Paying it Forward – Sri Emas Style Part III

In what seemed like the blink of an eye, our current Pay it Forward project in the Year 11 August intake has run its course, with the final lesson happening two weeks ago. For those who haven’t had the chance to read this blog regularly, you can find quick recaps of what’s been happening with this project throughout last year here and here, from the January and August intakes, respectively.

In a nutshell, the project focuses on our students sprinkling a little bit of kindness, that magical bit of stardust we could all use a lot more of, around school. Without fail, it’s always a highlight for everyone involved. In this year’s case it was teaching our fantastic janitorial staff English once a week, and it all culminated in a treasure hunt around the school incorporating the words learned throughout the classes.

Here are some snapshots of the day:

First, a little recap of vocabulary and useful phrases…

The idea behind the treasure hunt was to get their ‘students’ to try to find various items they might encounter, or be asked about on any given day at work here. Things such as old newspapers, cardboard etc. were scattered around the campus and all instructions and items in the game centred in on the vocabulary our students taught their charges in the preceding weeks. Sounds easy enough but with little to no exposure to a language, it can get tricky. That being said, our cleaners passed all tasks with flying colours and with big smiles all around.

In groups of two, things started to get competitive and it became a race to finish first – just how all good treasure hunts should!

More than just getting the answers right on this day, the project turned out to be a whole lot bigger than a few English lessons on the fly. It offered a somewhat unexpected opportunity to form meaningful connections and bonds with people whom you might not engage with much otherwise. When our students realised that some of their ‘students’ actually live streamed the lessons and treasure hunt for their families back home to follow, it made for some serious perspective. Remember that magical stardust we spoke of earlier? Yup, that’s it right there. In fact, enough of it to make it seem to our students as though someone was chopping onions nearby…

It goes to show that it really only takes very little to make a big difference, and that’s what our Pay it Forward project is all about. Hats off to all our participating students and our amazing cleaning staff! The effort and drive on both sides throughout this project was a privilege to watch and be a part of. As this one has come to an end, we’re already looking forward to what the next group of Year 11’s will come up with!

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in seeing the many innovative ways in how we teach our students vital skills like having empathy toward others, being a good problem solver and being able to make connections across complex ideas, give us a call at +603 7865 5787 or drop us a line at

We’d be happy to take you for a tour and if you’re really keen about joining, you could always make use of our free 3 day trial classes!