Inclusive & SEN Schools in Singapore

Which specialist and mainstream international schools offer the very best SEN, differentiated or inclusive education for children aged three to 18 years?
Inclusive & SEN Schools in Singapore
By Carli Allan
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Melbourne Specialist International School (MSIS)

Curriculum: Bespoke, based on Australian Curriculum
Enrolment: Nursery to Grade 10 (four to 16 years)
Number of students: 60
Fees: $24,042 for Pre-K up to $30,053 for Pathways Year 3 (10-13 years)
Facilities: Gymnasium, dance/music studio, sensory retreat and outdoor play area.
Admission criteria: A school visit and interview
Teacher-student ratios: 1:4

Melbourne Specialist International School (MSIS) is a school for students with special needs where visual arts and a performing arts programme take centre stage. This all-through school for children aged three to 18 years offers an alternative to mainstream education and is designed for students with a variety of learning disorders, as well as physical disabilities.

Founded in 2014, MSIS is a small school of just 60 students, class sizes are restricted to 12, and teacher to student ratios are a low 1:4, which you would expect at an SEN school. Teaching is delivered by a team of classroom teachers, specialist teachers in dance, music, art, and drama, and therapists including occupational, art, music, and speech therapists, plus physios and psychologists. Every student is given an individual learning programs that focuses on their specific needs.

MSIS follows the Victorian Curriculum Framework for foundation years through to Year 10. This is an Australian curriculum that enables teachers to identify a student’s current levels of achievement, and then deliver teaching and learning programmes to support progression in their learning. It has a reputation in Australia for supporting a diversity of learners, ranging from students with disabilities and additional learning needs to those who are gifted and talented.

A typical day would cover English, maths, art, outdoor play and PE, social and life skills, and the performing arts. There are also swim lessons held at a nearby swimming pool, and weekly therapy sessions in the class with the option of 1:1 therapy if required.

Centrally located in Loewen Gardens near Dempsey Hill, MSIS is a small, single-storey building with basic facilities including a gymnasium, dance/music studio, sensory retreat and outdoor play area.

The founder of MSIS, Jayne Nadarajoo, has recently opened the Guild International College, Singapore's first inclusive arts and trade-based school for students aged 16-25 years. The school offers a Transition Programme to prepare students independent living as adults as well as ASDAN (Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network) programmes and qualifications that focus on learning skills related to work and independent living.

Read the full review of Melbourne Specialist International School (MSIS) here.

Student at the new Guild International College 

Guild International College

Curriculum: ASDAN UK and Arts and Trade course Curriculum
Enrolment: 16-25 years
Number of students: 150
Fees: $32,000
Facilities: Woodworking workshop, DJ studio, culinary studio, podcast studio, filmmaking & photography studio, café for pre-vocational training, gym & fitness centre, concert hall
Admission criteria: A school visit and interview
Teacher-student ratios: 1:4

Next: The Winstedt School (TWS)

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