The Raffles Biodiversity Pond was first conceptualized by the school in 2007 and building works started at the end of 2008. By March 2009, the pond was filled with water and the plant species were decided upon and planted around the pond.
Teachers from various units, Management and the Estate office have collaborated since the early 2008 on an educationally-rich concept of the pond. This concept would leverage much on internal ideas as well as external partners that would bring their expertise in several focus areas such as Biodiversity and Water resource.
The Raffles Biodiversity Pond serves to fulfil the following:
1. Natural Heritage Education
Enable the school community which, includes all who work and study in the school, to appreciate our Natural Heritage in the wider context through learning of the Flora and Fauna of Southeast Asia. The selection of fish species as advised from Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, NUS and further refinement in terms of Maintenance and Care of fish species as well as Educational Display from Wildlife Reserves will be instrumental in getting the students to appreciate this. Besides Natural Heritage, students will learn about ecology, biodiversity through a species-rich pond that highlights the different niches and micro-ecologies that form an ecosystem. The pond is also surrounded by a carefully selected species of plants by the Biology unit that highlight both Southeast Asian flora and plants that have strong educational attributes in terms of economic use, ethno botanical history and interesting ecology. These attributes are articulated in signages in front of the plant species.
2. Water Resource Education
Enable the school community to appreciate aquatic systems in the wider context of water relations. Water is a strategic point economically and socially and the understanding of how water drives agriculture, sustains development and how precious water is as a resource to Singapore. The pond, as a focal point, will drive the understanding of such issues.
3. Partnerships in Education
The pond gives us a platform to form symbiotic relationships with partners in education (currently Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Wildlife Reserves Singapore) to increase the educational mileage of resources within the School Environment. An ongoing effort is underway to develop partnerships with other organizations to enrich the objectives that we have stated.
4. Community Aesthetics
Serve to elevate the surrounding aesthetics of the environment that is conducive for productive learning and a sense of place for the school community.
1. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR), National University of Singapore
Dr Tan Heok Hui (Fish Scientist and Discoverer of the World’s mallest fish see link). Mr Kelvin Lim Kok Peng (Local Fish Expert and Collections Manager – Fish Amphibians and Reptiles, RMBR). The above scientists from RMBR visited our pond in January 2009 to assess the ecological suitability of the structure of the pond for fishes that are endemic to the Southeast Asian Region. Please see list of suitable Southeast Asian fish in Appendix A
2. Wildlife Reserves Singapore
The Singapore Zoological Gardens have agreed to provide their expertise on maintenance and landscaping and we also hope that through their advise we can learn how to showcase such living displays for educational purposes
List of Southeast Asian fish species proposed by Mr Kelvin Lim and Dr Tan Heok Hui, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore.
|Main display pond (with glass panel):|
|Clown Knifefish||Chitala ornata|
|Giant Goramy||Osphronemus goramy|
|Asian Arowana||Scleropages formosus|
|Lower and Upper pond:|
|Tinfoil Barb||Barbonymus schwanenfeldi|
|Bala Shark||Balantiocheilos melanopterus|
|Black Shark||Morulius chrysophekadion|
|Bony-lip Barb||Osteochilus hasseltii|
|Kissing Gourami||Helostoma temminckii|
|Apollo Shark||Luciosoma setigerum|
|Iridescent Shark||Pangasius hypophthalmus|
|Shallow pond (headwater):|
|T Barb||Puntius lateristriga|
|Tiger Barb||Puntius tetrazona|
|Pothole Rasbora||Rasbora cephalotaenia|
|Giant Scissorstail||Rasbora cuadimaculata|
|Siamese algae eater||Crossocheilus siamensis|
|Moonlight Gourami||Trichogaster microlepis|
|Climbing Perch||Anabas testudineus|
|Snakeskin Gourami||Trichogaster pectoralis|
|Three-spot Gourami||Trichogaster trichopterus|
|Black Knifefish||Notopterus notopterus|