EQUAL (Equine-Assisted Learning) Programme for Spectra Secondary School
Building socio-emotional, communication and life skills in vulnerable youths through equine therapy
Partner: Spectra Secondary School
An equine therapy programme run by Equal Ark Singapore, EQUAL (EQUine-Assisted Learning) is aimed at equipping vulnerable youths with social, communication and life skills. Some Spectra students require more help in building self-esteem and confidence, as well as in socialising with peers. EQUAL would thus be beneficial in helping them develop greater confidence and emotional maturity.
Through Temasek Foundation Cares' programme with Spectra, vulnerable youths gain confidence and life skills to relate better with their peers and teachers, as well as to perform better in school.
The EQUAL curriculum comprises four main components:
- Horsemanship: Perform tasks such as cleaning the stables or grooming the horses that require the cooperation of the horse. These activities are designed to build up students' confidence, communication skills and impulse control.
- Horse Play: Activities with and around horses that require students to communicate with the horse using non-verbal cues. Organised around groups, these activities also help build negotiation, teamwork and conflict management skills.
- Horse Riding: Riding lessons which aim to help students overcome the fear of failure, learn perseverance and build up confidence levels.
- Interactive Vaulting: Tasks performed on and around the horses designed to foster teamwork/ confidence, teach respect for the horse and encourage social interaction.
Approximately 600 students (200 in each cohort over three years) are expected to benefit from EQUAL.
"There was a boy who after riding a temperamental horse, commented that he now understands how his teachers feel when he does not obey their instructions."