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TANGLIN TRUST SCHOOL SENIOR SCHOOL FOCUS: IB DIPLOMA AND A-LEVEL PATHWAY OPTIONS

By ITS EDUCATION ASIA


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Tanglin Trust School has over 89 years experience of providing a British-based education to the international community in Singapore. In March 2015, the school will be celebrating 90 -years in delivering a reputable British education to expatriate children. The school provides a unique learning environment for over 2,700 children from Nursery right through to Sixth Form (Year 12 and 13). Tanglin is a non-profit company limited by guarantee and is registered as an educational charity. It is dependent on school-fee income and all revenue is devoted to the provision of education.

Curriculum -  Tanglin Senior School and Sixth Form

Tanglin’s academic traditions and approach to teaching are firmly grounded in an enhanced and rigorous English National Curriculum, however, there are many aspects of school life that have a global focus and are contextualised to the school’s location in South East Asia and its multi-national student community, representing over 50 nationalities.

 

Tanglin’s Senior School (Years 7 to 13) which includes Sixth Form (Years 12 & 13) provides a progressive, student-led learning environment where each student has the opportunity to discover and develop their unique identity, talents and interests. Committed teachers ensure that every student is given the guidance and encouragement to achieve to the very best of their ability, both inside and outside the classroom.

Tanglin’s Senior School strives to create a culture where curiosity is nurtured and where student success is driven by a sense of genuine engagement with learning. It is important to the school that its students have a sense of humility through exposure to a diversity of human experience leading them to want to make a difference, to act creatively and to think critically. Tanglin aims for every individual to be respected, known and cared for within its community.



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Dual Pathway Option at Sixth Form

Tanglin is unique amongst international schools in Singapore in offering both A Levels and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Sixth Form, both of which yield consistently outstanding academic results to complement its excellent results at (I)GCSE. In summary, whilst A Levels facilitate intensive, specialist study of, usually, four subjects. The IB offers a broad, balanced programme of study across six subjects; three at higher level, three at standard level.

 

Deciding which pathway to follow is a detailed process, which starts as early as Year 9 when teachers start to discuss student attributes, potential career paths and further education options. Scrutinising the different appeal of both pathways becomes more intensive from the start of Year 11. In helping students make the decision about which pathway to follow, Tanglin teachers take on a mixed role, which encompasses being a tutor, mentor, counselor and careers advisor for students and, sometimes, parents too.

As each student is individual, a fundamental part of the process at Tanglin is the many conversations between student, parent and school; and teachers use their professional experience to steer students in the direction they feel is most appropriate for each individual to be successful and happy on their course. The current Sixth Form students also give their own unique perspective on each pathway to their younger peers.

“For me, personal engagement with those teaching and doing the A-Level course helped me chose which subjects to take. Having the current Sixth Form students talk to us about different subjects and answer any questions we had was really useful as we got a first-hand description of the courses.” Year 11 student

 

“We were given a lot of information by teachers and in assemblies which was helpful. I also found it useful to talk to a few of the students. I chose IB because it is keeping my options open.” Year 11 student

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Tanglin Learner Profile

Whilst academic achievement is important, it is often those skills and values which are less easy to measure that will help someone fulfil their potential. The skills and values Tanglin considers important for personal development are outlined in the Tanglin Learner Profile, a set of attributes and values that it encourages the whole community – students, staff and parents – to adopt. Inspired by the International Baccalaureate Organisation Learner Profile, these qualities are firmly embedded in learning and behaviour across all three schools. Students regularly consider the attributes of the Learner Profile and have a genuine understanding of each of the qualities.

Pastoral Care


Tanglin prides itself on the exceptional care, guidance and support it gives its students. Inspectors described the school’s pastoral care as “outstanding” and “a never before seen model.” In addition to the high level of support during pathway decisions, each student is assigned a tutor who is their first point of contact for daily advice or support. Heads and Assistant Heads of Year provide additional support and subject teachers also assist in making sure each student achieves to the best of his or her ability.

Regular assemblies explore themes relating to personal development, including curiosity, humility and community, the values that embody the ethos of the Senior School. In addition, the school’s excellent team of counsellors and nurses can help with and advise students and parents on specific challenges or issues that may arise.

“The excellent teaching, underpinned by an imaginative, engaging and challenging curriculum, enables students to make excellent progress, whatever their starting points. The curriculum makes an essential and highly effective impact on students’ outstanding spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Students’ exemplary behaviour, positive attitudes and thirst for learning are also pivotal factors in the school’s continuing success.”  BSO Report, 2014

As Tanglin moves forward in the next two years, it is clear from the work of Professor Guy Claxton (widely acknowledged as the UK’s leading expert on building learning power) and Lynne Erickson (an expert on curriculum development) in the US, that the key to genuine lifelong learning and improving the human capacity to flourish lies in moving well beyond the prescriptive boundaries of an examination course or a particular assessment target.  World-class schools today foster cross-curricular concepts, skills based approaches and the sustained stimulation of engrained ‘habits of mind’. Tanglin is fortunate to be able to draw from the best practices of the International Baccalaureate Organisation along with innovations from a number of other touch points in the UK, and elsewhere, to ensure that its initiatives are appropriate for its community and are tried, tested and effective.

“High-quality teaching across the board, together with students’ well-established learning skills, means that students make rapid progress in almost all lessons. Teachers’ deep subject knowledge, imaginative strategies and consummate classroom skills are not only evident in the four key subjects inspected but also in other subjects.” BSO Report, 2014

For further information on Tanglin Trust, visit: www.tts.edu.sg


Canadian International School
Dulwich College Singapore

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

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