How do popular preschools in Singapore decide on their curriculum? Does their approach to education follow a structured learning or an unstructured learning preschool curriculum? How do they incorporate play and experiential learning into daily learning? These could be some questions you have when choosing a preschool. We hear about the teaching philosophies and programmes from the educators who shape the curriculum in some popular Singapore preschools.
Brighton College (Singapore)
Mr Andrew Noakes, Head Master
“At Brighton College (Singapore), our curriculum follows the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. The EYFS has a large number of learning outcomes that most children are expected to reach on ‘graduation’ from Reception. We believe in providing a clear structured learning for children to develop core skills such as phonics, mathematics and writing. This way, each child’s progress can be tracked.
However, the delivery of this Singapore preschool curriculum is planned dynamically on a daily and even hourly basis by our highly-trained team. They engage the children in fun activities and learning opportunities. This means that our programme is naturally highly fluid. Activities that support a number of specific learning goals are provided for the children to engage with throughout the day. At the end of each day, our teacher and learning assistants review how the activities engaged the children. On paper, an activity may support the goal. However, if the children didn’t enjoy it, it’s replaced with something else that supports the goal in a different way. As such, our classrooms can look very different on a day-to-day basis!
The single most important factor in a child’s enjoyment of unstructured learning is the quality of the teaching staff working with them. For our youngest pupils, this centres around an experienced and highly-trained classroom teacher. This is supported by a team of learning assistants, within a warm, nurturing environment. Young children naturally learn through play and exploration. They may not realise they are learning while they’re having fun, and that’s the beauty of exceptional teaching!”
1 Chuan Lane
6505 9790 | brightoncollege.edu.sg
Liane Shaws, Director of Fun
“At Shaws, we believe that play is the most effective approach for children to learn and retain knowledge, as well as to prepare them with essential life skills such as problem solving skills, resilience and confidence. Our ShawsPlay preschool curriculum combines inquiry-based learning, play-based pedagogy and 34 years of Shaws Preschool experience in Singapore.
Our teachers empower each child to explore a wide range of subjects in an independent, self-directed fashion. They carefully create experiences, opportunities and processes for the children to learn. When teachers have a more specific objective in mind – often during reading, writing, mathematics and steam components – the preschool curriculum includes more structured learning. The unstructured learning elements have more open ended objectives. Teachers provide materials and the environment for the children to take the lead; children are given the chance to explore, create, problem solve, and come up with their own findings. The academic components ensure a child is ready for primary school; the non-academic components ensure a child is socially and emotionally ready for the big wide world.
We have loads of outdoor space and encourage the children to learn about nature, in nature; they learn and play outside every day, weather permitting. The children also enjoy sports twice a week, run by the Shaws Little League coaches. Through sport, the children learn teamwork, resilience, problem solving and much more, while building their motor skills. There’s also ShawsPlay Club, a holistic learning syllabus designed to equip a child with vital 21st-century life skills. Children cook like little chefs, create works of art, participate in speech and drama, learn to swim (Lorong Chuan Campus), and develop programming skills.”
Five locations island-wide
9789 2255 | shaws.com.sg
Ms Crystal Tan, Executive Principal
“Mosaic Preschool adopts a dual-framework system – UK’s Early Years Foundation Stage framework with Singapore’s Nurturing Early Learners framework. In our programme, a quality play and experiential is designed to gear our students up for both local and international primary schools. We embrace and celebrate diversity – at Mosaic Preschool, with over 20 nationalities enrolled in our school. Each child is unique, and through our programme, we aim to unleash each child’s interests and multiple intelligence.
The preschool curriculum is taught by our highly trained and compassionate educators who are committed to bring out the best in each child. We empower children to explore, discover, create and learn through lots of fun engagements. Learning is best done when the child is an active explorer and not the passive receiver. The environment for both unstructured and structured learning also provides the optimal conditions for children to strive and have fun in Mosaic Preschool. There are tons of opportunities to engage daily in sports, games and water play in our large outdoor play area.
Besides offering a trilingual programme, we are also the first preschool that offers 17 co-curricular programmes under our roof. This includes electives like swimming, speech and drama, ballet, arts and music, Montessori learning, robotics and coding, and more. These can be customised according to a child’s interests and capabilities, to widen their holistic development and their attitude to learning.”
#05-01, 896 Dunearn Road
#05-01, 168 Changi Road
6909 0470 | mosaicpreschool.sg
Kinderland Academy & Preschool
Dr Carol Loy, Head of Curriculum
“Kinderland recognises that early childhood care and education is more than preparation for primary school. Our focus is on the holistic development of children to be curious, caring, capable, creative, confident and communicative. By doing so, we aim to set a good foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing.
Throughout the span of childhood, play is essential in a child’s overall development. Play enhances the acquisition of language, communication skills, self- and social awareness, develops fine and gross motor skills. and helps with problem-solving. Infants and toddlers stimulate their senses through sensory play. Stimulating activities and materials are introduced to encourage more interaction as mobility and hand-eye coordination increases with development. Our educators provide sustained interactions and communication consistently, based on the development and interests of our younger children.
To nurture children’s ever-growing curiosity, the implementation of STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading & wRiting, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) as part of Kinderland’s curriculum engages our kindergarteners in exploration and effective learning through inquiry-based project work. Children are actively involved in leading and problem-solving in STREAM processes from ideation, conceptualising, researching and creating prototypes to the construction and assembly of actual products.
We believe developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills in this digital age amidst the many uncertainties facing the world is crucial. Through these learning experiences, we prepare our Kinderlanders to be future-ready and able to take on challenges that might come their way. In addition, children between the ages of 3 and 6 engage in termly thematic mini projects. This provides opportunities for them to work on ideas and extend their understanding into applications. At Kinderland Academy @ Yio Chu Kang, our music-infused curriculum is served beyond the classroom, enhanced by our marching band and stage ensemble.”
15 locations island-wide
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