The notion that school trips are only for the older kids is a thing of the past; many preschools and kindergartens now offer excursions for the little ones too! Read on to find out more about these fun and enriching excursions, in which the under-fives get a taste of learning beyond the classroom.
Location: Child at Street 11
School: Blue House Nursery and International Preschool
Grade: Junior and Senior Kindergarten
Teachers: Nicola Williams, Music Pedagogista, and Ekta Taneja, Senior Kindergarten Educator
“Recently, we took a number of children from our Junior and Senior Kindergarten classes to Child at Street 11 as part of this charity organisation’s Gather to the Groove project. Parents were also invited to join the journey. Child at Street 11 is an independent, nonprofit centre that’s committed to creating opportunities and building brighter futures for less-privileged preschool children in Ang Mo Kio.
Blue House has been a supporter, partner and friend of the organisation since our school’s inception. We used a small mini-van to transport the children to and from the site. The day started with Blue House children singing to the Street 11 children, after which they invited them to sing some songs of their own. After that, the children from both centres danced, sang and interacted together. This project offered the children from both Blue House and Street 11 an experience that was rich in educational value, promoting a sense of belonging and self-esteem.”
Location: Playeum at Gillman Barracks
School: Brighton Montessori (Sunset Way)
Grade: Nursery 1 to Kindergarten 2
Teacher: Suzee Reza, Principal
“This venue doesn’t have as many big play structures as other indoor playgrounds, with all their slides and tunnels, and this encourages the children to play using their own imagination. There were individual stations for the children to work on, such as Lego stations where they created their own vehicles. They also got to use a beautiful Playmaker Space, where they had access to a huge variety of media for creating their own mini-projects using recyclable materials such as cardboard, sticks, bottles and yarn, just to name a few.
The workshops also allowed the children to experiment for themselves through creative handson exploration, inspired by having plenty of space and open-ended tools to work with. They practised being engaged and focused, while allowing their creativity and imagination free rein. Although all the children were given the same tools and materials, no two results were the same! We provided a high teacher-to-children ratio on the excursion, with 10 teachers supervising 50 children. The kids wore their outdoor kits so they’d be easily identifiable, and so no one would get lost.”
Fun with Animals
Location: Singapore Zoo
School: EtonHouse Preschool Vanda
Grade: Nursery 2 to Kindergarten 2
Teacher: Munia Ahmed, Principal
“Our trip to the Singapore Zoo was very meaningful, as the children enjoyed a hands-on experience. It was chosen to complement Term 1’s learning of incorporating sustainability; visiting the Zoo also gave the children an insight into the conservation of wildlife. Two buses were arranged for the excursion, and the children were given a list of items to bring.
The tour was undertaken on foot in small groups, with the children stopping by some of the more interesting animal exhibits. Among these was the polar bear, which they visited during feeding time; in class, the children had learnt that, because of climate change, the number of polar bears is declining. They also watched the Animal Friends show and were invited to pat the dogs and enjoy a photo session with them. These dogs were previously abandoned, and were saved by the Zoo, so the children learnt about adopting animals and the importance of being responsible owners of pets. After the trip, they further extended their exploration of the animal kingdom and the natural world, and they revisited what they had seen at the zoo by looking at the map. In the Scavenger Hunt sheet, the children had to write down the names of the animals they’d seen based on a series of clues.”
Location: Cold Storage Jelita
School: Between Two Trees Preschool (Lighthouse Keepers)
Grade: Nursery 2
Teacher: Fathiah Osman
“Field trips are an integral part of project learning at Between Two Trees Preschool. This series of two field trips to the supermarket provided the opportunity for children to encounter and explore things in the real world. Planning the logistics for the trips was simple, as Cold Storage Jelita is just a short walk away from the school. The children were comfortably dressed and wore closed shoes, and we had a low ratio of two teachers to eight children during both trips.
On the first trip to the supermarket, the children spent an hour and a half there. They carried out simple activities, including searching for items around the supermarket and meeting the people who worked there. On the second trip, the children set out independently in small groups to shop for items while keeping to a budget that they’d set beforehand. Each time, they were able to obtain new insights and connect them to prior experiences. The benefits to the children of these experiences are numerous and can be seen on many levels. Field trips extend their curiosity and interest, and they “dig deeper” when projects continue over a longer period of time. Knowledge is built – not just language and numeracy, but also from a socio-emotional perspective”
Location: Kok Fah Technology Farm
School: MindChamps PreSchool (Paragon)
Grade: Nursery 2
Teacher: Sheza Deanna Ng, Vice Principal
“We started the term by brainstorming about plants and how they grow. Our Champs shared their knowledge and were eager to know more about plants. We explored many types of seeds in class, such as those from apples, watermelons, longans, kiwis, mangoes and other fruit. With the childrendiscovering more about plants each day, the teachers set out to look for a suitable farm to take them to, and Kok Fah met our programme requirements.
