Arrival Timefrom 8.15 to 8.30am – Students arrive via bus, car, taxi or on foot. They will put their lunches away, and their water bottles in the assigned classroom spot, and hang their bags in their assigned positions.
Morning Activity until 8.30am – To help the students regulate and settle into their day, they will be asked to engage in morning play, puzzles, Montessori style activities, reading or maths games until Circle/Welcome time. The teachers will engage with them, asking about their evening and encouraging good social skills.
Circle Time / Welcome Time – 8.30am – The classes greet one another and orient themselves to the day, date and weather conditions; as well as their schedule for the day. Many students have individual schedules to help reduce anxiety and aid them to manage their day better.
English Lessons – MSIS uses the Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar programs to teach phonics, but also incorporates sight words and memorization at times when it is most appropriate. Language is a very important life skill and we focus on English Speaking and Listening as well as Reading and Writing, as to have independence later in life, they will have to have a firm grasp of these skills.
PE/Outdoor Play – Play is very important for children, and not only teaches them much, but helps to wire their brains for future activities and learning. Our students use a perceptual motor program, to give the student a healthy amount of physical exercise, but also stimulation for their brains. We work to provide all the input they need to develop body awareness, directional awareness, spatial awareness, temporal awareness, visual awareness, vestibular awareness, auditory awareness, tactile awareness and proprioceptive awareness, needed to wire their brains for movement and learning.
Snack Time – 10 am – all students at MSIS have morning snack time. We do not have our own cafeteria, but encourage healthy snacks brought from home or ordered by our food provider The New Luncher https://thenewluncher.com/en-sg/ . The New Luncher also provides healthy lunches for our students who choose to sign up for the program. Afternoon snacks are enjoyed by our two youngest groups to help them get through the ride home and to dinner time with their families.
Maths Lessons – Our students focus on functional maths skills to use in the real world. We use the Growing with Maths series, as well as the Money Matters program to maximize their individual maths skills to help them function and thrive in the world outside the school. We work to maximize their potential and give them real life skills in this subject.
Life-Skills – In a constantly changing environment, having life skills is an essential part of being able to meet the challenges of everyday life. To cope with the increasing pace and change of modern life, students need new life skills such as the ability to deal with stress and frustration. We practice life skills daily, to help the child gain confidence and independence in their lives. The goal would be to have them meet most of their daily needs themselves, rather than to rely on a carer if possible.
Gym Activities – We have access to a large gym, with PT and OT equipment, tumbling mats, a climbing area, circular swing, Kloudsacs, yoga/warmup area, indoor trampoline and ball pool. Our students benefit from 45 to 60 minutes of Gym time every day. Half of that time is occupied in structured games and lessons, teaching specific perceptual motor skills, social skills, fair play etc. We also give time for free play to each child, to explore the areas they prefer and enjoy group or solitary play as they prefer.
Art Activities – Ms Chloe works with each class as our Art Therapist. She works with each class, tailoring the actives to each groups’ fine motor, emotional and tactile needs. Our teachers also carry on art lessons another 2-3 times per week, with projects related to the Term Theme; for example, Social Justice, The Environment, Identity and Self, as well as holidays such as Christmas and Chinese New Year.
Social Skills – Social skills are very important for our students, as due to their very nature, they struggle with social cues, boundaries and with regulating their emotions. At MSIS we work daily on strengthening the children’s social skills. Without strong social skills, having strong academics will not be enough for the children to become successful adults and fit into the community. The older classes participate in Boys Group and Girls Group. In these groups we explore topics regarding puberty, boundaries, personal safety and respect of others. We work to help our students understand the different between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour as well as to communicate with one another as a means of understanding, being understood and learning empathy.
VPA – The Visual and Performing Arts: Music, Dance, Drama, Art and Drumming are all programs at MSIS, taught by specialists. Each specialist comes in on their day of the week and teaches a lesson pertaining to their area of expertise. The classroom teachers participate and carry that lesson on through the rest of the week. The following week the specialists will carry on the lesson, or make needed changes. By using The Collaborative Method, we are able to not only gain from the expertise of our specialists, but they impart that knowledge to our classroom teachers who can use it on a daily basis.
Swimming – Each of our classes has a 30 minute lesson at Swish Swimming, just across the carpark from our building. At Swish, they focus on Water Safety, Comfort and Confidence in the water, and Aquatic Skills. The classes are divided up and the lessons are focused on these areas each week. Swimming lessons not only help our students to be safe in and around the water, but helps to grow their confidence as they gain skills.
Collaborative Therapies at MSIS – We have an Occupational Therapist, Paediatric Physiotherapist and Speech and Language Therapist at MSIS. Our therapists use the collaborative method, spending time in each class once per week, giving the classroom teachers strategies and supports with the class in general. They can also make evaluations of which students would benefit from, or who absolutely needs 1:1 therapy. With their expertise, we can offer our students general assistance within the normal fee structure, as well as 1:1 therapy to address more serious issues for an additional cost.
Learning Support – At MSIS we have a 1:4 ratio of teacher to students in the classroom. This means that when a lesson would be best taught in smaller groups, rather than in one large group, we can divide the students in to small groupings of high achievers, average and below average. As our classrooms are never homogeneous, this helps by making the students in each group at similar levels, and the lesson can apply to each child, without boring any, or leaving someone behind. If we have a student who stands out either by being much ahead or behind his classmates in one area or another, we can also have a pull-out session with one or more students from another class to allow them to benefit from a more homogeneous grouping. Again, this helps us to meet the child where they are at in this one area, while meeting their other needs by being in their assigned classrooms.