Maitri School, a new Special Needs Education school, set up by Metta Welfare Association envisions for the students to lead independent and meaningful lives. Our students will be equipped with skills for daily living, emotional management and regulation, as well as vocational skills.
The school will serve students with moderate to severe autism from 7 to 18 years old, with priority given to Singapore Citizens. It has a total school capacity of 300. With effect from 2021, the school will offer 25 places per year in our M1 classes which serve children aged 7. As of 2023, we have classes, M1 to M3, for students aged 7 to 9 respectively.
The new school building will be located at Pasir Ris and is estimated to be ready in the year 2028. In the interim, all classes are held within the premises of Metta Welfare Association and Metta School which are co-located at Simei.
We believe that all children on the autism spectrum are unique and their needs are different from each other. They have unique talents as well.
We believe that all children can learn, we have to design programme/interventions to equip them with the necessary knowledge, skills and attributes; so that they are empowered to take care of themselves and earn their own keep.
The subjects offered for the young students entering Maitri Programme are:
- Functional Literacy & Communication
- Functional Numeracy
- Personal Management
- Social Emotional Learning
- Home Living & Home Economics
- Adapted Physical Education
- Performing & Visual Arts
5. 居家生活与 家政
Literacy, Communication and Numeracy are important building blocks to learning, living working, and accessing to services. The curriculum will be spaced appropriately with students placed in the appropriate modules. The baseline will be for students to acquire money skills and time management skills when they graduate from the school.
In the area of Literacy and Communications, it will include learning of Picture Exchange Communications System (PECS) and other assistive devices for the students who are non-verbal. The means to communicate is critical to students in the Maitri Programme, to reduce frustration and promote understanding and connection with others.
Social-Emotional Learning refers to acquiring a set of skills necessary to handle self and relationships. Students with Autism has deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts.
Students with Autism exhibits challenging behaviours mainly because they struggle to understand what is happening around them or struggle to communicate about their emotional and physical needs; or when they have sensory overload including unable to cope with being in an unfamiliar situations or events. It is important that they learn self-regulation, behaviour self-management, and social skills.
Independent Living Skills
Independent Living Skills includes practical skills required to care for oneself, and function safety and meaningfully in the community. The skills include self-care when they are younger, followed by Home Living and extend to Community Living and travelling skills when they are older. Health & fitness, Aesthetics development will also be good platform for the students to develop interest for leisure activities.
Communications and Social Skills are the most fundamental since communication is the foundation of all human relationships. This is also an area of deficit for students with Autism, and a significant portion of the curriculum will be devoted to training the students on communication and social skills.
The aim is for the students to acquire the ability to learn so that they can become self-directed and life-long learners.