it through the trial and was shortlisted to join their team! It was a smashing journey to emerge as top 2 among the 70 students whom came for trial. We celebrated and learnt the true meaning of holding onto faith and hope till the very end. We're very thankful for this ordeal and the son had learnt so much through it.
And of course, how he ranks among those who have gotten in via DSA, or whether he eventually gets to play at the NSG (National School Games) will be another story to tell. There are two levels in C division games, secondary 1 and 2. In the game of badminton, the whole of C division requires only 7 players. Which translates that, there will definitely be some as reserves sitting by the bench. This is one that parents need to manage expectations on. 

So, to DSA or not? I will say unless you are ready to not get your most desired CCA, you should give it a go! And of course, one should know what DSA entails, as well as the commitment involved once accepted.

To all P6-ers this year, all the best in your DSA decision and journey! 

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Deer Placenta

Like placenta from other mammals, is the organ that develops during pregnancy to provide oxygen and nutrients to the growing fetus and remove waste products. It is expelled from the mother's body after birth. In some cultures, particularly in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and alternative health practices, deer placenta has been used for various purposes, including its purported medicinal benefits. 

Interestingly enough, deer placenta has become a delicacy that most people want to try out. But the real question is, why? The deer placenta is coupled with several health benefits, making it a craved nutrient. Some benefits include:

1. Nutrient Content: Deer placenta contains various nutrients, including proteins, vitamins, and minerals, which could potentially provide nutritional support.

2. Hormonal Support: Some proponents claim that deer placenta may help balance hormones, particularly in women, which could potentially aid in reproductive health and menopausal symptoms.

3. Skin Health: Some cosmetic products incorporate deer placenta extract, suggesting benefits for skin health, such as reducing wrinkles, improving skin elasticity, and promoting a more youthful appearance.

4. Immune Support: There are claims that deer placenta might support the immune system.

5. Anti-aging Properties: Similar to claims about skin health, some proponents suggest that deer placenta may have anti-aging properties, potentially due to its purported ability to promote cell regeneration and repair.

6. General Health and Vitality: Advocates of deer placenta claim that it can enhance overall health and vitality, potentially improving energy levels and reducing fatigue.


Deer Placenta

Look out for this Deer Placenta Prestige, placenta of deer when you buy supplements online at Nano Singapore. Other than deer placenta extract, it comes with

1. Grape Seed Extract
An antioxidant powerhouse, Grape Seed Extract is the guardian of your natural beauty. 

Protective Antioxidant: Helps defend against environmental stressors that affect skin health. 
Youthful Radiance: Supports the maintenance of skin elasticity and vibrancy.
Circulatory Ally: Promotes healthy blood flow, essential for energized and vibrant living.
2. Vitamin C
The quintessential supporter of immune and skin health, Vitamin Cis a cornerstone of vitality.

Immune Optimizer: Essential for a robust immune response, keeping you resilient

Collagen Companion: Plays a pivotal role in collagen synthesis for supple, youthful skin

Antioxidant Proficiency: Offers protection against oxidative stress, enhancing skin and overall health


3. Vitamin B2

A catalyst for energy, Vitamin B2 is the spark that ignites your inner vitality

Energy Metabolism: Crucial for breaking down nutrients into energy, fueling your day

Skin Nourishment: Contributes to the maintenance of healthy skin, complementing its natural radiance

Cellular Function: Supports cellular energy production, vital for overall health and vigor



The mineral that maintains your body's perfect balance, Potassium is essential for holistic well-being

Electrolyte Balance: Helps regulate fluid balance, a key factor in cellular function and health

Muscle Function: Supports normal muscle function, crucial for daily activity and energy

Heart Health Ally: Plays a role in maintaining a healthy heart rhythm, supporting your active lifestyle

So, would you try deer placenta? I gave it a go!


Disclaimer: Paid collaboration

Wednesday 13 March 2024

Joint Wellness Supplement

Weak joints can be caused by aging, injury, obesity or even poor body posture. Other than engaging in  appropriate exercises, we can consider joint-friendly supplements. Here's one, glucosamine sulfate supplements from where I usually buy supplements online, Nano Singapore. It contains 8 active ingredients for the musculoskeletal system, supporting the health and function of joints. They promote joint health, reduce inflammation, and support cartilage repair. Formulated in Singapore with all natural ingredients. 


Joint Wellness Formula by Nano Singapore

Apart from weak joints, arthritis is one of the leading cause of disability in the US and the world. And the most common forms of arthritis are:

A Joint’s cartilage is damaged by wear and tear from daily activities and movement. Enough damage can result in bone grinding directly on bone, causing pain and restricted movement. 
Risks: Obesity, Age, history of joint injury
Rheumatoid Arthritis
The body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, causing it to become inflamed and swell. The diseases process can eventually destroy cartilage and bone within the joint.
Risks: Family history, age and gender (women more likely)

The ingredients found in this Joint Wellness Formula are:

Glucosamine: A natural compound found in the body, particularly in cartilage. It helps to build and repair cartilage, and may reduce joint pain and inflammation.

Chondroitin: Another natural compound found in cartilage. It is often combined with glucosamine in supplements and has similar benefits in supporting joint health and reducing inflammation.

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane): A compound found naturally in plants and animals. It helps to reduce inflammation and support joint health by promoting the formation of connective tissue, collagen, ligaments and tendons. Alleviates pain too.

Boswellia: A herb that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat inflammatory conditions. It may help reduce joint pain and improve mobility.

Boron: Contributes to bone health by promoting the absorption and utilization of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. It also helps enhance bone density and strength.

Quercetin: Enhances bone quality and improves bond health. 

Bromelain: A protein-digesting enzyme mixture derived from the stem, fruit, and juice of the pineapple plant. It is also used as a digestive aid, for osteoarthritis, and to reduce soreness in aching muscles.

Methionine: Improves bone building and strength.

As we age, the tissue in our joints degenerates. Our body needs more of the joint’s building locks such as glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM to Rrenew and replace what is damaged. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, a balanced and nutritious diet, and proper weight management is also essential for overall joint health.

By incorporating these strategies into our lifestyles, we can promote joint wellness and maintain healthy, pain-free joints as we age. Do remember too, to always stay hydrated. It is important for maintaining the lubrication and shock absorption properties of joint fluid. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep joints well-hydrated and functioning properly. 

Remember that consistency is key, and small lifestyle changes and health regime can have a significant impact on joint health over time.


Disclaimer: Paid collaboration