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CEO Reflections

December 2011







02 Maturity Tanglin Trust School to Capacity and in to the Future 03 Governance Clarity and Understanding 04 Finance Overview Overview of the Annual Budget 06 Academic Achievement Excellence and High Standards 07 Sport and Activities Emerging Sports 08 Outdoor Education Challenge and Inspire Learning 10 Music and the Arts Enriching Our Lives 11 School Initiatives Explained Our World • The Learner Profile The Creative Curriculum • Modern Foreign Languages • External Inspection • The Sixth Form • Tanglin Alumni • The Director of Learning • Relocation of Senior School Entrance • The PTA 19 In Conclusion


INTRODUCTION Welcome to CEO Reflections, which aims to give the community a concise overview of the main developments and issues surrounding the school at present including some detail of the school’s 2010-11 financials and external examination results. This annual document will tie up the end of last school year and introduce some new strategies and developments. This news will be supplemented by The Voice each term, the weekly E-Flyer and In Touch news updates and open meetings with each section of the community. A school community of this size (three schools in one - Infant, Junior and Senior) is necessarily very complex, making effective communication essential. Given the range and variety of announcements and information, the only way we can provide full access is by using online technology. Therefore, we are increasingly moving towards paperless operation and seeking ways in which to make communication between all parties clear and available to all. Hence, you will notice that this document is available online to all the community. I welcome feedback on both the content and presentation of this edition and will use this information to improve the next edition. It remains a privilege for me to lead a world class school such as Tanglin Trust School (Tanglin) and I am very proud to be associated with its outstanding reputation and continued success.

Peter Derby-Crook, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)


The Maturity of Tanglin Trust School to Capacity and in to the Future The greatest challenge of recent years for Tanglin has been to manage the growth to eight forms of students per year throughout the school. This growth has occurred organically, presently reaching Year 10 and moving in to Years 11-13 over the next three years. The school will be at capacity in 2014. Our Admissions Policy is transparent and rigorously applied to all applicants. Growing wait lists and families opting to stay longer in Singapore have conspired to make managing the lists and gaining entry to the school even by siblings quite difficult. The student roll and predicted capacity growth can be seen in the table below:

Year Group   Foundation  Stage   and  Key  Stage  1,     3-­‐7  yrs   Key  Stage  2,     8-­‐11  yrs   Key  Stage  3,     12-­‐14  yrs   Year  10   Year  11   Year  12   Year  13   Sixth  Form   Capacity   Senior  School   Capacity   Senior  School   Capacity  Growth   SCHOOL   CAPACITY  






Capacity Increase  



















154 137   135   100  

189 154   140   135  

192 189   170   140  

192 192   200   170  

192 192   200   200  

38 55   65   100  

























Tanglin was established in One North as a rural school surrounded by tropical woodland (we still have staff and students who remember those days!). As you will have noticed, the city has grown to meet us and we have become an urban school nestling amongst modern tower-block developments. Accessing more land in One North has never been an option available to us and so we manage our operation in 4.5 hectares with access to a limited, renewable lease on Jalan Hang Jebat sports ground. The Senior School extension project currently underway (details and updates can be found on the school website), will provide the additional facilities needed to meet the needs of eight forms per year group to Year 11 and a capacity Sixth Form (as above). The existing lease on our land in One North expires in 2023 and the Board of Governors has for some time been meeting with Singaporean authorities to agree future arrangements. As soon as an agreement is reached it will be communicated to the community. In response to the increasing student roll over the next three years, teacher head count will grow from 230 to 250 with Business and Operations Support Staff growing from 260 to 280 (including Teacher Assistants). British passport holding students account for 70% of our student population with the remainder coming from over forty nationalities. Increasingly, many of these British passport holders have never actually lived in the U.K., creating a population which is more cosmopolitan than might at first appear.


Governance I include an extract from the website here on governance to provide clarity and promote understanding. The governors all work for us on a voluntary basis and devote considerable time and expertise to ensuring the relevance and sustainability of our school. Given that we are in our eighty-sixth year, they are clearly doing a good job. 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. It is administered by a Board of Governors, which elects its own Chair. The Board deals with all issues as a full Board, meeting at least once each term, with the CEO in attendance, to handle business and discuss recommendations submitted by its sub-committees and advisory groups.

