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Applied Learning Programme (ALP)

Education For Life (EFL): Developing Portable Skills through and for Real World Problem Solving


EFL was first started in 1992 with the objective of taking learning beyond the classroom so as to strengthen the theory-application nexus.  Over the years, in tandem with changes in the educational landscape, EFL evolved from activity-based learning to interdisciplinary learning to ensure that all Theresian students develop into future-ready learners who demonstrate 21st century competencies. An integrated approach to learning is adopted with 21st Century Skills, macro-concepts, Social & Emotional (SE) competencies and curriculum subjects identified for cross-disciplinary learning at each grade level.

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EFL is the school’s flagship programme for the integration of 21st century learning into both the curriculum and co-curriculum. This inter-disciplinary programme comprises 4 modules for Express and NT students and 5 modules for NA students, with each module being deployed at each grade level of the student’s 4 or 5 years with the school.

The curricular component has two parts: –

1.    the explicit learning of 21st century skills (Problem Solving skills, Research Skills and Communication & Expression of Ideas) during curriculum time for Sec 1, 2 and 3, and

2.    the assessment of 21st century skills (Problem Solving skills, Research Skills and Communication & Expression of Ideas) which is integrated into the assigned curriculum subjects for Sec 1, 2 and 3

The co-curricular component is a learning journey which encompasses day excursions, camps, retreats and service learning projects which can be local or overseas. During the learning journey, students carry out data collection for their curricular tasks and engage in various learning activities which develop their 21st century skills and social-emotional competencies. 

Scaffolding of the students’ learning follows a developmental approach (Self-Team-School-Community) where the Theresian girl is first guided to attain personal mastery, then placed in team settings to be developed as a valuable team player, a collaborator and competitor at school level and finally as a responsible, global Singaporean. In the process, she acquires subject-specific concepts and skills, essential social-emotional competencies and portable skills (21CC) that lead to the Theresian Girl being developed as a confident person, self-directed learner, active contributor and concerned citizen.

Macro-concepts guide the programme design process beginning with “Change” at Sec 1, “Relationships” at Sec 2, “Interconnectedness” at Sec 3, “Purpose” at Sec 4 and “Mission” at Sec 5.

The key features of the EFL Programme are as follows:



SE Competencies / School Values

Assessment via Curriculum


Co-curricular component (Learning Journey)

EFL Sec 1


Self-Awareness and


/ Commitment to Love

Portfolio Assessment

(Express/N(A): Literature, History;

N(T): Social Skills, Social Studies)


EFL Sec 2


Relationship Management /

Truth in Conscience

Project Work (Science, Geography)


(Kota Tinggi)

EFL Sec 3


Social Awareness / Compassion in Justice

Problem-Based Learning

(Social Studies)



EFL Sec 4


Responsible Decision Making / Courage for Freedom

Values Education


EFL Sec 5


Responsible Decision Making / Service in Mission

Values Education

(VIA – Service Learning project )


Since the start of 2014, “EFL: Developing Portable Skills through and for Real World Problem Solving” has been recognised by the Ministry of Education as the school’s Applied Learning Programme (ALP). This ALP is one of the school’s two Distinctive Programmes which leverages its unique strengths to bring out the best in each and every Theresian.

Click here to access the EFL photo gallery!