Besides the three class teachers, parents were also invited to come along; we believe that parental involvement is a crucial reinforcement of children’s learning. Our Champs were able to see the process of farming, from the seedling stage to growing and harvesting. They also discovered many varieties of leafy vegetables, including some unusual ones that aren’t available in supermarkets, and they each brought back a vegetable growing kit to experience the process of growing and harvesting vegetables themselves. After the trip, the children reflected on what they’d discovered about plants. They also got busy planting their vegetables, caring for them and recording their observations as the vegetables grew.”
Location: Bukit Panjang Easi Garden
School: Shaws Preschool
Grade: Nursery Two (three to four years)
Teacher: Deborah Shaw, Principal
“The curriculum at Shaws follows the project approach. Each term, the children pick a project to explore; this exploration happens both inside and outside the classroom, and includes at least two trips outside of the school. This term, the children are learning about rice. With the help of the rice experts at the Easi Garden, located in the heart of Bukit Panjang, the children had the opportunity to explore a real mini rice padi field and to ask all the questions they could think of. They learnt about the life cycle of a rice plant and the process of harvesting it.
Living in Singapore, with little chance to explore how rice grows, the children were delighted with this experience! The highlight of the trip was when the children got their hands dirty as they re-potted rice seedlings into their very own pots, before watering them and taking them home. Back at school, the exploration continues. The children still have their rice plants and we’re happy to report that most are growing well. We can’t wait to harvest them and hopefully cook up our very own bowl of rice, grown from scratch with love!”
Five locations island-wide
Location: Gardens by the Bay
School: Swallows and Amazons Kindergarten
Grade: Pre-Nursery to Nursery 1
Teachers: Linda Smith and Jeannette Yeo
“We chose this venue to suit our topic for this term – “In the Garden”. The children have been learning about the various aspects of the garden – from what can be grown, to the animals and insects necessary for the continuation of the ecosystem. The idea was to give the children a sensorial experience of the flowers that grow in different environments around the world. In class, they had been involved in hands-on projects, from cutting up vegetables and making soup with them, to pretending to be flowers swaying in the wind.
Now, this was a perfect place to bring all the magic of their learning to life. This visit took about two hours. The location is excellent, as most of the flowers are at the children’s eye level and there is easy access to the facilities. Our teacher-to-student ratio for the trip was 1:3 for the Pre-Nursery and Nursery 1 children, and 1:4 for Nursery 2 and Kindergarten 1. For the older children, this was a chance to consolidate their learning from the past term through a hands-on experience, and to extend their current knowledge of the theme. For the younger ones, it was a chance to be part of the larger school community. Part of the adventure was, of course, going together on the bus!”
Location: National Museum of Singapore
School: White Lodge
Teacher: Penny Gandhi, Head of Curriculum
“At White Lodge, field trips are regularly undertaken as a part of the integrated curriculum. Culturally enriching field trips help children develop into citizens who know more about the world, have stronger critical-thinking skills, who exhibit more historical empathy, and who have a greater taste for art and culture. Children love the outdoor experiences and take every opportunity to observe and explore the environments they find themselves in. This term, we took our kindergarten students to the Masak Masak exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore. We saw it as a good way to extend the children’s learning on this term’s theme, Inventors and Inventions.
The exhibition was a great mix of creative displays of games and interactive activities that showed how resources could be used to make new inventions. The children got to the venue via bus. While the teacher-to-child ratio was maintained at 1:6, parents were invited to join too. We carried out a risk assessment before the trip, which involved taking into account all possible problems that could arise from start to finish, and the accompanying teachers were informed and made aware of the details. Apart from the interactive games available, the children had a turn to be inventors themselves! Learning was also reinforced through looking at the inventions in different ways.”
Eight locations island-wide
Location: Safari Square (next to River Safari)
School: Kinderland Preschool and Kindergarten
Teacher: Susan Tan, Senior Manager
“Recently, Kinderland students participated as “Little Pangolin Ambassadors” in an initiative titled “I Love Pangolins”. Over 500 preschoolers attended this special event, which aimed to raise awareness about the plight of Singapore’s indigenous Sunda pangolins. Our goal was to raise $10,000 through the games, crafts and food booths managed by our little entrepreneurs at the carnival; the funds raised would go towards the conservation of the pangolins. On the day, parents took their children to the carnival where they visited the booths and had the opportunity to witness the entrepreneurs at work. Hands-on learning is part of the school’s innovative learning experience.
We believe that children should be equipped to be life-long learners in addition to being prepared for formal schooling. This event supports the Early Childhood Development Agency’s Start Small Dream Big initiative, which encourages people to give back to society from a young age. Through it, we encouraged our pupils to develop entrepreneurship skills, while cultivating compassion and a desire to protect the environment around them.”
Multiple locations island-wide