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All primary schools to run programme for Pri 1 pupils with social, behavioural difficulties by 2026

SINGAPORE — A new programme that helps Primary 1 pupils with behavioural or social difficulties transition to the school environment will be rolled out to all primary schools by 2026, Minister of State for Education Sun Xueling announced on Wednesday (March 3).

All primary schools to run programme for Pri 1 pupils with social, behavioural difficulties by 2026

The Transition Support for Integration (Transit) programme helps Primary 1 pupils with behavioural or social difficulties to make the transition into a school environment by learning foundational self-management skills.

SINGAPORE — A new programme that helps Primary 1 pupils with behavioural or social difficulties transition to the school environment will be rolled out to all primary schools by 2026, Minister of State for Education Sun Xueling announced on Wednesday (March 3).

Called the Transition Support for Integration (Transit) programme, it aims to help pupils develop independence by picking up foundational self-management skills based on their needs.

For instance, pupils will be guided on how to develop social and communication skills.

They will learn these skills through role play, independent practice and coaching by teachers who have been trained to conduct the specialised lessons during the pupils’ first year in primary school.

The programme was first tested in 2017 as part of a pilot programme. By the end of this year, about 40 schools would have been part of the pilot, with five to 10 Pri 1 pupils benefiting from the programme at each school yearly. 

Speaking during the debate on the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) budget, Ms Sun said that the programme was introduced as the ministry recognised that students with special needs may need further support as they transition from kindergarten to primary school.

With the programme, Pri 1 pupils should be able to learn independently in class and require only occasional help, once they reach the end of their first year in school.

The students identified for the programme need not be diagnosed with any specific condition, said MOE.

The social or behavioural difficulties that the pupils may have include difficulties paying attention or relating to their peers.

The programme is supported by allied educators overseeing learning and behavioural support.

How the programme is delivered will vary from school to school and the needs of the pupils enrolled.

In some cases, schools may choose to place all pupils on the programme in a separate class for a period.

Other schools may choose to roll out the curriculum through a combination of individual sessions away from a pupil’s classroom and providing extra guidance when the pupil returns to his or her class.

MOE said that most of the pupils identified for Transit so far have graduated from the year-long programme.

Some, however, have more needs and the year-long intervention may not suffice to help them develop the capabilities to integrate into their new school environment.

In these cases, schools will work with parents to transfer their children to a special-needs school that can provide the pupils with a more conducive learning environment.

To support teachers in the roll-out of the Transit programme, MOE will put them through professional development courses so that they can learn to craft self-management teaching plans, develop intervention plans and classroom strategies as well as closely monitor pupils’ progress.

These courses will also equip teachers with the tools to support other pupils with special needs.

Related topics

Budget 2021 MOE education behavioural difficulties allied educator

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