Equipped for Life: Lifeskills Programme at Tanglin

Equipped for Life: Lifeskills Programme at Tanglin
Equipped for Life: Lifeskills Programme at Tanglin

By Clare Butler, Head of Lifeskills

I often reflect on how fortunate I am to be part of a school that has such a holistic approach to its students' learning. Lifeskills at Tanglin continues to go from strength to strength, with dedicated teaching groups across all years in the Senior School.

In the first week of term our Year 8 students competed in the Hotel Challenge, a competition run in collaboration between Lifeskills and Business Studies. Each class designed a new, themed hotel for Singapore in their Lifeskills lessons, learning about different business concepts including the marketing mix, pricing strategies and SWOT analysis. Each team presented their design in class and a winner was selected from each form group. Our finalists then presented their designs to our Grand Final Judges: Tanglin's CEO Craig Considine; Ashleigh Garside, General Manager of Holiday Inn Express Serangoon; and Frank Foster, General Manager of Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre. The judging team challenged the students to answer a range of interesting questions and awarded the winning team a High Tea at the Ritz Carlton!

In Year 7, students are further developing independence and new skills this term with their Self-Learning Project, which requires them to make or learn something new. Clay monsters, cross stitch, magic tricks, nail art, calligraphy and sign language are just some of the activities students have chosen.

Revision skills have been the focus of Year 9 Lifeskills lessons this term, in preparation for upcoming tests, and Year 10 have started their Practical Carousel today, learning cooking, Ikea furniture building, first aid, yoga, touch typing, current affairs, ironing and self-defence.

Year 11 students have just finished their Relationships and Sex Education unit on pregnancy and fertility, and Year 12 are in the middle of their carousel, covering topics such as dancing, breast and testicular cancer self-examination, car care, camp cookery and university and careers-focused activities.

In addition to the comprehensive Lifeskills programme, our Pastoral teams have also held several special focus weeks this year, including Internet Safety Week, Year 9 Charity Week, and Mental Health Week. Alongside this, University Counsellors are working closely with Sixth Form students as they finalise university offers and prepare for the transition, Year 11 as they navigate their future pathways, and Year 10 as they finalise their plans for Work Experience Week.

Lifeskills at Tanglin covers a broad range of not only practical skills but also behavioural skills and issues, such as consent, risky behaviour, diversity and inclusion. Our curriculum is centered on positive education principles; children are taught valuable skills that help strengthen relationships, build positive emotions and encourage self-care, accomplishment and purpose. Subject matter progresses through the year groups to support children in becoming independent citizens who will make a positive contribution to the world ahead of them.

The new Gate C building will have a full floor dedicated to Lifeskills, including a large kitchen for teaching cookery to whole classes of students. Tanglin's focus on the whole child is evident in activities happening in classrooms across the school every day.

- Article by Clare Butler, Head of Lifeskills at Tanglin