Special Education Services

MINDS sets up four Special Education Schools (SPED schools) in different parts of Singapore to cater to the special educational needs of our children. MINDS firmly believes that children with intellectual disability possess the capacity to learn and to develop their potential to become contributing members of society.

Our four SPED schools offer three programmes – Junior, Senior and Special Programmes. The Special Programme is developed for pupils who have challenging behaviours or additional concerns that may impact their learning ability.


Vision, Mission & Values

Vision: School of Excellence Where Every Individual Matters
Misson: To provide a vibrant learning environment that inspires students towards independence and integration into society

Our Five Core Values form the acronym SMILE

S - Strength of Character
M - Mutual Respect and Understanding
I - Integrity
L - Lifelong Learning
E - Excellence

Strength of Character, we strive
Striving for fortitude to do right in big and small things, every time

Mutual Respect and Understanding, we value
Recognizing the value of every individual as being unique and special

Integrity, we believe
Upholding integrity as a value in our thoughts, words and actions

Lifelong Learning, we embrace
Learning new skills and embracing new experiences for an enriching life

Excellence, we aspire
Striving for and giving of our best with passion and commitment

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PROGRAMMES

Junior Programme (7 to 12 years old)
The Junior programme further expands the skills taught in the pre-school programme. Language development includes vocabulary building, speech, reading and writing. Basic money and time skills are introduced to the pupils. At this level pupils are taught to recognise the various coins and notes and tell time by the hour or half-hour. These skills equip pupils with basic foundation in independence and employment skills.

In this programme, there is less emphasis on self-help skills compared to the pre-schoolers. Very often, the learning of self-help skills is incorporated into other activities. For example, a pupil practices on his/her dressing skill when he/she changes from school uniform to P.E. attire and vice-versa.

Housecraft skills are also taught and these include cutting soft food, peeling, washing, cleaning, boiling, spreading etc. Pupils are taught to make a simple meal, such as sandwich, for themselves.

At this level, pupils are also encouraged to share and learn together. The teacher facilitates this in classroom activities by pairing up pupils of different ability. Through cooperative learning and peer tutoring the pupils learn from one another.

Arts & crafts, music, P.E. and swimming activities are included to provide the pupils with leisure skills and enjoyment

Senior Programme (13 to 18 years old)
During this stage of the pupils' education, the programme focuses on imparting employment and vocational skills. The pupils are challenged to complete tasks independently and to make decisions, as well as to solve problems.

In preparation for employment, appropriate social behaviours and work attitudes are taught to the pupils. Weekly travelling lessons allow the teachers to supervise their pupils' social behaviour. During the outing, pupils have the opportunities to learn how to make purchases at supermarkets or hawker centers and travel by public transport. The teaching of critical skills for employment, such as social, money and time skills, are intensified to ensure that pupils are well prepared before they graduate at the age of 18. Other independent living skills include housecraft skills, such as food preparation, housekeeping, laundry and cleaning skills. Leisure skills, such as games, music and craftwork, are also incorporated into the programme to ensure that the pupils enjoy a balance lifestyle.

In essence, the Senior programme prepares the pupils to lead an independent life, as well as to equip them with skills for employment after graduation.

Special Programme (7 to 18 years old)
The Special programme caters to the educational needs of the low ability pupils. Each pupil requires a tremendous amount of individual attention - as such the pupil to teacher ratio is small. The programme emphasises the learning of basic independent living skills such as toileting, dressing, feeding and grooming skills. The learning of independent living skill is reinforced and complemented by other subjects such as physical education and housecraft lessons. Arts & crafts, swimming and music & movement activities provide further cognitive and physical stimulation for the pupils.

The pupils in this programme are encouraged to express themselves using various forms of expressive language such as signs and pictures. Verbal and visual prompts are used to enhance the learning of the pupils.

Despite the pupil's low level of functioning, the individual attention given to each pupil bears steady and positive results.

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ADMISSION

Parents who consider sending their child to MINDS schools can bring their child to any of the following for an assessment on their suitability for MINDS' services.

  1. Child Development Unit
    Podium 1
    KK Women's and Children Hospital
    100 Bukit Timah Road
    Singapore 229899
    Tel: 6294 4050, Fax: 6394 1700

  2. The Children's Specialist Clinic
    Clinic A, Main Building, Level 1
    National University Hospital
    5 Lower Kent Ridge Road
    Singapore 119074
    Tel: 6772 5502, Fax: 6772 2102

  3. Child Guidance Clinic
    Health Promotion Board
    3 Second Hospital Avenue, #03-01
    Singapore 168937
    Tel: 6435 3878, Fax: 6534 3677

  4. JCU Psychologist Clinic (Bukit Merah area)
    Tel: 6377 6825, Fax 6272 7255
    (Please note that you may have to leave a voice message as the clinic only opens on certain days of the week)

If they are suitable, the clinics and/or parents will prepare a referral. Fill in the SPED application form, prepare the medical and psychological reports, and send them directly to MINDS HQ. We will then process the applications and disseminate the referral to the school nearest to the applicant. Thereafter, the social worker at the school will follow up with admissions interviews.

The Clinics will provide the following:

  1. SPED Application Form
  2. Medical Report
  3. Psychological Report

Guidelines for information to be included in a Psychological Report

  • Full / Global scale scores & subtest scores (if possible)
  • Social adaptive functioning scores
  • Information of any previous test(s) administered
  • Reasons for referral
  • Behaviour during testing & behaviour with family (if possible)
  • Recommendations for child

Admissions Criteria
MINDS Special Schools provide special education to children with intellectual disability, aged 7 to 18 years. Admission is open to any child with intellectual disability who has at least one parent who is,

  1. A Singaporean OR A Permanent Resident OR
  2. An Employment Pass Holder OR A Three-year Permit Holder (Admission is subjected to approval from the Ministry of Education.)

