WU JING and MARILYN OW are the cofounder and founding principal respectively at Singapore Montessori preschool House on the Hill. They share highlights from their early childhood education journey over the past 10 years, and what they’re looking forward to over the next 10!
House on the Hill (HOTH) was established by Jing and co-founder Oliver Bettin to provide high-quality early childhood education while staying true to the educational excellence of Dr Maria Montessori’s Method. Today, Jing and Marilyn lead a team of dedicated staff across four HOTH campuses at Mount Sophia, Balmoral, Pasir Panjang and a newly opened branch at the Hollandse Club.
Why did you start House on the Hill?
Jing: I really love working with children, and I felt there was room for a school that was committed to the pure principles of Montessori pedagogy. Marilyn is such a passionate advocate for Montessori, when she agreed to partner us, I knew we could make a success of this venture.
What are some of your favourite memories of the last 10 years?
Marilyn: There are so many! My greatest satisfaction comes from seeing the children of our Singapore Montessori preschool develop, from being apprehensive on their first day, to the day they graduate. Knowing that we’ve played a part in helping children grow gives me great satisfaction and joy.
Jing: One that stands out for me the most was the year a truck accidentally hit our old school building at 12 Mount Sophia. We had to close for renovation and repairs. It was a Sunday but the parents formed a parent volunteer committee within two hours to support us. We gathered in a meeting room at my condo and everyone shared ideas on how we should handle the situation. The teachers quickly changed their lesson plans into 10 days of excursions. It was a tough period but also one that has become a very sweet memory over time.
What’s in store for HOTH in the next 10 years?
Jing: We’re focused on making sure that the children of our Singapore Montessori preschool are prepared for life as caring, global citizens. We will also continue to develop our employees. I’m proud of what we have achieved; if we value and believe in what we’re doing, we will go far.
How do you think early childhood education has changed in recent times?
Marilyn: Parents want to be more involved in the teaching process now. At House on the Hill, we support this by showing parents how to set the home up to encourage independence in their children, through workshops, Montessori at Home materials, projects at home and more. We find that this makes learning easier and more meaningful for the children.
What should parents look out for when it comes to their young children and learning?
Jing: After so many years of working with young children and as a mother to two young boys, I would say that parents must be patient about their children’s learning path. Children need plenty of space and time to learn in their own way; this helps build confidence.
Experience the House on the Hill difference
The Singapore Montessori preschool is having a series of Open Houses across their four campuses in September and October. Visit houseonthehill.com.sg/openweek for details!
- 33 Mount Sophia | 6337 4635
- 396 Pasir Panjang Road, #02-01 | 6251 6451
- 22 Camden Park, Hollandse Club | 6530 3955
- 2H Balmoral Crescent | 6258 6061
This article first appeared in the August 2022 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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