The NOVA Learning Intervention Programme was created in 2006 by Morning Star Community Services. It is a school-based programme that provides support to mainstream Primary 1 and 2 children with Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) difficulties, a service gap which was lacking in the community.
NOVA Learning Intervention Programme is an early intervention programme which adopts a preventive rather than a remedial approach.
Children are referred to NOVA by their school’s Form Teachers after they have been observed struggling with social-emotional issues due to stressful personal or family situations which they find hard to cope with or do not comprehend. As a result, these children are unable to adequately follow classroom teachings in school and exhibit weak social interaction skills such as:
Besides working with these children individually, NOVA also partners closely with schools and parents through frequent meetings and home visits. During these meetings, parents and teachers are equipped with positive strategies which they can apply at home or in the classroom. We believe that a Systemic Partnership helps extend teaching outside the NOVA Lab and provides children with a more holistic support.
NOVA adopts the CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning) research-based intervention which focuses on 5 core competencies:
Children are taught these skills through:
With the right methods, at-risk behaviours (e.g. fighting, bullying, stealing) can be reduced and even avoided. We also strive to help children develop life-long abilities such as self-awareness, anger management, impulse control, and positive qualities such as empathy and compassion
The NOVA Learning Intervention Programme provides a structured daily programme for 4 hours after school, Mondays to Fridays. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can establish a NOVA Learning Lab in your Primary school.
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals
John was referred to the NOVA programme as he faced difficulty in managing his emotions and following instructions in class. He also had low self-esteem and had difficulty accepting negative feedback and failure. Thus, John would refuse to do any academic worksheets that were given to him.
John responded well to NOVA’s structured environment and routine interventions. During his time in NOVA, John learnt how to identify and express his emotions more positively. As trust between the NOVA facilitators and John developed, he showed more willingness to ask for help and attempt topics that he was weak in. His self-esteem increased gradually, and John was able to accept correction from friends and teachers alike. Feedback from his school teachers and family members also validated the positive changes in him.
Ms Tan, Parent
My child and family have gained a strong family bonding through the NOVA programme. My child has also stopped using vulgarities and have somehow learnt how to show respect towards the elders. Our relationship has been improving since he enrolled in NOVA. The facilitators were very helpful and cooperative in helping me by sharing different strategies in communicating and handling my anger when dealing with my child better.
Natasha was referred to the NOVA programme as she showed difficulty in grasping what was taught in class and required instructions to be broken down into simpler terms. When she was first enrolled in the NOVA programme, the NOVA Facilitators observed that she struggled with managing her emotions which would eventually lead to anger. Natasha also faced difficulty accepting her mistakes.
Natasha displayed great progress during her 1 year 9 months journey in the NOVA programme as there was stability and a structured routine for her to follow. During her time in NOVA, Natasha learnt various cooling down strategies and was able to calm down by herself without any prompting from the NOVA Facilitators. Natasha and the NOVA Facilitators also built rapport through weekly Special Time activities such as playing with Pyssla beads and Kinetic sand. With the help of these, Natasha found trust in the NOVA Facilitators and was able to freely express her concerns or emotions to them. The NOVA Facilitators also worked closely with Natasha’s mother, who mentioned that the NOVA programme has helped improve their mother-daughter relationship.
James was referred to the NOVA programme as he struggled with anger issues. He used to hit his peers over minor disagreements and would shout unpleasant comments at them whenever he was angry.
During his 1 year 4 months journey in NOVA, the NOVA Facilitators were consistent and patient in working with him on regulating his emotions through various interventions such as the exploration of different calming down strategies like soft humming and reading. These interventions proved to be effective as James gradually learnt to express his displeasure towards his friends in a more polite manner. He was also able to utilise the calming down strategies that were introduced to him in NOVA which helped him in regulating his emotions independently whenever he was upset.