Got little ones who can’t sit still in school? Learning doesn’t have to be the typical teacher/whiteboard or teacher/device combo. At Square Education Studio, learning is interactive and hands-on – and that includes Lego! We asked principal Chloe Lim about the story behind the centre and its enrichment classes, including the signature BRICKZ programme.
Tell us the story behind Square.
I’ve had more than 15 years of teaching experience in the Ministry of Education, on management committees at schools, and on school-based projects, curriculum planning and development. Our consultant Iris has over 20 years of experience in business and counselling. I’ve always aimed to make a difference in the life of students, but I found that a teacher’s time is scarce when they’re occupied by endless meetings, CCA duties and more. I’ve always wanted to devote myself wholeheartedly to moulding character and learning in students, so Square Education Studio is a dream come true for me.
Iris’s interest in counselling developed through her very close bond with her daughter and her friends, and her frequent interactions with them. Through this, she developed a passion for helping young people in need. Today, she’s a trained counsellor who aspires to bring about positivity to the life of youngsters. Iris and I found out about each other’s aspirations and decided to set up a place where we can actualise our dreams.
What can children learn at Square?
We offer an array of programmes, with BRICKZ as our signature, along with tuition for all school subjects.
Tell us about BRICKZ.
By applying the concept of learning through play, we’ve created a unique curriculum called BRICKZ for children to learn Chinese with Lego. BRICKZ was born out of collaboration between myself and a former Lego education specialist in Beijing. After acquiring in-depth understanding of the Chinese Lego education curriculum, we saw the discrepancies between education in China and Singapore. So, we decided to create a curriculum that is applicable to a local context.
The BRICKZ programme is highly recommended for children aged six to nine years. Through the use of Lego bricks and robotics, kids develop their Chinese language and literacy skills, and build various essential life skills such as collaboration, logical thinking, problem-solving and social-emotional skills.
Is Mandarin as hard to learn as people say?
It is indeed hard to learn – especially for those from non-Mandarin-speaking family backgrounds; it can be challenging to grasp the meanings of characters and phrases. However, it’s an everyday language, especially in Asia, and we feel that eventually it can become a breeze to speak Mandarin well.
Why is it so important for people to be able to speak and read Chinese?
According to a report by Business Insider (November 2017), Mandarin is the language with the most native speakers – about 1.2 billion – in the world, which shows its importance in business. Learning the language also allows us to learn about the rich history and culture of China. The same report highlighted billionaires and royals such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Prince William who are teaching their kids Mandarin. The message is, to be global, learn and speak Mandarin!
Anything new or upcoming?
Look out for our English BRICKZ programme – currently a work in progress!
Written in collaboration with:
Square Education Studio
#08-09 Parkway Centre, 1 Marine Parade Central
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