History and Background
Metta School was established in 2001 by Metta Welfare Association with the support of Ministry of Education (MOE) and National Council of Social Service (NCSS). The school began its operations at a holding site at Chai Chee Lane. The school offers special education to children with Mild Intellectual Disability (MID) and some co-occurring with Autism (ASD), aged between 7 and 21 years.
慈光学校于2001年获教育部以及国家福利理事会支持，由慈光福利协会于菜市巷（Chai Chee Lane) 设立校舍。学校专为年龄介于7岁至21岁的轻度智障或轻度自闭症学生而设。
Metta School started the Performing and Visual Arts Programme (PVA) in 2003, to allow students to experience and develop interest and enjoyment in their own creativity and that of others. Consisting of Chinese Orchestra, Angklung, Dance, Wushu, Pottery, Batik, Mosaic art etc., the PVA programme had since become the school’s signature programme.
The students will explore, acquire and develop skills needed in the area of performing arts and visual arts. They learn to communicate their feelings, thoughts and ideas through art and learn to appreciate performances and artwork done by others.
In 2005, with the growing enrolment and staff population (395 students and 60 staff members), the school moved to its current premises in Simei Street 1. The six-storey purpose-built building, which housed both the school and Metta HQ. The school was officially opened on 27th May 2005, by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, then Minister for Education.
In his opening address, Mr Tharman commended the school’s successful integration of students with mild intellectual disability and those with mild autism. “Metta is a good example of a school that has embraced innovation, while building on its traditions,” he said. “It has adopted inventive approaches to educating its children, while preserving an environment of love and care.”
Above: A photo montage of then Minister of Education, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, taking in the sights and sounds during his tour around Metta School Building.
In 2008, the school piloted the Vocational Certification programme for its students, as well as graduates from other Special Schools, at the age of 17 and above. The school attained the Approved Training Centre status to conduct the Institute of Technical Education Skills Certificate (ISC) training in Baking, Food Preparation, and Housekeeping Operation for its students, supported by qualified trainers and job coaches.
A new block was constructed to provide the necessary facilities for students’ training, especially in the Vocational Certification Track. The block was operational in January 2013. It is a 5-storey block with training facilities to cater to the needs of the Autism, MID and Vocational programmes.
In April 2013, the official opening of the new block marked a significant milestone in the history of Metta School.
In the same year, the school embarked on 2 new ISCs (4 Module ISC) that will provide better opportunities for our students to continue their education at Institute of Technical Education (ITE). ISC in Baking Practices and ISC in Hospitality Services graduates with Workplace Literacy (WPL) Level 5 and Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5 and above may apply for progression to National ITE Certificate (NITEC) in Baking & Pastry and Food & Beverages offered by ITE.
We are proud to share that our first batch of graduates from the 4 Module ISC courses in 2014, we have 2 students admitted to full time ITE Nitec courses. Our second batch of graduates from the 4 Module ISC courses in 2015, we have 6 students entering full time ITE Nitec courses and 1 student entering traineeship Nitec courses. Subsequently, we have more graduates admitted to ITE Nitec courses.
学校很高兴地分享，2014届的4单元课程的第一批毕业生当中，已经有两名学生成功被录取修读国家工教局证书 (Nitec) 全日制课程。
Metta School started training senior students in the ASD programme with basic work skills of packing and sorting. The school partnered Steril Medical Private Limited to provide work attachment opportunities for work ready students with ASD in 2014. Since then, we expanded to seek opportunities for our students with other industrial partners.
慈光学校开始为患有自闭症的高年级学生进行就业前的培训，让学生具备包装和分类的基本工作技能。2014年，学校与Steril Medical Private Limited合作，为患有自闭症的学生提供实习机会。从那时起，我们与其他行业合作伙伴一起合作，继续为学生寻找就业机会。
Metta School is privileged to be part of the School-to-Work (S2W) Transition Programme since 2014 which aims to provide support to students as they move towards open employment. An Employment Pathway Programme (EPP) is put in place since 2015 for students who are not on the Vocational Certification track, to transit from school to work upon graduation at age 18. It includes the students from MID programme and ASD programme. Students undergo vocational skills training, such as WSQ modules, Food and Hygiene courses, etc. and job trials and on-the-job training.
慈光学校非常荣幸在2014年能参与由教育部(MOE)和社会及家庭发展部(MSF)开展的“学校到职场过渡计划（S2W Transition Programme）”，这一项计划协助特需学生做就业准备。2015年，学校开设了就业途径计划（EPP课程）。为期两年制的非职业证书途径课程，专为17岁至18岁学生而设，旨在提供工作试用和体验的机会，提高毕业后的工作能力及机会。 学生接受职业技能培训，如新技能资格（WSQ）课程、食品与卫生课程、在职试验和在职培训。
Metta School started a new programme – Community Connect programme in 2015. The programme aims to allow our students to integrate into the community and to promote independence. There are opportunities for the students to participate in mainstream community activities, sometimes with the help of adult mentors; and this also enhances students’ communication skills and life-skills. Community Connect has since become the CCA for the Employment Pathway Programme and the 4 Module ISC Certification Programme students.
慈光学校于2015年为就业途径计划 (EPP课程) 学生设立社区联系活动，作为他们的课程辅助活动。这些活动让学生有机会参与社区活动。这也提高了学生的沟通技巧和生活技能，让学生有机会建立和维持良好的人际关系，并展现适当的社交行为。
In 2016, to enable our students to lead an independent life through acquisition of daily living skills, Metta School seeks to enhance the students’ travelling skills using virtual reality (VR) technology. The programme comprised of three modules- Road Safety, Taking the Bus and Taking the MRT. This programme is made possible with the funding support from Tote Board and MOE ICT funding. The technology was made available for students to practice travelling skills. These practices proved to be complementary to the school’s monthly social competence outings whereby students will get to navigate real-world conditions such as taking the MRT or crossing the road.