Board members are appointed by Board invitation, which is followed by a formal vote, and serve without remuneration. Governors are invited to serve based on the professional skills they can add, such as accountancy, finance, law, information technology, human resources, education and construction, and on their connection to the school. The Board endeavours to ensure that a substantial number of its members are parents of present or former Tanglin students. Such members bring to the Board knowledge of the day-to-day operation of the school. Equally, the Board considers it an advantage to have members not directly connected with Tanglin in order to ensure objectivity in planning and decision making and to balance present and future interests. In partnership with the school’s CEO, the Board is responsible for finance, staffing, premises, enrolment, commissioning regular independent inspections and ensuring that the school operates in accordance with relevant regulations in Singapore. More information on governance can be found on the school’s website.

DID YOU KNOW... We are the only school outside of Europe to offer OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations Board) examinations for GCSE Latin & Classical Civilisation.


Finance Overview The Annual Budget preparation process is a long and rigorous one with many discussions, drafts and intermediate approvals before being finally approved by the Board of Governors. Every cost centre of the budget is challenged to ensure efficiency and effective spending. The final budget must be a balanced budget given that we are a non-profit organisation. This means that all operating expenditure must be met by school fee income. In giving their final approval, the Board’s priority is to maintain high standards and quality, whilst being conscious of the impact of any fee changes on individuals or companies. During the year, spending is monitored and closely controlled to avoid an end of year deficit. The audited financial results for the 2010-11 school year were in line with the Board approved budget. This was the result of strong demand for enrolment and a continuous focus on expense management. The average enrolment was higher than previous years, standing at over 2,600 students. New student admissions remained fairly constant at around 600 students. As illustrated below, the total school fee income comprises 97% of total income, with other miscellaneous income making up the remaining 3% of total income. Revenue composition for 2010-11 remained consistent with 2009-10. Total revenue (including Placement Rights and Building Fund) for 2010-11 was S$72.0m. Staff salaries and benefits remain the single largest category of expenses, representing 75% of total costs. Depreciation makes up the next largest category at 12% of total costs while expenditure for Teaching Resources, Technology and Administration make up the remaining 13% of total costs. Expenditure categories as a proportion of total costs remain fairly consistent with 2009-10 results. Total expenditure for 2010-11 was S$64.6m. Any net surplus for the year is added to the school’s operating and facility reserves. These funds are primarily for developing and maintaining the school’s premises, to fund the lease renewal as well as to finance the school in the event of unexpected future decline in enrolment. The cost of the new Senior School Extension Project (approx. S$13.5m), and relocation of the Senior School entrance will be funded mainly by our reserves.



Academic Achievement Tanglin has a reputation for academic excellence and we are keen to maintain our high standards. This is the first year that we have celebrated both A Level and International Baccalaureate (IB) graduate results. I am delighted to report that results in both pathways were outstanding and facilitated entry by virtually the whole cohort to their universities of choice, including Oxbridge. As a non-selective school, Tanglin has a diverse intake of students and is just as proud of the students whose B and C grades represent excellent progress, as it is of those who achieved a set of top grades. Here are the result headlines: UCAS Tarif*






Average per A level student






Average per IB student






Overall average per student






International Baccalaureate

A Level


• • • • •

The first Tanglin IB comprehensive cohort of 33 students enjoyed a 100% full diploma pass rate The overall average points score was an outstanding 36.3 (global average 29.7) A third of the cohort scored 40 points or over Two students scored 44 points narrowly missing the maximum mark of 45 points The average grade obtained at the school by candidates who passed the diploma was 36.4 Students have secured places at universities of choice including Oxbridge

• • • • •

The A Level cohort of 65 students enjoyed a 100% pass rate High achievement levels and ‘ValueAdded’ for the majority of students 43% of scores were at A* or A 87% of scores were A* to C Two students scored four A* grades 98% of graduates, at this stage, have gained places at their university of choice

• • • • •

132 students took GCSE examinations in 25 subjects 89% of all grades achieved were A* to B 62% of all grades achieved were A* or A 99% of students achieved 5 or more passes at A* to C One student achieved 11 A* grades, and one achieved 10 A* grades and an A grade in AS level Mathematics 5 students achieved A* grades in all their subjects

* The UCAS Tariff is the system for allocating points to qualifications used for entry to higher education.

