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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long is the programme? 5 weeks. Some may wish it were longer, others may think 5 weeks is too long. We feel it is the right length of time to be challenging and rewarding for the age of the students who will go on the programme. 

  1. When will it take place? What are the dates of the programme? The goal is for the first programme to take place in Term 3 2025. In the following academic year 2025-26, there will be four 5-week programmes scheduled throughout the year for students to choose from. 

  1. Australia has a seasonal climate. How will this affect the programme when students go at different times of the year? The climate will affect the types of outdoor activities the students will do. Activities will be modified based on the weather. Walking and camping will be central activities, but different tracks, for example, would be utilized depending on the season. 

  1. Is it mandatory? The first programme in Term 3 2025 will be optional. The following year it will be a mandatory programme for all Year 9 students (exceptions may be granted in unusual circumstances).  

  1. How much does it cost? We anticipate that the cost for the Year 9 programme will be approximately $7,500. However, we expect the total incremental cost to be much lower (approximately $2000) as the school modifies and reduces trip costs in Year 8 and Year 10. 

  1. Are there any additional or hidden costs? Flights, insurance, uniform, equipment, etc.? Flights are included in the fee. There will be additional expenses for kit, but the amount is uncertain at this time. The school will aim keep these expenses reasonable. 

  1. Why is it in Australia? Multiple locations in Asia were considered. Ultimately Australia was chosen based on the quality of the site, availability of high-quality staff for these types of programmes, access to medical facilities, legal/fiduciary reasons and proximity to Singapore.

  1. What is each day like? The specific timetable is being developed. It will be very different to typical days at Tanglin in Singapore. While there will still be a focus on structured academics, there will also be unstructured time to foster self-management skills. More time will be given to outdoor activities. There will also be jobs for students to complete. There will be service-learning opportunities as well as CCAs. 

  1. What will students do on the weekends? Weekends or ‘days off’ will primarily be reserved for outdoor activities. Students’ days off will not be on the actual weekends, but instead will be mid-week allowing students to use sites off campus when there is less demand from the general public. 

  1. What is the specific Highlands Programme academic curriculum? While the curriculum will continue to focus on the 3-14 Tanglin curriculum, it will be adapted to the location. The programme will include experiential learning opportunities like field work, academic trips or ecological studies. 

  1. How will they keep up with their ‘normal’ subjects at Tanglin? The academic programme will be developed to teach core subjects in person at Gippsland and other elective subjects, like modern foreign languages, will be taught on-line by their teachers in Singapore. 

  1. Will there be CCAs? Yes. These are being developed; we expect to offer a range of recreational and social activities. 

  1. What is the outdoor programme? The specific programme is still being developed. It will consist of a combination of regular physical routines to build fitness supplemented with outdoor activities like hiking and camping. It will culminate in a Rite of Passage activity in which students will be challenged to apply the skills they have learned and reflect on what they have achieved. 

  1. What about Pastoral care? Relationships between students are a natural part of growing up. A residential environment allows greater exploration of relationships. This therefore becomes a natural point of conversation with tutors in the House. There are always guidelines/ rules surrounding interaction between students. There will be appropriate guidelines in place surrounding being alone with others and there will be ongoing reminders about what is appropriate and what is not. These issues have been considered in our work with the architects. We intentionally have established 2 common rooms. One for males, one for females. These areas have a large central space between which is a gathering point and during the day and with staff in the environment, students can move freely between the zones. After dinner and prep, however, as we head towards quiet time, these zones will be gender based and this affords students a level of comfort that is not always possible in a Co-educational setting. 

  1. What is accommodation like? There will be two main student dorms – one for boys and one for girls. Each dorm will include 8 bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms. Each bedroom will contain four beds (two bunkbeds). There will be a common room in each dorm as well as a laundry room. There will be staff residences attached to the dorms. 

  1. What about food? Meals will be prepared by food service professionals. In addition, we intend to have students involved in the planning, cooking and preparing some meals. We also expect our students to grow fruit and vegetables and be involved in looking after chickens, etc. 

  1. How will dietary restrictions and food allergies be handled? Information collated by the Pastoral/medical team at Tanglin will be shared with the catering/medical & pastoral teams at Gippsland so students are catered for. 

