Within the campus of Dulwich College (Singapore) is DUCKS – the Dulwich College Kindergarten School. Much more than just a cute acronym, the international kindergarten offers an early years programme for ages two to seven years, providing a holistic education with the kind of welcoming environment – plus a Forest School, too – that enables children to discover and develop their full potential. JOANNE WOODWARD is the Head of DUCKS; she outlines some of its key features.
Give us an insight into the campus; where do children learn and play?
We are lucky to have outstanding facilities at DUCKS. The bright, airy classrooms open up into outdoor spaces, so our children are able to learn inside and outside throughout the day.
DUCKS children have access to three swimming pools, playing fields, an indoor gymnasium, a rooftop bike track, a dedicated library, two dining rooms, a water-play area, Forest School and a professional kitchen. They also have regular access to the school’s Performing Arts Centre, with its three theatres.
Tell us about the English-Mandarin dual language environment at this international kindergarten.
Every class from Toddler to Year 2 at our international kindergarten is taught by at least one native English-speaking teacher and one native Mandarin-speaking teacher. Children are fully immersed in both languages daily as well as having daily Mandarin lessons.
Our dual language programme focuses on all areas of the curriculum as well as interaction, storytelling and role play in the development of children’s listening, speaking and literacy skills. Children are exposed to both English and Mandarin in their natural learning context through the day. This makes it lots of fun and enables them to gain the confidence to use language with meaning rather than through imitation.
We hear there’s a specialist teacher programme at this international kindergarten too.
All DUCKS children have weekly swimming lessons and from the age of three years, they have specialist PE, music and choir lessons. They also have weekly specialist library sessions where they explore all the books in the DUCKS library and get to choose one to take home. There are plenty of opportunities for drama, too, with all children regularly performing in the 740-seat theatre.
Tell us more about the Forest School.
DUCKS children visit the Forest School regularly and they absolutely love it! They undertake activities such as making a fire, roasting marshmallows, sawing wood or digging trenches. This open-air learning has significant positive effects on their physical and mental wellbeing, helping them gain academic skills and build emotional resilience.
How does DUCKS develop high potential learners?
Our teachers extend and challenge students in areas where they show strength and interest. This might involve additional maths for children who demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of numbers, or enabling children to lead a lesson on a subject they have particular knowledge in.
We also have a variety of leadership positions open to children of our international kindergarten including Student Council, House Captains, Global Guardians, Creative Stars, Reading Rockets and Techsperts. We believe that children should have the opportunity to flourish and perform highly in areas in which they have talents and skills.
Hear from a student…
“I like splashing in the puddles at Forest School!” – Emilia, Reception Parrots class
Want to know if DUCKS is for your child?
To find out more about Dulwich College Kindergarten School and how it aims to nurture confident young learners who take pride in their achievements, register for an Open House by contacting the admissions office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dulwich College (Singapore) is an international school whose ethos draws upon the 400-year heritage of its founding school in London.
This article first appeared in the March 2022 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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