Did you know that every student from elementary through to high school at Singapore American School has their own counsellor? We find out more about the crucial support – academic and emotional – students of all ages receive
Widely praised by parents for its personalized learning approach, Singapore American School aims to give every student full access to whatever academic and social support they need to succeed. The counselling program at SAS seeks to ensure that every student is known, cared for, and guided.
The school’s strategic focus includes every aspect of the child’s well-being with socio-emotional programs to help them develop social and emotional wellness. SAS makes every effort to support students through the major transitions that are a hallmark of young adult lives.
Teams regularly work in collaboration to review student progress via classroom assessments and standardized assessments, as well as observational data. SAS also has licensed school psychologists to ensure that all student learning needs are met.
And they don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk with a truly diverse faculty and student body and a focus on collaborative, creative, and critical thinking. SAS pupils learn how to be part of a thriving community, ready to become global citizens in their adulthood.
Counselling services are an integral part of the SAS experience. Counsellors take a proactive, child-centered, and developmental approach in working with students, parents, and teachers. Elementary counsellors teach skills for learning, empathy, emotional management and problem-solving skills. Embedded in these lessons are the five core values and the three school-wide rules. Elementary counsellors also work with students individually, in small groups as well as facilitating parent education and supporting families during times of transition.
At the elementary school level specifically, counsellors are committed to promoting the development of responsible global citizens by nurturing the academic, social, and emotional growth of all students.
In the elementary school years, students experience rapid growth and development physically, emotionally, socially, and academically. Just as students do not come to school knowing everything about reading, writing and math, the same is true for social-emotional skills. Students are supported through their development by explicitly teaching these skills (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision-making). As students move through these stages, adults help them accept increasing responsibility and engage in decision-making that sets the stage for life success. The school team rests on the collaboration of all community members: students, parents, teachers, instructional assistants, psychologists, deans, counsellors, and administrators.
During the emotionally charged middle school years, counsellors, parents, teachers, administrators, and community members come together to help students focus on the journey of transition through collaborative effort, patience, understanding, and above all, extraordinary care. Middle school counsellors coordinate this school-wide effort while offering young adolescents the skills and supports that enable them to navigate the unique and – ahem – challenging developmental issues of the middle years, including the successful exploration of interests.
And finally in high school, personal and academic counsellors advise and guide the academic, personal, and social/emotional wellbeing of students. Assigned during freshman year, personal-academic counsellors develop a personal relationship with their students in order to guide them more effectively as they navigate their teenage years. High schoolers are encouraged – and feel free – to discuss the unique academic and personal challenges they face.
Each student is also assigned a college counsellor midway through their high school career to help them think about course planning, self-reflection, and college research. In the final year of high school, students’ college counsellors support them fully through the university application process.
In addition to the counselling support, each student is assigned to an advisory group of 10 to 12 students in their first year. Led by a faculty advisor, these groups focus on social and emotional learning and cultivating relationships so that every student is known and cared for.
The goal of counselling at SAS is to create an atmosphere of trust where students feel safe to discuss a wide range of academic and personal matters, all in a setting that helps to balance the rigorous academic demands of the SAS experience. At the core of this experience, there is a desire for all kids to derive joy and purpose from their learning and social interactions. A commitment to extraordinary care is what can ensure success in achieving this goal.
Keen to know how your child can benefit from the SAS approach? Contact the team now for a tour.
Singapore American School, 40 Woodlands Street 41, Singapore 738547, Tel: (+65) 6363 3403, www.sas.edu.sg