In 2013, while the residential area on Sentosa Cove was being constructed, SHARON SOLOMON foresaw a need for a Sentosa preschool for new families. She thought, “I couldn’t imagine subjecting a little one to a long journey to the mainland every day.” That’s why, 10 years ago, she founded Quayside Isle Preparatory School – or QuIPS – on the island. She views the school as a linchpin for the community of residents and new families in Sentosa Cove.
Celebrating the individual
What differentiates QuIPS from many other preschools is firstly the unique curriculum, which recognises and celebrates the individual interests and needs of each child.
Sharon says that this gives them the flexibility to adapt and update the curriculum as needed, such as incorporating the latest research and best practices in early childhood education. The aim is to ensure that they remain relevant and effective in preparing students for the future.
The Sentosa preschool also merges both Eastern and Western philosophies into its research-based approach to early childhood education. For example, developing the cultural sensitivities and cultural awareness of QuIPS students is incorporated into the curriculum.
Sharon points out that this is a result of seeing how Sentosa itself has changed. “Over the years, we’ve seen the island become a microcosm of nationalities. Now Quayside Isle Preparatory School is very much a school of multi-nationalities.”
Parents taking part
Having established a good balance between learning and play, the school continues to put the child first while meeting parent expectations. It also actively encourages parents’ involvement in their child’s education, “We firmly believe that a child’s growth and learning are greatly influenced by the support and collaboration between families and the school,” says Sharon.
With most of the families situated within walking distance of the Sentosa preschool, the QuIPS team is able to engage parents daily and develop a collaborative partnership in ensuring their children are happy and supported. Partnerships with parents also happen through regular in-person or digital updates, parent teacher meetings and regular school events.
Everywhere’s a playground at this Sentosa preschool
Outdoor play at QuIPS is greatly supported by the abundant outdoor spaces on Sentosa – the school utilises them regularly for adventure walks, picnics, field trips and immersive outdoor learning experiences.
Sharon says, “Having the island of Sentosa as every children’s play station – forests, beaches, the marina – allows us to tap into nature as a means to educate children not just with a-b-c and 1-2-3, but including respect and love for the outdoors.”
QuIPS teachers curate engaging outdoor activities that enable children to explore and appreciate their surroundings. Thus, the children of the Sentosa preschool realise that learning can happen everywhere and beyond the confines of traditional classrooms.
The Sentosa preschool has planned a range of in-school, alumni and community events later in the year to commemorate 10 years on Sentosa Cove. Families are welcome to partake in the festivities and visit the school.
Quayside Isle Preparatory School is at 31 Ocean Way, #01-17.
This article first appeared in the October 2023 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe so you never miss a copy!
To make the most of living in Singapore, read our latest City Guide here for free!