  1. What do students need to pack/bring to Gippsland? A recommended packing list will be provided closer to the date of the programme. 

  1. Is any specific equipment needed? Where do I buy it? Most Some items appropriate to this setting will be required. Some equipment will be provided on site at Gippsland when students arrive. Other items, like hiking boots, should be pre-purchased and brought to campus. Full gear lists with instructions will be provided. 

  1. Are mobile phones/devices allowed? Students are allowed to bring their mobile phones to Gippsland, however the phones will be held by the school and given to students for periodic calls home. 

  1. Are visits allowed? Visits during student programmes are not allowed. We are considering parent and family use of the facility at other times of the year. This is something we will assess once the facility is fully operational. 

  1. How will you handle conflicts, discipline and behaviour? The campus will have a behaviour policy that all staff and students will be made aware of. The policy will be very similar to the policy at Tanglin in that we want all members of the school community to treat each other with respect and dignity. We believe that everyone is entitled to live, learn and work in a secure, supportive environment, and will not condone or tolerate any action that undermines anyone’s right to feel safe and respected as a valued member of the community. 

  1. What precautions will be taken for bush fires? The Gippsland team will be in close contact with the County Fire Authority. Our crisis management plan will be developed with local authorities and there will be local and school-based support. All procedures will be regularly reviewed with authorities.  

  1. What’s the safety and health protocol? What are the medical facilities? Medical facilities are critical to any residential programme. A nurse will be on site and a purposely designed facility with isolation rooms, and appropriate workstations for nurses will support the well-being of our students and staff. 

  1. What will you do if there is an accident? It is inevitable that students will have injuries. These will be treated by first responders. Each of our staff will undertake first aid training and the Head of Campus is a trained paramedic. They will be supported by a nurse and a local community health facility. We are yet to determine whether we will have a medical doctor attend consultations on site or whether we will take children to a practice nearby. There are excellent facilities for serious medical support at Tarragon or Latrobe Valley Hospital just 45 minutes away. Staff will ensure that parents are informed immediately regarding any injuries and open dialogue will be available with appropriate staff members to monitor and support each child's recovery. 

  1. How is student medication handled? It will be monitored and dispensed by the on-site nurse. 

  1. Who are the Gippsland staff? Do they go through all the same checks and training as regular Tanglin staff? The process surrounding the appointment of staff at Tanglin Gippsland is managed by the HR department and Senior School leadership team. These are the people currently responsible for the appointment of all staff at Tanglin. There will be no change in our processes. If anything, there will be greater rigour attached to the process, given the fact that staff will live with young people. The Australian system of safeguarding is extremely rigorous, even more so than the UK and Singapore. Child Safety Qualifications are required in all Australian schools, and we will certainly ensure the very best staff are chosen to work with Tanglin Gippsland students. 

  1. Will we meet the Gippsland staff? Yes. We will want Gippsland staff to meet with students, parents and current teachers on a regular basis to understand each individual and be able to ensure they are knowledgeable about each young person and provide an appropriate level of challenge and support for each individual. The staff at Tanglin Gippsland will visit the Singapore campus frequently. 

  1. Will Tanglin faculty teach the Highlands Programme? Teachers at Gippsland will be hired by Tanglin, as such they will be Tanglin faculty.  

  1. How should I prepare my child for this programme? There are a few things you could do to help prepare your child for the Highlands Programme. 1) Arrange for your child to spend nights away from home if they have not done so before. 2) Try to build physical fitness. 3) Have conversations with your child about the programme; promote the positive aspects and acknowledge the potentially challenging aspects. Tanglin’s Year 8 trip will also help students develop skills for the Highlands Programme.   

  1. What about students who are in Y10-Y13? Will they get to experience Gippsland? We are exploring options for other year groups to experience Gippsland. 

  1. Does the acquisition of the Gippsland campus change Tanglin’s charitable status? The constitution of the school was modified with our regulators to allow us to establish and run Gippsland. This modification does not change the school’s charitable status. Tanglin remains a not-for-profit school. 

More Questions?

If you like to find out more about Tanglin's Senior School or the Tanglin Highlands programme  feel free to reach out to our Admissions team.