Swords & Stationery Singapore

Unsheathing Potential – Swords & Stationery’s Journey

Shaun Low, the visionary behind Swords & Stationery, was motivated by a deep desire to empower dyslexic students. His motivation stemmed from a passion for English and a recognition of the disenchantment many dyslexic learners faced in traditional educational settings. With a mission to revolutionise learning, Low pioneered a game-based curriculum tailored to harness the strengths of dyslexic individuals.

In its early stages, Swords & Stationery encountered a couple of challenges. Securing suitable venues for educational therapy sessions proved to be a formidable hurdle. Low recounts the taxing process of sourcing classrooms for rent, ultimately finding solace in an international school offering affordable hourly rates. Despite the logistical complexities of utilising rented spaces, Shaun remained undeterred.

Another obstacle lay in the realm of visibility. Introducing a novel and engaging program for dyslexic students required overcoming the inertia of traditional educational paradigms. Shaun grappled with the task of disseminating awareness about Swords & Stationery amidst a landscape dominated by established competitors. With modest web traffic and tepid word-of-mouth referrals, the journey to recognition was fraught with uncertainty.

Yet, perhaps the most trying ordeal arrived with the precipitous drop in clientele on the cusp of Swords & Stationery’s official centre opening. Despite initially enrolling nine students, a sudden decline saw numbers dwindle to six, plunging the venture into financial strain. Shaun candidly recounts the sleepless nights endured during this tumultuous period, underscoring the resilience required to navigate the storm.

Through perseverance and unwavering dedication, Swords & Stationery weathered these trials, emerging as a beacon of hope for dyslexic learners. Shaun’s indomitable spirit and commitment to innovation continue to drive the enterprise forward, transforming challenges into opportunities for growth and empowerment.

From Inspiration to Innovation – Shaun Low’s Journey to Game-Based Educational Therapy

Swords & Stationery Singapore
Swords & Stationery Singapore

Shaun Low, the founder of Swords & Stationery, traces the genesis of his groundbreaking approach to educational therapy back to his tenure at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. Observing a common disinterest in independent reading among his dyslexic students, Shaun drew inspiration from his own passion for gaming and literature.

Drawing from his love for tabletop role-playing games, Shaun introduced the game Dread to a group of secondary school students during one of his sessions. To his delight, the students embraced the game enthusiastically, sparking engaging discussions and writing activities rooted in the game’s narrative. Encouraged by this success, Shaun expanded his experiment to other classes, witnessing a consistent surge in student motivation and engagement whenever games were incorporated into the curriculum.

This pivotal moment marked the inception of Shaun’s innovative game-based pedagogy, leading to the establishment of Swords & Stationery. Leveraging his experience and insights gained from over 100 student trials, Shaun meticulously crafted bespoke learning materials tailored to harness the inherent appeal of tabletop gaming. As the curriculum evolved, Shaun integrated additional games like Warhammer 40K, alongside developing original games designed to enhance students’ literacy skills within immersive fantasy and sci-fi settings.

Swords & Stationery’s Dynamic Approach to Empowering Dyslexic Learners

Shaun champions a game-based educational therapy approach that revolutionises traditional learning methods, yielding profound benefits for dyslexic students.

Central to this innovative approach is the unparalleled level of student motivation it fosters. At Swords & Stationery, engaging role-playing game campaigns captivate students, inspiring long-term commitment and enthusiasm. With campaigns spanning years, students eagerly anticipate each session, demonstrating a remarkable willingness to participate in classwork, including writing exercises directly related to their gaming experiences. This intrinsic motivation proves pivotal in driving academic success, with many students achieving notable improvements under this dynamic learning model.

Beyond motivation, Swords & Stationery’s methodology stands out for its ability to create immersive learning environments that cater to diverse sensory needs. Rooted in the Orton-Gillingham (OG) methodology, renowned for its multisensory approach to dyslexia intervention, Shaun seamlessly integrates sensory stimuli—such as sound effects, music, captivating visuals, and tactile props—into gaming sessions. By engaging multiple senses, Swords & Stationery elevates the learning experience, providing dyslexic learners with unparalleled opportunities for comprehension and skill development.

Swords & Stationery’s Commitment to Dyslexia Advocacy and Education

Shaun Low’s unwavering dedication to dyslexia advocacy and education is evident in Swords & Stationery’s innovative initiatives aimed at supporting educators, parents, and gamers alike.

