Autumn 2020: What’s New in Singapore’s Schools?

The latest news from international schools in Singapore for the autumn term 2020-21: Movers and shakers, changes to Covid-19 requirements, and the UNICEF Rights Respecting School Awards...
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This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19

All children below the age of six are no longer legally required to wear masks; the cut-off age was previously two years old. The Ministry of Health has relaxed the guidelines on masks as the government starts to ease safe distancing rules and allow more activities to resume.

However, the ministry's director of medical services Kenneth Mak said:

"To protect young children from Covid-19, we continue to encourage young children to wear a mask or a face shield, especially if they are in a group setting, for example, in pre-school or when they are in social activities interacting with other kids."

Many pre-schools are continuing to enforce the mask rule for its youngest students. At Etonhouse International Pre-schools, for example, all children aged two and above will "continue to wear masks or face shields".

Children's Rights Award for Tanglin

Tanglin Trust School has been awarded UNICEF's Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA): Gold for their Junior School, which focuses on promoting children's rights within a school. The award is reported to have a positive impact on relationships and well-being, and help improve student behaviour and reduce bullying at schools across the UK. Tanglin is the first school in Asia, and outside the UK, to receive this award.

Tanglin’s RRSA coordinator, Cameron Davidson said: “The RRSA initiative is an excellent framework for educating children on their rights. The award provides so many relevant learning opportunities, sparks interest in global issues and, most importantly, empowers children to enjoy and exercise their rights; lead happy, healthy lives; and be responsible, active citizens.

“Achieving Gold: Rights Respecting shows we are committed to promoting children's rights and encouraging adults, children and young people to respect the rights of others. It also provides limitless links within the curriculum, current affairs as well as world events. For example, linking RRSA to: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, World Religion Day, and Autism Awareness Day, to name but a few.”

Principals: Movers and shakers

Christopher Quinn has joined EtonHouse International School (Orchard) as principal. Quinn is an experienced British educator who has worked in schools across the UK, Tanzania, the Bahamas and the US; he took over the position from founding principal Alec Jiggins in August 2020.

Born and raised in the North of England, Quinn has worked in schools in the Manchester area, later holding the positions of faculty team leader and vice principal at a charter school focused on STEM education; he is currently a member of accreditation teams for both WASC and NEASC. 

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