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Special Education Schools in Singapore


There are multiple schools that offer special education to children in Singapore – both government-funded and private ones. Scattered across the island, such schools include Pathlight School and Grace Orchard School (Figure 1). Different schools are specially catered to the different needs of our children, hence there may be specific entry requirements for each school.

​Schools focused on children with autism

Schools that offer autism programmes

Eden School St. Andrew’s Mission School AWWA School @ Bedok

Chaoyang School Tanglin School MINDS – Towner Gardens School Grace Orchard School

Figure 1: Some examples of schools in Singapore that offers special education (Special education (SPED) schools, 2023)


Based on the different needs of students, these schools may offer a different education track to ensure quality education for children with special needs. Hence, there are typically 2 different curricular types offered – Customised or National Curriculum (Support at special education (SPED) schools, 2022).


National Curriculum


Figure 2: National Curriculum Pathway (Explore your child's educational journey 2022)


This programme is offered to children with special needs who meet the cognitive capacity to cope with the demands of the national curriculum and requires additional support in their interpersonal skills. Several skill sets are crucial for children taking the national curriculum pathway, such as adequate communication, social skills, and cognitive abilities like long-term memory. These are important to ensure that the child can learn effectively, albeit with additional support provided for their learning. With additional assistance catered to the needs of the child, children taking this curriculum would be able to pursue education in mainstream secondary schools upon graduation, in consideration of their Primary School Leaving Examination results.


Schools that offer this curriculum include mainstream primary schools, Pathlight School and St. Andrew’s Mission School.


Customised Curriculum

Figure 3: Customised curriculum pathway (Explore your child's educational journey, 2022)


This programme is targeted to the special needs of the child, aiming to endow the child with practical knowledge and skills. These schools are equipped differently from mainstream schools, such as with sensory integration rooms, to encourage a more diverse system in developing a child’s innate potential. Support provided through this curriculum is also more targeted and rigorous to prepare the child with skills to be independent and productive. Furthermore, an Individualised Transition Plan (ITP) would also be co-developed with families and relevant stakeholders for the child’s livelihood after graduation.


Nonetheless, both systems are tailored to the special needs of children and would provide quality holistic education for children with autism. Varying on the level of support required by the child, special education aims to build on the child’s potential and develop their skills for the future.


Application to Special Education Schools

Parents can process their applications through an online platform, with up to 3 options for the child (Apply to a special education school, 2023). A few reports and documents would have to be prepared prior to the application process, of which some require professional assessment.


School reports are provided by educators who are familiar with the child’s needs. Medical reports are essential to supplement the application with information of medical history and diagnosis. Meanwhile, a psychological report is also important for evaluation of the child’s behaviours and cognitive assessments. Formal documents such as birth certificates and parental reports would also be required. These assessments and reports would assist in the assignment of schools by evaluating the learning capabilities and capacities of the child, hence allocating them to a school that befits their potential and supports their needs. As the assessments and preparation of documents would require some time, it is advised for consultations to be scheduled at least 6 months before application deadlines.


Written by: Valerie


References:

Apply to a special education school. MOE. (2023, January 16). Retrieved March 21, 2023, from https://www.moe.gov.sg/special-educational-needs/apply


Dietz, S. (2020). Crop kid sitting on floor and writing in notebook . Pexel. Retrieved March 11, 2023, from https://www.pexels.com/photo/crop-kid-sitting-on-floor-and-writing-in-notebook-3855553/.


Explore your child's educational journey. MOE. (2022, March 28). Retrieved March 11, 2023, from https://www.moe.gov.sg/special-educational-needs/educational-journey


Special education (SPED) schools. MOE. (2023, March 8). Retrieved March 11, 2023, from https://www.moe.gov.sg/special-educational-needs/sped-schools


Support at special education (SPED) schools. MOE. (2022, March 28). Retrieved March 11, 2023, from https://www.moe.gov.sg/special-educational-needs/school-support/sped-schools


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