Before Swords & Stationery’s inception as a business, it first started out as a simple blog from 2016 to 2017, discussing games and education. Since them it has continued to offer a wealth of free resources for parents, educators, and gaming enthusiasts. From flashcards to worksheets and game-related materials, Shaun’s commitment to community support shines through. Motivated by the belief in the power of altruism, Shaun’s efforts have garnered heartfelt gratitude from individuals benefiting from these resources, reaffirming the profound impact of giving back.

Building on this foundation of goodwill, Swords & Stationery’s involvement in Dyslexia Awareness Month took shape in 2020 with a unique fundraising endeavour. Recognizing the need to raise awareness for dyslexia while giving back to the community, Shaun devised a creative solution that merged his passion for tabletop gaming with charitable giving. Leveraging a surplus of miniature wargaming merchandise, including Warhammer and DUST 1947, Shaun initiated a charity auction with all proceeds directed to the Singapore Book Council. By supporting an organisation dedicated to promoting literacy and literature, Shaun’s initiative embodies the spirit of Dyslexia Awareness Month, uniting passion and purpose in a meaningful endeavour.

Through these initiatives, Swords & Stationery continues to champion dyslexia awareness and education, embodying the ethos of community engagement and social responsibility.

Building Bridges – Collaborations Fueling Swords & Stationery’s Success

Shaun Low’s strategic collaborations with psychologists, therapy centres, and freelance therapists have played a pivotal role in Swords & Stationery’s journey to success, highlighting the power of synergy in the dyslexia education landscape.

Rather than viewing fellow practitioners as competitors, Shaun embraces a collaborative mindset, recognizing the complementary expertise they bring to the table. Through mutually beneficial partnerships, Shaun leverages external resources to enhance the scope and effectiveness of Swords & Stationery’s program. When faced with capacity constraints or the need for specialised interventions beyond his purview, Shaun readily refers clients to trusted collaborators, ensuring they receive comprehensive support tailored to their needs.

Despite the unconventional nature of collaborating with direct competitors, Shaun’s approach underscores the principle of collective growth and community support. By nurturing deep trust and fostering symbiotic relationships with associates, Shaun not only expands his network but also cultivates a culture of reciprocity where referrals flow freely. In this interconnected ecosystem, professionals unite to uplift and empower dyslexic learners, embodying the ethos of collective success and shared impact.

Uniting Fun and Learning – Memorable Events That Define Swords & Stationery

Swords & Stationery Singapore

Among the many memorable moments etched in the history of Swords & Stationery, Shaun Low fondly recalls two standout events that epitomise the organisation’s commitment to blending fun with education.

In 2018, Swords & Stationery hosted an exhilarating open house that transcended the boundaries of traditional learning. Dubbed as a grand tabletop gaming extravaganza, the event welcomed members of the public and Swords & Stationery’s students alike. From a spirited Patchwork board game competition to a rollicking role-playing game session boasting over 15 enthusiastic participants, the open house buzzed with excitement well past midnight. For Shaun, it marked a milestone moment, underscored by his first overnight stay at the centre—a testament to the event’s overwhelming success and enduring impact.

Another noteworthy event unfolded at Scholastic Asia’s Family Literacy Day in the same year. Invited to shed light on dyslexia awareness and showcase tabletop role-playing games, Swords & Stationery seized the opportunity to captivate audiences with its unique approach to learning. Despite being tucked away in a corner behind a bouncy castle, the Swords & Stationery booth quickly became a beacon of attraction. Within just an hour of setting up, a throng of eager kids and parents formed a bustling queue, eager to experience the in-house-designed role-playing game—a collaborative effort between Shaun and one of the organisation’s students. Witnessing the joy and enthusiasm radiating from attendees as they departed the booth left an indelible impression on Shaun, reaffirming the transformative power of blending education with immersive gaming experiences.

These memorable events stand as testament to Swords & Stationery’s unwavering commitment to fostering holistic learning environments where joy, curiosity, and creativity converge to empower dyslexic learners and inspire communities.

Advice from Shaun Low for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Swords & Stationery Singapore
Shaun Low, Founder of Swords & Stationery

“Always plan out finances and make sure you have enough reserve for 6 months of overheads. Rent, salaries, supplies, all these will take a sizable chunk out of your revenue. Plan for the worst case scenario so that when that comes to pass, you will not be as affected and can think with a more level head.”

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