Recent years have seen a significant expansion in the provision of Sport and Activities. This supports the view that in developing the whole child, Sport and Recreation play an important part in achieving a balance in the present and future lives of our students. This year we welcomed a new Director of Sport and Activities in Colin Morris. Colin is keen to build upon initiatives already in place and to introduce new challenges and opportunities. The Tanglin Sports Programme has seen the emergence of rugby, touch rugby, football, cricket, badminton, climbing, netball, basketball, golf, gymnastics and volleyball. In particular, our rugby teams have been successful in dominating the Asian Schools’ Competitions, with the Under 19’s currently holding the Singapore 7’s title. Alongside our Under 15’s basketball girls who won the FOBISSEA gold medal for the fifth consecutive year. In line with the increased opportunities, participation in Sport and Activities has increased significantly with many more boys and girls having fun and adopting healthy habits. The profile of swimming at Tanglin has been raised by the appointment of Rebecca Richards as Head of Aquatics and Dean Seymour as full time Assistant. A complete reorganisation of the swimming programme has taken place now that we have full access to and control over our pool and, already, there has been a huge response from swimmers. Areas identified for future development in Sport and Activities are: ensuring that we have a balance between sports for all and competitive sport opportunities, sports leadership, trampolining and horse-riding.

DID YOU KNOW... Over 650 of our Senior School students enter the American Scholastic Mathematical Association contests each month, and out of more than 200 participating schools globally, Tanglin is the only British one.


Sport and Activities


Outdoor Education From Pulau Ubin to Everest Base Camp, Tanglin provides a range of outdoor opportunities that challenge, inspire and promote learning. The value of our developing outdoor education programme was epitomised recently in the completion of a trek to the Everest Base Camp by twenty of our students in collaboration with other schools. Finishing the trek was a physical and mental accomplishment in itself, however, all the participants agreed that the experience had changed them as individuals. The demand for team work and collaboration, the opportunity to face up to and meet challenging circumstances, meeting others on the trek and sharing experiences. It is hard to quantify the value-added aspect of quality outdoor education, but it clearly enhances lives and our ability to understand the world and our place in it.

Tom rose to the challenge of Base Camp through utilising his skills of resilience, optimism and stamina. He gained a sense of independence yet worked within a team. The support and camaraderie between the children and staff sounded exceptional and they have made many friends who I believe will be friends for many years. Everest was a life changing experience. It wasn’t easy but then nothing really worth doing is! I believe he will now be able to rise, with confidence, to any challenge he comes across, knowing he can overcome adversity and succeed. - Parent

DID YOU KNOW... Approximately 1,700 students went on residential trips last year.



Music and the Arts Art, Drama and Music programmes are coordinated from Infant to Sixth Form and we are treated to the results of outstanding work in these disciplines throughout the year. Life isn’t divided in to subjects and the development of the Creative Curriculum, has encouraged the Arts to be reflected in study in other areas. The quality and standard of work and performance is clear to be seen from the Infant Strings and performances through Junior Choir/Orchestra to outstanding exhibitions in the Senior School. Our Arts programme has benefitted from Parent Teacher Association (PTA) support recently providing specialist lighting, string instruments and pianos. The Arts enrich our lives and remain a priority for us here at Tanglin.

Our World Our World is an overarching term that has been adopted to bring together the school’s focus on local, regional and global perspectives in the curriculum; environmental awareness; cultural visits and overseas trips; charity fundraising and service projects and personal development of students.

DID YOU KNOW... As a whole school, Ch@t (Charities at Tanglin) recorded 139 Events/Activities for 2010/11, supporting over 53 non-profit, charitable organisations and raising a grand total of $388,000.


School Initiatives Explained


The Learner Profile Last year we launched the Learner Profile to provide a structure by which we could meet our commitment to developing the whole child. The Profile applies from day one in the nursery to graduation and it prevents a narrowing of learning and the side-lining of non-core subjects and attributes. Students should be aware of the Profile and where their strengths and weaknesses lie. A more balanced consciousness will help students to become both good learners and better people. The ten attributes will feature across all planning and we intend to report against them shortly.

