Christian Education Curriculum in Singapore
TLS Academy currently uses The Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) programme, a Christian education curriculum, developed by the School of Tomorrow of the USA. The programme includes an academic course (with english, science, social studies and mathematics as the core subjects) built on a theistic philosophic foundation. The programme goes beyond simply helping students learn the academics required to enter college (i.e., grade 12 or ‘A’ level). Its purpose is to build a lifelong burning passion to learn and grow spiritually.
The programme instils Christian values into the lives of the students. The Bible principles infused into the curriculum give students insights on love, faith, authority, God’s will, dealing with people and learning to walk in wisdom and in truth.
The Accelerated Christian Education programme includes specific forms of material and format that aid the student as he develops his capacity for critical thinking throughout his school years. He is encouraged in his ability to think creatively and independently within a Biblical framework. The programme is designed to progress students through all six phases in the development of critical thinking skills: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
Accelerated Christian Education ® has taken the conventionally-styled textbook and divided it into bite-sized, achievable, work-texts called PACEs. Each PACE is similar to a unit in a textbook. Each level consists of 12 PACEs in each subject. The independent-learning activities in the PACEs are carefully designed to develop thinking skills and create mastery learning.
The core curriculum includes basic academic disciplines that focus on essential educational needs: Math, English, Literature and Creative Writing, Social Studies, Science and Word Building (spelling). Each core subject contains 156 PACEs from kindergarten through Level 12. Exceptions are math (144 PACEs), Word Building (concludes with Level 9) and Literature and Creative Writing (for Levels 2 through 8). Some core courses are enhanced with DVDs, videos and computer software.
Each core subject consists of 12 PACEs per level. Typical students work daily on one PACE in each subject and may be performing at varying levels according to their diagnostic test results. Most complete at least 70 PACEs per year, maintaining academic balance by completing about the same number of PACEs in each assigned subject.
Each curriculum level equals one year’s work for a typical student, thus it would take an average student twelve (12) years to complete Levels 1 through 12 (Elementary through High School). However, since students pursue the course at their own individualised pace, dependent upon their unique abilities and personal motivation, they may attain graduation in a shorter or longer time frame. Students learn to set their own goals on a daily, weekly, per-term and annual basis. They are also assisted to set their own targets for graduation.
Students begin their PACE work by noting their goals, the concepts they will learn, a Bible verse and a corresponding character trait. From the beginning of each PACE, they know what is expected and assume the responsibility for their own learning!
Full-colour explanations and illustrations add excitement to each lesson, and innovative learning activities reinforce the interesting text material.
Each PACE contains several Check-ups, which are quizzes covering a section of the PACE. If mastery in an area is not achieved, the Check-up will reveal that weak area. Students can then take the time necessary to review and learn those concepts before proceeding to the next.
Upon completion of the activities and Check-ups, students prepare to take the Self-Test. Here students evaluate themselves, and a supervisor/ tutor determines readiness for the final PACE Test. When the Self-Test is successfully completed, the student turns in the PACE and takes the PACE Test the next school morning.
The PACE Test objectively measures student mastery of the material. Students are continuously assessed through Check-ups, Self-Tests and PACE Tests. Mastery must be demonstrated in the PACE Test (minimum 80% passing mark) before advancing to the next PACE. There are no periodic examinations. Transcripts and/ or Report Cards are issued during Parent Conferences (PC), usually held at the end of each semester.