2016年，慈光学校通过使用虚拟现实技术来提高学生的生活技能。这项计划包含三个模块 – 道路安全，乘坐公交和乘坐地铁。该计划是马博彩管理局（Tote Board）和MOE ICT的资助下，该计划才得以实现。
At the SPED Conference 2016, the school’s project “Centre of Excellence for Health & Fitness (MID)” received the MOE-NCSS INNOVATION AWARD 2016. This award recognizes the school’s efforts in developing a culture of innovation through the implementing of innovative practices that nurture the development of students. The school receives a trophy, a certificate and $5000 to enhance quality of teaching and learning in the school.
在2016年的特殊教育会议（SPED Conference）, 慈光学校的“健康与健身卓越中心（MID）”项目获得了2016年教育部-国家福利理事会创新奖。奖项肯定了学校通过实施可促进学生发展创新的努力。学校获得了奖杯，证书和$5000的奖金以提高学校的教学质量。
In 2017, our pair of twins, Jovin Ong and Jovan Ong were recipients of the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew Exemplary Student Award. This award affirms the resilience and hard work of students from our 20 government-funded special education schools, who have risen above the odds to be exemplary role models.
双胞胎兄弟Jovin Ong和 Jovan Ong很荣幸获得2017年李光耀模范学生奖的殊荣。此奖项是为了表彰他们在学术、职业、体育和艺术领域的努力和出色的成绩价值，以及对学校社区及其他地区的贡献。 在2017年的颁奖典礼上，两位学生都感到很荣幸接受了该奖项。这确实是他们生命中一个宝贵难忘的时刻！
Jovin and Jovan joined Metta School in 2009, when they were 10 years old. Both of them exemplify our school values of compassion and resilience. They have been active members of the Metta Simba Scout Group, since they were 13. Jovin and Jovan have consistently demonstrated care and concern to members of the community, and touched the hearts of many in the school community.
十岁的Jovin 和 Jovan于2009年加入慈光学校。他们两个都体现了我们学校的价值观-慈悲之心和坚持不懈。从13岁起，他们也是很活跃的慈光 “辛巴”童子军。，Jovin和Jovan一直懂得尊重、 能与人和谐共处及关心别人。
Thereafter, 2 students were awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Exemplary Student Award each year.
2018 – Sarhan Bin Zuhir and Dowen Tan
2019 – Jocelyn Chia and Syikh Hariz
2020 – Jerica Tan and Lee Yi Xuan
2018年- Sarhan Bin Zuhir 和Dowen Tan
2019年- Jocelyn Chia 和 Syikh Hariz
2020年- Jerica Tan 和 Lee Yi Xuan
At SPED Conference 2018, “Science Learning @ Metta School” received the INNOVATION AWARD 2018 – Commendation. Metta Science Curriculum was developed and concretised in 2016-2017. We believe that children are naturally curious about themselves and the environment around them. Learning science will help our students develop an appreciation and understanding of themselves and the world that they live in.
在2018年的特殊教育会议（SPED Conference）上，慈光学校的“科学学习@慈光学校”项目获得了创新-表彰奖。学校在2016年至2017年设计了科学课程。 我们相信孩子们会对自己和周围的环境感到好奇。学习科学将帮助学生对自己和他们所生活的世界有更深一层的理解。
On 18 November 2019, MOE announced that Metta is setting up another Special Education School, Maitri School (in Sanskrit means Loving Kindness), 慈明学校, to provide education for students with Moderate to Severe Special Education Needs who have Autism Spectrum Disorder and co-occurring with Intellectual Disability.
在2019年11月18日，教育部宣布慈光将兴建第二所特别教育学校，慈明学校（Maitri School， 在梵语中意味着“慈爱”），为有中度至重度特殊教育需要的自闭症及智障学生提供教育。
Maitri School will be located at Pasir Ris Street 51. The new building for Maitri School is anticipated to be ready in the year 2024. Maitri school programme however will start in 2021, as one of the programme under Metta School, and the students will be housed in the current Metta School and Metta Welfare Association building at Simei Street 1.
In 2020, “Project Starfish” received the MOE-NCSS INNOVATION AWARD 2020. Project Starfish promotes a healthy lifestyle in students through a strong partnership between Adapted Physical Education teachers, trainers and parents.
“Accessing Health Care Services – Visiting Clinic” received the MOE-NCSS INNOVATION AWARD 2020 – Commendation. The school uses a simulated learning environment created by virtual reality technology for students to learn to manage their medical needs by learning symptoms of illnesses and how to visit the clinic to get medical help.
“获得医疗保健服务 – 来访诊所” 获得了国家福利理事会创新奖-表彰。项目使用由虚拟现实技术创建的模拟学习环境，让学生通过学习疾病的症状以及如何去诊所获得医疗帮助来学习管理医疗需求。
On 01 January 2021, the school attained the status of Approved Training Centre from ITE to conduct ITE Skills Certificate in Residential Air-conditioning. We are proud to offer this new ISC course for our students in the V Programme, making it the 6th ISC course that Metta School offers. We have 8 students in this first batch, and we look forward to seeing them being successful at completing the course, and to eventually pursue related Nitec courses or gain employment.
2021年1月1日，学校获得工艺教育学院培训中心的资格，以进行工艺教育学院技能-冷气清洗及维修服务证书课程。 我们很高兴能为职业(V) 课程的学生提供这一项新的课程，这是学校提供的第六个工艺教育学院技能课程。第一批学生共8名，我们期待看到他们成功完成课程，并最终得以到工艺教育学院继续升学或获得就业。