There is a realisation across the world that efforts to measure and compare learning outcomes has resulted in a distortion of learning. The UK Standard Assessment Tests (SATs), were a prime example of this with the whole of Years 2, 6 and 9 being dedicated to preparing for an external examination. The main aspect of learning measured through SATs was an ability to do well in the test. There is a growing realisation that a school’s curriculum should not only be content driven and challenging, but that it should be relevant, interesting and motivating for the students. We are looking also to be more conscious of cross curricular links between subjects and to capture the imagination of the learner. We are still committed to delivering the English National Curriculum and have no plans to move away from this. However, the way it is presented will broaden the mind rather than constrict it. As such our on going commitment to high expectations extends beyond the academic to include personal development.

Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) We have been reviewing our MFL provision over the past twelve months including asking parents what they are looking for in our programme. In addition, we have looked at what schools in other countries are doing and have visited some of them to gain a better insight. We are now in a position to state clearly what we are trying to achieve and what will be provided. In the Infant and Junior Schools, language lessons will begin with Mandarin to be joined by the introduction of French in Year 5. Study times will gradually increase to Year 6. Fluency in a MFL at this stage is not the aim, but rather enjoyment and a solid grounding. We intend to promote an interest in the language, customs and cultures of countries to provide a platform from which students can elect languages to continue in to the Senior School. The study of languages in the Senior School becomes more formal with options available leading to I/GCSE, A or IB Level.


The Creative Curriculum


External Inspection Each year one of the three schools is inspected along UK Inspection lines by independent UK inspectors. In February 2011 the Senior School was inspected and was awarded the status of an Outstanding School, which is the highest possible grading. The following is an extract from the main findings of the Report:

‘It (Tanglin Senior School) provides a broad range of rich, enjoyable learning experiences for students in a supportive, caring atmosphere. It prepares its students very well for life beyond school. Across the school, there are many examples of excellent practice in learning, teaching, curriculum, pastoral care, management and leadership. In all faculties students enthusiastically engage with learning; they enjoy interacting with teachers and with each other. In many lessons, teaching is inspirational, especially in the Sixth Form.’ Some of the highlights included: • Students’ achievements are outstanding in Years 7 to 11. Results at GCSE in Year 11 are consistently higher than the UK national figures. • Students show sensitivity and respect for each other in a multi-national and multi-cultural setting. • Overall, the quality of teaching is outstanding. Teachers often bring an infectious passion for their subjects to their teaching. • At Key Stages 3 and 4, students are provided with rich learning experiences. • A wide range of academic, creative and practical subjects and an extensive CCA programme are available. • Exceptional leadership and teamwork has put in place an outstanding Sixth Form programme. • In addition, an enhanced A Level pathway and a robust IB programme was also put in place. • Students have outstanding personal and academic care through close and supportive relationships with all teaching staff. The full report can be found on the school website. The Infant School will be inspected in February 2012. To complement the inspection reports, we have recently introduced Assessment of Climate Surveys (ACS). The ACSs provide detailed analysis of attitudes and relationships between teachers, students and parents revealing areas of strength and those needing attention.

DID YOU KNOW... Tanglin employs 516 staff members; 281 support & management staff and 235 faculty staff.

Sixth Form study and life at Tanglin is both exciting and challenging and quite different to anything students will have encountered hitherto. Expectations and standards in both the IB and A Level pathways demand greater personal skills and abilities than I/GCSEs. Therefore, transfer from Year 11 into the Sixth Form is not automatic and subject choices need to be made in close consultation and with the approval of the Head of Senior School. Tanglin provides comprehensive support in understanding the opportunities and demands of the Sixth Form and in matching the student with the right pathway and subjects. In the next four years our Sixth Form will grow by 30% in size as the capacity cohort works its way to Year 13. The Sixth Form brings a vital richness and invaluable maturity to the school and our graduates are living evidence of the school’s quality and success. A list of universities attended by last years’ graduates is reproduced below. TTS graduates gained places at the following universities in 2011: Academy of Contemporary Music, England • Bath, England • Boston, USA • Bristol, England • British School of Osteopathy, England • Cambridge, England • Cardiff, Wales • Durham, England • Edinburgh, Scotland • Exeter, England • Glasgow, Scotland • Imperial College, London • Kings College, London • Leeds, England • Liverpool, England • Loughborough, England • Maastricht, Netherlands • Macquarie University, Australia • Manchester, England • Melbourne University, Australia • National Institute of Dramatic Art, Australia • New York Film Academy, USA • Nottingham, England • Reading, England • Sheffield, England • Singapore • Southampton, UK • St Andrews, Scotland • St. George’s, London • Swansea, Wales • Sydney University, Australia Toronto, Canada • UCLA, USA • University of British Columbia, Canada • University of the Creative Arts, UK • Warwick, England William’s College USA • York, England


