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 to children who also have Autism (ASD), aged between 7 and 21 years.
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. The PVA programme has since become a signature programme for the school. 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 also learn to appreciate performances and art work done by others.
In 2005, the school moved to its current building at Simei. The school building was officially opened by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, then Minister for Education.
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.
In 2013, the new extension block became operational. It is a 5-storey block with training facilities to cater to the needs of the Autism, MID and Vocational programmes. 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 entering full time ITE Nitec courses.
Our second batch of graduates from the 4 Module ISC course in 2015, we have 6 students entering full time ITE Nitec courses and 1 student entering traineeship Nitec courses.
The school has also 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.
The school is privileged to be part of the pilot School-to-Work (S2W) Transition Programme since 2014 which aims to provide support to students as they move towards open employment. The programme offers customised training pathways and work options for students who may not benefit from the existing national vocational certification programmes. 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 will undergo vocational skills training, such as WSQ modules, Food and Hygiene courses, etc. and job trials and on-the-job training.
Metta School started a new programme – Community Connect programme in 2015. The programme aims to allow our student 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.
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 through the use of 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 Tier 2 ICT funding. The VR technology was made available on a weekly basis to students to allow them to practise the travelling skills on a regular basis. These weekly practises 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.
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.
At the SPED Conference 2018, Science Learning @ Metta School won the Innovation Commendation Award. 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.