The Clinics listed here will assist to assess the suitability of the child. Admission into MINDS Special Schools is also subjected to the availability of vacancies.

Our School Fees
Our school fees amount to $14 per month
($10 for school fees and $4 for supplementary fees)

Our School Hours
All our MINDS schools operate two sessions – morning and afternoon sessions. The school terms and vacations are in accordance to the school terms and vacations of MOE primary schools.

Lunch is not provided, but the children are provided with snacks.

Any Other Information
Due to the special needs of our pupils, each MINDS school is equipped with physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists. However, for a more intensive one to one service, parents may wish to obtain the services from external sources.

Upon the admission of their kids, our schools can help to link the parents to existing bus operators. However, this will be a private arrangement between the parents and the bus operators.

Note: Should the parents/caregivers wish to find out more information, they may speak with the respective school's social worker.

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CURRICULUM

Curriculum Objectives

MINDS curriculum aims to:

  • Inculcate in our pupils a set of values that will enable them to make wise decisions amidst the vast array of choices and to lead righteous lives;

  • Impart skills needed for in dependent living and/or employment; and

  • Nurture them to quest for knowledge to explore interests, to continually improve themselves and to stay resourceful.
Our curriculum upholds the principle belief that the person with special needs has his/her own unique strengths and weaknesses and is capable of learning and developing at individual pace at different stages of growth. It also recognises that the person with special needs by his/her birthright is part of a community which helps to nurture him/her and within which he/she will realise his dreams and fulfillment as a person.

Hence, our curriculum guiding principles as reflected in our Curriculum Model adopts a pupil/person-centered approach that begins with the unique qualities and abilities of the learner. Through the provision of a wealth of values, knowledge, skills and experiences in relation to quality community living, the learner is nurtured and groomed to take his rightful place as a member of his society.

CDU Model & Approach

Design concept of Curriculum Model

Innermost blue circles depict the belief of MINDS that all learners are distinctive individuals. Blue signifies the worth and latent potential of every learner.

Yellow is akin to the radiance of the sun that illuminates the brilliance of the mind. It denotes the pride MINDS takes in optimizing the learning potential and quality of life of our learners through holistic educational approach and also the joy of working closely with stakeholders.

Gradation of colour, a darker shade in the center to the lighter one at the outer rim, connotes not only the diminishing dependencies of our learners but also the gradual immersion and integration into society.

Concentric circles denote the approach and the rippling effect of the educational system MINDS adopts; to affect learners and society alike so that everyone learns to embrace differences and celebrate diversity.


Curriculum Model approach

Learner-Centeredness

Learning begins with the person. Every person is unique in his/her talents and deserves the same respect and rights as any other person. MINDS recognizes the varying learning needs, abilities and interests of person with special needs and firmly believes that each and everyone of them possesses the capacity to learn and should be given the opportunities to optimize their learning potential.

Domains of Learning

MINDS curriculum comprises the three domains Competencies, Citizenship, and Forte.

Competencies are standards of requirement for an individual to properly perform a task. It encompasses a combination of knowledge, skills and values used to improve performance. It marks the ability to perform a task adequately and beyond.

The domain Competencies focuses on equipping learners with the functional skills for independent living and maximum participation in society for the present and the future. The skills include literacy and numeracy skills, information and communication skills, knowledge acquisition, problem solving, and application skills.

Citizenship refers to the state of being and accepting the responsibilities of a citizen. Responsibilities of citizenship include abiding by laws enacted by one's country, participating in improving the quality of life, respecting the rights of others, and exerting one's rights.

The domain Citizenship aims to inculcate in our learners sound moral principles and civic-mindedness to develop them into caring and socially responsible citizens.

Forte refers to an individual's strongest talent or greatest strength.

The domain Forte is to assist our learners to maximize their potential and attain a life of quality.

Our curriculum is designed for the above three domains of learning to be taught through the following subjects: English Language, Mathematics, Health Education, Social Competence, Domestic Science, General Science, Physical Education, Social Studies, Information and Communication Technology, Pre-vocational Training, Art and Crafts, and Music and Movement.


Curriculum structure

Learning ability of every individual and age-appropriateness are the two key factors in the design of our curriculum to bring out the learners’ potential greatness.

Every individual grows and learns at different rates. The syllabuses for subjects in Table 1 are organized in progressive proficiency levels, Level I to V, so that learners achieve mastery in each level before they move onto the next level. Teaching is contingent on their learning ability and pace.

Table 1
Subjects
Proficiency
 
I
II
III
IV
V
English Language      
Information and Communication Technology      
Mathematics      
Physical Education      
*Pre-vocational Training      
*Subject is available to students in Senior program in 2 levels only

 

At the same time, directions for growth are ensured through developmentally appropriate learning content. The contents in subjects listed in Table 2 are organized to cater to learners at different age groups. In this way, learners will be able to mature through relevant and age-appropriate experiences.

Table 2
Subjects
Grade
 
G1
G2
G3
G4
G5
Art & Crafts (4-6yr) (7-9yr) (10-12yr) (13-15yr) (16-18yr)
Domestic Science      
Mathematics      
Health Education      
*Music and Movement      
Social Competence          
Social Studies          
*General Science          
* Students in Grade 5 are not required to take up these subjects


Summative Desired Outcomes Subjects by Proficiency

Summative Desired Outcomes – Subjects by Grade


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