The Sixth Form


Tanglin Alumni With the growing numbers in our Senior School, we have growing numbers of our graduates going out in to the world. We are very keen to maintain contact with our Alumni and have significantly improved our Alumni website and held successful reunions in the UK and Singapore. Increasingly, our Alumni are reinvesting their experience and opportunities in the school for the benefit of present students. Others act as an inspiration such as Tara Bird who is training for the UK 2012 Olympics 800m! All former students and teachers are invited to register as Alumni. Whereas former non-faculty staff, Governors, parents and PTA Committee Members are invited to register as Friends of Tanglin. To register visit

The Director of Learning It would be very easy for our three schools to head off in their own directions making transfer from one to another difficult and not effectively progressive. This year we have appointed John Ridley as Director of Learning with a brief to ensure continuity and progression across the phases and to align developments (for example Modern Foreign Languages). John will enjoy a unique perspective of the three schools and be able to assess the challenge and opportunity provided by each. Finally, John has been asked to look at innovation in the curriculum and to seek out best practice across the world for us to consider. John has already made a significant impact in his new role.

Relocation of the Senior School Entrance The Senior School extension will not only provide additional laboratories, classrooms and canteen facilities but it will also provide a new, purpose designed home for our Music Department, which has been housed in the old Sixth Form building in recent years. This will allow us to relocate the Senior School Entrance and Offices to the vacated building alongside the entrance to the new Sixth Form. This will provide a more appropriate Senior School Reception area and allow much needed renovation to the changing facilities near the swimming pool.



The Parent Teacher Association Sincere thanks go to our PTA and all who support them in organising special events across the school year. Tickets for the PTA Quiz are sought after and the community flocks in to the Christmas and Summer Fairs. In addition to events, the PTA raises money to support specific projects in school. These are projects that would, in the fullness of time be funded entirely by the school. However, with the support of the PTA they are made available to our students much sooner. In recent years the PTA has supported the purchase of: Audio Visual Equipment and large Screens - Berrick Performance Hall Authors in Residence Programme - Whole School Climbing Wall - Whole School Eco Garden - Infant School Gymnasium Equipment - Griffiths Jones Hall Interactive Playground - Junior School Retractable Basketball hoops - Berrick Sports Hall Shade for Foundation Stage Playground - Infant School Spotlight - Berrick Performance Hall Violins and Pianos - Junior School Weather Station - Senior School

DID YOU KNOW... In 2010, Tanglin recycled 14,284 kg of paper.

Tanglin Trust School Singapore has a long tradition of providing British-based learning with an international perspective. At Tanglin we strive to make every individual feel valued, happy and successful. Responsibility, enthusiasm and participation are actively encouraged and integrity is prized. Working together in a safe, caring yet stimulating environment, we set high expectations whilst offering strong support, resulting in a community of lifelong learners who can contribute with confidence to our world.

In Conclusion Our aim is to fulfil the Mission printed above. We challenge our children by providing a range of opportunities through which they can achieve their potential and grow in to good people who are conscious of their role and responsibilities to themselves, others and the world. In addition, Tanglin students should be balanced and able to live their lives with confidence and happiness. The key element of a quality school is the quality of its staff and Tanglin remains committed to recruiting and retaining the best possible teachers and support staff. I sense a strong feeling of pride in and loyalty to this school and a willingness to participate in helping to sustain all that has been achieved. This bodes very well for the future.


Tanglin Mission Statement

CEO Reflections, December 2011  

This publication aims to give the Tanglin community a concise overview of the main developments and issues surrounding the school at present...